As the largest state in the contiguous US, Texas has a whole lot of nature to explore, from the Gulf Coast beaches to the rolling Hill Country in the center, to the spectacular wilderness of Big Bend National Park in the west. Of course, camping is a great option, but sometimes you just want the comfort of sleeping in an actual building with walls, plumbing and other amenities. So, here are some of the comfiest, cosiest cabins and lodges in Texas – all relatively close (two hours or so) to the state’s major cities: Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin – and all bookable via Culture Trip.
About 10mi (16km) beyond the city of Brenham (halfway between Houston and Austin), you’ll find the rustic-chic Scenic Hill Retreat. Forget cookie-cutter, prefab cabins: the property has a selection of log cabins and a sprawling farmhouse to choose between. The former (mostly) feature their own hot tubs, porches with swings, barbecues and king beds. It’s a good spot for a digital detox: the retreat makes a point of not offering wifi or cable TV. There are walking trails on site – and if you’re looking to move around, you can head out to explore nearby wineries as well as the artsy town of Round Top.
Drive 100mi (160km) west from San Antonio and you’ll hit the small town of Leakey, on the crystal-clear spring-fed Frio River. There, you can stay at the positively tranquil Springs Lodging, with a collection of cabins and its own swimming hole on the river. It’s a great bet for groups: most of its cabins sleep up to six guests (one is geared towards couples), and some houses have room for up to 18. You can chill out by the fire pit with a s’mores kit, or by the on-site pool; or head out to Garner State Park, where you can float on the river in an inner tube, or go hiking among the canyons and fall foliage at Lost Maples State Park.
Slightly north of the city of Tyler – and about 100mi (160km) east of Dallas – is this collection of quiet and cozy cabins. The air-conditioned wood cabins, each with its own patio, hide among the trees, and the property delivers wifi, barbecues and bike rentals. Just 2mi (3km) down the road is Tyler State Park, where you can hike around a pine-edged lake; the area is also known for rose-growing, so make sure you factor in a trip to the Tyler Rose Garden.
Calling all thrill-seekers: this lodge is adjacent to the Spider Mountain downhill mountain-bike park, a little over an hour’s drive from Austin. But it’s not only for those looking to power uphill – positioned right on serene Buchanan Lake, it’s also a formidable spot for those looking to swim, fish or boat (or to visit the rock formations at nearby Longhorn Cavern State Park). Thunderbird Lodge has a collection of stone and wood cabins and cottages, each with barbecue facilities and picnic tables; larger properties can accommodate up to 20 guests – a great place for a party.
It’s got just four cabins – in the countryside beyond the welcoming small town of Round Top – which makes Stagecoach Cabins an excellent place to stay. Check in for a generous helping of Texan hospitality, courtesy of friendly host and owner Dempsey. The deal is: a clutch of homespun cabins on a peaceful green plain, with a communal dining area and fire pit. It’s located midway between Austin and Houston, approximately a 90-minute drive from each city center; the restaurants of Round Top and various wineries are all a short drive away.
Get a slice of Texan-cowboy lifestyle at this working ranch, one hour northwest of Houston, near the small city of Navasota. The comfortable and clean cabins come with wifi and TVs, and have multiple bedrooms, making 7D a great choice for families and larger groups (the largest house sleeps a generous 21 people). The ranch is good for those seeking an active holiday – the activities offered include hog hunts, handgun training and horseback riding (all for an extra fee).
Less than an hour’s drive northwest of San Antonio, family-run Al’s Hideaway offers 12 cabins that are a great fit for couples and small families; there are also two tipis for rent, as well as RV and camping spaces. With a 20-acre (8ha) property away from major roads, it’s a tranquil spot among the undulating landscape of Texas Hill Country. There are walking trails, plus it’s a short drive to the shores of Medina Lake (well known for its catfish), and state parks with plenty more hiking options; to eat and drink, head to the small city of Bandera for barbecue and a creative craft brewery. Check out, too, the wineries dotted around the area.
Silver Spur is a bed and breakfast-turned-resort, an hour’s drive east of Dallas, alongside the small city of Canton. The lodgings range from tiny houses (which the resort also constructs to sell) for couples, cosy TV-free cabins for families and a spacious ranch house for groups. The resort puts an emphasis on ditching the electronics in favor of quality vacation time – to help with that, there’s lots of activities, from an escape room to a pool, pedal boats, and catch-and-release fishing ponds, as well as an in-house barbecue joint.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.