Since the economy went south in 2008, people have been saving their money for essential wedding items; for most, jet away honeymoons are not essential. Hence, the stay-cation. Instead of traveling and exploring the world, people have been staying home; now cabin fever has set in. The cure- Tex- cation. Save airfare by simply spending your honeymoon exploring the great Lone Star State.
Dallas is less than four hours away. The newly renovated Dallas Marriott City Center hotel is a stylish downtown home base. Modern, with state-of-the-art amenities and upscale dining, this treasure is within walking distance of Arts District attractions. The Dallas Arts District was created in 2009 as an advocate for the arts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It’s the largest arts district in the nation, comprising 19 city blocks with over 68 acres. The District has the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Winspear Opera House.
During spring and summer school breaks, the museums come together and host the Arts District Block Party. They close most of the roads; many of the venues stay open until midnight and have free or reduced admission. Street performers entertain with music and acting, and gourmet food trucks provide almost any type of food imaginable.These Block Parties are a wonderful time to experience the flavor of downtown Dallas and the Dallas Arts District.
For theater, musical and dance arts lovers, the Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center provides stages for five resident dance and ballet companies. The 2,200-seat venue also joins with a wide range of programs including the Lexus Broadway Series, Patio Sessions, Sunset Screenings, and TITAS. It’s a great cultural destination and gathering place.
Shopping is bigger and better on a Dallas Tex-cation. You can take the Dart light rail system from the Marriott to NorthPark Center, the largest shopping center in North Texas. It was named one of the “7 Retail Wonders of the Modern World.” NorthPark Center offers the finest luxury and trendsetting retailers including Neiman Marcus, Barney’s of New York, Macy’s, Dillard’s and 230 others amid 20th and 21st century art, award winning architecture, and extraordinary landscaping.This is an experience for anyone wanting exceptional shopping options in beautiful, eclectic surroundings. All this is just 236 miles north of Houston. Far enough away to be a honeymoon; close enough to save the airfare. Tex-cations are just right. – DS
Austin is less than three hours from H-Town. Austin is home to live music, great bar-b-cue and all-night fun on Sixth Street; we recommend a more upscale version of Austin for your Tex- cation honeymoon.
Barton Creek Resort and Spa offers the same luxurious amenities you find at world-class resorts in Arizona and California. We say save the airfare and have more massages! This resort, located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, is home to some of Texas’ best golf courses, a full spa, tennis and swimming.
Enjoy hill country hospitality throughout the facility. Most rooms have great views of the pool and golf course. Throughout the property, enjoy the high quality offered at this AAA Four Diamond resort. For a Texas-style culinary experience, enjoy 8212 Wine Bar & Grill. The Charbroiled Ribeye Steak is a standout on an outstanding menu.
If you both enjoy golf, chose from four championship courses that consistently rank among the best in Texas. Courses here are very female friendly; you’ll enjoy the generous placement of the ladies’ tee. Hop onto the Fazio Canyons course. With beautiful vista views, scenic holes lined with Red Oaks and Sycamore trees, and wildlife sightings, it’s hard to worry about your score. This course continues Fazio’s tradition to protect and preserve the environment and was the first course in Texas to be certified as an Audubon International Signature Sanctuary.
The spa is a welcome respite. Three Springs Spa derives its name from the three springs that meet at Barton Creek. A recent renovation revealed a rock quary; today each treatment room has a view of the native rocks. Also, the meditation room focuses on this quary with stunning views of the natural rocks. Head down to the spa level before your treatment to relax in the Jacuzzi or sauna. Enjoy a purity facial ($145), which is customized to your skin’s needs.
Early in the morning is the perfect time to enjoy the Nature Trail. The 1⁄2 mile self-guided tour offers the chance to see Central Texas’ unique flora and fauna. The rest of your time should be spent lounging by the pool. Relax and unwind and let the wedding worries melt away.
All this is just 165 miles west of Houston. Hill Country roads are beautiful.Tex-cations are just right.
By Dorothy Strouhal and Laurette Veres
Photography by Laurette Veres