Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park – 2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
Built in 1983, the Hines Waterwall is a 64-foot-semi-circular fountain that re-circulates 11,000 gallons of water per minute! Yup, you read that right – PER MINUTE! It is really cool and experiencing the rush of the water and just how loud it is is something you just have to check out for yourself. Until 2008 the wall was actually privately owned but it has become such a part of the Uptown community of Houston that the Mayor purchased it and the little over 2.5 acre park area surrounding it. There is a parking garage across the way where the public can park for a small fee.
Eleanor Tinsley Park – 18-3600 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX 77019
I didn’t realize how large Eleanor Tinsley Park was until I was looking up how to get there. Someone had told me that this was the place to get one of the best skyline views of the city. They were so right and I enjoyed hanging out and getting a look at the city that I have grown to really love. The park is actually just a small section of the Buffalo Bayou Park and features a Volleyball court, a skate park, art installations, performance areas, the Houston Police Officer’s Memorial, a really well-used and love running trail – and is the host of the Art Car Parade and the 4th of July Celebration, “Freedom Over Texas”. Other than a section of Glenwood Cemetary (which I learned is actually a part of Eleanor Tinsely) This spot where I took this picture is one of the best views of the entire skyline.
McGovern Centennial Gardens (Hermann Park) – 1500 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004
The McGovern Centennial Gardens are a portion of Hermann Park in the Museum District of Houston. It houses a really cool Japanese garden, as well as a waterfall, which is quite the popular senior portarait place. They have a sculpture walk that includes the busts of many famous Texans and Houstonians, and they grow many native flowers and herbs here as well. There is lots of seating within the park and shady areas to eat lunch or take a break from the busy city bustle right outside of the gates.
Houston Love Mural
This mural is actually one of six murals that line the 1300 Block of McKinney Blvd, just down from Discovery Green. They are super fun and really colorful! Combine your love of Houston and a love a murals and take a picture with these babies while you’re downtown.
Discovery Green – 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
I was so excited to meet up with my fellow Instagram, Houston-loving pal, Spacey Casey in Discovery Green! We got a behind-the-scenes personalized tour of the just over 11 1/2 acre park area outside of the Houston Convention Center. Originally a parking lot, when the area was left to the city the people of Houston were asked what they wanted here, and overwhelming the choice was to create some sort of outside space that could unify the city and bring together all of the best parts of Houston. This of course certainly included food and art. There are so many amazing art installations in the park, a small lake, which becomes an ice skating rink, and outdoor music venue and beautiful walking paths. There are playgrounds and splash pads, all designed with children in mind. They have done an outstanding job of creating a space where people can come an sit in the quiet, eat, play and be active, all right downtown.
Sig’s Lagoon (Record Store) – 3622 Main St ste e, Houston, TX 77002
Straying into the more unusual part of this list, I had to include Sig’s on this list only because it is a really cool spot in Houston. I had to restrain myself and only left with four records, leaving about ten more behind that I wanted. If you’re looking for something I’d be willing to be Sig’s has it. It is one of the neatest record stores I’ve been in and has quite the comprehensive collection. Prices are really on point as well. No gouging going on here as I’ve seen in other stores.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – 1150 Brand Ln, Stafford, TX 77477
This came across my Instagram feed one day and I knew that I had to add to my Houston Bucket List. It is really very neat and the carvings are intricate and gorgeous. It is a peaceful place to visit and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It is a traditional Hindu temple built by a denomination of a branch of Hinduism. The gardens are peaceful and quiet, and it is really great place if you want a calming stroll and just listen to nature around you. It is open all year around to everyone, from all walks of life and faith, but it is a sacred place and visitors should adhere to the rules. For more information about visiting the Temple visit the website here.
The Orange Show/Smither’s Park
It’s not really a saying, but after visiting these two weird Houston spots the saying “Stay Weird Houston” could definitely be a thing. High on my list of things I just didn’t have time for the first time around is The Orange Show and Smither’s Park. The story of the Orange Show is just as strange as the Orange Show itself. It was created by a Houston mail carrier, dedicated to his favorite fruit, the Orange. For almost 30 years Mr. McKissack used recycled materials and every day building materials he came across to create this maze of a building. Its a trip for sure, but has become a beloved quirk of the city. After Mr. McKissack died a foundation was created to preserve the area, which included Houston’s own ZZ Top. The rest is history. The foundation also helps preserve the Beer Can House which I visited last time, as well as the park next door, Smither’s Park, which is equally as strange and cool as The Orange Show. While I visited I even got to see some of preservation and work that goes into maintaining these amazing mosaic art pieces. Check it out next time you’re in town, and especially with the kids!!
Terminal Museum – 8325 Travelair St, Houston, TX 77061
If its vintage in any way you can usually count me in, add a very 1940s, feel and you can absolutely count me in. The Houston Terminal Museum, while not expansive or super fancy, is still a really neat piece of Houston history. But its more than that, its a place to learn a lot about the history of airlines and air travel in general. I learned so much about the different companies and how they started, as well as several that I had never even heard of! And of course the stewardess fashion was top notch! The Terminal, which is located on the Houston Hobby Airport, is the first terminal built in Houston for leisure travel. It was used for flight until the late 50s, and was almost demolished in the 70s. Thankfull it was saved and we have the small, but pretty cool, Terminal Museum.
8th Wonder Brewery – 2202 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77003
Where can you go to get some good beer, hear some music and see all the things that you think of when you think of Houston Instagram? Why 8th Wonder Brewery! Check out the super cool Beatles statutes that are insanely tall, the We Love Houston sign, and Welcome to Brewston mural. From the name you know it is an actual Brewery and they have year-round brews, as well as special seasonal brews. Come and see what food trucks are on rotation and take a tour of the brewery, or distillery..yup, they also distill their own vodka and gin!
Rice University and Sky Space – Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, Houston, TX 77005
As a fan of architecture I had to make sure to stop by the beautiful Rice University while I was in town this time. Rice University is a private Research University that opened in 1912, and the beautiful architecture reflect that. It is really beautiful and feels like an old university. If you go in the evening you can hop on over to the James Turrell Sky Space and view the light show. There is a LED light show, that that takes place and projects through an aperture in the ceiling. It somehow works with the sky’s natural light and occurs during sunrise and sunset. I’m going to be completely honest with you and say that I have absolutely no idea how it does what it does…..or really what exactly it is doing, but it is really neat. Take as seat and relax because it is a very calming time.
If you can believe it, I still haven’t crossed all the things off my Houston list. It’s a long one and I intend to eventually cross them all off. So stay tuned for that! But in the mean time, check out some other Houston posts!