5 of the Best Ways to Enjoy Fall in The Woodlands

As American poet John Howard Bryant once wrote, “Autumn … the year’s last, loveliest smile.” Here in The Woodlands, the cooler weather and ample sunshine will make you smile, even if you have the back-to-school blues. Treat yourself to delicious food and a glass of wine as you take in a view of Lake Woodlands from an outdoor patio. Hike on winding trails through a peaceful pine forest. Listen to globe-trotting bands light up the stage in one of the most spectacular open-air venues around.

Located just north of Houston, The Woodlands is the perfect fall getaway for romantic weekend retreats, family getaways or anyone who loves being outdoors. Discover the many ways you can enjoy the season.


Relax on an Outdoor Patio

Once the chilly air of autumn sets in, you’ll probably want to spend as much time as you can out in the inviting sunshine. Fortunately, that’s easy to do in The Woodlands. Many of our more than 150 restaurants have outdoor patios where you can relish open-air dining at its finest. The lion’s share of these eateries reside at Hughes Landing, The Woodlands Waterway and Market Street, three areas within walking or biking distance of each other that are also linked by the free The Woodlands Town Center Trolley. Since everything is so close together, you could spend an entire day on your very own progressive dining adventure. With so much great food and fall sunshine to savor, why wouldn’t you?

Kick off your culinary tour of The Woodlands with a late breakfast of huevos rancheros or a gluten-free blueberry muffin at True Food Kitchen at Market Street. Purveyors of healthy fare, including vegan and vegetarian options, True Food is among several restaurants—including CRÚ Food & Wine Bar and Jasper’s—where you can dine outdoors. Then hop on the trolley to The Woodlands Waterway, where you can tuck into seafood ceviche or homemade tamales at Cyclone Anaya’s or a juicy burger at The Goose’s Acre Bistro & Irish Pub, two restaurants with patios that overlook The Waterway.

As the sun starts to set, end your day with a sweeping view of Lake Woodlands and some of the best steak and seafood in town at Truluck’s in Hughes Landing. Kick back with a glass of wine and revel in all the great eating you’ve done. After all, you’ve earned it.

Bonus: Many of The Woodlands’ restaurants with outdoor patios are also pet friendly, so you don’t have to leave your dog at home!


Listen to Live Music on a Crisp Fall Evening

From world-renowned headliners to talented local musicians, The Woodlands has it all. Yet unlike most other places, you can catch a show as you delight in the brisk air of an autumn evening. The epicenter of the local live music scene is The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. This fall, find a cozy spot on the grassy lawn for Ozzy Osbourne on his last tour (Sept. 28), a performance by Florence + the Machine (Sept. 30), or the Houston Symphony’s “Hocus Pocus Pops” concert (Oct. 12). Yet, there’s more. The Woodlands has two free outdoor concerts series in the fall, Concerts in the Park on Sunday evenings (Sept. – Oct.) and Rock the Row in Hughes Landing on Thursdays (Oct. – Nov.). Both have different themes for each performance, ranging from classic rock and funk to covers of popular 80’s songs.

Regardless of what kind of music you like, you can find it outdoors in The Woodlands this fall.


Hike, Bike & Get Outdoors

Autumn’s friendlier weather and abundant sunshine sets up the perfect conditions to spending time outdoors. With miles of trails to hike or bike, The Woodlands is just the place to do that. Follow the trails that meander through The George Mitchell Nature Preserve’s dense pine forest and you’ll feel like you’re far from it all. If you’re looking to work up a sweat, jog or ride your bike along the more than 160 miles of paved trails that weave through The Woodlands. Since these pathways are separated from traffic, they provide a safe place to exercise and get around town.

Don’t have your own bike? Rent one from Mobike, The Woodlands’ own bike sharing program, and you’ll be pedaling in no time.


Try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

You may have seen others doing it, but until now you haven’t tried it. After all, how can someone stand on a board? Thanks to its calm water, and the refreshing fall weather, Lake Woodlands is the perfect place to try stand-up paddle boarding. Rent a board from either the Riva Row Boat House or the Lakes Edge Boat House and you’ll feel like you’re walking on water as you explore the 200-acre lake. Keep an eye out for majestic herons and egrets wading on banks of the lake, or the occasional bald eagle soaring overhead. If stand-up paddle boarding isn’t your thing, rent a single or tandem kayak at either boat house.


Play a Few Rounds of Disc Golf

With a flick of your wrist, you try to bend your disc around a set of towering pine trees. Toss it well and you may have an easy route to the basket. Get it wrong and, well, at least you’ll get to breathe in all that fresh fall air as you track down your errant disc. This is all part of the experience when you play your way through The Woodlands’ two public disc golf courses. The 18-hole, par-54 course at Bear Branch Sportsfield Park takes you through mostly flat terrain and thickets of pine trees, while the nine-hole Terramont Park course uses the slope of a steep hill to challenge your aim. Bring a few discs (if you’re new, you can buy them at your local sporting goods store) and some friends for a relaxing afternoon on the course.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in The Woodlands this fall. Plan your next getaway, and see what else The Woodlands has to offer, here.

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