Cool Quarters

by Melissa Gaskill in Summer 2017

Eight Totally Texas Places to Spend the Night

By Melissa Gaskill

Texas boasts a rich history, a vast and varied landscape, and a culture like no other state in the nation. It stands to reason that all of this would result in unique and fabulous places to stay. Here are eight properties that serve as destinations in their own right as well as great bases to explore from.

1. The Quarters at Presidio La Bahia, Goliad. Built in 1749, this National Historic Landmark is one of the finest remaining examples of a Spanish frontier fort. Soldiers stationed here fought against the British during the American Revolution and against Mexico before Texas declared independence. The Quarters, part of the presidio that once housed Mexican officers and, later, Catholic priests, includes a full kitchen and two bedrooms.

2. La Posada Milagro Guesthouse, Terlingua. High on a slope in this ghost town with mesmerizing views of Big Bend’s mountains, the inn includes five unique guest rooms created from stacked rock ruins. Enjoy the view from two outdoor areas with fire pits and an outdoor kitchen. The guesthouse coffee shop, Espresso y Poco Mas, serves homemade breakfast and lunch and the Starlight Theatre’s live music, antelope burgers and prickly pear margaritas are a short walk away.

3. Dofflemyer Hotel, San Saba. Built in 1913 by W.C. Dofflemyer, this structure housed the San Saba National Bank and, on the second floor, The San Saba Club, a gentlemen’s social club. Today, it includes a first-floor hotel lobby and five rooms and one corner suite on the second floor, each with individual Hill Country décor, wood floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, tall windows and gloriously spacious bat

 4. Perini Ranch Camp House, Perini Ranch, Abilene. This modern house built in old ranch-house style has a main room and sleeping porch, as well as a small kitchen. Continental breakfast and beverages are provided. Head over to the famous Perini Ranch Steakhouse for gourmet cowboy cuisine – burgers, steaks, catfish, green chili hominy, green beans and cowboy potatoes. Wash it all down with a Mesquite-a-rita or Cowboy Martini. Acres of rustic scenery and wildlife surround the house. Sit on the covered porch and watch the sun go down or come up.

5. Cibolo Creek Ranch, Chinati Mountains. High-end guest rooms featuring fireplaces, tile floors, and rustic furnishings occupy El Fortin del Cibolo, an adobe fort built by rancher Milton Faver in the 1800s and restored by current owner John Poindexter in 1990. Rooms overlook either a spring-fed stream through a lush courtyard or a serene lake. Accommodations include three meals a day, served family style, and the ranch offers jeep tours, hiking, horseback riding, stargazing and more. Faver also built El Fortin de la Ciénega and El Fortin de la Morita, each now a secluded retreat deep in the 30,000 acres sprawling over the Chinati and Cienega mountains in far West Texas. Poindexter also restored grasslands on the property and reintroduced native wildlife, including bison.

6. Lofthaven at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, Lake Travis. The Lofthaven treehouse encircles ancient cypress trunk in this tree-lined ravine. Enjoy watching the sunset and listening to the creek from chairs on the wraparound porch before sleeping snugly in the canopy bed or hammock inside. A suspension bridge connects to a private bathhouse with a waterfall- filled tub. The property includes three other treehouses: Juniper, Willow and Nest. A night’s lodging includes a zipline tour along the creek.

7. Ranch House, Galveston Island State Park. Built for hands at the old Stewart Ranch on the island’s west end, the three-bedroom, two-bath house has a spacious living area with a fireplace and a shady deck. It also has a kitchen with microwave, refrigerator and stove and an outside grill. The 2,000-acre state park, the only piece of public land that still straddles the island, stretches from beach to bay with prairie in between.

8. Lighthouse Cabin, Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The Civilian Conservation Corps built three rock cabins on the wall of Palo Duro Canyon – the Lighthouse, Goodnight and Sorenson. All three overlook the dramatic landscape below—Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the country—with the Lighthouse patio providing the best view and the most privacy. Each cabin sleeps four, with fireplaces, refrigerator and microwave, bathroom, plus outdoor picnic table and grill. Be sure to step outside at night for impressive starry skies.