ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Houston’s Hermann Park: So Many Attractions!

Updated on April 2, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Miniature train ride through Hermann Park
Miniature train ride through Hermann Park | Source

Hermann Park

My introduction to this fabulous city park in Houston, Texas, came as a matter of easy proximity. I had just started working at my very first job as an operating room nurse. My living quarters were in the nurse’s dorm in the middle of the Texas Medical Center. That was decades ago. Hermann Park was just across the street on the north side of the Medical Center. It was an easy stroll and a beautiful place to relax after a day of assisting with surgery.

The land for this park was presented to the City of Houston in 1914 by George Hermann. It now bears his name. Consisting of 445 acres, it offers so much in the way of entertainment as well as relaxation. It is no wonder that it is a well-frequented and well-utilized park in the heart of the fourth largest city of the United States.

Other cities have lovely parks, and we have visited a few of them. Let me show you one that is in our backyard so-to-speak. Hermann Park has many different venues within its boundaries. Let’s get started viewing some of these family-friendly places!

Source

World War I Veterans Honored

The large spreading branches of mature live oak trees that adorn the promenade area of Hermann Park were planted to honor our World War I veterans in the 1920s. More trees have been added since, and these majestic living honorariums provide beauty as well as shade to visitors of this park.

The oak trees also harbor the nests of our avian friends. Like many trees in the south, they are draped with the lacy foliage of Spanish Moss.

Hermann Park did not initially have all of the things seen there today. Over the years, it has continued to evolve. We can thank the foresight, hard work, and funding of visionaries. They carved out excellent venues located within the park boundaries plus continually improve upon them.

Hermann Park is nestled between the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, and the Museum District of Houston, which is all south of the downtown area. This is a beautiful area of town. As a young woman who had lived all of her early life in small towns, and who did not yet own an automobile, it seemed an ideal setting.

Map of Hermann Park
Map of Hermann Park | Source

Sam Houston Statue

This stately statue of Sam Houston astride a horse welcomes one into this park when entering from the west.

When Texas was still an independent nation, Sam Houston was the very first President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas had joined the United States, Sam Houston became a Senator for a time. He also served as a Governor of the State of Texas. Thus, he had a long political career as well as being a well-known soldier.

Since our fair city was actually named in honor of him, a statue of Sam Houston is prominent in Hermann Park.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sam Houston Sculpture Sam Houston Sculpture
Sam Houston Sculpture
Sam Houston Sculpture | Source
Sam Houston Sculpture
Sam Houston Sculpture | Source
Source

Mecom Fountains

Viewed from the statue of Sam Houston and probably driven around for most people entering Hermann Park, the Mecom Fountains are a landmark in Houston. They have adorned this area for many years. Beautiful both daytime and when illuminated at night, they add a touch of beauty to an already beautiful part of the city.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Looking at Mecom Fountains from Hermann ParkMecom fountain at night – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMecom_fountain_at_night.jpg
Looking at Mecom Fountains from Hermann Park
Looking at Mecom Fountains from Hermann Park | Source
Mecom fountain at night – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMecom_fountain_at_night.jpg
Mecom fountain at night – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMecom_fountain_at_night.jpg

Reflection Pool in Hermann Park

The Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones's reflection pool are seen from the backside of the Sam Houston Statue as well as other areas within the park.

It is 80 feet wide (24 meters) by 740 feet (230 meters) long. It is a central feature along the promenade where rows of live oak trees were planted honoring World War 1 veterans.

Benches are situated along its length for people who wish to relax. Ducks and other birds find delight in the freshwater that is continually circulated.

It is a magnificent picturesque setting for photos. Many a bridal party has utilized this site to memorialize their special day.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Reflection pool in Hermann ParkReflection pool in Hermann ParkBridal photos being taken near reflection pool in Hermann Park Hermann ParkHermann ParkHermann ParkHermann Park
Reflection pool in Hermann Park
Reflection pool in Hermann Park | Source
Reflection pool in Hermann Park
Reflection pool in Hermann Park | Source
Bridal photos being taken near reflection pool in Hermann Park
Bridal photos being taken near reflection pool in Hermann Park | Source
 Hermann Park
Hermann Park | Source
Hermann Park
Hermann Park | Source
Hermann Park
Hermann Park | Source
Hermann Park
Hermann Park | Source

Pioneer Memorial Obelisk

This monument is at the opposite end of the reflection pool from the Sam Houston Statue.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pioneer ObeliskDedication plaque on Pioneer Obelisk
Pioneer Obelisk
Pioneer Obelisk | Source
Dedication plaque on Pioneer Obelisk
Dedication plaque on Pioneer Obelisk | Source

McGovern Lake

This is an 8-acre lake within Hermann Park. Almost anytime one visits, people can be seen making their way across the aquatic site of rippling waves in rented paddle boats. Smiles and gales of laughter echo across the water and it is fun to see people of all ages enjoying themselves.

For youngsters who bring their own poles, fishing is also allowed, but catch and release are the rules to be followed.

From this location, one can catch some glimpses of a few buildings in the Texas Medical Center. McGovern Lake is also near the Houston Zoo, which is also located within the expansive Hermann Park. Some islands in McGovern Lake offer refuge to migratory birds each year as they go from north to south and then back.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
McGovern Lake in Hermann ParkMcGovern Lake McGovern Lake McGovern Lake
McGovern Lake in Hermann Park
McGovern Lake in Hermann Park | Source
McGovern Lake
McGovern Lake | Source
McGovern Lake
McGovern Lake | Source
McGovern Lake
McGovern Lake | Source

Houston Zoo in Hermann Park

The Houston Zoo has been improved upon over the years. As so many zoos across the country have done, spaces have been enlarged with more natural settings provided for animals. The animals are expertly cared for. There is another reason attracting visitors to this zoo. Landscaped grounds are stunningly beautiful with blooming plants of many different varieties.

Depending upon the season and what may be in bloom, one could consider visiting the Houston Zoo, much like visiting a botanical garden. One can admire the textures, colors, and shapes of plants and learn which ones thrive in this area. I love visiting our zoo as much for the garden-like setting as well as seeing the wild creatures. It is an excellent combination enthralling all of one’s senses.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Houston Zoo EntranceHouston zoo photoHouston zoo photoHouston zoo photoHouston zoo photoOcelot in Houston ZooOrangutan at Houston ZooGarden-like setting at Houston Zoo in Hermann ParkGiraffes feeding at Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo Entrance
Houston Zoo Entrance | Source
Houston zoo photo
Houston zoo photo | Source
Houston zoo photo
Houston zoo photo | Source
Houston zoo photo
Houston zoo photo | Source
Houston zoo photo
Houston zoo photo | Source
Ocelot in Houston Zoo
Ocelot in Houston Zoo | Source
Orangutan at Houston Zoo
Orangutan at Houston Zoo | Source
Garden-like setting at Houston Zoo in Hermann Park
Garden-like setting at Houston Zoo in Hermann Park | Source
Giraffes feeding at Houston Zoo
Giraffes feeding at Houston Zoo | Source

Miniature Train in Hermann Park

Who doesn’t like riding through a park on a small train? This miniature train has been taking young and old alike through the grounds of Hermann Park since 1957. Its whistle can be heard operating from 10 AM to 5 PM each day. Whoo-Hooo!

One boards it from the parking lot area adjacent to the Houston Zoo. For those who might not be able nor wish to engage in the 2 miles of walking, jogging, or hiking trails within the park, riding this train will give visitors an overview of the area and bring back the days of feeling like a child.

Train ride through Hermann Park
Train ride through Hermann Park | Source

Golf

For golfing enthusiasts, Hermann Park boasts a public course that is open year-round. According to Golf Digest Magazine, it rates 3 1/2 stars. The setting is lush and green, as is much of Houston, but it also sports those majestic old oak trees. For those who enjoy a bit of trivia…it was one of the first desegregated golf courses in the nation.

Miller Outdoor Theater

From 1923 to the present time, people have been congregating in the seats of the Miller Outdoor Theater. They also spread blankets out on the lawn, which rises up behind the seated area to enjoy a variety of shows, festivals and the like free of charge.

Walking from the Texas Medical Center, I saw my very first live performance of ballet and also a symphony concert, among other things. The small towns in which I had previously lived did not provide such opportunities at any price.

Every type of musical rendition takes place on stage as well as other kinds of shows. The season spans 8 months of the year. Most productions start in the early evening. Participants can sit in the seats or on the lawn enjoying rehearsals earlier in the day.

What a great way to introduce children to operas, ballets, symphonies, or more raucous and toe-tapping events if they are too active or noisy to comfortably enjoy this type of entertainment in a more formal setting. This is a very family-friendly place. People of all ages can be found enjoying themselves at the Miller Outdoor Theater.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Miller Outdoor TheaterMiller Outdoor Theater Miller Outdoor TheaterSculpture on hill above Miller Outdoor TheaterPeople flying kites on the hill near Miller Outdoor Theater
Miller Outdoor Theater
Miller Outdoor Theater | Source
Miller Outdoor Theater
Miller Outdoor Theater | Source
Miller Outdoor Theater
Miller Outdoor Theater | Source
Sculpture on hill above Miller Outdoor Theater
Sculpture on hill above Miller Outdoor Theater | Source
People flying kites on the hill near Miller Outdoor Theater
People flying kites on the hill near Miller Outdoor Theater | Source

Japanese Garden

Hermann Park also sports a most beautiful Japanese Garden and one that is free of charge to visit. The garden offers a peaceful and restful place to spend some time in the heart of a busy city. It is pretty in a different way during each season of the year.

Springtime showcases the gorgeous azaleas in bloom while summer has the crape myrtles putting on their great show. Other times of the year feature natural attractions such as masses of iris in bloom, or colored fall leaves providing a different color palette.

A native stone, that of Texas granite, is appropriately utilized in this well designed Japanese Garden. It has many of the usual elements such as water features, a tea house, and little vignettes familiar to Japanese Gardens everywhere.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Japanese Garden in Hermann ParkJapanese Garden in Hermann Park
Japanese Garden in Hermann Park
Japanese Garden in Hermann Park | Source
Japanese Garden in Hermann Park
Japanese Garden in Hermann Park | Source

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Situated just across the road from Miller Outdoor Theater is one of the busiest Natural Science museums in the country. For numerous years my husband and I purchased family memberships. We utilized our museum memberships, often taking guests of ours to various sites within the museum and seeing many special exhibits.

The permanent exhibits are excellent. My absolute favorite is the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. It is nicely featured in the video below, with over 750 crystallized mineral specimens of amazing colors and size. Traveling exhibits always add interest and make one wish to return over and over again to the museum.

Inside the Museum of Natural Science

  • There is an IMAX theater that continually has shows on a screen that is 6 stories high and 80 feet in width. It is a total immersion experience making a person feel as if one is in the middle of the action on the screen. The sound effects are also amazing!
  • The Burke Baker Planetarium lets visitors lean back in comfortable chairs, gazing towards the ceiling. At the same time, the shows are broadcast in a darkened room. Shows can have viewers traveling and exploring time and space, assuming they stay awake. I have known people who have taken a short nap after a busy day seeing other sites inside the Museum of Natural History. I promise that no names will be revealed! Haha!
  • The Cockrell Butterfly Center is another beautiful addition to the Museum of Natural History. This multi-storied glass-encased tropical venue with a cascading waterfall and plantings have butterflies of various sizes and hues fluttering about drawing visitors from near and far.

By no means is this an exhaustive listing of all the many sites within this natural science museum. One could spend the better part of a day here, just enjoying a couple of the exhibits. Buses of school children are taken there regularly during the school year. What a great way for them to learn things in this interactive environment.
Like many other sites in Hermann Park, the Natural Science Museum has expanded over time and continually offers additional reasons to visit it on a regular basis.
For people on a budget, there is free admission to the permanent exhibit halls every Tuesday after 2 PM.

Houston Garden Center

A short walking distance from the Houston Natural Science Museum and across from the Miller Outdoor Theater is the Houston Garden Center, where many of the garden club members regularly meet.

Beds of magnificent labeled roses entice one to admire the many colors and sniff the fragrance and perhaps try one or more of these beauties in a home garden. There is a fragrance garden where herbs and other fragrant plants are grown. An oasis for the blind not only encourages the use of other senses like touch and smell but identifies each plant in braille. There is also a Chinese pagoda on one stretch of lawn in the Garden Center.

Note: Since I originally wrote about the Houston Garden Center, this area of Hermann Park has been changed. It is now called the McGovern Centennial Gardens. The video below shows it under construction and in the early stages. I have written a separate post all about the McGovern Centennial Gardens if you are interested.

Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park
Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park | Source

So Much to Enjoy!

This beautiful and family-friendly city park invites visits from those of us living here as well as travelers to our fair city.

People can take a picnic lunch, enjoy the wide-open tree-shaded spaces, and do some people watching. Others might wish to improve their golf swing. Excellent entertainment can be enjoyed at the Miller Outdoor Theater. People who want to learn more about our natural world inside the Natural Science Museum…that and more can be accomplished within Hermann Park.

By now, hopefully, you realize why Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, has something for everyone within its borders. The video below is well worth watching!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dora,

      Glad that reading this post brought back happy memories for you of attending the Miller Outdoor Theater shows in Hermann Park. It is a fabulous venue!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 days ago from The Caribbean

      My children and I have many pleasant memories of Hermann Park. How we looked forward to the Miller Outdoor Theatre in the summer! Thanks for the view of our familiar stomping ground.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      It is with pleasure that I am able to introduce you and others to the wonders of Hermann Park.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 days ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Just amazing how many attractions and sights the huge Hermann Park offers to visitors. Lovely pictures and well described.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      Hermann Park is so huge and has so much to offer people who visit it. Of course, there are also playgrounds for children, walking trails, etc. You just got a glimpse of it here.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 days ago from UK

      I am amazed at how much this park has to offer, all so well documented in your excellent article.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      We really do have a city filled with amazing things to see and enjoy. Happy to be able to share them via the web with you and others.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 days ago from Massachusetts

      This is amazing. There really is something here for everyone. My grandkids would love that train. You certainly have a lot of interesting places to visit in Houston.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ruby,

      I am so glad you enjoyed learning about Hermann Park. The medical center was big but nothing like today back when I started nursing there. The six-story nurse's dorm is now replaced with high-rise hospitals. There was surface parking back then! Now except for pricey parking garages, most of the medical personnel park in outlying lots and are shuttled in to the Med. Center. Much has changed since 1969! Ha!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 days ago from Southern Illinois

      This is the most beautiful park of all you've written about. It was interesting to read about your nursing career too. Sam Houston was a giant of a man in his day. Thanks again for a look at this beautiful park.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      It is a wonderful park in the heart of Houston! Thanks for your visit.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the train...love the memorials....love that park!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      There are many choices of ways to spend time in Hermann Park since it is so vast. It is all good!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lorna,

      Hermann Park indeed has something for everyone! It is in a beautiful part of our city. Rice University campus is across the street from it, so it is nice for those students who stay on campus also.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 days ago from USA

      I’m not sure what sounds like the most fun — that train ride, the zoo (your vivid photos are beautiful), the science museum... . There are so many excellent attractions. The big cats and butterflies might me calling my name.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      6 days ago

      I think I could spend a week at this wonderful park and still find lots to interest me. There really is something for young and old alike and I love the idea of the train ride. It's also reassuring that like many other zoos the living conditions of the animals have improved.

      The sheer size of the park is incredible - 445 acres - you could probably fit half of Ireland into it (slight exaggeration). I enjoyed learning about this beautiful park through your wonderful photos and videos Peggy. Take care - sending virtual hugs.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)