Luxury Escapes Guide to Texas

Follow the dusty roads to where the steaks are sizzlin’ and folks are dreamin’ – this is where you belong – this is Texas.

Go beyond the dust-kicking, pistol-slinging cowboys of the Wild West on a journey to uncover the vast and boundless land of Texas. Captivating the hearts and minds of artists, comedians and restauranteurs alike, the Lone Star State promises wonder, unique landscapes and innovative flavours that wholeheartedly encompass the American dream. Contrary to popular belief, only 10% of the mighty state of Texas is made up of sprawling orange dust, cactus-filled, tumbleweed-ridden desert – we cannot skim over the rich history of this cowboy country, but we can fill you in on the many layers which define it. Instead, think of luxurious moments hopping between Tuscan-inspired vineyards, tasting revolutionised Mexican cuisine and mounting an agile horse to explore the foothills of the immense Chinati Mountains at a working ranch.

Take to the vibrant cities loved and nurtured by Texans who take pride in local music and the melting pot of cultures and diversity, paying homage to the Mexican heritage of the region. Houston is a metropolis constructed of fine dining, sumptuous steaks and a passion for theatre, while Austin embraces the work of successful and up-and-coming musicians and comedians. Welcome to Texas.

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Things to see and do

Catch live music or comedy in Austin 

Earning its name as The Live Music Capital of Texas, Austin is the place to unlock your love of music by catching a gig, ticking off a festival from your bucket list and feeling the beat of the city move through every inch of you. Music flows from every nook and cranny of this larger-than-life city, so much so that you literally can’t escape it (although why would you want to?), from bars and concert halls to all-encompassing festivals. Comedians also populate the capital with laughter – so buckle in, book a show, and celebrate Austin in all its witty glory.

Visit the Alamo in San Antonio  

Step back in time to experience Texas in the 1800s and see the history of the Alamo brought to life in a hands-on learning experience perfect for all ages. The Alamo in San Antonio is the site of a historic Spanish fortress from the 1700s that came under siege during the battle of the Alamo. Take a guided tour through the ancient establishment and battlefield, stroll through the Alamo Exhibit to see priceless artifacts and enjoy the living historical demonstrations that provide a feel for what it was like to live through the Texas Revolution.

Vintage shopping and rodeo in Fort Worth

When you think of Fort Worth, the first thing that springs to mind may be the year-long western cowboy Texas rodeo held at the Cowtown Coliseum – which truly is a hoot – but rest assured this bronco city is more than just cattle musterin’ and bull ridin’. Pounding the pavement will lead you to uncover a world of vintage stores bursting with pre-loved Texan gems – from lived-in cowboy boots to decorative nick knacks. No matter what your Fort Worth day turns into, finish it off with a cooling beverage at the best honky-tonk in town, Billy Bob’s, which guarantees a great night out.

See the galleries and neighbourhoods of Dallas

Is Dallas the new Berlin? Think trendy neighbourhoods, vibrant nightlife, thought-provoking street art, and chic galleries. Bishop Arts District and Deep Ellum share the load of the city’s music scene, Tex-Mex eateries, boutique shopping and entertainment venues, such as the cultural epicentre that is the Deep Ellum Art Co. on Commerce Street. This creative haven doubles as an art gallery for local artists, and a live music venue for hazy nights while out the back, you’ll find an art yard showcasing the street art of your dreams. Take your time in Dallas – the art cannot be rushed. Visit the Dallas Museum of Art, or study the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and embrace the creative atmosphere gushing from the city.

Dallas Museum of Art address: 1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States

Perot Museum of Nature and Science address: 2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States

Witness Houston’s love of theatre

Theatre darling, theatre. Houston is proudly the USA’s second largest theatre hub following New York City, and the downtown Theatre District is the perfect place to catch your favourite Broadway show, be inspired at the Opera and melt away at the Symphony. With over 80 theatres in the city, the performing arts industry is a key foundation and a major drawcard for visitors wanting to explore their creative side. With the massive variety of stage shows, musicals and performances in the city, choosing the right one can be a little tricky, but remember, there is no wrong way to do the theatre, just follow your heart and enjoy the ride.

Top places to eat and drink

Terry Black's BBQ in Austin and Dallas

You can’t get more Texas than with a fired-up grill, smokehouse aromas and the sound of sizzling pork ribs and all this can be found at Terry Black’s BBQ. The barbeque here is legendary, so much so that their menu clearly states there is a risk they could run out of meat due to the popularity of the joint. Located in Austin and Dallas, there is always a reason to visit one of these fine establishments, if not for the succulent beef ribs or the jalapeno cheese sauce, then for the hefty turkey sandwich.

Dallas address: 3025 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226, United States

Mexican in San Antonio 

Known around the world for its spicy, balanced and flavourful dishes, Mexican cuisine is a staple in San Antonio. The list of Mexican restaurants around the city is endless, but for a truly authentic mouthful of richly spiced meats wrapped inside a fresh tortilla, head to La Fonda on Main Avenue – add a cheeky margarita and you are set for a truly authentic Mexican feast. On a journey in search of the best Mexican food truck, head to San Antonio’s El Camino Bar and Food Truck Park where the atmosphere beneath the fluorescent fairy lights is as vibrant as the food.

San Antonio’s El Camino Bar and Food Truck Park address: 1009 Avenue B, San Antonio, TX 78215, USA

Margarita Mile in Dallas  

Calling lovers of tequila, lime juice and chunky salt – make your way to Margarita Mile for a free self-guided tour of Dallas’ best margaritas on offer. As the self-proclaimed home to the mighty Frozen Margarita, Visit Dallas has constructed the ultimate digital guide to ensure you hit the best marg-makers in town, claiming fun prizes along the way. Customise your mile with a huge selection of participating margarita masters all throughout Dallas, although most are conveniently in the city centre. Cheers!

The Original Ninfa’s Uptown Tex-Mex in Houston

All hail Houston and its humble foodie haven. With over 20,000 restaurants in Houston, foodies are never too far from a sumptuous meal, be it hearty Mexican, fine dining, or authentic barbecue. Taste the authentic Tex-Mex mastery from Mama herself at The Original Ninfa’s Uptown Tex-Mex, known to be ‘the best Mexican food in Texas since Texas was in Mexico’. As the legend goes, Mama Ninfa Laurenzo innocently started a culinary revolution from inside her family’s struggling tortilla factory by placing a sizzling piece of grilled skirt steak inside a handmade four tortilla, and the rest is history.

Lux moments

Explore the Fredericksburg Wineries and boutique stores

Sip your way through Fredericksburg’s best wines with a day spent on the Tuscan-inspired estate of Grape Creek Vineyard. Spread over 100 acres of Texan land, this winery creates liquid gold from the grapes typically grown in the warmer regions of southern France and central Italy. A gorgeous al fresco patio is set up for guests to admire the European-inspired landscape as they taste an impeccable drop paired with a lavish cheese platter of cured meats and cheeses, or a heartier meal of Tuscan chicken or lemon and dill salmon. Less than 90 minutes from Austin, Fredericksburg is home to charming boutiques, cosy hotels and fabulous wineries.

Visit a lavish working ranch

Go beyond the major cities and embrace the luxurious authenticity of a working ranch. Get back to nature in the beautiful Big Red Country at the foothills of the mighty Chinati Mountains and discover where 19th-century wonder meets modern luxury at Cibolo Creek Ranch. Boasting beautiful surrounding nature, a rich history and wonderfully lux amenities, this ranch spans across 30,000 acres and is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Allow the ranch wranglers to guide you through the breathtaking Big Bend Ranch National Park on horseback, return to indulge in a bespoke wellness session through yoga and meditation and stay in the opulent accommodation. Only a 40-minute drive from the town of Marfa, you will feel as if you have entered another world, so giddy up in true style.

Indulge at the best steakhouse in Houston

Steak and Texas go together like sweet tea and a hot summer’s day. Look no further than Killen’s Steakhouse for the ultimate Texan experience of stepping inside a moody dining establishment, ordering a Whistle Pig Whiskey on the rocks and taking your sweet time to mull over the premium steak menu. The choice between an imported Japanese A5 Wagyu, domestic Rosewood Ribeye, or a rich Westholme Australian Wagyu is no easy feat. Located in the south of Houston, this family-run restaurant is proudly known for serving only the highest quality steaks and seafood. Indulge in a romantic evening in the main dining room or book out the private wine cellar for a luxurious event.

Luxuriate at Fairmont Spa Austin

Skyline serenity awaits at the ultra-luxurious Fairmont Spa Austin, where uninterrupted views of the cityscape accompany the exclusively handcrafted treatments. Treat yourself to a day of luxurious pampering in Austin’s highly-rated haven of serenity, plunge into the saline soaking pool, mull in the eucalyptus steam grotto and detox in the European dry heat sauna. Glow from within after a Hyaluronic Acid Facial to quench thirsty skin and restore its natural softness and suppleness, relax into a full-body Himalayan Hot Salk Stone Massage to soothe muscle tension, or take your nails to new heights with a luxurious mani-pedi.