5 Must Do Things near Lake Conroe

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 bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

Just 50 or so miles from Downtown Houston, the 21-mile and 20,000-acre Lake Conroe lies on the west fork of the San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker Counties. With picturesque shores and wooded areas, including a portion of the Sam Houston National Forest, the area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. From boating and hiking to sipping suds at game-changing breweries, check out what to do in this awesome de facto ‘hood.

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

5 Must Do Things Near Lake Conroe

  1. Hit the lake – From boating and boarding to unwinding at a lakeside bar and grill, you can’t come to the area without partaking in the plethora of activities Lake Conroe has to offer. Rent a paddleboard, take out a boat or jet ski, get some quiet time with a day of fishing, or bring a group of friends and spend a day of fun in the sun on a cycle boat from Cascade Cycleboats. The human-powered party boat features a 25-foot pontoon base and has 10 pedal stations that turn a large aluminum paddle wheel, plus a galley bar in the center to add to the party atmosphere. Those seeking romance can enjoy a sunset Lake Conroe Dinner Cruise. After all that fun on the lake, stroll shops and waterfront restaurants at Water Point Marina, including Monty’s Lighthouse, Fajita Jack’s, and more; or check out the nearby Papa’s on the Lake to chill out with live music and eats from fish and shrimp tacos to burgers and bar pies.
  2. Stroll the streets of Historic Downtown Conroe – Step back into the boomtown days as you explore Conroe’s charming downtown, lined with restored century-old buildings, art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. For antiques, hit Conroe Central Market, which houses an eclectic mix of vintage collectibles from over 50 vendors. Art lovers can seek solace at the Campobella Bronze Fine Art Studio and Gallery or check out the Conroe Art League; or catch a riveting production at The Crighton Theatre, a beautiful historic theatre built in 1934. Pop into Flour-ish to linger over homemade biscuits, griddled Cubans, and cafe au laits; stop by Honor Cafe for burgers, tacos, and breakfast burritos; and share pies of wood-fired pizza and cheese fries over craft beers at The Red Brick Tavern (one of our picks for Conroe’s best brunch spots).
  3. Get outdoorsy at Sam Houston National Forest – One of four national forests in Texas, 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 spot for fishing, bird and wildlife watching, and biking and camping, but one of the highlights is the award-winning 128-mile Lone Star Hiking trail, which has been dubbed the hiker’s “Jewel of Texas.” It features more than a dozen access points and consists of three major sections, one of which is the 40-mile Lake Conroe portion, lying west of Lake Conroe and beginning near the intersection of FS 219 and FM 149. Click here for a forest map. And click here for 5 Must Do Things around Sam Houston National Forest.
  4. Support local suds at Southern Star Brewing Company and B-52 Brewing Co. – Southern Star, which started production in 2008, makes some of the best brews in town, including Pine Belt Pale Ale, Buried Hatchet Stout, and Bombshell Blonde. A few years back, it moved operations to a new facility on a 13-acre property, which features a beautiful outdoor biergarten and a second story 3,200-square foot taproom overlooking the production side of things. In addition to some excellent suds, the brewery hosts food trucks, trivia, open mic nights, and more. Click here for directions to Southern Star Brewery. Established in 2014, the innovative B-52 Brewing Company impresses hop heads near and far, with 20+ unique beers on tap, a shaded beer garden, and air-conditioned taproom for those hotter days. Hit the taproom Wednesday through Sunday to sip through favorites like tropical Table Tart: Pink Guava Sour, So Pitted West Coast Style Double IPA, and the Brandy for Breakfast, the brewery’s Breakfast Stout aged in brandy barrels. Click here for directions to B-52 Brewery.
  5. Show your Texas pride at the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park – This public outdoor museum showcases Montgomery County as the birthplace of the Lone Star Flag. Get a glimpse of 13 towering historical battle and rally flags that depict those that flew during the Texas fight for independence, with a 14 ft. bronze sculpture known as “The Texian” at the center. The sculpture brandishes a Texas flag, serving as a symbol of a veteran volunteer in the Texas Revolutionary army. Explore the symbolism throughout the park and learn more about the fascinating history of the great Lone Star State. Click here for directions.
B-52 Brewing in Conroe | Photo: Justin Jerkins/365Houston

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .