Heights Boulevard is known for gorgeous Victorian homes, and it is also a major north-south street in Houston’s Heights neighborhood. For Heights’ residents, it is also a great exercise spot.
Heights Boulevard has a well-cared for and wide esplanade that divides north and south traffic. The esplanade feels like a bubble of nature in the middle of a busy street, and you often forget where you are (be careful!). There is a winding trail with the same material as Memorial Park’s running loop.
My two favorite things about Heights Boulevard have to do with the people. First of all, it seems to be the only spot where runners are courteous to walkers and dog walkers. Everyone smiles as they pass each other. Even though hearing forms of “Wow! You have your hands full!” from passersby is rather annoying, it still shows the kind of neighborly feel that draws people to the Heights. Second, there is a shared hatred for the periodic biker on the trail. Most trails are easily overtaken by bike riders, which is both difficult and dangerous for the dog walker. On Heights Boulevard, however, runners and walkers are not afraid to let a cyclist know they have their own designated lane on the street.
Heights Boulevard starts on 3rd St and continues to 20th. On each end, you’ll find a water fountain and benches. You can park anywhere on the sides with marked parallel spots. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much care Heights residents put into keeping this area clean and beautifully landscaped. Although there are plenty of trash cans, there are no doggy bag dispensers. Please do your part to keep the esplanade clean, and bring your own bags to clean up after your pup.
This is a must for anyone who lives close by. No one cares if you want to slowly stroll or work on your marathon time. If your dog is young or not very social, then I recommend you visit in the afternoon when its least busy. The esplanade is busiest in the evening with people working out after work. You also have plenty of grass areas to go to if you need to regroup with your pup. When there are lots of dogs out, I will often hop across the street and walk on the sidewalk closer to the homes. A dog rescue often does adoptions on Saturday mornings, and I avoid walking here on that day. That’s too stressful on a pup, especially a pack of four.
The one major caution may seem obvious, but if you watch the news, it must not be. At each east-west street, there is a street crossing. Please stop and watch for cars. This is a great spot to put your dog in a “sit” and have him wait and watch you for the cue to keep going.
Enjoy yourself, and if you are not a Heights resident, welcome!