Got some time on your hands? Here are some ideas for day trips.
You could spend days exploring the many historical districts and attractions on the island. We’re fans of a walk along the bustling seawall, a bike tour of the Silk Stocking District with its Victorian homes and colorful cottages or an afternoon exploring the shops lining The Strand, the heart of Galveston’s ever-evolving downtown. Among the island’s many major attractions are an indoor/outdoor water park, an aquarium, the Bishop’s Palace, a circa 1877 tall ship and a free ferry that crisscrosses the bay. For information on these attractions and many more, visit Galveston.com.
Eatertainment wasn’t born in Houston but its sure has some deep ties to the Bayou City. Houston-based Landry’s Restaurants owns hundreds of restaurants nationwide, many with very familiar names (Rainforest Cafe, The Oceanaire and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.). Locally, its CEO Tilman Fertitta is known for his ambitious entertainment/dining complexes. The largest here is the Kemah Boardwalk. Once a sleepy fishing village with a handful of restaurants, the Boardwalk is now a full-blown, play-till-you-drop tourist destination with a dozen restaurants and cafes, an old-fashioned 96-foot tall wooden roller coaster (as well as a dozen other rides) and a full schedule of special events that range from boat parades to zydeco music festivals. You can do it all or you just can kick back with a margarita and watch the sail boats on Galveston Bay. 215 Kipp Ave. in Kemah, 877-285-3624.
This “planned community” approximately 30 miles north on I-45 of downtown is Mayberry on steroids. More trees than people, nary a blade of grass out of place and plenty of shiny shops and trendy cafes scattered in its many “villages.” For visitors, there’s much to love about its pedestrian-friendly shopping districts (Market Street and Waterway), its seven championship golf courses and its growing arts community. If you find life a bit too hectic in the big city, then here’s a place to escape for an afternoon. Find extensive Woodlands visitors information at thewoodlandscvb.com.
THE SHELL HOUSTON OPEN
Humble gave its name to the oil company. It was not, as many believe, the other way around. The sleepy community is known for its pretty parks (among them, Mercer Arboretum and Jones Park) and its scenic location alongside Lake Houston. From March 28-April 3, the city plays host to the Shell Houston Open at the Red Stone Golf Club. Spectator admission is $20-$25 per day. Find details on the tourney at shellhoustonopen.com. For more info on Humble at humbleareachamber.org.