Although it might be difficult to keep secrets hidden in a city with millions of residents, a big city like Houston is sure to have some secrets. Exploring is one of the best things to do in Houston. Here are a few of Houston's best-kept secrets for those who appreciate finding strange, obscure, or hidden treasures.
The Bayou's Burp Button
Visit the nearby Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern to find the secret button that causes a bubble to "burp" in Buffalo Bayou. The inconspicuous red button is located on the outskirts of downtown, close to Sesquicentennial Park, but I won't say exactly where it is. Both adults and kids will enjoy the button's explosion of a sizable bubble from the bayou. Consider timing the bubble to catch any bayou kayakers off surprise, even if it might not be appreciated.
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
Built in 1926, the 15 million gallon reservoir in downtown Houston was deactivated in the 1970s and mostly forgotten. Then, in 2012, while working on park repairs, workers unlocked a hatch to get access to the space and discovered a magnificent cistern with endless rows of columns ascending to the ceiling. After renovation, the area is now open to the public for visits. For $5, guests may enjoy a 30-minute tour of the site where they can discover its history and even experience the 17-second echo produced by the enclosed cistern. From December 2016 until June 2017, a video art piece called "Rain: Magdalena Fernandez" occupied the space, projecting light throughout the cistern.
The Dungeon Room of the Hotel ZaZa
Locals usually pick the upscale Hotel ZaZa in the Museum District when they wish to spend the afternoon by a nice pool. But if you want to spend a staycation in one of the strangest hotel rooms in the city, ZaZa could be the place for you. The area known as the "Dungeon Room" is located on the third floor of the hotel. Although the hotel has "Hard Times" as one of its themed rooms and even has the word "Hard Times" in its official name, it is not marketed nor immediately obvious when trying to make a reservation. This room, which is around one-third the size of a conventional hotel room, contains a strange bed that is chained to the walls, a brick wall façade, and other odd artwork. The "Hard Times" room itself is odd, but guests who stay there get to use one of the hotel's largest balconies.
Lucky Land is tucked between I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road in north Houston, south of Aldine. Over two acres, Lucky Land is a serene area devoted to Asian history and culture. At a moderate adult admission price of $10, Lucky Land provides a massive Terracotta Army model that fills many trenches and is identical to the army discovered in the Chinese province of Shaanxi. The Panda Village, various kung fu sculptures, tiny Chinese cities, smiling Buddha statues, and a big koi pond are further attractions of Lucky Land.
Shri Swaminarayan Temple of BAPS
This magnificent Hindu temple was built in Houston utilizing more than 33,000 distinct pieces of Turkish limestone and Italian marble that were carved in India. It is situated in Stafford on the southwest side of the city. A place of worship and devotion for practicing Hindus, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is open to the general public and features an exhibition to aid in understanding Hinduism. The 22-acre mandir offers visitors gorgeous grounds, a charming building, and the opportunity to interact with and learn about Hinduism.
What secrets about Houston have you uncovered? Comment below and let us know!