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The Woodlands, Texas

Things to Do in The Woodlands

Shop until you drop in a world-class shopping mall, paddle to the heart of a scenic lake, and attend a concert by an internationally renowned musician in one of the most popular venues in the Houston area. These are just a few of the experiences you’ll have when you visit The Woodlands, a thriving community located about 30 miles north of Houston. Spend any time here and you’ll discover a place that has big-city appeal with outdoor fun in ways that few towns can match. If you’re planning to visit, read up on some of the things to do in The Woodlands so you don’t miss out while you’re here.

Kayak Lake Woodlands

In one moment, you’re standing among the big-name department stores and boutique shops of The Woodlands Mall. In the next, you’re sitting in a kayak in the middle of a scenic tree-lined lake under a shining sun with a cool breeze at your back. This is what you might experience when you head to Lake Woodlands, a large recreational lake nestled in the heart of The Woodlands.

Your adventure starts at the Riva Row Boathouse, located just a few steps away from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Rent a single or tandem kayak and paddle through the apartment building and running trail-lined canal, where you’ll see groups of ducks swimming in the water and large herons perched on the shoreline. That’s just a preview of what you’ll see once you actually reach the lake, which is large enough to get a serious workout in if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’d like to relax, we suggest paddling to the center of the lake, leaning back in your kayak, and letting the cool breeze cool you off as you bask in the sun.

See a Show at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

At first glance, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion might look like an enormous tent nestled at the base of a steep hill. Yet its unique nature makes it one of the coolest concert venues in the Houston area. That’s because it affords music fans two totally different concert-going experiences. There are about 17,000 traditional stadium seats placed under the pavilion’s canopy for you to choose from, all of which provide great acoustics and views of the performers. What sets the pavilion apart is that aforementioned grassy hill, where you can relax under the stars while you take in the music. Although the venue itself is alluring, it’s the performers it attracts that takes it to another level. The likes of Van Halen, Taylor Swift, Journey, ZZ Top, and Iron Maiden have performed at the pavilion over the years, and tradition that continues to this day.

Shop Until You Drop at The Woodlands Mall

If shopping is an essential part of your travel itinerary, you can’t miss a trip to The Woodlands Mall. More than 150 big-name department stores, fashion boutiques, and specialty shops reside within the two-story mall, making it one of the premier shopping destinations in the Houston area. Stores like Dillard’s and Nordstrom mix and mingle with Banana Republic, Fossil, and The Lego Store, giving you plenty of ways to get your shopping fix. As you stroll from one store to another, you’re probably going to work up a pretty hefty appetite. Fortunately, you have plenty of great choices. For a quick bite, head to the food court for some stir fry or a cheeseburger. If you’re in the mood for a heartier meal, get a table at The Cheesecake Factory, or any of the other four full-service restaurants in the mall.

The Woodlands Mall’s diverse shops and wealth of dining options means it has plenty to offer big spenders and window shoppers alike.

Hang Out in Market Street

Discover hidden treasures and browse boutique clothing and jewelry shops in the Market Street district, located just across the street from The Woodlands Mall. Stores like MICHAEL KORS and Tiffany & Co. are set within charming historic-looking buildings. Although shopping is a significant draw here, there’s more to do than just that. Stop by one of the restaurants for a bite to eat, then relax in the central park area where youngsters love to play. For a show, look no further than the art deco-style Cinemark movie theater that screens the day’s latest and greatest films films along with Indie flicks and special ballet and opera features. Market Street’s high-end shopping, fine dining, and relaxing ambience provide a fantastic setting for a romantic evening or a fun night out with the family.

Run, Hike, or Bike in The Woodlands

As it turns out, The Woodlands is as much of a place for you outdoorsy folks as it is for those who appreciate great shopping and fine dining. In fact, The Woodlands has something that few other places do: about 200 miles of trails that weave throughout the town. Many of these trails are separate from the town’s major roads, meaning that you can walk, jog, or bike in safety. Since these pathways are interconnected, it’s possible to go on much longer runs without needing to worry about traffic.

Not only are these trails well suited for exercise, they are a fine way to enjoy the scenic beauty of The Woodlands. As you walk, run, or bike, you’ll pass more towering pine trees than you can count, and you might even see a blue jay or a cardinal resting nearby. All told, the trails in The Woodlands provide a safe and scenic place to work up a sweat – a must do while you’re in town.

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The Woodlands

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The Woodlands, Texas