The summer doldrums have hit: the kids are home from camp, and it's not quite time to go back to school. We've got your solution for the midsummer blues: Book a summer staycation in Austin and take advantage of all that the city has to offer.
Make it a family reunion — grab your children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — and head to one of the five hot spots below. Here are our top picks for a memorable family staycation:
For kids, onsite perks include scavenger hunts, bites designed just for them on a special menu at Trio hotel restaurant, and s'mores on the back lawn. What's more, the hotel pampers your little ones with child-size bathrobes and complimentary baby toiletries.
The whole family will enjoy watching daily bat flights at the Congress Bridge; hitting the lake via kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard rentals; and taking in classic films playing at the Paramount Theatre, all within walking distance of the Four Seasons.
A little longer walk, or short pedi cab ride, will get you to Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool, the Long Center with concerts and films on the lawn, and the shops and restaurants of South Congress. If history is your thing, visit the Capitol and Bullock History Museum where you can also catch an IMAX film.
The hotel concierge has sample itineraries and activities for families. And Fido is always welcome at this pet-friendly destination.
98 San Jacinto Blvd.
Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Driving down the winding road that leads to Lost Pines, anticipation grows as you simultaneously begin to shift into full-blown vacation mode. Just a short 40-minute drive from downtown Austin, near Bastrop on the banks of the Colorado River, this 400-acre resort provides a comfortable family camp experience in a luxe setting.
At Lost Pines, it's back to nature with horseback riding, birdwatching, kayaking, archery, and hiking. There's a family-friendly water park with a waterslide, lazy river, splash pad, sandy beach, and an adult-only pool for moms and dads who crave quiet time while the kids enjoy activities at Camp Hyatt. You can also seek refuge at the spa and golf course.
Biking, s’mores by the fire, movies on the lawn, scavenger hunts, kickball, and even glow-in-the dark tennis are on the list of kiddie fun.
Dining options include Stories, a Texas steakhouse; Sheller’s Barrelhouse Bar with barbecue and live music; Firewheel Café with American favorites; and Old Buck’s Place with poolside eats like delicious hamburgers cooked to order. Kids will love the ice cream and treats at McDade’s Emporium.
Check the website for summer family-friendly packages and offers. Insider tip: Lost Pines is a popular destination throughout the summer, especially on the weekends. Book early to avoid disappointment.
575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd., Cedar Creek
Lakeway Resort and Spa
Beat the summer heat with sports and water activities at the Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis. Fun in the sun at the resort's three pools includes a swim-up bar and large waterslide that kids love. But the that's not all. There's a Kid’s Zone with a bounce house; games (think ping pong, billiards, and basketball arcade); toys; books; and arts and crafts.
Guests at Lakeway Resort can opt to spend the day on the lake sailing, boating, skiing, and wakeboarding. Golfers can take advantage of three nearby courses: Flintrock, Falconhead, and Lakeway Country Club.
Feast at Travis Restaurant, which offers an extensive menu including several kid-friendly bites, before heading back to your plush room, many of which offer a panoramic view of the lake.
The Summer Vacation Package includes free breakfast and dinner for kids 12 and under with a paid adult meal. Several other vacation packages are also offered throughout the summer.
101 Lakeway Dr.
Lone Star Court
If you remember the days when your family vacationed at “motor courts,” then you'll love the nostalgic feel and retro decor at one of Austin’s newest hotels, the Lone Star Motor Court.
Expect outdoor courtyards, fire pits, complimentary bicycle rentals, and a pool built to resemble a country swimming hole. And in true Austin style, there are live music offerings every Wednesday through Saturday. Moreover, Water Trough Restaurant serves up smoked brisket tacos and Texas chili (absolutely no beans).
Located in The Domain, you'll also enjoy all that Austin’s hottest shopping destination has to offer. We also recommend teeing off at Top Golf with more than 100 hitting bays, catching a flick at iPic, and hitting up Punch Bowl Social for food and fun.
10901 Domain Dr.
Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa
If recreation is what you crave, head to Barton Creek Resort and Spa, a 4,000-acre property located in the rolling hills just west of the city. The sprawling resort boasts four championship golf courses, an 11,000 square-foot fitness center, tennis courts, two pools, and a luxurious spa.
Kid-friendly amenities include daily activities, a mini golf course, scavenger hunts, family movie nights, and poolside snacks. A playground and nature trail round out the list.
Did we mention the Kid’s Club? Children will have a blast not only with the mega-lineup of fun-filled activities and games, but also at Camp Barton Creek, which offers with tennis, golf, swimming, and more through August 11.
Popular local musicians from Bruce Robison to Kelly Willis are scheduled to perform at the Barton Creek Live summer music series, making a staycation at this Austin spot a no-brainer.
8212 Barton Club Dr.