The Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Parks (Inside the Loop)
3. Hermann Park
Courtesy of GHCVB
6201 Hermann Park Drive, 713-524-5876
It was a toss up for our top three spots, Hermann Park, Discovery Green and Memorial Park are all lovely green spaces with lots of programming. Hermann Park is among our favorites because of all the various education and entertainment environments it offers. There's Miller Theatre and its hill, the Japanese Garden (a word of warning about the ducks: they are territorial), the reflection pond, the train and the woods. The METRO train has a convenient stop just outside the Japanese Garden which makes parking free visits possible. The annual Shakespeare Festival as well as free performances by Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet and Houston Symphony every summer and several music and dance festivals are on the schedule throughout the year for Miller Theatre. The Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo, some riding stables and a public golf course all border the park itself. Several museums and Rice University are just a little further away (a couple of blocks).
2. Discovery Green
Courtesy of GHCVB
1500 McKinney, 713-400-7336
Discovery Green is nestled between the George R. Brown Convention Center and several area hotels and shops, making it attractive for anyone on the east side of Main Street. More than 300 events are on the schedule throughout the year, including concerts, film screenings, festivals, flea markets and more. Of course, there's also lots and lots of green space available for sitting and sunning or people watching. There's a dog park and several food choices.1. Memorial Park 6501 Memorial Drive, 713-863-8403
Memorial Park has bounced back from the drought that turned it brown and patchy a couple of years ago and it's now in our No. 1 spot. Every weekend you can find softball games, exercise classes and plenty of joggers/walkers enjoying the park. There are also frequent mock battles between costumed knights and warriors. And the golf course is said to be among the best municipal courses in the country. Large events in the include the bayou City Arts Festival (the park becomes a huge outdoor art gallery and market). At 600 acres, the park is h-u-g-e so take a look at a map of it before you spend an hour driving around looking for the right field or the game will be over by the time you get there.
As its name implies, Memorial Park was dedicated to honor the memory of soldiers lost during World War I when it was created in 1924. The site had been home to Camp Logan, a World War I US Army training camp, before Will and Mike Hogg bought the land. The Hoggs sold it to the city for cost. Archeologists dig in the park looking for relics from the Camp Logan era (Camp Logan was the site of a race riot in 1917 when black soldiers felt they were being treated unfairly and ground zero for a Spanish Flu outbreak that devastated the city in 1918.)