America's Coolest City Parks
Discovery Green Park, Houston
parking lots were torn up to make way for this 12-acre downtown paradise of
lawns, a man-made lake, and cool features like 14-foot-high arcing water jets.
Dog jumping and other wacky competitions, free
classes, and fine dining at James Beard award–winning chef Robert Del Grande’s
restaurants have helped lure some three million visitors since the opening in
2008. It’s a transformation that would make singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell
Coolest Time to Visit: During Houston’s annual
Restaurant Week (actually a month, August 1–31, 2011), whose participants
include Del Grande’s park restaurant, The Grove. Its elegant, glass-walled
dining room overlooks century-old live oak trees.