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Guide to our favorite parks in Houston

Fact: Houston is home to some of the biggest and best parks in the country. This is a list of Lodgeur’s favorite Houston parks.

Hermann Park

Hermann Park

Hermann Park is one of the most popular parks in Houston and features a variety of amenities for visitors to enjoy. The park has a golf course, a pond with paddleboats, a kids’ train, several gardens, and a museum. Hermann Park is also home to the Houston Zoo, which is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

The golf course at Hermann Park has been around since 1923 and features an 18-hole championship course with a driving range, practice greens, and a pro shop. The pond in the park offers fishing opportunities as well as boat rentals so visitors can explore the area and spot some of the local wildlife. There are also several gardens throughout the park, including the Chinese Garden of Friendship, McGovern Centennial Gardens, and Miller Outdoor Theater’s garden. (For more information, check out the blog post on Lodgeur’s favorite Houston gardens.) The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located within the park as well.

The Houston Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Hermann Park. The zoo opened in 1922 and features over 6,000 animals from all over the world including African elephants, orangutans, gorillas, flamingos, giraffes, zebras and many more. New exhibits focus on the Galapagos, the Brazilian Pantanal and Lowland Gorillas. The zoo has a secondary entrance backing up to the Texas Medical Center and is a popular destination for hospital patients looking for some fresh air.

Memorial Park

Memorial Park

At nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park, Memorial Park is located in the heart of Houston and is one of the most loved parks in Houston with 4 million visitors each year.

The Seymour Lieberman Exer-Trail is a 3-mile running trail that ranks as the most popular running trail in the United States with 10,000 runners daily. The 3-mile trail forms a loop and parking is available much of the way around the trail.

Memorial Park has roughly 30 miles of hiking trails, and 2 lakes. Memorial Park is also home to the Houston Arboretum, which is a nature center that offers classes and programs for visitors of all ages.

Memorial Park also has an 18-hole golf course, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and volleyball courts. There is also a bicycle trail system with over seven miles of trails winding through different parts of the park. Hines Lake is a popular spot for picnics, photos and walking short boardwalk trails with young children.

Memorial Park is also the site of Houston’s massive Bayou City Art Festival every March, which we write about in another blog post.

Discovery Green

Discovery Green is a 12-acre park that opened in 2008 in downtown Houston. The park has a playground, an amphitheater, several gardens, and a dog park. Discovery Green also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts and festivals.

Discovery Green is an urban oasis located in the heart of Houston, Texas. This vibrant 12-acre urban park features a number of attractions, including a playground, two interactive water fountains, a lake with paddle boats, an amphitheater, several gardens and lawns for picnicking and relaxing, and a one-of-a-kind dog park. The park is also home to numerous permanent public sculptures created by renowned local and international artists as well as rotating public art displays.

Every year the park attracts thousands of visitors who come to experience its beauty and enjoy all it has to offer. One popular attraction is the Brown Promenade—a large walkway that connects the larger downtown area to Discovery Green. The promenade features lush landscaping and lighting displays that create a stunning visual effect at nightfall.

The Kinder Lake at Discovery Green is great fun for both adults and children alike. The lake offers paddle boats available on summer weekends for $5.

At any time of day or night visitors can take advantage of the two interactive water fountains located in Jones Lawn near Hermann Square – perfect for cooling off during hot summer days!

On some evenings during summer months movies are projected onto a huge outdoor screen complete with surround sound speakers so visitors can watch films under the stars with friends or family members – definitely an unforgettable experience!

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park is 160-acre park that runs along the Buffalo Bayou river in Houston. The park has hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and public art installations.

One of the most popular attractions is the picnic area, which includes plenty of space for families and friends to gather for picnics and barbecues. There are also two playgrounds located near the picnic areas, perfect for entertaining little ones. And there are several public art installations throughout Buffalo Bayou Park that allow visitors to explore and appreciate local artwork.

Another interesting attraction at Buffalo Bayou Park is The Cistern – an underground reservoir built in 1926 that now serves as a public art space and event venue. This unique structure offers visitors the chance to experience art from both national and international artists alike in a special environment like no other in Houston. Check out our other post for more about the Cistern.

If you’d like take part in organized activities, Buffalo Bayou Park offers kayaking tours, bike rides throughout the park, outdoor movie screenings during summer months, birding lessons and more! You can even take a ride on one of their unique group bikes (which holds up to 14 people!) and explore different parts of Buffalo Bayou Park with friends or family members!

Market Square Park

Market Square Park is a small urban park located in downtown Houston known for the nearby Houston is Inspired mural and Niko Niko’s casual greek cuisine with outdoor dining. Market Square Park is a popular spot for residents, visitors and office-goers alike to spend their lunch hours, relax after work or bring the kids on weekends. A winding path runs through the middle of this area, lined with benches perfect for relaxing and people watching. There are also two dog runs where local canines can run around off-leash, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult.

On Saturdays from March to December, Market Square Park hosts a farmers market featuring vendors selling farm-fresh produce, flowers, handmade goods and more. Local vendors also set up food stands offering delicious treats like tacos and ice cream all day long.

Other features of Market Square Park include public art installations such as sculptures made by local artists that add color and character to the space. The park also features a stage area used for live music performances throughout the year.

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Miller Outdoor Theater

Located in Hermann Park, the Miller Outdoor Theatre is a beloved destination for Houstonians and visitors alike. The theatre is home to free concerts, plays, lectures, and more throughout the year. With a seating capacity of 3,500 and a large stage, the theatre provides plenty of space for performers and audiences to enjoy their favorite shows. Tickets to see the performances from the seated section of the theater should be booked in advance, but the hill next to the theater is open seating. Visitors often bring chairs, blankets and coolers to picnic during performances.

George Bush Park

Located in west Houston, George Bush Park is a 7,800-acre park and the largest city park in the country. The park has seven lakes, over 50 miles of trails, two 18-hole golf courses, 8-acre bark park, and several playgrounds. George Bush Park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including festivals and outdoor concerts. For those looking to explore nature further, the park has two nature centers offering educational programs and guided hikes.

George Bush Park is known for its extensive sports facilities, including basketball courts pickleball courts, soccer fields, launching pads for drones, shooting ranges and baseball fields. Especially popular is the 8-acre Millie Bush Bark Park with two pools and a dog-washing area. Additionally there is an 18-hole disc golf course located within the perimeter of George Bush Park where guests can play a round or two while enjoying the sights of nature surrounding them.

Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park is located about 40 miles south of downtown Houston in Angleton, Texas. The 4,897-acre park features five lakes and 40 miles of hiking trails, and is popular with trail runners. Wildlife sightings are common here as the park is home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The park also features an observatory operated by the Houston Museum of Natural History where visitors can learn about astronomy or catch a glimpse of the night sky on Saturday nights.

Brazos Bend State Park is a great place to visit for nature lovers, hikers, and stargazers. It features five lakes and 40 miles of trails, making it perfect for exploring the diverse wildlife and scenery that the park has to offer. The park is home to many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and even alligators that can be seen along the banks of the lakes. There are also several observation decks where visitors can watch the sun set over the lake or catch a glimpse of passing birds and other wildlife.

Brazos Bend State Park is also home to beautiful landscapes and unique ecosystems that are open for exploration with hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging difficulty levels. Visitors will have an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature while trekking through forests full of trees such as oaks, cedars, pines, maples and bald cypresses; swamps full of lily pads; fields filled with wildflowers; marshes full of wading birds; meadows filled with deer; ponds full of frogs; and rivers full of fish.

For an easy hike where you are sure to spot alligators, check out the 1.2 mile 40 Acre Lake Trail. There is a viewing platform overlooking two lakes, and the trail will bring you into close contact with alligators and wading birds. In the spring, masses of water lillies are in bloom.

Sheldon Lake State Park

Sheldon Lake State Park is located east of Houston near Sheldon Lake. This 640-acre park offers plenty for visitors to enjoy including fishing spots along the lake’s shoreline, over 15 miles of hiking trails and bird watching opportunities at one of three bird sanctuaries onsite. Visitors can also take advantage of the Nature Center here which provides educational programs and interactive exhibits about ecosystems found in Southeast Texas.

A variety of wildlife can also be found around the lake, including herons, cormorants, egrets, and even bald eagles during certain times of the year. The park offers catch-and-release fishing. Hikers can admire spectacular views of native vegetation like live oaks, loblolly pines and American elms while exploring a vast array of wildlife habitats ranging from marshes to grasslands. Prepare for mosquitos and check out the observation tower.

Levy Park

Levy Park is an urban park located near the upscale Upper Kirby neighborhood. The park was opened in November 2017 and features six acres of green space with native trees, plants, and flower beds. There are two playgrounds, a dog park, two performance stages, an interactive water feature, dining areas with food trucks and a bar, an amphitheater for live music performances, a community garden and nature trails for hiking and biking. Levy Park is easily one of the most popular Houston parks for kids with its playscape of tunnels, slides and water splash features.

The Levy Park Conservancy is responsible for maintaining the park’s beauty and integrity by offering educational programs such as STEM classes, story times for kids and exercise classes. The conservancy also hosts events throughout the year including movie screenings on Frisbee Golf Fridays and family nights with live music every Saturday night. There are also free yoga and dance classes offered under a covered pavilion.

Get out there!

With so many great parks to choose from, it can be hard to pick just one. But with a little research and some exploration, you’re sure to find the perfect park for you in Houston. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!

Lodgeur’s favorite public gardens in Houston

Houston is a vibrant and bustling city with plenty of green spaces to explore. There is so much green space in Houston that we have a post on gardens and another just for parks. Here is a list of Lodgeur’s favorite public gardens in Houston:

McGovern Centennial Gardens

Centennial Gardens
The spiral path at Houston’s McGovern Centennial Gardens.

McGovern Centennial Gardens is a Houston landmark that offers visitors an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in Houston’s Hermann Park, Houston Centennial Gardens provides visitors with a tranquil and peaceful environment to explore nature and relax. The garden features lush landscaping, beautiful sculptures, meandering pathways, fountains, ponds and plenty of seating areas for picnicking or simply enjoying the view.

Houston Centennial Gardens features a large hill that rises at the heart of the garden, giving visitors a beautiful spot to admire Houston’s skyline and bask in the beauty of nature. The hill is covered with lush green grass and is dotted with trees, providing a scenic backdrop for picnics and family outings. From the top of the hill, visitors can take in Houston’s skyline and also catch a glimpse of Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre and Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Additionally, Houston Centennial Gardens also houses several native plant species including Texas live oaks, magnolias and wildflowers – making it an ideal spot for bird watching too! With its picturesque landscape full of vibrant colors year round – Houston Centennial Garden is sure to be one of Lodgeur’s favorite spots in Houston!

Nature Discovery Center

Located in Houston’s Bellaire neighborhood, the Nature Discovery Center is a great place to explore Houston’s natural beauty. The center features over four acres of lush gardens and trails, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to observe native plants and wildlife. With its interactive exhibits, educational programs and events for all ages, the Nature Discovery Center is an ideal spot for families looking for a fun day outdoors. Visitors can also take advantage of bird watching areas or stroll through various butterfly gardens onsite.

Houston’s Nature Discovery Center is an ideal spot for families looking to explore Houston’s natural beauty. The center features over four acres of lush gardens and trails, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to observe native plants and wildlife. With interactive exhibits, educational programs, bird watching areas and butterfly gardens, the Nature Discovery Center offers something for all ages.

Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday from 1pm-4pm; admission is only $5 per person or $15 for a family up to six people. So come out and enjoy Houston’s hidden gems!

Houston Arboretum

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is located on a 155-acre site along Buffalo Bayou. Its mission is to provide education about the natural world and promote environmental stewardship through its unique blend of nature programs, recreational activities, and conservation initiatives. Visitors can explore Houston’s native plants in the five miles of trails winding through woodlands, wetlands, meadows and ponds or take part in educational classes like birdwatching or gardening workshops. The meadows trail in particular offers great backdrops for photos.

For kids, the Arboretum offers weekly classes, camps during school breaks, and weekend activities. The new playground is often reserved for birthday parties on Saturday morning, but a nature scape playground is available near the older activities building. Parking is $8, paid with the Park Houston app.

MFAH – Bayou Bend

The Bayou Bend Gardens at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston are an oasis of natural beauty and historical charm. Located on 14 acres along Buffalo Bayou, these gardens offer visitors a richly landscaped outdoor experience with a wealth of stunning flora, winding pathways, tranquil seating areas and outdoor art installations. Originally built as a private residence in the 1920s by oil heiress Ima Hogg, the mansion and gardens were donated to MFAH in 1957 and are both open to the public.

Visitors will find lush displays of native plants, trees and flowers including azaleas that burst into vibrant color during the spring months. The Andrews Pinetum is filled with towering pines and ancient oaks while the Flower Garden offers colorful bursts of blooms throughout the year. The Asian Garden features intricately placed stones that create a peaceful atmosphere while providing highlights to colorful koi fish swimming in the pond below. In addition to its exquisite plant life, Bayou Bend features unique sculptures from renowned local artists as well as other iconic objects like two 19th century European fountains.

During special events such as holiday celebrations or summer concerts, guests can explore hidden corners of the garden or relax on one of several gazebos located within its boundaries. One highlight is a restored 1790 house known as “The Pavilion” which was once owned by Stephen F Austin’s brother James Austin. The Christmas celebration requires purchasing a ticket but MFAH hosts regular family-friendly events which are free to the public.

Mercer Botanic Gardens

Mercer Botanic Gardens is a 40-acre oasis situated in Humble just north of Houston. Here visitors can explore gardens filled with an array of colorful flowers and plants as well as enjoy stunning views from overlooks along its trails. Mercer Botanical Gardens also feature interactive learning areas for kids such as a butterfly garden and an herb garden where they can learn about different plants from experts at the gardens’ staff.

The gardens are divided into different sections each featuring its own unique landscape and ecosystem. Highlights include a Japanese Garden which includes a traditional teahouse and koi pond, a Rose Garden with over 200 varieties of roses, a Sculpture Garden where visitors can find sculptures created by local artists, and an Herb Garden with hundreds of herbs for visitors to learn about.

In addition to its gardens, Mercer Botanic Gardens also offers educational programs for kids such as guided tours, workshops and classes on gardening topics such as pruning techniques, seed propagation and composting. Visitors can also take part in family activities such as fishing in one of the six ponds found within the park’s grounds or bird watching at one of three bird sanctuaries located onsite.

The Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden is located in Hermann Park near Downtown Houston. The 8 ½ acre gardens offer tranquil oases amidst beautiful landscapes inspired by traditional Japanese design elements – ponds with koi fish paddling around them included! Visitors can take strolls along winding paths lined with cherry blossom trees or observe art installations while admiring large koi fish swimming in one of four large pools onsite before stopping off at one of two tea houses serving Japanese green teas overlooking tranquil settings perfect for meditation or reflection.

Houston’s Japanese Gardens are a stunningly beautiful place to explore and discover the many elements of traditional Japanese design. The gardens are filled with winding paths and trails that meander through landscapes inspired by the beauty of Japan. There are four large pools full of koi fish, which visitors can watch as they make their way along the paths and trails. Along the way, there are cherry blossom trees and art installations for people to admire. People can also take a stop at one of two tea houses located on the grounds, where they can enjoy a cup of Japanese green tea while admiring the tranquil surroundings. The park is also home to many other attractions, such as sculptures, fountains, waterfalls, traditional Japanese bridges, and a bell tower that chimes every hour.

For more on Houston’s green spaces, check out the post on Lodgeur’s favorite Houston parks.

Surviving Houston without a car

Surviving Houston without a car

Living in Houston without a car can be quite the challenge. With Lodgeur’s apartments at Mid Main Lofts in Midtown, there are plenty of options for those who don’t own or rent cars. From bike-sharing programs to public transportation, this bustling city has something for everyone looking to get around quickly and conveniently.

In this blog post, we will explore the different methods you can use to navigate Houston without relying on your own wheels!


With Lodgeur’s Midtown location boasting a WalkScore of 91, you can easily walk to many destinations within the city. This is a great way to get some exercise while exploring the city. Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts boats 10 restaurants, coffee shops and bars downstairs or within one block of Lodgeur’s furnished apartments. There is even a barber shop, dentist and optometrist downstairs. If you’re willing to venture out for a 5-minute walk, you can reach dozens of places to eat and drink.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Houston offers a light rail system that travels through downtown, Midtown, and the Museum District. This is a great option for commuters and visitors alike as it runs regularly throughout the day and night. The Metrobus also operates in Houston with several lines that run throughout the city, often connecting to light rail station. All you need to do is purchase a MetroQ card from any of the transit centers around the city, and you’re ready to go!

Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts is situated directly on the METRORail Red Line (Ensemble Station), with direct access to downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center, NRG Arena/Reliant Park, and the Museum District. It doesn’t get any faster, cheaper or easier to explore Houston. (Our travel nurse guests almost always choose to use METRORail over their own cars to get to TMC quickly and cheaply.)

The easiest way to explore Houston is to stay in apartments with a METRORail station. Check out our blog post on exploring Houston by METRORail.

Bike Sharing

Houston is home to several bike-sharing programs: B-Cycle, LimeBike, and Mobike. All of these services allow you to easily find a nearby bike station, check out a bike, and pay for it with a credit card. You will find bike-sharing programs all over downtown and the Museum District.


Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Houston. All you have to do is download the app, enter your payment information, and request a ride. This is an easy way to get around the city without having to worry about parking or other transportation fees. Just look for the Uber/Lyft pickup spots at the parking garage.

Park your ride

If you arrive in Houston by car, we have gated garage parking available for you. Even if you’re going to take the METRORail to downtown or TMC for work, you have complimentary garage parking available for your car.

With Lodgeur’s furnished apartmnts at Mid Main Lofts, you can explore Houston without relying on your own car. From walking and bike-sharing to public transportation and ridesharing, Lodgeur has all the options you need to make getting around the city easy and convenient.

Check out all the great places you can walk to from Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts.

Houston’s February events and celebrations

Houston is a vibrant and lively city with plenty of events and activities to enjoy all monthlong. From the Houston Rodeo and Garden Show to the Lunar New Year Festival and free, local events, there’s something for everyone in Houston this February.

Lunar New Year Night Market & Lantern Festival

Free entry

Chinese dragon at the festival

Image courtesy of Visit Houston.

Houston’s Lunar New Year Night Market features a wide variety of traditional foods, activities, and entertainment for all ages. Visitors can enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine from numerous vendors while watching vibrant cultural performances. As part of the celebration, attendees can also participate in the light sculpture decorating and lantern lighting for an additional fee.

Event details.

Feb. 4 & 5
401 Franklin St., Houston, TX 77201
10 am – 11 pm

Hands on Houston: Beaded Bracelets


Hands on Houston is a volunteer organization that hosts events for the community to come together and create art. One of their most popular events is Beaded Bracelets, where participants can learn how to make colorful beaded bracelets. This event provides an opportunity for people of all ages to get creative while having fun with friends or family. During the event, attendees will have access to a wide selection of beads in various shapes and sizes, allowing them to design unique pieces that reflect their own personal style. They’ll also receive guidance from current resident artist Lakea Shepard. The event is free and open to the public while supplies last.

Event details.

Feb. 4
4848 Main St., Houston, TX 77002
11 am – 3 pm

Houston Home + Garden Show


The Houston Home + Garden Show is an annual event that celebrates the beauty of nature and brings together home improvement professionals, green living experts, and local businesses. This year’s show is chock-full of new exhibitors, experts, and activations with an emphasis on gardening that will capture the essence of the Spring season: making old things new and giving a fresh take to your treasured spaces.

Event details.

Feb. 3 – 5
NRG Park
$10 general admission

First Saturday Arts Market


people on the picture gallery

Image courtesy of First Saturday Arts Market.

Houston’s First Saturday Arts Market is a popular outdoor event that takes place the first Saturday of every month in the Historic Houston Heights. Enjoy live music, grab a bite to eat from one of the food trucks, and check out some of the featured works from local and regional artists. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or just want to enjoy an afternoon in the company of artisans, First Saturday Arts Market is the perfect way to experience Houston’s thriving local art scene.

Event details.

Feb. 4
540 W. 19th St., Houston, TX
11 am – 6 pm

Monster Jam


monster trucks

Image courtesy of Monster Jam.

This monster truck extravaganza features the world’s best drivers competing in intense races and performing outrageous stunts. You won’t want to miss out on all of the high-octane action as these massive trucks tear up the track while they perform jaw-dropping feats of strength and agility. Get ready to witness an unforgettable spectacle at the Monster Jam in Houston!

Event details.

Feb. 11
One NRG Park
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Tickets start at $20

Valentine’s Day at Solstice


people walking on the street

Image courtesy of SOLSTICE by Studio Iregular at Discovery Green.

Studio Iregular’s art installation, Solstice, wraps up its final art programming event on Valentine’s Day! Solstice is comprised of a series of mirrored and LED arches that reflect the transformation of Earth when the sun is at its closest and furthest from the equator. Guests will be able to experience the longest day of the year to the shortest in an explorative and interactive format. And later that evening, Will Brandon of America’s Got Talent will perform a spectacular fire show from 6-9 p.m.!

Event details.

Feb. 14
Discovery Green
6 – 9 pm

The Love Project Live “Til Death”


“The Love Project is a Documentary and Live Music event focused on the journey of falling in love. We interview Houston residents, asking them about their deepest love and their most difficult heartbreak. These filmed responses are woven into our documentary, as we compose music that represents the feelings conveyed, and we play them live.  Our goal is to create an all-inclusive space where we can all come to connect, heal and grow as lovers.” -Sharee Davis

Event details.

Feb. 14
339 West 19 Street Houston, TX
7 – 10 pm

Indian Film Festival of Houston


The Indian Film Festival of Houston is an annual event that celebrates the wonders of Indian cinema by showcasing a variety of films, documentaries, and short movies. Drawing in audiences from all walks of life, this 3-day event strives to provide inspiring and thought-provoking stories from India’s vibrant film industry.

Event details.

Feb. 23 – 25
1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004
Tickets start at $19

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo


Houston rodeo

Image courtesy of RODEOHOUSTON.

Houston Rodeo is an annual event that celebrates the city’s rich western heritage. This 3-week event features a variety of activities and attractions including professional rodeo competitions, live music performances (Parker McCollum performs Opening Day!), carnival rides, interactive exhibits and more. From bull riding to barrel racing to mutton bustin’, this family-friendly extravaganza offers something for everyone. With over one million visitors each year, Houston Rodeo has become one of the largest events in the state. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure or just want to experience the legendary Wild West culture first-hand, don’t miss out on this incredible event!

Check out our post here on the top 10 things to do at Houston Rodeo and here for where to stay and how to get to Houston Rodeo.

Event details.

Feb. 28- March 19
NRG Stadium

Guide to Houston’s Art Car Parade

art car

The Houston Art Car Parade is a beloved Houston tradition that has been entertaining locals and visitors alike since its inception in 1986. Every spring, Houston’s downtown streets are filled with hundreds of art cars – vehicles transformed into colorful works of art by their creative owners. The parade showcases the fun and funkiness of Houston culture, as well as the creativity and ingenuity of the city’s residents. If you’re looking for an exciting way to celebrate Houston’s vibrant art scene, then you won’t want to miss this amazing event that attracts 300,000 attendees each year!

Orange Show Center for Visionary Art

The Houston Art Car Parade is hosted every year by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Houston’s unique culture and art scene. Founded in 1977, the Orange Show has since become a beloved Houston institution that celebrates the city’s vibrant spirit of creativity and self-expression.

Each spring, they bring together hundreds of art cars from around Houston – vehicles transformed into colorful works of art by their creative owners – and host what many consider to be one of Houston’s most exciting events. The parade showcases both Houston’s funkiness as well as its artistic ingenuity – an event that no fan of Houston culture should miss!

Cars as Art

When and Where

This year, the 36th Annual Houston Art Car Parade will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023 from 11am-4pm in Houston’s historic downtown district.

The best seats are in the VIPit at Hermann Square in front of Houston’s City Hall, but you can watch the parade for free along the parade route. We suggest bringing a chair or blanket to sit on, along with bottled water.

Getting to the Houston Art Car Parade

Paid Parking in Houston’s Downtown District

Houston’s downtown district is full of paid parking options for visitors attending the Houston Art Car Parade. With so many lots to choose from, visitors can easily find a spot near the parade route and avoid potential traffic jams on the day of the event.

Some of Houston’s best-known parking facilities are located in Houston’s downtown district, including Houston City Hall Parking Garage and Houston Theater District Park One. We suggest choosing a lot a couple of blocks away from the parade route to minimize traffic when the crowds leave.

Using the METRORail from Midtown

Houston’s METRORail is the perfect way to travel from Midtown Houston to downtown Houston for the Houston Art Car Parade. With just a few stops and an easy-to-use system, it takes only minutes to get from Ensemble Station in Midtown Houston to Main Street Square Station in downtown Houston. This makes it one of the most convenient ways to get around on parade day and avoid potential traffic jams.

Starting from Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts, you will take the northbound Red Line of the METRORail from the Ensemble Station next to Mid Main Lofts. Four stops later, you step of the METRORail at the Market Street Square Station. From that station, a quick walk four blocks west along McKinney Street will land you in the heart of the Art Car Parade near the Houston Public Library and City Hall.

Check out our guide to using the METRORail.

Houston’s Art Car Parade is too good to miss

Houston’s Art Car Parade is a unique and festive celebration of Houston culture that brings together hundreds of art cars created by creative owners. Hosted each year by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts, visitors can enjoy free viewing along the parade route or purchase VIPit seating in Hermann Square near Houston City Hall. There are plenty of parking options downtown to avoid traffic jams on parade day as well as convenient access via METRORail from Midtown Houston. With so much fun and funkiness to experience, don’t miss out on experiencing Houston’s vibrant art scene at this amazing event!

Guide to Houston’s Bayou City Art Festival

bayou city art festival

For 50 years, the Bayou City Art Festival (BCAF) has been a beloved Houston tradition that brings together 300,000 annual visitors and 1,500 regional artists from 32 states to celebrate art. From paintings to photography and drawings to sculptures – over 300 booths will be filled with handmade creations for both sale and demonstration purposes. Make sure you join us at BCAF this year for an unforgettable experience!

The Bayou City Art Festival offers even more than just a plethora of art- it also hosts a beer garden, wine garden, entertainment stage, and an area dedicated to kids’ art and imagination. BCAF guarantees a robust array of food truck options, so you can fill your belly with the perfect meal and never have to worry about hunger pangs. You won’t have time for hangry!

Twice as Nice

Bayou City Art Festival is so popular that it’s held twice a year during Houston’s best months to be outside. In March, it’s at Memorial Park and in October, it’s at downtown at Sam Houston Park.

All for a good cause. Six good causes, actually.

The festival is run by a nonprofit, the Art Colony Association, to benefit 6 local Houston nonprofits: Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, FreshArts, ARTreach, Second Servings, and The Women’s Fund.

How to get to Bayou City Art Festival at Memorial Park in March

No on-site parking is available at the Memorial Park event. Nevertheless, ticket holders can access free and safe parking options at Northwest Mall (555 NW Mall). Alternatively, individuals may purchase a $5 roundtrip shuttle pass to get transported from their cars to the festival site. Additionally, children 12 and under are eligible for complimentary rides. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft always have a strong presence at BCAF.

How to get to Bayou City Art Festival downtown in October

The downtown edition of the Bayou City Art Festival is one of the most anticipated art events in Houston, held downtown every October in Sam Houston Park, along Allen Parkway. If you’re staying at Lodgeur at Mid Main Lofts in Midtown and want to attend this fantastic event, there’s no need to worry about how to get there! The METRORail provides quick and easy transportation from Midtown directly downtown, so all you have to do is hop on board and enjoy the ride.

You will take the METRORail from the Ensemble Station at Mid Main Lofts northbound to the Market Street Square Station, directly on the Red Line. With just four stops along the way, you can be sure that your journey will be comfortable and stress-free. Check out our guide to using the METRORail.

How to buy a ticket

Tickets are available on the Bayou City Art Festival website, and usually cost $15-18 for an adult one-day ticket. Tickets may not be sold at the gate, so be sure to order in advance.

For more art destinations in Houston open year round, check out our post on hidden art stops in Houston.

Houston Art Twins: public art in Houston with a global twin

Fantome sculpture

Have you ever been to a city and felt like you were seeing double? Well, in Houston, that could be because our public artworks seem to have twins overseas. If you’re ever in Houston, be sure to check out these amazing works of art!

Houston has unique public art pieces with “twins” in famous places.

Houston is an incredibly artistic city, blessed with many incredible public art pieces. One particularly noteworthy part of Houston’s art scene are the “twins” – pieces that Houstonians can find in their own city, accompanied by a twin piece from another global city. Houston has become a hub for creative couplets of beloved sculptures that add unique depth and texture. They make Houston an even cooler place to explore.

Chronophage clocks in the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Cambridge University

At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, feast your eyes on an unforgettable and creative steampunk grasshopper clock known as Chronophage. This incredible time-devouring creature can be found on the ground floor of HMNS – it was originally designed for Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University by John Taylor and unveiled to the public in a ceremony hosted by Nobel laureate and physicist Stephen Hawking.

In 2008, Time Magazine bestowed the prestigious honor of one of its ‘Best Inventions’ upon The Clock. This timekeeper is truly a marvel as only four Chronophages exist in the world; one original located in Cambridge and two other variations, namely Dragon Chronophage situated in Shanghai that swallows an oyster pearl hourly and Midsummer Chronophage travelling within United Kingdom.

Personnage and Birds Miro sculpture at 600 Travis Street

Since 1979, the iconic Personnage and Birds sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miró has stood guard in front of Williams Towers at 600 Travis Street, attracting visitors for over four decades. This twenty-two foot high abstract artwork was specially commissioned to be placed here; it is even said that Miró himself visited its home prior to his death in 1983. Passersby have delightedly captured countless photos as a reminder of this beloved fixture’s presence in downtown Houston throughout these years.

Barcelona is incredibly fortunate to feature the remarkable 72-foot Woman and Bird sculpture by Miró in Parc Joan Miró. This piece, created just three years after its twin in Houston, makes Barcelona one of only two cities that can flaunt such grand public works art from this renowned artist.

Jean Dubuffet sculptures at Discovery Green in Houston and Garden des Tuileries in Paris

Two monumental sculptures, Monument au Fantome and Le Bel Costume, are connected by history and art. Artist Jean Dubuffet created both statues, which can be seen at Discovery Green in Houston (Monument au Fantome) and Garden des Tuileries in Paris (Le Bel Costume).

Monument au Fantome is the larger of these art twins, standing 15 feet tall and comprising several individual sculptures with small openings to pass through them. You’re likely to see kids crawling through and around the Fantome grouping. It has an intricate web of abstract lines crossing over each other, making it look like a living organism.

Le Bel Costume stands at a smaller 9 feet tall, with its own distinct character. Its robust architecture and shades of grey convey the timeless artistry of painting in all its curves and strokes. Both works by Jean Dubuffet embody his philosophy that art should exude spontaneity and vivacity – no matter where it be seen! Houston or Paris, these pieces will capture your attention instantly.

Visit Houston’s art scene

As a bonus, the famous “Houston is Inspired” mural is two blocks from the downtown Miro sculpture at 600 Travis Street.

Houston stands out as a hot-spot for unique art, giving life to its diverse culture and creative spirit. Every corner of Houston has something special waiting to be discovered – so don’t forget to keep an eye open on your next visit! For more ideas, check out our blog post on hidden art stops in Houston.

Lodgeur’s favorite Asian restaurants in Houston

B2J Suancai Fish on Bellaire Food Street specializes in a spicy tilapia soup, but you can usually order a bowl of beef soup if you arrive earlier in the day.

Welcome to Lodgeur’s guide to our favorite Asian restaurants in Houston!

How to use this guide.

We understand that what’s perfect for a business traveler is not always perfect for a family vacation. So we’ve identified each location and activity with an emoji to give you a quick visual and help you make easier decisions. Your trip should be about exploring, not researching.

We’ve also provided indicative pricing from $ to $$$$.

  • 😎 See this symbol and you’re headed to a place drenched in cool. It’s probably new on the scene, on a few of the top “must visit” lists, and great for a photo op.
  • 👶 See this symbol and you’re promised a family-friendly place where you would be comfortable taking children of all ages. They may have a kid’s menu, kid’s pricing, and an understanding of people of all ages.
  • 💼 See this symbol and you’re all set for dinner with the boss, a workgroup, or an expense account.
  • 🏙 See this symbol and you’re in for a local treat. It will be very Houstonian but not necessarily traditional. These are some of our personal favorites in the city.

Houston is home to more than 1200 restaurants centered on food from East or Southeast Asia, including James Beard Award winners. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or an exquisite dinner, there’s something for everyone in Houston’s vibrant Asian restaurant scene. From traditional Chinese cuisine to Japanese sushi bars and Korean BBQ joints, these eateries offer up delicious dishes from all over Asia.

With such a rich selection of Asian food in Houston, choosing the best is a moving target. This is Lodgeur’s list of great choices you may not find on all the other lists. It includes up-and-coming restaurants and established favorites.

Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar



chips and salsa at Loro
Wonton chips and salsa at Loro Asian Smokehouse.

Located in a renovated Church in the Heights neighborhood, Loro merges Texas bbq with Southeast Asian flavors. Founded by James Beard Award winning chefs Tyson Cole of Uchi and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, Loro is a casual foodie heaven with a legendary happy hour menu.

The Malaysian curry chicken rice bowl, smoked beef brisket, green0curry hush puppies, and oak-grilled zucchini with cashew sambal are Lodgeur favorites. Due to the incredible variety of creative and delicious dishes, Loro is certainly one of the few barbecue restaurants where carnivores and vegetarians can both leave with a full stomach!

About half of the dishes are served tapas style, making it easy to taste and share a variety of flavors. The food comes out lightening fast and the frozen cocktails hit the spot every time. Indoor seating and covered picnic benches outside with fans. Loro works well for large groups and families.

Contact info.
1001 W 11th Street, Houston, TX 77008
(713) 930-2326

Opening hours.

Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 10 pm Friday – Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm

Siu Lap City


🏙 👶

The Texas love for barbecue includes barbecue from around the world. Sir Lap City serves up authentic Chinese BBQ in a no-frills atmosphere. Try the BBQ pork and fresh bok choi for a happy belly.

Contact info.
2808 Milam St Houston, TX 77006
(713) 236-8171

Opening hours.

Tuesday – Sunday: 9:30 am – 6 pm

PopFancy Dessert Bar

👶 😎

purple light coffee shop

An image from the Harry Potter theme at PopFancy.

Step inside the mouth-watering world of PopFancy Dessert Bar, Houston’s most stylish spot for creative and delicious desserts and drinks. Celebrate your favorite fandoms in honor of Harry Potter, BTS, 1990s anime–just to name a few! With all its fandom attention to detail you’re sure to find something that resonates with you. Don’t forget to dress up too – guests of any age are welcome! Want easy access? Purchase tickets online so you can skip the line at entrance for only $1.

Contact info.
9393 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036
(281) 974 – 2452

Opening hours.

Tuesday – Sunday: 12 pm – 12 am

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar



Kura Sushi restaurant in Houston is a playful dining experience. The menu features a variety of sushi, sashimi, and rolls starting at $3/plate. But it’s not just the food that makes Kura such an enjoyable place to eat – there’s also their famous conveyor belt system and robot waiters!

Contact info.
3510-A Main Street, Houston, TX 77002
(713) 636-2696

Opening hours.

Open every day from 11:30 am – 9 pm

JINYA Ramen Bar

💼 😎 🏙

asian small meal

Katsu-pork bao at Jinya Ramen Bar in Midtown Houston.

Get your ramen-fix satisfied at Jinya Ramen Bar in Houston! With over 20 toppings, you’re sure to find a flavor that tantalizes your taste buds. From the traditional miso and shoyu flavors to more daring combinations like spicy garlic tonkotsu or vegan ramen, this popular spot is guaranteed to please everyone’s palate!

Contact info.
3201 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX 77006
(832) 925-8596

Opening hours.

Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 11 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 1 am

B2J Suancai Fish


Suancai Fish soup

The fish soup is the star of the show at B2J Suancai on Bellaire Food Street.

The menu at B2J Suancai is pretty limited but the space has a comfortable, playful vibe. Most days, you should expect to order the signature tilapia soup. It comes in a Texas-sized bowl for sharing and you can choose the add-ins. We recommend adding in the tofu, black mushrooms and pickled cabbage. Afterward, head next door to PopFancy for a fun treat.

Contact info.
9393 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036
(713) 239 – 2864

Opening hours.

Tuesday – Sunday: noon to 9 pm

Spicy Girl

💼 😎 👶

Asian food on the table

Spicy Girl offers mostly Szechuan dishes, along with Peking duck, and some Thai-style curries. Spicy Girl is known for its friendly, attentive service and generous portion sizes, so plan on taking home leftovers! Order the pan-fried soup dumplings as well; they’re a must-try.

Contact info.
917 Winbern Street Unit B, Houston, TX 77002
(832) 623-7990

Opening hours.

Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 10 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm

Mai’s Restaurant

💼 😎 🏙 👶

Mai’s Restaurant in Houston is a popular Vietnamese restaurant that has drawn Anthony Bourdain on his visits to the city. Mai’s is known for its distinct flavors and fresh ingredients, as well as its environmental stewardship. Traditional dishes like pho and bun bo hue coexist with more modern creations like grilled pork banh mi sandwiches and shrimp summer rolls on the menu. Whether you want to try traditional Vietnamese cuisine or something new, Mai’s is sure to have something on the menu that will satisfy your taste buds!

Contact info.
3403 Milam Street, Houston, TX 77002

Opening hours.

Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 10 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 3 am

Wanna Bao

💼 😎 🏙

For a delicious taste of Szechuan cuisine, look no further than Wanna Bao restaurant in Houston. Located Midtown, this modern Chinese restaurant is best known for its soup dumplings. The menu features an array of appetizers and sides as well as vegetarian options – making it easy for all diners to find something they’ll love.

Contact info.
2708 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77006
(832) 623-7265

Opening hours.

Open every day from 11:30 am – 9:30 pm

Fukuoka Sushi Bar & Grill

💼 🏙

Fukuoka serves up consistently good sushi and ramen that won’t break the bank. The fried rice, yakisoba and ramen make Fukuoka a great choice for parties that have a mix of seafood lovers and avoiders.

Contact info.
2808 Milam Street #C, Houston, TX 77006
(346) 406-4832

Opening hours.

Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 10 pm

Friday: 11 am – 12 am

Do Houston like a local – Look beyond the usual suspects.

Houston’s museums, sports and parks are all well known but the fourth largest city in the US has a wealth of other interesting experiences waiting to be discovered. If you’re looking for a unique experience just begging for insta posts, you’ll find it here.

Here are Lodgeur’s favorite uniquely Houston experiences:

PopFancy Dessert Bar

At PopFancy Dessert Bar, Houston’s most aesthetic dessert spot, visitors can find an ever-changing array of creative and delicious treats and cocktails. Every few weeks, the bar celebrates a different fandom with specially crafted desserts that pay homage to each fandom. Find your people and revel in all the gorgeous attention to detail for your favorite fandom.

Past fandom themes included Harry Potter, BTS and 90’s anime. Costumes encouraged for guests of all ages. Tickets to skip the entrance line are available online for $1.

William Price Distilling Company tour

The William Price Distilling Company offers free guided tours each week, where this local business creates craft batches of whiskey, vodka, gin and liquor. (Lodgeur’s favorite is the Honey Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey.) During the tour, visitors will learn about the distillation process and get to try some samples.

Cocktail classes and distillery tours available for online bookings. William Price offers an unparalleled special events calendar – even hosting World Cup watch parties at 4am for key teams.

Astros ballpark tours

The Houston Astros (World Series champs and hometown heroes!) offer tours of their ballpark, Minute Maid Park. For ‘Stros fans, nothing comes close to the Astros tour. This Houston experience gives you access to all kinds of behind-the-scenes looks at Minute Maid Park. You’ll get to see all kinds of things that are usually hidden from the public. You might even meet some of the players!

Downtown tunnels

The tunnels underneath downtown Houston are the reason you won’t see many pedestrians outside. The underground passageways were created as a convenient way for Houstonians to get around downtown without dealing with Houston’s scorching heat and humidity.

With over six miles of subterranean tunnels filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, Houston insiders know to head below ground when it’s time to meet up for lunch. You can access the tunnels from the lobby of most large office buildings downtown. If you’ve already gotten your steps in for the day, we recommend using a tunnels map.

Cisterns Tour

cistern tunnels image

Houston’s underground cisterns offer a unique tour experience for visitors. The Houston Cisterns are an 85,000-square-foot network of tunnels that form the city’s underground water system. Photos are a must at this known for its ethereal, architectural vibe.

Tours guide you through this fascinating and beautiful subterranean world as you learn more about Houston’s history and culture. $10 entry fee.

Honey Art Cafe

At Honey Art Cafe, you can eat, drink and enjoy art all at the same time! The aesthetic cafe serves delicious food and drinks, and also has a rotating art exhibit on display. Best known for its simple but beautiful art projects that can be enjoyed in the cafe over a bougie coffee and adorably decorated macaron. This is a great place to visit for adults and children alike.

Texas Art Asylum

Texas Art Asylum is the city’s most unique art and craft supply store, and it oozes character. Brimming with sensory experiences, this shops resells donated art supplies – a mix of new and gently used supplies, like canvases, paint brushes, partial bottles of paint, beads and fabric scraps. They’ve also got lots of great vintage books, the occasional antique, awesome ephemera and doll parts galore. The for-profit social enterprise claims to have diverted 2 million pounds of art supplies from local landfills into the hands of local artists.

First Thursdays Block Party

The first Thursday of (almost) every month, Houston’s Midtown neighborhood comes alive with a block party featuring specials from local restaurants, bars, and businesses. Enjoy live music, great food and drinks, a night market, and an atmosphere full of Houston culture. Check out our post here with all the details.

Places you can check out using the METRORail

Houston METRORail
The Red Line of Houston METRORail, at Ensemble Station.

Houston is a city like no other. Few metropolitan regions in the U.S. can match Houston’s sheer diversity and character. Here, you’ll find any cuisine you can imagine, from authentic Thai and Vietnamese food to old-fashioned Texas BBQ and soul food. But aside from the hundreds of restaurants to try, Houston has plenty of local hot spots to check out, too! 

The only catch is newcomers may find it difficult to decide which places to see first. There are so many destinations to choose from, but if you live or stay in a Midtown apartment, riding the METRORail is the fastest and most adventurous way to get around town.

It’s pretty easy to find these destinations once you know how to buy tickets and which stops to take, so here’s what you need to know about the METRORail:

How the METRO Rail works: routes, hours, and ticketing information

Originally opened to the public in 2004, Houston’s 3-line light rail is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get to some of Houston’s busiest neighborhoods (namely downtown, Midtown, the Museum District and the Texas Medical Center.)

The Red Line runs north and south through the heart of downtown, eventually reaching the 610 Loop on both ends. The Purple Line goes to the southeast of downtown through the University of Houston stops, and the Green Line takes you through the East End of downtown. That’s Houston’s light rail system in a nutshell; it’s fairly simple compared to other large metropolitan areas.

Hours of operation

The METRORail runs from 4 a.m.- midnight Monday through Friday. Although the weekend hours vary by destination and route, certain stops are open until 1 a.m. or later Saturday and Sunday.

Before you head out on the town, we highly recommend downloading the RideMETRO app! The app is always up to date with the latest arrival times in case there’s a delay.

Ticketing information

When it comes to buying tickets for the METRORail, you have a few different options. You can always buy your ticket directly at the rail platform kiosk, but the Metro Q Ticketing app significantly simplifies the process. (You won’t have to worry about waiting in line or carrying around a physical card!) You can load money into Q Ticketing via the app itself or by visiting RideMETRO’s web portal here.

If you plan to use the light rail frequently, you’re going to want to pick up a METRO Q Fare Card. This reloadable card can be used on the:
• Local Bus
• Park & Ride bus
• METRORapid
• METRO curb2curb

You can order the card online, and refill the balance online. And after every 50 rides, you get five rides free! (FYI: If you’re a student or senior 65-69, you’ll receive a discounted METRO Q® Fare Card.)

Once you buy a Local Single Ride ticket for $1.25, you have unlimited transfers for three hours before purchasing another fare. If you want the freedom to ride the rail all day, the best choice is a Local Day Pass, which only costs $3. Either way, the best time to use the light rail is in the morning and during lunch hours, when the city is most active and bustling.

By the way, all light rail platforms are accessible for the disabled, with ramps and audio-visual announcements for departures and arrivals. Seating is widely available since many Houstonians choose to stand up while the rail is in motion. Both mobile apps also keep you in the loop with service alerts, or you can text (713) 635-4000 with the words “light rail” to receive automated responses for more information.

Top 10 things to do in Houston along the METRO Rail

As you can see, it’s simple to ride the METRO Rail in Houston! Now you just have to know the stops that take you to the best hot spots, but don’t worry, we’ll go over some popular stops to help you plan your next outing.

1. Museum District

museum image

In total, Houston’s Museum District boasts 19 different museums, some of them featuring fascinating historical collections. The Holocaust Museum Houston is a must-see for history buffs, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston is the creme de la creme of them all, hosting national exhibitions throughout the year.

To reach the museum district from Midtown, take the Red Line to the Museum District platform southbound at stop number 25015, close to the MFAH, which is only a short walk across Main Street. The most accessible landmarks for this stop will be Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo, in case it’s your first ride.

2. Hermann Park

Houston’s most famous park by far is Hermann Park. Not only is it near the Houston Zoo, but it’s also the most prominent open green space inside 610 Loop. You can walk the Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail to view the entire park or visit the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool – a perfect spot for photos and videos.

By light rail, getting to Hermann Park is easy because you can use the Museum District stop to walk to the park’s north end. The other option is to take the rail to the Hermann Park/Rice University platform, stop number 25013, to arrive closer to the reflection pool.

3. Houston Zoo

Houston zoo image
Photo courtesy of the Houston Zoo.

Houstonians love the Houston Zoo, especially the children who flock there every weekend in droves. Interestingly, the zoo is actually located inside Hermann Park’s grounds, although it’s a separate attraction. The exhibits are diverse, with new exhibits dedicated to the Galápagos Islands and South America’s Pantanal. The exit platform to the Houston Zoo is stop number 25012, just before the primary stop for Hermann Park.

4. Rice University

Image Courtesy of Rice University Admissions.

Rice University is ranked among the 25 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the U.S. in 2022, and is popular with runners for its shady trails. It’s easy to reach Rice via the same stop as Hermann Park (25013), near Cambridge Street, and walk across Main Street to see the college.

5. Rice Village

Photo courtesy of

You could easily spend your entire afternoon perusing Rice Village. Here you’ll find an assortment of shops and restaurants (like Sweet Paris and Sixty Vines), from boutiques, chain stores and grocery outlets to lively bars, coffee shops, and international restaurants. Rice Village also hosts a lively farmer’s market from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month.

To get to Rice Village from the light rail, take the Red Line southbound to stop number 25010, the Dryden/Texas Medical Center platform. The catch is that Rice Village still lies further to the west, so the easiest way to take the scenic route is to walk along University Boulevard.

6. Downtown

Houston at night

Downtown Houston needs no introduction, home to world-class entertainment, sporting events, and nightlife. You can eat off the beaten path at fine dining restaurants, casual cafes, and bars. It’s a very bustling area of the city, as you might expect, and you have many options to arrive via the Red Line northbound from Midtown. Any stops will suffice along the Red Line downtown, from the Preston platform, stop number 25029, to the Bell Street southbound platform, stop number 25026. Check out the famed underground tunnels for a cooler option or head over to our post on What to do in Downtown Houston for more ideas.

7. Minute Maid Park

Image courtesy of

Minute Maid Park is the home of the Houston Astros, one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball! If you can’t catch a game while you’re here, you can always buy tickets for an Astros Ballpark tour!

You can reach the ballpark via the Red Line to the Central Main platform, stop number 25050. The baseball field is a bit of a walk to the west along Crawford Street and Texas Avenue, but you’ll avoid paying for parking while still enjoying the festive atmosphere.

8. Toyota Center

Toyota Center

Image Courtesy of the Toyota Center.

The Toyota Center is home to the Houston Rockets. This state-of-the-art arena hosts all kinds of events year round. If you’re coming from Midtown, take the Red Line to the Bell northbound platform, stop number 25025. The basketball arena lies further west along Bell Street and La Branch Street next to Root Square park.

9. Theatre District

theatre image

Photo courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera.

If you’re in the mood for a touch of sophistication, the Theatre District near downtown is where you want to be. It hosts the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Ballet, the Houston Symphony, and other fine arts entertainments, too. But the Bayou Place Entertainment Complex is where the action is before and after shows.

To get to the Theatre District from Midtown, take the Red Line northbound to Central Main stop number 25050. But from there, you transfer onto the Purple Line and ride the rail to the Theatre District Capitol platform, stop number 25052. Alternatively, the Green Line will stop at the same venues.

10. Discovery Green

Discovery Green image
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