Talula Mesa

Distance from Central Austin: 44 miles

As you leave behind the cosmopolitan trappings of the city and begin to drive west on Ranch Road 1431, the highway undulates beneath lush canopies that weave through the Balcones Canyonland Reserves, setting the mood for an outdoor adventure. Opened last fall, this serene 15-acre property overlooking Lake Travis provides a unique experience that is equal parts posh and primitive. Its three main cabin-tent hybrid structures, custom designed by owner Shannon Taylor, are as eye- catching as they are luxurious, each containing a king-size bed that faces floor-to-ceiling windows and a ladder that leads up to a covert queen-size loft. But while the digs at Talula Mesa are notably stunning, they belie its true essence: This is a bona fide escape to nature. Here, there is no Wi-Fi nor individual restrooms—guests use a common outhouse equipped with outdoor showers and a private bathroom. But in the absence of domestic comforts and online distractions lies the fun. Look out for hopping frogs as you take a hike down stone steps to cool off in the 8-foot stock tank “cowboy” pool, or grab one of the provided kayaks or paddleboards to float in the lake. A propane grill and outdoor kitchen allow you to cook your own alfresco feast before striking up a game of volleyball, setting up a projector to screen an outdoor movie, or building a crackling campfire. Go ahead and unplug, just this once. 6517 Shaw Drive, Marble Falls


Camp Fimfo

Distance from Central Austin: 52 miles

In the last decade, summer camp–inspired getaways for adults have become fashionable for their relaxing, refreshingly nostalgic setups. And Camp Fimfo recreates this youthful rite of passage in a way that appeals to everyone from couples to bachelorette parties to families. Located next door to Whitewater Amphitheater, a popular New Braunfels music venue along the Guadalupe River, this new campsite debuted in July with both cabins and RV slots nestled into its 180 acres. Reserve a golf cart to careen around the Hill Country property, which features a massive pool with four Schlitterbahn-esque water slides and a swim-up bar (available March through October) and an 18-hole mini golf course open until 10 p.m nightly. In the fall, Fimfo hosts seasonal activities like building your own autumn wreath or campfire storytelling on Saturday nights. Looking to host a Friendsgiving feast? Enjoy a Thanksgiving-style meal at on-site Squirrely’s Tavern from Nov. 19 through 28 (reservations required). Your whole crew can fit at one of its spacious coyote cabins, which sleeps 12 people and has a full kitchen and stylish midcentury modern furnishings. Just be sure to bring along some bug spray—and your childlike sense of wonder. 520 Whitewater Way, New Braunfels

Hozhoni on the Hill

Distance from Central Austin: 51 miles

Perched more than 100 feet above Horseshoe Bay, the star attraction of this hilltop destination is quite literally stellar. Since debuting in May, the resort has received a stream of Instagram and TikTok buzz for its picturesque Stardome Suite, a see-through bubble tent with a king-size bed that highlights the twinkling cosmos. While the clear domicile is already booked through January, the property has a host of other distinctive glamping options, including a converted shipping container and a smattering of stylish teepees. Spend the night in one of its safari-style tents, which beckon guests with sumptuous bedding, their own private bathrooms and outdoor showers, and west-facing views of Lake LBJ. Gaze at the sunset from your balcony daybed or soak in your own private outdoor bathtub that’s big enough for two. Hungry? Walk mere steps down the hill for redfish and oysters at LeStourgeon Seafood Company or elevated surf-and-turf at Bay View. Each safari tent provides a telescope, a guitar, and the dutiful assistance of Amazon Alexa, who stands ready to rattle off a few jokes or play white noise as you fall asleep. Of course, you can also go the natural route and drift off to the sounds of coyotes howling in the distance. 4325 Cottonwood Drive, Horseshoe Bay


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