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Although summer in Houston is far from over, summer vacation is winding down. You’ve already been on your big adventure, but you’re looking for one last fun thing to do outside the loop. Fortunately, driving less than one hour in any direction will land you at a popular getaway destination. Check out four of the most popular quick trips from Houston:

 

The Woodlands Waterway

 

Located 30 miles north of downtown Houston lies The Woodlands, a township that stands out by blending in with its natural environment. In the middle of it all is The Woodlands Waterway, a vast area full of shops, restaurants and entertainment.

 

Start off right by staying at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel so everything is within walking distance. Head to Market Street for some fresh breakfast, then stay a while for some shopping fun. The weather is nice, so stop at Riva Row Boat House for some fun kayaking!

 

When you’re ready for lunch, hop on the free Woodlands Waterway Trolley and ride over to Baker St. Pub & Grill for some good bites. When you’re ready for more shopping, the beautiful Woodlands Mall is right around the corner for you!

 

The day can’t be over until you take in a concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, an amphitheater that holds over 16,000 people. When all is said and done, head back to your hotel and get ready for another day of adventures!

 

Kemah Boardwalk

 

For those who want to take a trip south of Houston, the world-famous Kemah Boardwalk is just a 45-minute drive. The boardwalk is loaded with rides, stores, restaurants and entertainment, so everybody will find something they love about the attraction.

 

Buy you and your family all day ride passes and get ready for the time of your life. Take the Boardwalk Beast and get drenched on this thrill ride in Galveston Bay. Dry off by riding the Boardwalk Bullet, the iconic wooden rollercoaster that drops you 92 feet!

 

Lunch options are plentiful on the boardwalk. The Lighthouse Buffet offers you 75 feet of all-you-can-eat options. If you’re wanting lighter food, head to Bayside Grille where you can get paninis and croissant sandwiches.

 

Spend the afternoon shopping at Kemah Outfitters, where you can show off your seaside style. It’s not an attraction without some sweets! The Candy Box is for the whole family. You name the kind of candy, and it’s there.

 

If you happen to visit on a Thursday, take in Rock the Dock, Kemah’s summer concert series. End the night by dining at The Flying Dutchman, the popular seafood house. Want to make a weekend out of it? Book a room at the Boardwalk Inn and you’re all set!

 

Sam Houston National Forest 

 

Houston is a bustling metropolis, but there is still nature within an hour’s drive. Head up Interstate 45 and you’ll end up in the Sam Houston National Forest, just south of Huntsville. Because it is broken into three segments, there is something for everybody seeking an outdoor adventure.

 

The 128 mile-long Lone Star Hiking Trail takes you from just east of Richards all the way to just west of Cleveland, so be prepared to get your steps in if you choose to hike! If you’re looking for camping grounds, you can find them on the west side at Stubblefield and Cagle, as well as on the east side at Double Lake. Grab your spot early and enjoy the environment!

 

It’s summer, so hanging out at Lake Conroe is a must. Jump in to cool off, or bring your boat for a relaxing afternoon on the lake. If you’re licensed to fish, take advantage of what the lake has to offer.

 

Brazos Bend State Park

 

Watch out! For these seeking face-to-face interactions with the wild, drive 50 minutes southwest of Houston to Brazos Bend State Park. Nature is top dog at this park, and alligators roam free because of all the water. You’ll definitely want to read over safety tips before heading here!

 

For those wanting to ride around, the park has 13 miles of trails, including areas for horseback riding. Unlike a national park , you don’t need a license to fish at a state park, so head to the lakes and fishing piers.

 

A unique feature of the park is the George Observatory, which is part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Make sure to head there the night of August 12, because there will be the Perseid Meteor Shower guests can witness!

 

Just because summer vacation is ending doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! The greater Houston area offers different kinds of adventures that are great for the whole family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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