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Nature Views in Houston

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Discovery Green
Discovery Green is a beautiful, vibrant 12-acre park in the heart of downtown Houston that opened to the public in April 2008. The park was envisioned by several committed Houston philanthropists, who saw the space as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an urban park that would redefine the landscape of downtown. In less than four years, the site that became Discovery Green was transformed from an undeveloped, concrete eyesore into a beautiful and vibrant destination adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center.
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Hermann Park
Hermann Park has a bountiful assortment of entertainment: a golf course, an outdoor theater, a jogging track, a beautiful rose garden, picnic spaces, a butterfly exhibit, and even a museum. Hermann Park, presented to the City of Houston by George Hermann in 1914, is Houston's most historically significant public green space. Over the years, the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden and Hermann Park Golf Course, one of the first desegregated public golf courses in the United States, all have added to the Park's importance as a recreational destination. Hermann Park, located minutes from downtown Houston, is a cultural and recreational hub surrounded by the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, the Museum District, and various residential neighborhoods. The entrance to the park is at the intersection of Main St. and Montrose Blvd. Upon arriving at Hermann Park the visitor is greeted by a statue of one of Houston's founders, General Sam Houston. He points in, towards the park, leading the park visitor in the direction of it's many amenities.
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McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls is a 641-acre park features over 80 campsites, including developed (RV) and hike-in sites. Screened shelters, group shelters and a group dining hall are also available. Outdoor recreation opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, bicycling, swimming, birding and wildlife observation. Onion Creek, which flows 1.7 miles through the park, offers both swimming and fishing opportunities.
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Zilker Botanical Garden
Tucked away on 26 acres of Austin’s Zilker Metropolitan Park, Zilker Botanical Garden is a lush sanctuary of koi ponds, live oaks, and prickly cactuses of all shapes and sizes. Composed of multiple themed gardens, this natural retreat offers something new around every corner. Witness the colourful blooms of the Mabel Davis Rose Garden and explore the Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden, complete with a stone gate gifted by Austin’s Sister City (Oita, Japan), a teahouse, and numerous Japanese maples.
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Washington Park
Washington Park is one of the oldest, best loved and most widely used parks in Portland. It features more than 400 acres of trees, gardens, attractions and playgrounds and 15 miles of trails. Washington Park is home to the Oregon Zoo, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, the Portland Children’s Museum, the World Forestry Center and the Hoyt Arboretum.
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Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
A 103-acre facility dedicated to conservation, education, recreation and tourism. It houses an award-winning, 9500-square-foot building filled with live animal exhibits; photographic presentations of the site's flora and fauna; natural artefact and mineral displays; and a sizeable, vintage waterfowl decoy carving collection. Ecology and art exhibits are featured periodically. Over a mile of gravel paths and boardwalks link varied habitats such as the cypress-tupelo swamp, beech-magnolia and hardwood forests. Wildlife is plentiful at Bluebonnet Swamp, including hundreds of bird species utilizing the site throughout the year. Birders can view seasonal species during peak migrations, as well as year-round residents. While snakes and turtles are commonly seen from the trails, raccoons, rabbits, opossums, armadillos, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, deer and otter are also known to inhabit the site. Nature programs and environmental education are conducted throughout the year including educational group tours, live animal encounters, holiday and summer day camps, toddler activities, birding walks, field trips and special events.
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The Laguna del Carpintero
The Laguna del Carpintero promises unforgettable experiences. Your first stop is the Metropolitan Park, a few blocks from the House of Culture. It is surrounded by green spaces and places dedicated to relaxation.
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Ascarate Park & lake
Ascarate Park is the largest public-use recreational park in El Paso County and is dedicated to sports, picnicking, fishing and other recreational activities. Spanning over 400 acres, Ascarate Park plays host to the Ascarate Golf Course which sits on 280 acres, and is adjacent to the 48 acre surface lake within the park. The Golf Course features an 18-hole, 72 par golf course and a 9 hole executive course called the Delta 9. With a lakeside boardwalk, Ascarate Lake allows visitors to take in the sights via canoe and pedal boat rentals. Ascarate Park allows for a variety of recreational activities including picnicking, playgrounds, basketball, tennis as well as handball. In addition, the park includes five softball fields, one baseball field and two soccer fields, available for league play or practice, please contact park personnel for rates and availability.
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Atlanta Botanical Garden
Renowned plant collections, beautiful displays, and spectacular exhibitions make the Atlanta Botanical Garden the loveliest place in town to visit or host an event in every season. An urban oasis in Midtown, the Garden includes 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children's Garden, a one-of-a-kind Canopy Walk through Storza Woods, and the innovative Edible Garden featuring an Outdoor Demonstration Kitchen. The Fuqua Conservatory is an organic biosphere and home to important collections of tropical palms and conifers; the Fuqua Orchid Center is home to the foremost collection of species orchids in the United States. Conservation gardens and amphibian displays highlight the Garden's work with carnivorous plant bogs across the Southeast as well as endangered species of frogs from around the world. The Garden offers lovely indoor and outdoor rental options for elegant meetings and celebrations.
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Wildlife West Nature Park
Wildlife West Nature Park is a 122-acre wildlife refuge & an enhanced rescued wildlife zoo featuring over 20 species of native New Mexican animals. The zoo features cougars, wolves, bear, elk, deer, javelina, fox, raptors & more.
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Aerial Tramway
The 2.7-mile ascent to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains is a thrilling, can't-miss attraction on the Sandia Peak tramway. Once atop the peak, the view is a panorama of more than 11,000 square miles of spectacular beauty. At night, the city lights below sparkle like a million jewels.
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Chapultepec Park
Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park is the oldest and largest urban park in Latin America, and one of the oldest urban parks in the world. Originally sited on the outskirts of the city, today this large forested area is completely surrounded by the urban center. Containing nine museums, a zoo, an amusement park, and a variety of green recreational spaces located near popular commercial districts, Chapultepec Park is an invaluable ecological oasis, and a cultural, social, and civic space for the city residents and its visitors. Up to 15 million people visit the urban park each year, often keeping to a few of the more popular areas.
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Honeymoon Island State Park
A short drive from Tampa, beautiful Honeymoon Island offers visitors an escape from the bustle of city life. One of Florida’s best-loved state parks, Honeymoon Island has more than four miles of beach to explore along with a three-mile trail through one of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests. Looking skyward, eagles, osprey and great horned owls can be seen, while ground animals include gopher tortoises, raccoons and armadillos. A trip to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center helps educate visitors about the park’s history and natural resources. Find out how Honeymoon Island received its name! Swimming, fishing, shelling, hiking and bicycling are all popular activities that make Honeymoon Island State Park an ideal getaway. The park is also the ferry terminal for access to another unspoiled state park, Caladesi Island.
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Espinazo del Diablo
Contact with nature always renews the soul and provides us with a break from the hectic lives we lead in the city. Break the monotony by exploring the cliffs and nooks of the Espinazo del Diablo –The Devil's Spine- which is a rough, beautiful place that will charge you with energy.
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Bivens Arm Nature Park
Bivens Arm Nature Park is 57 acres of marsh and oak hammock with a wildlife sanctuary, shaded family picnic grounds, an observation pavilion and a mile-long nature trail with a 1,200 foot boardwalk. The wetlands and creeks bordered by beautiful upland mixed forests is a true natural treasure. The Park connects the southernmost Gainesville creeks to the wetlands of Paynes Prairie State Preserve. The park’s trail meanders through uplands past numerous large live oaks, while the boardwalk and main pavilion border a small marsh. Birders especially enjoy the Bivens Arm Nature Park, where wading birds, including great blue herons, little blue herons, cattle egrets, great egrets and snowy egrets can be seen. You will also see purple gallinules, common moorhens, and a variety of native turtles. You may hear barred owls or great horned owls, and in April and October you may see migratory songbirds such as hermit thrushes and American redstarts.
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Boca del Puma
Boca Del Puma is a pioneer theme park in Cancun. the idea was not to create a mass commercialised park but to offer a real cultural and historical site where visitors could play in jungle.
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Fly Colorado Ultralights
here are few exotic places in the world that will be as spectacular as flying in the Pikes Peak Region. From the Garden of the Gods to the high altitude lakes of Pikes Peak, to the fall Aspen leaf color changes, you won't be disappointed!
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Military Park
Toss a Frisbee, walk your dog, or simply settle into the grass in this 14-acre green space bordering the IUPUI campus. Although it was a Civil War encampment and home to the first state fair, the park drew its name from its shape-like a military badge.
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Sahm Park
The central focal point in the park is the remodeled aquatic center. It boasts a 400,000-gallon pool with a zero depth area, numerous spray features, 3 slides and lap lanes. The park is also adjacent to Sahm Golf Course. Amenities: playground, pavilion, shelters, picnic knoll, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, soccer, fitness trail, disc golf course.
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Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, a Garden for all seasons, provides guests a chance to reconnect with nature. The breathtaking Visitor Pavilion welcomes visitors to 110 acres of spectacular gardens including a children’s garden, a conservatory dedicated to the display of tropical plants and orchids, a Dry Piedmont Prairie, annual and perennial displays, sparkling fountains, walking trails and more. In 1991, Daniel J. Stowe, a retired textile executive from Belmont, North Carolina, reserved 380 acres of prime rolling meadows, woodlands, and lakefront property and established a foundation on which to develop a world-class botanical garden. A lifelong nature lover and gardening enthusiast, Stowe and his wife, Alene, envisioned a complex evolving over several decades to rival other internationally-renowned gardens. Standing sentinel over the Garden is the stunning 13,500 square-foot Visitor Pavilion with its breathtaking 100-year-old stained-glass dome. The pavilion opened in 1999 along with eight garden rooms and 12 exceptional fountains. In 2008, The Orchid Conservatory opened later followed by the opening of Lost Hollow: The Kimbrell Children’s Garden in 2014. In 2019, the Garden is opening the Piedmont Prairie Garden in celebration of the 20th anniversary.
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John Denver Sanctuary
The John Denver Sanctuary is nestled in the heart of Aspen, next to the Rio Grande Park, adjacent to Theatre Aspen's summer performances. Its location, near the Roaring Fork River, makes this an ideal spot for quiet meditation or a family picnic. The Song Garden features many of the iconic singer's lyrics etched into native river boulders placed in a perfect circle to represent the circle of life as a score of music. At the circle's center, a single Colorado Blue Spruce was planted which symbolizes the spirit of John. It is an idyllic location and visitors will not wonder for long where "Rocky Mountain High" originated. The man-made wetlands and winding streams work as an innovative stormwater filter system, cleaning water before it drains into the Roaring Fork River. Within the Sanctuary, you will find one of the largest perennial flower gardens open to the public, which adds to the friendly atmosphere for its visitors from around the globe. These beautiful gardens start blooming during late May/ early June, which makes this the perfect location for small get-togethers or even weddings.
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Malecon
The Malecón, first named Avenida del Golfo, is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue. The project was undertaken by Don Francisco de Albear, Cuba’s greatest engineer at the time. Albear came up with a complex but smart design for the seawall, which was to be a lot more than just a promenade. According to historical records, the avenue was supposed to be constructed 4 meters above sea level. The whole project would cost 850,000 pesos, but the Spanish government didn’t bring itself to issue the construction permit and Albear’s proposal was postponed. The construction of the Malecón began in 1901. After the first stretch was completed, for which several public facilities were demolished, construction works were resumed in 1921, and again in the 30’s.The architectural richness of the Malecón is also expressed through 18th- and 19th-century stately homes, followed by a row of 20th-century buildings with an unusual combination of styles and profusion of portals, columns and pilasters that loosely follow classical lines. But beyond the architectural values of the buildings, its greatest charm lies in being somewhere to stroll or hang out on a stiflingly hot day. It is a place where couples come to make amends, especially at sunset, in the company of children and fishermen. It is Havana’s outdoor lounge.
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Rincon Mountains
Located on Tucson's east side is the Rincon Mountain Wilderness Area of Coronado National Forest. The most popular way to experience the Rincons is at Saguaro National Park East, which offers numerous trails, and Colossal Cave Mountain Park, a massive underground labyrinth and one of the largest dry caves in the world.
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Santa Catalina Mountains
Located on Tucson's north side, the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains in Coronado National Forest are Tucson's most prominent range with the highest average elevation. The highest point is Mt. Lemmon at 9,147 feet, noted as the southernmost ski destination in the United States. A trip from the Tucson valley to Mt. Lemmon takes you from 2,000 to about 9,000 feet, with scenery that resembles a trip from the Mexican to the Canadian border.
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La Quebrada
La Quebrada is one of the most famous and original traditional activities of Acapulco. In cliffs of forty-five meters high, the local divers, who begin their training as children, launch themselves towards the waves of the Pacific in a pit scarcely four meters deep. Admire the ability of those who climb to the top and jump into the void at the moment when the waves are highest. It vibrates with the night show of the Quebrada in which the experienced divers dive one by one, or up to three at a time, holding torches in their arms that mix the fire with the sunset and illuminate the night. Observe sitting peacefully in the Mirador at the foot of the mountain or at the La Perla nightclub that has been serving the fans of Acapulqueño divers since the forties.
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Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye is the name of Belize's largest island. The history of the island goes back to the days of the Maya, European Pirates, and Mexican Refugees who fled during the Caste War. The descendants from Mexico make up most of the island's population today. The economy of the island was once dependent on the coconut industry, followed by the fishing industry, but it is now dependent on tourism. Ambergris Caye is the largest of some 200 cayes that dot the coastline of Belize. Ambergris is 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide, in some places, and it is located in the clear shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea just off the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Her coastline is protected by the 190 miles long Barrier Reef, the second largest living coral reef in the world. In Mayan times, Ambergris Caye was a trading post. San Pedro Town is the only inhabited area on the island. It's atmosphere is that of a small bustling, fishing village but with "hot spots" of events, restaurants, and entertainment.
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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Focused on the preservation of the Sonoran Desert, The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will turn your idea of a museum inside out. Guests will experience a quintessential Sonoran Desert experience which includes: an unforgettable fusion zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, aquarium and art gallery.
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Playa Jibacoa
Playa Jibacoa area, mostly chosen by Cubans, is located on the north coast of Mayabeque. It has resorts and several camping sites of good quality. The area is notable for the beautiful typical landscape with a deep blue sea, surrounded by cliffs, on the side facing the land, and rocky hills where are located the hotels. The excellent beaches are famous for their clear and shallow water and is a local and tourist favourite for snorkeling from the beach. It is worth noting the scuba diving area opposite the shore, where you'll find coral reefs and a good amount of fish and shellfish. There is a wide range of activities to practice in the area, from small hiking to horseback riding or it may be good to rent paddle boats
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Guanacaste National Park
Guanacaste National Park (GNP) is a popular getaway, located only two miles from the capital city of Belmopan at the confluence of the Belize River and Roaring Creek. The park’s small size of 50 acres allows visitors to observe wildlife and tropical vegetation readily. At GNP, it is easy to learn about plants and their traditional uses, fungus farming leaf-cutter ants, or the mini-ecosystem inside a bromeliad. Its habitat is known as a secondary broadleaf forest, which benefits many birds and wildlife, including the shy and secretive “tiger cat” or Jaguarundi and Black howler monkeys. Visitors can enjoy various recreational and educational activities throughout the year at GNP. The park provides a picnic area, interpretive displays, two miles of maintained trails, a bird watching deck, and a clean swimming area. It is a perfect environment for a class field trip or family gathering.
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Virginia Key Beach
Virginia Key Beach - North is located at 3701 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne. A big wooden sign marks this historic beach, which is located just past the Rickenbacker Causeway across from Miami Seaquarium. Virginia Key Beach - North was the location of the famed,but now closed Jimbo's, a former movie-set-turned-hangout for some of Miami's eccentric local characters. Windsurfing and ultra light seaplane rental are available here. Enjoy great views of Brickell Avenue and downtown Miami skyline.
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Crandon Park Beach
Crandon Beach is one of Miami's greatest park treasures. A beautiful, sprawling campus of beaches and amenities, Crandon Park is more than a beach. At Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne, there's a Family Amusement Center, a Nature Center and even a place to rent cabanas. The beach remains the main attraction at the luscious and family-friendly Crandon Park. Gear up for a friendly game of beach volleyball or unpack your picnic and bring some supplies for the on-site grills. There's almost always a birthday party or event taking place somewhere at this site. At the south end of Crandon Park Beach, there are cabanas for rent. Cabanas have showers and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Cabana renters are assigned a parking space and exclusive picnic tables on the beach. It's fun to explore the various ecosystems at Crandon Park, including dunes, mangroves, coastal hammock and sea grass beds. The Crandon Park Nature Center is home to exotic plants, rare fish and wildlife, and Bear Cut Preserve, a natural Environment Study Area. Take a tour with a naturalist and explore all that this nature hotbed has to offer.
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Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve. It is also known for its spectacular waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and rich diversity of neotropical birds. The tracks of wildcats, tapir, deer, and other wildlife are often seen on hiking trails or along the bank of South Stann Creek. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a reservoir for biodiversity. Hundreds of species of plants with exotic leaves and flowers, colorful insects, singing birds, furry mammals, scaly reptiles, and wide-eyed amphibians live in this complex tropical forest community. Each one has a function that serves the community as a whole. Each one is adapted to the conditions that make the community unique. The mosaic of ecosystems in this rugged landscape suggests the limited extent of our knowledge of the Sanctuary’s biodiversity.
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Franklin Park Conservatory
The Conservatory’s extensive gardens and art collections pulse with life and bring the truly exotic wonders of nature right to you. Explore over 400 species of plants from around the world in the Conservatory’s biomes, take in the beauty of James Turrell’s Light Raiment II, or simply marvel at the intricate glasswork of Dale Chihuly. Experience the planet’s natural diversity in the Conservatory’s biomes. From the arid deserts of the American Southwest to the hot and humid Amazon Rainforest, the biomes allow you to explore these ecosystems right in the heart of central Ohio. Or simply stroll abundant outdoor gardens full of seasonal color and interest, set within the 88-acres of Franklin Park!
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Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center
Chandler unveiled another dynamic, mixed-use facility in April 2008 with the Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center located in the northeast corner of the city at the intersection of Lindsay and Chandler Heights Roads. The center includes four classrooms for wildlife preservation and environmental awareness, exhibit areas, outdoor amphitheatre, nature store and an urban fishing lake, all surrounded by more than four miles of trails. A primary purpose of the facility is to recharge reclaimed water into the ground for later use. The staff works with local schools to develop nature-oriented activities that complement their curriculum. Programs offered for residents and visitors cover topics such as birdwatching, green living, gardening, water conservation, nature photography, orienteering, alternative energy and stargazing. Entrance to the Environmental Education Center is free and visitors are welcome to view the exhibits and walk the trails around the urban fishing lake.
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Highbanks Metro Park
Highbanks is named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines in the eastern part of the 1,200-acre park. Ohio and Olentangy shales, often containing outstanding large concretions, are exposed on the bluff face and sides of the ravines.