Well, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail! These three hometown havens are all within an hour of Houston, but a world apart from the ordinary…
Galveston Island State Park
No one is an island, but this destination is singular in solitude, serenity, and sightseeing opportunities. Birdwatching soars to the top of the itinerary as majestic herons, curlews, and laughing gulls fly overhead – no joke! Watch as these feathered wonders fish for sustenance and then follow their lead; the fishing off of Galveston is unparalleled.
Paddle your way around the coastline and camp to your heart’s content. If you’re not in the mood for roughing it (due to all of that tasty goodness in your belly), then you can rent a cabin and glamp the weekend away!
Stephen F. Austin State Park
Oh deer! The nature viewing at this placid locale is filled with lush greenery, fresh air, and, of course, deer. Boasting six miles of trails, this spot is ideal for biking, hiking, and generally communing with Mother Earth. Park guests can also access a nearby 18-hole golf course, wade the Brazos River trolling for catfish, and camp under the stars of the Lone Star state. The sky truly is the limit at Stephen F. Austin Park!
Sam Houston National Forest
For the eagle-eyed Houston traveler, this wooded wonderland is an ideal vantage point to see bald eagles during the colder months of the year. These patriotic birds are joined by rare red-cockaded woodpeckers who make a home in the Sam Houston National Forest. If your hiking and birdwatching efforts become too strenuous, you can always float your way to a natural nirvana with a boat ride in one of the area’s beautiful lakes: Conroe and Livingston.
No matter where you may roam this holiday season, Houston flourishes with nearby getaways and general gorgeousness. And, as always, your return home to Alta City West is the most beautiful destination of all.