The more time that I spend in Texas and the more I learn about it, the more I realize that my generalizations and stereotypes aren't correct. I always assumed that it was George W. Bush territory and little else—when really it's home to history, amazing food, and interesting landscapes.
However, Dallas, Austin, and Houston are a little overdone. I want to see the real side of Texas (and the cheaper side), so I'm gonna look at places like Irving and South Padre Island. Hipmunk Hotels shows us how to do lodging there right, and these spots make for a fun, domestic getaway pretty much any time of year.
Those Hip Warehouse Vibes
Seriously, what is it about old warehouses that screams "we're making a comeback?" Practically everything housed in one becomes all the rage, and NYLO Irving/Las Colinas is no different. It's super contemporary with brick walls, open ceilings, and, of course, string lighting along the pool. For between $100 and $200 (depending on availability), you get something beautiful that elsewhere would cost at least twice as much. Because it's about 30 minutes from Dallas, you are a little bit away from the hubbub—but in my opinion, that's a good thing.
Modern City Flare
Who knew Irving was so hip? The Aloft Las Colinas might be the most spacious and, quite frankly, colorful hotel you'll ever stay in. There's nine-foot ceilings in all the rooms, platform beds, and even a refreshment counter near the lobby. All for under $200 a night! This is a hotel that manages to not obliterate the budget while still being innovative, interesting, and definitely unique.
Okay, so sometimes you want something close to the airport so the rest of your trip is a breeze. Technically still in Irving, the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport is one of those modern high rises that people like the governor probably stay in. It's definitely less on the modern and more on the classically-sophisticated side, and prices come in at about $285 a night. Its location is great, and it's closer to Dallas than the other options so far on this list.
Hello, Lubbock. Apparently, also hip. Embassy Suites Lubbock manages to combine the architecture of the Alamo with a place that looks like it should serve fancy French cuisine. Rates are around $200 a night, which is more than most other Lubbock hotels, but you'll see (and taste) what you pay for—rates include a free made-to-order breakfast (!!) and a complimentary cocktail in the evening. Although it's a chain hotel, it still holds on to its Texas flare, making your vacation a little more complete.
A Caribbean Getaway
Well, sort of. A stay at the Schlitterbahn Beach Resort and Waterpark puts you on South Padre Island on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. Not bad, Texas, not bad. What's more, the cheapest rooms come in at under $100 a night, meaning this much-needed beach getaway won't break the bank. There's a heated indoor waterpark, so you can come any time of year. The resort also offers horseback riding, fishing tours, and even pirate ship trips. The hotel features wood from a large wildfire as a theme throughout, meaning your stay indoors will be as nice as your time out.
All this goes to show that Hipmunk Hotels can pretty much do the impossible: make us book our next flight to Texas. We paired up with them because we love that little chipmunk, and we would never endorse something we don't love. But this makes me wonder...does Hipmunk also know where to find the best tacos?
Image by dalmon