Today I'm sharing small-scale vacation ideas for those of you who are looking for a fun time in the Lone Star State! There's a huge variety of fun to be had around here. So, let's roll!
NYLO Hotel - I first heard about this unique hotel from my girl, Carah Paisley (who is in the know on all things cool in Dallas). There's several locations, but the one that caught my eye is the Dallas South Side. It's location in the South Lamar/Cedars neighborhood is fun, convenient to many downtown exhibits, and is a restaurant area Chris and I haven't ventured over to yet. A room here runs about $150 a night for two people (when booked in advance) - romantic stay-cation, anyone?
Gruene Mansion Inn - Looking for something a little more homey? This precious B&B in Gruene is adorable. Gruene is such a fun little town, especially in the summertime. Spend the day floating the river, then rinse up for a delicious dinner at the Gristmill, and top off the night with some two-stepping at the historic Gruene Hall.
airbnb in Austin - There's tons of fun airbnb rentals in Austin, but I found this one is especially charming. The owner, Chris, actually has three rental properties in Austin with high ratings, including one in an Airstream trailer! This cottage in the heart of South Congress - SoCo - boasts a full kitchen, queen bed with memory foam mattress, and a claw foot tub. It's also pet-friendly! Austin is for dog-lovers, and most restaurants let you bring your pooch... and probably offer organic dog treats as well. Book a stay here, see a concert or two, and sunbathe over at Barton Springs! (If hotels are more your thing and you're looking to splurge, stay at Hotel St. Cecilia. Staying in one of the suites there is on my dream list!)
Grapevine Wine Time - Split this adorable cottage with another couple or a group of gals and walk the one block to Main Street to enjoy all the wine in the world. Cross Timbers is especially delicious, and the deals for tastings are incredible. Lots of cute cafes down here too. (I personally think this would make an awesome bachelorette party weekend! Spend the day doing tastings, then come home and cook a simple meal, open gifts and play some crazy games.) The Gaylord Texan Resort is also nearby - and gorgeous. If you're looking for a romantic splurge, it's a good one.
Guesthouse in Abilene - You may not consider it a vacation spot, but Abilene, TX is a real gem. My mom showed me these cottages a few years ago, and on a recent trip a friend of mine stayed in one with her family. These are beyond cute! I would definitely consider splitting one with some friends (ACU'ers - maybe Homecoming once the "Vision in Action" project is completed?). Abilene is a booming city with so many wonderfully creative people in it. Do a little two-stepping, eat some good food, and relax under the big, starry sky. And enjoy a Long Island for me at The Beehive ;)
Just hop, skip, and a jump away, Fort Worth is Dallas's more casual, boot-wearing cousin. Chris and I love FW, and spent his birthday weekend there last year. However, I have yet to find an affordable place to stay! We spent the night at the Omni when we went, which was wonderful, but you have to find a good special and get it fast for a deal. I'm very surprised there's not a bunch of boutique hotels or B&B's in the area. Let me know if you've spotted something I'm missing!
Hope this inspires you to get out there and explore :)