Summer getaways around Houston, TX?
July 1, 2010 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Summer getaways around Houston, TX?

So it's ridiculously hot in Houston in the summer and I've wanted to go swimming for a while. The neighborhood pool will not do anymore being 24, lol. The YMCA is an option, but I'm talking more than just doing laps with a bunch of old people all day. I want swimming and I want fun.

I've been doing some research on Lake Conroe, Houston, Livingston, and Somerville.

I just want something like a weekend getaway or a few days at a place with water and maybe me and a few friends. Renting a lakehouse/beachhouse or whatever it takes to have somewhere to stay for a few days and enjoy some swimming/whatever else. How much would something like this cost?

What say you Texas mefites? Can you help me in my quest?
posted by isoman2kx to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How do you feel about water parks? Schlitterbahn is awesome, and they are at New Braunfels (between Austin and San Antonio) and also in Galveston. My family loved the New Braunfels one, and we even stayed there for the last visit, though the accommodations were not as great as the park.

Take some good sandals to swim in, otherwise the pavement between rides will literally burn your feet.
posted by I am the Walrus at 9:03 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Schlitterbahn. We live in Austin and have season tickets now. If you don't want to stay in the park proper, there are some nice, and in some cases quite expensive, B&Bs in nearby Gruene. My husband and I used to make a weekend getaway of B&B/bahning it when we lived in Houston.

Schlitterbahn isn't cheap, though; it's $40 per day ticket or $70 for two days, which is why we do the season pass (pays for itself if we go 3-4 times, and we can do short trips after work). Accommodations would be on top of that. But you can drink in the hot tub, and that's always fun.
posted by immlass at 9:10 AM on July 1, 2010

So there's this place on the Seawall in Galveston at about 29th Street, it's called "Float." It's basically a bar, but it is also a pool. There is a deck. There are drinks. There is a pool. It overlooks the ocean. It is pretty much the best invention ever.

There is also Schlitterbahn on the west end of the island over by Moody Gardens which is a sort of typical waterpark attraction.

Rentals in Galveston can be expensive, but there are also some cheap options. There is a Motel 6 on I-45 just after you get onto the island (it's on your left) which seems clean-enough and is usually cheap during the week. But they double their prices on weekends ($79 v. $39-ish) so plan accordingly. Otherwise, you could always spend exorbitant amounts of money to stay at a Bed and Breakfast, or one of the resort hotels like The Galvez or The San Luis. I don't know how much those would cost because, being a native islander, I've always had a place to sleep here.

It's also possible to go camping at the state park on the west end of the island if you are looking for something cheaper and more... rustic.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:11 AM on July 1, 2010

I came here to recommend Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels and New Braunfels in general. You can also go tubing nearby. Bring an extra tube for beer. It's so much fun!
posted by vincele at 9:12 AM on July 1, 2010

Do you like camping? Inks Lake state park is a nice campground on a lake outside of Austin, about a 3.5 hour drive away - perfect for a weekend getaway.
posted by chrisamiller at 10:14 AM on July 1, 2010

nthing Schlitterbahn for the water park option (it's really nice for a water park--lots of trees and plus you're got the actual river). Seconding Inks Lake, too-it's pretty. Krause Springs is also really beautiful, as is McKinney Falls. I'd look into those and other Texas state parks for beauty & affordability! Most of them will probably have mostly camping facilities, but you might find some with cabins.

This isn't swimming-related, but if you're looking for an interesting and unique experience, Shakespeare at Winedale is a wonderful program near Round Top (about halfway btw Houston and Austin). It's a program out of the English Department at UT Austin. College students put on Shakespeare plays in a natural setting--a big old historic barn that's been converted to a theater. The countryside is beautiful, the plays are interesting, and the program has a big loyal following--you'll get a chance to meet interesting people who have been connected to or fans of the program for years (sometimes decades). Bring a picnic, sit out an enjoy an early dinner, then go into the barn to watch an evening show! (There are daytime performances too, but they are hotter!) More info here:

Schlitterbahn, as others have noted, isn't cheap, but Inks Lake and Krause Springs are very reasonable. Winedale tickets are around $10.
posted by aka burlap at 10:26 AM on July 1, 2010

Double Lakes up near Cold Springs north of Houston is a local favorite. They have camping and a swimming friendly fresh water lake.

As is El Jardin Beach on Galveston Bay is a local "secret" beach tucked away behind the communities around Seabrook and LaPorte.

As for getaways, Hotel ZaZa and OmniHouston both have excellent pools with pool bars(they used to host word of mouth pool parties monthly, but I am not sure whether that's still going. Still, they'd be great getaway spots to hang out by the pool during the day and then be in the heart of midtown at night.

Woodlands Resort has a very nice "Forest Oasis Waterscape" as well as plenty of other amenities.

Chain O Lakes in East Texas is good too for a water getaway. Try the Artesian Lakes Retreat, which also has the more or less famous Hilltop restaraunt. This is on our short list of couples weekend getaways.

And if you don't mind going as far as Bastrop, Lost Pines Hyatt Resort has an excellent pool and water park. It's one of my family's favorite places to be. A real (but kinda spendy) treat. Last year I told everyone that I didn't want Christmas presents. All I wanted to do was take everyone to Lost Pines for New Years. They have excellent holiday and special event packages.

These are on my "whisk away" list for my wife. The list of options I would take her when we want to get away and just hang somewhere without kids.
posted by cross_impact at 10:27 AM on July 1, 2010

Seconding aka burlap on checking out state parks. Pedernales Falls State Park is one of the best for swimming. Also, the hike-in primitive camping site is great. It is at the top of a high bluff that overlooks the river and the surrounding hill country.

Although the park is on the other side of Austin from Houston, it is a relatively short trip (compared to Garner or Colorado River Bend) because you can take interstates most of the way.
posted by SugarFreeGum at 10:35 AM on July 1, 2010

List of the best swimming holes in Texas.
posted by *s at 11:55 AM on July 1, 2010

Which park has better swimming/camping? Pedernales or Inks Lake? I don't mean to hijack the thread but the timing was fortuitous. My boyfriend and I are planning to getaway from Austin for a couple of days and water is also a must. Schlitterbahn was on the list but we both watch our budgets like a hawk and aren't willing to spend too much. Though I suppose after paying for supplies and park entrance fees, camping isn't that much more wallet friendly.
posted by vilandra at 12:00 PM on July 1, 2010

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