TAKE A 30 MILES DRIVE TO DOWNTOWN, and you’ll discover the city’s best-kept secret; everything you love about the inner loop, but with seemingly less traffic and lots of greenery. From the outside, The Woodlands is just another posh suburb; but spend a day in this neighborhood and you’ll find it’s more than manicured lawns and an opulent shopping mall. The family-friendly area has more than 130 parks, 220 miles of hiking and biking trails, and a 200 acres freshwater lake, Lake Woodlands.
Fancy a Tex-Mex dinner or a sunset canoe trip on the lake? The Woodlands has both. Looking for a chic salon for a date? Choose from a Lake Como-inspired lounge or try an Irish bar with Texas music and culinary influences.
While Houstonia named it one of the best places to live, this neighborhood gem also ranked #1 for Travel & Leisure Best places to live. It doesn’t get more family-friendly than this, from the children’s museum and splash pools to live music and restaurants. From 2022, 118,000 Houstonians call The Woodlands their hometown, with 27 schools in the Conroe Independent School District.
You can take our word for it or venture out on your own and experience the best the neighborhood has to offer.
If you thought Downtown was the only destination for concerts, you’ve been missing out on a huge lineup of shows. The Woodlands has its own large concert hall with seating on the lawn, and several bars and restaurants in the area also host live music on weekends.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
With 17,000 seats and a general entrance placed on a hill overlooking the main stage, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is a one-of-a-kind concert venue. Musical artists such as Journey, Chris Stapleton, Florence & The Machine, Drake, and more have made headlines on the forum, and it serves as a performance space for the Houston Ballet and Houston Symphony. The Pavilion is the summertime destination to watch your favorite artist on a blanket under the sky.
2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Como Social Club
This Lake Como-inspired bar features a covered terrace overlooking the Woodlands waterway while hosting live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Discover new artists to love every weekend and sip popular Italian cocktails like an Aperol Spritz or Strawberry Mule. Don’t forget to take a photo on the vintage Italian Vespa on the way out.
2 Waterway Square Pl, The Woodlands, TX 77380
It’s an Irish bar, restaurant and live music venue, but do it in Texas. Mahoney’s is quickly becoming a favorite, serving up great “Texan” (Texas and Irish) food, live music and good times.
24 Waterway Ave Suite 100, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Good meals, drinks and music all weekend. Local Pour offers views of the lake at Hughes Landing and live music throughout the weekend. Chic industrial interiors make it the perfect atmosphere for casual outings and celebrations.
1900 Hughes Landing Blvd Suite 350, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Here’s your chance to get started and experience The Woodlands life for yourself. Spend a day kayaking around Woodlands Lake, where you can see everything from lakeside mansions and restaurants to ducks and oddly large birds called great egrets.
Texas Tree Ventures
Adjacent to the 1,800-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve is the aerial adventure course, Texas TreeVentures. The system is three-tiered and includes a series of thrill-based physical challenges. With 72 elements to try, it’s the perfect place to embark on dizzying adventures. TreeVentures also hosts private parties and offers private treehouse rentals.
6464 Creekside Forest Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77389
The Woodlands Town Center Trolley
If we didn’t mention it, you might hear a cheerful “ding ding” as you stroll down Market Street. No, you’re not in San Francisco, but you’re about to take a ride on the charming Town Center Trolleys, which whisk shoppers and diners to retail, dining and entertainment venues around San Francisco. a 4 mile route. Skip the hassle of changing parking spots on your way to your next destination, or hop on board for a lively ride through the city.
The Woodland Arts League
Founded in 1981, the Woodlands Art League is a voluntary organization of local artists in The Woodlands. You’ll find monthly exhibitions, volunteer programs and workshops for artists of all ages.
9595 Six Pines Dr Suite 1370, Spring, TX 77380
The Children of the Woods Museum
For toddlers seven and under, the Woodlands Children’s Museum has exhibits and imaginative experiences to keep them entertained during at least two o’clock. They’ll love the Rainbow Tunnel, Dig Pit or Fire House or spend most of their time playing in the Sensory Zone with water and arts. The Curious George traveling exhibit is the latest setup on offer and runs from February to May 14.
4775 W Panther Creek Drive #280, The Woodlands, TX 77381
If you prefer luxury shopping, the Woodlands is a must visit. Market Street, in particular, is a must when visiting The Woodlands. Imagine a small-town feel, but with big-city shopping and brand names like Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co., Chanel, and various fine dining options. And if you are looking for a place to let the children play, the center has a paddling pool and garden games on the square.
Shop Gray Gold
Trendy and edgy, everything you’ll find at this Market Street boutique. The boutique opened in October 2020 with everything from basic jewelry, hats and accessories to more casual dresses and sets. Although located among the high-end stores of Market Street, everything here is affordably priced.
9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Diva Boutique is a specialty clothing and accessories store offering career, casual and cocktail attire. The boutique has been in The Woodlands since 1998 and is a one-stop shop for date night, vacation and everyday fashion from brands like Buddy Love and Gigi Moda.
4526 Research Forest Dr, Spring, TX 77381
While Pell 1990’s location could technically be considered Spring, the nearby town, its proximity to The Woodlands and its fun atmosphere make it a must-see on this list. The boutique opened its doors in 2021 in a 90s spirit ideally in tune with today’s fashion. Like shopping in your best friend’s closet and getting a “you’re cute” on the way out, Pell 1990 will help you create a killer outfit.
24811 Gosling Road, Spring, TX 77389
The great thing about this neighborhood is the balance of businesses and homes with nature. The Woodlands has over 160 miles of trails for biking, rollerblading, walking and running, which connect all schools, parks and villages. The greenery and openness surrounding the woods create more than a few options for outdoor fun.
North Shore Park
If you have a kayak or canoe, you can bring it to Northshore Park to access Woodlands Lake. There’s also a playground, picnic area, sand volleyball, and a series of free concerts from late spring to early fall.
2505 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Rowing boat house Riva
One of the most serene and relaxing ways to visit The Woodlands is by kayak. Stop at the Boat House to rent a single or tandem kayak, then paddle a canal that leads to Woodlands Lake. Once on the lake, take in the sounds and sights surrounding the water. You will float among tall grass and trees and the mansions bordering the lake, perfect for daydreaming.
2101 Riva Row, The Woodlands, TX 77380
There are five water play areas, also known as spraygrounds around The Woodlands, May Valley Spray Area, Timarron Sprayground, Sprayground sawmill, Sprayground Shadowbendand Village Green Spray Ground. The spray fields are open from March to October and are creative, aquatic facilities for kids (and adults!) to cool off without jumping into a pool.
The Woodland Waterway
Like a mini-San Antonio River Walk, The Woodlands Waterway is a 1.5-mile stretch of restaurants, bars, hotels, parks and homes. The homes along the waterway are incredibly charming, with front entrances reminiscent of New York brownstones.
You’ll find a little taste of downtown in The Woodlands, with several restaurants picking this neighborhood for expansions. Downtown staples El Tiempo, Sweet Green, Velvet Taco, Flower Child, Snooze, and even Killen’s BBQ live the suburban life.
Mastro’s Steakhouse and Ocean Club
Famous Mastro’s Steakhouse and Ocean Club, a well-known name in Beverly Hills, Manhattan and Las Vegas, recently joined Market Street’s array of upscale dining options. If you’re feeling fancier and crave high-quality steaks and seafood, check the website for reservations and strict dress code guidelines.
9595 Six Pines Dr Suite 100, The Woodlands, TX 77380
As more Houstonians opt for staycations right here in Texas, Tommy Bahama delivers the island vacation feel with tropical fare and craft cocktails. The Market Street location also happens to be the only Tommy Bahama restaurant in Texas. There’s a huge selection of clothing and accessories, so it’ll feel like you’ve hit the island souvenir shop before heading home.
9595 Six Pines Dr #700, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Fielding Wood Grill
Fielding’s Wood Grill is a Woodlands favorite on the more casual side. Sourcing food from farms and ranches across Texas, the restaurant prepares its own bacon, sides and sauces. Open for lunch and dinner all week and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The highlight of a brunch visit, however, will be your choice of Mimosa or Bloody Mary flights, or both.
1699 Research Forest Dr Suite 130, Shenandoah, TX 77380