Summer is quickly approaching, and it’s not taking any detours. But before the temperatures hit the triple digits, we’re in a bit of a sweet spot, weather-wise: the few weeks wherein being outside is still wholly enjoyable, without all the sweat and risk for heat stroke. Before we’re all hunkered down, spending our days basking in the buzz of our air conditioners, why not take a weekend to get away and enjoy some quality casual time with your co-conspirator?
While those in California or New York might be able to jump in the car (or train) and be in a new state by dinnertime, we in the Lone Star State don’t exactly have that option. But there are plenty of options for leisurely jaunts right here in our general vicinity, and I’m here to offer up some of the most intriguing getaways. You might as well start packing your bags now, because you’ll be booking a room in no time.
Hyatt Lost Pines Resort
Located just 17 miles out off Austin, on Highway 71 in Bastrop, this award-winning accommodation is a quick escape from the hustle and bustle (read: traffic) of our fair city. Enjoy some R&R with your sweetie at their full-service Spa Django, hit the links at their Wolfdancer Golf Club, or get some exercise via their on-site hiking and jogging paths. If staying on the grounds isn’t your cup of tea, head to nearby McKinney Roughs Nature Park, or venture into Bastrop for some historical activities. And BBQ, of course. http://www.lostpines.hyatt.com
Go for the peaches alone, you guys. Okay, Okay, fine. There are plenty of other things to do in this not-too-far hill country town besides stocking up for your summer cobbler needs. Stay at one of the city’s many bed & breakfasts or guesthouses, book a hotel or even get your camping fix at one of the nearby sites. Once you’ve got somewhere to rest your head, make your way to one of the city’s numerous wineries for some vino or peruse one of the dozen art galleries at your disposal. Then enjoy a romantic dinner for two at Austin’s or the Farm Haus Bistro, just a few of the fine dining options available. http://www.fbgtx.org/
If you and your S.O. are more of the “roughing it” types, then camping at Spicewood, TX’s Krause Springs might be right up your alley. Located just 30 miles west of Austin, this nationally registered historical site boasts over 32 springs on the property, perfect for a refreshing dip to avoid the Texas heat. Once you’ve cooled off and set up your site, stroll through the Butterfly gardens and enjoy the many fountains located throughout the grounds. http://www.krausesprings.net/
Hill Country Wine Trail
If you and yours consider yourselves winos, then saddle up for some sipping on a tour of the Texas Hill Country’s 35+ wineries. Mix and mingle with your fellow Merlot fans (we won’t tell Paul Giamatti), before returning to your digs at one of the area’s many quaint accommodations, such as the Blair House Inn, or the Mt. Gainor Inn. http://texaswinetrail.com/
Canyon of the Eagles
Located just an hour northwest of Austin in nearby Burnet, TX, this 940-acre reserve runs along the banks of Lake Buchanan and the Colorado River. The resort, nestled on a 16-acre complex, was designed to blend within its remarkable surroundings, while leaving the natural beauty intact. Enjoy some relaxation in your room, dine at the rustic Overlook restaurant, and spend your afternoons trekking through the area’s 14 miles of hiking trails. If you’re lucky, you might just spot an eagle. It’s not just a clever name, after all. http://www.canyonoftheeagles.com/
Known as The Best Art Town in Texas and located between Austin and Waco, Salado has a lot to offer history buffs and art fiends alike. With over 60 shops and galleries containing fine art, antiques, pottery, Americana and more, plus a slew of gourmet foods and wines, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a respite from the big city. Spend your nights at the Baines House, a B&B named after the great-grandfather of former U.S. president Lyndon Baines Johnson. Really a history nut? Stay in Lyndon’s Haven, where LBJ was known to spend some time. http://www.salado.com/index.cfm
There you have it, folks. Whether you’ve got a special someone, or your looking to get some much-needed relaxation time in, here are some of the Central Texas region’s most charming options so you can oak up some “you” time before you clock in Monday morning.