Born and raised in Texas I have traveled to just about every corner of this great state and I have to tell you the Texas Hill Country is without a doubt one of my favorite areas on the map. Living in the DFW Metroplex can feel a little “busy” at times so when it comes time to planning a relaxing vacation, the hill country is always at the top of my list.
The Texas Hill Country spans across many ideallic towns and courthouse squares but my recent visit to Boerne, Texas and the 220 acre Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa has now clinched my heart as a Texas Hill Country favorite.
Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa is tucked away treasure worth finding in Boerne, Tx. On a recent weekend my best friend and I hit the road for an all girls road-trip getaway to visit this beautiful resort in hopes of finding some much needed relaxation and of course a little bit of fun. This was approved by my two lovely teenage boys who told me they were just as excited to have a stay-cation at home without mom. Wait!?What!? Well, we all have to stop and relax at times and this was our weekend to step away from the "mom" life where the car is always running for taxi duty and the dishes always need to be washed.
Oh, don't worry. Mimi and Papa had supervision duty so I came home to a house fully intact!
Just the beautiful scenery alone as you make your way down the winding country road to Tapatio Springs will get you excited about your stay. We arrived on a rainy afternoon and thought that might put a damper on our weekend. However, after checking into our room and sitting on our private balcony for just a little while, the rain lifted and we began to plan just how we would spend our weekend. From the friendly staff and our handy map we were given at check-in, we knew there were two amazing pools to explore (with poolside games), the Spa (always a girls favorite), Golf, dining at La Cascada, shopping in Boerne and more.
We decided not to plan our weekend too much which worked out really well for us. It was glorious just to relax and enjoy the resort at our own leisure. Over the course of the weekend, we visited the town of Boerne, relaxed in the pool and hot tub, watched the deer and ducks, ate s'mores around the fire pit, dined at La Cascada and so much more.
Needless to say I was like a pouting baby when the weekend came to an end and my bags had to be packed to head back home. If only I could stay one more day I thought to myself but real life mom duty awaited. At least we were headed home all refreshed and re-charged and that is exactly what we were seeking here and successfully found at Tapatio Springs.
If you're looking for a fun family vacation , a romantic getaway or even a fine dining experience (foodies welcome), you will find it all at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa!
Are you excited to plan your visit yet?
What Can You Expect at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa?
Here are some of the highlights from our weekend.......
As I mentioned, I live in the DFW Metroplex where I am surrounded by miles and miles of buildings and highways. Sometimes it’s nice just to get out of the city and experience the beautiful landscape of rolling hills and trees. The Texas Hill country has not shortage of beauty. From the wildlife to that small town feeling, you will get excited just making your journey to Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa.
Entering Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa
2. Outstanding Resort Staff
By far, the staff at Tapatio Springs is the best I have experienced at any resort. From the moment we arrived, the staff welcomed us and made us feel like we were old friends. When we checked in, we were greeted and given information about the resort and where we could find everything. Sometimes it can be confusing visiting a large property but not only were we given a map, we were personally escorted and shown points of interest like the pools and spa. It didn't stop there either. Our entire stay we were treated like they really appreciated us and any time we had a question, they were extremely friendly and helpful. For me, the staff can make or break a vacation destination and this was quality service at its best.
3. Room Accomodations
From Hill Country guest rooms to spacious King Suites and Specialty Suites, Tapatio Springs has you covered. Our guest room was spacious and comfortable and the bed was AHHH-mazing! The rooms are nicely adorned in a way I can only describe as "country elegant". The bathrooms are nice and spacious too. Our guest room had a shower/tub combo with vanity area that was separated from an adjacent area with two additional well-lit vanities. We really liked how we could both utilize this space comfortably at the same time without being crowded. You know how important a girls hair and make-up space is!! Another great feature to our room was the private balcony . Sitting on our balcony overlooking the lush green golf course just added another slice of heaven to our stay.
4. Fine Dining at La Cascada Table and Bar
Executive Chef Michael Collins has brought Texas cuisine to a top level and made Tapatio Springs a fine dining destination. La Cascada Table and Bar is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as happy hour. Friday and Saturday evenings you can enjoy outdoor dining and live music. We ate at La Cascada for dinner both nights during our stay and it was a top notch dining experience each time. The wait staff was friendly as well as fun to talk to. They really know how to take care of business and when our food arrived, we were in heaven. Not only was it delicious but it was almost a work of art on a plate! I highly recommend the Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer and the Pineapple Upside Down Cake for dessert! DELICIOUS!!
5. Pool and Spa
Tapatio Springs has two amazing pools. We spent a lot of time poolside and enjoyed every minute of it! Our favorite was the smaller pool as it was more geared for adults and featured a picturesque waterfall. The larger pool is great for families with children who can enjoy the waterslide and splash are with mini-fountains. There are plenty of activities poolside in this area as well. Here you can play cornhole, order a drink from the outdoor bar and even make a sweet smores treat on the outdoor fire pit. While we didn't get a chance to visit the spa personally, you can book an appointment for a day of pampering if you like. I will definitely be visiting the spa on our next visit!
6. Outdoor Fire Pits
Sit out under the stars and enjoy a delightful treat of smores. Our favorite fire pit was right on the golf course where we could look out over the beautiful greens and see the hill country all around us. Kicking back in an adornack chair and looking up at the night sky full of stars just does something to the soul. Ahhh.....I am relaxed now just thinking about it.
You don't need to be a golfer to appreciate Tapatio Springs but if you are then you will be in heaven! This 18-hole championship course has been rated a "Top Ten Course" by the Dallas Morning News and it is no wonder why. It is absolutely a sight to see. We didn't personally golf but we spoke to many families who came just so dad could play golf while they enjoyed the rest of the resort.
The golf course is invaded at night. No, I'm not kidding! I woke up around 2am one morning during our stay and stepped out onto the balcony. When I looked over the edge of the golf course I could see a slow moving parade of - well I really didn't know what of at first but as I came out of my slumber I could see that they were deer. Not just one or ten or twenty deer but a group of deer that numbered easily into the hundreds. I was in awe as I watched them for a good twenty minutes as they slowly trekked across the course for as far as I could see. They walked with such ease that it was a beautiful thing to witness. I guess you can tell I'm a city girl, huh?
Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa makes this a frugal family destination with special deals and savings promoted regularly on their Facebook Page. Head over to the Tapatio Springs Resort and Spa Facebook Page for their current promotions and to book your stay!
* Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort and Spa provided complimentary accommodations. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.
Summer has arrived and I am always on the hunt for fun and unique places to take my kids for a day of fun. When I learned that Dinosaur World is just about an hour away from the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, I thought it would be a great destination for a day trip.
I loaded up the car with my son and his friend and we hit the road for a day of adventure at Dinosaur World in Glen Rose, Tx.
As soon as we pulled into the parking lot we were greeted with life size Dinosaurs and the kids were immediately excited. We entered at the gift shop to get our tickets and took a few minutes to look around. The boys took a minute to make a souvenir penny and then they were ready to explore the 20 acres of all things dinosaur.
During our visit to Dinosaur World, there were many highlights. The boys constantly had my head spinning trying to get my attention to show me something new. I honestly didn't know what to expect at the park but all the attractions held our attention the entire time we were there. I'm going to share with you what you can expect on your visit to Dinosaur World.
5 Things You Will Love When You Visit Dinosaur World
(Dinosaur World has 3 locations: Florida, Kentucky, and Texas)
# 1 The Museum
Just as you enter the park, the museum sets in a building of it's own. There are several halls with displays of prehistoric dinosaur eggs, raptor claws, meteorites and much more. I wasn't sure the boys would be that interested but they were truly amazed at all there was on display. This is a very educational exhibit and we came away learning a lot we didn't know.
# 2 Dino Gem Excavation
I must admit I didn't know what to expect from the Dino Gem Excavation and thought it might be a little cheesy for the boys since they were a little older. Boys was I surprised! They had a blast and really enjoyed excavating for the gems. They were given pre-filled sealed bag of what looked like dirt and a wooden box mining contraption thingy.( I'm very technical in my description as you can see..ha..ha!) Next they were directed to a stream where they would sift their bag of mixed dirt and rocks to reveal their "gems". Best of all, they were provided with a baggie and got to keep all of the gems they excavated. This yielded a lot of beautiful gems they were able to take home with them!
# 3 The Dinosaur Path
The Dinosaur Path is a paved path that winds through the park featuring hundreds of life size dinosaurs. At each dinosaur display there is a plaque giving details about the species. We were on a hunt to find all plant eaters. The boys decided it would be great if these creatures still existed but they only wanted it to be the plant eaters. Smart kiddos!
# 4 The Koi Pond
Along the Dinosaur Path you will find a Koi Pond (don't forget to buy food in the gift shop). The boys each had a bag of food and the Koi were hungry! It was a blast to watch the fish fight over the food. I think the boys could have stayed at this spot forever!
# 5 Fossil Dig
Another interactive area of the park is the Fossil Dig. Kids will get their own sifters to sift through the sand and find fossils. There is a display in this area identifying which type of fossils can be found. Your child will be able to choose their 3 favorite fossils to take home with them. The boys were able to take home shark teeth and some other pretty cool fossils. The Fossil Dig is held at specified times each day so you might want to plan what time you will need to be in this area of the park.
Good To Know....
You can bring your own food and drink into the park. Covered picnic benches are provided next to the museum and also at the playground.
Wear comfy shoes. The Dinosaur Path is roughly a mile long and you will want to be comfortable! I wore flip flops and that was not such a great idea!
Brink along bottled water for your walk through the park. It gets pretty hot during the summer! Drink machines are available at the entrance of the park.
The Fossil Dig and Dino Gem Excavation are not included in the General Admission ticket price.
Kids can enjoy a large covered sand pit to uncover fake fossils and bones. This is not an additional charge.
Dinosaur World is pet friendly.
Dinosaur World in Glen Rose, Texas is located at 1058 Park Road 59.
Our home happens to be in the DFW area of Texas but as so many families experience, my husband works during the week out of town to provide a comfortable living for us. (Thanks Honey!) While most weekends he comes home, sometimes we head to visit him and experience all the fun sights and attractions near his work home.
Since he is located about 90 miles from the Texas/New Mexico border we decided to take on a day of adventure to Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Plus the fact that we were entering a new time zone really had my son excited. It's the little things for him I guess but hey, whatever makes the trip more exciting is just fine with me!
Each year Carlsbad Caverns plays host to around 300,000 visitors. Located about 27 miles from the city of Carlsbad, the caverns lie in the Guadalupe Mountains just beneath the Chihuahuan Desert. The drive into the park was absolutely beautiful!
When we arrived at the visitors center we purchased our tickets and were given the option to walk into the entrance of the cave via the Natural Entrance Trail which is a steep 1 1/4 mile descent (equivalent to 79 stories) or take the elevator down. We chose to take the elevator and leave the all the descending to the adventurers! Once we exited the elevator and were inside the cave, our exploration began.
Carlsbad Caverns offers several guided options which range from walking on paved trails to walking rough dirt trails and even crawling through narrow cave passages. For us personally, we decided it was best to take the self-guided tour through the 1 /1/4 trail. This allowed us to take our time and enjoy our surroundings. Inside the cave it stays a constant 56 degrees Fareinheit so be sure to bring along a light jacket or hoodie. It is also best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes (flip-flops not recommended).
We have visited a few caves in Texas before but I was impressed as soon as we set foot inside Carlsbad Caverns. The size of the cave is quite magnificient! It still boggles my mind that a treasure like this is just underneath the desert surface. There are more than 119 known limestone caves within the park all created by sulfuric acid. This is different than most limestone caves that normally are formed with carbonic acid. That is just one interesting fact we learned but there is so much more to this cave. The speleothems were really awesome to see. If you have a little aspiring geologist, they will love making a visit to Carlsbad Caverns.
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to take a jacket and wear a comfortable pair of shoes. Small children may get tired along this journey of over a mile, but there are short-cuts and even bathroom facilities inside the cave. There is also an underground café in case you get hungry. Just remember that you can't take food with you while walking inside the cave. You can plan your trip and learn more about Carlsbad Caverns HERE.
I can't believe the Fourth of July is already upon us! I guess that means it's time to start planning out our Independence Day activities. There's just something great about spending a day with friends and family then ending the evening with a great Fireworks display. We happen to live outside the city limits and our kids enjoy shooting off their own fireworks but if you can't do that (or don't want to spend the $$ doing that) then I have compiled a list of 4th of July celebrations and Fireworks Shows for 2016.
Notice that some celebrations take place on July 3rd and some on July 4th. While admission is free to these events, some will charge for parking so be sure and check out the Details links. Also, if you are attending the events before the fireworks shows, most have food and arts and crafts for sale so you will want to plan for that as well. If you want to be frugal, just go and enjoy the Fireworks shows before they begin! Happy 4th of July!
Sunday, July 3rd
The City of Dallas and KLUV's RED WHITE AND BOOM On the Bridge (FREE) July 3rd, 016
Activities, music and food for the entire family will take place from 5-10pm.Get more information and Details Here. Addison Kaboom Town! (FREE) July 3rd, 2016 Addison Circle Park opens at 4pm. Enjoy music from the 36th Infantry Band and be sure to catch the Air Show. Fireworks begin at 9:30pm. Get all the Details Here
Light Up Arlington! (FREE) July 3rd, 2016
Music and activities begin in Downtown Arlington at 6pm and conclude with a Fireworks celebration at 9:45pm. Find directions and Details Here
Southlake Stars and Stripes
(FREE) July 3rd, 2016
This event will be held at the Southlake Town Square. Fun activities for the family begin at 6pm and Fireworks begin at 9:30pm. Get all the Details Here
Monday, July 4th
Fair Park Fourth Independence Day Celebration: (FREE) July 4th, 2016
This event will feature fireworks with best seating located within the Cotton Bowl.
Fireworks Show time TBA. Check back HERE for up to date information and more details.
Fort Worth's Fourth at Panther Island Village (FREE) July 4th, 2016
Billed as the largest 4th of July Fireworks Show in North Texas, this event features live music, food and a free Kid Zone. Gates upon at pm and Fireworks begin at 10pm. Get all the Details here.
Denton Kiwanis Club Fireworks Show (FREE Admission) $10 Parking July 4th, 2016
This event is held in Apogee Stadium at UNT and will feature live music, food and kids activities from 6pm - 8pm. Find out all the Details Here
Granbury Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
(FREE) July 4th, 2016
Enjoy festivities on the town square all day long including a Parade at 10am then end your night with Fireworks at 9:45pm. Get all the Details Here
Summer has decided to make it's entrance here in Texas in the form of heat advisories so that means this mom is looking for some indoor air conditioned fun for the family. Gatti's Pizza has Great food, fun games and good family times all under one AIR CONDITIONED roof! Find an unlimited buffet filled with pizzas, pastas, a full salad bar, desserts and more fill the buffet. So much food! Plus, there's plenty of space to eat with the family in multiple themed dining rooms. Then it's on to the game room - which is huge! Video/arcade games, Bumper Cars and more! My readers receive these special offers: $10.99 - One Kids buffet, drinks & $10 game card - valid anytime OR $39.99 - 2 adult buffets, 2 kids buffets, drinks, 2 $10 game cards - Valid anytime http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=11854&dealid=1820 @usfg