A fleet of segways ferries tour takers to scenic outposts in downtown Houston and along the historic bayou during four tours, seven days per week. Guides lead groups of up to eight riders in snapping sunset pictures during the Twilight Bayou tour and spout off historic anecdotes during the Houston History tour. In addition to tours of the city and scenery, friendly guides can travel with a brigade of segways to a client's home or office to teach friends, families, and coworkers how to navigate the two-wheeled steeds more effectively than a renowned segway whisperer.
In an effort to raise money for wildlife relief efforts, The Houston Zombie Walk of 2011 rounds up costumed participants for a mile-long loop around downtown. At 5 p.m. on September 24, the gates will open at Jones Plaza, where entertainment options include three bands, a zombie dance crew, a Halloween DJ, and cooking demonstrations that show ideal pairings for brains. The walk itself lasts from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants may bring controlled canines. After the plaza closes at 10 p.m., revelers can continue on to zombie-friendly bars that serve up drink specials and host headless can-can dancers.
The Gorilla Challenge’s name evokes its elusive staffers, who romp through the race area in gorilla suits; when a team hunts them down, the gorillas dole out special prizes. The race draws its true inspiration from the popular TV shows The Amazing Race and Fear Factor, fusing the mental challenge of a scavenger hunt with the physical challenge of running rather than just analyzing a fast-forwarding VHS tape of yourself walking. As they trek across the city, teams must decode about a dozen clues and power through physical obstacles.
Though the race brims with silliness, it does so with a dash of social consciousness. Certain clues draw racers’ attention to issues such as literacy, poverty, and environmental concerns, and every Gorilla Challenge benefits a local nonprofit, such as a food bank or a bank that doles out free money.
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).
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.
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The ghastly guides of Ghost Tours Texas lead groups of foolhardy interlopers on story-filled journeys past the spectrally inhabited landmarks of Galveston and Houston Heights. On the Galveston tour, a knowledgeable leader takes parties through the Silk Stocking District to visit the 1858 Ashton Villa mansion, whose second floor is occupied by the phantom “Miss Betty” Brown, and whose basement is occupied by a man who years ago forgot how to work a doorknob. The guide also divulges tales told from eyewitness accounts.
The Houston Heights tour winds through the area's historical and opulent homes, exploring such mysteries as the story of the Dean Correl murders and the children who are said to still haunt the alleyways of Houston Heights. Guides weave tales of ghostly possessions and evil voodoo dolls peppered with real-life testimonies from local residents.