Top Ten Houston Getaways

By Wendee Holtcamp
  |  Gorp.com
August in Houston means hot times. But heat never stops Houstonians from planning unusual outdoor activities. Sweat with us as we attempt everything from drag racing to hot-air balloon racing.
  1. Rock the Dock
    Thursday evening Rock the Dock concerts at the Kemah Boardwalk make for laid-back summer evenings on the bay. Call 281-334-9880 to get a list of bands or directions.
  2. Hot Air
    Grab some altitude with a day of ballooning or skydiving. Head to SkyDive Houston (281-550-8070) for a tandem jump, or celebrate the state's largest ballooning festival, the Ballunar Liftoff, at the Johnson Space Center, August 25-27.
  3. Martha Style
    Gear up for fall gardening with a class or tour of the Houston area gardens. Contact the nonprofit Urban Harvest (713-880-5540 ), for weekend gardening classes, then head to the Mercer Arboretum (281-443-8731) for inspirational tours through the extensive gardens, including ginger, tropical, water, and butterfly gardens.
  4. Adventurace
    Harness your bravado and attempt a Texan adventure race. August hosts two coed Sprint Adventure Races (one in Fort Worth and one in Austin) which include 2-3 miles on foot, 7-15 miles on wheels, an hour in a canoe, and the infamous mystery events. Contact Terra Firma Adventure Racing (713-532-5572) for registration info.
  5. Moonlight Wonders
    Explore the woods by moonlight. Armand Bayou Nature Center offers night hikes in August to hear and see Houston's nocturnal wonders. Call 281-474-2551 for details.
  6. Piney Woods Picnic
    Munch on a blanket in East Texas' piney woods. Try the Big Thicket National Preserve or if you're interested in joining a good cause, head to the Piney Woods Wildlife Society's annual potluck picnic (281-345-4151) on August 25.
  7. Pedal to the Medal
    No need to burn rubber on the back streets. Grudge race at the Houston Raceway Park during the AAA Texas Friday Safe Street Nights (281-383-7223). Cars enhanced by nitrous oxide, superchargers, or turbochargers can race the speedway or go it alone. Spectators are also welcome.
  8. Early Bird
    Rise early for the great morning birdwatching or pontoon cruising on the Armand Bayou (281-474-2551). For urban birding inside loop 610, join the Ornithology Group's August field trip. Call Grant Olsen at 281-345-4151.
  9. Old Growth Explorer
    Hike through Sam Houston National Forest old growth bottomland hardwood. Hit the trails on your own to see it at your own pace or join a Sierra Club guide on Saturday, August 18 to scout for rare forest plants. Call 713-640-4313 for hike information.
  10. To the Ballgame
    It just isn't summer without baseball. Head to the recently-opened Enron Field (713-259-8000) for quality time with the Houston Astros. August games include battles with the Cubs, Pirates, and Mets, to name a few.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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