Today's post is about romantic getaways on a budget and, whaddya know, it just so happens to be Valentine's Day! But this subject is not only relevant on February 14th. Texas has so many romantic places and I believe that anytime is a good time to get away with your sweetie, to take a break from the texts and tweets for awhile and focus on each other. Having said that, here's a list of a few fun and romantic things to do on Valentine's Day–or any day–to reconnect with the one you love.
Dallas Vicinity: The smaller towns surrounding big cities are great travel spots that can be easy on the wallet. About 30 minutes north of Dallas is McKinney, known for its vibrant arts scene, diverse antique shops and historic downtown. This city’s tree-lined streets and restored antique houses are the perfect backdrop for a relaxing couples-weekend. Northwest of Dallas is Denton. From the century-old courthouse and quaint town-square to world-class shopping and internationally acclaimed musical talent, Denton has an ambiance that lends itself to hand-in-hand strolls, leisurely lunches, and a relaxing getaway for two.
Jefferson, East Texas: East of Dallas and not far from the Louisiana border, Jefferson is a step back in time to an era of antebellum homes, horse-drawn carriages and steam locomotives. This once-booming river-port town went bust in the 1870s but still retains the architecture and heritage of a 19th century town. Considered the Bed & Breakfast capital of East Texas, Jefferson has approximately 60 B&Bs. Amp up the romance with a horse-drawn carriage ride. The cost for 2 people is $100, but that includes dinner so it seems like reasonable price.
Texas Hill Country: The hill country near Austin, Texas is some of the most beautiful land in the world. Just driving through the scenic forests of majestic oak trees, acres of wildflowers (in the spring), giant limestone rocks and gently rolling hills is a romantic experience. New Braunfels is one of the most popular vacation spots in the hill country, known for its many natural amenities. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, the local wildlife park, has reasonable admission prices. Nearby Canyon Lake has eight scenic public parks dotted all around the lake. You can camp, swim, picnic, watch wildlife and go boating in these parks. If the two of you love being out in nature together, these vacation spots will definitely fit the bill.
North of this area lies the Hill Country wine trail, where 33 wineries produce some of the best reds, whites and rosés in the U.S. Driving through this region and visiting some of the wineries is a great romance-inducing, wallet-friendly getaway. (Read last week's blog on Wine Country.)
Bay Area Houston: Head south – way south – to Houston's Bay Area on the Gulf Coast, which is comprised of 6 cities, each with its own vibe. In Kemah, stroll along the boardwalk, which features a Ferris wheel and carousel, midway games, themed restaurants, retail shops and water garden. Stay for dinner and watch the boats pass by on Galveston Bay. From Nassau Bay, take a sailboat or a sunset cruise on Clear Lake.
**Do you have a favorite romantic spot in Texas? We'd love to hear your suggestions! **