One of Houston’s most popular public greens, the free-to-enjoy Hermann Park is a historic 445-acre park that is home to many important cultural institutions as well as outdoor attractions. For those wanting to experience the city’s natural beauty, head to Bob’s Fishing Pier for some fishing, go hiking in the 80 acres of Bayou Parkland, peruse 2,500 rose bushes and outdoor sculptures at the Garden Center, pedal boat on the 8-acre McGovern Lake or play a round at the 18-hole Hermann Park Golf Course, the first desegregated golf course in the United States. For a serene experience, the Japanese Garden provides a peaceful retreat with waterfalls, wooden bridges, stone pathways, sweet cherry trees, Japanese maples and colorful flowers, while the Mary Gibbs and Jesse J. Jones Reflection Pool measures 740 feet long by 80 feet wide and features a black bottom for striking mirror images of the surrounding trees.
The park is also home to various cultural institutions. First there is the Houston Zoo, with over 6,000 animals as well as exhibits, encounters and experiences. Feed crunchy leaf lettuce to Masai giraffes, trek through an African forest, watch a 4D film on grizzly bears, crawl into a see-through tunnel to view piranhas up close, watch sea lions perform flips and jumps or meet the many exotic animals around the zoo. Additionally, Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre offers free and family friendly performances, the Pioneer Memorial Log House Museum memorializes pioneer men and women and the Houston Museum of Natural Science provides four floors of free natural science halls and exhibits.
Because Hermann Park is very close to Houston’s Museum District, visitors can easily continue their exploration of local art, culture and heritage after leaving.