They say the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. But if you’re visiting Dallas, Austin, Houston, or any of the other big cities in the state, their bright lights can make those stars kinda hard to see. That’s why any trip to Texas should involve getting out into its vast countryside, where you can appreciate the big skies, endless rolling hills, and red-rock deserts without the crowds and lights of the cities. There’s no need to rough it too much though. The folks at Glamping Hub showcase some of the best glamping spots in Texas.
Live the quirky Austin dream in this three-bedroom dome house, where the interior is done up in wood triangles and comes with a perfect view of the Austin skyline. The two-story home is full of bright, open space with plenty of windows and magically high ceilings. You’ll find two separate bedrooms plus an upstairs fold-out, as well as a tiled bathroom with a rain shower. Cool as the inside is — with a flat-screen TV and sleek Mac desktop — the outside may well be the highlight of the property. There, you can grill up your own Texas barbecue and enjoy it on the sunny wraparound patio before ending the night under the big Texas sky in your private hot tub.
After a long day exploring the Texas hill country, nothing will feel more welcoming than the plush queen beds and light wood at this yurt in the trees. Ascend a single flight of stairs and find yourself eye-to-beak with the birds that wake you in the morning, which may well then join you for breakfast on the Adirondack chairs atop the spacious wood patio. You’ll also get a bathroom with a stand-alone tub, a coffee maker, TV, and WiFi — amenities not always found in canvas yurts. But this is glamping, after all, so if you’re worn out from hiking or just had a few too many samples at the nearby Last Stand Brewery, you’ll have an exceptionally comfortable place to pass out.
Travel back to the golden age of rail travel with this decked-out boxcar from the Santa Fe Southern Railway. The inside feels more like a log cabin in the forest than a luxe rail car, though, offering a cozy, wood-lined interior done up in red plaids with rustic bunk beds. Though it may look remote, the boxcar comes with electricity, hot water, and WiFi, and the 40 acres it sits on are also home to a farm where you can pet and brush the animals. The car is a short walk to downtown Glen Rose, Texas, if you’d rather dine out than use the limited kitchen. And if you need a real change of scenery, Ft. Worth is about an hour’s drive and Dallas is just over 90 minutes.
Set just steps from the Colorado River in Spicewood, this bright silver Spartan Airstream has been fully updated with an interior that looks a little like a Hamptons beach house. But the surroundings are much the opposite, set deep in the Texas Hill Country outside of Austin. The trailer looks almost like a 1950s diner where inside you’ll find two bedrooms, one with a queen bed and another with bunks. You’ll also have access to the property’s swimming pool and gym, so if the confines get a little too cozy you’ll have plenty of options to blow off steam.
Cap off a long day of drinking beers and tubing down the Guadalupe River with . . . more beers around a campfire. The eight teepees on this property are perfect for large floating groups looking for a base, where the massive modern teepees all surround a fire pit ideal for late-night revelry. Each structure comes with two or three queen beds, a TV, and a small kitchen, plus a private separated bathroom. So while you might have to walk outside to do your late-night business, your walk won’t be far. The teepees have easy access to the river, where even if you’re not down for tubing you can still enjoy a waterfront breakfast or late-evening cocktail.
This old-style ranch house almost looks like it was created on a Hollywood backlot, with rickety wood steps and railings leading up to a log-pile lodge with a grand stone chimney. The inside is filled with more jagged-log furniture, from the massive main dining room to the spacious caterer’s kitchen. If you’re freaked out by animal heads, skulls, and mounted fish, this outdoorsman’s paradise isn’t for you, as nearly every room is adorned with some kind of hunting trophy. There’s even a chair made out of cow horns, no joke. That’s why for a true group Texas getaway, this ranch immerses you in Lone Star culture better than any resort.
Cost: $170/night per cabin
Perhaps you read our list of coolest towns in America (if you haven’t, do it now — it’ll change your 2020 travel plans) and were inspired to visit this little artists’ enclave deep in West Texas. And then looked into lodging options and found them a little… limiting. This cabin puts you squarely in the Marfa state of mind, an Art Deco-adobe hybrid with concrete floors and a spacious back patio complete with a mural of the surrounding desertscape. Marfa is about 20 minutes away by car, but heading south from the cabin you can also be in the Big Bend state and national parks in about an hour.
This big, white house feels a little like living inside a tree as the oaks that surround it pop out of the spacious deck wrapping around the property. The Texas sky will never look bigger than it will from your private fire pit, where you can relax after a long day of exploring the hill country, about half an hour from Austin and an hour from San Antonio. The house may be small, but it includes WiFi and a private bathroom, as well as heat and A/C just like the main house. You’ll also be right near a tranquil little pond where you can enjoy the sunset from a well-placed waterside table.
The next time you leave a door open in the office and the resident smart-ass says, “What, were you raised in a BARN?” now you can coyly respond, “No, but I spent the night in one once.” This classic red barn has been completely renovated inside, with a downstairs common area covered in old license plates, a tin-roof ceiling, and full brick walls. Though it has an indoor outhouse — which serves as the downstairs toilet — it also features a private movie screening room, complete with over 200 Blu-Ray DVDs and a home theater system, which will make for a nice place to collapse after a long day at the nearby Air U indoor trampoline park.
It’s not often you get to stay in a tree yet still be right on the water. But such is the magic of vacationing on the bayou, where you can literally stay in a house set among water-rooted trees. Caddo Lake — the odd natural lake in the Lone Star State — lies on the Texas-Louisiana border, and this cabin gives you a front-row seat to all the fish, birds, and alligators that call it home. You’ll enjoy sunsets over this swampy stretch of East Texas where your private over-water deck allows you to enjoy a drink while the evening fish jump. Five guests fit comfortably here, with a queen-sized bed in one bedroom, and a double-single bunk bed in the other. You’re also a short drive from the town of Jefferson, where horse-drawn carriages take you on historic tours of the city. You’re also not far from the casinos of Bossier City, Louisiana, if you’d rather spend your vacation with slot machines.