Visit The Most Tropical Texas Vacation Spots
Looking for a quick relaxing yet tropical vacation in Texas for Spring Break?! I am so excited to be finally posting about the wonderful places we visited that give you the tropical vibes we are all craving without to need of getting on a plane or driving 8 hours to Padre Island. With COVID-19, traveling is now very different but it does not mean you don’t have safe getaway options right here in Texas. Check out these beautiful spots and book your tropical vacation in Texas! This post will be updated as I continue to visit new properties. Check out videos on my IG story highlights and Reels. Also if you are nervous about staying in a hotel during the pandemic, check out these tips of things I do when staying at a hotel in this blog post.
1. TROPICAL DINING AT HULA HUT IN DALLAS & AUSTIN
To first start off, you should visit this cool restaurant in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex called the Hula Hut in Little Elm. If you are looking for a Venice or Fort Lauderdale, Florida vibes, then this is your place to make you feel you are on a tropical vacation. Visiting Hula Hut was a little Florida in the middle of a small town.
This restaurant reminded me of Florida with the surf boards, palm trees and part of the restaurants on beams over the water. The waterfront is real nice with sand, a shark and a volcano that spews out water. There are 3 areas where you can eat: enclosed inside, outside with the umbrella huts or their semi enclosed area that is over the water.
Hula Hut faces out to a big lake giving the illusion of being beach side somewhere especially with tropical drinks and reggae music playing. We were happy that we were the only ones seated outside in the patio during this COVID area. It is truly a hidden gem! There is also a sister location Hula Hut in Austin with beautiful views as well!Food and drinks were very good!
2. TROPICAL VACATION IN SALADO, TEXAS
Another tropical hidden gem in Texas is Stagecoach Inn in Salado, TX. I happen to discover this place by chance off the highway while leaving Austin, TX. It is about an hour north of Austin. This small country town has been harboring an historic hotel that is very lush with tropical plants, palm trees and vibes. They have a nice big heated tropical pool area with retro chairs and abundance of palm trees and vegetation.
Stagecoach Inn is a colonial style hotel that is the perfect staycation option from big cities such as Dallas and Austin. The rooms are so cute and spacious with a nice patio area to enjoy Illy Italian coffee. Our room #202 is right by the pool along a lush tropical path. I highly recommend getting a room on this part of the hotel. The bathroom I loved with the white and blue towels.
The signature amenities were also a plus. The custom robes which you can actually purchase and the sweet smelling locations and soaps were also wonderful as well. Stagecoach also has a restaurant that services really great food! It is a popular dinner destination. I highly recommend eating here even if you are not staying at the hotel. In general, all the food we ate in Salado is superb.
3. HAWAII TROPICAL VACATION AT HORSESHOE BAY RESORT
What to feel like you jetsetted to Hawaii without leaving Texas? Visit one of the most tropical resorts in Texas Horseshoe Bay Resort. This hidden gem is located in Horseshoe Bay, TX not far from Fredericksburg and next to Marble Falls and perfect for a tropical vacation. If you want to stay a hotel with palm trees at every turn, this resort will not disappointment. The hotel has different types of lodging to choose from- your standard hotel rooms to villas and water condos. Covid Protocol was on point with hand sanitizer stations everywhere and masks fully enforced.
One thing that I loved about Horseshoe Bay Resort is that it is HUGE! To get to some parts of the resort, you need to be shuttled because it is that far. I actually did not get to see everything such as the spa and 1 of their 3 pools. My favorite area of the resort is their Yacht Club. This is the most unique pool and hot tub set up. You really feel like you are on a coast with all the palm trees right on Lake Travis. The Yacht Club is also where they have one of their restaurants too. All the food at all their restaurants are quite good.
What makes this resort unique is their sandy beach! That is right Horseshoe Bay Resort has a man-made beach that is great for families with kids too with the shallow areas. You definitely feel that you are on beach with the nice upbeat music playing. There are so many cute lounge chairs and areas to sit at to enjoy the views of Lake Travis. They also offer watersports on the lake as well. Their hot tub is quite unique because it is created amongst these rock formation and it is quite big.
If you like golf, enjoy 1 in 5 of their award winning 18 hole golf courses. You can actually can golf at night as well. For the kids, they have many exotic birds, flamingos and turtles that you can see and hold. Their exotic birds even talk! Peaches, Rio and Joseph (African Grey) are some the coolest and prettiest birds. Use code FFFierce15 for 15% off your entire order on SHEIN!
4. CARIBBEAN TROPICAL VACATION AT CANYON LAKE, TEXAS
If you want to feel like you have jetsetted to the rocky beaches of Greece or the Caribbean, then you must visit the turquoise lake of Canyon Lake in Texas Hill Country! Canyon Lake is one of Texas’ best hidden gems! This lake has some of the prettiest turquoise waters against the beautiful rocky terrain and hills and houses in the distance, you swear you were overseas. Canyon Lake is actually quite big with multiple spots that you can enter in. Youtube Video coming soon!
One of my favorite spots is near the dam- Overlook Park. You can actually walk on the dam to get some great views. There are two entrances to the beach at this spot. One side you will see a lot of families since the water is more shallow before it drops off. The other entrance by the parking circle is more of a younger crowd due to the rocky terrain you have to walk through to find your own private beach “cove”. Click here for GPS location of our spot.
Canyon Lake also has a Marina where you can rent boats on the beach and to get to the Canyon Lake Island! Yes there is a private Island that you can visit too. This marina gave me a bit of West Coast Florida vibes with the restaurant on the water. It is great to enjoy drinks or a meal at Baja BBQ Shackwhen enjoying the area. I highly recommend coming when you know it is a bright sunny day so you can really see the beauty of the color of the water.
Another beach area to visit is Canyon Lake Comal Park. This is one of the most popular beach areas that has a $10 entrance fee. Overlook Park does not have a fee. There is a little peninsula that jets out that is really pretty, but this park is also known for a lot of drownings. The rocks are very slippery, its windy and it gets very deep quick. There are signs everywhere warning of this and the drownings. Also another popular spot to visit is Canyon Park. It is very long with a lot of grassy areas as well as beach great for families.
If you need a unique place to stay while at Canyon Lake, then I recommend booking stay at Mystic Quarry Resort in Canyon Lake, TX. It is only 10min away from the lake. They have huge tipis that are enclosed, RV park, cabins and more to choose from. We stayed in tipi that had a TV and faux fireplace. It was so big with nice rustic decor. There is A/C and heater, a fridge and a coffee maker.
The bathhouse is a separate building that is shared amongst the other tipis. It is very clean and maintained as well. There is enough lighting to get to the bathhouses and the sink to wash your hands is on the outside and not inside one of the stalls. For the rain, there is what is called an Ozan that catches the water and diverts it outside of the tipi. We stayed on a very rainy day and we never got wet nor our things. We also did not have any issues with any critters getting inside our tent either. There are two zipper doors that goes to the ground keeping everything from the outside out.
5. MEXICO TROPICAL VACATION AT LA CANTERA RESORT & SPA
If you want to feel like you have jetsetted to Mexico, then La Cantera Resort & Spa is the hotel you want to visit. This hidden gem is located in the La Cantera district of San Antonio, Texas, Upon arrival, you already feel like a VIP because it is gated and you are greeted by a security post who confirms that you have reservation at the the hotel. Then they give you a Covid pack with handwipes, sanitizer, mask and other things to be safe during the stay.
When you arrive, you are actually on the the 3rd level and can choose to self park or valet. We were in room #4106 that had the perfect views of the main pool and the sunset. For accommodations, they have adult only suites, villas and deluxe rooms to choose from. The hill country views is what makes this place so amazing! You definitely feel that you are on vacation outside of Texas. The room was quiet comfortable. Like most hotels now, there was no cleaning service unless requested.
La Cantera Resort & Spa have several pools including an adult only infinity pool that faces the hill country. Sunsets are definitely not to be missed! Check out my video to see why! La Cantera Resort has some really great restaurants as well and it is open to the public with a reservation. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was very good with no complaints. If La Cantera Resort is not within your budget, a budget friendly travel tip is to purchase a day pass. You have full access to the entire resort but you just don’t have a bed. Read more about how to take a daycation here and tips to keep the cost down.
Also La Cantera Resort has one of the biggest spas in the state of Texas called Loma de Vida! You do not have been a guest to book services and you can purchase a day pass as well! They have its own separate pool and lounges to enjoy and some amazing rooms to get massage treatments or enjoy a bubble bath with champagne that you see in my video above as well.
6. TROPICAL VACATION IN CASTROVILLE, TX
The next tropical hotel you should visit is if you are looking for something tropical yet small with a country flare. You should visit Hillside Boutique Hotel in Castroville, TX which is just outside of San Antonio about 30 minutes from La Cantera Resort. This is definitely a hidden gem that is worth visiting in a small town. Just like the name, the hotel sits on a hillside with amazing views and palm trees all around.
We got a room that had a beautiful view of the tropical pool area. The rooms are very big with lots of space. The decor was more of a country rustic feel. The bathroom area was quite big as well. We also had a balcony that was quite spacious too.
The pool is quite nice because they have cabanas that are first come first serve at no additional costs. Most hotels will make you charge but at Hillside Boutique it is part of the seating area of the pool. Since it was a hidden gem, not many people were at the hotel making it perfect for social distancing.
The hotel is also know for their restaurant Hillside Texas Bistro! The food and drinks were both really good! People who do not even stay at the hotel makes reservations which is why the reservations are usually always booked. We we first arrived we were welcomed with a welcome cocktail and I got a lavender martini that I have not been able to find anywhere else. It was so good and refreshing. The chicken pasta was excellent as well.
For breakfast it was so nice to have table by the palm trees. I ordered biscuit and gravy which was so amazing and I highly recommend. The bread basket with the different pastries are soo good! You could get away with just eating the basket with a glass of orange juice.
7. COSTA RICAN GLAMPING AT SON’S BLUE RIVER CAMP
If you want a unique glamping experience or just a good, visit Son’s Blue River Camp in Kingsbury, TX. Located on the beautiful San Marcos River and about 45 minutes southeast of Austin you have these these two story cabana huts that you can rent.
The many of these one story and two story cabana huts lined up it makes you feel as if you are in Costa Rica where you typically see these types of huts. You do not necessarily need to camp or glamp here. You can just rent a spot and BBQ and kayak or go tubing down the river.
You do need to make a reservation in advance and they limit how many people can come in. So just do not show up especially on a weekend. You can choose to book one of their glamping units or a spot to camp too.
Please note that when we visited it was quite packed with not too much social distancing going on. However if you have your own hut, you are more than 10 feet away from the next hut and in your own area.
8. CALIFORNIA VIBES IN GALVESTON, TX
Want to feel like you are in Santa Monica, CA? Then I recommend visiting Galveston, TX. For years, I never had the desire to go to Galveston because I heard about the beach are not pretty like Florida- brown water. And yes Galveston does not have crystal clear waters but it is still worth visiting. It has such the tropical vibe with palm trees at every turn.
I recently did a mini trip to Galveston and I really enjoyed it! The hotel I stayed at unfortunately I could not recommend: Hotel Galvez & Spa. It is historic hotel which I have stayed at others and so I know it will not be contemporary decor but there was cleanliness issue. Location and pool are beautiful though! The hotel I do recommend though not yet stayed at is The San Luis Resort. Very tropical and beautiful as well!
The Historic Pleasure Pier is one spot you should definitely visit. It is an amusement park on a pier that is over the water just like in Santa Monica, California! They have everything like any amusement park. Due to Covid, check the website to be sure they are open. Sometimes in low seasons they are open for only certain days.
If going to the pier is not your thing, the Seawall is a great place to take a nice stroll and enjoy the views. Its the sidewalk that parallels the beach. The beach area itself is quite huge. There are actually multiple of beaches in Galveston to visit as well. One spot you must visit is Murdochs. This is the best place to enjoy a nice sunset. They have chairs that you can sit on while enjoying a drink or an ice cream.
The food in Galveston was excellent! Some of the best food I have had in Texas, Since you are on the coat and close to Louisiana you get great seafood and great Cajun food as well! The food at Katie’s Seafood House was so good I went back a second time! This seafood restaurants serves some of the freshest fish near the Port of Galveston where cruise ships depart. I got to enjoyed the Catch of the Day and ordered the Yellow Founder cooked Caribbean style. I love that with the Catch of Day there are different styles to choose from on how you want it cooked: Caribbean style, Italian, etc.
Another place that had excellent food was Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar in the Post Office District of Galveston. The best Cajun food I have had in Texas hands down! I ordered the Bourbon Street Platter which gave you a little bit of everything to try: shrimp gumbo, crawfish etouffee, char Grilled Bacon wrapped shrimp served over jambalaya with the best Cajun green beans!
9. PALM SPRINGS VIBES IN LAJITAS, TX
If you are looking for a Palm Springs California vibes, then visiting Lajitas Golf Resort in southwest Texas is definitely your spot! This tropical hotel is located in the middle of nowhere in the mountain desert region of Texas. It is one of the most beautiful hotels you can visit near Big Bend National Park. They have a wide variety of lodging options from villas, houses, cottages, RV park, suites and traditional Badlands hotel rooms.
If you love golf, they have one of the biggest golf courses in Texas winning many awards! It is surround by mountains so you have the most amazing views. One of the holes is actually right on the Rio Grand River which is on the Texas/Mexico border. So you are looking at Mexico which is pretty cool!
I hope this post gives your ideas of where to vacation in Texas whether for Spring Break or any other time of the year! There are so many tropical places that are yet to be discovered. If you are a hotel and you feel your property has a tropical vibe that you would love for me to visit and feature, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I would love to work together!