August 22nd, 2011

Free Parking: Spotts Park

Northeast of the pretzel-like intersection of Memorial Drive and Heights Boulevard—or is it Waugh at that point? You will find Spotts Park. It’d seem that on these two busy streets, a park would stick out like the sore thumb you got in that pick-up game of Jai alai. Being that the park is about 20 to 30 feet below the level of the surrounding roads, I hadn’t noticed it until I was looking for it.

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It wasn’t until a game of basketball with some of the TLS staff, that I had a reason to seek this little valley out. Since this park is not hidden as is the case with Lawrence Park, you can expect the basketball courts to be full at the coolest parts of the day, especially weekend mornings.

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Basketball’s not your thing? There are two sand volleyball courts, which I rarely see full. The ample grass spaces are more than big enough for soccer, ultimate frisbee, or touch football. Also, hidden from the rest of the park, are tennis courts at the top of the hill, on Willia Street.

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The parks low elevation, gives it an abundance of grassy hill space for any runners anxious for a change from Houston’s flat terrain. Take it a step further and follow the winding cement trail beyond the park. It follows Memorial Drive with Rosemont Bridge crossing over to the trail along Allen Parkway.

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Or continue past Rosemont Bridge, along Olivewood Cemetery until you reach the Buffalo Bayou Park and Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Those two require their own articles all together.

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Spotts Park is no stranger to the cross-fit craze we’re in right now. With pull-up bars, steps, and other contraptions—their uses unknown to me, if you don’t see at least one group of folks doing push-ups or lunges together, you’re probably looking into the sun.

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If you’re looking for something to do out-doors with your miniature yous, there’s a playground with jungle-gym for just that very thing. It’s definitely not for adults. I tried the slide. It was like moving a book shelf on shag carpet. No speed for my need.

HOW TO GET THERE:
There’s only one entrance, off Heights Blvd. across from Chatters on Willia Street.
[401 S. Heights Blvd, Houston, Texas 77007]

THE HAVES:
Covered, full-length basketball court
Jungle gym
Pull-up bars and other work out devices
Two sand volleyball courts
Running and bike trail access
View of Downtown
Hills and steps
Tennis Courts (not pictured in this article)

THE HAVE NOTS:
Copious parking
Bathrooms
Bocce
Towel boy

Loopsters, tell us the parks we need to check out and the outdoor events we can’t miss in the comments. We’ll cover them as we become available.

— Richard

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