Warm Your Heart: Winter Weekend Getaways in Texas
What’s the quickest way to warm up when it’s winter in Texas? Plan a lively weekend getaway with family or friends. Whether you want to walk on the beach or cuddle by the campfire, there are plenty of places to explore — and they can be surprisingly cheap in the off-season. Here are our top picks for winter weekend getaways in Texas.
For romantic winter weekend getaways in Texas, ride out to the ranch.
The best way to combine adventure and romance is a Texas ranch stay. BlissWood Bed and Breakfast Ranch, about an hour west of Houston, is a working ranch with cozy cabins and guesthouses. The 1800s-style log cabin is adorable, although it’s right near the busy barn; the Enchanted Cabin is a better choice for a secluded romantic weekend getaway. And it has a hot tub! Turn up the heat with a guided horseback ride and picnic for two, or have dinner delivered to your door.
Sixty miles from Fort Worth is the Hideaway Ranch & Retreat, a collection of secluded cabins in Texas hill country. “Activities on the ranch include: great eatin’, hot tubbin’, horseback ridin’, hikin’, fishin’, animal watchin’, star gazin’, fossil huntin’, swimmin’, and a good ole fashioned game of pool,” the Hideaway says.
Sounds just about right for romance.
For a cheap winter weekend getaway in Texas, head to South Padre Island.
South Padre Island isn’t exactly tropical, but it’s balmy even in winter — which makes it one of the most alluring winter weekend getaways in Texas. The average high temperature in January is 67 degrees, just right for boating, fishing, beachcombing or simply sitting in the sun. And South Padre Island is a cheap getaway, too. For a January weekend, we found rates as low as $40 per night at some highly rated hotels in the area . You’ll have a lot of snowbirds for company, but that’s better than the screaming hordes of spring-breakers that show up in March and April.
Treat yourself to some Gulf-caught shrimp or flounder at South Padre’s most popular seafood restaurants, Blackbeard’s and the Sea Ranch Restaurant and Bar. The Quarterdeck Lounge at Isla Grand has live music every night and crab races on Wednesday evenings, if you decide to extend your weekend getaway.
For family winter weekend getaways in Texas, climb into your own private treehouse.
You know you’ve always wanted to live in a treehouse — for a night or two, anyway. You can when you book a family weekend getaway at the River Road Treehouses in New Braunfels, Texas, near the Guadalupe River. These aren’t ramshackle structures but sturdy, cozy cabins with private decks and huge windows, high up in the trees. And these Texas-sized treehouses are surprisingly affordable in the winter: we found a nightly rate of $100 (before taxes and fees) for a family of four staying on a January weekend. The kids won’t get bored, either. San Antonio, just 40 minutes away, offers the River Walk, the DoSeum children’s museum, the Alamo and Kiddie Park, the nation’s oldest amusement park for children.
For a girlfriends’ winter weekend getaway in Texas, make memories at an Austin resort.
One friend loves to boot-scoot till last call. Another loves getting up at dawn for a run. And a third just wants to kick back with a glass of wine and a book. Here’s a girlfriends’ getaway that will please everyone: a weekend at Travaasa Resort and Spa. Travaasa bills itself as an “experiential resort”: a place that offers unique guided activities for everyone. That means horseback riding, hatchet-throwing and a zipline for your active friend, and meditation and spa treatments for your serenity-seeking friend. Travaasa also offers cooking classes, two-step dancing lessons and fireside jams. Experiences aren’t free, however; resort rates start at $300 per person per night, while the all-inclusive rate starts at $525.
Too pricey? Consider the nearby Lakeway Resort and Spa. We found a lake-view room with two queen beds for $150 (before taxes and resort fees) on a January weekend. And you can always head into nearby Austin for a good time. Austin Detours offers a live music crawl that takes you and your girls to two or three of the best bands playing on a given night.
Here’s another smart way to save money for winter weekend getaways in Texas: shop for cheaper car insurance on Compare.com. In just a few minutes, Texas drivers can see and compare free quotes from multiple insurers so you know you’re getting the best deal.