Day Trip from the Ordinary: Uncovering Off-the-Beaten-Path Jewels Beyond Houston

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern

Nestled beneath Buffalo Bayou Park lies a remarkable piece of Houston's history – the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Originally built in 1926 as an underground drinking water reservoir, this cavernous space has been repurposed into an awe-inspiring art installation. Visitors can embark on guided tours to explore the cistern's mesmerizing architecture and immersive audiovisual displays.


Smither Park

Tucked away in Houston's East End, Smither Park stands as a testament to creativity and community collaboration. What began as a small neighborhood project has blossomed into a vibrant mosaic wonderland, featuring intricate sculptures, colorful murals, and whimsical structures. Take a leisurely stroll through this one-of-a-kind park and marvel at the beauty of grassroots artistry.

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility amidst the towering walls of the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. Situated in the heart of the Galleria area, this serene oasis boasts a captivating 64-foot-tall sculptural fountain surrounded by lush greenery. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely picnic, this hidden gem offers a refreshing respite from urban life.

The Menil Collection

Art enthusiasts and culture aficionados will delight in the treasures housed within the Menil Collection. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood, this world-class museum features an eclectic array of artworks spanning various periods and genres. From contemporary masterpieces to ancient artifacts, the Menil Collection offers a captivating journey through the realms of art and human creativity.

The Orange Show Monument

Step into a whimsical world of folk art and eccentric architecture at the Orange Show Monument. Created by the late Jeff McKissack, this quirky outdoor installation pays homage to the humble orange and celebrates the spirit of imagination. Wander through maze-like passageways, climb towering structures adorned with mosaic tiles, and marvel at the ingenuity behind this iconic Houston landmark.


While Houston is renowned for its bustling urban landscape and iconic attractions, the city also harbors a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From underground cisterns to vibrant mosaic parks, these off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a glimpse into the city's rich history, creativity, and community spirit. So, grab your sense of adventure and embark on a journey to uncover Houston's best-kept secrets.