Ever want to live in Houston? If you can find a place in the Rice Military neighborhood, you could be in for a fantastic time. There, you’ll find plenty to do, lots to eat, neighbors who watch out for each other, and you’re never too far from the rest of the action in the city.

Real estate website Houston Properties explains that the “Military” part of the name comes from Camp Logan, which was a boot camp during World War I, where you’ll now find Memorial Park. The “Rice” part comes from businessman William Marsh Rice, who left his fortune to fund the nearby Rice University. It was in 1910 that Bank Trust Co. bought both tracts and created the development that became the Rice Military Subdivision.

Homes in the area were described as bungalows and shotgun houses until the 1990s and 2000s. That’s when a sudden influx of artists and young professionals started moving in, changing the tone to a “hip” mixed-use neighborhood. Now, in addition to those old homes, you’ll find new single-family homes, multi-level townhomes, and condos. A wider area has also taken on the Rice Military name.

Tina Schwartz has lived in about a half-dozen places in her life, but it wasn’t until she landed in Rice Military that she was finally happy. “I have enjoyed everywhere I lived, but Rice Military is what I always hoped I would find,” she says.

Now a real estate agent in the area and Secretary of the Rice Military Civic Club, she knows the ins and outs of the neighborhood lifestyle. Her favorite part is being a part of the community. The civic club discusses neighborhood issues and improvement ideas. Other groups in the neighborhood have come together out of interests in knitting, wine, books, parenting, and more. “I love so much about this neighborhood! I love how active and alive it feels. I feel welcomed and truly at home. My neighbors have become friends who I believe I will keep for a lifetime,” says Schwartz.

Schwartz describes Rice Military as a perfect fit for professionals who want a little bit of everything. “The residents are as diverse as the types of houses! We have originals who were born here and people who just moved to this country, [and] young singles to empty nesters. I think it’s the best example of melting pot in the city,” she says.

As a real estate agent, Schwartz can attest that you’ll find a place to live within your price range. “I think it’s very affordable for the professional. There are also lots of rentals. If Rice Military proper is out of a person’s price range, a neighborhood very close by that is in transition will usually fit the bill.”

So you’ve found your new home and made friends with the neighbors. Now what? Go have fun! The neighborhood is a short walk to Memorial Park, and you have your choice of restaurants and bars. A few hot spots include Hicks House Cajun Café, Fiesta Tacos, and Petrol Station. “Our restaurant choices are varied, and we get new options routinely. Several favorites have been here a long time. My house loves Benjy’s and Blue Fish,” says Schwartz.

If you like to shop, you don’t have far to go for that either. You can find many unique shops in the area. “There are a few retail spaces. West End Bikes comes to mind, and lots of home businesses! Premium skin care, jewelry, purses, clothing, photography, and I’m sure there’s more that I don’t even know about,” Schwartz says.

There are local attractions to check out, too, like the Bayou Bend Collection, Buffalo Bayou, and the Beer Can House, a house famous for its beer can siding and decorations.

Even while living in Rice Military, Schwartz still seems to get a kick out of the Beer Can House. “I take out-of-state visitors there every time I get a new guest! It’s fun and interesting and easy to get to! It’s also nice to live by because it’s actually quiet since no one actually lives in it anymore. I do have it on good authority that each can was actually consumed by the original designer and his guests!”

Of course, while living in Rice Military, there’s easy access to the rest of Houston as well. Just a 15-minute drive can get you to Downtown Houston or even the Galleria.