Summer activities center around a large new pool and the lake at Lakeway Inn Conference Resort.
Meg McKinney and Allen Rokach
Lakeway Inn Conference Resort, Austin, Texas
It's early morning on the most beautiful lake in Texas. Beyond my balcony, Lake Travis shimmers like a silver platter framed with humpbacked hills. I'm not the only one awake. Below, three deer are ambling past live oaks at the water's edge.
Austin is a half-hour away, but on a morning like this it seems as distant as the moon. Lakeway Inn Conference Resort, sporting an airy limestone lodge and more than $20 million in improvements, is a relaxing refuge from the rush of the city.
Decorated with bronze Western statues, leather couches, and fawn-colored carpeting, the lodge has the cozy feel of a Hill Country ranch house. Lakeway isn't as posh and elegant as Boca's famous resort, but it has its own brand of charm. It's laid-back and very family friendly. Summer days are spent splashing in the big new pool or boating on the lake. The Texas Sailing Academy, the oldest sailing school in the state, is based at the resort's marina.Golf is big too. Five courses are within 2 miles of the lodge, including the devilish new Flintrock Falls, designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son, Jack Nicklaus II. "This is the Nicklaus new-generation course, tougher and longer," says golf director Glenn Lee. The deer play a game of their own. Sometimes they steal apples from players' carts.
When you get hungry, try the tortilla soup and a thick grilled steak at the resort's main eatery, the Travis Restaurant. Then take a tip from the deer, and look for apples in nearby pastures. Leave the resort, and soak up a sunset viewed from a cliffside deck at The OASIS, a nearby night-spot. Order a margarita, and raise a toast to a perfect day. As another meal option, savor one of the creative game dishes at Hudson's on the Bend.
When You Go
Lakeway Inn Conference Resort: 1-800-525-3929 or www.lakewayinn.com