THE BEST Parks & Nature Attractions in Houston

THE BEST Parks & Nature Attractions in Houston

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There is a renowned aphorism that “Everything is bigger in Texas” and Houston is the living proof of this maxim. Houston is the 4th most populous city in the United States also known as “H-Town”, “Bayou City” or “Space City”, and it is located near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston is the home of the aeronautical, energy, biomedical research, and healthcare industries. H-Town hosts hundreds of thousands of local and overseas visitors every year and serves as the foremost tourism hub of the United States. 

In Houston, despite having a large metropolitan area the everyday life of locals or visitors happens outdoors. The all-year-long mild temperature along with far-reaching outdoor activities in Houston attracts masses to H-Town. The assortment of hiking trails in Houston encompasses the thrilling experience of adventurous hiking in Houston for all travelers. The distinguished Houston parks and Houston water parks are the conspicuous attractions of H-Town for a relaxing and tranquil environment.  The contentment of visitors to spend their holiday in water park Houston is just unparalleled, the exuberant vibes of the best water parks in Houston scream fun in every way.

Discovering the Natural Wonders of Houston

A group of teenagers are exploring a forest and using a magnifying glass to examine their surroundings.

H-Town gladly receives one and all and entertains them with the collection of venturesome Houston outdoor activities and the best parks in Houston. The fun of exploring outdoors adds to the entertainment value of visitors, the exclusive trip to national parks in Houston Texas is a seventh heaven for nature and wildlife lovers. Houston City is the perfect getaway to spend your holidays, you don’t need to search online for outdoor activities near me in Houston as there are water parks, national parks, and hiking trails all over the place.


Exploring the 5 Best Parks for Outdoor Activities in Houston City

A person sitting on a hammock tent by the lake enjoying the sunrise and the fresh morning breeze

H-Town is the fourth most populous Metropolitan statistical area in the US, but the whole city is surrounded by national forests, nature reserves, and theme parks. There are plenty of outdoor activities the city offers to escape the urban hustle of Houston. Some of the best Houston parks for outdoor activities are:

Memorial Park

 The Memorial Park Houston is the largest urban park in Texas, and it is one of the biggest urban parks in the United States. The memorial park is located in Uptown Houston and is bordered to the west by the I-610 Loop, to the north by the I-10 Interstate, and to the south by the Buffalo Bayou. The Memorial Park Houston TX spans over 1500 acres, and it is twice the size of New York’s Central Park. During World War 1, this site was used for a U.S. Army training camp named Logan Camp, and in 1924 this site was opened as a park. The City of Houston named it “Memorial” to honor the soldiers who fought in World War 1.

In 2015, the Memorial Park Conservancy acquired the operation of 1100 acres out of 1500 acres to conserve, preserve, and restore the Memorial Park for future generations. There are comprehensive schedules of daily, monthly, and annual Memorial Park Houston events to entertain the visitors. Events and free programs like wellness walks, yoga classes, guided hikes, park tours, and volunteer days are organized by Conservancy regularly. The Memorial Park Houston map and event calendar is available on the official website and it’s also easily accessible from the park’s crew.

There are widespread outdoor activities that Memorial Park Conservancy offers which include: 

  • Adult group recreation 
  • Croquet
  • Food Trucks
  • Cycling and Skating
  • Mountain biking
  • Golf
  • Running and walking
  • Picnics
  • Playgrounds 
  • Sports fields
  • Trail and Hiking
  • Tennis 


Buffalo Bayou Park

 The Buffalo Bayou Park Houston is located near downtown Houston alongside the row of Buffalo Bayou. The Buffalo Bayou Park is situated on 160 acres of green land stretched from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street, between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive. The park was opened in 2015, and it is operated by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

From the early 20th century, this site was allocated for parkland, but due to urbanization around the Bayou, this site was sectioned into smaller gardens and parks. Later in the 20th century, the Buffalo Bayou Houston also served as the drainage pathway for floodwater. In 2011, the renovation work of the park started with the help of public donations and private funding and it was completed in 2015.

The stunning gardens, native landscaping, wildlife habitat, and spectacular sightseeing grab the attention of local and foreign travelers. Buffalo Bayou Partnerships arranged extensive events and functions all year long to ensure an entertaining and engaging atmosphere for visitors. Some of the regular events at Buffalo Bayou Park are:

  • Wellness Walk
  • Sunset Yoga
  • Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours
  • Sound Healing Meditations
  • Volunteer Workday
  • Bat Boat Tour
  • Jazzy Sundays

Buffalo Bayou Park Houston has different sectors of different themes to provide visitors with diverse activities and adventures. The Buffalo Bayou Park map illustrates all the sectors and it’s available on the official website of the park. Some of the outdoor activities available at Buffalo Bayou Park are listed below:

  • Hike & Bike Trails
  • The Water Works
  • Eleanor Tinsley Park
  • Green Tree Nature Area
  • Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
  • Johnny Steele Dog Park
  • Public Art
  • Lost Lake
  • Waugh Bat Colony
  • Barbara Fish Daniel Play Area
  • Picnic Pavilion


Hermann Park

The Hermann park is located at the heart of Houston, the south of the Museum District. The Downtown Houston, Texas Medical Center, and Rice University are in the vicinity of Hermann Park Houston TX. Every Houstonian knows the Hermann Park Houston address because of its momentous value and popularity.  Hermann Park Houston is situated on 445 acres, and it hosts just about 6 million visitors a year. George Hermann presented this park to the City of Houston in 1914, Hermann Park is one of the most significant green space parks in Houston. 

The Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens entertain different visitors and provide them with the ultimate outdoor experience. All these Hermann Houston parks are operated by Hermann Park Conservancy and the City of Houston. The official Hermann Park hours start from 6 am to 11 pm daily, and the timing of Hermann Park Japanese Garden is 9 am to 5 pm. The Hermann Park train operation starts from 10 am to 6 pm daily, so people can enjoy the Railroad ride of the whole park.

The Conservancy planned numerous Hermann Park Houston events throughout the year to raise funds for the betterment, renovations, and preservation of the park. Complete and comprehensive information regarding Hermann Park parking is available on the official website of the park along with a Hermann Park map and Hermann Park events calendar. 

There are plenty of places to do outdoor activities like hiking, picnicking, boating, and sightseeing at Hermann Park, some are listed below:

  • Hermann Park Railroad
  • Pedal Boats
  • Bayou Parkland
  • Bill Coats Bridge 
  • Brays Bayou
  • Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion
  • Grand Gateway
  • Hawkins Sculpture Walk
  • Hermann Park Golf Course
  • Clubhouse
  • Houston Zoo
  • Japanese Garden
  • Lake Picnic Area
  • Marvin Taylor Trail
  • Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool
  • McGovern Centennial Gardens
  • McGovern Lake
  • Miller Outdoor Theatre


Discovery Green

The Discovery Green is located at the heart of Downtown Houston, and it’s the best spot for residents or visitors to spend their time and enjoy the natural scenery and fresh air. The Discovery Green Houston is 12 acres of lush green space situated next to the George R. Brown Convention Center and Avenida Houston entertainment district. Discovery Green opened in 2008, and since then it is estimated that approximately 13 million people visited the park. The park is operated by Discovery Green Conservancy.

The Discovery Green events are held throughout the year for the public, these events display performing, literary, and visual arts shows. The park is a premium picnic spot for families, there is a waterpark for kids in Discovery Green. The metered street parking is available at the park, additional information and details regarding discovery green parking are accessible on the official website of the park.

Discovery Green offers diverse outdoor activities, kid-friendly entertainment, and regular events. The park features:

  • Jones Lawn
  • Kinder Lake
  • The Landforms
  • Maconda’s Grove 
  • Gateway Fountain
  • The Natural Gardens
  • The Brown Foundation Promenade
  • The Lake House Waterside Café
  • Anheuser-Busch Stage
  • McNair Foundation Jogging Trial
  • Wortham Foundation Gardens


Terry Hershey Park

The Terry Hershey Park is located in western Houston, it is a public county park which is operated by Harris County. The Terry Hershey Park Houston is situated on 496 acres with 12 miles of trails, it was formed in 1989 and it was named after “Terry Hershey”. The Terry Hershey Park Houston TX runs adjacent to Buffalo Bayou and has several networks of trail systems covering the major distance between West Sam Houston Toll Road and Highway 6. 

A large number of parks in Houston bordered the Terry Hershey Trials from the south and the north, as the trails are very stretched. Terry Hershey Park offers a lot of fun activities some are listed below:

  • Terry Hershey Park Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trail
  • Terry Hershey Parkrun
  • Terry Hershey Sundial Clock
  • Gazebos
  • Picnic Sites
  • Exercise Stations 
  • Playgrounds


3 Best Hiking Spots & Trails in and Around the Houston City

Girl wearing natural forests costume and carrying a bag of mountain hiking equipment, walking in the woods

The H-Town has one of the largest skylines in the country, and the whole urban area is very fascinating. From the outside Houston might look far from the natural scenery and landscape, but the whole city is covered with natural hiking trails and spots.   


  1. White Oak Bayou Trail

The white oak bayou trail is the very popular long greenway trail along the banks of the Bayou. The white oak bayou Houston TX is a river that passes through the developed areas of the city and drains some portions of Harris County and the City of Houston. The white oak bayou trail in Houston is 17 miles long within the city limit. The white oak bayou trail map shows the trail routes, the trails start at the University of Houston Downtown where it connects with the eastern end of the Buffalo Bayou trail.  The white oak bayou trail also interconnects with the Houston Heights Hike & Bike Trail at multiple spots. 

White Oak Bayou Trail is easy and the best trail for bike hiking, most of the trail surface is paved. The trail passes through the different parts of the city which includes Stude Park, Heights Neighborhood, Bluebonnet Meadows, TC Jester Park, and Watonga Parkway Park. White Oak Bayou Trail is a great picnic and hiking spot for families to visit as they can enjoy the natural greenery and water of the bayou.  


  1. Lake Houston Wilderness Park Trail System

The Lake Houston wilderness park is located almost 30 miles from Downtown Houston. The Lake Houston park is situated on 4786 acres on the northern side of the lake. The park has 20 miles of trail for hiking, biking, and horse riding, with a beautiful view of the natural landscape. The Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a perfect spot for people to escape the urban hustle and enjoy the all-nature experience. 

There are a total of 6 trails in the park, and the Lake Houston Wilderness Park map displays the route and the lengths of each trail. These 6 trails are listed below:

  • Peach Creek Loop Trail: this trail is 3.9 km long and the difficulty level is easy/intermediate.
  • Ameri Trail:  this trail is 7.8 km long and the difficulty level is intermediate.
  • 5 Mile Road:  this trail is 7.7 km long and the difficulty level is easy.
  • Forest Trail: the trail is 2.9 km long and the difficulty level is easy.
  • Yaupon Trail: this trail is easy and 1.7 km long.
  • Logger’s Loop Trail: the trail is 4.7 km long and the difficulty level is easy.


  1. Armand Bayou Nature Center Trail System

The Armand Bayou nature center is located in Pasadena and southeast Houston. The Armand Bayou nature center is situated on 2500 acres, and it is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the US. The nature center preserves over 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The arm and bayou nature center map highlights the natural wetlands forests, prairie, and marsh habitats in Houston and the Galveston area. 

The Armand Bayou map shows the easy 5 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails and it also includes the Discovery Loop boardwalk and bison viewing platform. The Armand Bayou paddling trail is also available for paddlers who wish to see reptiles from a close distance. 

Armand Bayou Nature Center also offers a wide range of hike activities, some are listed below: 

  • Night Hikes
  • Firefly Hikes
  • Bat Hikes
  • Kayak Tours
  • Bayou Safari Tours


Exploring the Best 5 Amazing Water Parks in Houston and Around

Enjoy the longest and most exciting water rides year-round at Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark in Houston, Texas

Summer is probably very excruciating in Houston, but people also get excited to welcome the summer season as there are plenty of things to do in Houston. As the summer arises, Houston water parks get fully reserved as Houstonians just love to spend the summer at pools and parks. Thousands of tourists come to H-Town to experience the exciting experience of exploring the best water parks in Houston. In summer, there are large billboards, posters, and advertising signs of water parks everywhere in Houston, you don’t even need to search for a water park near me. 

  1. Typhoon Texas Waterpark, Houston

The Typhoon Texas Waterpark is located in Katy, Texas near Katy Mills. The Typhoon Texas Waterpark Houston opened in 2016, it is situated on 25 acres and is the most popular water park in Houston. Park offers far-reaching water rides, activities, and attractions to cool off visitors in the scorching heat of Houston. Typhoon Texas Waterpark, Houston has the largest pool wave in Texas. The Typhoon Texas season pass and day tickets are easily accessible for families and groups.  Some of the main attractions are:

  • Buckaroo Bayou
  • Howdy Hollow
  • Lazy T River
  • Lone Star Racers
  • Monster Storms
  • The Duelin’ Daltons
  • The Gully Washer
  • The Snake Pit
  • Tidal wave Bay
  • Cabanas

There are multiple dining and beverage options available at Typhoon Texas Waterpark, Houston. People can get:

  • Bill’s Lemonade
  • Dippin’ Dots
  • Ice Corral
  • JP Dogs
  • Ray’s Pizzeria & Italian Ice
  • Smoke House BBQ
  • Taco Shack 
  • Texas Threats
  • The River Grill

The Main Street Bar, Double-T-Bar, and Island Bar are also available. 


  1. Six Flag Hurricane Harbor Splashtown, Houston

The Six Flags Houston waterpark also known as “Hurricane Harbor Splashtown” is located in the north of Houston in Spring, Texas. The Six Flags Water Park Houston opened in 1984, and it is situated on 48 acres. The Six Flags Houston Texas has 2 children’s areas, so families can also enjoy their tour of the waterpark. There are a total of 9 water slides and 2 big pools in the park. Some of the exciting water rides, slides, and attractions in Six Flags Texas Houston are:

  • Bamboo Chutes
  • Big Spin
  • Blue Lagoon Activity Pool
  • Big Kahuna
  • Bonzai Pipelines 
  • FlowRider
  • Hurricane Bay
  • Paradise Plunge
  • Paradise River
  • Stingray Racer
  • Tornado
  • Tree House
  • Wahoo Wave
  • Wala Wala Falls

Waterpark presents multiple dining options for snacks and full meals. Restaurants and snack stalls are available at every corner of the park, some are listed below:

  • Dippin’ Dots
  • Hula Bar
  • Icee Mix-It-Up
  • Shark Snacks
  • Sharky’s Bar
  • Six Below
  • Tidal Wave Café


  1. Calypso Cove, Houston

The Calypso Cove Waterpark is located at 2428 W Main St, Baytown, Texas. The Calypso Cove Water Park has a Caribbean theme, it offers a wide range of slides, water crossing activities, pools, and picnic sites. The Calypso Cove very well caters to kids with exciting attractions like a dump bucket, rope climber, swim area, and small slides. The park usually featured multiple theme events in Calypso Cove Aquatic Center for kids and families. The park is the perfect place for kids and families to visit and enjoy the summertime, the main attractions of the park are:

  • Spray Guns
  • Water Crossing activities
  • Water Dump Bucket
  • Open Swim Areas
  • Slides Tower
  • Covered Picnic Areas


  1. Falcon Splash Pad and Pool, Houston

The Falcon splash pad Houston is located at Falcon Ranch in Katy, Texas. This park is different from other Houston water parks as it offers a splash pad and pool. For visiting this splash pad and pool you need an issued pool pass to enjoy the water activities and pool events. This park is a great place to spend your summer afternoons having fun and making memories. If you are searching for a splash pad near me, the Falcon Ranch is the best place for you to visit. There are food trucks and stalls available on the ranch for different dining options. The other amenities and attractions are:

  • Playground
  • Tennis Court
  • Clubhouse 
  • Picnic Sites 
  • Parks and Trails


  1. Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston

The Schlitterbahn waterpark is located on the beautiful Galveston Island near Houston, Texas. The Schlitterbahn water park is situated on 26 acres and is home to over 30 rides, a wave pool, fast and thrilling coasters, whitewater rapids, and playgrounds. The Schlitterbahn hours start at 11 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday. The Schlitterbahn Galveston TX Waterpark is the most popular park in Texas, it offers thrilling water activities to people of all ages. Some of the thrilling rides, coasters, and attractions are:

  • Banzai Pipeline
  • Boogie Bahn
  • Dragon Blaster
  • Faust and Furious 
  • Infinity Racers
  • Kristal River and Bay
  • MASSIV Monster Blaster
  • Rohr!
  • Thunder Tub
  • Wasserfest Kids Area

Schlitterbahn Waterpark provides numerous dining options at 14 different locations in the park for visitors to refuel. The full dining menu, snacks, and drinks are always available in the park. Some of the restaurant and snack stalls are listed below:

  • B&B Barbeque
  • Blastenhoff Grill
  • Dippin’ Dots
  • High Tide Tacos
  • Lagoon Grill
  • Pointe Pizza
  • Sweet Shoppe 
  • Surfside Bar
  • Infinity Bar
  • Boogie Bar

Read more: Ultimate Guide to Entertainment Things to Do in Houston This Weekend

National Park near Houston FAQ

What is the closest national forest to Houston?

The Sam Houston National Forest is closest to Houston, this 163,037-acre forest is located 50 miles north of Houston. Outdoor Activities like Hiking, Camping, Paddling, fishing, hunting, and sightseeing are available there.

What is the closest national park to Houston?

Big Thicket National Preserve is the closest service site to Houston, it is located almost 90 miles away from Houston. Hiking, fishing, bicycling, camping, and hunting are the things you can do there. 

What is the prettiest national park?

Big Bend National Park is a marvelous park located in Texas and is also stated as a “gift to the nation”. The park has breathtaking greenery, natural resources, and recreational activities. Yellowstone National Park is also considered to be the most beautiful park in the United States.


Houston Car and Limousine Service - Lavish Ride

Houston City offers across-the-board outdoor activities and recreation to its residents and visitors. The H-Town roads, taxis, cabs, metro, and other transportation always remain full and busy during peak time. Lavish Ride provides luxurious transportation services all over Houston in luxury extensive fleets. Professional Chauffeur service is also available to roam around the city in a premium black car service. Lavish Ride assures safe, comfortable, and deluxe rides in Luxury Sedans, Luxury SUVs, and Luxury Sprinter vans. 

The Mercedes-Benz Executive Sprinter Van will take tourist groups and families to waterparks, hiking trails, and national parks. The professional Chauffeur of Lavish Ride ensures the safety of customers and also offers complimentary amenities and a free waiting time of 15 minutes. Need a luxury ride to the national park or waterpark, book your private chauffeur service with Lavish Ride


Leave a comment if you find this article helpful and also share your own experience of visiting this waterpark and Natural Park in Houston.  



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