If you don’t know about the Downtown Houston Tunnel System you might miss it. Unless you look closely, it’s almost a hidden gem. If you work downtown, it’s your lifeline way to go from building to building to avoid the constantly changing weather in the Houston area.
Normally, Houstonians do not consider building much underground here. The soil is not really suited for basements and the like and it can flood horribly here. But there it is, twenty feet under the downtown Houston streets, providing almost a world of its own. What started as an underground tunnel between two theaters in the 1930s has grown to cover six miles of climate controlled walkways covering a multitude of city blocks providing a sub-city of sorts including eateries and other retail specialty shops.
The construction and layout of the tunnel system might seem a bit confusing. Without visual outdoor landmarks like City Hall or the Alley Theater, it is difficult to get a sense of where you are in relation to other downtown locations. However, there are multiple map kiosks in the tunnel system and even those you can print out online to help you find your way.