Time for a Quick Get Away

I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a vacation from time to time, and sometimes a lot of the time. Well, the good news is, you don’t have to spend a ton or book a lot of time off to get that away-time and the relaxing and refreshing feeling that goes with it. Instead of scrolling through your Instagram feed, longingly liking those exotic vacation pics from your favorite blogger, hop in your car, book a hotel, and drive to one of these fun cities that are just a few hours away from Houston for a little getaway weekend!

Drive time: about 3 hours
Favorite spots: South Congress Café, The Oasis On Lake Travis, Jo’s Coffee, Voodoo Doughnut, Dolce Neve Gelato, The Westin Austin Downtown 

Austin has been getting a lot of good press lately due to its hipster-cowboy quirky vibe and fun nightlife. It also has fantastic food (Voodoo doughnuts anyone??) and a beautiful park along the Colorado River that runs through the city. Rowing and other water sports are a favorite, so if you always wanted to learn to paddle board, this is your chance. The city is also surrounded by fun spots to go tubbing if you’re more in the mood to float around than engage in physical activity. If you’re looking for a more romantic getaway, drive a little outside the city to the Oasis at Lake Travis, a gorgeous lookout point over the lake and hotel resort, with great food and drinks and a fun atmosphere. And as a special plus, the hills around the lake will transport you to a landscape resembling more a Mediterranean coastal town than the middle of Texas!

San Antonio
Drive time: about 3 hours
Favorite spots: Supper at the Emma Hotel, The Alamo, The Botanical Gardens, the River Walk
Another great city within a short distance from Houston is San Antonio, a great town to visit over the weekend especially if you have children, as it is one of the most historic cities in Texas (the Alamo being its chief attraction). It also has fantastic food and a Spanish Colonial charm that is hard to find in other Texas cities. The Saint Anthony Hotel is a beautiful place to stay if you love a 1930’s vibe, as it has been wonderfully restored with a great mix of antique and modern decorative touches, with a rooftop pool to cool down and relax. San Antonio is quite vibrant at night, with a lovely river sidewalks along the canals which twist and turn around the downtown area.

New Orleans
Drive time: about 5 hours
Favorite spots: Café du Monde, NOLA Restaurant, Commander’s Palace, Garden District
New Orleans is a great town to visit on any long weekend, not just Mardi Gras! Chock full of history and architecture, it’s a beautiful place to go and explore during the day and indeed be transported to a different time. The French Quarter, of course, is a must see by day and by night, with plenty of fabulous restaurants that combine good ol’ Cajun cooking with a more refined setting. If you’re planning a special occasion weekend, the Commander’s Palace is a beautiful spot to celebrate an anniversary or other events you deem worthy. The dress code is a bit strict so make sure you check out the website and book in advance. And if you were a fan of American Horror Story – Covent, the witch’s academy is a real house that you can go check out! It is called the Buckner Mansion and is privately owned, so you can’t see the inside, but it’s a fun place to stop by and explore the historical neighborhood its situated in.

Written by Gemma Carey Nedelec