A Cozy Conroe Christmas: Weekend Destination Alert!
Conroe sits just outside Houston with all the charm you’d expect from a small town alongside all the convenience you’d expect from a city. The red-brick downtown and winding country roads feature a variety of food, drink, and specialized shopping. For general necessities, staples like Target and Best Buy cluster together by the hotels.
If you visit near Christmas, Conroe’s Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade greets you upon arrival as it snakes its way through downtown. The traffic shutdowns are well-organized and finding a vantage point is easy. A huge amount of Conroe’s educational, retail, political, and religious organizations participate with their own floats, giving a well-rounded view of the community’s inclinations and opportunities. Best of all, participation isn’t limited to the adults! Kids of all ages enjoy the spotlight on floats and on the ground, making the parade a real community event.
There’s also the Toby Powell Conroe Christmas Celebration, a fair taking up residence at the center of the parade’s route for most of the day. Farmers market style tents flaunt the artisan and craft talents of Conroe’s residents, while face painting, carousels, ponies, and a slew of fun outdoor activities are available for the kids.
Bartletts Distillery is easily the winning attraction in Conroe. The independent distillery manufactures two whiskeys and four rums in-house. The owners are incredibly friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and more than willing to talk you through the distilling processes as you taste the effects of different methods across the six tasting sips. My personal favorite is the Single Malt Whiskey as it stays on the tongue for a while after, while my partner oscillates between the headiness of the Gold and Dark rums. However, all six selections go down insanely smoothly. As for mixed drinks, the Painkiller earns its title as the most popular. Who wouldn’t want their drink cheerfully set ablaze before being served? And if you want to try one of everything, have no fear – Bartletts provides plenty of card and board games to pass the time as you make your way through the menu.
Bartletts may have best drinks locked down, but veteran-owned Honor Cafe claims best food. The unassuming, warehouse-like restaurant is filled with patriotic memorabilia and mouth watering dishes. No frills, just food. The breakfast quesadilla with brisket and bacon, served with chimichurri and sour cream, is guaranteed to haunt your dreams for weeks after your trip… I’m tempted to drive back just to bite into the juicy, perfectly cooked brisket and enjoy high quality ingredients at their best again.
Pie in the Sky
After best drinks and best food, I present to you Conroe’s best dessert. The personality-filled Pie in the Sky offers a wide array of pie flavors, including keto and gluten sensitive options. The banana cream is my recommendation. It may be the most satisfying banana pie I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of banana pies. The southern pecan, pear berry, and bumbleberry pies are solid options as well. If you’d like a meal after dessert, Pie in the Sky is no slouch when it comes to savory dishes. Jamie’s Skillet, in particular, is a cheesily divine egg skillet sure to hit the spot during breakfast or brunch.
The Players Theatre Company at Owen Theatre
Dinner and a movie is overrated. Why not dinner and a play? The Players Theatre Company at Owen Theatre is small but mighty. Talent is in no short supply in Conroe, and one only has to sit through a showing of A Christmas Story to see it. Transitions between scenes are effective and mechanical thanks to the hard work of the stage hands. Both adult and child actors deliver stellar performances and clean, quality musical numbers throughout the show, and the whole experience is engaging and exciting.
Mead is basically honey wine. Two of the best treats melded together for a stunning final product. Innovation runs rampant at Ferm Meadery, so it’s best to go for a mead flight and sample five at once! For an elevated wine flavor, the Vanbogh, flavored with vanilla and oak, is a must. Somehow, the flavor combination results in a stout, barely-there hint of chocolate on the tongue that I am all there for. A more celebratory blend is the Cranberry Spice, which initially hits you with all spice before subsiding to a sensual cranberry finish.
The Red Brick Tavern
A local favorite that can’t be missed is The Red Brick Tavern. It’s menu of comfort food is fit for casual consumption, while the upscale preparation and presentation make it a site for celebratory and serious dinners as well. The live music in the evenings makes it a great place for night life as well. Particularly fine options include the Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas and RBT BBQ Gourmet Meatloaf Sandwich. The quesadillas are perfectly cheesy and sassily spicy, while the meatloaf manages to hold together without being a ball of grease as is usually the case. The meatloaf both impresses and puts one into a food coma, because it’s too good to stop eating regardless of how full one is.
I’ll be honest. I’m not into beer. I am, however, into Fass Brewery in-house beer. While the core flavor of beer is still very much present, Fass’ unique and creative flavor profiles mean there’s more to look forward to and enjoy in each drink. The cream ale, for example, is reminiscent of summer days spent chugging cream sodas in between rides at the waterpark, while the Tiki Seltzer brings a little tropical twist to the classic taproom taste.
Pacific Yard House
For an expansive American menu and vibrant live music, the rustic Pacific Yard House is the place to be. Their ribs are massive, saucy, and delicious. Their sweet potato fries are flavorful and their regular fries have that textured crunchy outer layer that puts them a step above the rest. Their Chocolate Eruption Cake features chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate drizzle for a decadent, rich end to the meal. It’s all around good food at Pacific Yard House, so be sure to stop by while you’re in town.
Fajita Jack’s Tex-Mex Grill and Cantina
It’s not Texan if it doesn’t have Tex-Mex. Fajita Jack’s fills the requirement for Conroe, serving classic Tex-Mex fare and sporting an expansive drink menu. The Lunch Lupe features a chicken breast that is moist and carries a touch of sweetness. A classic Piña Colada keeps the vibe up with its creamy coconut goodness. The restaurant sits on Lake Conroe, so there’s a beautiful view included with your meal.
We had such an amazing time visiting Conroe and can’t wait to be back! Perfect for weekend getaway, a short day trip, or something inbetween!