Kickin' Back in Texas: It's Time to Chill, Y'all!
Texas may be the second largest state in the Union, but all of its residents seem to agree on at least one thing -- there's nothing better than kicking off your boots and enjoying some downtime in the Lonestar State. So we've traveled all over the state -- and found some spots perfect for rest and relaxation. After all, when in Rome Texas! From Dallas to Corpus Christi, there's a chill place calling your name. But we couldn't help but start with Austin in honor of the (dreamy) Matthew McConaughey's nuptials. After all, he is the *king* of chilling out.
The Lakeside Grounds at the Lake Austin Spa Resort
Why we love it: Though it looks like McConaughey had no trouble chilling in a hammock pre-ceremony, we're thinking his guests could have preferred a stay at the romantic Lake Austin Spa Resort -- rather than the tents the film star set up for them in his backyard. This waterside retreat, along the shores of Lake Austin, is more than a spa resort -- with kayaking, canyon hikes, yoga and "discovery programs," Lake Austin Spa Resort is a true wellness destination. But if you're looking to kick back, there's no better spot than the lush, lakeside grounds. Pick a grassy spot in the shade or head down to the water's edge for some peace and quiet.
The Beach at the Pearl South Padre
Why we love it: During summer months, Texans flock to South Padre Island to escape the intense heat and enjoy its sandy coastline. But fortunately the Pearl South Padre's location on the southern end of the island makes it feel somewhat quieter than other options in the middle of the otherwise-packed hotel sprawl. The resort is flanked by a wide, sandy beach where guests can recline under colorful umbrellas or go for a relaxing dip in the warm ocean waters.
The Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek -- Dallas
Why we love it: The Rosewood Mansion feels like a Tuscan villa -- the hotel is pink stucco, the roof is terra cotta, and beautiful fountains, tile mosaics, and trellis plants surround the pool. But when we're really searching for a relaxing time, we prefer to head to the hotel's restaurant and its al fresco dining. The Restaurant Terrace not only has plush seating, a wood-burning fireplace, and lantern-strung trees, but it also serves up tasty signature cocktails such as the Meyer Lemon Bomb and the Texas Pecan that'll have you feeling just finnne in no time.
The Pool at the Omni Houston Hotel
Why we love it: The 378-room Omni Houston Hotel is big on both style and substance, particularly at the hotel's large pool. With two separate pools, a bar, private cabanas, and water treatments that create a calming atmosphere, the pool provides a great escape from the busy pace of Houston life.
The Pier at The Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay -- Corpus Christi
Why we love it: The 78-room Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay is in a wonderful location right on the water in old Rockport. This inn is full of scenic places to relax, including the big outdoor swimming pool surrounded by tropical landscaping -- but we really love the fishing dock that juts out into the bay. Pull up a rocking chair and watch the sunset. Or even catch some zzz's as you take in the fresh, salty breeze.
The Balcony in the Spa Room at the Mokara Hotel & Spa -- San Antonio
Why we love it: The 99-room Mokara is one of San Antonio’s most stylish hotels, featuring swanky amenities that include a beautiful rooftop pool, a premium spa, and fine dining; all in a prime location right on the River Walk. If you book a suite, a premier room, or one of the sexy spa rooms, chances are you'll get a balcony overlooking the Riverwalk. Outfitted with deck furniture, the balcony is a perfect spot to catch a glimpse of downtown city life -- without having to take a step outside of your room.