Sports & Recreation

  • Best Aero

    Jon DiSalvatore

    Houston is really going to miss Aero Jon DiSalvatore, who was team captain and a top offensive player who did tons of charity work and loved interacting with fans. He's left to play with a team closer to his home in Connecticut. We'll remember him as a coach's dream who sacrificed the best parts of his game — including his… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Neal's Lodges

    A lot has changed at the 86-year-old resort village on the rim of one of the Frio River's most scenic canyons. Sure, the boulder-strewn, aquamarine-watered old swimming hole is still one of the finest in Texas, the dining hall's still offering up chicken-frieds to die for (or kill over), and all ten million of those Mexican free-tailed bats are still… More >>
  • Best Sports Talk Host

    Lance Zierlein, SportsTalk 790 AM

    In an industry becoming increasingly cluttered with boisterous blowhards who want to be Jim Rome, stat geeks who worship at the Moneyball altar, and seriously unfunny wannabe comedians, Lance Zierlein is a rare triple threat. He is equally comfortable asserting his opinion, dissecting complex statistical analysis or creating funny characters. His ability to be both informative and entertaining is the… More >>
  • Best Swimming Hole

    Quintana Beach County Park

    When Galveston Island gets overrun with tourists, one of the best and easiest things to do is hop on over the San Luis Pass to the tiny hamlet of Quintana, a wonderful summertime Gulf haunt. Just south of Freeport and its factories, Quintana Beach Park has picnic facilities, hook-ups for RVs, cabins, camping facilities and other amenities, but it's the… More >>
  • Best Athlete Tweeter

    Arian Foster

    No, he doesn't get this award for tweeting a picture of his MRI when he suffered a hamstring injury. Although that's certainly an indication of the freewheeling content on Texan running back Arian Foster's Twitter account, which can range from philosophical observations ("There is life outside of your beliefs") to random WTFs ("Even though it isn't an accurate rumor, I… More >>
  • Best Dog Hangout

    The Boneyard Dog Park & Drinkery

    Houston has plenty of nice neighborhood city-run dog parks, but we think the funnest place for both Fido and you is the Boneyard. Why? Because you can get your drink on while Fido plays fetch. The bar just north of Memorial Park has a 7,000-square-foot double-fenced yard with picnic tables, toys, poop bags, water and a dog-washing station. Inside, the… More >>
  • Best Shooting Range

    The Arms Room

    Now that you have bought your rifle or handgun, you have to learn how to use it, right? Drive on out to League City and spend a few hours at The Arms Room, a gun store and range built inside an old Circuit City. Weekends get pretty hectic, and the wait to get a lane could be up to an… More >>
  • Best Texan

    Connor Barwin

    On the field, Connor Barwin was able to make Texans fans forget the loss of Mario Williams to injury. Off the field, we're not sure Houston's ever seen an athlete like him. He's intensely into the local music and arts scenes — he even wrote a Summer Fest review for us — and he's come out in favor of gay… More >>
  • Best Indoor Soccer

    Kicks Indoor Soccer

    Kicks is 28,000 square feet of fun, including a multipurpose field, a gym and — praise Pelé — a full-on bar open seven days a week! (The sports extends to the bar, too, with billiards, beer pong, flip cup and FIFA PlayStation 3 competitions.) Kicks offers games for adults and kids, and year-round training camps for kids as well. It… More >>
  • Best Walk

    Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center

    It's almost too good to be true, and we might regret giving this away, but Sheldon Lake is honestly one of the best kept secrets in Houston. If it weren't for the sound of the nearby industry, you might think you'd stumbled onto some Precambrian swamp. The terrible lizards are still there (in the form of lake-dwelling alligators), but the… More >>
  • Best Rocket

    Luis Scola

    You might mistake him for Russell Brand in a lineup, and at 32 his prime years are probably behind him, but Luis Scola has been a solid all-around Rocket for five years. Rarely out with an injury, he's mastered the baseline jumper, gets some rebounds and plays defense about as well as anyone on the team does, which is to… More >>
  • Best Wildlife Watch

    Armand Bayou

    A wise man once said that in order to truly understand Houston, you must learn to see it as the Indians did. There is no better place in the area to get your Karankawa on than Armand Bayou. There you can see what this swampy, bayou-streaked, pond-dotted coastal prairie looked like when cannibal tribes roamed and Spaniards perished in the… More >>
  • Best Dynamo

    Geoff Cameron

    Geoff Cameron has emerged as a versatile and key player for the Dynamo, good enough to train with the U.S. Team gunning for the World Cup. He's a defender but has shown he can play other roles as well and contribute significantly. He makes a big impression off the field, too. The Massachusetts native has twice won Major League Soccer's… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Playground

    Donovan Park

    Sited at the intersection of two of Houston's foremost bicycle routes (Heights Boulevard and the MKT Trail), Donovan Park is an ideal destination for two-wheeled family adventures. As a private park, this little gem is not affiliated with any cash-strapped City of Houston or Harris County entity, and so Donovan Park's amusements seem better-maintained than most. (The park is maintained… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Kevin McHale

    Yeah, yeah, we know: A late-season collapse meant no playoffs and a mediocre draft pick for the Rockets. So what else is new? The staggering finish made many fans forget that McHale got more out of his lineup than many expected for much of the season. And one of the ways he did it? Not taking whining or no-effort games… More >>
  • Best Yoga Studio

    Big Yoga

    It's easy to get turned off by a lot of modern yoga studios. There's either too many skinny, sexy, bendy people showing off, or there's the marketing aspect promising you enlightenment and righteousness with just three headstands a week. Big Yoga does neither, though the studio's motto is to "Live Big," meaning it's not all about you, y'know. Classes are… More >>
  • Best Announcing Team

    Bill Brown & Jim Deshaies

    It might be time to retire this award, because we don't see anyone coming along who's going to top this Astros pair. As has been the case all too frequently lately, listening to Astro games can sometimes seem more like a chore than a joy. But Brown and Deshaies manage to keep things lively — Brown the dry-witted master of… More >>
  • Best Tourist Attraction

    Battleship Texas / San Jacinto Battleground

    Despite the fact that it derives its name from a Native American word meaning "friends," Texas is a pugnacious state, one far more in line with its unofficial "Don't Mess With Texas" motto than any other. And there's nowhere better in the area to revel in that orneriness than at the San Jacinto Battleground, where you can not only see… More >>
  • Best Bike Trail

    The Anthills at Terry Hershey Park

    "The Anthills" at Terry Hershey Park are more than nine miles of single dirt track that feature lots of ups and downs, roller-coaster-style (how the trail got its name), with some portions skirting the banks of Buffalo Bayou. It's considered an intermediate trail, though some hills are bigger than others. Since it's a bit farther out, it's often less crowded… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Nick's Place

    If you like your sports bars crammed full of as many televisions as can fit on the wall, populated by real sports fans and brimming with good bar food and drink, Nick's is your place. This bar on the west side is typical of sports bars in that it's a frenetic ball of sensory overload. But the people are laid-back,… More >>
  • Best Campground

    Huntsville State Park

    Huntsville State Park is only about 90 miles north of downtown, but a world away in terms of the pace of life. Skyscrapers are replaced by towering pines, and the sound of traffic gives way to birds and the rustling of leaves. This fairly small, heavily wooded state park is heaven in the warmer months, thanks to the swimming area… More >>
  • Best Sports Talk Show

    The Big Show, 790 AM

    The Big Show pairs two of Houston’s most underrated personalities in Matt Jackson and Adam Wexler. The duo has worked together on and off for many years in Houston radio and finally has a permanent home in morning drive time on KBME. Even though The Big Show recently lost Lance Zierlein to the afternoon slot, it continues to be packed… More >>
  • Best Municipal Golf Course

    Memorial Park Golf Course

    Most Houstonians don't realize that Memorial Park is one of the largest urban parks in America. And one thing it has on many of those other urban retreats is a world-class golf course. Surrounded by huge pine trees despite the drought last year, the course sits just a couple miles from downtown — hard to believe when you're hitting the… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA

    Remember the old downtown YMCA? You know, that dark underground bunker that was awesome if you and your mustachioed friend wanted to toss around the medicine ball in 1935? Yeah, this is the opposite. This bright and shiny, state-of-the-art facility is about to celebrate its second year, and if you haven't seen it yet, you owe it to yourself to… More >>
  • Best Astro

    Jose Altuve

    It's hard not to root for second baseman Jose Altuve. At five-foot-five, he's one of the shortest major leaguers around, which ups the cuteness angle, but it doesn't affect his range in the field. Plus the dude can hit, something the Astros sorely need, and he knows — well, let's say he's learning — how to take walks, which he… More >>
  • Best Basketball Courts

    Root Memorial Square Basketball Court

    Located across the street from Toyota Center in Downtown Houston, Root Memorial is hopping with activity at most every time of the morning, afternoon or evening. Anytime there is an event at the arena, you can stop and watch a serious pick-up game. There is always someone shooting around at Root, and you never know when you could be witnessing… More >>
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