There's something absolutely stunning about the sunsets in Houston. The manner in which a gorgeous sunset ushers in the end of a long workday, transitioning Houstonians into a night full of hot urban adventures, is simply magical. The sweet combination of smog, humidity, and the city's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico makes for impressive late evening views that rival even the most celebrated and visually striking cities around the world. Here are a few of our favorite places to watch the sunset in The Town of Houston:
10. 19th Street, The Heights.
Not only does a person get to experience a beautiful sunset while taking a walk along this promenade just minutes north of Downtown (as seen in the opening photo above), but you can also stop in for a cup of joe at Boomtown Coffee (242 W. 19th), pick up some records at Vinal Edge (239 W. 19th), and check out the large variety of Mexican curios at Casa Ramirez (241 W. 19th). And if you're hungry, try the tacos with funny names at Torchy's Tacos. I favor the duo of The Democrat and The Republican myself.
9. BBVA Compass Stadium (aka The Bank).
The official home of the hometown Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash (now with World Cup winners!!!), this three-year-old venue is about as great as a soccer arena can be. The sight lines from all around the stadium are spectacular, and when the sun sets behind the lights, the whole scene looks like something out of a Visit Houston campaign. Sit anywhere facing west into Downtown and catch the tips of the skyline bathed in #ForeverOrange.
8. River Oaks Theatre, West Gray Street.
Neon, palm trees, and sunsets go together like fajitas and margaritas, which is to say, spectacularly. The intersection of West Gray and Shepherd is infamous for its traffic, the three Starbucks shops (the drive-thru, the sit-down one, and the one inside Barnes & Noble), and the cult films that are screened at midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. So don't forget to catch the sunset first, and maybe dinner, and yes, even coffee if you must.
7. Sabine Street Bridge.
This spot is where the beauty of a sunset meets the majesty of the Houston skyline. The colors of the evening sky are reflected brilliantly along the face of the Heritage Plaza building (yes, that's what its called. yes, the one with the Mayan temple on the top). This is where you can take your postcard worthy photos to send home to momma, or post on your Instagram with the caption "I Love #Houston". While you are here, ride a B-Cycle along the newly renovated trails around Eleanor Tinsley Park and Buffalo Bayou, or check out the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark.
6. Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park.
Following an extensive renovation after the 2014 season, Miller Outdoor is back and better than ever. For more than 90 years, this open-air stage has provided family friendly performances for the whole community, and the shows are always free. Sitting at the base of a hill in between Hermann Park proper and The Houston Zoo, the location is ideal for a picnic with friends and family, and sunset watching, of course. Take a walk in the beautiful new McGovern Centennial Gardens across the street, and go say hello to the Sam Houston statue on the Hermann Loop Drive roundabout.
5. Constellation Field, Sugar Land.
Yes, we know this is technically not in Houston, but you will thank us after catching a Skeeters game out there. This brand new ballpark offers cheap tickets, plenty of parking, and a relaxed and fun environment to enjoy a night of Atlantic League baseball. Take me out to a ballgame already!
4. Greetings From Houston Mural, White Oak Drive.
This masterful artwork contains elements of some of Houston's best aerosol artists, and is definitely one of the must see murals in the city. The wall belongs to Gelazzi Gelato Italiano Cafe, a new family owned business in The Heights which features cool treats to console you on those hot summer Houston days. They also have a quite pleasant patio out back.
3. Minute Maid Park.
One of the features of the home of the Houston Astros is the retractable roof. Most of the season, the roof is closed due to the heat, and rain, and the heat. But if you happen to visit the park on an evening where the conditions are just right, be prepared for one of the most speculator views found in Houston. Somewhere between the third and sixth innings, when the sun goes down and hits the sky just right, the juice box becomes a baseball paradise cloaked in bright orange and red, and blanketed in blues and purples of the night.
2. Montrose/4th Ward.
Every now and then, in between the luxury apartment complexes and the cookie-cutter town homes and the remaining Reality Bites Row houses, the city peeks out and delivers a visual treat among the woes of gentrification. For all its progress, for better or worse, Houston still amazes me to the fullest.
1. James Turrell's "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace, Rice University.
Seriously though.... if you've never seen this absolutely magnificent art installation, go there today. It will change your life!
When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Marco points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston Music scene and beyond. You can follow his adventures on Instagram: @MarcoFromHouston.