5222 I-10 East
Baytown, TX 77521
Phone: (281) 421-7200
Fax: (281) 421-7209
Home to more than 300 species of birds, the Baytown Nature Center is a 450-acre (182-hectare) peninsula surrounded by three bays. Not just for bird-watching and appreciating nature, the center also has other outdoor recreational activities including fishing and a children’s playground built around a nature theme. Another attraction is the butterfly garden which features a colorful medley of flowers and native plants carefully placed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Be prepared to walk or bike when you visit since vehicle movement is restricted here to protect the natural habitat of the wildlife. Open 365 days except during extreme weather conditions, the gates open to the public 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset. Admission costs USD3 for adults and children above 12 years.
This is the place to find exciting Texas-style drag racing. This race park is a favorite of the professional sport drivers who come here to compete in major drag-racing events. Such events include ADBA Nitro Showdown, ID Drag Wars, NHRA O'Reilly Nationals, the Pro Stock Superbowl and many others. The park also presents a year-round program of special and weekly events. On Street Nite, which is held every Friday, you can race against your friends or pit your car against 'the best times' on the fastest one-quarter mile on the planet. Saturday night features the 3/8 mile oval track race, Bomber to Sprints. Prices vary by event and night.
The Banana Bend Beach Park is a venue for outdoor fun and recreation. It consists of a water park with a lot of fun attractions and regular DJ nights on the weekends.
San Jacinto State Historical Park is the battleground where Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836. After the Alamo, General Santa Anna's large force chased Sam Houston's small army across Texas and was soundly defeated at this site. A limestone and concrete monument rises 570 feet above the coastal flatlands to pay tribute to the historical event. At the base of the monument you will find the Museum of Texas History, and the Battleship Texas is berthed in the ship channel at the edge of the park.
On most battlegrounds you would not find a battleship, but San Jacinto State Historical Park is a definite exception to the rule. This majestic ship is berthed on the Houston Ship Channel at the edge of the park. She is the only survivor of the World War I dreadnoughts and also served as a flagship for the World War II D-Day invasion in 1944. President Eisenhower, a native Texan, presided over the dedication ceremony when the ship was retired, and the U.S. Navy has proudly preserved and restored her in the years since. Visitors are welcome to explore most parts of the ship. Tours are available, and many areas display items and memorabilia from ship life.
This pleasant lake in East Houston is a citywide favorite for a little dose of the great outdoors. The park has several features, the most obvious of which is Sheldon Lake itself. The lake is open to the public and mostly used for fishing, wildlife spotting and boating, although there are some regulations concerning boat horsepower. The park also has the Environmental Learning Center, which teaches children about wildlife, birding and fishing and hosts all kinds of nature-oriented youth programs. Finally, the John Jacob Observation Tower is an 82-foot tall tower providing expansive views of the lake, park and for miles and miles in every direction.
Spread over an area of 510 acres (210 hectares), the El Orcoquisac Archeological District has a great historic importance attached to it. The site and its contributing properties have been preserved well. The trading center and Spanish presidio at the district have been maintained well. The site was put up on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
The Clear Lake Park is located on the shores of a beautiful lake which goes by the same name. The park is a major picnic spot and includes various sports activities. Clear Lake Park Pavilion is an open-air, covered facility available for picnics, parties and other events. In fact, the Landolt Pavilion is host to the annual Crowfish Festival which includes crawfish eating competition, games, arts and crafts stalls and great live entertainment. The Clear Lake Celtic Music Festival held here too is extremely popular amongst locals as well as tourists.
Right off Galveston Bay, 42 acres of fun and entertainment awaits you at the Kemah Boardwalk. This leisure oasis has an amusement park and a wide variety of dining and souvenir shopping options. Thrill-seekers shouldn't miss a ride on the gigantic Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster. Kids are sure to love the carousel and Stingray Reef. For a fantastic view from 65 feet (20 meters) above sea level, the Ferris Wheel is your best bet. The oceanfront restaurants offer an array of choices, including pizza, seafood and steak. Enjoy the daily events like live concerts, shows, festivals and more.
Spread over 1620 acres in Houston, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is one of the main centers for spaceflight in the United States. Home to NASA's Astronaut Corps, it functioned as Mission Control during the Gemini and Apollo space shuttle programs, and the primary flight control center for all following manned space missions, including Apollo 11 which put the first man on the moon. The Lunar Receiving Center at JSC is where they store most of the samples from moon missions and astronaut training takes place at JSC as well.
Ever since the Apollo flights, Houston has been synonymous with space travel. Space Center Houston, of NASA's Johnson Space Center, allows visitors to study and understand the making of space history. Enter the five-story plaza which features a full-size shuttle mock-up, complete with a flight deck. By far, the most popular highlight for adults is the tram tour that takes you to various buildings throughout the Space Center. You will be able to have a seat in the viewing room of the original Mission Control room and stroll past full-size mock-ups of the original Apollo rockets. When you need a break from all the activity, the Zero-G diner is on hand to fix you right up.
Children can pet farm animals until they are blissfully exhausted at the twelve different petting zoos that make up Old MacDonald's Farm. If you are afraid they might tire of the animals, there are also pony rides, a miniature train ride, a swimming pool, crawfish pool and a duck pond. The Old West Fort and Indian Village make wonderful settings for birthday parties, and the picnic grounds are great for family reunions and other group outings. Times vary throughout the year - call ahead for details.