One of the few perks of the short winter and Texas heat is that spring starts a lot sooner for us. So while January is just ending, it's already starting to get warm enough to go outside more. And in Houston, we have a lot of options for different things to do outside, but one of the prettiest places has to be this well-kept secret of these botanical gardens in North Houston!

The Mercer Botanic Gardens are a hidden gem in North Houston that has over 400 acres of well-kept park, including the stunning gardens and an arboretum.

The variety of types of flora and fauna that you can find at the park is insane. They have everything from walls of bamboo so tall you can get lost in them, to a bunch of beautiful and colorful flowers, even some rare and endangered kinds.

Access to the park is easy and they're open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to dusk from March to November and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November to February.

Park access is free and you're allowed to picnic in certain areas and they even have BBQ pits if you want to grill.

But if picnicking isn't really your thing and you'd rather sit at a table, you can head to this magical bar that's tucked away in a lush greenhouse in the middle of Houston after visiting the Botanical Garden to keep the garden vibes going.

Within the confines of the park, you can literally walk in a swampy creek, through woodlands, all the way to a tropical forest area complete with a tiki head waterfall!

It's basically like traveling from continent to continent, all on the same hiking trail. 

The tropical area of the gardens looks like you stepped straight into a Hawaiian forest. There are huge colorful flowers, palm trees, and towering plants everywhere.

This park is truly incredible, but it's only one of the otherworldly parks Houston has to offer. There's also a relaxing garden full of colorful flowers in the middle of the city that you can check out this season too.

Since spring is so close and people are starting to look for outdoor activities, going for a walk through the pristine and colorful gardens or even a picnic would be such a great way to spend the day!

Mercer Botanic Gardens

Price: Free

Address: 22306 Aldine Westfield Rd., Humble, Texas

Why you need to go: It transports you all over the world, including to the tropics, and might just be the prettiest spot in all of Houston. Plus it makes for the coolest picnic dates!

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