Texas

Mom Knows Best: 10 Family Vacations in Texas to Inspire Your Next Trip

To help inspire your itchy feet, we've pulled together 10 family vacations in Texas recommended by Mom herself, from Dallas to San Antonio.

You’re yearning to plan a family vacation, but you’re worried about spending money and finding the vacation time to head across the country or even go overseas. Fortunately, you live in Texas, one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the country. Your backyard is already full of family getaway possibilities that most people could only dream of.

To help inspire your itchy feet, we’ve pulled together seven favorite family vacations in Texas from Mom herself.

Austin: Laid-back family fun

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For a blend of country-fried comfort and big-city cool, the friendly atmosphere of Lone Star Court welcomes guests of all ages. In the heart of the bustling retail and restaurant village known as The Domain, this eclectic motor court-style hotel is surrounded by a wide range of shopping and dining options within walking distance. Rooms are decked out in eclectic Texan decor, complete with vibrant colors and a sunny sense of humor. Another perk of this hotel in the Live Music Capital of the World: frequent live shows by local musicians in the courtyard, free of charge.

The hotel offers amenities like an onsite food truck, a sparkling swimming pool, a public fire pit and plenty of brightly-painted outdoor rocking chairs, but if you’re looking for air-conditioned fun, it’s just a quick skip up the sidewalk. There, a luxury iPic movie theater awaits you with leather recliners and gourmet snacks, and so does Punch Bowl Social, where the whole family can go bowling, play skeeball, enjoy arcade games and indulge in comfort foods galore.

For families looking to explore more of Austin, the hotel is also a quick drive from the underground wonderland of Inner Space Caverns, the innovative Thinkery children’s museum and a host of excellent recreational areas like the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Park. Amy Wilde

Lone Star Court, by Valencia Hotel Group

Top rated
Austin, 7.9 miles to Downtown Austin
9.0 Excellent (1201 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
Hotel CTA

Corpus Christi: Play in the Bay

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Corpus Christi has no shortage of bayside fun for families, so it makes perfect sense to book a hotel right on the water. Hotel Omni Corpus Christi is perched on Shoreline Boulevard, overlooking the bay and offering tranquil waterfront views. Kids ages 4-12 eat free at the hotel’s Glass Pavilion restaurant and enjoy the perks of the Omni Kids Crew: a backpack filled with games, crayons, stickers, and binoculars, plus complimentary milk and cookies on the first night.

Nearby, the Texas State Aquarium lets visitors experience the wonders of sea life, while local water sports outfitters rent paddle boats and jet skis for some family fun on the bay. Seafood restaurants abound up and down the shore, including a trio of eateries that jut out over the water, offering crystal-clear views, and Hurricane Alley Waterpark boasts an array of slides, kiddie pools and a lazy river for floating.

Once you’ve dried off, just up the street is the site of the city’s monthly First Friday Art Walk, and for music lovers who appreciate culturally immersive experiences, the hotel is a ten-minute drive from the Selena Museum, honoring the late Tejano music icon, Selena Quintanilla-Perez. Amy Wilde

Hotel Omni Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, 1.1 miles to USS Lexington
8.2 Very good (8625 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
Hotel CTA

Dallas: A hotel with professional child care

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The Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas is without question our go-to family vacation destination. There’s a professional childcare center onsite that rivals numerous pay-to-play spots (that you probably take your children to on special occasions), a family-friendly pool that not only has a large mock beach for the kids to build sandcastles in but more toys than the kids will know what to do with, and numerous festive events throughout the year, including outdoor movies during summer and visits from Santa and the Easter Bunny.

For rooms, you have tons of options to choose from, including multi-bedroom suites with cribs available upon request. The room service is also top notch if you’re struggling to wrangle all the kids together and get out the door. But it’s not all about the kids. You can’t miss the world-class workout facilities and resort spa, a nod to Mom and Dad’s R&R needs.  — Jessica Boscarini, Healthy Fit Fab Moms

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Top rated
Dallas, 10.6 miles to Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe
9.1 Excellent (342 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
Hotel CTA

El Paso: Something fun for everyone

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Earning the nickname “Sun City” for year-round sunshine, El Paso might get hot in the summer, but its unique terrain is great for exploring in the cooler months, and its indoor recreation is just as fun. The DoubleTree by Hilton El Paso Downtown puts you in the middle of everything, kicking off your stay with free chocolate chip cookies upon arrival. After filling up on wood-fired brick oven pizza on the hotel’s 7th-floor terrace restaurant, retreat to a comfortably-appointed double room for a movie on the 42-inch LCD screen, followed by a good night’s sleep

Located in the heart of downtown, the DoubleTree is a short drive from the city’s museum district, where the El Paso Art Museum, the El Paso Natural History Museum and the El Paso Museum of Archaeology offer free entry for everyone, including immersive kids’ experiences to keep them entertained and engaged during their visit.

For outdoor exploration, Franklin Mountains State Park is just a 15-minute drive from downtown, with ranger-led tours, self-led hikes, and a cable car ride on the Wyler Aerial Tramway, sure to capture the kids’ attention with staggering views of the rugged landscape below. Before heading home, treat the family to a traditional Texas dinner at Cattleman’s Steakhouse, located on a huge ranch featuring a playground, an aviary, and even a zoo. Amy Wilde

DoubleTree by Hilton El Paso Downtown

8.2 Very good (1483 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
Hotel CTA

Galveston: A little slice of Texas paradise

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With two babies in tow, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Galveston Beach Resort is the only place we’ll be heading for a family getaway. This little slice of paradise is set back on the island, so the evenings are peaceful, but there’s always plenty to do during the day. Whenever we go to this Galveston resort, we feel like it’s our home away from home. There’s something to do for every age range (including Mom and Dad).

It’s easy for us to put the kids down for bed, then hang out on the balcony with a glass of wine and enjoy the sound of the waves (which are less than a quarter mile from the resort). With the Galveston seawall nearby, we can spend our summer days at Pleasure Pier, shopping along the Strand, and of course at the beach. When it’s chilly out, there are great options like Moody Gardens and the Houston Children’s Museum, which is less than an hour away by car. — Nicole Davis, Bitter Sweet Beans

Holiday Inn Galveston Beach Resort

Top rated
Galveston, 8.3 miles to First Presbyterian Church
8.7 Excellent (1665 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
Hotel CTA

Grapevine: Waterparks and pools galore

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Our absolute favorite family escape is to the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. No matter the season, the Gaylord has activities for the entire family. With winter in full effect, you really don’t want to miss out on their ICE exhibit, which is themed differently each year. This year, the theme is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and it’s a walk-through ice exhibit carved with two million pounds of colorful ice. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The Gaylord also offers ice skating, snow tubing, gingerbread decorating, and an in house Build-A-Bear Workshop! My son’s favorite activity was waking up and having the opportunity to enjoy breakfast with Rudolph and his friends at the Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast.

You’d rather go in the summer? No worries there. Not only does the Gaylord have both an indoor and outdoor pool area, but there’s also an on-site water park, Paradise Springs, which is a 10-acre resort pool with a lazy river, water slides, and more.

Throughout the resort, they offer dining, shopping, and entertainment for all, including scavenger hunts and pool parties for your kiddos. And hey Mom, don’t forget to take time for yourself and enjoy an afternoon at their on-site Relache Spa! — Kristie Harrison, Share It Sister

Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

8.4 Very good (3547 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
Hotel CTA

Grapevine: A themed resort where everyone can have a blast

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If you’re looking for a fun getaway with the family, Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is the place to be. It’s located between Dallas and Fort Worth, and it’s a go-to destination for families. No matter the age, this themed resort has activities for everyone and it’s a great way to bond with the entire family. The main attraction is the indoor waterpark, but there’s plenty more where that comes from: An arcade, restaurants with amazing food, and a “wine down” service for adults when the kiddos go to sleep.

This resort also offers free unlimited WiFi throughout the resort and bracelets to wear that can be used to purchase items like food or gifts, which is great because you don’t have to carry your wallet. Another great feature at this resort are the packages on offer–character breakfast, birthday packages, and pup passes.

Planning on going during a holiday? Even better! From trick or treating throughout the resort to the snow land during the Christmas season–any stay at the Great Wolf Lodge will be a memorable one for the entire family. — Jeanil Garcia, Mommy with a Purpose

Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine

8.3 Very good (2180 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
Hotel CTA

San Antonio: A family getaway to The Alamo

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For a quick trip in Texas, there’s no better place to visit than The Alamo in San Antonio, and the Drury Inn & Suites San Antonio Riverwalk offers the best of amenities, location, and price in the San Antonio Riverwalk area.

The location is great, just steps away from all the Riverwalk’s fun entertainment and dining, and just a few blocks from the Alamo. Be sure to take a tour on one of the River Taxis.

After a morning of sightseeing, the rooftop pool is the perfect spot to cool off before heading out to dinner. At the 5:00 kickback, adults get to enjoy some complimentary drinks while the kids are welcome to popcorn and a variety of other snacks like chicken fingers and mac and cheese. To start your day, complimentary breakfast is served in the same spot every morning, featuring Belgian waffles.

We prefer a suite for the extra space, and the king suite was fantastic. It had a living-room area with a pull-out couch for the kids to sleep on, a mini-fridge, and a separate master bedroom for us with ample space around for all of our stuff. Plus the ceilings were vaulted, giving it a more open feel. — Junelle DuBois, Misadventures in Adulting

Drury Inn & Suites San Antonio Riverwalk

Top rated
San Antonio, 1 miles to Alamodome
8.8 Excellent (3202 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
Hotel CTA

San Antonio: Centrally located with plenty to do

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Looking for the perfect family getaway in Texas? Look no further than La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio. Centrally located and only a few hours’ drive from Houston and Austin, this resort has plenty to do and see. Designed to resemble one of Texas’s oldest working cattle ranches, La Cantera welcomes you with a warm and inviting vibe that is perfect for families with kids in tow. With excellent service, large guest rooms, and kid-friendly activities galore, this Hill Country destination is a definite must.

The resort makes every effort for children and parents to enjoy the many amenities at La Cantera without sacrificing luxury for parents or fun for the kids. Start your days lounging poolside and taking in gorgeous Hill Country views while the kids enjoy swimming, water slides, and splash zones. The poolside service is excellent and provides tasty eats and drinks for the whole family.

For lunch or dinner, you can hit up the family-friendly poolside restaurant, Vista Grille. Think refreshing cocktails and delicious fares such as salads and paninis for the parents as well as fun drinks and kid-friendly bites, like cheeseburgers and chicken tenders. Other activities include Six Flags, a kids club, and an arcade.

The resort offers a shuttle to and from Six Flags, so you can get dropped off and picked up right at the gates. After a long day at Six Flags, you can schedule the kids for a few hours at the kids club while you enjoy an adult dinner at Sweetfire Kitchen or a drink at Sire Bar, both located in the lobby. With so much to do and see, La Cantera should be on your families travel list this year. Tara Carr

Hotel La Cantera Resort & Spa

Top rated
San Antonio, 15.5 miles to Alamodome
8.7 Excellent (2655 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
Hotel CTA

San Antonio: A resort with something for everyone

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If you’re looking for the perfect family getaway in Texas, our family highly recommends the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas. We had the pleasure of spending the weekend at the resort for my birthday, and it provided much-needed fun and relaxation. The wonderful thing is that there’s something at the resort for everyone in the family. On location is a waterpark, complete with a slide, basketball hoops, a hot tub, and a floating river, which screams fun for the whole family. For any family member that wants to try something new, the Flowrider Wave Machine is a must-try! In the summer, treat the family to some hand-dipped ice cream at Papa Ed’s Pool Bar and Grill.

The Hyatt even offers bikes so your family can take a ride around the luxury resort. At the end of the day, you can gather everyone for s’mores or a movie in the lobby. Kids can even participate in daily games and craft activities.

You’ll also want to visit the spa for some pampering before you leave. Enjoy a massage, pedicure, or a dip in the heated outdoor pool before entering real-life again. — Rosalinda Perez, What A Sweet Journey

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa

Top rated
San Antonio, 12.6 miles to Alamodome
8.9 Excellent (2115 reviews)
Excellent Service 9 / 10
Hotel CTA

Feature photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine