Texas boasts a rich history, a vast and varied landscape and a culture like no other. It stands to reason that all of this would result in unique and fabulous places to stay across the state. Here are eight properties that serve as destinations in their own right – as well as great bases for exploration.
Quarters at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad
Built in 1749, this National Historic Landmark is one of the finest remaining examples of a Spanish frontier fort. Soldiers stationed here fought against the British during the American Revolution and against Mexico before Texas declared independence. The Quarters once housed Mexican officers and, later, Catholic priests. It includes a full kitchen and two bedrooms.
La Posada Milagro Guesthouse in Terlingua
High on a slope in this ghost town with mesmerizing views of Big Bend’s mountains, the inn includes five unique guest rooms created from stacked rock ruins. Enjoy the view from two outdoor areas with fire pits and an outdoor kitchen. The guesthouse coffee shop serves homemade breakfast and lunch. The Starlight Theatre’s live music, antelope burgers and prickly pear margaritas are a short walk away.
Dofflemyer Hotel in San Saba
Built in 1913 by W.C. Dofflemyer, this structure housed the San Saba National Bank and, on the second floor, a gentlemen’s social club. Today, it includes five rooms and one corner suite on the second floor – each with individual Hill Country décor, wood floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, tall windows and gloriously spacious bathrooms.
Perini Ranch Camp House at Perini Ranch in Abilene
This modern house built in an old ranch house style has a main room and sleeping porch, as well as a small kitchen. Acres of rustic scenery and wildlife surround the house. Sit on the covered porch and watch the sun go down or come up. The nearby Perini Ranch Steakhouse features gourmet cowboy cuisine – burgers, steaks, catfish, green chili hominy, green beans and cowboy potatoes. Wash it all down with a Mesquite-a-rita or Cowboy Martini.
Cibolo Creek Ranch in the Chinati Mountains
High-end guest rooms featuring fireplaces, tile floors, and rustic furnishings occupy El Fortin del Cibolo, an adobe fort built by a rancher in the 1800s. Rooms overlook either a spring-fed stream or a serene lake. Accommodations include three meals a day, served family style, and the ranch offers jeep tours, hiking, horseback riding, stargazing and more.
Lofthaven at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours in Lake Travis
The Lofthaven tree house encircles an ancient cypress trunk in this tree-lined ravine. Enjoy watching the sunset and listening to the creek from chairs on the wraparound porch before sleeping snugly in the canopy bed or hammock inside. A suspension bridge connects to a private bathhouse with a waterfall-filled tub. The property includes three other tree houses: Juniper, Willow, and Nest. A night’s lodging includes a zipline tour along the creek.
Ranch House in Galveston Island State Park
Built for hands at the old Stewart Ranch on the island’s west end, the three-bedroom, two-bath house has a spacious living area with a fireplace and a shady deck. The 2,000-acre state park – which is the only piece of public land that still straddles the island – stretches from beach to bay with prairie in between.
Lighthouse Cabin in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
The Civilian Conservation Corps built three rock cabins on the wall of Palo Duro Canyon – the Lighthouse, Goodnight and Sorenson. All three overlook the dramatic landscape below. Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the country, with the Lighthouse patio providing the best view and the most privacy. Each cabin sleeps four, and includes fireplaces, refrigerator and microwave, bathroom, plus outdoor picnic table and grill. Be sure to step outside at night for impressive starry skies.
You can learn more about these and other Texas destinations in the travel issue of Texas Lifestyle magazine.