In all honesty, the tunnels simply existing is their most exciting aspect. You would never know that there were people having lunch and hanging out beneath your feet, but a quick escalator down in many major buildings shows you the truth. The restaurants below aren't all that exciting (Subway, McDonald's, pizza, delis, even a Gigi's Cupcakes) but they do range from mall food court style to sit-down places. There's no directory to see what's where. You have to learn by trial and error since each part is maintained by the building that sits on top of it. There are maps and signage throughout, but it can be hard to get your bearings since you lose your sense of direction. I've been known to spend my lunch break just wandering around, taking the first escalator up if I get lost to see where I am in town and then walking back to work accordingly.
Detail on an elevator I passed | Some parts of the tunnels look like ugly office space, and other parts look like a mall food court (sorry for the pic taken while walking...)
I knew I needed a walk yesterday, so I wanted to see if the tunnel system would connect to the Chase Tower Sky Lobby. The Chase Tower is 75 stories - the tallest building in Texas - and has a viewing area on its 60th floor that is open to the public (and free to visit!). Due to some construction, I wasn't able to make the trek completely through the tunnels, but the two block walk I had to make on the street wasn't too bad. It also gave me a chance to realize how pretty the Esperson Building is and look at the statue outside of Chase Tower.
The tall building is the JP Morgan Chase Tower | The Esperson Building is so pretty | Statue outside of the Chase Tower
Once inside, I took an express elevator to the 60th floor. There were lots of people up there taking photos and just checking it out. For my Houston friends, you could clearly see NRG Stadium and the Williams Tower. I didn't feel as high up as I thought I would! The view was nice and made me wish that the lobby was open at night - I bet it would be beautiful then. I liked seeing Houston in a whole new way. It's definitely worth checking out if you're ever in the area.
Zoomed in view of Houston landmarks and the non-zoomed view facing toward the Galleria
Do you ever play tourist in your town?
The Sky Lobby | Another non-zoomed view | Proof I was there | Cars below were so tiny