Seven years ago, I moved to The Woodlands from out of state to be closer to family. What I was hoping to find was a familial connection that had been missing ever since I moved away from Indiana, where I was born and raised. What I found, however, was so much more: An eclectic, diverse and welcoming community that I am so proud to call home. I also found a wonderful destination for meetings and events.

Located less than 30 miles from Houston and George Bush Intercontinental Airport, The Woodlands is surrounded in nature yet imbued with urban culture and amenities. It also has a range of accommodations and venues to choose from. “With some of the best hotel and meeting spaces around, The Woodlands is a great location for planners and attendees alike,” says Josie Lewis, director of sales for Visit The Woodlands.

Where to Stay

  • The Woodlands Waterway Marriott: Featuring 345 rooms and 66,000 square feet of event space, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is within walking distance of Market Street (an open-air retail village), The Woodlands Mall, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, cinemas and a variety of dining destinations. The hotel has a full-service spa, fitness center and numerous on-site dining options.  
  • The Woodlands Resort: Located on Lake Harrison, The Woodlands Resort features 402 rooms, lagoon-style pools, tennis courts, restaurants, bars, a lazy river and golf course access. It also includes 60,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 13,430-square-foot Grand Ballroom.
  • The Westin at The Woodlands: The 302-room Westin at The Woodlands offers more than 28,000 square feet of meeting space and a prime walking location near entertainment, restaurants and outdoor recreation.
  • Hyatt Centric: Overlooking the outdoor shopping and lifestyle center Market Street, the 72-room Hyatt Centric is a boutique full-service hotel. Amenities include a fitness center, infinity pool, destination dining, and approximately 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

Where To Meet 
Want to meet off-site? Here are some venues to consider:

  • Woodforest Bank Club: Located at the world-famous Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, the Woodforest Bank Club offers more than 1,600 square feet of event space and two patio decks overlooking the Pavilion stage.
  • The Pavilion Event Center: Also located at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, this multi-purpose, 21,000-square foot facility has two movable walls allowing for the space to be divided into three separate rooms, each offering state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities. The event center also has its own entrance and restaurants.
  • The Woodlands Country Club: Offering golf course views and seating for more than 300 people, the country club has a number of private rooms available for VIP receptions or lunch or breakfast meetings.

What To Do 
Post-meeting recreation in The Woodlands ranges from high-brow to high-wire.

  • Glade Gallery: Showcasing contemporary artists in a bright, open space, Glade Gallery also hosts weekly live music.
  • Texas TreeVentures: Texas TreeVentures is an outdoor aerial, three evel adventure course, which neighbors the 1,800-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve. It’s also available for private events or corporate team-building activities.
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion: One of the top outdoor amphitheaters in the world, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion has hosted an impressive list of performers, including Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Ozzy Osbourne, Jack Johnson, Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kenny Chesney. The pavilion also hosts community events, movie nights and performances by the Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera.
  • Riva Row Boathouse/Lakes Edge Boat House: Take to Lake Woodlands via Riva Row Boathouse or Lakes Edge Boat House, where you can rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, swan boats or water bikes.

For post-meeting exploring on their own, your guests can hop on the complimentary The Woodlands Trolley, which will connect them to The Woodlands Mall, Market Street, Town Center, The Woodlands Waterway, and Hughes Landing’s restaurant row and hotels. 

Need more help navigating the area? Lewis encourages planners to “Reach out to us anytime so we can help make your planning process a breeze.”

Are your Zoom work calls punctuated by the frenzied barking of your dog warning you of the shenanigans of a pesky squirrel? Do you long for the days when dressing up for work does not include choosing between pajamas and sweatpants? Are you tired of your office colleagues referring to you as “mom” or “dad” and refusing to pick up their rooms?

 

Round Rock is now home to America’s largest indoor water park: Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. The venue showcases a safari theme and includes 22 life-size sculptures that weigh up to 10,000 pounds each and measure up to 10 feet tall. The collection includes 12 elephants, seven zebras, a mother and baby rhinoceros, and a cape buffalo.

 

With mostly family-owned shops and restaurants, 26 miles of sandy beaches, and more than double the miles in bike trails, Muskegon sounds like it could be a city on the West Coast. But combine it with snowy winters and a small-town feel, and Muskegon is a Midwestern city full of character. While the city provides plenty of recreational things to do, meetings and events don’t lack in luster. Opening in spring 2021, a new convention center is just one highlight for planners looking to book in Western Michigan, among plenty of other exciting venues to explore.