With a normally mild climate for most of the year, Houston is the perfect place for individuals and families that like to have fun in the sun. The city offers a diverse selection of things to do and places to do them in – most without leaving the city limits.
Ranked number one in total acreage of parkland in the country’s 10 most populated cities (over 47,000 acres), Houston’s parks are some of the finest in country. Hermann Park is one of the most popular parks in the city, attracting more than six million visitors to its 445 acres. Bordering the Museum District, the park is home to 8-acre Lake McGovern, the Houston Zoo, the 5-acre Japanese Garden, a rose garden, and the Miller Outdoor Theater – home to many free concerts and performances year-round. Located just southeast of Downtown on the banks of Armand Bayou, Bay Area Park features playgrounds, hiking trails, tennis courts, a baseball field, a botanical garden, as well as canoeing. The park is also home to a fenced-in dog park divided into areas for large and small dogs. Speaking of bayous, Eleanor Tinsley Park is located on Buffalo Bayou and features walking and bike trails, a playground, a skate park, and volleyball courts. The park is host to numerous free events throughout the year, including the Free Press Summer Fest, and the Freedom Over Texas 4 th of July celebration. While not as large as many of Houston’s Parks, 12-acre Discovery Green is located in the heart of Downtown. This park features a 1-acre lake with interactive water features, a large playground, dog runs, and many public art works. At 7,800 acres George Bush Park, located on Houston’s West Side, is one of the largest parks in the city. The park is home to a system of jogging, hiking, and biking trails running through forest areas, and along swamps and bayous; two soccer fields and six baseball fields; a large dog park and playground area; and the 563-acre American Shooting Centers.
Houston is home to some of the best municipal golf courses in the country. The 600-acre 18-hole Memorial Park Golf Course, located in the Memorial neighborhood, is considered to be the best municipal golf course in Texas. The par-72 course is visited by 60,000 golfers a year, and has very low green fees to encourage golf in all segments of the community. The 18-hole, par-70 Hermann Park Golf Course is one of the oldest municipal golf courses in Texas, is home to many private and public tournaments throughout the year. The course was the first public golf course in the United States to be fully integrated. The par-71 Glenbrook Golf Course is located south of Downtown and caters to golfers of all ages and experience levels with four tees on each hole. An affordable golf option, the course features some of the best maintained greens in the city.
Like just about everything else in Texas, bike-riding is big in Houston. The city offers over 300 miles of interconnected “bikeways”, allowing riders to pedal to virtually anywhere in the city safely. Those looking to bike for pleasure are also catered to, with hundreds of miles of bike trails located in the city’s many parks. One of the most beautiful is the Buffalo Bayou Biking Trail, which winds along the 52-mile Buffalo Bayou waterway. Other popular trails include those at George Bush Park, Lake Houston Park, and Terry Hersey Park. The great outdoors is an important component of life in Houston, and enjoyed by its residents all throughout the year. So, put on your shorts and get out there!