Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why I Love Houston: The Great Outdoors!

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...The Great Outdoors! 

Scenes from Buffalo Bayou Park 

Houston might seem like the concrete jungle but there's plenty of wildlife inside and outside the city to explore when you need a nature break. For inner-loopers, the stretch of Buffalo Bayou running along Allen Parkway is a scenic delight for jogging, biking, and admiring the art installations and wildflowers adorning the trails. Enjoy lunch or brunch in The Kitchen at the Dunlavy housed in a treehouse-like space shimmering with chandeliers overlooking Lost Lake. You can also rent kayaks and canoes at Buffalo Bayou Park if you want to get on the water. Or go for an underground adventure at the just-opened Cistern where you can go on a guided tour of one of the city's first drinking water reservoirs that's been transformed into a modern-day relic.

Bird watching in the Heights - Flamingo by Coolidge 
Galveston is one of my favorite getaways from the big city. Birders are big fans of the island as well with more than 200 species making their annual migration every spring. Galveston Island State Park is a great destination for bird watching all year round whether you are on foot or go by kayak with the Artist Boat organization that provides interpretive tours of Galveston Bay where you'll view plenty of shorebirds so pack the binoculars along with plenty of sunscreen!

For a scenic drive, I love to take the country roads to Matagorda Bay where you can fish for speckled trout and redfish in the bay and catch some rays on the beach.

For camping, Brazos Bend State Park is just an hour's drive from downtown Houston. With six lakes for fishing, plenty of hike and bike trails, and the George Observatory for stargazing on Saturdays, a visit to this state park is an easy escape from city life. Be sure to check their calendar for special events that include guided nature walks. Kathlyn's Tip: With our frequent summer showers, don't leave home without making sure the park is open because flooding can cause closures.



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