Starting and Ending Locations for Most Tours
NOTICE: ALWAYS CONFIRM A RESERVATION FOR A TOUR WITH A NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT AND THE LOCATION OF WHERE IT BEGINS IN ADVANCE OF A TOUR.
We have had several people who ignore information on the webpages and show up for an unscheduled tour and in wrong locations that are not mentioned on the website. One must always allow at least 1 hour from the scheduling of a tour to our being able to drive to downtown to begin the tour if we have availability on last minute notice. All tours are scheduled by appointment.
Effective May 1, 2017, most tours begin at the:
- Heritage Society in Sam Houston Park at 1100 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002.
- The rotunda of City Hall at 901 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002 or outside of the northern entrance City Hall on Walker Street. This is across from Tranquility Park.
- The Spaghetti Warehouse at 901 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002 on Sundays and when festivals are taking place in the vicinity of Sam Houston Park and City Hall. Metered parking is free on Sundays and the restaurant opens at 11:00 AM. Metered parking is also free after 6:00 PM on all days. Thus, plenty of free parking exists in most of the morning.
- One of a couple of parking lots in the 1400 block of Chenevert Street and 1800 block of Bell Street.
- Sam Houston Park has a free parking lot that can be entered and exited from two locations. Use the following fictitious addresses on a GPS to find the entry points:
- 412 West Dallas Street (at Clay Street), Houston, Texas 77002.
- 262 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77002. The entrance to the free parking lot is on the right side. On the right side, two signs identify the site. A brown sign reads “Museum and Home Tour Parking.” A green sign reads “Heritage Society Parking Only.” If you reach Bagby Street, you have driven too far.
The gates to the free parking lot are closed on Sunday, but open on:
- Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Metered parking may be available on:
- The eastbound Dallas Street on the left side. This is across from the Doubletree Hotel.
- A few blocks away on westbound Walker Street. Walker Street is on the north side of City Hall.
- Eastbound McKinney Street. McKinney Street is on the south side of City Hall and across the street from the downtown libraries.
- On the northbound side of Brazos Street. Brazos Street is only one block long between Dallas Street and Lamar Street. It is one block east from Sam Houston Park. It is across from the Doubletree Hotel on Dallas Street.
Paid Parking is available in:
- A paid multi-level parking garage that is also found off of 262 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77002 to the right side before one drives straight into the free lot.
- A paid parking lot at 401 West Dallas Street, Houston, Texas 77002. This is next to the driveway to the free parking lot entrance at 412 West Dallas Street.
- A subterranean parking garage is available beneath the Jesse H. Jones Central Library. The entrance is on Lamar Street; the exit is on McKinney Street.
The location of Sam Houston Park is on the west side of downtown Houston and takes up three blocks. From south to north:
- West Dallas Street is the southern boundary of the park.
- Allen Parkway eastbound and westbound runs as separate streets through the park.
- Allen Parkway eastbound becomes Dallas Street in downtown Houston.
- Allen Parkway westbound is Lamar Street in downtown Houston.
- The left-side I-45 South exit at #47C that becomes McKinney Street is the northern boundary.
Sam Houston Park is the oldest public park in Houston. It was found in 1899. It is open from dawn to dusk daily. It has ten historic structures, nine of which have been relocated to the park and nine of which are older than the park. The oldest structure is Old Place from 1823. The Heritage Society offers docent-guided tours of three buildings for a fee on Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 and 11:30 AM and 1:00 and 2:30 PM. Call the Heritage Society for the pricing and to inquire about which buildings are being toured at (713) 665-1912.
The Heritage Society Museum is located in the middle section between Allen Parkway westbound and Allen Parkway eastbound. From the Society’s free parking lot, the walk is approximately one block to the Museum.
On Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, The Heritage Society operates a free museum with exhibits, historic photos, a 1911 Model T Ford, and the 1878 reconstructed Duncan General Store from Egypt, Texas in the block between the two Allen parkways. It also has a gift shop and bathrooms. Patronize and enjoy this gem in downtown Houston before and or after a tour. In the courtyard by the museum, stands a statue of former Governor John Connally and a monument to the Houston servicemen who gave their lives in the World War (I).
- The rotunda of City Hall is normally open Monday through Friday and on some weekends. If City Hall is closed, we can meet outside the northern entrance into City Hall on Walker Street. Metered parking is limited to 3 hours and is sometimes available on the north side of the building in the 500 block of Walker Street on either side of the street and on the south side of the building in the 500 block of McKinney Street on the left side of the street. Covered parking is available under Tranquility Park, directly north of the City Hall. However, it might be mostly full. Allow additional time to drive through the 3 levels or into another section to find an available space. Above ground, covered parking is available behind the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. This is diagonally across from City Hall on the northwest side. The parking garages charge a fee. If you have a GPS, you can use a fictitious address to find these garages:
- Tranquility Park’s entrance is at 510 Rusk Street, Houston, Texas 77002. A sign there identifies Theater Parking #2. It is on the right side. One has to cross MetroRail tracks to enter.
- The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts’s entrance is at 245 Walker Street, Houston, Texas 77002. A sign there identifies P Garage Entrance Open The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. It is on the right side. Because most musicals are performed at night, the garage normally has ample parking.
- On Sunday, when a tour has extended hours that begin and or end after the gates might be closed, and or when a festival or other event make access difficult or impossible to the Sam Houston Park and the Heritage Society parking lot, we start tours by the Spaghetti Warehouse at 901 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002. The restaurant’s western side faces Travis Street. You might have a meal before or after a tour at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Free parking is available on Commerce Street and Travis Street on Sunday. All city parking meters are free on Sunday and after 6:00 PM on all other days. The restaurant also maintains a paid parking lot.
- If you want to save money on parking and do not care about other amenities on any day of the week, drive to one of a couple of parking lots in the 1400 block of Chenevert Street and 1800 block of Bell Street. They are available well into the night and open every day unlike the free parking lot at the Heritage Society. These lots are close to and north of the Holiday Inn Express, and east of the Toyota Center. These are not fancy or have amenities such as bathrooms, a souvenir shop, vending machines, food, or refreshments. They are cheap parking areas. Unless a special event is scheduled, they have plenty of parking. These are not covered lots so during the hotter months, your vehicle might be quite warm when we return.