Located directly west of downtown, Buffalo Bayou Park is a beautiful green space that winds 2.3 miles along Houston’s primary river. The 160-acre linear park features public art, hiking and biking trails, and many other amenities. Click here for more info.

During your visit, explore the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, a former drinking water reservoir that reminds locals of Roman cisterns underneath Istanbul. Take a guided tour to learn more about this incredible space.

1. Walk or Jog

Located west of downtown, this lovely park offers scenic views of the city skyline. It’s a popular place to run or walk with plenty of shade, and it’s well-lit at night. Keep an eye out for thought-provoking public art strewn throughout the park.

The park is bounded by several major roadways including Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, and is crossed by the six-lane Waugh Drive bridge. In the center of it, is Buffalo Bayou.

Bring snacks, a Frisbee disc or kite, and sunscreen. Parking is metered, but free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. Bring water too!

2. Hike or Bicycle

The paved trails of Buffalo Bayou Park offer a tranquil outdoor escape within the heart of the city. Sandwiched between Memorial Drive and Allen Parkway on its north side, and Waugh Drive and Montrose Boulevard on the south, the park is bounded by downtown Houston and the affluent River Oaks neighborhood.

The 160-acre linear park winds west of downtown along the region’s primary river and is one of the most popular places to run in the city. Its ten acres of trails meander past seven major public art installations and three gardens of native flora.

The park also has a skate park, dog park, cistern, and numerous other amenities. This is a popular spot for locals to get exercise, meet friends or enjoy the scenery.

3. Go for a Picnic

The neighborhood of Memorial Heights offers a swath of green space, with Buffalo Bayou Park as its centerpiece. This 160-acre park is a recreational haven, with multiple annual festivals and hiking trails. This area is ideal for people who enjoy being outdoors but prefer not to live too far from downtown Houston.

There are many walking trails, spectacular art sculptures like the seven silvery aluminum figures of Tolerance by Jaume Plensa, and a skatepark. You can also find a jogging path, a children’s playground, a dog park, and the historic Allen’s Landing.

Be sure to bring a Frisbee or kite, sunscreen, and a picnic blanket. You can also find food trucks and public parking. The park is open daily, with lighted areas from 6 PM to 11 PM and other areas from dawn until dusk. A must-see place!

4. Take a Boat Tour

One of the best ways to experience Buffalo Bayou Park is from the water. Take a day or evening tour to see the park’s many sights, including the historic Cistern, which once served as a drinking water reservoir before an irreparable leak rendered it obsolete in 2007.

The bayou is also home to 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats that emerge at sunset from under the Waugh Drive Bridge. Stroll toward the bridge for spectacular skyline views and to watch the bats take flight.

The non-profit Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) oversees the transformation and maintenance of the 10-square mile stretch of the bayou that runs from Shepherd Drive through downtown to the Port of Houston Turning Basin. BBP’s success has prompted a boom in residential and commercial development along the river, with research showing that homes within a ten-minute walk of the park are worth 16 percent more.

5. Visit the Cistern

A cool, one-of-a-kind experience awaits underground at the Cistern, an industrial relic built in 1926. The former drinking water reservoir, which once spanned 1.5 football fields and held 15 million gallons, was decommissioned after it sprung an irreparable leak in 2007.

Tours of this cavernous relic (a landscape architect nicknamed it the Cistern because it reminded him of ancient Roman cisterns) are now offered. Guests can climb down the shaft or use the Down Periscope art installation to explore this unique space—which, at full capacity, produces a 17-second echo.

Guided tours of the Cistern impart a lot of information about Houston’s history, and art installations are staged here as well. But the raw space is awe-inspiring on its own, too. Reservations are recommended. Check the website for tour times. Up next is Bane Park.



Driving directions from Signature Cleaning Concepts to Buffalo Bayou Park

Driving directions from Buffalo Bayou Park to Bane Park