Summer Scenesters Scope Out What’s New in the Heights (Pro Tip: Pack an Overnight Bag)

A colorful mural at Heights House

IF YOU HAVEN'T explored the Heights lately, you haven't explored the Heights, where tons of creative redevelopments — existing structures that have been thoughtfully repurposed in splendid ways — have arrived.

The most colorful of them might be the funky Heights House hotel on the eastern edge of the neighborhood. With vibrant hues, a pool lined with rentable cabanas and an unabashedly cheeky vibe — the neon-type sign outside the loo of its Space Cowboy bar reads "please don't do coke in the bathroom" — the completely original retro redo of an old freeway motel is sure to be a big draw. Staycation seekers will note that overnights here are a bargain.

Of the same trend, the M-K-T mixed used development on North Shepherd, positioned along the Heights Hike and Bike Trail and boasting four acres of green space, makes use of five buildings creatively adapted by starchitect Michael Hsu. M-K-Thas several interesting dining options, like Homestead — where the crab cake Benedict, chocolate pancakes topped with queso fresco whipped cream, and a bonanza of other Southern-savvy and Tex-Mex-minded brunch hits are served up on the daily. (You may feel you need to hit one of the multiple forthcoming trendy fitness facilities after you eat.) Shopping here is killer, with a Chloe Dao outpost among a plethora of bright boutiques.

The 80-year-old Houston Farmers Market also touts a much ballyhooed refresh, with the addition of new restaurants set for fall, including Chris Shepherd's anticipated stab at a burger joint — Underbelly Burger. And Garden Oaks' celebrated Stomping Grounds development, with cute concepts like Becca Cakes and Fat Cat Creamery, is now open and worth a sneak peak, too, as it continues to emerge, with much more to come in the autumn; yoga on the large green space is free every Tuesday evening this summer, with kiddos welcome to join.

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