Armand Bayou Nature Center

#15 in Best Things To Do in Houston
Armand Bayou Nature Center  picture
BrianLasenby/Getty Images

Key Info

Details

Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.9

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Flora and fauna abound at this nature center, located about 26 miles southeast of Houston. The Armand Bayou Nature Center is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S., measuring more than 2,500 acres. The nature center features forests, wetlands and prairies, with 370 different species of animals including armadillos, alligators, turtles, deer and eagles calling the area home. Plus, there's so much to see and do here – the venue dozens of various activities, events and programs.

Many of Armand Bayou's guided offerings occur during the weekends, so if you're interested in a tour, it's best to come then. There are a wide range of tours to choose from, including canoe tours, boat cruises with options for a day, sunset or moonlight cruise, guided photo hikes, nighttime hikes tailored to spot bats and owls, and nature talks that cover specific animals ranging from monarch butterflies to bison. Travelers who embarked on one of the nature center's tours were very pleased with their experiences, crediting the knowledgeable guides for a great time.

However, if you'd prefer to explore alone, there are plenty of trails in the park that will take you through its various landscapes. The Discovery Loop Trail is perfect with those with just a few hours to spare: It takes you directly to the nature center's main attractions, including the McGovern Children's Discovery Area, the Interpretive Building (where you'll find live animal displays), the bison viewing area and the Martyn Farm Site, a recreation that depicts farm life in 1890s Texas. In addition to the Discovery Loop Trail, there are three more trails that go deeper into the nature center. The 1.32-mile Martyn Trail takes you through the forested wetlands while the Lady Bird Trail and Karankawa Trail take you to the edge of the Bayou.

The Armand Bayou Nature Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children and seniors. Parking is available on-site and is free of charge. It's important to know that water is not sold on the premises, so you'll need to bring your own. The nature center also suggests wearing insect repellent if you're visiting during the warmer months. For more information on the Armand Bayou Nature Center, visit its website

See all Hotels in Houston »

More Best Things To Do in Houston

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo1 of 20
Hermann Park 2 of 20
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

No trip to Texas is complete without a visit to a rodeo. And in Houston, there's no better place to watch riders saddle up than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When competition season rolls around (typically between late February and early March), crowds descend on NRG Stadium to watch daily rodeo shows that feature a variety of competitions, such as bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, barrel racing and more. Livestock shows, which also occur during rodeo competition season, feature traditional events such as livestock auctions, calf scrambles and horse shows. 

No trip to Texas is complete without a visit to a rodeo. And in Houston, there's no better place to watch riders saddle up than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When competition season rolls around (typically between late February and early March), crowds descend on NRG Stadium to watch daily rodeo shows that feature a variety of competitions, such as bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, barrel racing and more. Livestock shows, which also occur during rodeo competition season, feature traditional events such as livestock auctions, calf scrambles and horse shows.

Read more
Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
See full list of Best Things To Do in Houston »

Explore More of Houston

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

CDC Coronavirus Travel Updates: What to Know About Current Travel Restrictions

Cruises suspend sailings; hotels, airlines tweak cancellation policies; see the latest CDC travel advisories.

What Will Happen to My Elite Status and Points Because of the Coronavirus?

Limited travel due to the coronavirus prompts airline and hotel rewards programs to make policy changes.

14 Top Jigsaw Puzzles, Games and Books to Keep Travelers Entertained

Even though you're stuck at home, you can still indulge your wanderlust with these activities.

15 Top Cookbooks to Buy

Travel to far-flung destinations and enjoy international food without leaving home.

The 12 Best Language-Learning Apps, Programs and Online Courses

Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

The 13 Best Sedona Tours

Get lost in the magic of Sedona's red rocks on these top adventures.

What is an Ecolodge? 21 Top Eco Resorts and Eco Hotels Around the World

Luxury meets environmental welfare at these top-notch ecolodges.

The 12 Best Puerto Rico Tours

Experience island living at its best on one of these guided trips.

I Went On a Cruise During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Is What Happened.

Coronavirus concerns, itinerary changes and uncertainty lead to an unusual vacation.

5 Travel-Themed Activities to Do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Use these suggestions to fill the travel void amid the pandemic.