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.
The boating experts at Carefree Boat Club empower their members to explore the region’s waterways at the helm of like-new, professionally maintained water vessels. Safety is paramount, so before club members can take the helm, they must attend a classroom training session and two on-the-water training sessions with Carefree Boat Club’s dock master. During these sessions, they learn navigation, docking, and boat safety. After receiving their safety certificates, members gain access to the fleet of deck boats, fishing boats, sailboats, pontoons, cruisers, and watersports boats.
The club’s dock staff also holds the water vessels themselves to high safety standards. They inspect boats weekly using a 50-point safety checklist, and outfit boats with safety equipment such as flares, horns, flotation devices, and earplugs for blocking out siren songs.
The family that plays together stays together—an old adage that couldn’t be more true for owners Mike and Julie, now married more than 30 years. They took the courageous steps to change their unhealthy lifestyles by losing more than 20 pounds, a paradigm shift that inspired the couple to part ways with the corporate world and establish Beach Town Tours, their outdoor adventure company. Now the pair, known to their customers as Mimi and Pops, encourage people to stay active with six kayaking tours and three bicycling tours. Knowledgeable guides take kayakers around Galveston Island, paddling along wetlands, seawalls, and waterfront homes while pointing out unique wildlife such as redfish and those flounder that sing and dispense sage advice to young merfolk.
Guests also can jump on a bike and follow tour guides in small groups to the Bolivar Ferry or through sections of Hurricane Ike–damaged trees that were revived by local artists armed with carving knives.
SegCity's friendly tour guides double as segway aficionados who lead various gliding tours designed to illuminate some of the area's best examples of Gulf Coast charm. After being trained in the art of mounting, riding, and de-jockeying their mechanical steeds, guests set off on exploratory journeys that combine the pleasure of a leisurely stroll with the surreal experience of not moving your feet. In the Train-Blazin' tour, guests climb aboard X2 Segways before embarking on an adrenaline-building off-road adventure, and on the quintessential 45-minute Segway Experience tour, clients zoom down nature tails, reveling in lake views, green trees, and outdoorsy air.