By Bryan Carey

Houston residents love to dine out. With high temperatures and the simple desire to experience all of the excellent culinary creations our city has to offer, it isn’t surprising that leaving the home for a memorable meal is such a popular option. Another way to get out of the home and enjoy a meal requires a little more creativity but can be equally enjoyable. I’m talking about going on a picnic and the Houston area has many places ideally suited for an intimate meal in a natural setting. Here are the best places to picnic in Houston:

Hermann Park
6001 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 524-5876

One of Houston’s better-known and most visited parks, Hermann Park is notable for its location in the heart of Houston’s Museum District. McGovern Lake is nice for its added aquatic visuals and the large green space is perfect for spreading out a blanket, opening your picnic basket, and enjoying a meal in the midst of natural beauty. With its flowers, plants, and scenic views, Hermann Park is made for creative types who would rather stake out their own space for a picnic rather than sit at a picnic table. Once your picnic is complete, be sure to stroll past the Japanese Gardens and perhaps catch a free show at Miller Outdoor Theater, located right next to this natural urban wonder.

Alexander Deussen Park
12303 Sonnier St.
Houston, TX 77044
(713) 440-1587

If peace, tranquility, and access to a larger body of water is more in tune with your picnic aspirations, then the place to visit is Alexander Deussen Park. Located next to Lake Houston, Alexander Deussen Park is larger than most other Houston parks, with several playgrounds, picnic shelters, trails and more, with multiple designated picnic areas complete with tables, grills, and bathroom facilities. Alexander Deussen Park is situated about fifteen minutes northeast of the city of Houston and its seclusion makes it perfect for those who want to picnic without distractions. Select your table, set up the plates and utensils, gaze at the wooded areas and lake, and feel your stress melt away at Alexander Deussen Park.

Discovery Green
1500 McKinney St.
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 400-7336

If you prefer urban settings for your picnic needs, then there is no better option than Discovery Green. This park is known to Houston residents for its events, concerts, and central location in the heart of downtown and there is often plenty of action in and near this urban green space. Discovery Green is another one of those picnic places where guests are expected to find their own picnic space, and this is part of the fun, since there are so many places to establish your picnic ground, close to or away from the action. Discovery Green has scheduled events on a regular basis and with its urban location, it isn’t a place to seek out peace and quiet. But it does offer fantastic city views and is great for those who like to people watch as they munch on a sandwich and chips.

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Buffalo Bayou Park
1800 Allen Parkway
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 752-0314

Those who like views of the city but would rather not be in the middle of downtown should make their way to Buffalo Bayou Park. This park is built around the famed Buffalo Bayou, a narrow waterway complete with jogging paths, kayaking opportunities, and native wildlife. Buffalo Bayou Park extends for a few miles, with ample areas ideal for a picnic lunch or dinner. The park is less secluded than most and is only a short distance away from downtown, but the natural setting and relative quiet make it the perfect respite from a busy day in the concrete jungle.

Terry Hershey Park
15200 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
(281) 496-2177

Head west of downtown for about 15 minutes and you will arrive at Terry Hershey Park. Long and narrow in design, this west Houston park is enjoyed by locals who visit the park for fitness and recreation. Bring along your bicycle and ride along the paths, then park your bike next to the bayou for a picnic meal. The water and natural wooded areas means you may encounter turtles, lizards, and other wildlife common to Houston, adding even more enjoyment to an already perfect place for a picnic outing with friends or family.

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