Things to do / Travel Guide
Texas is a big state, meaning there are plenty of romantic spots - especially in the bountiful southeast Texas region. Rolling hills, natural wonders, and quaint barrier island cities flourish in the region, as do a number of charming minority cultures that you might not expect. All these elements make for a truly romantic setting. Therefore, if a Texas romantic getaway isn't in your plans, maybe it should be.
Romantic Accommodations in Southeast Texas
Are you searching for an original region to spend a romantic weekend, an anniversary, or a honeymoon? Tempt yourselves with a getaway to southeast Texas. The region boasts big cities - and we mean BIG, like Houston, as well as many smaller ones, and the most endearing countryside scenes.
A singular countryside experience can be had in Texas Hill Country, with its ubiquitous German accents. One of New Braunfels' most romantic bed and breakfasts is Kuebler Waldrip Haus, with two buildings over 150 years old and a third built just recently but fully authentic. The original owner was a successful wine merchant. Stay in rooms like Katherine's Attic, the timbers of which go back to the original 1847 construction. Spread out in the king-sized bed, take a relaxing soak in the whirlpool tub, and enjoy the fresh air on the balcony.
The ideal place to stay in Houston's Montrose District, provided love is on your mind, is the Lovett Inn, a lovingly-restored Colonial-style establishment dating back to the 1920s. All eight guest rooms have been fashioned to provide the most comfortable Houston experience around. Relax in the sunroom, pamper yourselves in the outdoor Jacuzzi, and stroll around the landscaped yard and garden. Best of all, the self-service breakfast is actually a 24-hour affair, full of the requisite pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and more.
Downtown Galveston is populated by exquisite Victorian mansions, best represented by The Inn at 1816 Postoffice. This double-balconied wood-frame house is immaculately-kept and filled with antiques. The spacious rooms at this bed and breakfast come with king-sized beds and writing desks, and cast-iron tubs in the bathrooms. The walls downstairs are covered with photographs of Galveston, as well as of the previous inhabitants of the house. All in all, it's a wonderful place to use as a base to explore Galveston, or to just hang around and spend quality time together.
Romantic Dining in Southeast Texas
You'll find plenty of romantic eateries in southeast Texas - with plenty of meat on the menus, owing to the region's ranches. Find yourself a serene restaurant, and settle down for a romantic evening full of pampering and memorable moments.
In Austin, on the border of Hill Country, head to Aquarelle for some decadent southern French cooking. This is an elegant restaurant, where the head chef aims to please to his customers and is willing to build a custom menu with them. For a sumptuous evening meal, order the pan-roasted rabbit loin with artichokes and sunchokes. Save room for dessert, as the selection doesn't let up. How does this sound? Anjou pears with goat cheese ice cream, walnuts, and maple syrup. It tastes even better!
Houston boasts a full load of romantic dining spots. Representative of the lot is Café Annie, which is also a city favorite. It's a happy ambiance, not dark and dank like a dungeon, and it serves southwestern cuisine. They've got some original selections here, like a cinnamon-roasted pheasant with chili pecan sauce or the wood-grilled filet mignon with crushed coffee bean adobado. Desserts are to die for, and the wine list is world-class, with an extensive range of French reds and whites.
Seafood, anyone? Nothing like a meal of fruits of the sea to set just the right tone. Gaido's Seafood Restaurant in Galveston is just the thing. Talk about ambiance! This restaurant was founded in 1911, and has been kept in the family ever since. The platters come stuffed … to the gills. Try the whole flounder stuffed with seasonal seafood and basted in lemon-garlic butter. Or the lightly-grilled snapper with fresh lump crabmeat. As Gaido's is right on the beach, after dinner, you and your loved one can take a nice walk, the waves lapping at your feet.
Romantic Excursions in Southeast Texas
A favorite activity in the region's Hill Country is stargazing. The clear country air makes this activity particularly worthwhile. During the daytime, make your way into Gruene, where many of the original 1870s buildings still stand. Boutique shops and restaurants now inhabit many of the structures, making for a pleasant stroll and window-shopping opportunity.
In Houston, the first-timer will be awed by all the huge modern skyscrapers and the overall powerful downtown area. But just nearby you'll find yourselves in the Montrose-Museum District, a charming and historic residential area near the theater district, bursting with many restaurants and cafés as well as other nightlife.
Moving on to the coastal area, the two best areas are Galveston and Corpus Christi, a fun city with lots of outdoors attractions. After the 1900 hurricane that all but decimated Galveston, the city picked itself up and rebuilt, recreating a beautiful downtown and pier area. This historic district has been largely left untouched, so it's an obvious pick for a splendid romantic getaway by the sea. Check out what's showing at the Grand Opera House, one of Galveston's proudest buildings, dating to before the 1900 hurricane.
So that's it. Great accommodations in the hills of southeast Texas or on the coast, scrumptious food in lovely settings - the region is a treasure for romantics searching for something a little different. Get away from it all and pamper yourselves - you deserve it!
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