5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Houston, TX (HOU)

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Houston.

Buffalo Bayou Park

Take a break outside and follow the winding trails along Buffalo Bayou. This waterway is the center feature of the park and, coupled with the dramatic views of downtown Houston in the distance, makes for an extremely photogenic park. Spread a blanket on the grass near Jackson Hill Bridge or Rosemont Pedestrian Bridge for views of both the bayou and the Houston Skyline.

Hermann Park

Hermann Park is a large, beloved park in Houston and is home to the Houston Zoo. The park can be rather busy as a result, but is extremely special and well-designed, so worth the risk of some larger crowds. I recommend stopping at McGovern Island in the middle of the park, taking a blanket and picnic basket to the top of Miller Hill, or claiming a bench under the Pergola Walk. Wherever you choose to stop for a picnic in Hermann Park will feel like a photogenic oasis from the city.

Menil Park

A small, urban park south of downtown Houston. Large oak trees make for excellent shade on a hot day, and are perfect for tree climbing adventures. The park is primarily made of a large, open grassy area, leaving space for outdoor lawn games while you picnic.

Memorial Park

One of the largest parks in Houston, Memorial Park is more than 1,500 acres of wooded trails and recreation facilities. Low wooden bridges take you over the lush, natural foliage of the park. For peaceful water views, visit the Eastern Glades where pavilions are available for picnicking and docks with benches take you out over the water. Memorial Park is also an excellent place to see local wildlife and go on long hikes. Whether you’re hiking and eating on the trail or looking for a relaxing picnic in nature, this park is perfect for you. It is also home to the Houston Arboretum.

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

One of the most unique, untraditional parks in Houston. This park features a huge expanse of grassy space, with a 64-foot tall fountain as its dramatic focal point. This fountain circulates 11,000 gallons of water every minute and is a marvelous, relaxing sight to see while enjoying a picnic.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Houston, TX

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Space Center Houston

1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

Space Center Houston is a science museum that serves as the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. It earned a place as a Smithsonian Affiliate museum in 2014. The organization is owned by NASA and operated under a contract by the nonprofit Manned Spaceflight Education Foundation, a 501 organization. The Johnson Space Center is the home of Mission Control and astronaut training. The center opened in 1992, replacing the former Visitor Center in Johnson Space Center Building 2. the 250,000 square feet museum displays 400 space artifacts, permanent and traveling exhibits, and theaters with a focus on the history of the human spaceflight program. The center also hosts STEM programs for all ages

The Menil Collection

1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006

The Menil Collection refers either to a museum that houses the private art collection of founders John de Menil and Dominique de Menil or to the collection itself of approximately 17,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and rare books. The museum’s holdings are diverse, including early to mid-twentieth century works of Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, among others. The museum also maintains an extensive collection of pop art and contemporary art from Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, Vija Celmins, and Cy Twombly, Jr., among others. Also included in the museum’s permanent collection are antiquities and works of Byzantine, Medieval and tribal art.

Discovery Green

1500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77010

Discovery Green is an 11.78-acre public urban park in Downtown Houston, Texas. The park is adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center and Avenida Houston entertainment district. Discovery Green features a lake, bandstands, and venues for public performances, two dog runs, a playground, and multiple recreational lawns. In the early 2000s, a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and a group of local philanthropic organizations, including the Kinder Foundation, was formed with the goal of constructing a new public green space in Downtown. The design of the park, led by landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates, began in 2005.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Houston

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Houston this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Picnic in the Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park with grills to host a BBQ, check out Memorial Park. As one of the largest urban parks in the whole United States, Memorial Park has plenty of places to throw down some picnic blankets. There are also lots of picnic areas (the park has a whole Picnic Loop) that can be reserved, just know that due to COVID-19, to make a reservation, your group must be 10 people or fewer. There will be plenty for the whole family to enjoy if you want to spend the whole day in the park, including:

·   Lots of large grassy areas for tossing a frisbee, flying a kite, playing catch, or kicking around a soccer ball

·   Hiking and nature trails

·   Playgrounds

·   Volleyball, croquet, and tennis courts

·   Bike trails

The Taste of Texas

Foodies rejoice because there is going to be a huge food festival in Houston on July 4th! The Taste of Texas Food Festival will be taking place from 12 to 6 pm at The Zone and online presale tickets are only $5 (tickets are $25 at the door). The festival will feature food trucks representing all the best foods in Houston. There will also be a kid zone (including face painting and a bounce house), vendors, arts & crafts, and a live DJ. Come dressed in patriotic colors!

Haak Vineyards & Winery

Feel like getting out of the city for a bit? The lovely Haak Vineyards & Winery is just an hour north of Houston and makes a great escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown. They offer tours of the grounds and tastings of many Texas-made wines. There’s also a gift shop where you can grab a few bottles to take home. On July 4th, Pee Wee Bowen will be performing “music for all occasions ‘with class’” from 7 to 10 pm at the winery so you can enjoy music while you sip.

Enjoy a Pool Day

Cooling off in the pool is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and Houston has plenty of public pools where you can do just that! 10 city pools will be opening up at the start of the season, with the goal of opening all of them by July 6th as long as COVID stays under control. Pool hours are normally 1 pm to 8 pm every day except Monday. On Independence Day, the pools will close a few hours earlier at 5 pm.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Houston

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Houston Arboretum

4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024

This 155-acre non-profit urban nature sanctuary provides education about the natural environment to people of all ages.  It plays a vital role in protecting native plants and animals in the heart of the city where development threatens their survival.

Houston Botanic Garden

1 Botanic Lane, Houston, TX 77017

Life grows here—connecting people with plants.  At the Houston Botanic Gardens, visitors commune with nature, and each other, while engaging all of their senses in a serene oasis just minutes from the city’s center.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218

The Dallas Arboretum is proud to offer the public an array of popular annual events, educational programs for children and adults, and an emphasis on family-oriented activities. Ground-breaking horticultural research conducted in our Trial Gardens continues to contribute to an important body of knowledge, both regionally and nationally.  The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden was founded upon the dreams of a few visionaries with a passion for preserving both history and nature. Though the gardens themselves are comparatively young, the work that went into creating the current gardens began long ago.

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Lush 110-acre garden & event venue with famed Japanese landscape, nature classes & May herb fest.  The garden was established in 1934 and is the oldest major botanic garden in Texas; it is located in the heart of the cultural district. Its most popular areas are The Fuller, Rose, and Japanese Gardens.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Houston

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Hugo’s

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Houston, there’s no better place for brunch than Hugo’s. This upscale Mexican restaurant is known for its extensive Saturday and Sunday Brunch menu. Enjoy the spicier side of brunch with huevos rancheros, huevos divorciados, chilaquiles, and more! They’re currently operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19, so it’s recommended that you make a reservation ahead of time.

Memorial Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Memorial Park. At over 1,400 acres, it’s one of the largest urban parks in the United States. There is a full picnic loop with facilities for your luncheon, and afterward, you and mom can burn off the calories on one of the many hiking and biking trails that traverse the park.

The Rustic Brush

If you want something unique to do with your mom, head to The Rustic Brush, where you can create masterpieces while sipping wine! And it’s more than just a Paint & Sip, this “social crafting experience” offers many projects to choose from, like banners, centerpieces, and planters. All you have to do is book a private party and BYOB and the staff will take care of the rest, from the crafting supplies to walking you through the process with instructions. You’re also welcome to bring decorations to make your Mother’s Day party as festive as you like. And if you prefer to host the party yourself, they offer DIY kits that you can take home.

Houston Botanic Gardens

A lot of people get their moms flowers for Mother’s Day – but how about taking her to see thousands of blooming flowers? The Houston Botanic Garden is a lovely place to spend Mother’s Day with your special someone. You and your mom will enjoy exploring the many plants and ecosystems represented in the garden, including local ones – Sims Bayou runs along and through the garden.

The Blind Goat

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a night out at a renowned restaurant. Consider The Blind Goat. This casual gastropub was a semifinalist for the Best New Restaurant James Beard Award and features Master Chef Season 3 winner, Christine Ha, serving up modern twists on classic Vietnamese food.

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Best Car Washes in Houston, Texas

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Houston, Texas. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Houston has to offer.

First, we recommend Aqua Hand Car Wash. This shop offers various different detaling packages from a basic wash to ceramic wax to supreme detail. Their services include add-ons, such as wheel detail, odor treatment, headlight restoration, pet hair removal and more. Why not become a member of their Aqua Hand Car Wash & Detail Unlimited VIP Club? If you get your car washed on the regular, taking advantage of their VIP club will give you the Basic Wash package as many times as you like. The VIP club price varies depending on the size of your vehicle. Call or go online to book your appointment today.

Second, we suggest Car Detailing Houston. This shop offers three tiers of car washing packages, from the Silver Package, to the Gold Package, up to the Platinum Package. Each package offers more than the last, however, an extra fee will be added for larger vehicles. Car Detailing Houston services vehicles of all sizes, from sedans to SUV’s to pickup trucks, minivans, and full-sized vans. If you are not able to make it to the shop, their mobile business comes to you! There’s no reason for your car not to look as beautiful as the day you drove it off the lot.

Finally, why not give Fresh Start Mobile Detailing a try? At Fresh Start, it doesn’t matter what you drive, each vehicle is treated with the utmost respect, as if it was their own. Three packages are available for you, the Fresh Package, the Fresher Package, and the Showroom Fresh Package. Each package comes with more services to ensure your car will gleam with clean. Pricing fluctuates according to the size of your vehicle. Fresh Start services sedans, trucks, SUV’s, minivans, and full-sized vans.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the CARisma Wash on Kirby Dr., the Express Carwash on Clearwood Dr., or the Mister Car Wash on Washington Ave. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Houston, Texas, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Houston

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Houston and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Houston that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

The Westin Galleria Houston

For the ultimate luxury experience, check yourself into the Westin Galleria Houston. Located in Uptown Houston directly connected to the Houston Galleria Mall, the hotel is perfectly situated for upscale shopping or visiting museums and restaurants. This high-end hotel boasts rooms with high-speed Wi-Fi, coffee-makers, and workspaces perfect for the remote worker, as well as rainfall showerheads, soaking tubs, large flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks for relaxation. While you’re not lounging in the comfort of your room, you can swim in the rooftop pool or visit the fitness center. The Westin’s generous pet policy allows pets that weigh up to 50 lbs., with up to two pets allowed per room.

Airbnb House Rental

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this house just a mile from downtown, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes free parking, Wi-Fi, a burglar system, and a kitchen. There’s also a fenced-in yard that’s perfect for pets and you’ll enjoy hanging out in the yard, too, due to the hammock and patio. There are bikes on-site that you may borrow to head into town or to take a spin on the nearby bike paths. The host, Evon, is an experienced Airbnb Superhost and has earned fantastic reviews for the property’s walkable location, cleanliness, and luxurious furnishings. Small pets are preferred at this listing, though there’s no specific weight cut-off given.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Houston Energy Corridor

Going to be in Houston for a while and need a place with a kitchen, but not fond of Airbnbs? Home2 Suites is the place to go. This laid-back yet highly-rated hotel offers suites with kitchens and living areas so that you and your pet feel at home for the entire stay. Home2 Suites especially caters to business travelers with a well-equipped “working wall” desk area in your room, free Wi-Fi, and proximity to Fortune 500 oil and gas companies. During your stay, you’ll enjoy amenities like free breakfast, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. You may bring two pets who are up to 75 lbs. in weight for a one-time $75 fee.

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What to do in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas is a fantastic place to be if you’re looking for something fun to do. Whether you’re in town for a vacation or a business trip, Houston has plenty to do and is sure to have something for everyone in the whole family. Do you like touring museums? Are you an animal lover? Do you love nature? Have you always wanted to explore space? Then read on and discover what there is to do in this town!

First, we recommend the wonder of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. If you want to be blown away by all that nature has to offer, you will make the time to come to this museum. With a planetarium on site and a butterfly center that is sure to tantalize, what is not to love here? Several exhibits are on permanent display, such as Faberge: Art of Presentation, Hall of Ancient Egypt, the Morian Hall of Paleontology, and the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. If you love beauty or antiquity, you will never be disappointed with a visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science!

Second, we suggest a new adventure at the Houston Zoo. Come and visit the African Forest, the Bug House, the Sea Lion Habitat, the Reptile and Amphibian House, South America’s Pantanal, or the Texas Wetlands. All your favorites are sure to be on display here, you’re sure to have an amazing day at the zoo. Shops and restaurants are open, but some events are still closed. However, all the animal habitats are all open to the public so come on down and have a fun-filled day at the Houston Zoo!

If you love the great outdoors, the Buffalo Bayou Park is an excellent place to have a picnic, go for a run, or peruse outdoor gardens. This park has it all, hiking trails and biking trails, bike rentals and paddle craft rentals, picnic areas, public art, and a creative nature play area. Whatever your outdoor activity, you can do it at the park. If you’ve been cooped up too long indoors, take advantage of Houston’s fantastic weather and have yourself a sunny, beautiful day down on the waterfront.

Finally, who could go to Houston without visiting the Houston Space Center? This center has all you could ever want for space exploration memorabilia, such as their Starship Gallery, filled with spacecraft from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo eras. Have you always wished you could see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket? They have one! These rockets have become world-renowned for not only being reusable, but re-landable as well. Want to know what astronauts have to wear during a spacewalk? They have every suit since the dawn of the space race. They even have the Independence, a shuttle replica, mounted on the back of a NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft that the public can enter!

Houston is a city one can get lost in if you’re not careful. With so many great and amazing things to do, you’ll be hard-pressed to pick only one thing to do. Your adventure awaits!

Links

On Air Parking (HOU) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Houston-William-P-Hobby-HOU

Houston Museum of Natural Science – http://www.hmns.org/

Houston Zoo – https://www.houstonzoo.org/

Buffalo Bayou Park – https://buffalobayou.org/visit/

Houston Space Center – https://spacecenter.org/

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near HOU

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Harris County Public Health

2223 West Loop Street

Houston, TX 77027

713.439.6000

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm

Several Houston retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         H-E-B

·         Kroger

·         Randall’s Pharmacies

·         Sam’s Club

·         Walgreens

·         Walmart

There is also the choice of being vaccinated at one of the participating hospitals or health centers.  Again, contact the hospital ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         St Lukes Health

·         Houston Methodist Hospital

·         Memorial Hermann Health System

·         UT – Health Houston

·         Baylor College of Medicine

·         Harris Health

·         Kelsey Seybold

·         MD Anderson Cancer Center

·         Memorial Hermann

·         Michael E DeBakay VA Medical Center

·         Texas Children’s Hospital

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Houston

Cheap Airport Parking at HOU, check onairparking.com for the best rates.

Do you have travel to Houston coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Houston. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

La Maison Bed and Breakfast

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay, book a room at La Maison Bed and Breakfast. This comfortable oasis is located in Midtown, walking distance from lots of great attractions. It’s top-rated on TripAdvisor for its amazing hospitality, European aesthetic, comfortable suites, and peaceful atmosphere. During your stay, enjoy your choice of hearty Southern-style breakfast or light continental fare, and unwind in the parlor, living room, or dining area. If you’re planning a special stay, check out their packages for birthdays, romantic weekends, anniversaries, and more. La Maison has been featured by Forbes, Good Black News, Travel + Leisure, Texas Monthly, and more.

Hotel Granduca Houston

When you’re traveling, it can be nice to stay somewhere that’s a bit of an adventure so that the stay itself feels just as exciting as your excursions. That’s where Hotel Granduca Houston comes in. This Italian villa-style hotel will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Europe without leaving Texas!  The hotel creates this “little corner of Italy” atmosphere with thoughtful hospitality touches like an Italian spin on English High Tea, Al fresco dining and live music at their restaurant, Giorgio’s, and beautifully landscaped gardens with organic fruit trees. Everything about the hotel is sophisticated and elegant, which has been proven by accolades such as being named the #1 Hotel in Houston (and #2 in all of Texas) by US News and World Report.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Hobby Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at The DoubleTree, which is located just half a mile from William P. Hobby Airport. For extra convenience, they provide a quick shuttle service to take you to either the terminal or around town up to a 3-mile radius from the hotel! In addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay, with access to a fitness center, outdoor pool, an onsite restaurant, a bar and lounge, and the famous, warm chocolate-chip cookie you expect from DoubleTree.

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