Best Texas Weekend Getaways for National Park Adventures, Luxury Resorts, and Charming Small Towns

Best Texas Weekend Getaways for National Park Adventures, Luxury Resorts, and Charming Small Towns
Big Bend National Park. Courtesy of Texas Monthly 

If you're looking for luxury resorts or outdoor adventures in Texas, Rich Report has you covered.

The largest contiguous state in the United States, Texas offers beautiful landscapes, a blend of cultures, and endless opportunities to explore. In the south, the state has coastal plains, in the west it has mountains, in the center it has rolling hills, in the north it has prairies, and in the east there are dense forests. There are many lakes, rivers, beaches, wineries, breweries, shopping, and great hotels throughout the state, so you can plan a weekend getaway to different parts of the state.

There are plenty of activities you can enjoy in Texas, whether you want to explore the outdoors, relax at a resort, or indulge in some retail therapy. These are some of the best weekend getaways in Texas.

San Antonio

Courtesy of Time Out 

San Antonio is a favorite destination for Texans and visitors from out of state in southern Texas. This region is home to the Alamo, where Texans fought for their independence in 1836, as well as four other UNESCO-designated missions. The Witte and McNay museums, as well as Tex-Mex and a margarita along the River Walk, are important attractions in San Antonio.

Take advantage of La Cantera Resort & Spa's championship golf course, five heated pools, nine restaurants, and even an adults-only floor between exploring. There are 550 acres of Texas Hill Country to explore, and boutique-style villas provide a bit more space for family gatherings or extended stays. Chef John Carpenter offers seasonal menus at Signature, including Gulf redfish with Spanish chorizo and a red pepper broth, and axis venison with potato pave and cherry jus. Spa Loma de Vida, the resort's 25,000-square-foot spa, offers sweeping views of San Antonio from its 25,000-square-foot location. In the Sky Loft, enjoy a CBD-infused soak, Champagne, artisan chocolates, reflexology, and a customized massage as part of the Destress Together spa treatment.

You can also learn more about distilling, tasting, the whiskey-making process, and more through the monthly Women & Whiskey series.

Austin

Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort  

Austin, the state's capital and center of live music and nightlife, is a must-see on any trip to Texas, as it has plenty of outdoor pursuits like kayaking, cycling, and hiking. As you row through downtown, lush greenery meets skyscraper views on Lady Bird Lake.

You'll find an array of delicious food from around the world at the city's food truck parks, or on a food truck. There are plenty of fun bars throughout the city, but The White Horse is a great spot to two-step and drink the house specialty, the Two-Step: a shot of well whiskey and Lone Star beer. The dark yet stylish setting of Small Victory is a great place for vintage-inspired cocktails.

Stay at Lake Austin Spa Resort, a secluded lakefront oasis dedicated to wellness. More than 100 treatments are available at the LakeHouse Spa, and activities include yoga, cooking classes, waterskiing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, author chats, and more. A stay at the resort includes daily meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients, and there are only 40 rooms at the resort, making it an intimate getaway.

Fort Worth

Hotel Drover. Courtesy of Architecture in Fort Worth 

A weekend in Fort Worth makes sense if you're in northern Texas: It's only 30 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and close enough to Dallas. You'll find elephants, penguins, rhinos, and even local critters at the Fort Worth Zoo, which is perfect if you have kids or just love animals. It is free to enter the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which has work by thousands of artists.

Lili's Bistro, a local favorite offering everything from burgers and sandwiches to bacon-wrapped quail and duck gumbo, is a great place for a night out in the Near Southside. For a taste of Western culture, visit the Stockyards, where The Herd - Texas longhorns driven by cowhands - walks down Exchange Avenue twice a day so visitors can experience a cattle drive.

Then, stay at Hotel Drover, Autograph Collection, one of Fort Worth's newest hotels where rustic meets modern at the White Elephant Saloon. It is also recommended to stay in downtown Fort Worth. Visit the Flying Saucer for drinks and dinner at Grace, a fine-dining establishment serving local meats and produce. A beautiful rooftop bar and modern amenities make The Sinclair, Autograph Collection, an art deco gem with spectacular downtown views. The Martin House Brewing Company, arguably the Willy Wonka of beer makers, is less than 10 minutes from downtown. Every week, new brews are released, including the best-selling Best Maid Sour Pickle Beer and its pickle-centric variations. There are endless sour flavors including strawberry kiwi, mango, and watermelon, as well as raspberry cobbler beer, pumpkin stouts, and cake ales.

Big Bend

Courtesy of Chron

If you're looking for solitude in western Texas, the Big Bend region is well worth the drive. Among the wide-open spaces and epic hiking trails, you can spend endless hours stargazing here. With more than nine million acres, the Greater Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve is currently the world's largest Dark Sky Reserve and protected Dark Sky Place. There are organized star parties and stargazing opportunities available at both locations. You'll see canyons, buttes, mesas, mountains, and even wildlife, such as beavers, turtles, and birds, at Big Bend National Park at the border between the United States and Mexico. There are 238 miles of multiuse trails at Big Bend Ranch State Park that visitors can explore on foot, by bicycle, or on horseback. Several trails and the Bofecillos Highlands and Fresno Canyon can be accessed from the Puerta Chilicote Trailhead. Binoculars are a great way to view the park's 300 bird species.

Terlingua, an old mining destination that became a ghost town after operations ceased, lies just outside both parks. The Terlingua Trading Company, art galleries, and a few must-visit bars and restaurants make Terlingua a popular destination today. Now a saloon, restaurant, and live music venue, the Starlight Theatre used to be a place for miners. Enjoy an award-winning cup of chili, followed by brisket tacos or chicken-fried antelope with Lone Star beer gravy.

Lajitas Golf Resort, a 27,000-acre property between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, offers a world-class golf course, clay shooting, horseback riding, zip lining, and more. In addition to a saloon and pizza restaurant, there are four restaurants on site. Don't miss the prickly pear cheesecake at Candelilla Café, which features shrimp tacos, charro beans, and sofrito rice.

Fredericksburg

Courtesy of True West Magazine 

Fredericksburg was founded by Germans in 1846 and is a popular weekend getaway destination in the Hill Country. It's the perfect place to anchor yourself while exploring central Texas, especially if you intend to visit the numerous wineries along Highway 290. With restaurants, bars, shops, and plenty of space to roam, it's a great place to anchor yourself while exploring central Texas. You can find unique home decor and gifts at Blackchalk Home and Laundry, or vintage furniture and fabrics at Carol Hicks Bolton Antiquités. If you're looking for a Texas souvenir, check out San Saba Soap Company for fragrant pecan oil soap or body oil. You can also enjoy a charcuterie board and bottle of wine at Signor Vineyards, where seven varietals grow across 17 acres, or go to The Speakeasy at Salvation Spirits, the only speakeasy in Fredericksburg (reservations required). Check out Vaudeville's supper club for seasonal dinners featuring cuisine from around the world. Have you ever been on a hike that was fun? A billion years ago, Enchanted Rock was a pool of magma. Now you can climb it at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. A vineyard, private cabins, and a bistro and wine bar are all located on 26 acres at Barons CreekSide.  

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Courtesy of Trip Savvy 

Located near the border between Texas and New Mexico, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a vast landscape of desert, mountains, canyons, and vistas that protects the world's largest Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, and countless plants and wildlife. With 8,751 feet of elevation, Guadalupe Peak is Texas' highest point. About six to eight hours are usually required to complete this hike, which is 8.5 miles round trip. Observing fall foliage at McKittrick Canyon is another popular hiking option, as it offers exposed cave features and stone picnic tables.

The park does not have lodging - only two developed campgrounds for tents and RVs. Hotel El Capitan, designed by famous architect Henry Trost and built in 1930, can be found about an hour south of Van Horn. There are 50 rooms in the hotel, as well as a restaurant serving pistachio fried steaks and ribeyes.

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