As any Texan will tell you, there’s no better place to vacation than Texas. Bryson residents will say there’s no better place to staycation than the Austin area. From state parks and small towns to resorts and city delights, the Austin area has it all. Here are many of the great staycations you can take:
Head to Austin
Rather than drive up on Saturday for a quick trip to Zilker Park or Barton Springs Pool, book a hotel and stay a week. Reserve a room at Lone Star Court and take advantage of free bike rentals, pool, fire pits and live music. Or go upscale and stay at the Four Seasons Hotel. The lakeside property features a saltwater pool and magnificent views. It’s also child- and pet-friendly. Once you’ve checked in, it’s time to explore. You can hit the usual places — see the bats, tour the state capitol, take the kids to the Thinkery or get off the beaten track. View shrunken heads and bigfoot sculptures at the Museum of Weird. Haunted ATX is the only mobile Austin Ghost tour, and yes, your tour vehicle is a hearse. Walk through 14 extraordinary art installations at Wonderspaces. You get the idea. When you’re hungry, stop at any of these iconic Austin eateries.
Live the Resort Life
Think you have to board a plane to live the resort life? Think again. The Texas Hill Country is dotted with resorts. Kalahari Resort features 20 pools, 30 water slides, 975 guest rooms, five restaurants, an indoor adventure park and more. Lake Travis has it all, including the Lakeway Resort and Spa. The only resort on Lake Travis boasts a Kids Zone recreation center, a pool playground featuring a water slide as well as an adult-only pool with a swim-up bar. Play indoors and outdoors at Horseshoe Bay Resort. Located on Lake LBJ, it offers rooms, suites and villas as well as golf, tennis, spa, mini-arcade, kid’s beach area and more.
Leave the suburbs behind and commune with nature. Austin is surrounded by beautiful camping spots. A Bryson favorite is Pedernales Falls State Park where you can be lulled to sleep by the sound of rushing waterfalls. McKinney Falls State Park is just 19 miles from Austin, which is great for outdoor adventurers ready to ditch the campfire for a five-star restaurant. Anglers know that the Fox Bottom primitive camping area at Granger Lake is a hidden gem. Krause Springs in Spicewood is a private campground beloved by Austinites. The 155-acre site offers primitive and RV camping, a natural grotto with water falls and a man-made pool.
Better Yet, Go Glamping
Why sleep in a canvas tent when you can upgrade to a comfortable cottage or even a yurt? Wimberley — located approximately an hour outside of Austin — offers numerous glamping opportunities. Family-size yurts at The Cedars Ranch sleep four and feature a kitchen and dining space, real beds, full bath, lounge area and patio. Nestled near the Blanco River, Green Acres Cottages is perfect for those wanting to see the stars without sleeping on the ground. Glamping doesn’t get any better than a summit tent at Collective Retreats Hill Country. Tents feature wood-burning stoves, designer lighting and rain-style showers. An on-site restaurant serves up cooked-to-order breakfasts, gourmet bagged lunches and artisanal s’mores.
Small Town Fun
Hill Country towns are historic, cute and happening spots. Find a town, book a B&B and take in the charm. Georgetown has the prettiest town square in Texas but that’s not its only attraction. Use it as a beautiful homebase while exploring Inner Space Cavern, Blue Hole and Georgetown Lake. Fredericksburg is the wine capitol of Texas. More than 50 wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms are located here. The best small town for shopping, hands down, is Round Top. This off-the-beaten-path little town is home to one of the largest summer antique shows in the country. You can also enjoy shuttles to local wineries and brewpubs, Shakespeare at Winedale, the Texas Quilt Museum and more.