Are you tired of the same old boring hotels, spas, and resorts? If they don’t thrill you anymore, it’s completely understandable. There are much more exciting ways to spend your weekend.
If you’re looking for some quirky or refreshing fun over the weekend that you will remember for a long time, Texas has a lot to offer. Between luxurious camping and spooky mansions, you’re sure to find something that will tickle your fancy.
Here are five unusual ideas to try for your next weekend getaway. You’re bound to have a great time.
El Cosmico — A Perfect Glamping Escapade
If you want to escape into the sweet Italian philosophy of Dolce far Niente, relax, and leave the rush of the modern world behind you, El Cosmico will embrace you. This magical hotel and campground in Marfa, Southwest Texas, is a place for wanderers who would like to take a time-out and observe the timeless starry sky in peace.
The site is filled with various shelter options, such as trailers and safari tents as well as yurts and teepees, which provide for a unique glamping experience.
The town of Marfa is an artistic, hippy hub where you’re bound to meet interesting, laid-back people.
El Cosmico is next to many great attractions if you feel like exploring the surroundings. You can hike in the Big Bend National Park during the day. At night, you might hit the McDonald Observatory to admire the clear starry sky.
There’s also talk of the mysterious Marfa Lights, which some say are aliens trying to communicate with the funky people of El Cosmico (or they could be a mirage, but the former is a much more fun explanation).
Palo Duro Canyon State Park — Primitive Camping for the Brave
If you want a more active weekend, maybe it’s time to hit the famous Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching — no matter how you want to explore the breathtakingly beautiful nature here, you can.
However, if you want a more rugged and exciting weekend, you should try primitive camping here. To get to the primitive campsites of the park, you’ll need to hike half a mile along the trail. When you get there, you won’t find any designated spots, so you can pitch your tent anywhere.
This wild experience is ideal for those who crave seclusion and close contact with nature. However, if this is your first time trying primitive camping, you should prepare for it well in advance and make sure you have all the essentials.
Wear breathable clothes but avoid cotton since it takes a lot of time to dry and it sticks to the skin. Bring a good sleeping bag and a backpacking pillow, and don’t worry — they usually compress so you’ll find space for it. If you need to buy one, see here.
Rancho Pillow — A Weekend of Lighthearted Fun
Rancho Pillow in Round Top, Texas, is a perfect little gem suitable for all ages. If you’re wondering where to take your family, or you just want a colorful and rustic experience, you’ll find it here.
They offer a variety of options when it comes to accommodation. You can stay in an authentic-looking, old-school Dutch barn, red house, teepee, and even a surf shack. If you want to sleep outside, you can rent one of their luxurious sleeping tents.
There’s plenty to do at this happy ranch. You can enjoy a swim in a heated saltwater wading pool under the stars. If you’re bringing kids, they’ll love a cute little tree-house complex, where they can play away. You may even pick a relaxing read from the poetry library.
The staff can also set up various outdoor activities for you, including croquet, volleyball, badminton, kickball, and more.
All in all, it’s a perfect weekend getaway that can cater to all your needs while keeping the kids entertained.
Presidio la Bahia — A Stay at a Haunted Spanish Colonial Mission
Many have visited the old Spanish mission from the eighteenth century, but not everyone knows that you can sleep in it! The Quarters, as the small apartment within the building is called, used to house officers and diocesan priests before it became available for rent. Its rock walls and wooden furniture will make you feel like you have traveled through time.
However, beware that the Quarters is not for the faint of heart. During the Texas revolution, Presidio witnessed a major massacre during which the Texan troops were slaughtered by the Mexican army. It is believed that their ghosts still haunt the old mission, so look out for paranormal activity!
When you rent the apartment in the evening, you get exclusive access to the mission’s inner yard, which you can roam alone as you like — unless you’re too scared you’ll bump into Colonel James Fannin or some of his soldiers.
If you stay during the day, make sure to lock the door because visitors might not be aware that the space is private.
Cell Block — A Voluntary Night in a Jail Cell
Have you ever wondered what it was like to spend a night in jail? You can almost find out if you book a stay at the Cell Block. Of course, the experience is much more luxurious than actual jail, and you can leave whenever you want, but it makes for an interesting stay.
It’s in the heart of downtown Clifton, between Austin and Dallas. The sitting room and the bedroom with a queen-sized bed are divided by a jail gate, and so is the bathroom (but it features another layer so that you can’t see through it).
They also sell some merch, such as the cleverly named Don’t Drop Soap. If you’re a wine enthusiast, they also have their own private label — The Cell Block’s Tempranillo.
This cozy cell also features a stylish rooftop area adorned with lanterns and with a gorgeous fireplace in the middle to keep you warm on a chilly night. Who knows — it may even inspire you to dance some cell block tango while watching the stars.