Luxurious Hillside Resort with Award-Winning Golf Courses and Fine Dining
Red oaks and sycamores line the last hole at Fazio Canyons, a sinuous par 5 at the award-winning golf course leading to a ranch-style clubhouse. Cliff-lined fairways and limestone caves dot the Canyons’ sibling course, Fazio Foothills, which was named No. 4 among America's 100 best resort courses by Golfweek magazine. And they’re just two of the four total distinguished golf courses that blanket the Barton Creek Resort and Spa’s country estate, framed within 4,000 acres of rolling wooded hills. Fine-dining restaurants, a year-round indoor swimming pool, and a European spa round out the Texas Hill Country resort's luxuries.
Guest room décor sports nods to Texan culture. Beyond the hardwood entryway, plaid and floral linens top beds next to cowhide chairs and carved armoires that open to reveal 42-inch plasma TVs. Ink prints from native artists depict indigenous wildlife and lend a colonial air to the 425-square-foot accommodations.
Austin, Texas: Proudly Offbeat State Capital and Live-Music Capital of the World
Built in 1888, the pink-granite Texas Capitol building in Austin is the largest state capitol in the country and even taller than the US Capitol in Washington, DC—proof that everything is, indeed, bigger in Texas. Yet Austin stands apart from the rest of the state politically and culturally, a fact that locals seem to revel in. "Keep Austin Weird" is a popular motto here, appearing on bumper stickers and T-shirts. The weirdness manifests itself all over town, where you’ll find a death-metal-themed pizza place, a cathedral made of garbage, and the Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata, which displays an 1893 World’s Fair stereograph and one of Marilyn Monroe’s cigarette butts. Even nature plays along: each night at dusk (from mid-March to November), an estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge to go hunting for food.
Austin has been dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World thanks to the city's nearly 200 venues, where bands play everything from blues to punk rock. In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine named Austin one of America's Best Music Cities, calling it the "mother ship for indie rock and alternative-country types." Stubb's Bar-B-Q books some of the bigger acts that come to town, including the White Stripes, Johnny Cash, and Snoop Dogg. In addition to the live entertainment taking place on a nightly basis, two massively popular music festivals—South by Southwest and Austin City Limits—draw in huge crowds each year.
The University of Texas brings its share of cultural attractions to the city as well. For starters, the sprawling campus is home to the Blanton Museum of Art, which boasts one of the country's most impressive private collections of old-master paintings. UT-Austin is also where you’ll find the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting artifacts related to the 36th president.