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Living the Lake Life

8 Reasons to Visit Conroe, TX

Whether you’re spending the day bass fishing or indulging in spa treatments, Conroe, Texas, has something to suit your getaway goals.

In 1881, Union Calvary officer lumberman Isaac Conroe founded a sawmill about 40 miles north of his native Houston. By the early 1900s, Conroe was incorporated and had grown to be a thriving and dynamic community located along the picturesque 22,000-acre Lake Conroe.

These days, Conroe is known for having a small town feel with big city appeal, and for being a destination where adventure awaits for families and couples. Here are eight reasons to make Conroe your next vacation destination.

1) Make some waves

The first key to living the lake life is to get in it! And there’s no shortage of options when it comes to making a splash in Lake Conroe. If you want to defy gravity, ride a Hydro Rocket and try to soar over the water. If gliding across the H20 is more your speed, rent a paddleboard from 3rd Coast Paddle Boards , a jet ski from Just Fun Rentals or a boat from Waterpoint Marina. Another way to exercise while spending some time on the lake is to rent a Dryft Cycle Boat . These unique vessels are set on a 25-foot pontoon base and have 10 pedal stations that turn a large aluminum paddle wheel (with additional nonpedal seats for five more passengers). The boat has a galley bar in the center of the pedal stations so your beverages can keep cool while you paddle the day away, and a canopy that covers the width and length of the boat for protection from the sun. The boat is a great option for family reunions and bachelor/bachelorette parties. Last but not least, you can book a Sunday brunch or romantic dinner and dance aboard Southern Empress Cruise , an authentic riverboat.

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2) Please your palate

When it’s time to grab a bite, Papa’s on the Lake is a local favorite—accessible by boat or car—that offers live music, volleyball, indoor/outdoor decks, and its famous muffulettas and burgers. If you’d prefer a juicy steak, visit Saltgrass Steakhouse or Old Montgomery Steakhouse. Of course, Texas is known for its barbecue, and there is no shortage of options to indulge in here. Locally owned McKenzie’s Barbecue slow cooks and smokes its meats over hardwood for up to 22 hours in a rotating pit designed by barbecue experts who have decades of experience. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, stop by Pie in the Sky Pie Co. to sample a slice of the homemade coconut cream pie.

3) Cast away

Catfish, bass, and crappie— these are just a few of the fish that call Lake Conroe home. Thanks to the mild winters in Conroe, fishing is an option year-round. Hire a guide from FishDude, the Catfish Killer or Conroe Fishing Adventures to help you explore the water and find some fish. Rather go solo? Cast your line from a fishing pier in Lake Conroe Park or at W. Goodrich Jones State Forest.

4) Take a swing

Get your 18-hole fix at a number of private and public courses in Conroe. A few options include the Gary Player Golf Course at Grand Lake Estates, Wedgewood Golf Course and Bentwater Yacht & Country Club.

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5) Rest and Relaxation

If you’re searching for a massage, facial or manicure, look no further than La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa. The property’s spa offers a full menu of services and a relaxation lounge complete with Shiatsu massage chairs, Zen-inspired gardens, and healthy snacks, herbal teas, and juices. In addition to the award-winning spa and chic accommodations, the resort also offers eight restaurants, bars and lounges, five pools and an aqua park for the kids and an 18-hole golf course.

6)Take a hike

Less than 30 minutes from downtown and dubbed the hikers “Jewel of Texas,” you’ll find the Lone Star Hiking Trail, a 96-mile trail that has an additional 32 miles of loop and crossover trails of foot-path-only trails. Hiking also offers you an opportunity to see the many species of birds that pass through Conroe. Of the 338 species of birds listed as Nearctic-Neotropical migrants in North America, 333 of them have been recorded in Texas. With Conroe’s location at the convergence of the Central and Mississippi Flyways, you’re sure to spot a few. Head to W. Goodrich Jones State Forest, which is home to clusters of endangered Red Cockaded Woodpeckers.

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7) Go for the grape

Find a new one wine when you visit one of Conroe’s local wineries and tasting rooms to see what Texas wine is all about. Choose from spots like Cork This! Winery, where you can sip and take a ghost tour; Bernhardt Winery, where you can enjoy a glass of vino while catching a concert; or Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Blue Epiphany Vineyards, the newest tasting room and winery to hit Conroe.

8) Step back in time

Are you curious about Mr. Conroe and Texas history? Visit the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County, which is housed in the historic Grogan/Cochran home, built in 1924. The museum features exhibits chronicling the county’s roots, from the lumber and oil industries to all of the folks who have called it home. Celebrate a little Texas History at the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park, home to a 14-foot bronze statue known as “The Texan” and 13 battle flags that flew as the state won its independence. Or take a stroll through the historic downtown district where you’ll find buildings, including the Crighton Theatre (one of the few remaining Vaudeville theaters in Texas), dating back to the early 1900s that now house businesses, such as pubs, galleries and charming antique shops.

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