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- The Texas Triangle: Boutique Hotel Stays Around Austin, Houston and Dallas
Once an independent nation for almost 10 years, even today Texas retains an identity that is still very much separate from the rest of the USA. Its size alone (261,000 square miles of surface area) means that it provides enormous geographical diversity, from barrier islands with windswept dunes to national parks, soaring pine forests, and mountainous desert areas.
It’s possible to fit Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands inside the borders of Texas and still have space remaining.
This also means that the climate changes quite dramatically as you travel across the state. Snow is common in the Panhandle, Texas’ most northerly point, whilst the Gulf Coast has a tropical climate, and the humidity in Houston can sometimes be almost unbearable.
Texas has 25 distinct metropolitan areas to explore, so it’s best to focus on just a few of these if you’re short on time.
Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington
Famous for its Cowboys and 80s TV series of the same name, Dallas is an American image-conscious city of enormous proportions that is filled with home-grown success stories, booming businesses, and, increasingly, an evolving emphasis on the arts.
But the Dallas area is not all about the state’s third largest city. Grapevine is a quaint, historic town that provides a sophisticated escape from the big city, yet is located just seven miles from the area’s main airport, Dallas Fort Worth.
Photo credit: 8428768228_104527c7c7_o by Dee Ashley via Flickr Creative Commons license
If you’d like to stay close to the airport and also in easy reaching distance of Dallas, Irving and Grapevine then the DFW Airport Hotel and Conference Center offers budget-priced rooms and a free airport shuttle.
If you fancy a little more luxury then the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center overlooks Grapevine Lake, and offers all the high quality services and amenities that you’d expect from a Marriott hotel. There’s 4.5 acres of lush indoor gardens and waterways, first-class restaurants, eclectic shops, and a full-service spa and fitness centre.
Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land
The city of Houston is the fourth largest in the U.S, but head south east on I-45 for approximately an hour and you’ll find Galveston, a significantly smaller municipality located on the barrier island of the same name, near the northern end of a 600-mile long Texas coastline.
Stroll around Galveston’s historic district, The Strand, and you’ll soon be won over by its sun-drenched charms.
Photo credit: The Strand historic district in Galveston by Kent Kanouse via Flickr Creative Commons license
Located along the serene Galveston sea wall and just minutes from the beach, La Quinta Inn & Suites Galveston Seawall West has a lovely outdoor pool and hot tub, and the staff will serve you a complimentary breakfast to set you up for a day of exploring the island.
Austin – Round Rock – San Marcos
If you’re a music fan, don’t leave Texas without visiting its progressive, laid back state capital, Austin. The ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ has an alternative, small-town vibe, and is a haven for artists, musicians, and writers.
Photo credit: Katz’s Kaddy by Gino via Flickr Creative Commons license
Couple your city stay with a trip out to Horseshoe Bay, one hour from Austin, and you’ll be perfectly placed for a wine tasting weekend at one of the surrounding vineyards.
The luxurious Horseshoe Bay Resort hotel on the edge of Lake Lyndon B Johnson offers beautiful views, ample opportunities to pamper yourself at the Bayside Spa, and a world of water sports at your fingertips.
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