Category : Know Your Neighborhood

Texas Summer Trips

We Texans take great pride in our state and try to get out and see as much of it as possible. But with Texas coming in as the second largest state in The United States, many Texans don’t realize just how little of The Lone Star State they’ve seen. Alta City West has planned out the perfect Texas summer trips for you so you can see some of the greatest hidden secrets in Texas. All within just a few hours of West Houston, you can see landmarks you didn’t even know Texas had all in the course of one weekend. So grab a few friends, hop in the car and get out to see our state. You won’t regret it.

Gorman Falls

Gorman Falls is a 4 hour drive and 1.5 mile hike outside of Houston and well worth every foot traveled.

Medina River

This one is just 3 hours outside of Houston and is perfect for swimmers and kayakers. The gently flowing river is free of rapids and will gently lead you down a wooded area that will show you some of the most gorgeous Texas landscape this state has to offer.

Big Texan Steak Ranch

This one is a little bit further from Houston, about 9 hours away, but worth it. Big Texan Steak Ranch is one of the most famous Texas eateries in the state. Home to the 72-ounce steak, this is one unique restaurant every Texan must venture to.

Cascade Caverns

4 hours outside of Houston lays some of the coolest caves in the South West. You can go through walks in these caverns and explore the underground world of Texas.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all here in Texas, there comes along a new suggested adventure that you simply need to go on. West Houston is an amazing place to live in but sometimes these weekend adventures are necessary to see all the beauty Texas has to offer. Get out and explore Texas this summer and appreciate that you live in such a nature rich state.

Favorites: Texas Ranches

Everyone knows if you want to see beautiful ranches, you should head to Texas. We Texans take pride in maintaining a gorgeous and well-upheld ranch, which leaves us with some of the most notoriously beautiful ranches in the nation. Since you won’t see any of the most well-known ones here in West Houston, Alta City West has put together a photo blog of some of the most memorable ranches in Texas. Whether you’re a city slicker or a country lover, you’ll appreciate the beauty in all of these Texas ranches.

Boot Ranch, Fredericksburg, Texas

Shonto Ranch, Kerrville, TX

Bridlegate Ranch, Bandera, TX

Rio Ancho Ranch, Liberty Hill, TX

Los Papalotes Rodeo Ranch. Edinburg, Texas

While we love living in West Houston and being surrounded by a city at all times, we do love to take a break and see some of the beautiful country views our state has to offer. West Houston will always be home, but we could stare at these ranch views for days.

Cooling Down in West Houston this Summer

As Texans, we all know how hot it gets in Houston during the summer. With summer upon us we find ourselves hiding indoors all day to avoid melting outside. However, summer doesn’t need to be spent in the confines of an air-conditioned room. Alta City West has searched high and low to tell you about some of Houston’s best places to cool down this summer.

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Wet ‘n’ Wild Splash Town is just a short 30 minute drive outside of Houston and can provide hours of splash filled fun. If you buy your tickets online ahead of time it’s only $35 for an all day pass that gets you on every ride. It’s fun for all ages, so you can grab some friends and go, or even bring kids to let them run around and cool off all day.

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If you’re looking for more of a nature day trip, Quintana Beach County Park is one of the best-kept secrets around Houston. There’s a parking lot and lots of beach for everyone. Only an hour outside of us in West Houston–and boasting free entry–this is the perfect way to cool off while enjoying some Texas nature.

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And lastly, one of closest to home and best ways you could spend your day is staying home and lounging by the pool here at Alta City West all day. Free entry and you don’t have to drive anywhere in the hot sun. Can’t beat that!

Whether you’re looking to spend the day outside or inside, at man-made water parks or at natural cool down spots, Alta City West has the guide to all of the perfect places to cool down this summer in Houston. A quick 30-minute drive from West Houston can bring you to a whole new area of adventure and cool water. So don’t worry folks, we won’t let you melt.

Places in West Houston to Take Dad for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up on June 21st, which means the frantic rush to plan the perfect day has begun. Well, plan no more – Alta City West has it all figured out for you, from where to take your dad for brunch all the way to dinner plans planned out. The best part? It’s all right here in West Houston, so you don’t have to spend half the day wasted driving from one end of town to the next. While there are endless options of how you could plan this day and what restaurants you could take Dad to, we decided to start you off with just a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

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We’ve all heard it a million times, and on Father’s Day it’s especially true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. ‘Cook and Collins’ in Houston is a great option because they serve up some very unique takes on very traditional breakfasts. The Fat Elvis Pancakes—with banana pancakes, whipped peanut butter, smoked bacon and banana syrup—are sure to surprise and intrigue Dad.

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Now that Dad is fed and ready to go, we recommend taking him out for a day of his favorite sport. Golf can be great because it’s laid back, not too exhausting and it’s an easy way to talk and bond with Dad. A local, affordable option is Bear Creek Golf World in West Houston.

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Finally after you’ve tired Dad out all day it’s time to bring him home to Alta City West to relax. Whether he wants to sit by the pool and unwind, or whether he wants to whip up dinner and eat on the balcony with the family, Alta City West provides the perfect atmosphere to wind down a perfect day. This Father’s Day, enjoy exploring West Houston, TX with the whole family. You deserve it!

Show Your Texas Pride on Flag Day

Here in West Houston, we have a similar attitude as other Texans. And if there’s one thing people can say about Texans, it is that we’re proud to be from the Lone Star State! While everyday is a good day to show your Texas pride and let everyone know you call TX your home, Flag Day is a great day to put the flag on everything you can find. Sure, you could hang your Texas state flag in your front yard and call it a day, but why not try getting a little original with it? We’ll give you a few examples to get those creative juices flowing.

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You could start the day by decorating cookies to give out to family, coworkers, or whomever! Quick and easy to make, this is a fun way to put the flag on something to give to everyone you know. The best part is it doesn’t just stop with cookies! You can make any sweet treat or craft into a flag shape, so feel free to get inventive.

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You can also decorate your house in unique ways with Texas flag inspired accents. With all the opportunities for crafting that are available, it has never been easier to get creative with projects. A Texas flag stained glass is a perfect way to show off your Texas pride without having to go the traditional route of hanging a flag.

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One of the most common and widely known ways to show off your favorite flag is flying it proudly from your car window. Car flags are a fun and easy way to zip up and down the streets while showing off your Lone Star State pride.

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Of course, one of the absolute best ways to show your Texas Pride on Flag Day is to wear it proudly across your chest as you walk down the street. Hat, shirt, pants, shoes, you name it, and you can order it with a Texas Flag printed right on it.

Here at Alta City West, we know that nobody can mess with Texas! Whether you’re going to bake your Texas love into Texas-shaped cookies or wear your favorite state’s flag on your shirt for the day, Flag Day is the perfect day to show your state pride in fun and festive ways. Happy Flag Day, and don’t mess with Texas!

How to Shop for Mother’s Day Presents at the Galleria

Listen, y’all. We Houstonites, especially those of us who live near the Galleria, have a huge advantage when it comes to foraging for Mother’s Day presents. When you live next to the biggest mall in Texas, it’s easy to pick out a gift item from all the options available. For the record, this list doesn’t even come close to covering everything, but it should give you a good start.
 

Things Remembered

IMAG0330 The go-to place for all kinds of custom-made craft items. Create memories and preserve them any way you want.  
 

Texas Souvenirs Unlimited

Perfect for mothers out-of-state, who might get a kick out of funny and creative items bearing the Texas flag or pride. Perhaps your mother no longer lives here and misses it. Or perhaps she loves to display her pride for a particular sports team. There are many possibilities here.  
 

Houston Trunk Factory

Does your mom love to travel? Or are you planning to present her with tickets for a cruise? Put them in a neat trunk and support your mom’s well-deserved break to travel wherever she wants.  
 

Teavana

_MG_6995 A tea set is classy and thoughtful, especially if you have a mother who is a tea drinker. Teavana sells many different varieties of tea and you can even taste some in advance. Get a teapot and throw in some teacups to make a full tea set.  
 

Papyrus

A Mother’s Day present would not be complete without a heartfelt card. Papyrus is one of the first stops you can make on your journey to finding the perfect gift. Unless you’re making a homemade card, which is awesome.  
 

Tiffany / Kay Jewellers / Pandora / Swarovski

The gift of jewelry has been around for ages, and it’s not about to go anywhere. Rings, necklaces, brooches, bracelets, earrings. There’s a store for all budgets at the Galleria.  
 

Godiva

o   Need I say more? It’s chocolate. Always a classic.
Happy Mothers’ Day!
       

5 Taco Trucks in Southwest Houston to Set You Up For Cinco de Mayo

This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Taco Tuesday. If that’s not reason enough to have the best Cinco de Mayo celebration ever, what is?

Tacos El Gato

l-2 This truck is on Westheimer Rd and is open until late at night, which means you could even come back for second helpings at the end of the night when you run out of tacos. Fiesta, all night long. 10560 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX77042  

Tacos El Ranchero

l-4 If you’re craving a classic tamarindo, this place will solve that for you. Add a bit of spicy beef fajitas and you’d be all set for a spicy Cinco de Mayo. 6740 1/2 Harwin Dr, Houston, TX77036  

El Taquito Truck

o This truck can get a little crowded, which is a good sign. It’s located in a gas station, so it is recommended that you bring along a friend. 3253-3399 Dunvale Rd, Houston, TX77063  

Sabor Venezolano

l This one is actually Venezuelan, not Mexican. But as far as food trucks in the area go, we can’t make a list about them without including this one. (It’a also one of Houston’s Top 100 Food Trucks) In addition to tacos, quesadillas and empanadas, you’ll find their most popular item, the patacónes (fried plantain buns), cachapas (Venezuelan pancakes) and tequeños (fried breadsticks). If you want some authentic Venezuelan cuisine, this place will surely do the trick. 8621 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX77063
  And if none of these appeal to you, there’s always a Chuy’s or Del Taco around the corner…

3 Things to Try at the Westchase District Farmers Market

Hello, Houstonites! If you happen to live in Westchase, you are probably already familiar with the farmers market that takes place every Thursday afternoon. If not, you’re in luck, because today is the day to check it out. If you do go, make sure you don’t miss these vendors!
 

Atkinson Farms

atkinsonfarms All their produce is freshly grown in Spring, Texas, thus making them a go-to source for fresh ingredients for your dinner. Their Facebook page has photos fresh from the farm, where you can see all the seasonal fruits and veggies. Tip: Get there early before the popular items disappear.

Angela’s Oven

Angela’s Oven is a bakery in Houston Heights. Luckily for us, they also come to Westchase regularly to showcase their delights, which include danishes, muffins, scones, cookies, sourdough bread, croissants and more. Tip: Try their rosemary garlic and cranberry walnut bread.

Doggiee Snack Bar

doggiee Your pets will love these 100% organic and natural treats. There are many flavors to choose from, including carrot, avocado, sunflower, apple and coconana (coconut + banana). You can even create your own treat if you want. Tip: Get one for your dog to play with while you do the shopping, or leave it until the end as a reward for good behavior.
  Westchase District Farmers Market:
  • Every Thursday, rain or shine
  • 3 to 7 p.m.
  • St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church
  • 10503 Westheimer Road (at Rogerdale Road, one block west of Beltway 8)

Where to Watch the Super Bowl in Houston

The big game is just around the corner and, yes, I know our Texans aren’t playing. BUT, we still care a heck of a lot about football. We’d say, hey, come down to the Clubhouse and catch the game there (and you certainly can), however, it might be on your agenda to hit the town, get social, and watch the Pats and Seahawks battle it out in a cool spot in Houston. Here’s where you should watch the Super Bowl in Houston: super-bowl-houston-1

8th Wonder Brewery

2202 Dallas St. Houston, Tx. 77003
8th Wonder is busting open the doors at noon and tapping their new release Brewston Texas Pale Ale. Of course, the TVs will be showing the big game while the Eastie Boys food truck, Feges BBQ, Misc. A Mobile Store, and Urban Izzy set up outside. It’s your one-stop shop for Texas craft beer, good eats, and shopping. What more could you ask for? super-bowl-houston-2

Capone’s Bar and Oven

2303 Richmond Ave. Houston, TX 77098
Capone’s is doing one better and cracking the joint open at 11am and serving up the entire lot of food and drinks. Just wait until 4pm and then the Super Bowl really begins. The buffet and open bar opens up and runs until 9:30pm, where a $30 ticket ($50 for two) gets you access and 8 drink tickets per person, because hey, they need to be responsible in some capacity. Expect DJ Manu to be spinning some 90s beats throughout the night where the party will finally die down at 2am. The afterparty is up to you. Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.07.08 AM

D&T Drive Inn

1307 Enid Street, Houston, TX 77009
First off, they’re serving up a wing cook-off before the game, where notable chefs are coming out including chefs from Heights restaurant and restaurant group Treadsack. To try them all, it’ll cost you about $10 for 12 wings, but that should be good enough. When there’s a great craft beer selection to choose from, it’s hard to be disappointed. It won’t be just wings, however, as they regular menu items will be up for grabs including that killer Frito Pie topped with beef stew. super-bowl-houston-4

The Dogwood

2403 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77006
We’re calling out Dogwood because they are the spot on our list that offers up a good deal for those of you traveling in groups. And we know it sucks to watch the game alone. Their group package options cover 4, 6, or ten people with all the wings, sliders, Shiner beer, and Deep Eddy Vodka for you and your friends. Not only that, but Houston’s Hot 95.7FM will be broadcasting live during the game and there will be opportunities to win some prizes. Where are you guys catching the Super Bowl this year? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @AltaCityWest!

3 Awesome Dog Friendly Bars in Houston

You know that Fido likes to tag along everywhere you go. We’re no strangers to pet lovers being a pet friendly community and we figured our friends would like to know where they could take Fido while enjoying a nice libation. Here are three awesome dog friendly bars in Houston:

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Front Porch Pub/Porch Swing Pub

217 Gray Street, Houston, TX 77002
This is a great patio bar for you and the pup, but get there early if you want to snag a spot underneath some shade. The steak and trivia nights are great times to go, just don’t forget to set a water bowl down for your dog. You’re going to be here awhile. One thing we like about this joint is that they participate in steak and crawfish season, and for us Texans, we like that a lot. One drink they like to serve up is the Moondriver, which is a Blue Moon beer in a frozen screwdriver. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

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Lucky’s Pub

2520 Houston Avenue, Houston, TX 77009
The canines are in abundance at this sports pub, which means it’s playtime for both you and the furry friend. Go ahead and order another round. As long as you’re scratching his belly, he won’t mind. Lucky’s has a few different locations, but we totally dig the Houston Heights location. This spot is ideal for catching the games, but make sure you get here on the early side. It can get pretty crowded.

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Winston’s on Washington

5111 Washington Avenue, Houston, TX 77007
The name derives from the owner’s bulldog, which means the rest of this gastropub is super dog-friendly. They have treats for your dog (and for you in the from of good ol’ Texas brews), so waste your Saturday on the patio. A special bonus is that Winston’s donates a portion of their proceeds to local animal shelters.

Do you have a cool, dog-friendly bar that we should check out? Leave it in the comments below or tweets us @AltaCityWest!