Spirit of the Bayou
Did you know there are boat tours of downtown Houston?! Me neither!
I had previously heard of kayaking in Buffalo Bayou, but I never felt my immune system was up to that if I fell in (that sounded a bit snobby, huh? Oh well, moving on).
Spirit of the Bayou is the pontoon boat that provides various tours of downtown. The boat seats 21 and is open to ages four and up, however, 12 and under will need to wear a life vest. You are welcome to bring food and beverages on board. There is a closet/bathroom. I did not check it out, for all I know it’s a bucket. I did not tell my kids it was there or they would have had to go (probably five times).
- There are private 1 1/2 hour tours for $500. You can add a historian as a tour guide for an additional $175. The boat captain is nice and will point out the big stuff, but if you would like something more in depth you will need the tour guide.
- 30 Minute Tours, the cost is $5 for kids (ages 4-12) and $7 for adults. There are no reservations and you pay with cash as you board.
- Second Saturday Boat Rides during March, April, May, and October, the boat runs from 10am – 2pm (last departure is at 1:30pm).
- Christmas Cruises are during December from 5-8pm.
- Summer Twighlight Tours, the boat runs from 6-8:30pm (last departure at 8pm).
- Waugh Bat Colony Boat Tours on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of April through September. Reservations required. This tour is 1 1/2 hours and will depart 30 minutes before sunset. All riders are $30 and must be at least 4 years old.
- Foodie Floats from 6-7:30pm, the cost will vary from $50-100 and local chefs and food purveyors will provide food and beverages.
While the website says tours leave from the Sabine Promenade at 150 Sabine Street we departed from Allen’s Landing and the instructions hereafter are for that, so please verify your departure point before traveling.
To depart Allen’s Landing you will need to park near Commerce and Fannin St. There is a lot of parking so finding street parking shouldn’t be difficult.
If you street park you will need to find your parking area number and use the app to pay. Save some time by downloading the Parkmobile app and filling out all of your information before you go. That way you aren’t standing on a downtown street outside of legal buildings, trying to keep two kids out of the street, and avoiding eye contact with questionable characters while you pull out your credit card on a street corner (not that, that is what I did). The box will look like this:
See it on the Area Attractions Map & Bon voyage!