Simply 30 miles north of Houston's downtown is The Woodlands, a 27,000-acre, master-planned community built around a string of lakes, stands of pine trees and laced with 120 miles of hiking and bike trails.
The first residents moved into the development in 1974 and it has since become the fastest growing community in Texas. The Woodlands consists of eight villages populated by almost 80,000 residents. Designed to have its homes and businesses hidden away by forests, The Woodlands has 28 percent green space and has been called "America's Hometown."
The community possesses three corporate and commercial centers, a resort and conference center, medical facilities and a full range of shopping, dining, entertainment and recreational amenities. More than 1,200 businesses and corporations have their offices in The Woodlands.
Cost of Housing
Homes on wooded lots are available in all price ranges, many with outdoor kitchens, sparkling pools, spas and cool covered porches. Prices range from $130,000 for an 1,800-square-foot home on a cul de sac, with annual maintenance fees of about $300, to $1.7 million for a 5,800 square foot custom-built Tuscan-style home with an outdoor kitchen, lush landscaping and fountains, waterfalls and a large pool.
Apartments are seldomly available, but when they are, they rent for between $600 for a modest one-bedroom to up to $2,000 for a choice two-bedroom of about 1,750 square feet.
The Conroe Independent School District supports the area with 19 campuses that have been frequently recognized for academic excellence.
John Cooper School in The Woodlands is a private, college prep school for grades K through 12.
College Park is home to Mongomery College, a junior college campus, and the University Center, which offers bachelor's and master's degrees in cooperation with six major Texas universities.
Lake Woodlands, a sanctuary for sailing, rowing and fishing, is a 200-acre lake flanked by two of The Woodlands' 89 parks.
If golf is your game, you'll be delighted to find 117 holes of golf within the only community in the country that has the "big four" signature courses: a Tournament Players Course and courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Also in the area are a golf academy and tennis center as well as other recreational facilities, including a regional YMCA.
For the arts and culture, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater with seating for 17,000, hosts major touring shows from pop to opera and is the summer home of the Houston Symphony.
With more than 120 shops in the 1.2 million-square-feet Woodlands Mall, shopping, entertainment and dining are plentiful.
The Hardy Toll Road, from The Woodlands to the North Loop of Interstate 45, provides commuters with comfortable access to downtown Houston, 27 miles away in 30 to 35 minutes.
Located off Interstate 45 north, The Woodlands also provides easy access via I-45 to Houston Intercontinental Airport, 16 miles north and 25 to 30 minutes away.