Best of Houston

The Rest of the Best: The 10 Best Places to Just Go and Think in Houston

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7. Helen's Park (7301 Stella Link Rd): Located in Braeswood Place, Helen's Park is an odd green spot in the middle of an otherwise busy sub-division. Myron Williams left a generous bequest to build the space in honor of his late wife. It's not one of those places filled with slides and swings. Instead it's a casual garden with two fountains and distinctive mosaics that invites contemplation rather than recreation.

6. Houston Police Officers Memorial (1400 Memorial Drive): You've driven by it on Memorial a million times, slowing down because you thought the parked police cars were a speed trap, but have you ever stopped to explore the monument to honor our fallen peace keepers? It's an amazing spot once you climb to the top of the marble structure. The sound of the water feature at the top is relaxing, and you get a wonderful view of the park and downtown. The 24-hour police presence also makes it one of the safest places on the list.

5. Wells Fargo Plaza Sky Lobby (1000 Louisiana St): The Chase building has a good sky lobby (Which faces the Wells Fargo one, actually), but I find that the Wells Fargo one is the better view to look out over the city and contemplate how we've tamed the swamp and mastered technology. The architecture is also a bit more majestic. There's nothing like sitting in the sky to leave your troubles far below.

4. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center (4501 Woodway Dr): Even someone that lives for the city life needs to to go stand outside and feel life growing around them. The Arboretum is perfect for that purpose, especially as you make your way to the center where the thick trees cut off all the sounds of the rush of daily existence. This time of year you'll want to go early to avoid the heat. I like it best when the colder weather sets in, and you can wander the woods in a thick coat being all poetic and emo.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner