A Guide to Your Next (Much Needed) Vacation
Let’s face it. After the year and a half we’ve had, many of us (okay, most of us) are in need of a serious getaway. Whether it’s a day-cation, a weekend away, or longer (you’re looking forward to boarding that plane to a sandy destination), here are three vacation ideas to get your summer plans going.
Get Away for a Day
Sometimes keeping it simple and close-to-home is the most relaxing way to travel. That way, you can land in your own bed at the end of the day. We’ve got a plan for that:
- The Old Baker Hotel – Okay, food first. On the way out of town, grab a quick lunch. Hot Chicks (opening soon), Cafe 23:5, Drakes Yoke and Sunny Street Café all have you covered. Then, jaunt over to check out the progress on the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells. No, it’s not quite open yet, but it’s fun to see the progress of this massive remodel. It’s a beast of beautiful architecture.
- Vintage Shopping – On the way back through Weatherford, check out a giant, eclectic vintage shop, auctioneer and federal firearms dealer called A Step Back’N Time. It’s all set in an old funeral home right across from Parker County Courthouse. Interesting (if not a little creepy) if you love old buildings. There’s even a vintage hearse parked around back. (Also a little creepy, but actually very cool if you love old cars.)
- Vintage Cars – Speaking of old cars, right next door is the Vintage Car Museum. They have cars from every decade on display, including LBJ’s Lincoln Continental convertible. Part of the museum is set in a historic horse stable built in 1886 with a rustic western ambiance, exposed brick, stone, open rafters and high ceilings.
- Pizza on the Patio – On your way back this way, wind down your day at Parker County Brewing Company. Pizza and brewskis on the patio? It is your vacation day after all.
Get Away for a Weekend
If several days away feels about right, take a trip down to Hill Country. Fredericksburg is thriving and inviting you in again for wine tours, shopping and meandering down Main.
- First Fridays Art Walk – If you’re into art, and we’re talking fabulous fine art, check out Gallery 330 right on Main street. Every first Friday galleries host guests party-style with a festive vibe and a glass of vino (which will be held by your perfectly manicured hand, of course).
- Nightly Bat Emergence – Just about 13 miles outside of Fredericksburg, millions of Mexican free-tailed bats leave an old railroad tunnel every night during the warmer months — May through October. All set in Old Tunnel State Park, you can reserve a seat and watch them fly. It’s totally worth the drive.
- A Burger to Remember – While you’re over at the bat cave, go next door to Alamo Springs Cafe. In what feels like the middle the country (because it is), this burger and beer oasis features a huge outdoor patio and some of the best double-decker burgers in the state. You may wonder how people ever find this place. Making the cover of Texas Monthly certainly helps. And, the amazing food certainly doesn’t hurt.
Get Away for a Week
If landing on a beach sounds like perfection, hop a direct three-hour flight to Nassau, Bahamas. Nassau is far enough to feel like luxury yet close enough to have your toes in the sand by the time you can say Bahama mama. There’s a lot more to Nassau than the touristy cruise port:
- Pigs on a Beach – Have you met the Bahamian pigs? They’re sand- and water-loving creatures (who knew!?) who are ready to greet you during your day-trip boat outing. Sandy Toes is just one of many boat excursions that will take you to greet the pigs, kayak the ocean, and just laze on the beach. Lunch included!
- Queen’s Staircase – After the obligatory few days in the sand, take in some history at the Queen’s Staircase, a massive 66-step limestone staircase named for Queen Victoria’s reign. (Raise your hand if you need a few F45 sessions to make this happen. *raises hand*)
- Tuscan Steak – Sure, conch fritters are a given, but reserve one night for a Tuscan Porterhouse. Why would you, lifelong Texan, fly to the Bahamas for a steak? Good question. Because Nassau is now home to Dario Cecchini’s first restaurant outside of Italy. It’s called Carna and it’s everything you want it to be. You might know Dario’s name from Netflix’s Chef’s Table or have heard his philosophy on butchery; he’s Italy’s famed 8th generation butcher who is known for his family-style restaurant and butchery back in Panzano.
Your beach vacation actually starts with the prep because isn’t the anticipation is half of the fun? Get pre-tanned with 2 Ten Salon & Studio’s spray tan happy hour every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A beach vacay is also your excuse to invest in those Tory Burch shades you’ve been eyeing. Wink wink.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, enjoy your precious time exploring with friends and family back out in this big wide world! Happy travels!