Jul 28
Partly Cloudy
High: 100°
Low: 78°
Jul 29
Partly Cloudy
High: 102°
Low: 79°
Jul 30
Mostly Sunny
High: 102°
Low: 80°
More Houston Weather » 

Shop. Save. Book Now.




Upcoming Events

Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections

June 14 – September 13, 2015
In 2015, a major American collaboration will bring masterworks amassed by one of the longest-reigning European…

25th Houston International Jazz Festival

July 31 – August 2, 2015
Jazz will fill the air in Downtown Houston as the 25th Annual Houston International Jazz Festival kicks off August…

Houston Restaurant Weeks

August 01 – September 7, 2015
Established in 2003, HRW is a fun-filled dining event benefiting the Houston Food Bank. Held simultaneously in…
Ask Veronica Test

Need to know where to go and what to do in Houston? Give a tip, post a comment or ask Veronica. Ask Veronica! › submitQuestion

Getting to Houston

Houston is an extremely accessible city. Choose your ideal mode of transportation, and we'll help you the rest of the way More ›

train thumbnail

Once you're in Houston, getting around town is half the fun. It’s easy to cruise, stroll and ride your way through our sites. More ›

CityPASS Booklet Cover 90x60

Save 50% on admission to the 7 best attractions in Houston. More ›

Elephant at Houston Zoo

Read about the latest News and Things to Do in Houston with Blogs from the Official Houston Travel Resource. Read Things To Do Posts ›



Bayou Bend

Embrace Your Inner Scarlett

Go ahead and admit it. Ever since you were old enough to work your parents VCR you’ve dreamed of being Scarlett O’Hara—a center-of-attention drama queen living in a big Southern mansion and rattling off phrases such as “Fiddle-dee-dee” and “As God is my witness they’re not going to lick me!”

Bayou Bend
Bayou Bend is home to one of the country's finest decorative arts collections.

Well no one’s bringing back the Old South (too many petticoats, not enough vodka) but you can get a taste of aristocratic charm at Bayou Bend, the sprawling estate and cultural mecca in Houston’s Memorial Park. In 1927, legendary Texas philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg (yes Virginia, there really was an Ima Hogg) and her brothers saw promise in 14 swampish acres on the edge of Buffalo Bayou, just a few miles west of downtown. Today, Bayou Bend is a quiet oasis in the midst of this bustling metropolis and home to a spectacular collection of American decorative arts spanning more than two centuries.

Commissioned by the Hoggs to craft a residence reflecting the history and culture of the Texas Gulf Coast, legendary Texas architect John F. Staub designed Bayou Bend in the 18th-Century Georgian style that characterizes many antebellum plantations. He borrowed other elements from Southern architecture as well, such as the home's Spanish Creole stucco and wrought iron accents that evoke New Orleans' French Quarter. Several formal gardens inspired by goddesses of ancient mythology surround the home and served as “outdoor rooms” for the Hogg family, but per Miss Ima's wishes the rest of the estate was left in its natural state and remains so today.

For most of her life Miss Ima was known for her commitment to the arts, education and other philanthropic causes, a devotion that didn't stop at her front door. In 1957, this daughter of former Texas Governor James Hogg donated Bayou Bend and the thousands of antiques and furnishings she had collected there through the decades to the Museum of Fine Arts. But the “First Lady of Texas” continued to live at Bayou Bend for the next eight years, overseeing the home's transformation into a museum. Today, 28 of the mansion’s rooms depict specific periods in early American life between the early 1600s and the post-Civil War era.

Bayou Bend recently opened the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center. The two-story center houses a library, retail shop, offices and more. Several rooms within Bayou Bend itself that were undergoing restoration were also reopened to the public showcasing new acquisitions and other objects not previously displayed.

Hogg once said that her dream for Bayou Bend was that it “serve as a bridge to bring us closer to the heart of an American heritage which unites us.” Amen, Miss Ima.

By AJ Mistretta