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PLACES OF INTEREST

BAYOU BEND COLLECTION AND GARDENS

Along Buffalo Bayou sits the grand and elegant home that belonged to Miss Ima Hogg. This
14-acre tract was the Eden-like setting for Miss Hogg for 40 years. She sculpted the gardens and selected the antiques. The home and gardens are open for tours and are featured during the annual Azalea Trail each spring. 1 Westcott St. off Memorial Dr. / (713) 639-7750 /
www.mfah.org/bayoubend

DISCOVERY GREEN

This 12-acre park in downtown Houston opened in 2008. Visitors can enjoy many natural, recreational, art, dining, entertainment and eco-friendly features including a one-acre lake, playground, interactive water features, amphitheater stage and slope, dog runs for large and small breeds, public art works, spacious green lawns, and the critically acclaimed restaurants The Grove and The Lake House. 1500 McKinney / (713) 400-7336 / www.discoverygreen.com

HERMANN PARK

This 445-acre urban landmark is Houston’s most historically significant public green space. Over the years, the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and a recently renovated public golf course have added to the park’s importance as a recreational destination. (713) 524-5876 / www.hermannpark.org

HOUSTON ARBORETUM AND NATURE CENTER

This 155-acre urban nature sanctuary in Memorial Park houses the first environmental education program in Houston. Visitors can enjoy over five miles of nature trails and view some of the almost 160 species of native and migrating birds. Free public tours are conducted most Sundays at 2 and 3 pm. Admission to the grounds is free. 4501 Woodway Dr. in Memorial Park /
(713) 681-8433 / www.houstonnaturecenter.org

HOUSTON ZOO

The zoo has recently undergone major renovations that exhibit animals in realistic habitats covering more than 50 acres and 3,000 exhibits. A popular attraction is alligators eating buckets of fish each Thursday and Sunday at 2 pm from April until September at the Alligator Pond. Sea lions swim for brunch at 11 am and 1 pm and for supper at 3 pm every day in the Mammal Marina. 1513 N. MacGregor / (713) 525-3300 / www.houstonzoo.org

NATURE DISCOVERY CENTER

Nestled among the towering pecan trees of Bellaire’s Russ Pitman Park, the center offers a friendly, informal atmosphere for discovering the world of nature. The center’s two Discovery Rooms intrigue visitors with a variety of live animals, specimens, activities and exhibits geared for children from 3 to 13 and their families. They are open free to the public Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5:30 pm. It is a great place for close-to-home birding and wildlife watching. 7112 Newcastle, Bellaire / (713) 667-6550 / www.naturediscoverycenter.org