This article is a part of the 2024 Summer Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more summer travel destinations and events here.

Combine the wonders of nature with the region’s best shopping, entertainment, and experiences for a premiere vacation destination that’s far from ordinary but close to home. There are plenty of Texas hot spots to consider when planning your summer vacation, but none can twist together modern luxury and outdoor adventure quite like The Woodlands.

Texas TreeVentures.

Where opportunities are wide open

Explore the towering pines that define The Woodlands across 220 trail miles, expansive waterways, and more than 150 parks at your own pace. But if you’d like a few recommendations, we suggest Texas TreeVentures for a unique aerial climbing course; The Woodlands Waterway for swan boats, kayaks, and paddleboarding; the 1,800-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve for a nice hike; and one of seven public splash pads for a refreshing moment to cool off. For the ultimate summer cool-down, purchase a day-pass at one of the country’s top hotel pools at the Forest Oasis Waterpark & Lazy River at The Woodlands Resort.

The Spruce Boutique.

Retail therapists all agree

The abundance of luxury boutiques and spas, high-end department stores, and local gems creates some of the most sought-after shopping in all of Texas. Make sure to check out the open-air atmosphere of Market Street in The Woodlands along Central Park, as well as The Woodlands Mall for more than 160 shops under one roof.

Oxtail Chili Dog at Back Table Kitchen Bar.

After working up an appetite

When you start to get hungry after all the shopping and hiking, visit some of The Woodlands’ locally owned establishments run by renowned chefs and skilled restaurateurs whose mission is to send you off completely satisfied yet hungry for more. If you’re looking for a world-class culinary experience, Amrina offers an eclectic menu with Indian and American influences, a selection of over 1,000 wines, and an unmatched dining experience — with multiple dining areas, each with its own menu, to choose from. It’s no wonder Amrina won Eater Houston’s 2022 Restaurant of the Year award. But if that doesn’t satisfy your palette, there are plenty of incredible dining options. Go see what award-winning chef Austin Simmons is cooking up at TRIS and enjoy innovative and artful plates like the Patagonian toothfish with wasabi-braised rutabaga, charred chicory, black garlic bisque, and radish. Or if you’re a bagel lover looking for a morning pick-me-up, you’ll want to check out The Brooklyn Café or Fuhgedaboudit Bagel Company for an authentic New York breakfast. And for your caffeine fix, Blue Door Coffee Company pours the perfect cup. Take our word for it or discover your own local favorites!

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Watch the night come alive

No trip to The Woodlands is complete without catching a show at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. If you’re in it for the performance, get a covered seat up close to the band. But if you prefer people-watching with a live soundtrack, the lawn is fantastic. Come see for yourself why The Pavilion (as we call it) is considered one of the top five outdoor venues in the world.

Book an unforgettable experience

These are just a few of the activities that a summer vacation in The Woodlands has to offer. There’s even more art, culture, and family fun to enjoy, but you’ll have to experience it yourself to believe it. See you soon!

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