The Best Luxury Vacations in Texas
What kind of vacation are you in the mood for? Whether you’re craving refreshment, relaxation, urban sophistication or rugged adventure, Texas has splendid options for you.
Let’s start with refreshment and relaxation.
Nothing quite lets you unwind like a luxurious waterfront setting. On South Padre Island, a white sand beach stretches out to the edge of soft Gulf waters. The sun sparkles on palm trees, the pools are turquoise, and there’s always someone to hand you a cool drink in the shade of a big umbrella. Leave your phone locked in your room and revel in the sheer peacefulness. When you’ve had your fill of daydreaming, there’s music, dancing, fine dining and golf — You could spend your whole vacation at one of the world-class resorts and never even have to get in your car!
If your idea of relaxation involves a bit more focus on rejuvenation, it’s worth considering a spa.
Some resorts are built around the delicious aspects of healthy living, offering dozens and dozens of different kinds of spa treatments. These range from massages to facials to manicures to waxing to pretty much anything therapeutic and wonderful that you can imagine. Healthy gourmet meals, personalized exercise opportunities, group and solo activities to get your heart pumping: all of this is available in gorgeous rural settings. Lake Austin is one such place, a serene blue jewel set in the midst of lush greenery. Instead of getting home from your vacation feeling as if you’ve overindulged, you’ll return from a spa vacation at the top of your game.
But perhaps you’ve done enough staying still, and you’re ready for something adventurous.
Texas is huge, and its land is packed with tales of adventure past and future. How about kayaking through the protected wetlands of Galveston Island, watching nesting herons through binoculars? Or a bicycle trip through wildflower country? If you want a more primal experience, join the ancient fellowship of hunters for a few days or weeks, and stay at one of Texas’ historic ranches. There, you’ll have the chance to be deep in the open wild plains, hunting doves or deer, and yet being able to come back at the end of the day to freshen up and have a gracious fine dining experience. If you really set high standards for what you consider an adventure, then try one of the storm-chasing tours: For nine chase days and nights, you and your camera can try to get just the right amount of distance from the latest tornado!
Some people’s idea of luxury and delight isn’t located out under the stars, no matter how gorgeous the scenery.
If the sparkle you want comes from city lights, with all the shopping and culture and vivid emerging creativity of an urban environment, then Dallas will draw you like a magnet. Stay in one of the world-class hotels in the Arts District, and revel in the galleries, the history, the boutiques, the nightlife. The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by I.M. Pei and acoustician Russell Johnson, is a sumptuous new space for classical music. The Dallas Museum of Art, also in an architecturally important building, contains 22,000 works of art. The flagship anchor of the district is the A T & T Performing Arts Center: Opened just three years ago, it’s a huge complex of indoor and outdoor venues for year-round theatre, music and dance.
Texas has a fascinating history, and you can put yourself right where that history unfolded. In Dallas, there are historic mansions such as the Belo Mansion, built in the 19th century and now housing the Texas Bar Association. For sites outside the city, hire a knowledgeable private tour guide and driver, and venture out on your very own historic Texas tour. Don’t forget the Alamo!