6 favorite public parks to soak up the best of the Bayou City

HOUSTON -- Out-of-towners scoff at the abundance and beauty of Houston's green spaces, preferring to dwell in the traffic and "concrete jungle." But the Bayou City boasts amazing parks - with pristine and manicured greenery - that are perfect for exploring.

These spaces are perfect for that finite window of glorious Houston weather, and even for an evening experience when the temps go from sunny to scorching. Here are six of our favorite Houston public parks:

Memorial Park
With over 4 million visitors each year, Memorial Park is known as the largest urban park in Texas. One of the most active and highly trafficked parks in the city (just inside Loop 610 at Woodway), it's where you'll find one of Houston's most popular three-mile running trails (technically it's 2.9 miles) and so much more throughout the 1,500 acres of parkland.

This is a great spot for meeting friends for an all-out sprint or leisurely stroll, hitting up the stretch deck for an easy meeting spot (with a bathroom), or for joining an intramural league or tournament at one of the many fields.

Good for: intramural sports, volleyball, softball, baseball, tennis, swimming (indoor), track, running, biking, cycling, golfing.

See the other five parks on CultureMap.