Showing posts with label texas travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label texas travel. Show all posts
Monday, November 17, 2014

The New York Times & Wall Street Journal Spotlight Texas Travel

texas travel, texas travel guide
Texas is having a travel moment. Our fair state got a cover spread recently in the New York Times travel section with Robert Draper's "Texas, 3 Ways" profiling Houston, El Paso and Dallas. The state capital earned the spotlight in the Wall Street Journal's  "Austin, the Best New Barbecue Destination".

"Texas, 3 Ways"

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas travel
Yoga in Klyde Warren Park/Image via Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park gets the marquee treatment, describing the park over Woodall Rogers Freeway as an "eco-friendly shredder of stereotypes" with its weekend yoga, food trucks, free books and pet adoptions.

Is the big-haired, plasticity that is my home town gone? Hardly. I am living proof of that (yes, the hair is big but, no, I haven't gone under the knife). Dallas, though, has grown both literally and figuratively in a way that anyone who lived here in the 80's might not recognize.

TIP: You can always find out what's going on at Klyde Warren Park here.

I love that Draper chose to focus on Houston's thriving Asian community. Having gone to college at University of Houston, I discovered the wonderful Vietnamese community the Bayou City had to offer, mainly in food form. I lived on Kim Son's delicious cuisine before it was a chain and scouted tiny Vietnamese holes-in-the-wall downtown.

Draper is more interested in the unique spots on Bellaire Boulevard which are, undoubtedly, worth a visit, especially the Hong Kong City Mall. I would make the argument that Houston's Asian community is SO much more than one stretch of Bellaire Boulevard.

El Paso
I have only flown through El Paso and have never experienced the city. Given it's Mexican influences, I would love it.

"Austin, the Best New Barbecue Destination"

Texas BBQ, Austin, Texas travel
Salt Lick BBQ/Image via

I joke that Austin is the Brooklyn of Texas. This piece doesn't introduce those who know Austin to anything, food-wise, that's earth shattering. Author Adam Graham hit Salt Lick BBQ and Franklin's BBQ. Meat Craft is a relative newcomer to the mix that is worth a visit.

He does mention a hotel I haven't had the pleasure of visiting: Hotel Ella, an historic property dating back to 1900 that opened as a hotel in 2013.

Your Turn: Share Your Favorite Texas Travel Spot

Bahlmorhea State Park, Texas travel
Bahlmorhea State Park/Image via Texas Parks & Wildlife

Do you have a favorite Texas vacation destination? I love that whole Big Bend area, Balmorhea State Park, Marfa or a good trip to the Hill Country. What am I missing? Please share your favorite Texas travel stops in the comments section.

Do you have a Texas lover on your holiday wish list? From t-shirts and jewelry to BBQ sauce and brisket, you can make his or her holiday with any of the Texas-themed gifts featured below. Check out my Texas style board on Pinterest.

Texas Holiday Gift Guide

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Awesome Hotel Options in Austin

Fresh from a much-needed quickie getaway in Austin, I'm completely smitten.  The W Hotel in Austin, which opened in December 2010, offers one of the most unique, cozy and downright fun atmospheres I've seen in a Texas hotel in while.

Located in the Second Street District and right next to the world-famous Austin City Limits music venue, it's a good option if you're staying downtown.  We visited right after the Texas/Kansas basketball game, where my daughter got her first taste of her father's frustration with passion for all things UT sports. 

Despite the Longhorns 64-69 loss to the Jayhawks, it was a chamber of commerce day in the state capitol.  Perfect to sit outside and enjoy the patio.  We had done just that at the Austin outpost of Coal Vines and decided to enjoy the Living Room Bar inside the W Hotel.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fabulous Boutique Hotels in Texas

As much as I love my hometown, I've always lamented that those of us in Dallas and across North Texas aren't so geographically desirable.  Sure, we're a three-hour flight from either coast but if we want a quickie weekend getaway, there aren't a lot of awesome options. 

Think about it: LA has Montecito/Santa Barbara 90 minutes north on the 101, New York has the Hamptons, Phoenix is two and a half hours from skiing in Flagstaff.  You get the idea.

What do we landlocked North Texans have?  Cedar Creek Lake.  Possum Kingdom.  Eh, I guess.  Personally, I'm not a lake person.  In fact, I've taken to relaxing and insulating at hotels for mini-getaways.  I'll do a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton with a spa treatment, some pool time and a stack of magazines.  It's decently refreshing.

But what about really getting out of town to decompress?  Taking advantage of new experiences in-state?  It's easy to fall into that "let's go to the lake this weekend" rut.  Close to DFW would be great, but hardly anything in Texas is close.  

November's issue of Texas Monthly offers inspiration for great Texas travel in The Wanderer :: Where To Stay Now 2012 // The Ten Best New (Or Improved!) Texas Hotels.  I love a good hotel and this has a list of interesting new spots as well as some familiar ones that have gotten a facelift.  How fun was this assignment?

Here are some of the suggestions:
  • Hotel Zaza, Houston - I've stayed here a few times.  Zaza is pet-friendly and in a wonderful museum district location, directly across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts outstanding sculpture garden.
  • Hotel Galvez, Galveston - this is my go-to Galveston spot. It truly evokes turn of the century glamour.  It's gone through a much-needed renovation.
  • Rancho Loma Restaurant + Rest, Talpa - fabulous-sounding modernist outpost near Abilene.  This sounds like a great place to digitally detox.  Honestly, I'd never even heard of Talpa.  It's 200 miles west of Dallas, just north of Brownwood.
  • The Inn at Dos Brisas, Washington - I've been dying to try this luxury resort that offers perhaps one of the most luxurious Texas escapes with an indulgent culinary focus. It's expensive, both financially and calorically, with rooms starting at $665 per night during high season. 
The complete list has a more options in Marfa, Austin, San Antonio and also features Dallas' Joule Hotel.

Courtesy: Gage Hotel
I would add the Gage Hotel in Marathon.  It's a heck of a haul from DFW but is a great rustic resort near Big Bend National Park.  It's a Vaquero-style oasis in the middle of nowhere but a decent base if you're looking for a higher-end retreat while hiking Big Bend.

The Indian Lodge in Davis Mountain State Park is a unique option built with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  The adobe buildings are a gorgeous contrast to the west Texas skyline.  The rooms feature the most beautiful handmade wood furnishings.  It's a really cool place.

Courtesy: Indian Lodge at Davis Mountain State Park
All of these embrace that Texas lifestyle I would love to have: one that travels the expansive state and takes advantage of the diverse cultures and topography it offers.  Unfortunately, real life gets in the way.