STORY IDEAS

Love in the Lone Star State: Five Romantic Texas Destinations

Romance is always in the air in the Lone Star State, making Texas the perfect place for couples to plan an intimate getaway. From the Wild West to the big city, visitors are sure to find a special way to celebrate romance that’s just their speed.
 
What casts a romantic spell over you? Idyllic walks along the lush river bank, a special dinner for two on a moonlit terrace, a picnic and fine bottle of wine in a picturesque vineyard or an indulgent treatment for two at a luxurious spa? San Antonio, as seen on ABC’s The Bachelorette, offers all of this and more to create the most memorable of visits to a magical city that will captivate your heart. From elegant restaurants and hotels, to dinner with a view of the city atop the Tower of the Americas, to a riverboat tour of the Riverwalk at night, romance is everywhere in the Alamo City. For generations, couples young and old have headed for the winding, tree-lined River Walk for a hand-in-hand stroll laced with private hideaways and interspersed with lively nightspots. Now there are 13 more romantic miles of the San Antonio River to enjoy, thanks to a massive redevelopment project. The Museum Reach to the north offers access to beautiful Brackenridge Park and the Pearl Brewery. South from downtown lies the picturesque King William Historic District then the Mission Reach, an eight-mile section including four Spanish colonial missions. Exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, whether by river, by bicycle or by car, is another wonderful way for couples to spend an afternoon. If you're tired after a day of sightseeing, treat yourselves to a horse-drawn carriage ride in the historic downtown, or catch a ride back on a River Taxi.
 
On the Gulf Coast, find yourself in a sea of love at the Moody Gardens in Galveston as you cruise into the sunset with your loved one aboard Colonel Paddlewheel. Enjoy an evening ride on the water complete with a dinner buffet and a DJ. Later in the evening, let your hair down, kick your shoes off and share a little quiet time with your sweetheart with a sunrise picnic on the beach. Galveston Island boasts some of the most spectacular sunrises in Texas. And, with 32 miles of beaches, finding the perfect patch of sand to sink your toes in is easy to do! For active couples, take a romantic bicycle ride through the island’s picturesque East End Historical District while discovering The Galveston Tree Sculptures. The magnificently carved sculptures were transformed from trees destroyed during Hurricane Ike and can be found nestled in the gardens and backyard areas of many restored historic mansions on the east end of the island
 
It should be no surprise that Texas’ largest city, Houston, has plenty of options for a couple’s weekend. Start the weekend with one of the most romantic spots in town, the Rainbow Lodge. Housed in a 100-year-old log cabin on lush grounds just minutes from Downtown, the decades-old spot is charming and intimate, with cozy fireplaces and a meandering deck that looks out on a nearby creek. Later, venture outside for a scenic stroll through one of Houston’s parks and greenspaces, the Williams Waterwall where you can have your picture snapped in front of the formidable fountain or catch a mid-afternoon nap under shady Oak trees. If you have time, the nearby Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is worth a visit as it is home to five miles of hiking paths that wind through the western edge of Memorial Park. Satisfy your culture craving in Houston’s picturesque Museum District. Find glittering gems and jewels on show at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, new works at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and more than 63,000 pieces at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
 
The Lone Star State’s capital city is one of the most scenic in the Lone Star State. Set amid the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country, Austin features some of the best in cuisine, hotels and resorts. Those looking for a quiet getaway outside the main hub of Austin should try the Barton Creek Resort or Lake Austin Spa & Resort. Treat yourself and your significant other to an hour-long cruise on Lady Bird Lake under the stars and the views of glittery Downtown Austin followed by a delicious dinner at Tyson Cole’s restaurant, Uchi. Additionally, the Blue Starlite Drive-in shows great movies, old and new -- and you can drive, bike, or sit in the lot. Plus, not only can you order East Side Pies directly to your car, and bring your own little picnic, but they also sell s’mores kits and provide fire for perfect s’more creation. For couples looking to take their love to new heights, check out the highest point within Austin's city limits, Mount Bonnell. Not only does the site offer fantastic sunset views of Lake Austin and the 360 Bridge, it is said that if a couple climbs the 100 stairs to the top of Mount Bonnell once, they fall in love; twice, they'll become engaged; and after three times, it's inevitable they'll get married!
 
Dallas is home to some of the state's finest restaurants, hotels, spas and shopping districts - all the necessary ingredients for a great romantic retreat. The Melrose Hotel and the Mansion at Turtle Creek are just two of Dallas' many elegant, romantic accommodations. One of the biggest things to happen recently in the city is the completion of the Dallas Arts District, a 30-year project that spans 68 acres and 19 blocks in the heart of the city. It’s the largest contiguous urban arts district in the U.S., and it shouldn’t be missed. It’s hard not to enjoy the beauty of the Calders, Giacomettis and Picassos beneath the sunlight spilling through the Nasher Sculpture Center’s glass roof, designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano. Top off your night with a romantic stroll through Klyde Warren Park or the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, a 66-acre sanctuary that tumbles down to the shores of White Rock Lake Park. Presuming your date is way unafraid of heights -- and we advise that you know for sure before even booking -- this date brings romance to a new level, literally. Starlight Flight takes off from Addison and offers eventide flyovers of local sites, including Downtown Dallas, offering breathtaking views you won’t get spinning around in Reunion Tower. 
 
Wine and dine your love in Fredericksburg, the heart of Texas Wine Country and home to some of the oldest wineries in the state. Fredericksburg cultivates more than half of the world’s grape varietals and is located just a short drive west of Austin and San Antonio. The quaint town includes notable wineries such as Fall Creek Vineyards, whose wines are featured throughout restaurants in Texas and New York, and Becker Vineyards, whose 2013 Provencal won a double gold medal at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Couples looking to take a self-guided tour of the Hill Country wineries will enjoy a drive down Wine Road 290, which encompasses 13 award-winning wineries including Becker Vineyards, Chisholm Trail Winery, Fredericksburg Winery, Grape Creek Vineyards, Hilmy Cellars, Hye Meadow Winery, Pedernales Cellars, Rancho Ponte, Texas Hills Vineyard, Torre di Pietra, William Chris Vineyards, Woodrose Winery and 4.0 Cellars. With so much wine tasting in so little time, stay for the weekend at any of the 400 romantic B&B’s, Guesthouses and Inns.
No matter what your idea of romance is, celebrating Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or just spending quality time with your loved one,  will be memorable in the Lone Star State.