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6 most romantic cities in Texas

La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio. Photo courtesy La Cantera Resort & Spa

For a romantic getaway, look no further than Texas. Whether you and your beloved are craving a quiet gourmet meal, a secluded sunset hike, a couples’ massage, or a chance to learn something new together, we’ve got you covered with this road-tested romance guide.

We’ve selected 6 destinations from around the state with suggestions for where to eat, what to do, and where to stay. Each is ideal for setting the scene for your tryst, so cue the love songs, pack some candles and rose petals, and hit the road for an epic romantic escape.

1. Austin

Downtown Austin's nighttime lights reflecting against the Colorado River

Austin skyline along the Colorado River. Photo by Trong Nguyen/

Though other Texas cities skew more family-friendly, Austin is decidedly for grown-ups. There’s no shortage of things for couples to do: Discover new music, taste incredible meals, and hopefully grow closer in the process.

McKinney Falls State Park waterfall

Waterfall at McKinney Falls State Park. Photo by Jason Stitt/

Choose your own romantic adventure in Austin. Enjoy a Hill Country hike at Bull Creek District Park or McKinney Falls State Park. Rent bikes and explore the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail that spans 10 miles around Lady Bird Lake. Or drop by Blanton Museum of Art or Laguna Gloria, an outdoor-style museum that’s lovely on a blue-sky day.

Hold hands while walking down South Congress Avenue or the 2nd Street District, shopping for souvenirs of your coupledom. At Eliza Page, you’ll find popular “permanent jewelry” that’s welded rather than clasped, plus engagement and anniversary rings.

Couple dancing at Little Longhorn Saloon

Honky-tonk at the Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin. Photo by Cynthia Drake

In the evening, catch live music at Parker Jazz Club or practice your tango or salsa dancing with lessons from Esquina Tango. Is the two-step more your style? You’ll love the vibe at the Little Longhorn Saloon, where the dance floor is always ready for another pair of cowboy boots.

Lounge chairs surrounding the pool at Omni Barton Creek Resort Spa

Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin. Photo courtesy Omni Hotels & Resorts

Treat yourself to a stay at the AAA Four Diamond Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. This lush property nestled into rolling hills is home to the decadent Mokara Spa, offering treatments inspired by local landmarks like Barton Springs and Mount Bonnell. Before retiring to your room, indulge in a wine-pairing meal with a view of the sunset at Blind Salamander Kitchen & Bar. Chef Francisco Baca’s seafood dishes are a must.

You may also like: 14 don't-miss things to do in Austin, Texas

2. Fredericksburg

A guest room at Ololo

Inside a guesthouse at Ololo on the outskirts of Fredericksburg. Photo by Cynthia Drake

Nothing says romance quite like lingering over a glass of wine with someone special. Luckily for Texans, the Hill Country wine region is home to fantastic Texas-grown wines and is straight-up romantic in its own right. We love renting one of the secluded “Sunday house”–style B&Bs at Ololo, where each guest house is appointed with global furnishings and includes a private hot tub.

Five glasses of wine with cheese pairings

Wine and cheese tasting in Fredericksburg. Photo by Cynthia Drake

Spend a day enjoying a custom wine-tasting adventure. Texas Hill Country wineries offer a “couples’ passport” during February’s Wine Lovers Celebration Event. A $100 ticket for 2 grants access to tastings at more than 40 wineries in the region, including favorites like Bending Branch Winery, Spicewood Vineyards, and Ron Yates Wines for the whole month.

While you’re in town, stock up on body oil from San Saba Soap Co. The Pecan Oil Cologne Palo Santo Honey is made from local cold-press pecan oil and smells divine.

Then head out for a romantic dinner. We’re smitten with the special tasting-menu events at V Supper Club by Chef Jordan Muraglia (also of Vaudeville)—snag a table for a truly imaginative culinary adventure.

You may also like: 3 blissful days in Texas wine country

3. Lubbock

Though many people might overlook Lubbock for romance, hear us out: The home turf of one of the best balladeers of our time (Buddy Holly) has probably changed since your last visit, and the town is starting to come into its own as a haven of creativity. In short, it’s easy to fall in love here.

You may recognize Fredericksburg as the official “wine country” of Texas, but Lubbock’s surrounding farmland is responsible for a good portion of the wine made in the state. As a result, many tasting rooms have opened their doors in Lubbock, serving award-winning wines and paired bites. A favorite is Burklee Hill Vineyards, which has a chic, bright, open dining area where local singers frequently serenade diners.

While in Lubbock, see if there’s a show at the new Buddy Holly Hall, a palatial space with several theaters and multipurpose rooms suitable for comedy, opera, and more. First Friday Art Trail events are great opportunities to mingle with local artists, and there are free trolleys to help you hop from gallery to gallery. Pick out a new book at Wild Lark Books, a cute new space that helps support local authors with a companion on-site publishing company.

Cotton Court

Cotton Court Hotel in downtown Lubbock. Photo by Cynthia Drake

Romantic vibes abound over dinner at The Nicolett, featuring Chef Finn Walter, who formerly worked at Napa Valley’s Michelin-starred The Restaurant. Stay the night at Cotton Court Hotel, where you can snuggle up by the outdoor firepits and stargaze.

In the morning, say bonjour to Ninety-Two Bakery & Café. The cozy, French-inspired café serves phenomenal pastries and coffee and is an ideal post-sleep-in breakfast spot.

You may also like: Follow these routes for a retro Texas road trip

4. Fort Worth

Longhorn walking through Fort Worth Stockyards

The twice-daily longhorn cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stock Yards. Photo courtesy Visit Fort Worth

Skip over to Mule Alley for a matching pair of cowboy boots (aww!) in Fort Worth, a city that’s ideal for exploring a wild romance. This area at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards has transformed into a shopping and dining destination in recent years. Also check out Fort Worth’s Southside district for eclectic shopping and art.

Forth Worth Botanic Garden

Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Photo by Barker Digital/

We love a picnic moment at Fort Worth Botanic Garden. If it’s chilly, grab cappuccinos from Cherry Coffee Shop and head to the Japanese Garden or Rainforest Conservatory to warm up.

The outside of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Photo courtesy Visit Fort Worth

Visit the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for world-renowned works of art—not to mention the wealth of other cultural institutions (Kimbell Art MuseumAmon Carter Museum of American Art, and more) that are located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District.

Cowgirl mural on the outside of Sidesaddle Saloon

A mural of cowgirls at Sidesaddle Saloon in Mule Alley in Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of Sidesaddle Saloon

Want to learn something new together? Head to The Cookery Fort Worth or Central Market’s Cooking School to try a new recipe. For a lovely contemporary Mexican meal, visit Don Artemio and split the nopalitos fritos—cactus is considered an aphrodisiac. Then share drinks and secrets at The Amber Room, a speakeasy in the South Main district, or at the cowgirl-inspired Sidesaddle Saloon in Mule Alley.

Stay overnight at Hotel Dryce, a boutique hotel with one of the hippest lobbies in the city. Cozy up with cocktails on the couch while listening to some vinyl to set the right note for your night.

You may also like: The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District’s renovation puts a swanky new shine on ‘cowtown’

5. San Antonio

Cream puffs topped with chocolate and slivered almonds

Profiteroles with dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream, and slivered almonds from Brasserie Mon Chou Chou. Photo courtesy Pearl

San Antonio’s food scene has rocketed to new heights in recent years, welcoming culinary-curious couples to explore new flavors. Mixtli offers a truly memorable multicourse experience that journeys through a new region of Mexico every few months. Brasserie Mon Chou Chou feels like it was imported directly from Paris. Jardín Restaurant at the San Antonio Botanical Garden rounds out our romantic picks.

Market Square Puppets

Puppets for sale at the Historic Market Square in San Antonio. Photo courtesy Visit San Antonio

Enjoy a day shopping the boutiques at the Pearl neighborhood and the stalls of Historic Market Square for one-of-a-kind finds. Then stop at Ruby City, a contemporary art center with free admission.

A stay at La Cantera Resort & Spa is particularly romantic. Tucked away in the hilly outskirts of the city, you can really escape and relax here.

The on-site Loma de Vida spa specializes in couples’ treatments: The Play Time for Two package includes alone time in a secluded grotto area with an outdoor plunge pool, an outdoor shower, and a relaxation lounge with drinks and snacks. Paint each other with skin-softening botanical mud before your customized massage.

You may also like: Fun, fabulous San Antonio

6. Terlingua/Marfa

Terlingua is a destination that tops many a Texas bucket list, and we think it’s particularly well-suited for couples. The long drive to far West Texas will give you and your sweetie time to catch up and reconnect. Let go of your daily demands; this area practically requires you to ditch your cellular connections in favor of in-person ones.

Rio Grande River

Rio Grande river in Santa Elina Canyon at Big Bend National Park. Photo by Marco/

Seeking an outdoor adventure? Spend the day hiking in Big Bend National Park for stunning views and fresh air. Or book a guided rafting or kayaking trip through Desert Sports on the Rio Grande, stopping for the most scenic picnic lunch you’ll probably ever have in Texas.

Marfa is another great day-trip option, where you can meet friendly artists and gallery owners. Lose your schedule and surrender to your whims. For lunch, try the Sentinel Marfa, an airy, spacious café. Enjoy delicious coffee, cocktails, and snacks that also benefit the local newspaper.

The grounds of Cibolo Creek Ranch

Cibolo Creek Ranch in Marfa. Photo courtesy Cibolo Creek Ranch

You and your love can stay at one of the oldest ranches in Texas at Cibolo Creek Ranch, with views of the Chinati Mountains. Activities include yoga, meditation, and massages.

Austin-based writer Cynthia J. Drake is a frequent contributor to AAA Explorer Texas

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