Hermann Park

Hermann Park

6001 Fannin St. , Houston, TX 77030

Rearing up at the main gateway, an equestrian statue of Sam Houston keeps watch over the 445 acres of Hermann Park, which is nearing completion of a major renovation. This is the green heart of the Museum District, the city's oldest and most urban park, laid out in 1910, when its neighbors, Rice University and the now-sprawling Texas Medical Center, were just beginning to make their own history. A new generation of Houstonians—a diverse and dazzlingly international population from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and beyond—now enjoys the enduring attractions: soaring pine trees; a three-mile running trail; free performances at the Miller Outdoor Theatre (www.milleroutdoortheatre.com); paddleboating on the eight-acre McGovern Lake; an exquisite Japanese Garden, complete with a teak teahouse; and the Houston Zoo (www.houstonzoo.org). Grab a box lunch from Picnic (1928 Bissonnet; (713)524-0201) or Kraftsmen Baking (4100 Montrose; (713)524-3737; www.kraftsmenbaking.com), settle into a park bench, and watch the ducks and model boats ply the reflecting pool, which extends from the base of a white marble obelisk.

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