When you think of Houston, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not all of the pretty nature and wildlife that the city has. This doesn't mean Houstonians don't live near beauty, in fact, there's a nature preserve near Houston that proves they do! The area happens to be the largest urban nature preserve in the United States and is home to many exotic and beautiful animals.

The Armand Bayou Nature Center in Pasadena is a transitional preserve made up of wetlands, forest, prairie, and coastal salt marshes.

That's quite a bit of land to be in one place, but that's why there's only one place like it in the U.S.

You can visit the nature paradise Wednesdays through Saturdays at any time between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.

The last ticket for admission is sold at 4 p.m. but honestly, an hour doesn't seem like enough time to see all that this giant preserve has to offer.

Tickets are $6 per person, which, when you do the math, is very little to see and experience so much.

And while you're there you may even run into an animal or two. 

The wildlife that calls this place home is as varied as the land itself.

There are numerous animals that inhabit the preserve, with everything from bison to bald eagles.

It's the largest nature preserve in the U.S. with over 370 different species of animals living on the preserve's 2500 acres.

It's mindboggling to think that there's such a massive area of land with roaming animals so close to Houston!

Going to visit and getting to see animals that you would otherwise have to travel to another state or even continent to see is already a treat in itself.

The cherry on top is that they also have a ton of activities that can get you exploring the diverse landscape.

You can get out on the water with everything from pontoon boat cruises to kayak tours.

Or, if you'd prefer to stay on land, they have a bunch of different hikes such as photo hikes, bat hikes, and even night owl hikes.

It's such a unique experience and one of the only places in the U.S. with as many protected animals as it has.

And it's right in Houston's backyard!

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Price: $6

Address: 8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena, TX

Why You Need To Go: There's nowhere else in the U.S. you can go to see such diverse wildlife.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.