Texas Medical Center Walking Tours

We offer 3 different sets of walking tours of the Texas Medical Center (TMC). Each of these tours has a range of hours and four options. Each of these tours covers a different area of the TMC with different hospitals and institutions. Read below to see which one most appeals to you.

The TMC has over 20 different hospitals, research facilities, and schools. It is the world’s largest medical center. It extends over 3 miles/5 kilometers. Even with three different sets of tours, we do not come close to covering all of the hospitals. However, we do go into five of them.

The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world, and its clients come all over the world. When one visits either the Michael DeBakey Library & Museum on Tour A or the Wallace D. Wilson Museum on Tour B, one will see the photographs of world and civic leaders, politicians, entertainers, celebrities, donors, and more who supported and or have received treatment, sometimes life saving, here.

Each tour includes skybridges, multiple chapels, cafes, and gift shops.

A tour within the Texas Medical Center is also like going to high culture performance halls and art museums. On each tour, one will see grand pianos, and view works of art, statues, busts, art galleries, photographic displays, portraits, paintings, stained glass, and fountains.

Tours B and C have small aquariums.

Tour A crosses over Fannin Street twice over one skybridge. It also includes one subterranean area.

Tour B crosses over Fannin Street four times on separate skybridges and Bates Street three times on two different skybridges. Tour B also includes tunnels.

Tour C crosses over Holcombe Boulevard twice on separate skybridges, Bates Street twice on separate skybridges, M. D. Anderson Boulevard twice on the same skybridge, Bertner Avenue twice on the same skybridge, and JV Johnson Avenue once on a skybridge.

Bring money for snacks, refreshments, and or lunch on any tour.

These tours normally begin at 10:00 AM, after the morning rush hour. However, we can be flexible and start them later. They are available everyday. Be aware, the Michael DeBakey Library and Museum on Tour A is only open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Each of these tours has a different starting site. Read the description of each tour to find the starting locations. Parking generally costs between $10.00 and $20.00 depending on the length of the tour.

We have a maximum limit of 15 people who we take at a time on these tours. The tunnels and skybridges are often crowded with medical staff, physicians, families, and sometimes with people on gurneys with tubes in them being wheeled through the areas. One needs to be sensitive to the patients.

The Tours

We offer the following walking tours of the Texas Medical Center. Select the tour that sounds best to you.

Additional Related Tours:

  • You may also want to explore the tours that we offer of Houston's unique downtown tunnel system. Click here for information about the tours we offer on the Houston Tunnel System.
  • Interested in visiting the Texas Medical Center, but want something a little less strenuous? Then, you might consider one of our tours through the Texas Medical Center that is partly or wholly conducted by vehicle. Click here for information about the tours through the Texas Medical Center that have a vehicle component.

Tour A – Primarily Memorial Hermann Hospital and The University of Texas Professional Building

This tour has the main general hospital of Houston with the largest network of hospitals in the greater Houston area.

The basic 1.5-hour tour includes:

  • Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
  • Memorial Hermann Hospital – including the Robertson Pavilion, Jones Pavilion, and Cullen Pavilion.
  • Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza
  • The University of Texas Professional Building

The extended tour of 2.5-hours can include either:

  • The Baylor College of Medicine’s Michael DeBakey Library and Museum and Statue – 1 hour. This museum is only open weekdays, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • A stop for lunch – 1 hour.

The extended tour of 3.5-hours includes all of the above.

Michael DeBakey lived from 1908 to 2008. He is considered one of the greatest heart surgeons in history and was responsible for establishing Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units in the military.

Memorial Hermann Hospital is the most popular hospital in Houston. It was the second hospital in the nation to create a Life Flight program. It is the oldest hospital building in active use as a hospital in Houston, dating to 1925. The renowned trauma doctor Red Duke (1928 – 2015) practiced here. Former US Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords from Arizona rehabbed here after she was shot in the head.

The extended tour has a brief walk outside from the Memorial Hermann Hospital to the Michael DeBakey Library and Museum and then to a parking garage.

This tour begins on the second floor by the Skybridge of Parking Garage 4, at approximately 1406 Cambridge Street, Houston, Texas 77030. Hermann Park is across the street. This is between Fannin Street and the Taub Loop.

The closest MetroRail station is the Memorial-Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo station.

 

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Tour B – Primarily Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Methodist Hospital

This tour has the greatest variety of hospitals. The basic 2.5-hour tour includes:

  • Texas Children’s Hospital – including the Clinical Care Center, the Abercrombie Building, and the Feigin Center.
  • St. Luke’s (Episcopal) Hospital
  • The Methodist Hospital – including the Dunn Tower, and the Fondren/Brown/Alkek Building.
  • Smith Tower
  • Scurlock Tower
  • Medical Towers
  • Marriott Hotel
  • The O’Quinn Medical Tower
  • Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women

The extended 3.5-hour tour includes either:

  • The Texas Heart Institute’s Wallace D. Wilson Museum in the Denton A. Cooley Building. This museum is largely dedicated to Dr. Denton Cooley and the fine staff and doctors who have made medical breakthroughs in heart care. One can see the larger than life statue of Cooley. This museum is open everyday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM – 1 hour.
  • A stop for lunch – 1 hour.

The extended tour of 4.5 hours includes all of the above.

The tour has one brief walk outside to cross one block. This usually takes about 5 minutes or less, depending on the color of the traffic light.

Denton Cooley was born in 1920. He is considered one of the greatest heart surgeons in history. He is known as the first surgeon to implant a totally artificial heart in a human.

Some highlights of this tour are the fountains, waterfalls, the impressive miniature train set and communities, and walking along the circular halo skybridge over Fannin Street. We also go through the underground tunnels that now have seven floodgates. These gates were installed after Tropical Allison dropped approximately 1 yard/1 meter of water on Houston in June 2001. The tunnels were flooded and 25 years of research data, 60,000 tumor samples, and 90,000 laboratory animals were destroyed and or lost. The damage in the Texas Medical Center (TMC) totaled over $2 billion.

This tour begins in the first floor lobby of the Clinical Care Center (CCC) of Texas Children’s Hospital at 6701 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030. This is off of Bates Street, Entrance #10 and the closest parking is Garage 16. From Fannin Street, one can only enter from the south. The MetroRail train tracks block any entrance from the north. One will see two dancing cows in the lobby. Seating is available here.

The closest MetroRail station is the TMC Transit Center to the south or the Dryden TMC station to the north.

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Tour C – MD Anderson Cancer Center

This tour has the world famous MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The basic 2.5-hour tour includes:

  • Duncan Building
  • Mays Clinic
  • Pickens Tower
  • Faculty Center
  • Jesse H. Jones Rotary House
  • Main Building
  • The MD Anderson Cancer Center

Texas Medical Center (TMC) Tour C has the most walking. It includes two chapels, six aquariums, a massive atrium known as The Park, a gazebo, a huge tree sculpture, roof-top lounges, one art gallery, a waterfall, and like the other tours, scattered art throughout the halls. One also has great views of the Texas Medical Center that will appeal to any photographer.

The skybridges are so wide in many areas that electric powered shuttles operate to carry people from one building to another. Sometimes, one can catch a ride.

This is the only TMC walking tour that has no outdoor components, a museum, or subterranean area or tunnels.

The extended 3.5-hour tour includes either:

  • Inclusion of the George and Cynthia Mitchell and the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons buildings. A very posh restaurant, formerly known as Trevisio, above artificial waterfalls is on the sixth floor – 1 hour.
  • A stop for lunch – 1 hour.

The extended tour of 4.5 hours includes all of the above.

The University of Texas (UT) Monroe Dunaway (MD) Anderson Cancer Center is world famous as one of the best cancer hospitals in the world and for making cancer history.

This tour begins at the Patient Drop-off area on the third level of the Parking Garage 10 at 6700 MD Anderson Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030. This is north of Holcombe Boulevard. This alcove area has three benches that can each accommodate about four persons for a total of twelve people.

The closest MetroRail station is the TMC Transit Center to the south of Holcombe Boulevard.

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For prices of these tours, click here. Note that you will require the free Adobe Reader in order to read these pricing documents. You can download the latest version of this software by clicking this link.