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8 Best Fitness and Wellness Spots in Houston, Texas

Houston is one of the most populated cities in the state of Texas. It’s also the fourth-largest city in the United States. Essentially, Houston is a more picturesque version of New York. With skyscrapers tickling the sky like roses, Houston is any wellness traveller’s dream come true! Now, allow me to present to you the 8 best fitness and wellness spots in Houston, Texas. These spots are sure to spark joy, relaxation, adventure, and inspiration for you and your better self.

Relax in Houston's most serene parks

1. Herman Park Conservancy

Herman Park Conservancy is home to numerous cultural institutions. These include the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Hermann Park Golf Course. Herman Park also features all the necessities for a well-deserved break. In fact, its golf course became one of the first public golf courses in the US in 1954. This golf course offers players a comfortable place to relax, dine, and shop.

Recently, the golf course built a new clubhouse at the corner of Almeda and MacGregor. Now, golfers and those accompanying them can have a nice meal after golfing. There’s also a new practice facility and driving range which is lighted year-round, open seven days a week.

Some of the best hotels in the Museum District are Hotel Zaza Houston and The Westin Houston Medical Center.

Parks in Houston feature euphoric greenery

2. McGovern Centennial Gardens

Located within Herman Park is the stunning McGovern Centennial Gardens. This garden was revamped to honour Herman Park’s centennial in 2014. The eight-acre McGovern Centennial garden attracts visitors from all over the world. Undoubtedly, this park is any wellness traveller’s dream come true. You can experience various themed garden rooms situated along the central lawn.

When you enter through the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, many gardens await to be seen. These include the Arid Garden, the Rose Garden and the Celebration Garden. In addition to the Woodland Garden, there is also an educational Family Garden. The latter produces seasonal vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees.

Fancy staying at a hotel? The Hilton Garden Inn is 1,8 kilometres away from the McGovern Centennial Gardens for your convenience.

Kinder Lake at Discovery Green, kayaking on the lake
Image: Discovery Green, 2023

3. Discovery Green

The Discovery Green park is a 12-acre oasis in the middle of downtown Houston. It’s also home to Houston’s outdoor roller rink. Free fitness classes and entertainment are to be discovered all over the park! Additionally, there are state-of-the-art play areas for children. There’s also Kinder Lake, a place for you to quietly stroll past or kayak on.

Apart from the usual park attractions, there are also many free events and various art installations. Discovery Green is a true health and wellness escape. On top of that, it’s pet friendly as well! Free fitness classes are scheduled on their website. These include classes such as Tai Chi, Hatha Yoga, Pilates, Gentle Yoga Flow and Sound Meditation, and HIIT.

Discovery Green’s mission is to provide you with three serious dynamic programming seasons. Moreover, they have many goals. Firstly, they aim to sustain an exceptional environment for nature and people. Secondly, they wish to offer opportunities for exploration and education. Lastly, they want to support tourism and the revitalisation of Houston’s central city.

To fully enjoy this state-of-the-art park, book Hilton Hotel (Americas-Houston). It is located adjacent to both Discovery Green Park and the Toyota Centre. picnic on the green lawns of Houston's most spectacular parks

4. Memorial Park Conservancy

The purpose of a memorial park is to provide you with an atmosphere of natural beauty, peace and quiet. It also provides a sense of dignity and honour to the memory of lost loved ones. The difference between cemeteries and memorial parks is that memorial parks place bronze sheets into the ground that blend effortlessly with nature. As a result, it enhances the natural beauty for the living to enjoy. These parks also celebrate the history of the location and what had taken place there. Not only does it provide a sense of well-being and remembrance, but a sense of calm, too.

The Memorial Park Conservancy plays an important part in Houston’s public health, and any traveller could benefit from visiting. Stay at The Post Oak Hotel for a luxurious experience that’s 2.2 kilometres from the park.

Cycle through Memorial Park Conservancy
Image: Memorial Park Conservancy, 2023

5. Buffalo Bayou Park

Just west of downtown Houston, Buffalo Bayou Park features beautiful gardens and native landscaping. What’s even better is that there are various hiking and biking trails,  paddle crafts and bike rentals. This 160-acre park is not only fitness-friendly but also dog friendly. Moreover, Buffalo Bayou provides water bottle refill stations for active visitors or thirsty pets. Colourful public art could also be found along with creative, and nature play areas. You can also rent bicycles and boats of all kinds via the park’s website.

Buffalo Bayou Park is home to the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark. Although this skatepark is free and open to the public, helmets are a must. Near Lee & Joe Jamail and The Water Works lies a popular must-see at the park: the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area and Picnic Pavilion! Designed to inspire a love for nature, children can play on a boulder rock scramble, a rolling lawn and a stream. n addition to a waterfall, children can also climb logs and stones, and play on a slide. If you come with your kids, don’t be surprised if they don’t want to leave.

Buffalo Bayou Park also features the Cistern, Eleanor Tinsley Park, and the Houston Police Officers’ Memorial. If you are a dog lover, be sure to make a stop at the Johnny Steele Dog Park. Also check out the Wortham Foundation Grove, Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, and Lost Lake if you have time. Do you want to stay close to the park? Then The Whitehall Hotel is your accommodation of choice!

Houston Museum of Natural Science provides fun as well as education for the entire family

6. Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has so many exhibitions for you! Travel from King Tut’s Tomb to their very own butterfly paradise; the Cockrell Butterfly Centre. Launch into space at the Burke Baker Planetarium, then return to earth’s natural beauty at the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. Lastly, transport to James Hood’s imaginary and real worlds in the 360-degree full-dome projection Exhibition called Beautifica.

This mind-blowing vortex lurches you into an awe-inspired state of mind. Bound to excite, the Houston Museum of Natural Science will leave you feeling filled to the brim with life! No wonder it’s one of the top spots to visit in Texas. It should not be passed by when visiting this bustling city! A luxury hotel to stay at that’s close to the museum is The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa.

Aquariums are leading people to happier, healthier and more joyous states of mind.

7. Downtown Aquarium

A controlled study found that people who spend time around aquariums will see an improvement in their health and mood. Apart from being entertaining, educational and beautiful, it’s also beneficial for your health. Observing fish in an aquarium can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and improve heart health. There’s nothing fishy about suggesting that aquariums can be healthy then, is there? So, let’s take a dip into Houston’s most dazzling aquarium, the Downtown Aquarium.

The Downtown Aquarium features various exhibitions to enjoy and mentally decompress. Amongst many is the Shipwreck exhibition, a sunken structure of a 17th-century Spanish galleon. There’s a diversity of sea species that the living coral reefs entertain. There’s also a tropical rainforest exhibition. It features red-bellied piranhas and venomous freshwater stingrays. Furthermore, there are colourful rainforest frogs, birds, and plant life.

Then, there’s the Sunken Temple, the Underwater Rig, a discovery zone, a Stingray Reef, and a Tiger of the Maharaja’s Temple Exhibition.  All of this water life is sure to bring you a sense of calm, rejuvenation and well-being at the Downtown Aquarium. Stay at the Blossom Hotel Houston or the Club Quarters Hotel Downtown, Houston.

Adrenaline junkies gather at amusement parks for the ultimate experience

8. Kemah Broadwalk

Kemah Broadwalk is an amusement park where the fun never stops!  From roller coasters to stingray reefs, this park is unique in what it offers! Any thrill-seeking, wellness-travelling, and adrenaline-pumping visitor is bound to exit this park at the crack of dusk with a huge grin from ear to ear! If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, then check out the finest markets in Texas.

Rides like the Boardwalk Tower that allow its riders to see all of Kemah Boardwalk and the surrounding Bay area make the Kemah Broadwalk Amusement park special. Additionally, there’s the Drop Zone, a free-falling ride that’ll leave you breathless.

Amongst many other adrenaline-pumping rides are the Rockin’ Rocket, Flare, Boardwalk Bullet, the Boardwalk Beast Speedboat Thrill Ride, the Iron Eagle and the Aviator. Want to stay over? Then the Courtyard by Marriot Houston Kemah or the South Shore Harbour Resort offers the perfect choice!

Houston's skyline creates urban spaces that are optimal for recreation and is thus a traveller's paradise

Houston, We DON’T Have a Problem.

This ain’t Houston’s first rodeo. Houstonians clearly know how to challenge the world of wellness and travel. By taking the bull by its horns, Houston thrusts tourists and travellers into a relaxed state of urban euphoria. With city life’s constant provocation to charge towards the red drape, these urban parks lift the veil to serenity.

Step out of the ring for a moment to enjoy the 8 best fitness and wellness spots in Houston, Texas. So, breathe in, then out. Take a step towards tranquillity. Take a break, go for a walk, or visit a museum and the aquarium. Then, go for a ride and have a picnic. So, go on, get in the saddle, keep ropin’ and ridin’ because life’s about the ride!

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Hi there! I’m Megan, an absolute lover of words, literature, books, stories, anything that has to do with writing, reading, imagining. Because of my passion, I decided to make writing my life, and with that, I decided to study BA Languages at the University of Pretoria and am happy to report that I made my dream come true by graduating and becoming a travel writer. During my final year I wrote for my campus newspaper, the PDBY, where I learned to trust my writing voice. Now, as I sit here writing my petit little bio, I feel more in love with writing than I’ve ever been. Turns out, like much of my personality, my writing can equally showcase both the calm and put-together, as well as the crazy.