Sports & Recreation

  • Best High School Team

    Yates Boys Basketball

    The Yates High School basketball team wasn't just the best team in Houston; it was the best team in the entire country. Undisputed. The People Who Matter, like ESPN and USA Today, said so. But the team also drew a heavy amount of criticism for the same thing: being too good. After Yates routinely beat other schools by ungodly margins,… More >>
  • Best Sports Moment

    Jack Yates High School: Boy's 4-A State Basketball Champs

    This has not been a good year for Houston's pro sports teams. And there wasn't much more to celebrate on the college level either, little of note from any school's hoops or diamond squads other than some middling gridiron success by the Houston Cougars. Nope, you have to look across Scott Street and all the way down to the high… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Palacios

    Want the bright lights of a big city? Hungry for glitz, glam and decadence? Go to Vegas. Looking for something a little closer to the quiet tranquility of the rugged Texas Gulf Coast? Try Palacios, just two hours south of Houston. Called "The City by the Sea," Palacios is both tiny (with less than 6,000 residents) and big (home to… More >>
  • Best State Park

    Brazos Bend State Park

    If some developer ever paid (bribed) the right person enough money to build a couple hotels and a cluster of restaurants in Brazos Bend, we guarantee it'd be the top tourist attraction in the region. It's that cool. That will never happen — at least we pray it doesn't — and that's a good thing. Brazos Bend is about an… More >>
  • Best Park Addition

    Soapbox Derby Hill at Hockley Park

    When Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack wanted to spend more than $2 million to build a soapbox derby hill in northwest Harris County, some people thought he was crazy. But he got it built, and now the area has one of the finest soapbox derby hills around. The Greater Houston Soapbox Derby hosts its events at the park — quite… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade

    Looking for a place to jog that's close to downtown and the office? Then the Sabine-to-Bagby Waterfront Park and Promenade is the place for you. Just west of City Hall and the Hobby Center, two miles of hiking and jogging trails flank Buffalo Bayou, twisting along the water through lush perennials and shaded gardens. Joggers can access the trails from… More >>
  • Best Place to Hike

    Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center

    Patches of true natural beauty are all too rare in this area, but this is undoubtedly one. Though no further from town than Humble, the five miles of wooded trails in this 225-acre forest park will take you far from Houston in spirit. Even though you are close to town and most of the trails are either paved or decked,… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Palace Lanes

    In a world where bowling alleys are going chic — Houston got its own "boutique bowling alley" last year downtown — it's refreshing to have a place like Palace Lanes that keeps it real. Here, it's not about the music or the food or the beautiful people that show up. It's about the bowling. Wonderful bowling. There's also a full… More >>
  • Best Aero

    Jean-Michel Daoust

    Houston Aeros right wing Jean-Michel Daoust is a scrappy little guy, not much more than five-feet-seven, and he's pretty easy to miss in the jumble of the action on the ice. But it's in that jumble that you want to look for Daoust, because it's from that jumble that he's going to emerge and make something happen. Whether he's finding… More >>
  • Best Astro

    Michael Bourn

    With the year the Astros are having, this is a tough one, kinda like picking the best excuse from a BP executive. Still, the answer is pretty easy: We're gonna go with Bourn. First off, he's a local, which has been something of a rarity for position players on the Astros since, like, Craig Reynolds or Joe "Shoes" Pittman or… More >>
  • Best New Astro

    Brett Myers

    It pains us, as it no doubt pains many people, to name Brett Myers as a "Best" anything. He's gotten into ugly incidents involving allegedly hitting his wife in a drunken argument (she asked for charges to be dropped) and with a reporter who dared question him (teammates broke up the confrontation). But since he's come to the Astros, Myers… More >>
  • Best Dynamo

    Brian Ching

    For the last three years, Brian Ching has been pretty much the face of Dynamo soccer for most fans. He came oh-so-close to making the U.S. World Cup team, but a hamstring injury held him back. It would have been nice, but Houston will take him any day. Even though he's toned down his tweeting after getting fined for criticizing… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Ultimate Fighting

    Bam Bam Martial Arts

    Around the city and especially the suburbs, there are tons of sports bars, strip clubs and Hooters locations that seem to promote every big UFC fight. But that's likely to be a miserable experience if it's the fighting you're really interested in. So to see some real fighting, and maybe even some real blood, head over to Bam Bam Martial… More >>
  • Best Bike Path

    East End Park (Kingwood)

    Bike paths are bike paths are bike paths, right? There's some greenery, some type of easy-on-the-tires riding surface, a few bridges or water features, and a couple rest stops along the way. All that's pretty much standard. So what makes the bike path in Kingwood's East End Park so special? The San Jacinto River. The eight-mile track loops the river… More >>
  • Best Sports Radio Talk Show

    John & Lance, 1560 The Game

    Is there a funnier guy on Houston radio — sports, music or talk — than Lance Zierlein? We don't think so. Whether it's spoofing the Communist-party propaganda coming from rival KILT 610, the Texans' flagship, or the incomparable SEC Guy (can't be explained; you just have to listen) or just general riffing, he's guaranteed to get you laughing. Not to… More >>
  • Best Golf Course

    Hermann Park Golf Course

    There's a rumor at Hermann Park Golf Course that the guys from Bon Jovi like to play the course when they come through town. At least, they have one time. Whether it was Richie Sambora, Mr. Jovi himself or just a couple of roadies, it doesn't really matter. After all, how many golf courses can bring together rock stars and… More >>
  • Best Rocket

    Shane Battier

    Shane Battier is almost too perfect: a Duke pedigree, a guy who does plenty of charity work, an unselfish player who does the anonymous dirty work that helps his teammates get glory, a funny guy. He does have one glaring fault, though: YouTube evidence from a charity karaoke event shows the man has absolutely no ability to sing whatsoever. He… More >>
  • Best In-Town Getaway

    Lovett Inn

    Need a weekend, or even just a night, away from your hectic Houston life, but you don't want to go too far? Luckily, there's no need to look further than the cozy, tree-lined boulevards of Montrose. Welcome to the Lovett Inn. Built in 1923 by former Houston mayor and federal judge Joseph C. Hutcheson, this colonial-style home-turned-inn offers relaxation and… More >>
  • Best Place to Breathe Clean Air

    Bolivar Peninsula

    Sadly, there is no magic wellspring or font of clean air to breathe in Houston. Ozone can be anywhere, from the Ship Channel to Katy to the Galleria. The toxins belched up by the scores of petrochemical plants and refineries that dominate the area are impossible to escape nearby. "Everywhere you turn in Houston proper," says Matthew Tejada, executive director… More >>
  • Best Gun Range

    Bailey's House of Guns

    Whether you're shooting your old family-heirloom deer rifle or just squeezing off some rounds with your new .380, Bailey's House of Guns will make any gun enthusiast feel at home. Located south just off Almeda Road, Bailey's is a family-run institution. The range shop is filled with massive stuffed beasts and loaded to the gills with any accessory you may… More >>
  • Best Texan

    David Anderson

    The Texans have a lot of "usual suspects" when it comes to this annual award, but this year we're making a bit of a stretch. Receiver David Anderson will probably never be an All-Pro, unless a really, really widespread rash of injuries strikes the NFL. But what other footballer would celebrate one of his rare touchdowns by doing Conan O'Brien's… More >>
  • Best New Texan

    Earl Mitchell

    Earl Mitchell, a third-round pick for the Houston Texans, is one happy defensive lineman: He gets to play in the NFL in his own hometown. Mitchell went to North Shore High before heading to the University of Arizona, and now he's back as a third-round pick for the Texans. "Being able to play here is a fulfilled dream," he said… More >>
  • The Sankey Rodeo School is one-in-a-nation

    Cowboy Country

    The Sankey Rodeo School is one-in-a-nation

    by Paul Knight When someone watches a professional golf event, and he wants to try out the sport, chances are he knows where to find a local golf course. Same thing with basketball: Everyone knows where to shoot some hoop. But when someone turns out to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo — more than 2 million people did in 2010 —… More >>
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