Gary Clark, Scott Wiseman, Art Meripol
We’re with you―it’s hot in the South right now. That’s why we fanned out in search of cool retreats that soothe the eyes and soul in the three-digit heat of summer. Pleasure, pools, pampering―all yours. Come along to a lakeside resort in Texas, perfect for the family; a luxurious spot for romance in South Florida; and a small-town classic in Virginia where your children will take their children someday (not bad for a mom-and-dad trip either).
Lakeway Resort: Lakeway, Texas
Who should go? Lakeway works for the whole family. Prices can be as low as $199 a night, and the rural setting appeals to outdoor types.
This might be the most easygoing, comfortable, stress-free vacation ever. Life melts into perfection when we pull up to this retreat just outside Austin. A welcome committee of docile deer, leisurely grazing the green hills all around, sets the pace.
Even though the place has 168 rooms and a spa and glows from a $20-million renovation, it doesn’t feel big and foreboding. More like home. We while away our first hour simply staring at the azure waters of Lake Travis.
Our next order of biz is to make sure we don’t stress out over the choices we have for relaxation. Three pools beckon: an infinity version where adults mingle and enjoy the swim-up bar, a kiddie version with an awesome twisting slide and lots of splashing room, and yet another with fountains and spouts of water. From each of the pools we can see that glorious lake, the watery jewel of the Hill Country. Do we kayak it, sail it, go on a pontoon ride, or simply sit and watch? Sit and watch, we say.
At Travis Restaurant, we select Texas-size portions of Creole mustard-roasted Idaho trout and lavender- and mint- roasted rack of Colorado lamb. There’s still energy to toast marshmallows at the poolside fire pit (which doesn’t emit enough heat to overpower the totally cool activity). Then we practically crawl back to our cozy rooms. The theme of our dreams? Breakfast on the balcony, the arrival of the doe-eyed greeters, and the chance to do what we came to do. Absolutely nothing.
Lakeway Resort and Spa: 101 Lakeway Drive, Lakeway, TX 78734; www.lakeway.dolce.com or 1-800-525-3929.