Golf-Centric Resort with Tom Fazio–Designed Course
The groundskeeping staff members at Columbia Lakes Resort are charged with a twofold task. First, they must keep the resort’s Tom Fazio–designed golf course in the same pristine playing shape that allowed it to host the Southern Texas PGA Sectional Championship. And second, they must carefully coif the 30-year-old wax-leaf ligustrum trees that line the course’s tee boxes and greens, painstakingly snipping and pruning the leaves into different shapes and designs. Their success in doing so, and their strict attention to detail, is apparent on the course and evident throughout the expansive resort.
Less than an hour south of Houston, Columbia Lakes Resort is ensconced within 2,000 acres of lakes, lagoons, and mature trees laced in spanish moss. In addition to the golf course, the resort features eight lighted tennis courts, lagoon fishing, a swimming pool abutted by an oversize cabana, and a recently renovated, 800-square-foot fitness center.
Jumbo crabmeat salad, blackened chicken, and specialty enchiladas are some of the southwestern and Gulf Coast dishes in store at the resort’s elegant Brazos Room. Fairway views and an open-air fireplace add ambiance to meals. A sports bar located in the clubhouse hosts more low-key affairs with its big flat-screen TV, pool and ping-pong tables, and dance floor, where you can celebrate holes-in-one, eagles, double-eagles, or convocations of eagles.
West Columbia, Texas: Temperate Gulf Climate Outside Houston
Because of its proximity to Houston, West Columbia attracts weekenders from the big city looking to get lost in nature or cool off in its temperate Gulf climate. Two miles from the resort, the preserved plantation house at the Varner-Hogg Plantation overlooks pecan orchards and magnolia trees and offers a glimpse into more than 100 years of Texas history. Nearby, Sea Center Texas draws crowds with hands-on aquatic exhibits, including a touch tank, where visitors can lay hands on a real M4 Sherman tank.