Downtown Tunnel System

downtown-tunnel-1Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and getting close to overtaking Chicago as the third. So, how does Downtown Houston distinguish itself from the streets of other major players, such as the Windy City and the Big Apple? The answer is simple – tunnels.

Just 20 feet below the heart of the city there are over six miles of air-conditioned tunnels winding their way around downtown, protecting people from the elements. Whether it’s hot, cold, windy or raining, you are safe to travel. You would be surprised how amusing it is to travel the network of tunnels for the first time down under. It’s like going off on an expedition or, dare we say, an excursion.

Most tunnel travelers – the “corporate mole people” – work downtown. People who don’t use the tunnels probably don’t know about them.

Most tunnel travelers – the “corporate mole people” – work downtown. The only people who don’t use the tunnels probably don’t know about them. We were particularly excited to check out the tunnels because they reminded us of the underground crime fighters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Stepping into the tunnels, we were met with the intoxicating aromas of different foods from the many restaurants. It was a curse more than a blessing because we found it impossible to choose a place to eat. So, we ultimately resolved to just wander around. Navigating the snaking tunnels filled with people, restaurants and stores, we walked for almost an hour (which seemed like only a few minutes) before finally giving in to overwhelming hunger.

In the tunnels you can find anything to satisfy your cravings. The only thing that seemed difficult to find was a place to sit. Just be warned that if you have a tendency to over eat like we do, the walk back from lunch may feel a bit longer than the walk there.

The whole day was quite an adventure, and it really represented what Houston is all about. It’s fast, it’s busy, and it has something for everyone, complete with the miracle of A/C.downtown-tunnel-2 downtown-tunnel-3 downtown-tunnel-4 downtown-tunnel-5 downtown-tunnel-6 downtown-tunnel-7 downtown-tunnel-8 downtown-tunnel-9

Insider’s Guide

• Be sure to look at the maps, it’s easy for rookies to get lost!
• Great way to escape the Houston heat.

The tunnel connects 95 city blocks in Houston
Interactive map here

Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

• Metered Street Parking
• Paid Lots

Family Friendly