Take a break from the big city and discover the gems of The Woodlands

THE FORESTS, Texas – The Woodlands is an ideal place for a family getaway with its outdoor activities, good restaurants, shops and entertainment.

“You really get away from big city life,” said Nick Wolda, president of Visit The Woodlands.

Depending on traffic, The Woodlands is just a 40-minute drive north on I-45. “We’re all tree-bound here in the woods, but we also have 11,000,000 square feet of shopping, dining, hospitality and entertainment,” Wolda said.

One way to explore all the sights is on a four-mile trolley ride, which operates seven days a week and stops at the city’s most popular spots. “It’s amazing, we come here often. We love this area,” said Jennifer Landry.

Landry and his family come from Beaumont. “Just lots of really nice people, lots of shopping, lots of amazing food and the lights are beautiful at night,” Landry said.

A highlight of The Woodlands is the waterway. It is about a mile and a half long and connects places such as Woodlands Mall, Market Street, Waterway Square, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Tom Green Park.

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“It’s our River Walk, if you will, with shops, residences, restaurants and lots of events and activities,” Wolda said.

At Riva Row Boathouse they have water bikes, tandem pedal kayaks, elliptical paddle boards and swan boats. A family of four can explore part of the waterway in a giant swan and train at the same time! Also along the waterway is the world famous Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

They are gearing up for a packed schedule of 50 gigs, featuring artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Rod Stewart and the Dave Matthews Band.

“It’s an outdoor amphitheater, with a capacity of 17,000 people, a lot of shows sold out this year, but a lot of tickets on sale right now. It should be the best season ever,” Wolda said.

Whether it’s entertainment, outdoor activities, food or shopping, The Woodlands has a lot to offer.

“The Woodlands is really just this neat place where people come together and have fun, memorable experiences,” Wolda said.

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There are events and festivals throughout the year, including the Woodlands Art Festival the second weekend in April. It is one of the largest in the country.

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