Southern Hospitality and Championship Golf on Toledo Bend Lake
Six of the 18 holes along the championship golf course at Cypress Bend Resort require tee shots across inlets of Toledo Bend Lake. The expansive par 72 course blends as seamlessly into the lakeside landscape as the evergreens and moss-covered hardwoods surrounding the sprawling resort buildings. Amid these peaceful surroundings, Cypress Bend supplies sumptuous accommodations for getaways centered on relaxation as well as outdoor recreation, whether it's on the golf course or the 186,000-acre bass-filled lake.
In the lobby, regal columns surround overstuffed sofas, a crackling fireplace, and a pool table. Trimmed in deep red and gold tones, guest rooms provide a posh spot for sipping included champagne or giving 9-irons a pep talk between rounds of golf. The resort's indulgent spa offers 30-minute deep-tissue massages ($60) and detoxifying algae wraps ($80). In the fully equipped fitness center, a heated indoor-outdoor pool extends to a sun-kissed deck.
A meal of fresh seafood fortifies guests for explorations of the resort's hilly landscape. Cypress Bend's newly opened nature trail makes for an exhilarating hike or bike ride. Along the trail, five 1- to 6-mile loops weave through steep ravines and cross lakeside bluffs, affording views of the Texas border. Steps from the resort, Cypress Bend Park hosts full- or half-day fishing trips. In June, competitive fishers from around the world will descend on this area for the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Many, Louisiana: Rustic Charm in Louisiana's Historical Sabine Parish
The quaint town of Many hugs Toledo Bend Lake on Louisiana's westernmost border. A popular destination for boaters and anglers, the lake also allows for fast-paced pursuits such as waterskiing and wakeboarding. The storied El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail passes through Many on its way to Texas, winding past colonial missions, military outposts, and boutiques hawking coonskin evening gowns before reaching its endpoint in Mexico City.
Several of the towns in Many's vicinity are worth exploring, too. In nearby Fisher, a restored train depot now functions as a shop selling homemade wares and antiques. Each May, Fisher celebrates its past as a sawmill town with a celebration involving square dancing, wagon rides, and live bluegrass music.