From mysterious caves, sparkling waterfalls, surfable dunes, and beautiful fields of bluebonnets, Houston, Texas, is home to hidden gems and lush landscapes. Here are five of the most scenic places near Houston to add to your bucket list.
Less than an hour south of Houston’s metropolis, you can enjoy coastal views along the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston. Soak in this historic barrier island’s natural beauty at Galveston Island State Park, a popular hiking and kayaking destination. Enjoy a variety of scenic spots, including sand dunes, shoreline, wetlands, and beaches, while exploring this more than 2,000-acre protected park on the western end of the island.
The Town of Magnolia
Magnolia is a dynamic small town named after the trees growing in that area. Some of the best places to visit in Magnolia include the Lone Pint Brewery, the High Meadow Ranch Golf Club, the Historic Magnolia Depot, and the Unity Park.
If you want to go for a leisurely stroll or jog, then visit the popular Magnolia Stroll. It features seating walls, public art locations, and street arbors. Don’t miss the farmer’s market held every Saturday, at which vendors sell local products and artwork. Find a hotel in Magnolia for a convenient and peaceful place to stay when visiting Houston.
Sam Houston National Forest
Located 50 miles north of Houston, Sam Houston National Forest was home to primitive tribes dating as far back as 12,000 years. The more than 163,000 acres of this peaceful and serene forest provide a great escape from city life. As you hike parts of the 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, you’ll not only feel the fresh air but also smell the sweet aroma of the East Texas pines. Enjoy the park’s natural mix of hardwoods and local flora and fauna.
Rosemont Pedestrian Bridge
A favorite spot among tourists and locals alike, the Rosemont Pedestrian bridge offers a unique shot of the Texas skyline from the west. It points straight down the greenery-surrounded waterway. The bridge has a forked pathway and is a highlight of the city’s evolving infrastructure. Similar to the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, Houstonians have started placing love locks on the Rosemont Bridge.
Willow City Loop
A premiere springtime destination, Willow City Loop bursts with red, blue, yellow, and white wildflowers. This 13-mile scenic road traverses creeks and hills, offering views of the flower-filled meadows and valleys. The hills provide you with extensive views of the Texas landscape, and the small towns along the road feature wineries, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts. The ordinarily tan landscape turns blue with the blooming of Texas bluebonnets, signaling the arrival of spring. Make sure to plan a drive by these fields while they’re in their full glory.
Researchers say the positive emotions you feel when surrounded by nature’s beauty reduce the levels of harmful toxins in your body and boost your wellness quotient. Escape to and enjoy these scenic views near Houston to enhance your happiness and well-being.