By James Waterson
Nothing beats indulging in life’s finer things, unless you’re doing so with your significant other, of course. When you’re ready for your next romantic getaway, find your way to The Woodlands. Located just north of Houston, this picturesque destination has everything you need for a weekend with your amor. Relax in an upscale resort or hotel, treat yourself to world-class dining at an endless array of restaurants, overcome obstacles among the treetops, and take some time to reconnect. Get to know all the possibilities in The Woodlands below, then plan your visit here.
Treat Yourself to a Dreamy Retreat
Start your days in The Woodlands embraced by luxury, as the city is home to numerous first-rate hotels ideal for cozy nights and leisurely mornings. To set the stage for a romantic getaway, book the Date Night Package at The Woodlands Resort. Make yourself at home in a room or a suite with either golf course or pool views and enjoy sparkling wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries, rose-petal turndown, and a $50 dining credit to one of the resort’s on-site restaurants. Outside of your room, play a round on the resort’s two first-rate golf courses, rent bikes and pedal along tree-shaded trails, take a tennis lesson, or relax in the year-round Forest Oasis pool complex.
Perfectly placed in the heart of Market Street, The Woodlands’ highly walkable upscale shopping and dining district, Hyatt Centric The Woodlands is a great option if you want to be near it all. Settle into your stylish room or suite and you’ll adore how eye-catching art seamlessly blends with bold colors and warm wood tones. High-end Italian-cotton matelassé coverlets and upscale bath products provide a sumptuous touch, while the on-site Market Street Kitchen and Market Street Bar serve up organic coffees, teas, microbrews, cocktails, and elevated bar fare.
Overlooking Hughes Landing and Lake Woodlands, Embassy Suites by Hilton The Woodlands is just as ideal for couples as it is for business travelers. If you want to splurge, opt for the one king bed, two-room suite with a lake view and you can greet the sunrise with a cup of coffee from your very own private balcony. Ready to step out of your room? Savor a complimentary breakfast before working up a sweat in the fitness center or relaxing by the rooftop pool. As the sun sets, get dressed up and embark on a quiet stroll to one of Hughes Landings’ many restaurants, such as Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex & Tequila and Del Frisco’s Grille.
These hotels are just three of many hotels (including Hilton Garden Inn and Hyatt Place Houston/The Woodlands) that make for a memorable romantic vacation. Discover your other options here.
Find Your Perfect Date Night Out
Tip back a glass of wine, dine on dishes crafted by some of this part of Texas’ finest chefs, and follow it up with a luscious dessert. If this sounds like the perfect evening with your partner, you’ll find a seemingly endless array of spectacular restaurants here in The Woodlands. Even if you aren’t staying at The Woodlands Resort, you should still reserve a table at Back Table Kitchen + Bar. Come in the early evening to watch the darkening sky through the large floor-to-ceiling windows as you relish entrees like braised beef short ribs and beer can chicken along with a glass of wine, beer on draught, or a tantalizing cocktail.
Set at The Westin at The Woodlands, Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen is just the place to go if you’re craving the distinct flavors of Tuscany, Sicily, and throughout Italy. Split an order of veal meatballs or beef carpaccio to start as you sip a red or white from the masterfully curated wine selection. Then dine on black spaghetti, fusilli pesto, or pan-roasted salmon before treating yourself to a cannoli or tiramisu. Keep the night going after your meal by going upstairs to Como Social Club, where you can order a limoncello mule (the house specialty) and listen to live jazz or blues from within the chic bar or on the elevated outdoor patio.
Are you and yours craft beer enthusiasts? Indulge in something from the long list of ales and lagers at the energetic Local Pour, where you can watch the sunset from the back patio as you nosh on buffalo cauliflower, a sandwich or burger, or an entrée like chicken-fried ribeye or achiote quail.
While these restaurants are great date night spots, restaurants like Avanti Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and Hearsay on The Waterway mean there are plenty of other great choices. See the others here.
Travel Tip: Keep an eye out for the grand opening of Mastro’s Ocean Club, a ritzy seafood joint with a raw oyster bar that will offer prime steaks and dishes like Alaskan halibut and Chilean sea bass.
Enjoy Exclusive Experiences
Visiting an art gallery is always a great date idea, but Glade Gallery offers more. Along with checking out rotating exhibits of American and European-style art that covers a variety of mediums, you can also taste the creations of some of The Woodlands’ finest chefs here. How? Reserve your place at one of Glade Gallery’s monthly culinary experiences, a curated multi-course meal paired with award-winning wines from around the world. Along with these exclusive tasting experiences, the gallery also hosts intimate concerts and dinner theater events, both of which feature hand-crafted cocktails and a sommelier-created wine list. If both of you are art enthusiasts, don’t miss the gallery’s receptions that give you the chance to mingle with the featured artists and admire their work.
Catch a Show
Enjoy a performance by your favorite artist at one of Texas’ premier concert venues. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, hosts big-name bands and performers like Houston’s own ZZ Top, John Mayer, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and Chance the Rapper. Today, The Pavilion puts on as many as 65 events from March through December, including stand-up comedy shows and orchestral performances. Whether you’re sitting under the large canopy or sprawled out on the lawn, The Pavilion is a fantastic place to see a show.
While The Pavilion excels at large-scale shows, The Woodlands’ music scene is ubiquitous. The Refuge Bar & Bistro, known for its flatbreads and cocktails, is a rustic live music space on Friday and Saturday nights, while the stage at Mahoney’s welcomes local performers. Wednesday through Sunday and you’ll catch a great show while relishing the Texan-Irish pub fare and a cocktail or a local brew.
The Goose’s Acre is another destination you should check out, and Central Park in Market Street frequently hosts performers as well. If you’re here in the spring and summer, head to Waterway Square for Waterway Nights, a free concert series that showcases area bands. Spring and fall are undoubtedly the seasons for music here, as Hughes Landing, Market Street, and Northshore Park each have their own concert series.
Ready to experience The Woodlands’ live music scene? Start by learning all about it here.
Explore The Woodlands Waterway
Sometimes, keeping things simple is the best way to spend time with your partner. You can do just that by going for a stroll along The Woodlands Waterway. Follow the wide concrete path on both sides of The Waterway and you’ll pass iconic spots like The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Waterway Square, as well as eye-catching mosaics and one of the largest collections of public art in Texas. Find your way to the Koi Garden to watch the fish swim among the lily pads. Get an early start and you may even see turtles and great blue herons perched on The Waterway’s concrete banks.
Meandering along The Waterway is a stellar way to check it out, but there’s more. Rent a swan boat and take in all the sights as you paddle along or ride the air-conditioned trolly that offers an easy way to get to Hughes Landing and Market Street. Full of hidden treasures and native wildlife, The Woodlands Waterway is the kind of place you’ll want to take your time to explore.
Experience the Outdoors
Climb among the treetops, paddle a tandem kayak on a sun-bathed lake, and lose yourself among woodland trails. If both of you are adventurous, you’re in the right place. The Woodlands has some of the most unique things to do outdoors in the Houston area, and the best part is you don’t have to go far to experience them all. For starters, rent a tandem (or a single) kayak, paddleboard, or a water bike from Riva Row Boat House or Lakes Edge Boat House, both of which afford direct access to beautiful Lake Woodlands. To chase that feeling of conquering obstacles together, Texas TreeVentures’ aerial adventure course offers a date like no other. Ascend to the tops of lush pine trees as you climb ropes, cross hanging platforms, and even pull yourself from one platform to the next in a kayak.
Want it to be just the two of you? Tie on your hiking shoes and retreat to the George Mitchell Nature Preserve. Located just a few miles away from The Woodlands Waterway, the nature preserve feels like its own world. Explore five miles of trails within a dense pine forest that’s home to a multitude of native and migrating birds and other wildlife. Of course, The Woodlands has more than 220 miles of hiking and bike trails as well as 150 parks, so there are plenty of other ways you can enjoy nature here.
World-class dining, thriving arts and live music scenes, easy access to first-rate outdoor adventures, and amazing hotels. The Woodlands has all the ingredients you need for your next romantic getaway. Plan your visit here.
About the Author: James Waterson is the head writer and content specialist for Tour Texas. When he isn’t writing about the many great places in the state of Texas, he’s planning his next epic adventure in the Lone Star State.