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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Houston Galleria

View from inside the Williams Tower pedestrian walkway.
The heat has finally arrived and forced us indoors. We try to choose paths outside as often as possible, but when it hits 109°F, air-conditioned walkways are a must. There aren't that many to choose from in Houston, so we'll hope for cooler days ahead so we can get back to nature. This year, our first stop indoors was at the Houston Galleria®. The shopping center has four flours and a two story annex - there's no possible way to get bored. Also, after walking there a few times last summer, we discovered a walkway over to Williams Tower, where we in turn discovered even more interesting sights.

I can't say how early the mall doors are open for walkers and employees but they are certainly open by 8:00AM. Since most of the shops don't actually open for shopping until 10:00AM, one would think that the place would be oddly quiet and subdued. Not the case. It's quite busy, not Saturday afternoon busy, but there are several walkers and quite a lot of employees and security bustling around.

Since we need to walk there several times each summer, we like to change around our walking routine, but I think what we find works best is to start on the third floor. This is a little know area where most shoppers don't go, but it is a public space in the mall with a couple of banks, a tailor, a law firm, an eye care specialist, and mall security, to list a few. This third floor is the warmest of the floors, so we like to get it out of the way. From there we work our way down - making either all right turns or all left turns, until we're back at square one, then we take the stairs down to the next level.  

Williams Tower Gallery Art
For added fun and interest; at the east end of the Houston Galleria®, on level two, near Neiman Marcus there is an unmarked hallway that heads south. This walkway is a nice diversion on the walk as it winds around and leads you through a pedestrian bridge (which crosses W. Alabama) ending in Williams Tower - second floor lobby. Once there, If you look south out the window and through the trees, a glimpse of the Williams Water Wall (Gerald D. Hines Water Wall Park) may be seen. Also here, here one could enjoy a Seattle's Best cup of coffee before heading down to the first floor lobby, where local artists hang art in an open gallery there. The art changes every so often so visiting doesn't get boring. Always something new to see. 

Ice at the Galleria - Skating Rink
Ending the walk on the basement level, near the ice-skating rink, is nice and cool and we always enjoy watching the skaters while sipping our coffee. For mall walking, the Houston Galleria® is fantastic, as it provides miles of air-conditioned walking space, and quite literally, something new and interesting around every corner.

Happy Houston (Indoor) Trails


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