It takes about an hour to drive from downtown to Brazos Bend State Park, but the trip is well worth it, because the park is a great way to burn an afternoon. In fact, you could probably burn an entire week hiking through the park's 24 miles of trails. A good route is the one-mile-long Pilant Slough Trail, which starts just off the main parking lot and ends at an observation tower, offering a gorgeous view from the top. Along the way, especially from the banks of Elm Lake, you're sure to see plenty of alligators swimming and sunning on shore. This place isn't the zoo, and an alligator could theoretically eat you or your dog, so the park offers plenty of tips for alligator etiquette, including, "Absolutely do not feed or annoy the alligators."