Illustrations © Bryan Spear
Wildlife | Houston Area
Walk either the Sundew or Pitcher Plant trail (each 1 mile), and snap a selfie with a carnivorous plant in the background.
Nine different ecosystems converge among the hiking trails and waterways of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Towering pines dominate the landscape, and the Big Thicket is also home to four of the five types of carnivorous (meat-eating) plants found in North America.
SPLASH | Houston Area
$5 park admission
Bring a buddy and snap a selfie splashing water from the lake.
Just an hour north of Houston you’ll find one of the largest lakes in the state. While the lake is popular with anglers — it’s noted for its white bass population — it’s also a great place to cool off. Sit in the pineywoods shade or jump in for a swim; rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard on the weekends.
QUIRKY | Houston Area
$65.95 – $75.95 admission
Take a selfie outside any of Moody Garden’s three glass pyramids.
In Egypt, pyramids were a place for the dead. The glass pyramids of Moody Gardens, on the other hand, are teeming with life. Inside, you can explore the depths of the ocean in the aquarium pyramid or experience the wildlife of the world’s tropical regions in the rainforest pyramid.
PARKS | Houston Area
Free park admission
Snap a selfie from either of the tower’s observation decks.
The 82-foot John Jacob Observation Tower at Sheldon Lake State Park has two observation decks providing unobstructed panoramic views of the park’s wetlands and prairie, the San Jacinto Monument and the downtown Houston skyline — each 15 miles away in opposite directions. Climb the stairs or take the solar-powered elevator.
HISTORY | Houston Area
Snap a selfie in front of the geyser. For extra fun, time your visit with the Lucas Gusher re-enactment schedule, which uses water instead of oil.
On January 10, 1901, a great gush of oil erupted 100 feet into the air from a drilling site at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont. The Lucas geyser produced about 100,000 barrels of oil a day, kicking off the Texas oil boom. Visit the replica at Spindletop — Gladys City Boomtown on the campus of Lamar University.
BONUS | HOUSTON AREA
Snap a selfie in front of La King's hand-cranked taffy pull. And grab an ice cream while you're at it.
Summer means ice cream, so why not stop at an old-fashioned soda fountain?in Galveston fits the bill.