Texas Weekend Getaways for Families and Couples
Welcome to the Lone Star State, where southern hospitality meets grand landscapes, vibrant cities, and a rich, storied history. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a local looking to explore your home state, Texas offers a variety of weekend getaways. From coastal retreats to rolling hill country, the adventure is endless in this vast expanse of natural beauty and urban charm.
“There’s no place like Texas. It’s a state of mind. A love affair with freedom.” – Willie Nelson
Prepare for a journey through Texas as we dive into the best weekend getaways the state has to offer. We’ll explore hidden gems, iconic landmarks, and some of the best eats around. So, buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable Texas-sized adventure!
Our comprehensive guide is designed to inspire, inform, and help you plan your perfect Texas weekend getaway. We’ve got insider tips, detailed information, and suggested itineraries ready to roll.
Fredericksburg and the Texas Wine Country
In the heart of Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg stands as a charming haven for weekend wanderers. Known for its German roots, vibrant wildflowers, and burgeoning wine scene, Fredericksburg offers a delightful blend of culture, nature, and palate-pleasing experiences.
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Just 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, this pink granite exfoliation dome offers fun hiking trails, breathtaking views, and an unforgettable sunset experience.
- Fredericksburg Main Street: Lined with quaint shops, historical buildings, and an array of eateries, this is the heart of the town where you can soak up the local vibes.
- National Museum of the Pacific War: A must-visit for history buffs, this museum gives a captivating insight into the Pacific Theater of WWII.
From charming bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts, Fredericksburg offers accommodations for every taste and budget.
- The Fredericksburg Herb Farm: An idyllic setting, offering cottages inspired by early Texas homesteads along with a restaurant, spa, and delightful gardens.
- Hangar Hotel: Exuding a 1940s vibe, this hotel brings an unique aviation-themed lodging experience.
Dining & Wine Tasting
Get ready for a culinary exploration that complements the local wine scene in style.
- August E’s: Boasting Nouveau Texas Cuisine, this restaurant serves both classic and innovative dishes in a chic setting.
- 290 Wine Shuttle: A convenient and fun way to hop between more than 15 wineries along the Highway 290 Wine Trail.
Tip: Take advantage of the numerous guided tour options available to explore the wineries. Not only do they offer transportation, but they also provide expert insights into wine tasting and local vineyard histories.
Weekend Itinerary in Fredericksburg
Day 1: Start with a relaxed stroll down Main Street, visit the unique shops, and grab lunch at one of the local eateries. In the afternoon, explore the National Museum of the Pacific War. In the evening, enjoy a fine dining experience at August E’s.
Day 2: Embark on a morning hike at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Post-hike, indulge in a leisurely afternoon of wine tasting along the 290 Wine Trail. Cap the night off with a relaxing stay at your chosen lodging.
No matter the season, a weekend in Fredericksburg promises a delightful escape filled with charm, relaxation, and a touch of adventure!
A Weekend in Bandera
Ever dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl for a weekend? Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World, is your ideal destination. This charming town is steeped in rich western history, complete with horseback rides, rodeos, and country music.
First stop: Bandera Historical Rides. Saddle up and take a leisurely ride through Bandera’s scenic landscapes. With experienced guides leading the way, you’re sure to have an authentic cowboy experience.
- Tip: Don’t forget to bring comfortable riding clothes and a hat to shield from the Texas sun.
After the ride, head to the Frontier Times Museum. Here, you’ll discover Bandera’s colorful past through fascinating exhibits and artifacts.
Dining in Bandera
By now, you’ll have worked up an appetite. Bandera boasts plenty of dining options, from hearty barbecues to traditional Tex-Mex cuisine. A must-try is the OST Restaurant, an Old Spanish Trail eatery known for its mouthwatering steaks and homemade pies.
Remember, no weekend in Bandera would be complete without two-stepping to live country music. So, put on those dancing boots and hit the Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar!
As for accommodations, Bandera has a range of options to suit every budget. From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxury guest ranches, you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest after a day of cowboy adventures.
Depending on the time of year, Bandera offers several unique experiences. The Mayan Dude Ranch is a favorite summer spot, while the Bandera Cowboy Christmas, with its festive trail ride and parade, is a winter highlight.
In conclusion, a weekend in Bandera promises a blend of adventure, history, and Texas charm. Whether you’re a cowboy at heart or just looking for a unique getaway, Bandera is sure to deliver a memorable experience.
Gulf Coast Getaway to Galveston
Ready to trade the hustle and bustle of city living for some fun in the sun? Galveston, situated along the Gulf Coast, promises sandy beaches, mouthwatering seafood, and a laid-back vibe perfect for a relaxing weekend getaway. Here’s a sneak peek into what your weekend in Galveston could look like.
Day 1: Soak Up the Sun
Start your day by heading to Stewart Beach, a family-friendly spot offering clean sands and crystal-clear waters. After a morning of building sandcastles and splashing in the waves, refuel with a picnic lunch on the beach or grab some fish tacos from a nearby food truck.
Day 2: Discover Galveston’s Rich History
On your second day, take a step back in time at the Strand Historic District. With its Victorian-era architecture and unique shops, this area is a treasure trove for history buffs and antique lovers alike. Don’t forget to visit the Galveston Railroad Museum to learn more about the city’s past.
- For a casual lunch, Shrimp ‘N Stuff is a local favorite for its fresh seafood and friendly service.
- Fancy a more upscale dinner? Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood offers premium cuts and spectacular bay views.
Adventure and History in Fort Worth
If you’re a fan of cowboy culture and the charm of the old west, Fort Worth is your perfect Texas getaway. This vibrant city, fondly known as “Cowtown”, is brimming with history, art, and adventure, ensuring an unforgettable weekend trip.
Start your Fort Worth adventure at the Stockyards National Historic District. Here, you can witness the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive, explore the old west at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and even catch a rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum.
For a truly Texan experience, book a stay at the Stockyards Hotel. This historic hotel has been offering legendary Texas hospitality since 1907, and boasts rooms that have hosted famous guests like Bonnie and Clyde.
When it comes to dining, Fort Worth does not disappoint. For the best steak in town, head to H3 Ranch, or if you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican cuisine, try Joe T. Garcia’s.
In the spring, don’t miss the Main Street Arts Festival, a vibrant outdoor gallery that showcases works from hundreds of artists. Come fall, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo promises a thrilling experience with live music, livestock shows and, of course, rodeo action.
So saddle up and get ready for a weekend full of fun, food, and firsthand experience of the Texan spirit in Fort Worth.
Visit Marfa and Its Art Scene
Prepare to be captivated by Marfa, a small desert town in West Texas that punches well above its weight when it comes to the arts. Despite its remote location, Marfa has become a vibrant hub of contemporary art, drawing in art lovers and curious travelers alike. Let’s dive into this best-kept secret of the Lone Star State!
Marfa’s transformation into an art oasis began with minimalist artist Donald Judd. In the 1970s, Judd left the bustling art scene of New York City for the tranquil, wide-open spaces of Marfa, and the town has been a magnet for creatives ever since. This unique blend of high art and rugged desert landscape makes for an unforgettable weekend getaway.
Top Art Attractions in Marfa
Marfa, a small desert city in West Texas, is an unexpected haven for art enthusiasts. Renowned for its vibrant arts scene, Marfa boasts a variety of top-notch attractions that cater to art lovers. Here’s a closer look at some of the town’s must-visit art highlights.
- Chinati Foundation: Originally conceived by artist Donald Judd, the Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum housed on 340 acres of desert land. Its focus is on large-scale installations, ensuring a unique experience for visitors.
- Ballroom Marfa: A dynamic art space that champions innovative and adventurous artistic work in diverse mediums. From visual arts to music, film, and performance, Ballroom Marfa defies conventional artistic boundaries.
- Judd Foundation: Providing a deeper insight into Donald Judd’s life and work, the Judd Foundation maintains and preserves his living and working spaces in Marfa. A visit here offers a unique perspective on Judd’s artistic philosophy and impact on the local art scene.
Whether you’re an art connoisseur or a newbie, Marfa’s art attractions promise an enriching and inspiring weekend getaway. So, pack your bags and set off on an artistic adventure in the heart of Texas!
Austin Weekend Getaway
When it comes to weekend getaways in Texas, a visit to the state’s capital, Austin, is an absolute must. Known for its vibrant live music scene, unique cultural attractions, and delectable dining options, Austin offers countless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. Pack your bags and get ready to discover the city’s top sights.
Day One: Dive into Austin’s Dynamic Downtown
Your Austin adventure begins in the heart of the city, downtown. Here, you’ll find a bustling blend of cultural, culinary, and commercial attractions that epitomize Austin’s eclectic vibe.
- The Texas State Capitol: Start your day with a visit to this iconic granite and marble structure, which stands taller than the U.S. Capitol. Free guided tours offer fascinating insights into Texas history and politics.
- The Bullock Texas State History Museum: Just a stone’s throw away, this museum offers a comprehensive look at Texas’ rich and complex past, from prehistoric times to the present day.
- 6th Street: As evening falls, make your way to 6th Street, Austin’s renowned entertainment district. From lively bars to music venues, this street has it all, making it the perfect place to experience Austin’s famous live music scene.
Day Two: Experience Austin’s Natural and Cultural Highlights
After a thrilling day in downtown, it’s time to immerse yourself in Austin’s natural beauty and cultural hotspots.
- Start your day with a refreshing morning swim at Barton Springs Pool, a three-acre natural spring in Zilker Park.
- Visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum: This outdoor museum is home to several works by American sculptor Charles Umlauf. It’s a serene setting for art and nature lovers alike.
- For lunch, head to South Congress Avenue, a bustling street lined with funky shops, art galleries, and a wide array of eateries. Try some authentic Tex-Mex or savor a slice of Austin’s famous pizza.
- End the day at Mount Bonnell: As the sun sets, drive up to Mount Bonnell. Known as the highest point in Austin, it offers breathtaking views of the city and the Colorado River.
With a perfect mix of urban charm, cultural richness, and natural beauty, Austin provides an unforgettable weekend getaway experience. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Austin adventure today!
Big Bend Experience
If you’re a nature enthusiast craving solitude, look no further than the rugged beauty of Big Bend. Nestled in the remote corner of West Texas, this vast wilderness offers a remarkable blend of majestic landscapes, desert tranquility, and some of the most breathtaking stargazing spots in the country.
Begin your adventure with a day of hiking. Big Bend’s extensive trail network caters to all fitness levels, from leisurely walks to strenuous treks. The Window Trail, with its panoramic mountain views, is a local favorite. As for the experienced hikers, South Rim Trail, a 12-mile loop, promises stunning canyon vistas and a potential encounter with the park’s diverse wildlife.
Pro Tip: Always carry plenty of water, a map, and a hat. The Texan sun can be relentless!
As the sun sets, prepare to be mesmerized. Big Bend’s distance from urban light pollution makes it one of the best places in Texas for stargazing. On a clear night, you can see thousands of stars, planets, and even the Milky Way with the naked eye.
Where to Stay and Dine
Within the park boundaries, you’ll find unique accommodation options to suit every taste. For a rustic experience, consider the Chisos Mountain Lodge. If you’re after a touch of luxury, the Lajitas Golf Resort offers high-end rooms and a gourmet restaurant.
Fuel up for your adventures at one of the area’s local eateries. Starlight Theatre is known for its juicy steaks and live music, while Chisos Mountains Lodge Restaurant serves up hearty Tex-Mex fare with a side of spectacular views.
Remember: It’s essential to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons.
Whether you’re seeking a weekend of hiking, bird-watching, stargazing, or simply soaking in the serene desert landscapes, Big Bend promises a getaway that’s as dramatic as it is peaceful. So load up your backpack and hit the road—adventure awaits in West Texas!
Where to Stay in Big Bend Country
Discover the charm of Big Bend Country from the comfort of these top-notch accommodations. Whether you seek rustic solitude or a luxurious retreat, there’s a perfect spot for every traveler.
|Accommodation||Description||Average Price per Night|
|Lajitas Golf Resort||Offers a blend of luxury and outdoor adventure with a championship golf course, spa, equestrian center, and more.||Approx. $200|
|Big Bend Resort and Adventures||A family-friendly resort with easy access to Big Bend National Park, offering comfortable rooms and RV sites.||Approx. $100|
|Chisos Mountains Lodge||Located in the heart of Big Bend National Park, this lodge offers stunning mountain views and a range of accommodations, from motel rooms to cabins.||Approx. $150|
Remember, prices may vary depending on the season and availability. It’s always a good idea to book in advance, particularly during peak travel times. Happy booking!
Piney Woods Escape to East Texas
If you’re craving a tranquil retreat amid lush greenery and serene lakes, the East Texas Piney Woods region is a perfect choice. Nestled between urban hubs like Dallas and Houston, this sprawling woodland offers an idyllic weekend escape far from the city’s hustle and bustle. Here, you’ll find an abundance of natural splendors, charming towns, and warm Southern hospitality.
What to Do
Start your adventure by exploring the Big Thicket National Preserve. It’s a treasure trove of biodiversity, boasting an impressive range of ecosystems from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars for birdwatching!
Where to Stay
The region offers various accommodations to suit every comfort preference. Opt for a cozy bed-and-breakfast in Nacogdoches or Jefferson, or for a true wilderness experience, consider staying in a rustic cabin or lakeside campsite.
When it comes to accommodation options in Texas, there’s a diverse range to choose from. Each offers a unique experience that can add a significant touch to your weekend getaway. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best places to stay.
|Place||Type of Accommodation||Experience|
|Nacogdoches||Bed-and-Breakfast||Enjoy a warm, cozy environment with a homely touch, suitable for a relaxing weekend.|
|Jefferson||Bed-and-Breakfast||Experience the charm of this historical town while staying in comfortable, welcoming accommodation.|
|Texas Wilderness||Rustic Cabin or Lakeside Campsite||Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature for a true wilderness experience. Perfect for adventurous travelers.|
Where to Eat
Nothing completes a Texas getaway like indulging in some delicious Southern cuisine. From homestyle barbecue joints to farm-to-table eateries, East Texas offers a range of dining options that’ll leave your taste buds singing.
The best times to visit the Piney Woods are during the spring and fall. Spring brings a spectacular display of dogwood and azalea blooms, while fall offers a kaleidoscope of changing colors. Don’t miss the Texas State Railroad’s scenic tours – they’re a fantastic way to take in the area’s breathtaking landscapes.
South Padre Island
In the heart of Texas, there’s a tropical heaven awaiting discovery – South Padre Island. This beachside oasis is the perfect setting for a weekend getaway. With a bounty of sun-kissed beaches, exciting water sports, and mouthwatering seafood, South Padre Island is truly a paradise.
Attractions and Activities in South Padre Island
South Padre Island is a haven for water enthusiasts. From fishing to dolphin watching, windsurfing to paddleboarding, there’s no end to the aquatic fun.
- Sea Turtle, Inc: This nonprofit organization is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating injured sea turtles. A visit here is both educational and inspiring.
- Gravity Park: Those seeking a thrill will love this amusement park, home to the state’s tallest reverse bungee and a skycoaster that soars over the island.
- Schlitterbahn Waterpark: A family-friendly destination with a vast array of water rides, lazy rivers, and wave pools.
Accommodations in South Padre Island
South Padre Island offers accommodations to suit every style and budget. From luxury resorts to charming beach cottages, you’re sure to find the perfect place to unwind after a day of island adventure.
Below is a handpicked selection of some top-rated hotels on South Padre Island, each boasting an array of amenities and prime locations. Take your pick!
|Pearl South Padre||310 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597||Oceanfront location, Outdoor pool, On-site dining, Spa|
|Isla Bella Beach Resort||7010 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597||Private beach, 5 outdoor pools, 4 restaurants, Full-service spa|
|Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island||7010 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597||Beachfront location, Outdoor pool, Restaurant, Fitness center|
Attractions and Activities on South Padre Island
The island is a playground packed with outdoor activities. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, South Padre Island has something for everyone.
Indulge in thrilling water sports like kiteboarding, parasailing, and jet skiing, or embark on a serene dolphin-watching tour. For nature enthusiasts, the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center is an absolute must-visit, offering a unique opportunity to observe the island’s rich biodiversity.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Yummies Bistro, a local favorite known for its delicious pancakes and homemade pastries. For a memorable dinner, reserve a table at Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, where you can enjoy the sunset while savoring their mouthwatering dishes.
Piney Woods and Small-Town Charm
Uncover the charm of East Texas, an enchanting region known for its dense Piney Woods and quaint small towns. It’s a slice of the Lone Star State that’s rich in history and brimming with natural beauty, making it an ideal weekend getaway destination.
- Nacogdoches: As the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches is a must-visit for history buffs. Stroll through its historic downtown, check out the Old Stone Fort Museum, and visit the breathtaking Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden.
- Jefferson: Once the most prosperous town in Texas, Jefferson is now a beloved tourist spot with its well-preserved antebellum mansions, historic landmarks, and charming bed-and-breakfast accommodations.
- Longview: Known for its vibrant arts scene, Longview is home to several galleries, theaters, and the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. Don’t miss the annual Great Texas Balloon Race held here.
Tip: East Texas is known for its delicious southern cuisine. Don’t leave without trying the region’s signature dishes, like chicken-fried steak, Texas-style barbecue, and pecan pie.
Outdoor Adventures in Piney Woods
The Piney Woods of East Texas offer a host of outdoor activities for adventurous travelers. From hiking and bird-watching to fishing and camping, there’s something for everyone here.
- Caddo Lake State Park: Explore the mysterious bayous and backwaters of Caddo Lake either by boat or a guided canoe tour.
- Texas State Railroad: Enjoy a historic train ride through the Piney Woods, a truly unique way to experience the region’s stunning scenery.
- Tyler State Park: This park offers excellent trails for hiking and biking, as well as a lake for fishing and swimming.
Note: The region’s color-changing foliage in fall is a sight to behold. Plan your visit during this season for an unforgettable visual treat.
Accommodations in East Texas
Whether you’re looking for a cozy bed-and-breakfast, a luxury resort, or a rustic cabin, East Texas has accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets.
|Thee Hubbell House||Winnsboro||A historic B&B offering charming rooms and a hearty southern breakfast.|
|Lake O’ the Pines||Avinger||Rustic cabins set amidst beautiful pine woods, offer a peaceful retreat.|
|Crockett Hotel||San Antonio||A luxury hotel set in a historic building, offering modern amenities and comfort.|
Insider Tip: Many accommodations in East Texas offer special weekend packages. Check their websites for deals before booking.
Best Weekend Getaways in Texas for Outdoor Lovers
If you’re the kind of traveler who craves adventure and fresh air, Texas has a plethora of weekend getaways perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes of rolling hills, sandy beaches, dense forests, and rugged mountains, Texas offers endless opportunities for exploration. Here are some top picks for those seeking a nature-infused escape:
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
For hikers and mountain lovers, a visit to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a must. Home to the highest peak in Texas, this park offers challenging trails, stunning vistas, and diverse wildlife.
- Attractions: Guadalupe Peak, McKittrick Canyon, The Bowl
- Accommodation: Pine Springs Campground or nearby hotels in Carlsbad
- Dining: Pack a picnic or head to Carlsbad for a range of dining options
Padre Island National Seashore
- Attractions: Malaquite Beach, Laguna Madre, Bird Island Basin
- Accommodation: Camping on the beach or hotels in Corpus Christi
- Dining: Enjoy fresh seafood at local eateries in Corpus Christi
Lost Maples State Natural Area
For leaf peepers, nothing beats a weekend getaway to Lost Maples State Natural Area in the fall. Known for its brilliant autumn colors, this park offers scenic hiking trails and ample opportunities for wildlife viewing.
- Attractions: East and West Trail Loops, Monkey Rock, Mystic Canyon
- Accommodation: Camp on-site or stay in a nearby bed and breakfast in Vanderpool
- Dining: Cook at your campsite or try the local cuisine in Vanderpool
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the grandeur of Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” this geological gem offers a weekend getaway filled with spectacular vistas, rugged beauty, and the promise of adventure.
Palo Duro Canyon captivates visitors with its multi-hued layers of rock, dramatic cliffs, and unique formations carved by millions of years of wind and water. This natural masterpiece offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and bird-watching.
- Hiking: With over 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to challenging, there’s a path for everyone. The Lighthouse Trail, leading to an iconic rock formation, is a must-see.
- Biking: Mountain biking enthusiasts will find plenty of adrenaline-boosting trails, while the scenic park road is perfect for a leisurely bike ride.
- Horseback Riding: Gallop through the canyon on a guided trail ride. Old West Stables offers tours tailored to all skill levels.
- Bird Watching: Bring your binoculars and spot some of the park’s 180 bird species. Look out for the vibrant Golden-fronted Woodpecker, native to the Texas Panhandle.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers a magical camping experience under the stars. The park provides tent and RV sites, and cabins for rent. For a unique dining experience, the park features the “Trading Post,” serving up southwest favorites like buffalo burgers and Indian tacos. Alternatively, the nearby town of Canyon offers various dining options.
Well, there you have it, folks! A colorful spectrum of Texas weekend getaways, each with its unique flair and charm. From the tranquil beaches of South Padre Island to the vibrant streets of Austin, Texas truly offers something for every traveler.
Remember: Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure, a peaceful retreat, or a foodie’s paradise, the Lone Star State has got you covered. Your next unforgettable weekend escape starts here.
- For nature enthusiasts: Don’t miss out on the stunning vistas of Big Bend National Park or the serene beauty of the Guadalupe Mountains.
- For the history buffs: The Alamo in San Antonio and the historic Stockyards of Fort Worth are must-visit spots.
- For food lovers: Houston and Austin are your gastronomic havens.
Lastly, remember that Texas is a vast state, and each destination has its own optimal time to visit. To make the most of your trip, it’s beneficial to check the seasonal highlights and weather conditions.
So, grab your cowboy boots, pack your bags, and get ready to immerse yourself in the Texan spirit. Happy trails, y’all!
- Texas Weekend Getaways for Families and Couples
- Fredericksburg and the Texas Wine Country
- A Weekend in Bandera
- Gulf Coast Getaway to Galveston
- Adventure and History in Fort Worth
- Visit Marfa and Its Art Scene
- Austin Weekend Getaway
- Big Bend Experience
- Piney Woods Escape to East Texas
- South Padre Island
- Piney Woods and Small-Town Charm
- Best Weekend Getaways in Texas for Outdoor Lovers