Each spring, avid birders from around the globe make a pilgrimage to High Island to see one of the most famed birding spots in the world. And Houstonians are lucky enough to have it (almost) in our backyard. Located about 80 miles from the city on the Gulf Coast, High Island serves as a rest stop for the exhausted neotropical birds that fly across the Gulf of Mexico each spring. If you visit then, you may be lucky enough to spot a hooded warbler, a red-eyed vireo or a red-breasted grosbeak (they're much prettier than they sound). Sanctuaries are maintained by the Houston Audubon Society, and several grandstands have been erected for easy birding. Although March through May is peak visiting season, there's almost always a feathered friend to spot in the lush foliage.