Lake Conroe | Courtesy of Conroe CVB

In our Must do things around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods, and destinations to give you five fun, tasty, surprising, and alluring reasons you should give everyone a visit.

Just about 50 miles from downtown Houston, the 21-mile, 20,000-acre Lake Conroe sits on the west fork of the San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker counties. With scenic shores and wooded areas, including part of the Sam Houston National Forest, the area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. From boating and hiking to sipping foam at revolutionary breweries, find out what to do in this stunning de facto hood.

Note: For the purposes of this list, the area around Lake Conroe includes the towns of Conroe, Montgomery, and Willis, as well as the Montgomery County portion of the Sam Houston National Forest.

5 things to do near Lake Conroe

  1. Hit the lake – From boating and boarding to relaxing at a lakeside bar and grill, you can’t come to the area without participating in the plethora of activities that Lake Conroe has to offer. Rent a stand up paddle board, take out a boat or jet ski, spend some quiet time with a day of fishing, or bring a group of friends and have a fun day in the sun on a Cascade Cycleboats bike boat. The human-powered party boat features a 25ft pontoon base and 10 pedal stations that spin a large aluminum paddle wheel, as well as a kitchen bar in the center to add to the atmosphere of Party. Those seeking romance can enjoy a sunset dinner cruise on Lake Conroe. After all that fun on the lake, stroll through the waterfront shops and restaurants at Water Point Marina, including Monty’s Lighthouse, Fajita Jack’s, and more; or check out nearby Papa’s on the Lake to relax with live music and eat fish and shrimp tacos, burgers and pies from the bar.
  2. Stroll the streets of historic downtown Conroe – Travel back to the days of the booming city as you explore the charming town center of Conroe, lined with restored century-old buildings, art galleries, cozy boutiques and cafes. For antiques, head to Conroe Central Market, home to an eclectic mix of vintage collectibles from over 50 vendors. Art lovers can find solace at the Campobella Bronze Fine Art Studio and Gallery or check out the Conroe Art League; or watch a captivating production at the Crighton Theater, a beautiful historic theater built in 1934. Step into Flour-ish to linger over homemade cookies, toasted Cubans and latte; stop at the Honor Cafe for burgers, tacos, and burritos for breakfast; and share wood-fired pizza pies and cheese fries over craft beers at The Red Brick Tavern (one of our picks for Conroe’s best brunches).
  3. Get outdoors in the Sam Houston National Forest – One of Texas’ four national forests, this massive 160,000-acre forest is spread over three counties (Montgomery, San Jacinto, and Walker), with over 47,000 acres in Montgomery County alone. It’s the perfect location for fishing, birding and wildlife watching, biking, and camping, but one of the highlights is the award-winning 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, which has been dubbed hiker’s “jewel of Texas”. It has more than a dozen access points and consists of three main sections, one of which is the 40-mile portion of Lake Conroe, located west of Lake Conroe and starting near the intersection of FS 219 and FM 149. Click here for a map of the forest. And click here for 5 things to do around the Sam Houston National Forest.
  4. Support local foams at Southern Star Brewing Company and B-52 Brewing Co. – Southern Star, which began production in 2008, makes some of the best beers in town, including Pine Belt Pale Ale, Buried Hatchet Stout, and Bombshell Blonde. A few years ago, it moved its operations to a new facility on a 13-acre property, which includes a beautiful outdoor beer garden and a 3,200-square-foot faucet room on the second floor overlooking the production side of things. In addition to excellent foam, the brewery hosts food trucks, anecdotes, open mic evenings, and more. Click here for directions to the Southern Star Brewery. Founded in 2014, the innovative B-52 Brewing Company wows hops lovers from near and far, with over 20 unique draft beers, a shaded beer garden and an air-conditioned bar for the hottest days. Head to the bar Wednesday through Sunday to sip on favorites like Tropical Table Pie: Pink Goyava Sour, So Pitted West Coast Style Double IPA and Brandy for Breakfast, the brewery’s Breakfast Stout aged in cognac. Click here for directions to Brewery B-52.
  5. Show your Texas pride at the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park – This open-air public museum features Montgomery County as the birthplace of the Lone Star Flag. Take a look at 13 towering historic battle and rally flags that represent those who flew during the Texas independence struggle, with a 14 foot bronze sculpture known as “The Texian” at the center. The sculpture holds up a Texas flag, a symbol of a volunteer veteran of the Texas Revolutionary Army. Explore symbolism throughout the park and learn about the fascinating history of the great Lone Star State. Click here for directions.
Brasserie B-52 in Conroe | Photo: Justin Jerkins / 365Houston

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer based in Houston. When not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston, and Houston Press, she is on the lookout for the coolest events in town. You can follow his thoughts on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .

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