Explore Deer Park
5 Reasons to Visit Deer Park this Summer
By Melanie Kross
Trademarked as "The Birthplace of Texas," warm and welcoming Deer Park is a charming city located 19 miles from downtown Houston. It was here in 1836 that Texas gained its independence from Mexico in the dramatic Battle of San Jacinto. Today, Deer Park is home to friendly people, natural beauty and loads of summertime fun.
Deer Park has something for everyone, from beautiful public parks and golf courses to splash-tastic pool fun. Regardless of age or interest, there are plenty of opportunities to get active this summer. Enjoy a shaded stroll through a public park or shop for original finds in locally owned stores. Be sure to savor regional cuisine from one of our local restaurants! Learn more about how Texas won its independence from Mexico in the heart of “The Birthplace of Texas” and keep the kids busy with activities that include hiking, swimming and even roller-skating!
Enjoy Shopping, a Day at the Spa and a Great Meal
From home décor and high-end Western wear to custom furnishings and the latest in bridal trends, there’s no shortage of elegant things to peruse and purchase in Deer Park. Family-owned shops greet you with personal service and unique items you won’t find elsewhere. Shop boutiques, work wear and bridal suites to find the perfect look, accessory or gift. Find buzzy fashion at Heavenly Couture Boutique, just right for that night out on the town. And for that very special day, book an appointment at Belvieu Bridal where an expert team will hand-select wedding couture that makes you walk on air.
Deer Park is also home to relaxing day spas, quiet escapes for that convenient mani-pedi, or a full day of pampering. Experience therapeutic and neuromuscular massages, as well as an infrared sauna and other specialty services at Eclipse Massage and Spa. In need of a new look? Have both your hair and nails done at the popular, full-service Salon Mia Bella or one of our other salons.
Top off your day with the flavors of southeast Texas, where the regional cuisine is a blend of Lone Star-style barbecue, Cajun flavors, Tex-Mex and global influences. One of the most popular BBQ restaurants in Deer Park is The Brisket House. Sink your teeth into impossibly tender brisket edged in mouthwatering “bark.” Don’t miss the jalapeño pork sausage, mustard potato salad, and, since this is pecan country, you just can’t skip the pecan pie.
If seafood is more your thing, belly up to a table at Guidry’s Cajun Kitchen for sumptuous fried Gulf shrimp, oysters on the half shell and fiery boiled crawfish. Top off your lunch or dinner with a homemade cake ball or handcrafted pastry at the family-run bakery, Frosting Dreams and All the Things or enjoy a decadent cupcake at Somethin’ Sweet. Yummy!
Catch a Show, Festival or Concert
Summertime is the right time to sit back and relish Deer Park’s live entertainment. The city is home to Art Park Players, one of the few remaining dinner theaters in Texas. Considered a local treasure, the troupe stages four major shows each season, many of them Tony award winners, as well as many smaller productions throughout the year. Spectators love the state-of-the-art performing arts center where the shows take place and are always amazed at the level of talent on stage.
Deer Park is also home to 4th Fest, a family friendly Fourth of July celebration held annually on the grounds of the Jimmy Burke Center. Come out for a day-long festival featuring live music, food, picnicking and patriotic activities, all topped off with a flashy fireworks display when the sun goes down. Throughout the summer, Deer Park also hosts free Concerts in the Park in Dow Park on Thursday evenings. It’s a great opportunity to relax, dance and enjoy live music in a wide variety of genres, from jazz and Latin to country and rock-and-roll.
Explore the Wild and Wonderful History of Texas
Texans take pride in their state's history, and one of the most compelling parts of it is how Texas gained its independence. Visit the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site to experience the story of the battle that led to Texas’ freedom. The historic site is home to the stunning nearly 570-foot San Jacinto monument, a star-topped obelisk. And since everything’s bigger in Texas, it’s no surprise that the memorial to this pivotal battle is taller than the Washington Monument! Through the dramatic friezes on the monument’s base and other markers and interpretative materials, you will learn how General Sam Houston’s army of outnumbered, but determined, settlers and Tejanos succeeded in defeating Mexican General Santa Anna in just 18 minutes.
The story unfolds further in the San Jacinto Museum of History, where exhibits include armaments, artifacts, uniforms, photos and interpretative materials. The state historic site also features a self-guided driving tour of the battlefield, perfect for exploring the prairie expanse. Enjoy the experience on foot, too. Stretch your legs along its marsh trail, home to loads of flora and fauna, including more than 200 species of birds. Be sure to bring along your pole and tackle because Buffalo Bayou winds its way through the park and is a great place to fish.
Want to discover more of Deer Park history? Head to Heritage Park for a visit to the George Moffit Patrick home, a replica of the small structure where the treaty was crafted between Texas and Mexico. After the battle, General Sam Houston and the Texas Cabinet met here with the Mexican delegation to draft the initial treaty documents that would ultimately secure Texas’s independence.
Discover more about Deer Park’s history with a visit to the Early Deer Park Graves, one of the oldest documented graves in Harris County, Texas, and the Deer Park Museum Cabinets, a showcase of historic papers, photographs and artifacts revealing the area’s fascinating evolution. The cabinets are spread across four of Deer Park’s public buildings.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors: Take a Dip, Visit a Park and Play a Round of Golf
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a dip in refreshing Dow Park Pool, just the cure to beat the heat. The pool also has a splash pad that the kids will adore, and plenty of summertime events like Dive-In Movies, which allow everyone to enjoy popular films while cooling off. Deer Park is home to numerous parks, including the Ella and Friends Dog Park, the perfect place for four-legged and two-legged friends to take a stroll together. The park features shaded areas, dog-friendly water fountains and play areas divided for small and large dogs.
Explore Deer Park’s serene natural features at the Deer Park Nature Preserve, a 1.5-mile trail and boardwalk through both woodlands and wetlands. Wildlife is abundant here, so you might spot signs of bobcats, armadillos, coyotes, native and migratory birds, aquatic life and pollinators. The trail is easy to navigate and fit for families who enjoy a good nature walk. The preserve also has a sensory garden and several geocaches. Solar-powered lights illuminate the trail at dusk.
For golfers, The Battleground at Deer Park Golf Course is a course chock-full of challenges, topped off with a side of history. The 18-hole, 72-par course features a beautiful walk through the very area where Texas earned its independence. It’s a chance to not only play golf but to experience the high points of the Battle of San Jacinto. Each hole is named for an individual or event significant during the fight for independence. The course also includes the historic Pratt Truss Bridge, which was originally opened in 1891 where it spanned the Leon River in Coryell County, Texas, and was moved to the Battleground Golf Course in the 1990s. It is the last remaining bridge built by the Clinton Bridge and Iron Company of Iowa. Enjoy the course, the clubhouse, the pro shop and the driving range.
All-American and full of family friendly fun, Deer Park is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the summertime.
About the Author: Melanie Kross is the Content Marketing Lead for Tour Texas and a Texas native. When she isn’t writing about the multitude of great travel destinations, she is photographing them, painting them and planning her own road trips to visit the amazing attractions this remarkable Lone Star State has to offer.