Texas may not be the first place that you think of when you think of romantic honeymoons. However, there are many beautiful and often overlooked spots in the Lone Star State that make for romantic, fun-filled--and usually affordable--options for your first newlywed trip. Whether you're looking for a short post-wedding weekend to relax before a long honeymoon later, or your budget just allows for a quickie trip, consider Texas as a honeymoon destination.
Texas Gulf Coast
Along the Texas Gulf Coast there are three larger cities with many little beaches in between. On the upper coast is Galveston--the Gateway to the Gulf, so to speak--which is a larger city with many resorts and hotels. Check in to the Mermaid & Dolphin Inn for a cozy B&B stay, or the Galvestonian for a condo-style stay right on the beach.
In the middle of the coast is Corpus Christi, another nice beach town with fishing and good seafood restaurants. However, with a local university, you may have to contend with rowdy college kids.
Near Corpus Christi is Port Aransas, a smaller beach if you're looking for something more secluded, with some of the clearest water on the Gulf. You can also deep-sea fish, parasail, rent bikes and kayak. Try the Best Western Ocean Villa for a good value near the beach.
At the west end of the Gulf Coast near the Mexican border is South Padre Island, sometimes synonymous with college spring breakers. But if you visit at the right time of year, late winter or early summer, you should avoid the party people. Book a coastal-view room at the Sheraton Resort Hotel and enjoy its swim-up bar and beachfront location.
Honeymoons don't have to be tropical or near the beach. Texas' big cities such as Houston and Dallas offer swanky hotels, lively nightlife and first-class restaurants.
In Houston, do it up first-class: book a stay at the St. Regis or the chic Hotel ZaZa, dine at Tony's for a sumptuous Continental meal or at La Colombe d'Or in a romantic converted mansion, then toast your marriage at Skybar with rooftop drinks. Spend the day at the Museum of Fine Arts or at the Space Center, or just hang out poolside at your hotel.
In Dallas, check into the over-the-top luxurious Mansion on Turtle Creek---and if you want, never leave. Its restaurant consistently makes the nation's best lists. You can book in-room massages and drink on either the terrace or at the bar. If you must leave the grounds, stroll through the Nasher Sculpture Center or the Dallas Arboretum.
Austin, San Antonio and Hill Country
Austin, San Antonio and the surrounding Hill Country offer either a cool urban honeymoon in the heart of the city, or a bucolic, rolling hills and country-life kind of trip in the surrounding Hill Country.
Austin offers a bustling music scene, plus historic and romantic hotels such as the Driskill and the Mansion at Judge's Hill.
San Antonio's River Walk makes for a scenic honeymoon spot. Book a stay at La Mansion del Rio Hotel, with River Walk views, 24-hour room service and spa treatments available in your room.
If you and your hubby are the outdoorsy types, you'll fall in love with the hiking, bicycling, kayaking and sheer beauty found in Hill Country spots such as Boerne, Canyon Lake and Kerrville. Get cozy in a rented cottage such as the Bird's Nest Guest Cottages on the Guadalupe River near Kerrville, or check in to the Spa House at the Paniolo Ranch B&B in Boerne for a stunning view.