Houston Bucket List Part 8 – Football, Skating, Brunch & Beach

Twice in the past decade, we at the Houston Press have compiled our list of 100 things every Houstonian must do. The first list dates back almost 10 years and was limited to a very small radius around the city (30 miles). In 2017, we expanded it to include slightly further distances – up to 100 miles – given how far apart we are. How to exclude the Gulf of Mexico?

In 2022, many things have changed and some remain the same. If you’re familiar with these lists, you’ll probably see a few old favorites. They are classics for a reason. We will report them as they arise. Otherwise, you can now take a look at everything you need to do in the weeks and months ahead. We’ll be releasing these 10 at once over the next two months, so enjoy and (listen to Jurassic Park music) welcome to the Houston Bucket List, 2022 Edition.

Houston Bucket List Part 7
Houston Bucket List Part 6
Houston Bucket List Part 5
Houston Bucket List Part 4
Houston Bucket List Part 3
Houston Bucket List Part 2
Houston Bucket List Part 1

Go crazy with Dynamo fans at PNC Stadium. [CLASSIC]

No offense to most sports fans, but there’s something about football that really gets the ball rolling, and we mean that in the most respectful way possible. And with MLS, the stadiums aren’t massive caverns like they might be with other sports, so there’s a level of intimacy you don’t feel everywhere. The Dynamo has some of the loudest and rowdiest crowds in the world and it’s well worth going. Oh, and the team on the ground wasn’t bad either.

Spend an afternoon in Memorial Park.

One of the city’s great treasures lies practically in the shadow of the skyline. Memorial Park, donated by Ima Hogg (yes, that’s her real name) with the stipulation that the land will never be developed. Now we have a majestic park with one of the best golf courses in the city, not to mention the new land bridge and accompanying tunnels that are nearing completion. Even when it’s really hot, you’ll find people jogging around the loop and hiking trails. As the weather cools, Houstonians are sprawled out on the lawns to picnic or simply enjoy the day. It is an absolute joy to visit and not to be missed.

Try not to hurt yourself at North Houston Skatepark. [CLASSIC]

Houston has great skateboarders and therefore has several parks dedicated to the art of skateboarding. But, nothing in town or, frankly, in Texas compares to the North Houston Skatepark. It’s a massive 78,000 acres of rolling concrete and trick spots for skaters young and old, pros and beginners alike. It features a 20-foot full pipe and a 12-foot vertical ramp among other challenges for skaters.

Click to enlarge

The Art Car Parade is one of Houston’s most popular events.

Photo by Morris Malakoff

Attend the Art Car Parade, one of the craziest parades in the world. [CLASSIC]

Is there anything as fun as the annual Art Car Parade? We do not think so. The now 35-year-old tradition culminating in the massive parade through the city center attracts over a quarter of a million spectators each year to experience the wild and ever intricate art cars of all shapes and sizes. It’s one of the largest parades of its kind in the world and a very unique tradition in Houston.

Party on Funday Sunday in Montrose. [CLASSIC]

OK, so La Strada is long gone, but that doesn’t mean Sunday in the gay community isn’t still an absolute blast. It seems like there are many events that will draw you to Montrose throughout the year, but it’s something you can do every week if your liver can handle it. Sip mimosas. Dance like your life depends on it. Prepare your brunch. Make the most!

Take a spin on the ant hills with other Houston trail cyclists. [CLASSIC]

If you fancy getting back on your old BMX bike and testing out the skills you honed as a teenager, we encourage you to train on a quiet neighborhood street first. But, once you’re ready, descend on the Anthills Trail which runs through Terry Hershey Park along the shores of Buffalo Bayou west of Houston. What started as the creation of cyclists looking for new ways to ride has grown into one of the longest and best-maintained trails in the city. And don’t worry, the bikers there are REALLY polite to other bikers and pedestrians. Just be sure to be nice back.

Click to enlarge A good excuse to dress up as a poor man: Dickens on the Strand!  - PHOTO BY ILLUMINE PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES, COURTESY OF THE HISTORICAL GALVESTON FOUNDATION

A good excuse to dress up as a poor man: Dickens on the Strand!

Photo by Illumine Photographic Services, courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

Dress like merry old England for Dickens on the Strand. [CLASSIC]

The beach in winter is a surprisingly fun place to go. No crowds. Interesting wildlife. But, if you head to downtown Galveston in December, you’ll also be treated to an annual celebration of all things Charles Dickens (minus the street urchins). Dickens on the Strand attracts large crowds to enjoy the food, drink and shopping as well as excellent onlookers, especially those dressed in their finest Dickens-era clothes. If you’re staying late enough, take a drive through some of Galveston’s evening neighborhoods that are primed for the holidays.

To go to the beach. [CLASSIC]

Speaking of the beach, a lot of people who aren’t from here forget that we’re only about 80 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. There are many beaches to visit, from those on the Bolivar Peninsula to all of Galveston Island to Surfside near Freeport. Bolivar is often more of a depressed and dirty party. Galveston has family beaches as well as fun places to lounge under a chair. And Surfside is a sleepy little fishing village dotted with rental homes. Many places to get your feet wet for a day or a week’s vacation.

Grab a boat (or a friend’s boat) and go cruising Clear Lake. [CLASSIC]

And if you don’t really want to be in the water, what do you think? Clear Lake has become a favorite spot for weekend sailing and you can find it covered in massive, beautiful boats all year round. You can even take your craft to San Leon on Kemah for a bite to eat or something to drink while you spend the day on the water just steps from NASA.

Visit Allen’s Landing, the birthplace of Houston. [CLASSIC]

We’re not going to lie to you, there’s not much to see in Allen’s Landing. There’s a little place and a plaque, but humble beginnings are kind of our thing anyway. The very place where the Allen brothers tricked a group of Yankees into buying swamp land they promised resembled the Rhine Valley is a symbol of the tough town we are and have become. Throughout Buffalo Bayou, you can stroll the bike and walking path to Buffalo Bayou Park or walk to the Museum District after.

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