Day Trip, Houston
A beautiful piece of Texan land preserved with typical bayous (river or wet land in Southern US english) and forests, nested in a bend of the river Brazos. Ideal location to observe alligators (best season is spring) and birds. This is a birder's paradise as this area attracts birds all-year long, including many migratory birds. You can see an alligator and a great Ibis on the picture.
There are many trails you can hike on. Standing next to a big alligator is quite an experience (do not bother them though and do not approach them more then 10 feet)! Do not forget your bug spray from April to November! Camp sites with all commodities available.
$3 per adult, free for children under 12.
$15-39 per night for a camp site.
Directions: about 30 miles (48 km) SW of Houston
Travel South from Houston on State Highway 288 to Rosharon, then west on FM 1462.
I visited some friends at Sugar Land while it was in the middle of celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2009! The official celebration started in January at the State of the City event with the unveiling of the 50th Anniversary logo along with special street light banners.
Because Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of Imperial Sugar and the main refinery used to be in this city, the Imperial Sugar crown logo can be seen in the city seal and logo.
Sugar Land is in eastern Fort Bend County, about 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston (I just took 45S and then followed down to 59S).
First thing you may notice is the abundance of Master-planned communities – wonderful green grass and little lake fountains.
For 2009, you could join monthly walking tours to see historic locations in old Sugar Land - scheduled for the first Saturday of each month in 2009, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., starting this Saturday May 2. Rain date for tours will be the following Saturday. The tours begin at Lakeview Elementary School (Wood at 2nd Street) and guided by a knowledgeable local historian. For more information, or to reserve a place, call 281-275-2216.
The 50th Anniversary will be accompanied by special events such as Eggstravaganza, Concerts in the Park, Memorial Day, Red, White and Bluefest, Christmas Tree Lighting culminating in an exciting New Year's Eve Golden Anniversary Signature Event.
Coincidentally, I also went to Alaska this year (2009) when Alaska is celebrating its 50th year of statehood.
Just southwest of Houston, Brazos Bend State Park is another one of the Jewels of Texas Coastal Birding. Over 270 speciaes of birds have been spotted here. In addition to many songbirds, Brazos Bend is home to a large population of Yellow-crowned Night Heron, King Rail and Anhinga. The park also has a population of American Alligators.
Blue Bonnets in bloom in Texas (springtime) are beautiful and a great photo opp. Drive out to the countryside to get your picture in. You don't have to drive that far to find a spot. I took pictures in Spring,tx just north of Houston.
Forbidden Gardens- This is a very cool and historically interesting place to visit on a day trip. 25 east of Houston is 40 acres of the replicated scale models of the Forbidden City of Beijing, The Temple of Heaven, The Calming of the Heart Lodge, and the canal city of Suzhou. Thousands of Terra Cotta replicated soldiers.
If you like history or just want to see an odd sight in the middle of the Texas plains this is a neat place to visit.
Directions From Houston, take I-10 west, Exit 743 at the Grand Parkway, Highway 99. Turn right (north) onto the Grand Parkway until it dead ends. Turn left onto Franz Road and immediately turn right into the Forbidden Gardens parking lot. Open year round Friday-Sunday except on major holidays. Tours available during the week. In Katy,TX
A beautiful place to visit if you love nature, especially birds, wetlands and alligators. This preserve consist of typical bayou (wetland) and prairie of the Gulf of Mexico original landscape. Ideal for bird lovers (tons of wetland and seashore birds, and lots of migratory birds). Bring your binoculars and your camera (and your bug spray from April to November!)!
The refuge has many dirt roads so you can drive arund watching the wildlife. A few board walks are also installed above the wetlands.
Anahuac WNR is located about 70 miles (112 km) SE of Houston (1 1/2 hour drive), on the East side of Galveston Bay.
From Houston, take I 10 East to Exit #812 (TX 61 or Anahuac/Hankamer exit). Head South on 61 for nearly four miles to the stop sign. Continue through. The road becomes Hwy. 562. Continue for approximately 8.5 miles to the fork in the road, which is FM 1985. At the fork, turn left and continue for an additional 4 miles to the main entrance of the refuge. Turn right on the easement road for another 3 miles.
We don't have casinos in Texas because of the law. But we are close enough to the casinos in Louisiana (Lake Charles and Kinder). You can drive 2.5 hours to Grand Casino Coushatta near Kinder, Louisiana. Or you can take a casino bus there (it's either free or $10 roundtrip).
I personally took the "Casino Express" listed below, because they pickup at a good location for me. (You can park your car in the Kroger grocery store parking lot). But don't be late or the bus will leave you!
Coach USA 713-670-3267
First Class Tours 281-590-8800
Casino Express 281-933-9933
Greatland Coach 713-779-9988
Grand Casino Coushatta - Kinder, LA
Harrah's - Lake Charles, LA
Galveston is a city and an island 50 miles south of Houston. Aside from the beach on the Gulf of Mexico, millions of dollars have been poured into the restoration of historical buildings. It has one of the great surviving collections of Victorian architecture in North America. There are some great museums to visit as well as Moody Gardens.
The port of Houston is 50 miles inland. It ranks among our country's first in imports from other countries. There is a beautiful, award winning bridge that goes over a portion of the shipping area.
Lake Conroe: North of Houston, it is a popular spot to go boating. Add beer and you will have a fun day. Since it's Houston the weather and the water is usually nice.