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10 Buffalo Bayou Secrets to Experience this Summer

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Every time I go to Buffalo Bayou, I find something new to fall in love with. It’s my go-to place to run, watch the sunset, take pics of downtown, check out flood water levels, and even go on dates. The Buffalo Bayou is constantly evolving and growing with the seasons. Below are some favorite spots along the bayou that you might have seen a million times, but not actually truly seen. Add these adventures to your Houston bucket list, arm yourself with these Buffalo Bayou secrets and see one of the most iconic parks in Houston in a new light!

  1. Picnic at Allen’s Landing. This spot along the bayou, nestled next to Downtown Houston is where our fair city was founded in 1836 by August Chapman and John Kirby Allen. Bring your own food and grab a spot in the shade, or get take out from Fusion Taco or Niko Niko’s at Market Square nearby for an easy lunch.
  2. Go for a lunar inspired run. Did you know that the lights that line the edges of the park switch from blue to white depending on the moon cycle? If the moon phase is closer to the new moon then the lights are blue and if the moon is closer to the full moon the lights are white! Beauty is in the details right? Also, if you look closely at the giant metal pieces that hold up many of the bridges around the bayou, the cycles of the moon are etched into the metal as well!Downtown Houston, Buffalo Bayou, Houston Skyline at sunset, Buffalo Bayou Park, Sabine Street Park, running, #runhappy, marathon trianing, half marathon
  3. Watch the bats fly out from the Waugh Bridge at dusk. Did you know that there are over 250,000 Mexican tree-tailed bats living under that bridge? It’s the second largest bat colony in Texas after the Austin Congress Street Bridge. Also, the Mexican free-tailed bat is the official flying mammal in the state of Texas. And they eat over 50% of their body weight each day! If you notice there’s not too many mosquitos around that area of the park. Natural pest control at it’s finest! My favorite spot to watch the bats is on the north side of the park, near the giant tree near the “REFLECT” Monumental Moment.
  4. Find the 6 “Monumental Moments”. You might have seen one or two in passing, but did you know that there are six giant words scattered all over the park? They were created by local artist Anthony Thompson Schumate and can be found along the Kinder Footpath. If you’re ever doing a scavenger hunt, a good challenge would be to find them all! Hint the words to find are: Explore, Pause, Reflect, Listen, Emerge, and Observe.
  5. Burp the Bayou. You got to do it. See if you can find the “secret” red button on your next walk or run located on the South side of the Preston Street Bridge to see artist Dean Ruck’s Big Bubble.
  6. Bike through the East End.  Bring your own bike or rent one from one of the B-Cycle stations around the park or Bike Barn shop at the Water Works! While Buffalo Bayou “Park” is technically from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street, the adventures don’t end there! If you do a loop all the way around the bayou from Shepherd to Downtown it’s about 8 miles. If you’re really adventurous you could also head over to the East End part of the park which has an additional 4 miles of trails (that not too many people know about!). PS here are some tips on biking in Houston!
  7. Take a visit to the Cistern. A trip inside the Cistern is a must, but did you know there’s more than one way to experience? At the Water Works Lawn near Sabine Street, you can find the Down Periscope housed under a jasmine-covered stainless steel fixture which is accessible day and night. You can also check out the views from the Down Periscope online here! Plus, did you know that all the sycamore trees planted in the Brown Foundation Lawn above the Cistern are aligned with the columns below in the water reservoir? Not only do they symbolically bring the Cistern above ground, but they play a structurally important role too.Buffalo Bayou Cistern
  8. Kayak the Bayou. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards from Bayou City Adventures at the Lost Lake Visitors Center–which is so cool! Be sure to go there early to ensure you get a kayak / also to beat the summer heat. When they open at 8am, there’s already a line at the door. Don’t worry! The bayou water is clean. It gets its reddish color from the red clay in the Houston ground. PS Click here for some kayaking tips when I kayaked down Armando Bayou with Bayou City Adventures.Kayaking the Armand Bayou Houston
  9. Play a around of Frisbee golf. There is an 18-hole Disc Golf course set up along the bayou. First tee is located near the Dunlavy. The course might be a bit overgrown at times which adds to the fun nonetheless. To see a map of the course, check out the  Professional Disc Golf Association website. 
  10. Brunch at the Dunlavy. Whether you got the avocado toast for Instagram or were legit starving after biking all over the bayou, the Kitchen at the Dunlavy is always a great place for a picturesque bite to eat (here’s 5 things to know before you go!). The Dunlavy is this fantastic breakfast/lunch space that overlooks Lost Lake, which–fun fact–actually used to be a lake back in the 1970s. A big storm wrecked the dam that was holding it together and it was forever lost. That is until recent park renovations brought it back into existence? Despite the lack of alliteration, maybe a better name would be Found Lake? #dadjokes

Lost Lake Buffalo Bayou Houston

2 thoughts on “10 Buffalo Bayou Secrets to Experience this Summer

  1. Pingback: Everything You Need to Know About Paddle Boarding on Buffalo Bayou | It's Not Hou It's Me | Houston Lifestyle, Food and Culture Blog

  2. Pingback: 10 Things I Learned During the Tour d’Art and Sculpture Run  | It's Not Hou It's Me | Houston Lifestyle, Food and Culture Blog

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