Houston is the largest city by square miles in Texas (and one of the top 15 largest cities in the United States), so it stands to reason that some of that impressive acreage would go toward green spaces and public parkland that residents and visitors can enjoy. Our city’s parks offer a little something for everyone: trails, playgrounds, splash pads, picnic lawns, birdwatching areas, dog runs, and much more. 

And thanks to Houston’s relatively gentle winters, it’s possible to enjoy our parks year round. Here are some of the best parks in Houston.

Sam Houston Park

Sam Houston Park is the heart of Downtown Houston (photo above), thanks partly to its unique history as Houston’s first established park. Today, visitors can check out historic buildings, sculptures, and exhibits throughout the park while also appreciating the beautifully maintained lawns and gardens, walking the hiking trails, and enjoying a spot-on view of City Hall.

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park

Buffalo Bayou Park is a 160-acre green space just west of downtown Houston. Visitors can enjoy beautiful gardens and native landscaping, hike and bike trails, a nature play area, the go-to dog park, public art, and delightful places to picnic, relax, and enjoy the outdoors.

Hermann Park

Hermann Park - Houston

With the Houston Zoo, an outdoor theater, a nature conservatory, numerous monuments and statues, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science all located within park limits, Hermann Park could be considered Houston’s Central Park. There’s also a golf course, a running track, a butterfly exhibit, plenty of lawn space for picnicking, fishing & boating on the pond, and several playgrounds for the kids.

Memorial Park

Memorial Park Houston - The Land Bridge and Prairie

At 1,500 acres, Memorial Park clocks in as Houston’s largest public green space. Hikers and bikers can enjoy the expansive trail network running throughout the park, picnickers can set up on one of Memorial Park’s many lawns, families can head to playgrounds, swimmers can enjoy the park’s indoor pool, and any hungry visitors can grab a bite at the food truck court near the tennis center.

Levy Park

Levy Park

Levy Park has a somewhat lower profile than many of Houston’s other parks, but Upper Kirby residents view their neighborhood green space as a hidden gem and best-kept secret. Kids particularly love Levy Park because of its big and engaging playground and splash pad, and the park also offers board games, sidewalk chalk, Styrofoam blocks, and table tennis. Dog owners appreciate Levy Park’s two dog parks that separate little dogs from big dogs, and picnickers value the park lawns’ excellent mix of shade and sun.

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

A lush, woodsy green space in New Caney (northwest of Downtown Houston), Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a dream destination for anyone who wants a serene and picturesque park visit with plenty of opportunities for walking, biking, and animal-spotting. Camping is also a popular activity of Lake Houston Wilderness Park, and the campsites come equipped with picnic tables, grills, fire pits, water stations, and restrooms. Hiking, mountain biking, and canoeing can all happen at Lake Houston Wilderness Park, and guests are encouraged to bring their horses to trot along the trails. Keep an eye out for wild deer and enough birds to keep the most avid watchers busy!

Be sure to visit Houston’s delightful parks for family-friendly fun all year long!

Explore all parks in Houston and the surrounding areas for unique outdoor experiences.