With a unique combination of wetlands, wide open spaces, swamps, grasslands, and forest ecosystems just a short drive from Houston, it’s no wonder it is an outdoor lover’s and enthusiast’s paradise. And parents looking for affordable ways to prevent their children from bouncing off the walls of the house.
With local wildlife thriving in many of Houston’s protected wildlife and natural refuge areas, it has seen an increase in the number of outdoor attractions. As tourists and city dwellers flocked to these quick getaway attractions, a boom was created in Houston’s traditional history, arts and museum scene. Restaurants are within walking distance of each other, traditional family and family shops enjoy a constant stream of excited families, hotels fill up quickly during peak seasons, and their cultural tours are completed within weeks of opening.
Whether you choose to call it a road trip or a day trip, the main idea is to spend little, do a lot. I mean, movies had been made around those ideas. Day trips from Houston are also great for those looking for quick ways to bypass their everyday ‘adult’ lives for a while so they can make the ‘new age’ of ‘live in the moment’. There’s nothing like taking a rented bus to a hiking trail in a swamp and looking a crocodile in the eye that reminds you to live in the moment, for real.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the things to do in Houston that are worth your gas money.
1. Beach camping on Mustang Island
Houston enjoys an average temperature of 69 degrees throughout the year. When it’s very cold in other parts of the country, in more ways than one, the people of Houston are simply relaxing outside their garden with a beer in hand. And that makes it a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
For example, you can choose to take your kids camping on the beach on Mustang Island, which is approximately 230 miles or a 3-hour drive from Houston. Some would say that the sunset over the Gulf opens the floodgates to hours of self-reflection and tectonic shifts in worldviews.
17047 Hwy 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373
- A beautiful beachside state park in South Port Aransas
- It’s hot even at night, you need sandals and shorts all day because … well, it’s the beach
- Private and feels like a personal piece of heaven.
- Soft sand that feels like clouds seeping through your fingers
- Watch out for the local wildlife, as many curious seabirds would be watching you, and you can catch shellfish in action all over the beach area.
2. Outside of a campground along the Lake Houston Wilderness Park
As the only state park managed by the Houston Department of Parks and Recreation that allows overnight camping, the park allows you to go on a wide range of hiking, biking, horseback riding, enjoying recreational and science-based programs. nature, tennis, rollerblading, kite flying, golf, canoeing … you name it, they have it. Because it’s so popular with vacation-goers, the good news is that you can simply grab a page from someone who’s been there, start pinning down the activities YOU want to do, and start scheduling so you don’t get too overstretched. slim in the end.
Plus, it’s less than 35 miles from downtown Houston and a 35-minute drive, so few excuses remain.
Lake Houston Nature Park
25840 Farm to Market 1485, New Caney, TX 77357
- 20 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails
- It has a long list of summer activities suitable for toddlers, teens, and adults alike, where they get free lunch too! ‘Free’ is hard to beat
- It has amenities for golf, tennis, adult sports leagues, fitness programs, rustic camping areas surrounded by wooded terrain.
- Its educational nature center is very popular; has shows like Teen Adventure Caravan and Summer Enrichment Programs
- It opens from Sunday to Monday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday closed
3. Kayaking and hiking in Big Bend National Park
It can be a bit of a drive from Houston considering the park is tucked away over 550 miles from the heart of Houston which will take about 8 hours of driving, the review reveals it will be worth the charter bus ride. (And it will be very scenic on the way – ROAD TRIP!) If you have a penchant for hiking, photography, camping, kayaking, mountain ranges, sheer limestone cliffs, golf, horseback riding, zip line and shopping. The RVer in you, the one who yearns to ‘get away from it all’ will be celebrating the journey. Whizzing past a desolate landscape, approaching the Cordillera de Chisos and the Chihuahuan Desert is so impressive that you’ll stop midway to take perfect snapshots. After all, you will pass The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, which will take you past the ruins of Sam Nail Ranch, Santa Elena Canyon, Rio Grande, and Langford Hot Springs throughout Mexico.
Big Bend National Park
- One of the coolest and most memorable scenic drives in North America.
- A wide range of activities available.
- Suitable for people of all ages, including children and the elderly.
- An opportunity to explore hot springs, historical sites, old bathhouses, forests and enjoy the best sunrise and sunset.
- It has camping spots where nature offers the best of the natural and modern world.
- The best time to visit is during the spring or fall.
- An abundance of wildlife
4. Alligator watching at Brazos Bend State Park
If you’ve ever wanted to prove yourself and prove that you are a man made of steel, there is nothing like the wild experience of looking wild crocodiles in the eye as you calmly walk past them. Located less than 50 miles from Houston, about an hour by charter bus, the park is a sure winner among nature lovers. So much the better if you are always ready with your camera. Armed with a good pair of boots and binoculars, there are plenty of alligators waiting in the park’s six lakes. If you’re not one to come face-to-face with alligators, the park showcases bronze sculptures of local wildlife, a boardwalk, and an observation deck, with shaded areas for lounging and picnicking. Suffice to say, as long as you are familiar with alligator safety rules, you are good to go.
Brazos Bend State Park
21901 FM 762 Rd, Needville, TX 77461
- Offers the perfect combination of a laid-back road trip and exciting camping
- Located near the Brazos River in Needville, TX
- A half-mile trail, Creekfield Lake Nature Trail, is perfect for nature walks
- Self-guided tours and scavenger hunts available.
- Pets are allowed on a leash
- 13 miles of equestrian trails
- Learn more about wildlife and the local ecosystem at the Nature Center
- The observatory, which is part of the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, is open on Saturdays only from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
5. Romantic stargazing at Enchanted Rock
The magical and mystical location can be found about 4 hours northwest of Houston, TX, and offers you such unforgettable views that it could be a boost for something creative and inspiring. Climb the ancient dome and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Hill Country, admire the unusual pink granite dome that juts out of central Texas as Mother Nature intended as you snap photo after photo of the enchanting and legendary rock formations that are like none other. . other. Rock climb, backpack, hike, picnic, bird study, star gaze or bike around the attraction as you find your sweet spot along 10+ miles of scenic trails. It’s worth mentioning that interactive and physical terrain maps will be absolutely essential here, so arm yourself with them before you go. Legend has it that if you want a superpower, this is the place to get it. The natives believed that anyone who spent the night on the rock would become invisible and the rock would be enchanted.
near Fredericksburg, Texas, USA
- Located near historic and iconic Fredericksburg, TX
- All trails close, rain or shine, 30 minutes before sunset, except the Loop Trail
- Climbers must register at the venue before leaving; rock climbing guide is available at the venue
- Park rangers are available to individuals or groups for special tours and excursions.
- Look for stunning spring pools and hidden caves
Houston is a huge playground for outdoor enthusiasts
Houston is blessed with many natural wonders including free / affordable parking, beautiful rock climbing sites, sprawling canyons, and unforgettable waterfalls. Once you’ve got a taste of what Houston has to offer, you’ll soon be planning your nest trip!
And after touring the rugged and rugged terrain of Texas, you can spend a few days meeting the locals, shopping, and visiting some small antique stores and galleries. It would make your trip to Houston one that you won’t soon forget.