Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
Still don’t know what you’re doing for the Labor Day holiday? Making the most out of the long weekend doesn’t have to mean booking a faraway vacation. Last-minute planners rejoice — there’s still time to organize a fun-filled getaway within state lines. Just point your car toward Austin. From a buzzy boutique hotel in the heart of the city's night life to a charming, small-town escape, these five places are perfect for a last-minute getaway over the three-day weekend. Just don't wait too long to book reservations, or you might get caught looking for the nearest campground.
Situated in the heart of the vibrant East End District on East 11th Street, this new boutique hotel blends chic contemporary design with warm touches like artwork from Austin artists. Along with a bar that serves wine and locally brewed beers, guests in one of 14 rooms can enjoy the exclusive rooftop deck with 360-degree city views. One of the biggest draws of the place is how it’s conveniently located within walking distance to top-rated restaurants, such as Franklin Barbecue, Old Thousand, and Hillside Farmacy. Going out for the night is also a cinch, since the hotel is only a 10-minute walk down to the bars on the east side and just a quick drive to the heart of downtown. With Hotel Eleven, guests get neighborhood hospitality and vibrant city life all rolled into one.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa
Send off summer with a bang at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. Located just a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin in Cedar Creek, this Texas Hill Country getaway is putting on a number of festive, family-friendly activities throughout Labor Day weekend. With movie nights under the stars; meet-and-greets with longhorns, miniature horses, and alpacas; a bouncy house; tie-dye arts and crafts; flying demonstrations with birds of prey; s’mores making by the fire pit; and even glow stick dance parties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And those are just the special events. The resort itself is connected to over 18 miles of trails and the McKinney Roughs Nature Park so there are opportunities for hiking, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, fishing, and trapshooting. Oh, and did we mention that in addition to a spa and an 18-hole golf course, there is a water park? Call the Crooked River Water Park, it has a 1,000-foot lazy river, float-up bar, whirlpool, and two-story waterslide for plenty of fun under the sun.
Lakeway Resort and Spa
Heading to Lake Travis during the summertime is never a bad idea. At Lakeway Resort and Spa, guests find a peaceful paradise offering scenic panoramic views of the lake. Adults can unwind at the full-service spa, swim-up bar, and championship-level golf courses. Meanwhile, kids have their own play area with bounce houses, pingpong, air hockey, a pinball machine, arts and crafts, and more. And everyone can get behind the three large swimming pools and whirlpool. Since this is a lakeside resort after all, there are lots of water-based activities to fill your weekend, from fishing to sailing to jet skiing. One of the highlights of visiting Austin is being in the middle of the lush Hill Country and close to many beautiful lakes, so why not take full advantage?
Lone Star Court
Lone Star Court is an old-school motor lodge for the modern age. This retro-inspired hotel feels like a blast from the past, but updated with all the contemporary comforts to make your vacation a relaxing retreat. Take a dip in the swimming pool, enjoy the outdoor fire pits, or go for a ride using a complimentary bicycle rentals. At the on-site restaurant and bar, catch live music Thursday through Saturday while digging into some classic Texas grub. And don’t forget to try the signature cocktail, the Chill Cowboy. The drink is a mix of vodka-infused nectar sun tea, hibiscus liqueur, peach puree, lemon juice, and honey syrup, aka the perfect recipe for a hot holiday in Texas. Since this hip hotel is located in the bustling Domain, you have your pick of stores, restaurants, and bars right outside your doorstep, too.
The Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall
For anyone whose dream vacation involves being far away from tourists and crowds, consider the more off-beat option of the Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall. This quaint bed-and-breakfast is located 35 minutes outside of Austin in Coupland, and revolves around two things: good music and good food (Texas music and Southern homestyle cooking to be exact). Every weekend offers another chance to see some talented musicians at the dance hall. Among the big names who have made their way on its stage is Dale Watson, Roger Creager, Kevin Fowler, and Bob Schneider, just to name just a few. The restaurant is known for barbecue, but don’t overlook other comfort food classics like chicken fried steak and fried catfish.
Aside from the eating and dancing, the fun of the Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall is getting to stay in a historic building built in 1904. Throughout the course of its 114-year history, the building has housed a drug company, tavern, newspaper, and grocery. And it just so happens that the seven unique rooms in the inn are styled like an 1800s Wild West brothel. If you love country music, country-style food, and old-timey Texas, then this is the place for you.