Need a short break from the stresses of daily life?
A staycation is often the perfect solution. While travel is still restricted in many countries, there’s nothing quite like spending some time making the most of what your own local area has to offer.
Here are five Texas staycation destinations that are perfect for a quick and unique weekend getaway.
Wimberley is famous for its location, which many agree is one of the most scenic spots in Texas. It sits on some of the best Hill Country terrain, at the point where the Blanco River and the Cypress Creek meet, giving you so much natural diversity.
Its soaring cypress trees and colorful wildflower meadows have turned this part of the state into a buzzing hive of outdoor activity.
Things to Do
You’ll be surprised at how many different things there are to do in Wimberley, to the point where you may even want to extend your staycation to longer than a week. Here are some of the most popular activities that you won’t want to miss out on:
- Visit the Blue Hole Regional Park – this natural spring-fed swimming hole is great for a refreshing dip in the summer, but is still incredibly scenic in the winter. The park that it’s in has a few miles of picturesque trails worth following too
- Climb to the top of Old Baldy Mountain – there aren’t any signs to get to this hidden gem, meaning that many visitors simply give up without finding it. However, don’t be afraid to ask locals for directions – the climb is exhilarating and the view from the top makes the effort more than worth it
- Tour some local wineries – every good staycation involves plenty of wine, and you’ll definitely be able to find that at the local wineries dotted around Wimberley. The two most popular are the Wimberley Valley Winery and the Driftwood Estate Winery, with the latter making use of local Texas grapes to produce a Mediterranean-style wine
- Catch a movie at the open-air Corral Theatre – you can even bring your own blankets and lawn chairs, staying well away from everyone else – ideal for social distancing!
Where to Stay
There are several hotels around Wimberley that are opening with a limited capacity and practicing social distancing, but if you would prefer to avoid the larger chains, look into the Blair House Inn instead. This quaint inn has grounds stretching out for 22 acres, with its own pool, spa, and cooking classes too.
If you would like even more privacy, rent one of the private homes at Shade Ranch. The two homes available sit on the edge of the Blanco River, giving you exquisite views all to yourself.
The modern metropolis of Dallas did things a little differently over the years when compared to some of the other larger Texas cities. Unlike them, Dallas managed to avoid to boom and bust cycle that the oil industry brought on, meaning that it has now become the fastest-growing city in the entire country.
Things to Do
Not only is there plenty to do in Dallas itself, but venture outside of the city and you will be greeted by an abundance of exquisite natural beauty and thrilling outdoor adventure.
- Take a walk around the historic spot where JFK was assassinated, before heading over to the Sixth Floor Museum to learn more about that significant moment
- Explore some of the city’s urban parks – the Main Street Garden Park is known for its quirky sculptures, while the Klyde Warren Park is actually built over the top of a major freeway
- Surround yourself with greenery at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – 66 acres of landscaped gardens, ornamental trees, and world famous botanical displays
- Visit some of the city’s museums – the Dallas Museum of Art and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science are definitely a must
- Shop till you drop at the Galleria Dallas, where you will find 3 million feet of retail space, making it the largest mall in Texas. While you’re browsing, stop off at the OROGOLD Galleria Dallas Store to treat your skin to some free product demonstrations and a luxurious VIP facial
Where to Stay
If you’re planning a family staycation, then stay at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. The professional childcare center here ensures that parents get to enjoy their staycation too, and nothing quite beats the sandy mock beach at the family-friendly pool. Room service is fantastic too, meaning that you’ll easily be able to keep your family away from crowded restaurants.
On the other hand, if you’re planning a couples retreat, look into the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. The building itself dates back to 1925, with the property being transformed into an elegant luxury boutique hotel and restaurant later on in 1980.
If you’re looking for a picturesque destination that also has a number of cultural activities, then Marble Falls is for you. Located in Burnet County, Marble Falls is a lakeside town with a fascinating history and beautiful surroundings, making it no surprise that more and more people have lately been discovering its charm.
Things to Do
Whether you want to learn more about the region’s history, soak up some natural beauty, or simply spend your time away indulging in fine food and wine, Marble Falls has it all and more.
- A visit to Lake Marble Falls is a must, since this is what gave the town its name. However, don’t expect to actually see the famous waterfalls unless the dam is being maintained, which means that the lake will be low enough for the falls to be visible
- Check out some of the endangered animals at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, where you will also find some fantastic hiking trails
- Stop off for a homemade pie at the Blue Bonnet Cafe, where the likes of President George W. Bush, Willie Nelson, and Lyle Lovett have all enjoyed a slice
- Visit Granite Mountain, which is made up of beautiful pink granite. The mountain has quite a dark history behind it – the granite it was famous for was mined using the labor of 900 convicts
- Pick your own food at Sweet Berry Farm – there are numerous types of berries to enjoy here in the spring and summer, along with pumpkin picking in the fall
- Sample some local beer at the Double Horn Brewing Company
Where to Stay
The Best Western Marble Falls Inn enjoys a prime location. It’s just an eight minute walk from Downtown Marble Falls, as well as only three miles from Lake Marble Falls. It also happens to be right on the Texas Wine Trail, making it easy to explore the 27 wineries that dot this self-guided trail.
El Paso is often known by its nickname; Sun City. This Texas destination is both famous and infamous for its year-round sunshine. While this can get pretty stifling in the midst of the summer season, the weather in the winter is perfect – balmy enough to enjoy some winter warmth, but still cool enough to explore all that El Paso has to offer.
Things to Do
With its unique location directly across the border from Chihuahua, Mexico, you will notice Mexican influences in many of the activities around El Paso.
- Explore The Mission Trail, which will take you past some of the most notable missions in the area. Make sure that you stop off at the oldest, the Ysleta Mission, which dates back to 1682
- Hike or rock climb at the Hueco Tanks State Historic Park. You will even find a historic ranch house set within a park, as well as campsites if you can’t tear yourself away from the natural beauty all around you
- Check out some of El Paso’s museums – the El Paso Museum of Art is known for the notable artists that have showcased their work here, while the International Museum of Art is home to even more big names. The El Paso Museum of Archaeology and Wilderness Park is also a must – there are 15 acres of nature trails here that teach visitors about the natural diversity within this part of the world. For something a little different, try the National Border Patrol Museum, which will take you right back to the days of the Old West
- Spend time among fascinating desert vegetation at the Keystone Heritage Park and Botanical Gardens, which also has a unique archaeological site that dates back over 4000 years
Where to Stay
If you want to treat yourself to the ultimate in luxury during this staycation, then book yourself in at the Historic Camino Real. Everything about this hotel screams class, especially the Dome Bar, which sits underneath a beautifully-crafted dome made from Tiffany glass.
The Double Tree by Hilton El Paso Downtown is also a popular spot, especially for families. Not only is its downtown location ultra-convenient, but the hotel also offers up many smaller touches, such as freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to welcome guests and wood-fired pizzas on their terrace, that make a stay here feel really personal.
Although it may be the most populous city in Texas, it’s surprisingly easy to get away from the crowds in Houston, making the city well-suited to a staycation.
Things to Do
- A visit to the Space Center Houston is a must, where you will find one of the best space museums on the planet
- Explore the Buffalo Bayou, with ten miles of waterside parkland and running trails
- Visit some of the city’s museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For something a little different, the National Museum of Funeral History is strangely intriguing – this is where you’ll find a close recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s state funeral
- Indulge in some retail therapy at the Houston Galleria. This expansive mall stretches out for 2.4 million square feet and welcomes in over 26 million visitors a year. In amongst its vast offering of stores, you’ll find the OROGOLD Houston Galleria Store – stop by to give your skin a quick pick-me-up before you hit the shops once again
- Take a stroll around Chinatown, sampling from the many delicious restaurants along your way, before enjoying the serenity at the Jade Buddha Temple and its scenic gardens
- Check out the 64 foot fountain at the Gerald D. Hines Waterfall Park, which shoots out 11,000 gallons of water each and every minute – you’ll probably recognize it from numerous Instagram snaps!
Where to Stay
There’s definitely no shortage of hotels in Houston, with something available for just about every taste and budget. The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa is absolutely exquisite, with several pools, their own botanicals gardens, and a large health club sprinkled throughout their vast grounds.
The Four Seasons Hotel Houston is also one that’s full of class, exuding both contemporary and traditional features. With a 24 hour gym, movies by the pool, and pizza-making classes, this is a hotel that will definitely help to keep your staycation busy.
Texas is a state with so much diversity, meaning that there are so many different staycations that could be had. Whether you’re looking for something secluded and deep within nature, or would prefer a luxury hotel overlooking a glittering city skyline, these destinations all promise not to disappoint.