Category : Know Your Neighborhood

Photo Blog: Houston’s Most Haunted

It’s official, one of our top 12 favorite months has arrived! October is a time for scaring and ghoulish activities to commence and we cannot be more excited for the countdown to Halloween. We’re going to fill up on candy, watch as many scary movies as possible, and start full out decorating with pumpkins and cobwebs. But before our favorite holiday arrives and we throw on our costumes, Alta City West thinks we need to share the greatness that is the haunted Houston scene. You may not know it but chances are you pass a notoriously haunted area in Houston everyday. With some even located right by in West Houston, there has never been a better time to go out and get a little spooked in Houston. Alta City West wants to make sure you get the best of the best out of your scare experience and with that we give to you Photo Blog: Houston’s Most Haunted. Go forth and be scared Houston.

2309 Wichita Street

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A Gothic themed house that the owner worked on for over 30 years until he passed away. Now it’s empty and spooky and some of the stairways don’t lead anywhere. Happy Halloween. (Photo from: Swamplot.com)

Jefferson Davis Hospital

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It is the trifecta of scary: built on a cemetery, was a hospital, and is now abandoned and boarded up. It’s recently been renovated and turned into artists lofts, but that doesn’t stop the scary antics that ensue at night! (Photo from: Hauntedia.com)

Martha Chapel Cemetery

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We’re a little scared to even write about this one, we don’t want this juju in our lives. But still we must go on. Martha Chapel Cemetery has cemented its title as one of Houston’s most haunted places not only for the endless paranormal activities that go on at all hours of the day but on top of that it sits at the end of a road that locals call ‘Demon Road’. No, we’re not kidding. (Photo from: Hauntedia.com)

If you’re sitting at home and wondering “Where can I go in Houston to get really scared this Halloween season?” (We don’t know why you would be doing that, but to each their own) Alta City West is here to provide you with a decent starting point of where you can go get the full ghost experience.

Indoor Houston Fun for The Cooler Months

We must admit, we are pretty excited that the heat is coming to an end and that we are staring the cooler months in the face and walking right towards them! During the summer months, Houston outdoor activities are hustling and bustling around and you can find just about every Houstonian outside having fun. However, once the summer months come to an end and winter is upon us, things start to slow down outside and those of us who live in HTown start looking for indoor activities to fill our time. Alta City West wants to provide you with indoor Houston fun for the cooler months so you have some options to escape the oddness of a cool Houston.

Downtown Aquarium

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The Downtown Aquarium, Houston is so much more than just any old aquarium. Here you can learn about anything from the Louisiana Swamp life to the White Tigers of the Maharaja’s Temple. There’s a stingray petting zoo and an adventure through the shark tan to satisfy those who want to live on the edge a little, too.

Space Center Houston

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If you’re fascinated by outer space and all that we know about it so far, this is the place for you. From meeting an astronaut to a simulator that lets you feel what it’s like to be in space, The Space Center is filled with all sorts of educating exhibits. But don’t let that education fool you, this place is a blast!

Alta City West

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One of our favorite options (unbiased, of course) is taking the day to sit and relax at Alta City West. We have a pool table, a clubhouse, a cyber café, a gym, a community kitchen for parties, and a lounge. Plus, you don’t have to drive at all and at the end of your fun you can call it a night and head up to bed.

While it may not necessarily get cold in Houston, per se, its still just not as fun to be outdoors when it’s grey and gloomy. Besides, we spend so much time outdoors in the summer months that winter is the perfect time to get indoors and learn all the things you’ve been meaning to the past few months! Besides, who doesn’t love a good learning day?

       

Pay It Forward in Houston

With International Peace Day quickly approaching on September 21st, Alta City West wants to spotlight a few really great volunteer opportunities right here in Houston. With a community as tight knit and wonderful as Houston, there’s sure to be an opportunity to give back that everyone will enjoy doing and feel good about. This year for International Peace Day we encourage you to go out and pay it forward in Houston!

Houston Food Bank

090916-N-3271W-063 MCCARRAN, Nev. (Sept. 16, 2009) Sailors from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN-733) and Navy Recruiting Command Portland fill food boxes at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada for area needy families during Reno Navy Week. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward/Released)

Whether you’re putting together meals to be distributed at a later time or prepping meals in a cafeteria setting, every hour donated to this food bank is an incredible help to children, seniors and others in Houston. (Volunteer here).

Free Books for Houston’s Youth

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This upcoming event needs volunteers to help distribute 40,000 books to Houston youth. This is a great way to give back to children and since it’s only one weekend you don’t need to stress about a long-term time commitment. (Volunteer here).

Star of Hope Mission

If you have a passion for helping folks displaced from their home get back on their feet in Houston, this opportunity is perfect for you. Star of Hope Mission is constantly on the lookout for new volunteers. (Volunteer here).

If you didn’t see a volunteer opportunity that caught your eye here, don’t worry, http://www.volunteermatch.org/ can help you find the perfect match for your interests and availability. Volunteering in your community can be such a rewarding and wonderful occasion. International Peace Day may just be that push we all need to spend more time helping others. So go ahead Houston, pay it forward!

 

Favorite Houston Fall Traditions

Every year around September we start anxiously awaiting fall, which comes in full force in October. It’s not just the cooler weather, beautiful scenery and most importantly the football, there are a few events right here in Houston that we count down the days until. The absolute best part of these fall traditions is that they are all right here in our very own HTown and even a couple right around the corner in West Houston. Alta City West wants you to enjoy your fall as much as we do so we’ve put together our favorite Houston fall traditions. Whether you go to all of them or even only one of them, we guarantee you’ll have a blast because honestly anywhere you go in Houston is fun.

Texas Renaissance Festival

This one is just a little outside of Houston but worth every mile traveled. Between the food and the costumes and the live shows, there’s no shortage of entertainment here. (http://www.texrenfest.com/)

Wings Over Houston Airshow

This event is perfect for those few who are still clinging on to the absolute last little fragments of summer. The outdoor airshow is the perfect time to grab a few friends, a picnic and some drinks and sit out and watch the cool planes fly by and do aerial tricks. (http://www.wingsoverhouston.com/)

Day of the Dead

Sure, this event is celebrated all over the world but when Houston has a Dia de los Muertos event, we spare no expense. Learning the culture behind the event and seeing the beautiful creations behind it while ringing in Halloween makes for a spooky and fun filled night. ( More info here.)

Alta City West hopes you get out and take advantage of all our city has to offer this fall and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Grab your sugar skeletons and your renaissance outfits and let’s get started.

 

Photo Blog: Houston in The Fall

Most people when they think of fall approaching get excited for football, changing colors, cooler weather, Halloween, and winter outfits. But us at Alta City West? We’re excited for how gorgeous Houston is in the fall. While fall football is definitely at the top of our list (we’re Texans, what do you expect?) there are some other fall beauties that we feel like go unrecognized here in Houston. To show you what we’re talking about we’ve put together Photo Blog: Houston in The Fall.

Football

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We know we said most other people are excited for football and we’re only excited for fall, but fall brings football and we love football. And there’s nothing like watching the sun set early while your favorite team wins a game.

Oktoberfest

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Oktoberfest is an awesome tradition that started in Germany that is the celebration of beer. It’s great time to hang out with friends and try some local brews.

RunRock Music Festival

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To top off all the greatness of Houston in the fall? Run around with some friends taking in all the scenery. (Photo from Thrillist.com)

Sure, maybe we’ll miss summer just a little bit but all of the greatness that comes with fall in Houston is making up for that pain. Changing leaves and cooler weather and all of that is great but football, Oktoberfest and music festivals are some of our personal favorites. Throw on your warm weather sweater and get to it Houston!

Why You Should Go To The Texas State Fair

It’s one of the biggest and definitely one of the best. The Texas State Fair is known across the country as one of the most notoriously large and fun fairs. People come from far and wide to eat the Texas shaped fried foods and see Big Tex leading the way into the tents filled with all the food, games and rides you could imagine. Sure, the fair might be in Dallas and quite a bit of a trek from home in Houston, but are you really going to pass up the opportunity to eat a deep-fried bacon cinnamon roll? We think not. Alta City West knows how important Texas pride is and going to the Texas State Fair, even if it is a whole weekend trip, is definitely one of the most important summer activities in a Texans life. If you need a little more convincing here is why you should go to the Texas state fair.

Food

The Food

This is the main event of the Texas state fair. The vendors at this fair will fry just about anything and everything and news flash: it’s all absolutely delicious. (Photo from BigTex.com)

The Livestock

It may sound a little boring to look at all of the livestock that you can just drive by and see on the side of the road, but there’s a lot more to learn here. There are educational shows and petting zoo’s for the younger ones.

The Rides

Even if you’re not a thrill-seeking adventurer, there are still rides for you. One of the most important ones being the Texas Star, which just so happens to be the tallest Ferris wheel in North America clocking in at 212 feet tall.

If you weren’t fully convinced to go to the fair before, you must be now because who could pass up the nations largest Ferris wheel, fried bacon cinnamon rolls and learning how to properly farm livestock? The fair is from September 25th– October 18th and you can get your tickets here http://bigtex.com/.

The Best of Houston Coffee Shops

If there’s one thing Houstonians love more than football, it’s coffee. Houston is a hub for some of the best coffee shops in the nation and there is definitely no shortage on our favorite beans here. Houston is a big town so it’s no surprise that you can get some of the best coffee anywhere whether you’re in West Houston or East Houston. So wake up, grab your favorite mug, and find out where you’ll be sipping on your new favorite cup of Joe this morning because Alta City West has the hookup on the best of Houston coffee shops.

Blacksmith

Blacksmith

Blacksmith is one of those great coffee shops because not only does it have absolutely amazing cane sugar lattes, but they also have seriously delicious food. (Photo by Kathy W.)

Boomtown

Boomtown Coffee

On top of being just absolute happiness in a cup, they have latte art. Need we say more? (Photo by Tam N.)

Agora

Agora

Any coffee topped with whipped cream, sugar, and cinnamon is okay by us. (Photo by Richey D.)

Catalina

Catalina Coffee

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary Catalina Coffee has drinks inspired from around the world, including a Cortado, which is in close relation to an Italian Macchiato. (Photo by Bobby G.)

Moral of the Houston coffee story: it’s all good in the hood. We think no matter where you go in HTown for coffee, you’re going to have a delicious experience. Mainly because Houston coffee is just great, maybe it’s something in the water. So go forth with your travel mugs, Houston and bottoms up!

Everything You Need To Do In Texas Before Summer Is Over

We know that a Texas summer can be one of the most difficult things to get through in terms of heat, but a Texas summer can also be one of the greatest things you’ve ever experienced. From special events, such as The Texas State fair, all the way to cruising up the river in a kayak with your best friends, there’s no better place to spend a summer. You can even find some of these fun activities right here in West Houston and Alta City West has the scoop on the best adventures you and your friends can get into before the summer is over.

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The Texas State Fair

Possibly the most well known and most anticipated event of the summer, The Texas State fair is everything a Texan could want for. Big Tex, America’s tallest ferris wheel, and every food ever made being deep-fried, The Texas State Fair is easily the greatest state fair in the nation.

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Go To a Rodeo

Rodeos are all over the state, and chances are if you live in Texas, you’ve already seen a rodeo or two before. But going to a rodeo in the summer, hanging with a few friends, and cheering on the riders on is an unparalleled experience.

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Go to Padre Island

Sure Padre Island is a tropical paradise and that’s great and all during the summer, but the real cherry on top of this ice cream sundae is the SEA TURTLES. Yes. Sea turtles hanging out on the beach on this Texas island.

All in all, no matter what you do in Texas this summer you will most likely have a great time because, well, it’s Texas. But there are certain things everyone who lives in Texas must do this summer to celebrate the greatness that is Texas. Alta City West knows you’re all itching to get out and have a real country summer so we’ve lined up everything you need to do in Texas before summer is over, grab a few friends and enjoy it while you can.

Photo Blog: Back to School in Texas

As much as we like to deny it; fall is right around the corner, which means school is quickly approaching here in Texas. West Houston is home to beautiful University of Houston, but the beauty doesn’t stop there. Texas has some of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation and Alta City West has put together a compilation of photos to prove that. Whether you’re looking for a university to attend or simply wanting to see some of the beauty that Texas holds Photo Blog: Back to School in Texas shows you all of our favorites.

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The University of Texas at Austin

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Baylor University, Waco (Photo courtesy of Baylor University)

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University of Houston

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University of Texas at Arlington

We know back to school isn’t everyone’s favorite time of year but with these Texas colleges, we can get on board with the school thing. Whether you’re waiting in anticipation or hoping the day will never come, Fall 2015 on Texas University campuses are sure to be gorgeous days!

 

Everything is Bigger in Texas

Many people probably hear the old saying “Everything Is Bigger in Texas” and think of it as a joke since we’re the second largest state. But the truth is that within Texas, we have some of the biggest and best of a wide range of novelties. This saying can range from food to clothing to animals to attractions across the state. Alta City West has searched high and low to bring you some of the funniest and best “Bigger” items in Texas. Most of them can be seen right here in our very own West Houston but to see some of these you’ll have to travel just a little further. Just remind your out of state friends if they want to come visit that they should be in for a Big adventure.

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Fair Food is notoriously known to be over the top and crazy, but this Texas Fair Food has snagged the title of The World’s Largest. The Texas State fair is home to The World’s Largest Frito Pie. Get tickets to the Texas State Fair here: http://bigtex.com/

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We Texans take our Country Music very seriously and have the evidence to prove it. In 2014 George Strait snagged the title of the largest ever indoor concert at AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX. It brought in a total of 104,793 fans, which is over 15,000 more people than the second largest indoor concert ever to be held.

Lastly, one of the biggest phenomenon’s in Texas is the big love we have for sports. Texas is home to one of the largest football stadiums in the world and has one of the biggest followings of high school football in the nation (Friday Night Lights anyone?). Yes, the above photo is a high school football stadium.

People look at Texas and think we only have square footage to lay our claim of being the biggest and best. But Texas is so much more than land space. We’re home to large foods, large events, and large pride. Alta City West encourages you to get out and support your Texas pride and show off just how big Texas can throw down.