Though my ideal getaway involves a long drive to a less-populated area, I’m as happily lured away to any of Texas’s thriving metropolises to traipse through world-renowned museums, eat at nationally fussed-over restaurants, and scratch off major bucket-list sights. And while there are plenty of big-city hotels worth checking into (a number of which you’ll find on our recent “best hotels in Texas” list), it’s often a more rewarding experience to make like a local and drop anchor at a residential rental. Here are a few of the temporary homes-away-from-home that you can make your own during your next urban escape.

(And, for those rural hamlets and seaside towns where hotels are fewer and farther between, consult our list of rustic rentals and coastal rentals.)

AUSTIN
(Despite recent pushback on short-term rentals and tightened ordinances, there are still plenty of hotel alternatives in the Capital City. For now, at least.)

East Austin // The Aust-E

Urban Vacation Rentals Austin

via VRBO

$369/night avg (2- to 3-night minimum) | sleeps 7 | open floor plan | 55” TV | spacious kitchen | two living room spaces | rooftop patio | large fenced yard | board games

 

Tarrytown // Private Guesthouse

Urban Vacation Rentals Austin

via airbnb

$225/night | sleeps 6 | bike to Lady Bird Lake Trail or Zilker Park | lots of natural light | kitchenette | robes | courtyard garden with fountain

Zilker // Modern Treehouse

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Austin

via airbnb

$155/night (3-night minimum) | sleeps 4 | walking distance to Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, & Lady Bird Lake Trail | studio with views of the trees | desk and work station | rainfall shower | W Hotel towels | outdoor sitting area | pack-n-play available

See also: this wood-paneled school bus in Cherrywood, this Airstream sponsored by a clothing brand (!) near the South Congress area, and this quiet South Austin pad.

 

DALLAS
Bishop Arts
// Three-Bedroom Bungalow

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Dallas Bishop Arts

via VRBO

$328/night avg (3-night minimum) | sleeps 12 | one of most walkable Dallas neighborhoods | pillow-top mattresses | 55” TV | books & movies | back deck | short walk to Belmont Hotel pool (day pass needed)

Deep Ellum // Three-Bedroom Townhome

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Dallas Deep Ellum

via airbnb

$199/night (2-night minimum) | sleeps 10 | 2,000-square-foot townhome | blocks from Deep Ellum clubs, restaurants & bars | 5 minutes to downtown | 2 blocks from Santa Fe Trail | 65” UHD TV with DirectTV + Roku | fireplace | honor bar | two-car garage | small patio | 2 bicycles

Lower Greenville // M Streets Guest Cottage

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Dallas Lower Greenville

via airbnb

$97/night (2-night minimum) / sleeps 4 / renovated 1937 charmer | blocks from lively Lower Greenville | sleeping loft | galley kitchen | private patio

See also: this elegant studio in Uptown, this “luxury on a budget” tri-plex across from the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, and this luxurious executive high-rise downtown.

 

FORT WORTH
Cultural District
// Historic 1920’s Bungalow

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Fort Worth

via VRBO

$304/night avg (3- to 4-night minimum) | sleeps 6 | recently remodeled Craftsman bungalow | near museums | view of Fort Worth skyline | large kitchen | jetted soaking tub | double ovens | premium cable (HBO, Showtime) | spacious backyard with gas grill

Fairmont-Southside Historic District // Rustic Converted Grocery Store

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Fort Worth

via airbnb

$100/night | sleeps 2 | short walk to Magnolia Street bars & restaurants | steps from Fairmont Park | two mini-fridges | coffeemaker | chalkboard map of nearby sights

Fairmont-Southside Historic District // Eclectic Two-Bedroom Home

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Fort Worth

via vrbo

$174/night avg (minimum stay varies) | sleeps 8 | short walk to Magnolia Street bars & restaurants | open floor plan | original claw-foot tub | fresh locally roasted coffee beans | covered porch | xeriscaped backyard

See also: this mid-century-modern retreat, this eclectic two-bedroom near Magnolia Street, and this backyard cottage close to downtown.

 

EL PASO
Historic Downtown Neighborhood
// Sunny Apartment

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel El Paso

via airbnb

$65/night (2-night minimum) | sleeps 2 | converted garage apartment | between UTEP & downtown| less than a mile from the El Paso Chihuahuas ballpark | private patio | toiletries & snacks

West El Paso // Tranquil Modern Oasis in the Desert

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel El Paso

via vrbo

$182/night avg (3-night minimum) | sleeps 8 | views of the Franklin Mountains | 10 minutes to downtown | 3 Samsung Smart TVs | coded entry | swimming pool | fresh baked goods on arrival | pets welcome

See also: this Santa Fe–style casita and this 6,500-square-foot adobe hacienda atop the Hueco Mountains.

 

HOUSTON
Downtown
// Industrial-Chic Loft

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Downtown Houston

via airbnb

$115/night (2-night minimum) | sleeps 4 | walking distance to Minute Maid Park, Discovery Green, & convention center | short drive to downtown hotspots | access to gym & parking garage | exposed-brick walls | Jacuzzi tub

Lindale Park // Casita In the City

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Houston

via airbnb

$75/night | sleeps 2 | cozy 189-square-foot guesthouse | 5 miles to downtown | kitchenette | Nespresso | large yard | beach cruiser bicycle | saltwater pool

Montrose // Charming Craftsman Bungalow

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel Houston Montrose

via airbnb

$189/night (3-night minimum) | sleeps 6 | two-bedroom Craftsman-style home | short walk from cafes & restaurants | roomy chef’s kitchen | backyard deck | porch swing

See also: this cozy cottage in Brooke Smith Heights and this huge home in the Houston Heights.

 

SAN ANTONIO
Downtown
// The Historic Engelmann-Muench House

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel San Antonio

via vrbo

$136/night avg (2-night minimum) | sleeps 6 | built in 1858 by German immigrant | 8-minute walk to Alamo & River Walk | full kitchen | complimentary wine, coffee, & local handmade soap | back patio & yard

Monte Vista // Urban Casita

Urban Vacation Rentals Texas travel San Antonio

via airbnb

$85/night | sleeps 4 | private guest house of 1924 home | walking distance to shops & restaurants | 1 mile to Pearl Brewery & the River Walk | keypad entry | backyard swing set | stroller & pack-n-play available | homemade treats | all-natural soaps & cleaning products | locally brewed coffee | Netflix

See also: this Southtown Airstream, this artist’s studio in the Lone Star neighborhood, and this three-story 1910 mansion in Tobin Hill.

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