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The revival of this park area where the Allen brothers arrived over 150 years ago to start a new business venture has been exciting and stimulating for the downtown area. Surrounded by four primary streets (Travis, Milam, Congress and Preston), the area features restored historical buildings, fine restaurants, entertainment and nightclubs all within walking distance of each other. Lovely painted benches, artifacts and pictures line the walkways, combining the old with the new for all to enjoy. Different "points of view" can be discussed freely in a friendly atmosphere under the aptly named sculpture by James Surls.
The downtown area of Houston has been the center of action for a long time. Whether shopping, culture, history, or entertainment, downtown Houston is a vibrant part of the city. Walking along the well-planned, square blocks in this area that make up the blueprint of the streets, you will amaze at the array of sights and attractions that unfold in front of you. The beautiful architecture of iconic buildings like the Bank of America Center or the JP Morgan Chase Tower is impressive, and the charm of the Old Market Square Park will tempt you to stay a while. So, do plan a visit to downtown Houston to discover all that has made this city so loved.
Eleanor Tinsley Park, built in 1926, is bordered by Buffalo Bayou, Taft Street, Sabine Street and Allen Parkway. It has a small pool where you can see fish, turtles, and aquatic animals swimming. The sloping hills, trees, picnic tables and the swing sets make this an excellent place to relax. Every year on the 4th of July, grand celebrations with fireworks take place here. This is a regular venue for festivals. It also features a host of sculptures and other art pieces.
Within walking distance of the METRORail between the Wheeler and Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo stops lies the highest concentration of galleries, museums, and art spaces in Houston. Besides the usual suspects - the Zoo, Fine Arts, Natural Science, Contemporary Arts, and Children's Museum - there is also the fascinating Health, Holocaust, Buffalo Soldiers National, and John C. Weather Museums to explore. Don’t miss Lawndale Art Center, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft or the Jung Center. A little farther off the beaten path (just up Montrose Boulevard on the other side of US59), are the famed Menil Collection, Rothko and Byzantine Fresco Chapels, and Houston Center for Photography. Stop for a meal at any of the fine eateries along Montrose Boulevard. Check the site for events and free times.
This pleasant lake in East Houston is a citywide favorite for a little dose of the great outdoors. The park has several features, the most obvious of which is Sheldon Lake itself. The lake is open to the public and mostly used for fishing, wildlife spotting and boating, although there are some regulations concerning boat horsepower. Finally, the John Jacob Observation Tower is an 82-foot tall tower providing expansive views of the lake and park for miles and miles in every direction.