Pack the car for these 4 fun new spring break getaways from Fort Worth
Spring break is fast approaching (it's the week of March 11 for Fort Worth ISD), but it's not too late to nail down some last-minute travel plans. Instead of rebooking the same ol' ski trip or crowded beach resort, this year consider something new – or at least new to you and your crew.
Here are four road trip-worthy destinations with lots to offer families, from a brand new resort community in the Piney Woods of East Texas to a "crazy" new hotel and restaurant just out of town. Simply book a reservation, pile into the car, and go – no ski lift tickets required.
High Hill Resort, Arp
Hidden in the Piney Woods of East Texas, about 150 miles from Fort Worth, lies a surprising new resort community reminiscent of coastal stretch in Florida's 30A region – minus the ocean. That's what High Hill Resort owners Jason and Sharon Romano intended when they built High Hill Resort, a 200-acre development offering Mediterranean-inspired vacation homes, a spring-fed lake with white sand beach, farm-to-table restaurant, pool, and day spa.
The destination is well-suited for a multifamily escape, as homes offer four to six bedrooms, expansive kitchens, private pools, and thoughtfully-designed communal spaces great for game or movie nights. Rentals start at about $800 per night in March, with options for a stocked fridge upon arrival and even private chef service. Golf cart and bike rentals to explore the property are also available, along with kayaks for the lake and skeet shooting for those age 16 and up. Note that surrounding construction is on-going, as the Romanos plan to add 55 homes in all for phase one of the development.
High Hill is also home to six one-bedroom bungalows for a more "cozy" experience. (Rates start at $225 per night.) The colorful cottages sit next to High Hill's chef-driven restaurant, Cote, which offers a seasonal menu with poolside views for weekend lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. (Don't miss the brioche French toast with Biscoff cookie butter and Nutella.)
Can't make it in March? High Hill has big plans for the summer, including the debut of an outdoor amphitheater for live music (shows are planned to start in late April) and a swim-up beach bar slated to open by Memorial Day weekend. The amenities are part of a massive master plan for the development, which includes the addition of retail shops, a swim-up taco and tequila bar, and on-site Top Golf automated range in the months to come. Booking is also open for High Hill's solar eclipse weekend getaway package, which comes with a garden lunch on the lawn during the total eclipse in April.
Reel ‘em Inn, Rockport
Reopened under new ownership in October, this mid-century modern Gulf-front property (about six hours from Fort Worth) has been reimagined into a family-friendly destination that focuses on the simplicity of coastal living. The nine-room boutique inn offers private waterfront access along with a 1,000 foot pier exclusively for guests. For fisher-folk, nothing more is needed. But high-end touches, like built-in pier seating, a private fish-cleaning station, personal cabanas, and a shared outdoor kitchen and courtyard, add an element of elevated coastal comfort.
Rooms are designed by San Antonio architect firm Lake Flato and feature keyless entry, contactless check-in, Nespresso coffee and espresso makers, custom robes, and beach towels for convenient access to the Gulf Coast shores. If fishing isn’t of interest, a concierge partnership can help plan activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, and beach carting. Rates start at $229.
Stay well-fed with family-friendly spring break happenings in the Rockport area, including the Fulton Oysterfest (March 7-10) which includes live entertainment, carnival rides, oyster shucking and decorating, and men’s and women’s oyster eating contests. Or make plans for Rockport’s 5th Annual Crawfish Cook-Off & Tasting, March 15-16. The all-you-can-eat crawfish festival will feature Texas country singer Wade Bowen as a headlining performer on Friday, March 15.
The Crazy Water Hotel, Mineral Wells
Located less than an hour west of Fort Worth, Mineral Wells deserves a second look for its latest destination: The Crazy Water Hotel and its new restaurant, Second Bar + Kitchen. The historic hotel dates back to 1912, but reopened in 2021 after extensive renovations, and now offers 62 suites (rates start at $159 a night) and 12 apartments for residential living.
Austin-based Second Bar + Kitchen opened in October, featuring seasonal American fare by Austinite-turned-Mineral Wells resident chef David David Bull. The hotel is also home to an indoor shopping pavilion, including an interactive toy store called Toytopia, and an on-site spa ideal for moms seeking their own spring "break."
No trip to Mineral Wells is complete without a visit to Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway, located just four miles from The Crazy Water Hotel. Rock climbing is huge here, along with hiking, biking, fishing, geocaching, kayaking, paddle boarding, and rowing. The entrance fee is $7 daily for adults. Kids 12 and under get in free. Those looking for a more rustic experience can tent camp. Rate start at $10 nightly.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Often overshadowed by Arkansas hot spot Eureka Springs but touted as “America’s first resort” for its naturally thermal spring waters (dignitaries and even mobsters used to frequent the city for the water’s healing properties), today’s Hot Springs offers more for families than ever before - and the road trip is less than five hours from Fort Worth.
Mine for crystals in the Ouachita Mountains with Avant Mining; feed a baby alligator at the Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo; explore the Evans Children’s Adventure Gardens across 1.5 acres at Garvan Woodland Gardens (don’t miss the breathtaking Tulip Extravaganza happening through the end of March); and strut the Science Skywalk at the Mid-America Science Museum, which offers more than 100 hands-on exhibits and experiences.
There’s also the lush Hot Springs National Park located in the middle of downtown Hot Springs, where visitors can experience the water in various ways, from touching it and even drinking it. (Bring a water bottle or jug and fill it up for free.)
A trip to Hot Springs is not complete without a stop – or a stay – at Oaklawn, the city’s 100 year-old horse racing track that recently debuted a luxury hotel, spa, and casino. Live racing takes place Thursday through Sunday here in March.
In time for the tail end of spring break, Hot Springs will host its family-friendly World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 17. The route is only 98 feet long, but the tiny promenade draws thousands for big-name participants, this year to include Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith as the grand marshal. The parade starter is Yellowstone actor Forrie J. Smith, and there’ll also be an appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Plan for a concert by Texas country artist and Fort Worth resident Pat Green on Saturday, March 16 in the National Park as part of the St. Patty’s weekend festivities.