Buzz Photo Contest
BELLAIRE • MEMORIAL • RIVER OAKS • TANGLEWOOD • WEST UNIVERSITY

Weekend Getaway in The Woodlands

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
Click the Buzz Me button to receive email notifications when this writer publishes a new article or a new article in this column is published.


A fountain near the Westin hotel in The Woodlands Waterway area.

I confess: I grew up in Houston but had never really explored The Woodlands till recently. Sure, I’d been to concerts at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, but hadn’t checked out the area surrounding the concert hall till just a few weeks ago.

We always love weekend trips, but typically, they’re jam packed full of to-do lists, including what to bring and what to do. But for this trip, we didn’t even need to set our alarms on Saturday morning. We woke up, packed a small suitcase and hit the road.

On the way to The Woodlands, we decided to stop in Old Town Spring. After about 30 minutes, we pulled in to the main area of Old Town Spring. It was so charming and quaint that it felt like we couldn’t possibly be so close to home. We browsed through store after store with darling antiques, gifts, art, spices and more. There were rocking chairs propped outside of storefronts, live music, restaurants, boutiques and more. We walked around for a while, then continued on our way to The Woodlands.

We checked into the brand-new Westin hotel and were immediately impressed by the sleek, modern décor and atmosphere. My husband, Matt, was especially excited by the technology he discovered in our hotel room – a remote on each nightstand that controls the lights and air conditioning. It was tempting to just relax in the room after a busy week, but we started exploring the Woodlands Waterway area right away.


The Woodlands Waterway makes The Woodlands area feel like a true getaway. You can hop on and off a water taxi to explore the area.

I was instantly surprised by the variety of restaurants to choose from for lunch. My close friend, Dr. Amy Alexander, who grew up in Memorial and graduated in my class from The Emery/Weiner School, came to meet us for lunch with her boyfriend, Ryan Brown. Amy and Ryan have been living in The Woodlands for the past year because she is currently interning at North Houston Veterinary Specialists.

The four of us had a relaxing lunch on the patio of Cyclone Anaya’s (complete with margaritas, of course) and then hopped on a water taxi, which floats down The Woodlands Waterway and passes by its attractions. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is just a short walk (or water taxi ride) from the rest of the shopping, restaurants and The Woodlands Mall. While we were on the water taxi, we caught glimpses of families having picnics on the grassy areas along the water.

Amy and Ryan shared some of their favorite things to do in the area, such as hanging out in the various parks and walking their dog, Dante, on the trails. Their favorite memory so far was taking Dante to Pundt Park, where there’s a sandy beach beside a river, and also a nice dog park. They both enjoy the restaurants in the area and the fact that there are lots of fun events going on throughout the year, such as the Fourth of July festivities, The Woodlands Craft Beer and Music Festival, and The Woodlands Margarita Fest.


The view from Jordan and Matt Steinfeld’s table during dinner at Current.

“And this time of year, there are nightly concerts and farmer’s markets on the weekends that we could walk to,” Amy said, pointing to the fact that there were performers setting up on the side of the waterway at just that moment.  

After a while, we hopped off the water taxi and walked around the Woodlands Mall. After so much walking (I’m proud to say that at the end of the day, my FitBit had tracked more than 17,000 steps!) we worked up an appetite for dinner. Matt and I then enjoyed an excellent meal at Current, located in The Westin. Their menu changes seasonally and the restaurant concept is unique to The Woodlands area. Our table was by the window, looking out at the Woodlands Waterway. Matt said he felt like we were overlooking a smaller version of San Antonio’s River Walk.

Then, we headed back into Waterway Square to meet Amy and Ryan for a drink. Once it got dark, the entire area lit up: the water fountains with colored lights, the trees with Christmas lights. It felt like a festive occasion but it was just a typical Saturday night. The whole night felt so nice because we didn’t have to plan exactly where we wanted to go – we just walked around and spontaneously found places to hang out.

On Sunday morning, we got a lazy start to the day and then headed to Baker Street Pub for a bite to eat. They were offering 99 cent mimosas. Sold. Matt and I split a breakfast taco and mimosas and then walked around more before enjoying a late lunch at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro.


The trees light up everywhere in The Woodlands Waterway area at night.

Seriously, we are already planning our next meal there, as we loved the food so much. I enjoyed lobster bisque and a wedge salad, and both were incredible. The wedge included candied pecans and flavorful bacon and the bisque was creamy and just delicious. Matt had a lobster sandwich with truffle parmesan fries. We felt too full to order dessert, but once we saw the menu, we couldn’t help it. We ordered the chocolate croquettes, which already rates up there in my all-time favorite desserts. Hubbell & Hudson is located right near the movie theater and would be an excellent date night – it’s worth the drive.

Our trip back took about 40 minutes and we couldn’t believe how relaxed we felt afterward. Typically our trips home from weekend getaways take several hours by car or plane, and it was so nice to feel like we were so far away, but to have such a quick trip home. We also realized that the fact that we didn’t have to drive at all during our stay there contributed to such a nice, relaxing weekend.

If you haven’t been to The Woodlands lately, we highly recommend it. Check out upcoming events, such as The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival this weekend, plus events at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Have you been to The Woodlands recently? Share your favorite things to do in the comment section below. 

  • Woodlands Waterway

    The Woodlands Waterway makes The Woodlands area feel like a true getaway. You can hop on and off a water taxi to explore the area.

  • Old Town Spring

    Jordan and Matt Steinfeld stopped in Old Town Spring on the way to the Woodlands. Jordan loved the charming, quaint atmosphere. 

  • Fountain

    A fountain near the Westin hotel in The Woodlands Waterway area.

  • The Westin The Woodlands

    The new Westin The Woodlands has sleek, modern decor. 

  • Water taxis

    Water taxis make it easy to hop on and off down the Woodlands Waterway area. 

  • Selfie on the water taxi

    Friends Ryan Brown, Dr. Amy Alexander, Jordan and Matt Steinfeld enjoyed a relaxing afternoon cruising the Woodlands Waterway. 

  • Woodlands Mall

    The water taxi stops at The Woodlands Mall, which offers hundreds of stores and dining options.

  • Crab cake from Current

    Crab cake appetizer from Current.

  • Current

    Current, which offers a different menu seasonally, is located in The Westin and has a view of the water.  Jordan and Matt Steinfeld enjoyed the food there, plus the view of the water from their table.

  • Waterway

    The view from Jordan and Matt Steinfeld’s table during dinner at Current.

  • Scallops

    The scallop entree from Current.

  • Lamb entree

    Lamb entrée from Current.

  • Woodlands Waterway at night

    The trees light up everywhere in The Woodlands Waterway area at night.

  • Hubbell & Hudson

    The wedge salad and lobster bisque at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro.  

  • Chocolate croquettes

    Chocolate croquettes dessert from Hubbell & Hudson Bistro.

  • Woodlands Waterway
  • Old Town Spring
  • Fountain
  • The Westin The Woodlands
  • Water taxis
  • Selfie on the water taxi
  • Woodlands Mall
  • Crab cake from Current
  • Current
  • Waterway
  • Scallops
  • Lamb entree
  • Woodlands Waterway at night
  • Hubbell & Hudson
  • Chocolate croquettes

More photos

Woodlands Waterway

The Woodlands Waterway makes The Woodlands area feel like a true getaway. You can hop on and off a water taxi to explore the area.

Old Town Spring

Jordan and Matt Steinfeld stopped in Old Town Spring on the way to the Woodlands. Jordan loved the charming, quaint atmosphere. 

Fountain

A fountain near the Westin hotel in The Woodlands Waterway area.

The Westin The Woodlands

The new Westin The Woodlands has sleek, modern decor. 

Water taxis

Water taxis make it easy to hop on and off down the Woodlands Waterway area. 

Selfie on the water taxi

Friends Ryan Brown, Dr. Amy Alexander, Jordan and Matt Steinfeld enjoyed a relaxing afternoon cruising the Woodlands Waterway. 

Woodlands Mall

The water taxi stops at The Woodlands Mall, which offers hundreds of stores and dining options.

Crab cake from Current

Crab cake appetizer from Current.

Current

Current, which offers a different menu seasonally, is located in The Westin and has a view of the water.  Jordan and Matt Steinfeld enjoyed the food there, plus the view of the water from their table.

Waterway

The view from Jordan and Matt Steinfeld’s table during dinner at Current.

Scallops

The scallop entree from Current.

Lamb entree

Lamb entrée from Current.

Woodlands Waterway at night

The trees light up everywhere in The Woodlands Waterway area at night.

Hubbell & Hudson

The wedge salad and lobster bisque at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro.  

Chocolate croquettes

Chocolate croquettes dessert from Hubbell & Hudson Bistro.

To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.