Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Houston
When Nature Calls, Houston Answers

Boasting both the big amenities of a world class metropolis and the hearty hospitality of the Texan way, Houston is a city that visitors and vacationers can’t help but fall in love with. When it comes to outdoor activities Houston doesn’t pull any punches – and it helps that the city enjoys such a warm and inviting climate, too. Here are a few of Red Roof staff favorite recommendations for outdoor things to do in Houston.

Take a Tour of the City

Houston itself is a sight to behold – rich in history, culture and some of the most appealing architecture in the United States. The city itself is a beautiful landmark packed with sights to see. 

Make the Most of Market Square

If you’re looking for the heart of Houston history, make your way to the famous and welcoming Market Square. There are bingo games and outdoor cinema events for you to enjoy without spending a cent – but some of the local eateries might just tempt you to peel back the purse strings, with good reason. Market Square was created where the original Houston City Hall once stood, and you can feel the history enriching everything around you here. While many outdoor things to do in Houston take place in Market Square throughout the year, there’s a strong cultural feel to this place too, with local art installations and free galleries throughout the year.

buffalo bayou
Rowing Down Buffalo Bayou

The waters of Buffalo Bayou are calm, yet invigorating – and because Buffalo Bayou is such an easygoing waterway, it’s suitable for both experienced kayakers and people who are stepping into a canoe or rowboat for the very first time. Buffalo Bayou stretches for over 50 miles, so there is plenty of room for everyone – even in the high season. Events happen here year round – the most famous of which being the annual Buffalo Bayou Regatta festival every October.

Stargaze Beyond the City Skyline

Nestled up by Creekfield Lake and framed on all sides by lush natural surroundings, George Observatory welcomes stargazers every Saturday – from seasoned astronomy lovers to curious newcomers and those who simply want some romantic views of the stars. Overcast skies trying to ruin the fun? George Observatory never cancels its events – instead broadcasting gorgeous views of previous nights’ wonders to eager visitors.

Running Rice University's Outer Loop

Often regarded as one of the most beautiful, well tended campus grounds in the United States, Rice University draws acclaim for both its educational values as much as its aesthetic appeal. The Outer Loop draws in runners from across the state. This three mile dirt trail encircles beautiful architecture, ancient oak trees and beautiful pathways where you can practically feel knowledge seeping out of every stone. The Outer Loop easily connects you to other fun outdoor activities in Houston like,  Buffalo Bayou and Hermann Park. 

hermann park
Spending the Afternoon at Hermann Park

Hermann Park is both sizable and beautiful. This well kept gem is nestled away from the bustle of city life altogether. The lush forests offer a slice of serenity that can really help ease the mind after all your traveling. The convenient location of Hermann Park provides easy access to other fun activities in Houston! The Houston Zoo, which is an affordable and appealing day out indeed – has been a landmark in the city for over a hundred years. Hermann Park also easily links you to the Museum of Natural Science, and open air viewings at the Miller Outdoor Theater. 

waugh bridge
Beat the Bats to Waugh Bridge

As night falls, the bat colony under Waugh Bridge awakens – and when they do, you might want to grab your camera and get ready. All at once, in a great fluttering swarm, the bats awaken and soar away from Waugh Bridge in a vast black cloud – they’re fast, but they’re friendly. All summer long, the bats make a nightly spectacle to passersby and animal lovers, some of whom travel a great distance to experience the nightly flurry for themselves. 

lake conroe
Go Boating Across Lake Conroe

Take a short trip outside the city limits of Houston itself, and you’ll reach Lake Conroe – one of the most beloved bodies of water in Texas. At over 21,000 acres in size, this majestic lake has played a key role in how Houston and the surrounding suburbs have grown over the decades and centuries. These days, it’s a getaway within a getaway. Whether floating aboard a paddleboard, or speeding through the waters on a jet ski - feel peace and freedom as you make your way across Lake Conroe. 

glider plane
See Houston From the Sky in a Glider

What better way to enjoy Houston than viewing the entire city sprawled beneath you from the comfort of the air above. True to their name, companies like the Greater Houston Soaring Association are able to offer visitors the chance to sit in a safe, comfortable, motorless aircraft and soak in the sights from the sky. The gliders themselves don’t have engines, and are instead towed into position above the city via expertly flown propeller aircraft and then released. Once airborne, a serene glide gently through the air is yours.

galveston island
Go Wild at the Waterpark on Galveston Island

Galveston Island, just beyond the suburbs, is the proud home of one of the star attractions for family fun in Texas – Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Packed with slides and rides for every level of confidence, this is definitely one of those outdoor things to do in Houston where a good towel, a comfortable swimsuit, and plenty of sunscreen are must-have things to pack. Schlitterbahn Waterpark is divided into three sections, offering different kinds of slides, slipways, floating experiences and slip and slides to visitors accordingly. 

guest room
Book Your Stay With Red Roof

Nobody who visits Houston ever gets bored – with so many fun outdoor activities, there is something for everyone! From  paddle boarding and glider planes to cultural outdoor cinema or nights beneath a sprawling canopy of stars, the wealth of variety is truly something to behold. 

The best part? You can end your night with warmth, comfort and attentive Texan hospitality when you stay with Red Roof! We’re proud of what Houston has to offer our guests, and we can’t wait to see what memories you’ll make here.