The highways of Houston lead to some great adventures if you’re willing to put in an hour or two of drive time. To get to some of these exciting places and have a fun-filled family day trip, load up the car with some snacks, cruising music and people you “wanna get away” with. These south Texas destinations are perfect for a summer day outing.
- Brazos Bend State Park is a nature lovers paradise. Wear your sneakers or hiking shoes and explore the miles of trails through the swamp and forest. Keep pets and kids close, as you will encounter alligators here! A great way to see them in their natural setting, the alligators are used to people walking past on the trails and keep to the lakes. Stop by the nature center and pet snakes, baby alligators and other creatures while learning about the south Texas habitats. If you’re there on a Saturday, stay until dark and visit the George Observatory (part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science) and check out the stars using one of three powerful telescopes. Get tickets early at the gift shop, as they do sell out.
- Bayou Wildlife Park in Alvin is another great way to get up-close-and-personal with nature, but here you’ll meet exotic animals usually only seen in the zoo! Admission gets you access to over 80 acres of wildlife, mostly running free-range. Bring a picnic lunch and eat at the covered pavilion next to the gift shop. Hop on the free tram ride and tour the park with a clever guide while feeding llamas, ostrich, and antelope. Catch a glimpse of the white rhino and marvel at “lemur island” before taking a pony ride and visiting the petting zoo.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife operates the Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson. Featuring seven aquarium exhibits ranging in size from 200 gallons to 50,000 gallons, you’ll see the amazing aquatic ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico, a saltwater bay and an artificial reef. Book a tour in advance to see the onsite marine hatchery where red drum, spotted seatrout, and southern flounder are hatched and raised for two months before being sent to stock our local lakes and streams.