The Woodlands is a gorgeous master-planned community just outside of Houston, originally developed as a bedroom community for the exurban Houston region. Today, the award-winning community is home to some of the Houston area's top entertainment destinations, including the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, one of the world's most heavily-used amphitheatres. The Woodlands Mall offers world-class shopping and dining experiences, while the Woodlands Waterway showcases public art and multi-use pedestrian trails. Each year, the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival draws more than 200 artists from around the world for a major juried art competition. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
© The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, commonly known as the Woodlands Pavilion, is a charming outdoor amphitheatre in Houston suburb The Woodlands, showcasing lovely concert and theatrical performances throughout the year in season. The venue was opened in 1990 and has hosted major international music acts, including Frank Sinatra, Clint Black, and Alabama. Its seating capacity of 16,500 makes it one of the world's most-attended and most heavily-used amphitheatres. World-class performances are hosted throughout the year, including performances by the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Ballet, and the Houston Symphony. Contemporary music acts are also hosted by Live Nation, bringing in top pop and rock acts from around the globe.

2005 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380, Phone: 281-364-3010

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2.The Woodlands Mall

The Woodlands Mall
© Idanupong/

The Woodlands Mall is a delightful three-story shopping mall in the Woodlands, home to over 1,350,000 square feet of retail and dining space for visitors from all around the Houston area. The mall, which is overseen by the Brookfield Properties Retail Group, opened to the public in 1994 with over 120 shopping options. Today, it features six anchor stores, including popular national chains Forever 21, Macy's, Dillard's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Nordstrom, and JCPenney. Upscale clothing retailers include favorites like Free People, White House Black Market, Urban Outfitters, and Banana Republic, while home and decor stores include retailers like Arhaus Furniture and Pottery Barn. Excellent dining options include full-service favorites like P.F. Chang's, the Cheesecake Factory, and BRIO Tuscan Grille.

1201 Lake Woodlands Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380, Phone: 281-363-3409

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3.RC's NYC Pizza and Pasta, The Woodlands, TX

RC's NYC Pizza and Pasta, The Woodlands, TX
© RC's NYC Pizza and Pasta

RC's NYC Pizza and Pasta serves up authentic New York-style pizzas, bringing the best of the East Coast's culinary scene to the Houston area. The restaurant's award-winning pizzas have won placements at international culinary competitions such as Las Vegas' Pizza Expo and the Barilla Pasta Showdown. All pizzas are crafted with dough aged three to four days and made to order with fresh ingredients. Specialty 18-inch pizzas are perfect for sharing, available in varieties like spinach and artichoke-topped California pies and Meaty New Yorkers, topped with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham, and meatballs. Gourmet subs are also served up, along with chicken and pork wings and classic pasta dishes such as pasta del Nonna.

501 Sawdust Rd Ste I, The Woodlands, TX 77380, Phone: 281-298-4663

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4.Fielding’s Wood Grill, The Woodlands, Texas

Fielding’s Wood Grill, The Woodlands, Texas
© Fielding’s Wood Grill

Fielding’s Wood Grill is a delicious full-service restaurant at the Woodlands, known for its seasonally-changing menus of wood-fired local and organic fare. The restaurant serves up lunch and dinner seven days a week and brunch on weekend mornings. All sauces, dressings, and breads are prepared in house daily by the restaurant's culinary team, complemented by house-cured bacon and meats roasted over Texas pecan and oak woods. Diners can choose from excellent grilled selections such as cider barbecue-glazed baby-back ribs, gluten-free rotisserie chickens, wood-grilled shrimp, and black Angus filet mignon. Sandwich options range from wagyu barbecue briskets and gluten-free banh mis to black forest ham Monte Cristos and Cajun shrimp po'boy rolls.

1699 Research Forest Dr, Shenandoah, TX 77380, Phone: 832-616-3275

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5.The Goose's Acre, The Woodlands, Texas

The Goose's Acre, The Woodlands, Texas
© The Goose's Acre

The Goose's Acre is a lively Irish pub that honors the tradition of a similarly-named restaurant in Midleton, County Cork, which operated throughout the 20th century until its closure in 2005. The bar's name and trademark were purchased by Colm O'Neill and Brian Young, who opened a new location of the restaurant in the Woodlands several years later. Signature menu items include Irish whiskey-soaked braised short ribs, deluxe gourmet macaroni and cheese, wasabi and pistachio-encrusted ahi tuna, and ale-battered Atlantic cod fish and chips. Texas wagyu steaks are also served up, along with artisanal and build-your-own burger selections. Shareables range from Irish nachos topped with melted cheddar and sliced potatoes to Irish-style empanadas stuffed with chicken and leeks.

21 Waterway Ave #140, The Woodlands, TX 77380, Phone: 281-466-1502

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6.The Olive Oil Restaurant, The Woodlands, Texas

The Olive Oil Restaurant, The Woodlands, Texas
© The Olive Oil Restaurant

The Olive Oil Restaurant is a delicious family-owned Greek restaurant in the Woodlands, known for its freshly-prepared, authentic Greek cuisine prepared by highly-trained chefs. The unique restaurant serves up both full entrees and shareable family-style platters for the entire table to sample some of Greece's most renowned specialty dishes. Friendly wait staff help guide diners through their meal experience, aiding in selecting menu items to suit each diner's individual tastes. House specialties include favorites like stuffed cabbage rolls, moussaka, pastitsio, and lamb souvlaki. A full beer and wine bar serves up exclusive drink offerings, including Greek imports. Live entertainment is presented throughout the week, showcasing folk musicians and belly dancers.

373 Sawdust Rd, Spring, TX 77380, Phone: 281-367-0114

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6 Best Things to Do in The Woodlands, Texas

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