Houston is renowned for being the capital of space exploration. But you can find plenty of great parks to visit that are much closer to the ground!
There are many great parks you can find around the city. In 2018 many of the parks in Houston were refurbished. While some refurbishment projects are still ongoing, you can still explore many great natural beauty spots.
What To Consider When Looking For A Park In Houston?
Whether you want to enjoy a family picnic, take some scenic photographs, or get closer to nature, you’ll be sure to find a park to your liking. But before you head off to explore some of Houston’s great gardens, make sure you consider these essential points.
While going to a park is a chance to enjoy the outdoors and get close to nature, that doesn’t mean you won’t need some on-site amenities. Parks come in all sizes in Houston; some may have no on-site amenities at all, while others will have plenty.
Toilets, visitor centers, drink fountains, and much more can all be found in some parks. Suppose you’re hoping to take a trip outdoors for a family picnic. In that case, you’ll want to ensure you actually can, which is why it’s important to remember what on-site amenities you’ll need.
Houston is a big place; it’s the fourth most populated city in the US and covers 1,778 square miles! Many people are surprised by how big the city is but this great size means plenty of great parks.
However, you’ll need to consider travel time because of the city’s size, especially if you don’t have your car. Also, many parks in Houston will close to the public in the evening after all.
The 7 Best Parks In Houston
It would take forever to talk about the many great parks to visit in Houston. But we’ve managed to choose 7 of our favorites to share with you. We’ve selected our parks based on numerous factors like their size, attractions, on-site amenities, and more.
If you want to explore the great outdoors, any of these parks would be a fine place to visit.
#1. The Buffalo Bayou Park
|Address||1019 Commerce Street, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77002
Just west of downtown Houston you’ll find the sprawling Buffalo Bayou Park. This gorgeous park covers 160-acres and is one of the largest parks in the city! If you subscribe to the “bigger is better” approach, then this park is sure to win you over.
There is plenty to see at Buffalo Bayou Park, including beautiful gardens, nature areas, sports fields, playgrounds, and much more. There is even a unique dog walkers garden so your furry friend can enjoy their own space.
You can also pay a visit to one of the two on-site visitor centers. Bike hire is also available if you feel like tackling one of the many bike trails around the park. There are on-site restrooms and a special picnic and relaxation area too. This is a park you could easily spend all day at with plenty to keep you entertained.
#2. Smither Park
|Address||2402 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023-5140|
We love Smither Park because it’s a celebration of Houston’s thriving art community! This isn’t a park you go to for a jog or a picnic; but instead, it’s more of an outdoor art gallery that anyone visiting Houston will love.
Smither Park is only small, but it certainly packs in plenty of attractions. The park is adorned with a variety of different mosaic pieces. Many of these works of art were done by local artists, and they adorn all areas of the park!
From the lampposts to the walls, you can find colorful artwork wherever you look. There are also numerous sculptures around the park as well. Smither Park is the ideal place to go if you’re looking to take some eye-catching photographs. This quirky park is undoubtedly a little different but well worth seeing.
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#3. Levy Park
|Address||3801 Eastside Street
Houston, TX 77098
Levy Park is a real labor of love and one of Houston’s oldest parks. The park was a bequest from the estate of Leon Levy and first opened in 1941. However, many years later, in 2015, the park was redeveloped into a beautiful picturesque park.
The park covers 6-acres and is split into several fun areas. You’ll find a children’s playground, two separate dog parks (for small and large breeds), a rain garden, sports space, outdoor pavilion, community garden, and more!
You can also participate in numerous community events like races and craft activities, and the park even hosts movie nights! Outdoor seating and a picnic space are also available, making it ideal for a family day out.
#4. Bear Creek Pioneers Park
|Address||3535 War Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77084|
Bear Creek Pioneers Park is undoubtedly our top pick when it comes to the names of parks. This sizeable outdoor park offers you everything you could need for a whole day of fun! Everything is bigger in Texas, after all, so there is a lot to see and do.
This park is a must-see for animal lovers! Plenty of animals are housed at the park, including a bird enclosure and a small farm space with animals such as pigs and goats. The park is split into several areas, including a picnic space, barbeque pits, pavilions, fishing spots, and much more.
Want a more active day out? Then great news because you’ll also find biking trails, jogging/ running tracks, and even a baseball field! There are on-site restrooms and plenty of local interest spots like a war memorial commemorating the lives lost during Vietnam and World War 1 and 2.
#5. Alexander Deussen Park
|Address||12303 Sonnier St, Houston, TX 77044-7208|
The Alexander Deussen Park is a great family park with plenty to keep both children and adults entertained. It is the classic park experience in many ways, with numerous playgrounds dotted about.
But there are also some great walking and bike trails around the park too. You can even hire bikes on-site, so you don’t need to bring your own. Our favorite part of this park, though, is the lake and ponds nearby.
You’ll find a lovely duck pond and can even feed the ducks. Peacocks and Heron can also be found around the park, and if you’re the more adventurous type, you can even hire a boat to travel around the water.
#6. Discovery Green
|Address||1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010-4011|
Discovery Green opened in 2008 and quickly became one of the most popular parks in Houston! This downtown park covers 12-acres, and there is plenty to see and do. Houston is well-known for its hot Summers, and this park is a great place to relax on a warm day.
Discovery Green is split into several different zones, and attractions include an ice rink, picnic lawn, small lake, boat rides, playground, waterside garden, mist tree, games space, and much more! You are quite literally spoilt for choice.
Exploring Discovery Green could easily take a whole day or more because there is so much to see and do. The park even has reading rooms for people looking to relax with a good book. A visit to Houston isn’t complete without paying a visit to this stunning park.
#7. The Sam Houston Park
|Address||1100 Bagby Street
Houston, Texas 77002
Sprawling skyscrapers and old houses surround Sam Houston Park. The mix of the old and new makes this park instantly memorable with its fantastic scenery; it would be the ideal place to stop for some photographs.
The park is surrounded by several small ponds and adorned with both statues and water fountains. It’s a lovely spot of peace and tranquility and a must-visit for history buffs. Children likely won’t find this park appealing, but adults and older children will probably enjoy visiting.
If you want to learn more about Houston’s history, the park is also a regular spot for local history tours. If you’re looking for a peaceful walk or want to escape the hustle and bustle for a while, this park is a great spot to visit.
So, that is seven beautiful parks to visit in Houston! Everyone can enjoy a trip to the park regardless of their age, whether you’re looking for adventure and excitement or simply want to rest and relax because of the city’s size.
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