One of the largest cities in the country, and one with a huge population of gay men, Houston has a pair of gay bathhouses, both of them downtown and actually within just several blocks of one another. Club Houston and Midtowne Spa are also close to downtown hotels and restaurants, and about a 10-minute drive east of the city's Montrose gay nightlife district.
Club Houston (2205 Fannin St., 713-659-4998) is an impressive space whose amenities include a state-of-the-art gym, steam room, dry sauna, outdoor heated pool, and sundeck - all in a clean, modern facility.
While the club is somewhat more upscale than its competitor, rates are in line with other gays spas and bathhouses in the region, starting at $25 for lockers and $30 for regular rooms (prices include a one-time $10 membership). There are plenty of other "Club" bathhouses out there, including establishments in Orlando, Columbus, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Indianapolis, and St. Louis.
Located just a few blocks farther down Fannin Street, Midtowne Spa (3100 Fannin St., 713-522-2379) features a large indoor swimming pool, fully equipped gym and locker room, hot tub, sauna, and tanning bed. There's a private outdoor garden patio, ideal for socializing and sunbathing - it's pretty popular (and cruisy) out here on warm weekend afternoons. Rates are fairly similar to those at Club Houston, ranging from $22 for basic lockers ($14 for members) to $27 for the simplest rooms (members $19). Also a nationally known bathhouse brand, Midtowne Spa has other branches in Denver, Los Angeles (where there are three locations), Dallas, and Milwaukee.
For more on the city's gay nightlife scene, check out the Houston Gay Nightlife Guide.