These lovely towns and tourist destinations are among Texas' best chances for romantic getaways, home to some of the state's top visitor attractions. Couples looking for lively urban getaways can explore Austin's hipster neighborhoods, peruse the museums of Dallas' Museum District, or stroll along San Antonio's gorgeous River Walk.
Texas Hill Country is home to charming small towns with 19th-century architecture and acclaimed wineries. Lovely natural wonders include Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in America after Arizona's Grand Canyon.
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Austin is known around the United States for its hip culinary scene, eclectic live music venues, and eco-friendly tourist attractions. The trendy central Texas metropolis is the home of the annual South By Southwest festival of music and innovation, attracting some of the world's top independent music artists. Couples traveling to the city can dine at delicious fusion fare restaurants throughout hip neighborhoods like the city's South Congress district or explore a plethora of artisan maker studios, vintage boutiques, and quirky independent retail stores. Beautiful public parks line the banks of the gorgeous Colorado River, which is home to a series of reservoirs and lakes offering opportunities for swimming, hiking, boating, and biking throughout the year. Romantic date ideas include watching sunsets at the peak of beautiful Mount Bonnell, grabbing dinner and a movie at the hip Alamo Drafthouse, or catching a concert at the legendary Continental Club venue.
2. Balcones Canyonlands Preserve
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve is a gorgeous National Wildlife Refuge located within Texas' Hill Country, just northwest of the city of Austin. The refuge, which was established in 1992, protects the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, along with many native flora and fauna species. Couples can explore over seven miles of trails within the preserve, which are home to over 245 nesting and migratory bird species. Stunning sections of the Edwards Plateau are home to steep canyons and quaint streams carved by the Colorado River's path. Beneath the surface, an underground network of caves, sinkholes, and springs provide opportunities for spelunking and swimming throughout the summer months.
3. Balmorhea State Park
Balmorhea State Park is a charming 46-acre state park located along Reeves County's San Solomon Springs, near the city of Balmorhea. The delightful park, which is overseen by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is open to the public year-round and is home to the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool. More than 28 million gallons of water flow throughout the pool each day, supplied by the springs and creating a 25-foot-deep swimming area. Couples can enjoy delightful swimming experiences throughout the year in waters that stay at a consistent 72 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to the springs' natural heat. Snorkeling and scuba diving experiences are also offered. Overnight stay is offered at the San Solomon Springs Courts retro-style lodge, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, or at more than two dozen overnight campsites.
9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786 Phone: 432-375-2370
4. Bastrop, Texas
Bastrop is a delightful city that serves as the county seat of Bastrop County, just half an hour southeast of the city of Austin. The charming city is home to an historic downtown district that is perfect for romantic strolls, showcasing art galleries, boutiques, antique stores, and spectacular preserved 19th-century architecture. The 1889 Bastrop Opera House showcases a full lineup of award-winning musicals, comedies, and dinner theater performances throughout the year, perfect for a lively date night. Couples can also explore the natural wonders of Bastrop State Park, home to the famed Lost Pines loblolly pine trees, or canoe along the slow-flowing El Camino Real Paddling Trail. Popular brunch spot Maxine's has been voted America's best breakfast spot by MSN, serving up classics in a retro-styled 1950s-themed dining space.
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5. Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a lovely national park in southwest Texas, encompassing the terrain of the Chisos Mountains and large portions of the Chihuahuan Desert. The park stretches for over 801,000 acres near the United States-Mexico border, named for a large bend in the Rio Grande River. Over 1,200 species of native plants are protected throughout the park, along with dozens of native and endangered wildlife species. Charming hiking and backpacking trails showcase stunning natural wonders like the Santa Elena Canyon, known for its steep limestone cliffs, and the Mule Ears desert rock towers. Professional backpacking guides lead excursions throughout the park on a regular basis. Near the park's Mexico border, the preserved Langford Hot Springs site protects the architectural remains of an historic bathhouse.
Big Bend National Park, TX Phone: 432-477-2251
6. Big Spring State Park
Big Spring State Park is a lovely Texas state park named in honor of the natural springs that were once located on its lands in Howard County. The park was opened to the public in 1936 and is believed to have been used for its water source by area Comanche indigenous groups dating back centuries. Spectacular Civilian Conservation Corps architecture is showcased throughout the park, including a lighted group pavilion, a pump house, and a three-mile walled drive looping around picturesque Scenic Mountain. Couples can enjoy excellent opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and stargazing throughout the year on the park's grounds. A seasonal interpretive center showcases exhibits connected to area indigenous groups, while a summer film series hosted by the Big Spring Film Society showcases family blockbuster movies.
1 State Park Rd 8, Big Spring, TX 79720, Phone: 432-263-4931
7. Romantic Getaways in Texas: Brenham
Brenham is a quaint small town in east central Texas, serving as the county seat of lovely Washington County. The charming town is home to a gorgeously-restored historic area that has recently revitalized as a trendy business district, home to hip new shops, restaurants, and bars attracting Houston and Austin-area residents and visitors. Couples can peruse unique finds at a plethora of antique stores throughout the city, including iconic shops like Hermann's Furniture and Today and Yesterday. Delicious restaurants serve up Southwestern and international cuisine, including favorites like the Funky Art Cafe, Must Be Heaven, 96 West, and the BT Longhorn Steakhouse. Nearby, Washington-on-the-Brazos preserves the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence as a state historic site.
8. Burnet, Texas
© City of Burnet
Burnet is a charming city in Burnet County that serves as the gateway to the beautiful Texas Highland Lakes, six freshwater reservoirs that offer outdoor recreational experiences throughout the year. Couples can explore the town's lovely historic square, dating back to the 1880s, and dine at delicious romantic restaurants and cafes serving up eclectic fare at lunch and dinner. The Highland Lakes Air Museum showcases exhibits related to the region's World War II history, including restored aircraft, while the Fort Croghan Museum and Grounds protects a 19th-century United States military fort's remains. Couples can also hit the links at the Delaware Springs Golf Course, enjoy spelunking tours at Longhorn Cavern, or embark on year-round outdoor adventures at Inks Lake State Park.
9. Colorado State Bend Park, Texas
Colorado State Bend Park stretches for 5,300 acres throughout the city of Bend, located within Texas' gorgeous Hill Country region. The park, which was established in 1987, protects unique karst limestone natural features throughout its beautiful terrain area, which is home to a large number of caves and sinkholes. Couples can explore the park's caves as part of guided tours offered throughout the year by experienced park ranger guides. The park's lovely trail system is home to wonders like the two-mile Spicewood Springs Trail, which provides access to several spring-fed swimming holes during the summer months. Romantic Gorman Falls drops for more than 65 feet, accessible via the Gorman Creek Trail. Couples looking to rough it in the wilderness for an evening have their choice of campsite areas, including drive-up and walk-in tent sites.
2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, TX 76824, Phone: 325-628-3240
10. Romantic Getaways in Texas: Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is one of Texas' most romantic getaway destinations, located on the banks of the gorgeous Corpus Christi Bay near beautiful Padre and Mustang Islands. The stunning Gulf of Mexico city is best known as the home of Padre Island National Seashore, which protects populations of endangered species like Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Couples can stroll along the seashore's pristine shoreline beaches or explore lively attractions like the Texas State Aquarium, which is home to an impressive shark exhibit and an aquatic nursery. The World War II-era USS Lexington has been converted into a naval aviation museum, showcasing exhibits on the region's participation in 20th-century military conflicts. Romantic restaurants abound, including local institutions like Landry's Seafood House and the upscale Republic of Texas Bar and Grill.
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Dallas is one of Texas' liveliest and most cultural cities, home to the United States' largest downtown Arts District. Couples have their choice of acclaimed museums to explore during their stay in the city, including institutions like the famed Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Dallas Museum of Art. The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center and the AT&T Dallas Center for the Performing Arts regularly showcase award-winning theatrical, music, and dance performances, including national tours of Broadway shows. Nearby Deep Ellum preserves the region's history of jazz, blues, and country music, showcasing venues once graced by the likes of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Bessie Smith.
12. Davis Mountains State Park
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Davis Mountains State Park extends for 2,709 acres throughout the beautiful Davis Mountains near the city of Fort Davis. The lovely park was originally developed in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps to protect mountains reaching up to 6,000 feet above sea level. Visitors can explore the park's extensive trail system, which connects to the nearby Fort Davis National Historic Site, and view a plethora of native tree species, including Mexican pinyons, Emory and gray oaks, and one-seed junipers. At high elevations, ponderosa pines thrive, along with evergreen and fragrant sumac, catclaw acacia, and Torrey yucca. Seven miles of equestrian trails are open for visitor use at the special-use Limpia Canyon Primitive Area. Couples can also stay overnight at the romantic Indian Lodge, which offers 39 rustic guest rooms and suites.
TX-118, Fort Davis, TX 79734, Phone: 432-426-3337
13. Dripping Springs
Dripping Springs is commonly referred to as the gateway to Texas' Hill Country, located just outside Austin's city limits. Throughout the early 21st century, the charming town has become known as a major destination for Austin-area foodies, home to hip distilleries, microbreweries, wineries, and a plethora of gourmet global fusion cuisine offerings. Couples can enjoy unique tasting experiences at area wineries and olive oil companies, including the acclaimed Texas Hill Country Olive Company, one of the American South's most renowned olive oil producers. The hip Rusty Mule venue showcases live music performances throughout the week, while the Mercer Street Dancehall offers open dance lessons on select evenings. Couples can also stroll through unique cultural attractions like Sol'stice Garden Expressions, home to more than three acres of structural wind and garden art. More things to do in Dripping Springs
14. Enchanted Rock State Park, Texas
Enchanted Rock State Park is one of Texas' most beautiful natural wonders, protected as a National Natural Landmark since 1971. The park, which is located just half an hour north of the city of Fredericksburg, protects the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark pink granite mountain of the same name, located within the state's Llano Uplift geographic region. Couples can enjoy opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation, including chances to explore more than 11 miles of hiking trails throughout the park's trail network. Unparalleled views of Texas Hill Country are showcased atop the monadnock's summit, which can be accessed via the lovely Summit Trail. Rock climbing and stargazing opportunities abound, along with chances for overnight camping at designated campground sites throughout the park.
16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, Phone: 830-685-3636
15. Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg is one of Central Texas' most unique getaway destinations, originally founded in 1846 by German pioneers. The lovely town preserves it German heritage, known throughout the American South for its unique Texas German dialect. A wide variety of German-themed attractions are open for couples to explore on weekend getaways, including the Pioneer Museum, which preserves a collection of settler homesteads dating back to the mid-19th century. Its stunning Fredericksburg Historic District is home to beautiful National Register of Historic Places-listed buildings, including the 19th-century Vereins Kirche, a reconstruction of a traditional German-style church. Military exhibits are on display at the renowned National Museum of the Pacific War. Couples can also pick their own fruit at a number of area farms, which have earned the region the nickname "The Peach Capital of Texas."
16. Romantic Getaways in Texas: Galveston
Galveston is one of the most beautiful destinations on Texas' Gulf Course, known for its gorgeous beachfront stretches and lively family-friendly attractions. The charming island city is home to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which showcases a variety of high and mild thrill rides, including a picturesque Ferris wheel and several roller coasters. Nearby, Galveston Island State Park is a popular spot for hiking, boating, and fishing, offering several public-access piers and kayak launches. East Beach and Stewart Beach are popular spots for swimming and sunbathing throughout the summer months or for packing a picnic for enjoying on the shoreline. Other attractions include the high-thrill Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark, the historic 1895 Moody Mansion and Gardens, and the Galveston Railroad Museum.
17. Granbury, Texas
Granbury is a delightful small town in Hood County, located approximately half an hour southwest of Fort Worth's downtown district. The city is one of Texas' most historic small towns, known as the former home of famed American pioneer Davy Crockett, who settled in the area in 1853 following the Texas Revolution against Mexico. John Wilkes Booth also once lived in the city, assuming the name John St. Helen following his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. A plethora of historic buildings line the city's downtown district, including the beautiful Granbury Opera House, which still showcases performances of Broadway theatrical productions. Couples can also enjoy opportunities for boating and swimming at Lake Granbury, sample wines at Barking Rock Vineyard, or view local history on display at the Bridge Street Historic Museum.
18. Horseshoe Bay, Texas
Horseshoe Bay is a lovely city in Texas' Burnet and Llano Counties, located on the banks of beautiful Lake Lyndon B. Johnson and the southern fork of the Colorado River. The city is known as a popular destination for drag boat racing, offering opportunities for a plethora of watersports experiences throughout the year. Boating and swimming are popular throughout the year on the waters of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, while fishing is prime at Lake Marble Falls. The lovely Horseshoe Bay Lighthouse is open to the public throughout the year as a living history museum facility. Nearby, Longhorn Cavern State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including chances to explore caves as part of guided tours.
Houston is one of Texas' top business and innovation centers, located along the banks of stunning Galveston Bay. The city is best known as the home of NASA's Space Center Houston, home to the Smithsonian-affiliated Johnson Space Center's Visitor Center, which offers exhibits on the history of interstellar travel. The city's gorgeous Museum District is home to acclaimed institutions like the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the family-friendly Houston Zoo. Couples can take in performances by the city's most acclaimed arts institutions, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Ballet, and the Houston Grand Opera. An eclectic dining scene offers Southwestern and international restaurant options, while an impressive parks network is home to over 300 urban oases.
20. Lost Maples State Natural Area
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Lost Maples State Natural Area is a gorgeous protected natural area located along the hills and canyons on the banks of the Edwards Plateau's Sabinal River region. The designated National Natural Landmark stretches for nearly 3,000 acres throughout the Vanderpool region, located approximately an hour northwest of the city of San Antonio. It has been protected as a Natural Area by the state since 1973, designated as such rather than as a state park to protect the unique natural character of the land. Gorgeous limestone bedrock terrain areas are home to a plethora of native species, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, feral pigs, exotic axis deer, and mountain lions. 11 miles of hiking trails are showcased throughout the region, along with primitive and electric hookup campsites for overnight stay.
37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885, Phone: 830-966-3413
21. Monahans Sandhills State Park
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Monahans Sandhills State Park stretches for 3,840 acres throughout Texas' southern Llano Estacado, located near the city of Monahans. The park is known for its gorgeous sand dune ecosystem, which showcases dunes stretching up to 70 feet in the air. The dunes are believed to have formed throughout the Late Pleistocene Era, approximately 16,000 years ago. Unique dune formations include parabolic, wind-shadow, coppice, Barchan, and Akle types of dunes. Visitors can enjoy a plethora of unusual outdoor recreational opportunities at the park throughout the year, including sand surfing, sandboarding, sand football, and sand tobogganing. Native flora and fauna are also on display, including shinoak climax shrub trees and Sandhills coyotes.
2500 E Interstate 20 Exit 86, Monahans, TX 79756, Phone: 432-943-2092
22. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
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Palo Duro Canyon State Park protects the United States' second-largest canyon, known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas" for its size and dramatic geological features. The beautiful canyon is located approximately half an hour southeast of the city of Amarillo and has been traversed by indigenous groups, Spanish explorers, and European settlers for centuries. Over 25,000 acres of beautiful Texas terrain are protected within the park, anchored around the gorgeous canyon, which stretches for 120 miles and reaches a maximum depth of over 1,000 feet. Stunning multicolored rock layers and steep mesa walls make for dramatic nature photography opportunities. Couples can enjoy opportunities for year-round recreation at the park, including chances for hiking, mountain biking, equestrian riding, and overnight camping.
11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, TX 79015, Phone: 806-488-2227
23. Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is a gorgeous state park located on the banks of the river of the same name, where it meets Lake Travis near Johnson City. The park converts the former Circle Bar Ranch facility into a lovely suburban oasis, offering opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation. An extensive trail network system offers chances for biking, biking, and equestrian riding, featuring trails ranging in difficulty from easy family-friendly hikes to moderately-strenuous challenges for experienced hikers. Couples can also hit the waters for swimming and boating experiences directly on the lake throughout the summer months or explore the park's stunning rocky slopes, which showcase beautiful panoramic vistas. Primitive and electric hookup campsites are available for overnight stay for couples looking to rough it in the wilderness for an evening.
2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636, Phone: 830-868-7304
24. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a must-visit for couples looking to check out the American South's top historic attractions, located in south central Texas approximately an hour and a half southwest of Austin. The charming city is best known as the home of the preserved Alamo Mission, constructed in the 18th century and immortalized for its role in Texas' fight for independence. Other historic missions, including Mission San Jose and Mission Concepción, are showcased along the city's picturesque Missions Trail. The city's beautiful River Walk offers a plethora of romantic waterfront dining options, connecting most of the city's major attractions for pedestrian access. Couples can also explore landmarks like the World's Fair-connected Hemisfair Park, attend the annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, or brave roller coasters at acclaimed theme park Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
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