Whatever size room you receive, all guest rooms come outfitted with Marriott's signature "Revive" bed, which is (hopefully) the closest you'll ever experience to falling asleep inside a wedding cake. "Revive" mattresses are thicker than normal ones and have a plush topper for added comfort, along with a down comforter, extra pillows, and 300-thread-count sheets. It'll be a welcome respite after a day of sampling the many activities within convenient distance from the Marriott: shopping at Greenspoint Mall, loudly suggesting that racehorses run faster at the Sam Houston Race Park, or just swimming in the hotel's indoor pool. You'll also enjoy amenities such as an on-site fitness center, in-room coffee and tea, and gorgeous views of the Houston skyline in all its colors (Houston has more than half of the colors on the ROYGBIV spectrum).
The blades of Vertex Aviation Group’s Schweizer, Bell, and Robinson helicopters slice the sky as their team of pilots carries passengers to and fro throughout the South. The pilots provide a wealth of services via their aerial vantage point, from surveying land and power lines to eradicating agricultural pests. Meanwhile, the company’s FAA-certified trainers teach budding pilots to helm helicopters through ground instruction and hands-on flights, a curriculum more effective than the original helicopter training, running around in a propeller hat.
Mysterious fires. An old bank vault that can’t be destroyed. A deceased opera singer who refuses to draw the curtain on the living world. These are the stories that Houston Ghost Tour’s seasoned phantom chasers impart to mortals as they guide them to local nooks and crannies where spectral squatters may dwell. Guests on the Houston tour tiptoe through the ghostly grounds of Rice University and explore Hermann Park, where the songs from Miller Outdoor Theatre and animalistic shrieks from the Houston Zoo converge to form an eerie soundtrack for sleuthing. Travelers drink in local history during the Old Town Spring adventure, which teems with tales of Civil War battles, high-stakes gambling bets, and brothels filled with the ghosts of bats forever tangled up in lingerie. Along the way, guests can also glimpse the bullet holes of a bank robbed by Bonnie and Clyde. The Tomball tour explores a paranormal train depot and a cemetery that, like an igloo made of dry ice, is said to have vanished into thin air.
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The façades of Galveston homes may not appear menacing by day, but when night falls, pitch-black shadows hint at the secrets hidden inside. Tracy Richardson, a medium, paranormal investigator, and the owner of Texas Ghost Tours, unearths these lingering evils during her two-hour walking tours of the city’s haunted sites. As a member of the Haunted Society, National Paranormal Society, and Galveston Historical Foundation, Tracy’s knowledge of the local lore is nearly as daunting as the task her tours tackle: to educate visitors about the existence of paranormal activity. After sunset, she leads the way to nearby buildings imprinted with past horrors, and the dilapidated Normandy Inn. She dives even deeper into the supernatural during paranormal investigations, during which she dons a bed sheet and a Sherlock Holmes hat.
Bayou Shuttle Service transports runners, surfers, cyclists, and adventurers toting rented kayaks and canoes to nearby trails and beaches for guided tours and lessons or DIY excitement. Experienced guides lead history-packed kayak tours such as the Houston Skyline Tour, which floats past panoramic views of towering skyscrapers, or the Adventures Tour, which increases heart rates with rushing rapids and an elevation drop more thrilling than jumping down the laundry chute at grandma's house. During all-day surfing lessons, students hop aboard shuttles from downtown Houston to Surfside Beach, where instructors teach nascent surfers to stand up and surf the waves. Bayou Shuttle Service also offers overnight surf trips, where pupils can sit beside campfires under the stars and tell scary stories about crab ghosts.