Vacay Not So Far Away
Not all glorious getaways require a round-trip airline ticket
You don't have to leave the Lone Star State for quality R&R. In fact, in some cases a great getaway is practically in your backyard. For Houstonians, such an escape is closer than you think.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an action packed family-friendly weekend, The Woodlands offers one of the areas best staycations. Even though it’s just around the corner, you’re still going to need to pack a bag and hire a dog-sitter, so you might as well make the best of it.
Sleep & Stay
The Woodlands Resort
For a family-friendly getaway (or really anyone who loves the water and golf), you’ll want to book a stay at The Woodlands Resort. Tucked away a few turns off Interstate 45, the resort completed a $75-million plus expansion and renovation at the end of 2014.
If you’re a golfer, a treat is in store for you. Golf Digest ranked The Woodlands Resort a Top 75 Best Golf Resorts in America, with access to two 18-hole championship golf courses (Panther Trail and The Oaks). If you’re lucky, you might even get a room right outside hole 18, which provides a glorious view to wake up to each morning.
A lazy river winds through the resort and the Forest Oasis Waterscape features two-story spiraling double water slides, lagoon-style pools, 10-foot waterfall, underwater music and more. It’s the absolute perfect place for kids — all of them. And, yes, parents, you can order drinks and food from the poolside grill so you too can relax while keeping an eye on the family. Alternatively, you can take a few hours and escape to the full-service spa.
Summer activities include nightly dive-in movies by the pool, s’mores, and more, and there are more than 194 miles of hike and bike trails along with bike rentals on property.
Robard’s Steakhouse and the amazing pool are probably tied for the best features of the resort. Robard’s is a 156‐seat high-end restaurant and lounge adjacent to the 18th hole with a private wine vault and outdoor patio. There’s a chance this might be the best steak in and around Houston — you be the judge. (Thrillist voted it one of the best steakhouses in Houston.)
Book a new reservation for a June, July or August weekday stay (Sunday-Wednesday) by May 31st and save 50% off your second night with discount code: Bookearly.
The Westin at The Woodlands
The brand new 302-room hotel is situated in the heart of Town Center walking distance to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, the Woodlands Mall and upscale Market Street. Many of the modernly designed rooms of The Westin at The Woodlands overlook a popular public plaza (with synchronized fountains), known as Waterway Plaza.
Be sure to try the on-site signature restaurant Current, a concept by the Howard Hughes Corporation, with seasonal and regional menus from rising star chef de cuisine Nathan Friend. The sleek, second-level lounge SideBar, just outside the glass-wall of the gorgeous infinity pool, is a great place to start the night and kick it off with a happy hour of unique cocktails and appetizers. Sidebar’s pineapple margarita is a must try (Avion Reposado Tequila, Tepache Pineapple Liqueur, house agave simple syrup, pineapple juice and house sour).
The hotel lies within walking distance of pretty much any and everything there is to do in The Woodlands and is definitely a spot to be in on all the action this planned community offers. Bonus — fantastic people watching!
After you’ve checked out Robard's and Current, there are still plenty of exceptional options for food. In fact, you might even want to implement a four-meals-a-day rule for your stay.
A foodie favorite (especially for brunch) is Hubbell & Hudson featuring some of the most creative and delicious dishes around. If you’re a pizza lover, don’t miss out on world-famous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Bonus: if you’re feeling super lazy and relaxed, order it online and pick it up to eat in your hotel room.
We’ve got the championship golf and the lazy-river at The Woodlands Resort covered, but there’s still so much more to do in the area. Check out the luxury shops of Market Street or take the kids to discover unique fun at The Woodlands Children’s Museum. Stop by any of the fun restaurants and pubs along the way and grab a few drinks.
Don’t forget to catch a throwback concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion — take a blanket and make an entire evening of it. Most have probably ventured to The Woodlands for a concert, and for good reason. This summer alone, the pavilion is featuring concerts from Dave Matthews Band, Dixie Chicks, Florence & the Machine, Jimmy Buffett, Dixie Chicks, Blink 182, and many more. Pro tip: Download a friend-finder app to make locating your group on the lawn easier than ever before.
If you’re ready to plan a getaway to The Woodlands and need that extra push, check out the concert event calendar and plan it around your favorite show.
If you’re into good beer, head over to Local Pour in Hughes Landing on Lake Woodlands for hundreds of craft beers to choose from. Oh, and don’t forget all the million activities you can do on the lake!