LAKES AND BEACHES NEAR HOUSTON

LAKES AND BEACHES NEAR HOUSTON

LAKES AND BEACHES NEAR HOUSTON

These lakes and beaches are just a short drive from Texas' largest city

Do a bit of pond fishing at Sheldon Lake State Park or venture farther north to Lake Conroe in the Sam Houston National Forest. If you prefer sand and sun, pack the sunscreen and a towel.

FISHING AND FUN AT SHELDON LAKE

Need a mini getaway? Take a quick drive to Sheldon Lake State Park, roughly 16 miles north of downtown. Hike the nature trails or climb to the top of the John Jacob Observation Tower. The 82-foot climb is worth it, with views of the lake, surrounding wetlands and the park's prairies—with downtown Houston in the background. You can rent fishing poles at the Environmental Learning Center and test your luck at the two free catch-and-release ponds. The ponds and the center are on the Beaumont Highway side of the lake. If that doesn't keep you busy, learn to paddle a canoe, go on a birdwatching hike and find out how to use native plants in your own garden.


RELAXING AT LAKE CONROE

Drive about an hour north of the city and you’ll find Lake Conroe: the go-to place for boating, fishing, swimming and water skiing. Spanning over 21,000 acres, this man-made lake features picnic areas, boating and other family-friendly attractions. Insider tip: Go early to snag a good picnic spot.


SOAKING UP SUN IN GALVESTON

Are you craving a warm spot in the sun? Head for Galveston Island, home to sun-washed beaches along the Gulf Coast. If you’re in the mood for outdoor entertainment, visit East Beach for live music, volleyball tournaments and other lively activities. Nearby Stewart Beach offers surfing, sandcastle competitions and plenty of relaxation. For restaurants, shops and the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier amusement park, visit the Seawall Urban Park, a 10-mile stretch along the coast.


COMMUNING WITH NATURE IN MATAGORDA

Matagorda Bay Nature Park, about 100 miles southwest of downtown Houston, is the hotspot for bird enthusiasts. Birds far outnumber the people in this 1,600-acre preserve, which sits where the Colorado River meets the Gulf of Mexico. Stroll the two miles of sandy beaches or rent a kayak to paddle into the wildlife-rich marshes. Embark on a guided exploration of the area, and join one of the Matagorda Bay Nature Park outdoor programs, take a guided kayak tour of the bay or go on the Beach Safari trip—a sure hit with the little ones!

 


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