LIST: 15 wonderful places to visit — where you can easily maintain your social distance — in the Houston area

HOUSTON – As Texas is easing stay-home restrictions, social distancing is still a protocol many Texans are trying to follow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors.

Many recreational spots in the Houston area have relaxed closure guidelines after the stay-home order was lifted by Gov. Greg Abbott at the end of April.

According to Baylor College of Medicine, some important guidelines on social distancing include the following:

  • Avoid heavily-populated areas and crowds
  • Avoid physical contact with others, including handshaking and hugging
  • Avoid touching public use areas such as water fountains and playgrounds
  • Bring your own water, hand sanitizer and exercise equipment

Ready to go outside? Here’s a list of parks, fishing spots and activities to visit and do and still maintain your social distance:

Parks and trails

Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trail

At Buffalo Bayou, you can begin your trail at any sector of the park. From the West Sector which connects to Memorial Park, to the Downtown Sector which gives an amazing view of the skyline, and the East Sector which connects to White Oak Bayou and Allen’s Landing, the birthplace of Houston.

Click here to see a map of trails.

Willow Waterhole Greenspace

The park, located in the Westbury area of Houston, is home to diverse wildlife and several areas to hike, bike, fish, and/or enjoy some fresh air.

Halls Bayou Greenway Trail

Located in northeast Houston, Halls Bayou Greenway Trail brings plentiful of greenery and space to jog, bike, or walk. Some of the trails lead you to Keith-Wiess Park close to I-69.

Keith Wiess Park near Halls Bayou is a great destination for getting outdoors without experiencing crowds! #ParksByYou

Posted by Houston Parks Board on Monday, May 4, 2020

Hermann Park

One of the most popular Houston parks located next to Texas Medical Center, Hermann Park is open to all visitors as long as social distance is maintained. According to their official website, the Pinewood Cafe is open with limited hours from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Slide into the weekend with this #HermannParkMoment. This one features the iconic waterfall at the Mount in McGovern Centennial Gardens... now in slow motion! Enjoy, and take a moment today to slow down and appreciate the good things in your life. #HermannParkAtHome

Posted by Hermann Park Conservancy on Friday, May 1, 2020

Memorial Park

Memorial Park’s nature trails remain open amid the pandemic, with several areas of the park with beautiful wildlife and ecological areas to walk or run across such as the wetlands and the savanna.

Are you taking time to connect with nature? Or getting a much needed walk or run in? We hope you are able to enjoy the...

Posted by Memorial Park Conservancy on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Oyster Creek Trail

For exercise enthusiasts, Oyster Creek Trail is a great way to stretch your legs and explore the scenery. It includes a 2.3 mile bike path and connects to Sugar Land’s bike trail across from Dulles Avenue, according to the Missouri City Government website.

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Day at the park

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Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Although Lake Houston Wilderness Park is the only park that allows overnight camping, the park is open for day-use only for the time being. It spans over 4,000 acres of wooded parkland and is located 30 minutes north of downtown, according to the City of Houston website.

The park does not provide boating access to Lake Houston.

Fishing spots, beaches, and boating

Texas City Dike

The manmade dike located in Texas City brings out the best of fishing. Vehicular access is free to Texas City residents with a vehicle, non-residents are charged a $5 fee between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m during the summer months.

Thompson’s Fish Camp

Thompson’s is a family-owned boat ramp and fishing area that is popular in the Baytown area, just a short drive from Houston. They also offer live and dead bait for fishing enthusiasts to buy and catch their biggest fish.

Check their Facebook page to see live updates on their shrimp inventory and opening updates.

HUGE trout from Alan Sixtos yesterday with Thompson’s live shrimp!! 🤯

Posted by Thompson's Fish Camp on Friday, May 1, 2020

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe, just almost an hour from Houston, has become a getaway for Houstonians for generations, according to the Lake Conroe website. Currently, the lake is open to boating and fishing along with certain limited activities.

Lake officials encourage visitors by limiting guests on their boat unless they are in the same household.

Lake Livingston

As a Texas State Park and largest lake in the state, Lake Livingston is open for day-use only. The Texas Parks & Wildlife website encourages visitors to make a reservation on their website to ensure a spot upon arrival.

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Texas sunsets may actually be better.

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Brazos Bend State Park

One of ‘nature lover’s paradise’ as stated by Texas Parks & Wildlife, wild animals thrive in this park. Walking shoes are required as spots can be rugged. Many fishing piers and docks are plentiful, and no fishing license is required.

The Brazos Bend State Park Facebook page provides daily updates on reservation availability. Check periodically when making plans to visit.

Click here for fishing tips from Brazos Bend.

Other fun spots to enjoy

Find a little free library in your neighborhood

Need to increase literacy for the little ones? Since the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, mini libraries have popped up across the Houston area which brought great benefit for families.

With most libraries closed, these libraries have become more convenient. The Little Free Library organization website has a map of Houston area libraries, all you have to do is either search by zip code or expand by searching ‘Houston’ in the search bar.

Today is #HarryPotterDay! Check out this adorable little library in Bend, OR ... do we spy the Weasleys' flying car on the roof?! Image credit: @ittibittyrosie on Instagram.

Posted by Little Free Library on Saturday, May 2, 2020

Visit Froberg’s Farm

Located in Alvin, Froberg’s Farm offers farm-grown fruit and vegetables, most famously are their strawberries and blackberries. Some activities at the farm are weather permitting, click here for the latest and to see a list of activities open.

We have homegrown yellow squash, zucchini and patty squash for $1.29 per pound.

Posted by Froberg Fruit and Vegetable Farm / Greak's Smokehouse, Alvin, Texas on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Take a photography walk at Paul Carr Jogging Trail

Located in the Heights, this particular jogging trail has a ton of Instagram-worthy pictures to share of art structures and Victorian homes from a distance, according to Houstonia Magazine. Bring your camera and take a journey.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.