Boy, it's not easy picking the best ice rink in Houston. There are just so many...But even without hordes of competitors, the Aerodrome in Sugar Land stands out. It's the practice home of the Houston Aeros, so obviously the rink has to be in top shape. And the connection with the team makes the Aerodrome the best place to go for Aeros and hockey gear (if you ever need a mini-Zamboni with the team's logo, you're in luck). There's also a wide selection of all the stuff you need to be a serious figure skater -- from skirts to scrunchies to crash pads. The public skating sessions are plentiful, and at night the music can range from jazz to country. Even if this were Boston, the Aerodrome would still be a serious contender for top rink.
Sheryl Swoopes has been a regular winner in our Best Comet category since the WNBA came into existence in 1997, and for good reason. Swoopes was the league's first superstar, and she's never done anything but carry that title with class. She came back from both a debilitating ACL injury and a pregnancy, which ain't no walk in the park either. She was the first woman to have a sneaker named after her; she now has four different sneaks, including the new Air Tuned Swoopes. A two-time MVP, the 32-year-old forward is no longer in her prime as a player, but as a children's author, as the head of the Sheryl Swoopes Foundation for Youth, and as a budding sports broadcaster, she's still at the top of her game.
Sheryl Swoopes has been a regular winner in our Best Comet category since the WNBA came into existence in 1997, and for good reason. Swoopes was the league's first superstar, and she's never done anything but carry that title with class. She came back from both a debilitating ACL injury and a pregnancy, which ain't no walk in the park either. She was the first woman to have a sneaker named after her; she now has four different sneaks, including the new Air Tuned Swoopes. A two-time MVP, the 32-year-old forward is no longer in her prime as a player, but as a children's author, as the head of the Sheryl Swoopes Foundation for Youth, and as a budding sports broadcaster, she's still at the top of her game.
Donovan Park should be called Donovan Land. The sprawling wooden kid-world could make even the most unimaginative tyke imagine he's the ruler of a vast kingdom. Turrets, bridges and secret compartments link the more typical playground accessories: slides, jungle gyms, climbing nets, swings and the like. The park is surrounded by trees and grassy hills; shaded areas with benches will please parents. But they won't be so happy when it's time to collect the children. There are many hiding places at the playground, and it's no easy task to talk the little kings and queens down.
Donovan Park should be called Donovan Land. The sprawling wooden kid-world could make even the most unimaginative tyke imagine he's the ruler of a vast kingdom. Turrets, bridges and secret compartments link the more typical playground accessories: slides, jungle gyms, climbing nets, swings and the like. The park is surrounded by trees and grassy hills; shaded areas with benches will please parents. But they won't be so happy when it's time to collect the children. There are many hiding places at the playground, and it's no easy task to talk the little kings and queens down.
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.

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.

Sick of cutting your feet on shells? Annoyed by the inevitable close encounters with jellyfish? Tired of wading through brackish water that looks like it was just churned out of the treatment plant? Head to Moody Gardens. The Galveston Island attraction/resort has created a new, improved beach, and it's charging guests a fee to enjoy it. The three-acre Palm Beach accommodates up to 2,500 people and features freshwater lagoons, white sand beaches, palm trees, lifeguards, paddleboats, Jacuzzis and regulation sand volleyball. Fooling yourself into enjoying a fake beach (at the beach) makes for an ironically amusing escape possible only in Galveston. The downside is that it's open only during the summer.
Sick of cutting your feet on shells? Annoyed by the inevitable close encounters with jellyfish? Tired of wading through brackish water that looks like it was just churned out of the treatment plant? Head to Moody Gardens. The Galveston Island attraction/resort has created a new, improved beach, and it's charging guests a fee to enjoy it. The three-acre Palm Beach accommodates up to 2,500 people and features freshwater lagoons, white sand beaches, palm trees, lifeguards, paddleboats, Jacuzzis and regulation sand volleyball. Fooling yourself into enjoying a fake beach (at the beach) makes for an ironically amusing escape possible only in Galveston. The downside is that it's open only during the summer.
Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend is only a 30-mile drive from downtown, but once you get there you'll feel hundreds of miles away. This peaceful, 4,900-acre state park is located where the Big Creek and Brazos River meet, and it offers up to 20 miles of easy walking trails. (There are no changes in elevation, so don't come expecting a tough workout.) You'll loop throughout marshlands and enormous oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and without much trying you'll spot alligators sunning themselves, as well as a variety of birds. The park also offers the Creekfield Lake Nature Trail, a half-mile loop developed specifically for the disabled; it includes tactile exhibits and an audio tour for the blind, as well as a boardwalk accessible for those in wheelchairs.

Best Of Houston®

Best Of