Get Lost in the Pines 2

Bastrop, Texas — and the nearby resort of Lost Pines — provide an ideal destination for an easy Christmas getaway.

While the Christmas ideal centers on the concepts of hearth and home, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a seasonal getaway. On the one hand, those with children can take advantage of the winter break for a vacation opportunity; also, savvy parents can present the trip as a shared gift for everyone, and lessen some of the emphasis on materialism and presents.

For those without children, holiday travel can represent a welcome break from the monotony of routine: endless drives back and forth through traffic, from one holiday gathering to another; after all, nothing kills holiday cheer quicker than the Christmas grind.

When it comes to a Christmas getaway, however, destination is everything. To lessen the strain and stress of travel, a drivable distance is preferred. After all, if the purpose of a getaway is to reduce stress, you want to leave the flight cancellations to those forced into cross-country gatherings. Here in North Texas, we’re blessed with a host of nearby destinations. Bastrop, Texas is one that no holiday vacationer should ignore.

Small Town Charm

Located 30 miles southeast of Austin, Bastrop sits along a scenic stretch of the Colorado River. The town center rests on a bluff on the east bank of the river, and offers a selection of local eats, funky boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and historic buildings. Bastrop’s Main St. serves as a time capsule for small-town Americana, and features several mid-to-late 19th century buildings. Paw Paw’s Catfish House provides one of many delightful spots for lunch, while Baxter’s on Main offers steaks and seafood served amidst 1920s-style décor.

The residential neighborhoods around Main St. are well stocked with prime examples of historic homes, many of which get decked out for the holidays. The town’s visitor center has designed useful walking and driving trails to ensure that visitors miss none of the exquisite examples of Greek Revival and Victorian architecture. To download the historic homes brochure, or learn more about what the town has to offer, check out www.visitbastrop.com.

Luxury in the Pines

Like sentinels arrayed above the town center, the loblolly pines of the Lost Pines Forest contribute the name for one of Texas’s premier destination resorts. Called ‘lost’ due to their separation from the better-known pine forests of East Texas, the Lost Pines stand as a relic marooned at the end of the last ice age.  Lost Pines Resort & Spa occupies 405 of these scenic acres, and has its own one-mile stretch of Colorado River frontage. Guests can take advantage of the temperate seasonal weather to enjoy the resort’s majestic beauty, or venture into the adjacent 1,100-acre McKinney Roughs Nature Park.

As a Hyatt Regency destination, Lost Pines Resort & Spa offers plenty more than its scenic appeal, however. This AAA Four Diamond resort has 491 guest rooms – any one of which will serve as a cozy retreat for a holiday escape. Guests can enjoy holiday cheer at nightly s’mores roasts, weekly live music, or a host of other scheduled recreational activities. Outdoorsmen can give themselves the gift of archery or trap shooting, while anyone can enjoy the horseback trail ride opportunities presented at the resort’s Renegade Trailhead equestrian facility. Hiking and bird-watching opportunities abound across 18-miles of trails, while the Wolfdancer Golf Club presents a 7,205-yard, par-72 course situated across a dramatic stretch of forested terrain.

A major part of the appeal of a Christmas getaway comes from a lack of cooking obligations. Lost Pines Resort & Spa does not disappoint on dining options, with choices that include the AAA Four Diamond-rated Stories restaurant, along with more casual choices like the Firewheel Café and Shellers Barrelhouse Bar.

The resort’s spa provides the perfect escape for the holidays – and offers many ways to give yourself a little present. Spa Django contains 18 treatment rooms, a fully-outfitted salon, and a spa boutique that offers around 50 different service options. A heated pool allows you to enjoy a dip – even in the depths of December – with a view of the resort’s pond and surrounding landscape.

The design of the resort emphasizes comfort, and reflects the manifold cultural influences that have shaped the area’s history. Wood floors and stone fireplaces abound, with building designs modeled on turn-of-the-century Texas architecture. A three-mile-long entry road separates the resort from the rest of world – a literal portal to a getaway Santa himself would envy. To make reservations or learn more, visit http://lostpines.regency.hyatt.com.