Find yourself on the open road for the Valentine's holiday? Would you like to be? Or, could you use a little break from the asphalt to spend a romantic night or two with that special someone riding next to you? Check in below for our list of ten great places to go and things to do to spoil your lover...
It only happens once a year, that special day we call Valentine's Day, when we tribute that special someone we love with as much spoil and affection as our imagination and wallet will allow. And rightly so, for by designating a special day for that purpose and keeping it sacred, we honor the one we love, and renew our vows to keep them in our highest esteem, a place in our heart where only they can live and rule.
So, to honor the season we've selected a few great places with lovers and friends in mind; special places to go and things to do, or - if you're on the road - places to stop that will enhance your romantic retreat and will help make your special day a memorable one from start to finish. We think they are some of the best places for romance in Texas. Give them a try - and let us know!
Regardless the time of year, the Alamo City is a perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous. You can start by choosing one of dozens of romantic hotels. We recommend the Emily Morgan on Alamo Plaza, or the La Mansion Del Rio on the River Walk. Both offer great Valentine packages and are located perfectly to take advantage of the romantic city. You can start with a carriage ride around the Alamo and central city, and top it off with fine dining at either the Little Rhein Steak House on the River Walk, or take a drive north of the city to Helotes and Grey Forest to the Grey Moss Inn Restaurant.
There are many great communities and inns in the Texas Hill Country that offer wonderful romantic backdrops, but we would recommend a bed & breakfast experience in or near colorful and historic Fredericksburg. Possessing a rich Germanic heritage and many festivals, biergartens, B*B's and antique shops, Fredericksburg is a favorite romantic weekend getaway destination. Try the elegant Rose Hill Manor in nearby Stonewall for an extra special lover's retreat. The manor offers up great dining at Austin's (on premise), and fantastic views of the surrounding Hill Country.
Almost a ghost town, Shafter was once a local silver mining boomtown not far from Persidio in the Big Bend country. If you're looking for solitude (with that special someone, of course), you won't find a better place than Cibolo Creek Ranch. This rugged adobe ranch offers the perfect setting for time to reacquaint yourself with your lover. Horseback riding, hiking across the ranch country, and fabulous Texas cuisine await in a remarkablerustic setting.
From the Victorian homes of Tyler to the rustic B&Bs around Palestine, Northeast Texas has plenty to offer in the way of romantic destinations. But if we had to pick just one, we would recommend the McKay House B&B Inn in Jefferson. Take a carriage ride through historic downtown Jefferson or catch a riverboat on Lake Caddo for a breeze through the dense piney woods. The Inn is within walking distance of many good restaurants and shopping areas.
Are you looking to really spoil him/her this year? The Mermaid & The Dolphin Inn & Spa in Texas' oldest city will do the trick. With a fireplace in every room, New Zealand Lambswool rugs complete with long stem rose and iced champagne awaiting before the fire, and a couple's one-hour massage, how can you beat this package? Not far from the historic Strand District, this Victorian palace offers a great lover's retreat and understands the proper way to spoil you from the moment you walk in. For dining, consider Clary's Seafood Restaurant, a perfect romantic coastal setting, and the food is superior.
The Sparkling City by the Bay is always agreat romantic destination, and a stay at Ocean House on Shoreline Drive is a perfect setting for you and your lover. The charm of the Texas coast awaits in this magnificent 8,000-square foot home with adjacent suites. You're not far from the city's new entertainment district "downtown", where you'll find many great restaurants. We would recommend Katz 21 downtown, or the Yard Arm Restaurant on the south end of Shoreline for a lover's dinner.
If you're in search of art & culture, the Fairmont Dallas Hotel in the city's West End Historic District, right next to the Arts and the Financial Districts, is surrounded by cultural attractions, unique shops and nightlife. The Dallas Museum of Art, Symphony Hall, Arts District Theatre and the Nasher Sculpture Center are within three blocks of the hotel. Perhaps a better choice for lovers would be the Hotel Saint-Germain on Maple Ave. The hotel consists of seven suites upstairs and fine dining below. And we do mean fine dining. Everything in this establishment ranks at the top. You won't be disappointed.
In 1910, Mrs. Opal Price gave beautiful parties in her elegant home on the waterfront in Palacios. Now known as Moonlight Bay B&B, this wonderful house has come to life again under the careful hands of Gaye and Earl Hudson. They have beautifully restored and updated their home and created a new era of hospitality for their guests - a great place for lovers of nostalgia.
Sure you've heard of the famous Driskill Hotel in Austin. But have you ever stayed there? A landmark establishment, the Driskill was constructed the same year as the nearby state capital and serves as one of the finest hotels in central Texas. You'll appreciate the elegant atmosphere and the central location, putting great dining and entertainment within walking distance. Romantic dining in Austin is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Try Green Pastures, the restaurant housed in the circa-1894 childhood home of humorist John Henry Faulk. The subdued interior is elegant and old-fashioned, with carved fireplaces, antique furniture and long, sweeping drapes at the tall windows. Large live oaks, shrubs and flowers dominate the grounds.
While it's true, the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine is as much a theme park as it is a great hotel, it still has something special to offer those looking to get out of the city for a romantic encounter with their lover. The rooms are great, there are several restaurants from which to choose, including the renowned Ama Lur. With the Atriums that surround the hotel, you can walk through the history of Texas, including a replica of the San Antonio River Walk, protected from the elements.