The Woodlands, Texas

Best Places to Retire in Texas


The Woodlands (population approximately 68,000) is a master planned community located in forested lands, 27 miles north of Houston. It has direct access to two major highways into the city – Interstate 45 and Hardy Toll Road. The community, developed by The Woodlands Operating Company, was opened in 1974 on 27,000 acres of land. The developer’s vision was that it would grow into an aesthetically pleasing and wholesome community offering and an outstanding quality of life for an estimated population of about 120,000 persons. The residents of The Woodlands have organized themselves to promote and continue a sense of community involvement, and interaction.

One of the most universally appreciated features of The Woodlands community is its network of more than 124 miles of wooded pathways that connect residents with shopping, schools, and many parks in the area. They are well suited for walking, running, skateboarding, or biking. There are more than 90 parks that offer playground equipment, ball fields, lighted tennis and basketball courts, picnic areas, and more. A number of the larger parks also have swimming pools (there are 12 pools), jogging and BMX tracks, skateboard parks, ponds, and fishing piers.

The Woodlands also features excellent golf, with signature courses by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Fazio. The community celebrates a number of holidays, the most spectacular being its Fourth of July festivities, which include a parade with floats, the “Star Spangled Salute” concert presented by the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and a fireworks spectacular. Throughout the year there are many special events that feature antiques, flea markets, art exhibits, commemorative programs, and festivals.

Among the many amenities in The Woodlands, there are many dining choices, from fine dining, pubs, casual, and family restaurants. And, there is plenty of shopping in the seven village centers, including major department stores, bookstores, and many specialty stores. Entertainment includes world-class events at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion with seating for 17,000. Entertainment includes symphony concerts, as well as national and world-class performers and entertainers. A bit more low-key, but equally pleasurable are the free Sunday lakeside music concerts at Concerts In the Park.

When you take a look at what The Woodlands has to offer, it is not surprising that it is regarded among the great places to live, and to retire. It is also minutes via the highway to the vast resources of Houston, which include outstanding arts and cultural events, entertainment, events at the major universities, three professional sports franchises (baseball, basketball and football), and more.

Arts & Culture

The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra —

The Woodlands Concert Band —

Civic Ballet in The Woodlands —

Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion is the major venue for arts events in The Woodlands, with an open-air seating capacity of 17,000.

Houston Symphony Orchestra is nearly 100 years old.

Houston Ballet —

Rice University in Houston has a highly-regarded active arts program that includes Rice Players Theater and programs by the Shepherd School of Music.

Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston —

Theatre Under The Stars, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts produces five musicals each season.

The Alley Theatre is a regional repertory theater. It produces a 10-play season.

University of Houston’s School of Theater produces a four-play season.


The Woodlands Parks and Recreation Department operates a vast number of facilities for the pleasure of its residents. Amenities include more than 124 miles of hiking and bike paths, more than 90 parks, a dozen swimming pools and 1,800 acres of open lands. There are facilities for everyone, including picnic pavilions, ball fields, lighted tennis courts, bocci, volleyball, and much more. The Woodland Recreation Center features indoor and outdoor basketball courts, game rooms, a fitness center and art, music and exercise classes. There are many programs available year ’round.

The Woodlands offers outstanding golf. Its highly ranked courses include signature layouts by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Fazio. It also has two public courses, Panther Trail and The Oaks. Houston Astros Major League Baseball Team —

Houston Rockets NBA Team —

Houston Texans NFL Football Team —


The University Center partners with Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University and University of Houston-Downtown.

Montgomery Community College —

Rice University, Houston —

University of Houston – Downtown —

University of Houston – University Park —

Texas Southern University is an historically black college.

San Jacinto College, Pacadena, TX —

Baylor College of Medicine —

Senior Programs

The Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) at Montgomery College offers courses and programs designed for older, active adults. These range from computer training, foreign languages, and literature, to musical presentations, birding, bridge, etc.


Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital is a 168-bed acute care facility and part of the 11-location Memorial Hermann System.

St. Luke’s Community Medical Center – The Woodlands is an 84-bed hospital. Facilities include a surgery center, digital diagnostics, sleep center, nuclear medicine, emergency room and more.

Airport & Bus Service
Bush Intercontinental Airport is a major regional airport, just 25 minutes away.

Houston’s Hobby Airport, located in southeast Houston, offers commercial service to most of the nation.

The Woodlands Express commuter bus into Houston is available from two commuter parking areas. Weather Average temperatures for January are a high of 61 degrees and a low of 40 degrees. The average temperatures for July are a high of 93 degrees and a low of 72 degrees.


Woodlands Online –
The Villager —
The Courier, Montgomery County’s daily paper– 

Property Taxes

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Conroe – 13 miles
Humble – 19 miles
Houston – 27 miles
Galveston – 80 miles
Beaumont – 112 miles
Austin – 172 miles

« Back to the Texas Index
« Back to the State Index