While it is not yet time to travel, as we begin to hopefully see light at the end of the tunnel, let’s start planning our first trips! Texas is a huge state and as it becomes safe there are plenty of options of destinations that will be safe to travel to with limited risk.
The travel industry is a crucial part of the world economy and here in Texas it is no different. While we are sitting at home, some waiting patiently, some less patient, we can spend a little time planning summer vacations as part of your personal plans for when it is safe to travel again without the risks there are today.
“We believe now is the time to begin talking about traveling again, dreaming of the places in Texas you want to see, and start planning for that first trip,” said Texas Travel Alliance President & CEO Dan Decker. “Texas is an expansive state and offers something for everyone to experience from beaches to mountains, small towns to large cities, historic sites and state parks, cuisine of every kind, live music, museums, zoos, aquariums, and everything in between. Life’s Better in a State of Travel isn’t just a slogan, but a call to join our efforts to rebuild the Texas economy. Join us.”
Travel in Texas is the second-largest export industry in Texas, right after oil and gas, and makes up significant tax revenue to the state. Not only do we want to travel, but the recovery of the Texas economy depends on it. In 2018 $4.5 billion in state taxes and $3.0 billion in local taxes were from direct travel spending.
While it is still not advisable to travel, here are some recommendations for destinations that will be ideal options for when travel opens up.
The Texas beaches are an ideal place to stay when the summer heat comes and allow for social distancing. With over 370 miles of coastline, there are several different beach towns to choose from. Close to Houston is Galveston Island perfect for a quick weekend getaway. Outside of Corpus Christi, North Padre Island is a stretches across 70 miles of beaches with many condos and rentals available. South Padre island may be further south, but has beautiful beaches similar to those found in Mexico.
Big Bend National Park & Marfa
In the far western part of Texas is the breathtaking Big Bend region. The area is remote, making social distancing easier. The area provides amazing opportunities for stargazing, hiking, river rafting, and other outdoor experiences. In Marfa you will find cozy and unique accommodations like iconic teepees as well as art installations like Prada Marfa.
Concan, Texas & Garner State Park
Garner State Park is a great place to visit for a swim or hike, or to enjoy a relaxing weekend. With 2.9 miles of Frio River winding through 1,774 acres of scenic Hill Country terrain, the park offers lots to see and do. You can swim in the Frio River or float its waters on an inner tube, operate a paddleboat, and hike 16 miles of scenic trails.
Hill Country Getaways
Texas Hill County is full of fun resorts, wineries and natural attractions. You can find natural watering holes and springs throughout hill country including Hamilton Pool, Krauss Springs and The Blue Hole in Wimberley.
While at the time of writing this article, most resorts are not operating as normal. As they open, they are likely to take precautions to keep guests as safe as possible. Please check with each resort to see how the operations of the resort have been modified before going.
La Cantera Resort & Spa is one of the most sought after resorts in the Hill Country. The resort includes 5 total pools including one adult-only infinity pool with great views and a kids pool with water slides. The Loma de Vida Spa provides a sanctuary for adults with numerous treatment options and two championship golf courses. Stay updated on their opening status here.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa is situated on 600 acres of oak-covered hills and includes a nine-acre water park featuring a 1,100-foot lazy river, a plunge body slide reaching up to 20 mph and an adult-only pool and a sand beach pool.
The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio has a 5-acre water park including a lazy river with a dark bottom and like oaks providing shade, giving it a river-like experience. Waterslides, an activity pool, FlowRider Wave Machine and an adult pool are also available. As of now, the pools are set to open May 21st.
Overlooking Lake Travis, the Lakeway Resort and Spa has a boutique spa with lake views, a pool playground, and proximity to Austin and other Hill Country attractions.