“We’re looking for an easy getaway that isn’t too far of a drive. Any ideas?” It’s a text, email, or question over coffee that I get often from friends seeking a quick vacation or weekend away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Thanks to new (or sometimes just refreshed) lodging options in small towns across the state, I usually have an answer, and I’ve gathered some of my favorite escapes in this list. The internet connection is going to be slow, and there may not be a television in sight, but it won’t be long into a weekend—whether spent in the stillness among East Texas pine trees in a stunning modern farmhouse or retreating to a picturesque Victorian after dining with artists from around the world in downtown Corsicana—before you won’t mind at all.
The Wilde House in Canton
| This black-brick modern farmhouse became famous thanks to Instagram star
Billy Jack Brawner
, who built and lived in it before moving to Waco. He sold the home, located 10 miles south of downtown Canton, to Dallas couple Sara and Rocky Garza; they host retreats in addition to renting it through Airbnb. The house sleeps up to ten adults and has a dreamy outdoor entertaining area complete with a hammock, a dining table, and string lights, and is surrounded by those East Texas pine trees.
Courtesy of The Wilde House
100W House and Carriage House in Corsicana
| Kyle Hobratschk's 100W artist and writer residency, started in a historic building in downtown Corsicana, offers friends and guests of the creatives in the program a stay in the nearby 100W Guest House. Hobratschk welcomes anyone interested in experiencing one of the 100W Pop-Up Dinners with resident artists to reach out to him via the residency's
Courtesy of 100W
Rancho Pillow in Round Top
| The funky twenty-acre compound is run by the wildly stylish Sheila Youngblood, who turned her family's second home into a communal getaway dripping in color and covered in globally inspired textiles. There are many special touches, like a heated saltwater pool, a poetry library, and a fire pit that is often a gathering place for the eclectic mix of guests drawn to the mystical grounds.
Courtesy of Rancho Pillow
Casa Azul in Terlingua
| The almost 100-year-old property sits in the heart of the Terlingua Ghost Town. The ruin was rebuilt three years ago and includes two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a detached bath house, and a deck and fire pit that overlook the Chisos Mountains. The cozy quarters are within walking distance of the town's restaurants and bars.
Courtesy of Casa Azul
Ellison House in Lockhart
| Austinites J. and Sara Ewing remodeled a historic 1860s farmhouse, reimagining it into a communal Airbnb with four spacious private suites. Bonus: It's within walking distance of three of the city's best BBQ joints.
Laurel Coyle/Courtesy of Ellison House
The Antlers Inn in Kingsland
| The quiet town of Kingsland lies on Lake LBJ. The Antlers Inn offers private rooms in its grand historic home (first opened as a hotel in 1901); one- to three-room cabins; or converted train cars that sit near the water.
Courtesy of The Antlers Inn
Sayles Ranch Guesthouses in Abilene
| Many of the nine properties are Western-inspired, with names like Cotton Eye Joe and Dance Hall. From a former ballet studio transformed into a "Texas urban loft" to a sprawling abode with a saltwater tub, the Sayles Ranch Guesthouses offer accommodation options for all sizes of groups.
Two Pair Photography/Courtesy of Sayles Ranch Guesthouses
Sinya on Lone Man Creek
| Situated a few miles northeast of Wimberley, Sinya's sweeping views of Lone Man Creek can be taken in from safari tents set in the trees. Inside, luxe interiors house clawfoot tubs and sofas for more lounging.
Craig Washburn/Courtesy of Sinya
Cell Block in Clifton
| Kaye and Curtis Callaway have been reinvigorating this charmer of a town between Austin and Dallas, first with this '30s-era jail turned two-room boutique lodging, complete with a rooftop deck. Their next project,
, a farm-to-table restaurant in a former gas station, is attracting diners from across the state on weekend nights and for Sunday brunch.
Courtesy of The Cell Block
Sweet Lemon Inn in Georgetown
| Prepare to be awakened by the tantalizing aromas of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls emanating from favorite local bakery Sweet Lemon Kitchen, located downstairs. The inn is just a block from the town square.
Todd White/Courtesy of Sweet Lemon Inn