Where to travel through Texas: Go glow-in-the-dark kayaking + 9 more tips for May

Texas is on the cusp of summer, and there are plenty of trip ideas waiting to be booked to the state’s top destinations or hidden gem destinations. Need help deciding where to take a quick vacation, road trip, or staycation? Here are 10 events and happenings that can help you plan a fun outing in May.

Everywhere in Texel

Are you planning a rejuvenating spa weekend or a simple bachelorette getaway with your best friends? Be sure to check out CultureMap’s ultimate guide to the hottest new hotel spas in the state. Chic luxury hotels have opened at a dizzying pace in Texas’ biggest cities over the past year, and take a look at the swankiest new hotels that opened (or reopened) in the past 18 months, ready to pop the cork for girlfriend groups in party mode.

In Waco

Surf season is back and better than ever in…Waco? Yep, don’t let the landlocked geography fool you: the best surfing happens at Waco Surf’s Water Park, which reopened on Saturday, May 11 for the 2024 summer season. To help celebrate the park’s opening, they have hosts weekly live music sessions on select Sundays throughout the summer, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, the park now offers Summer Stay and Surf sessions for guests who want to surf all day and enjoy a booked stay at the Waco Surf Hotel. Waco Surf sessions start at $149, and Stay and Surf requests can be made by emailing [email protected].

The highly anticipated Hotel Herringbone in downtown Waco is now open, offering 21 boutique rooms, all made from converted shipping containers. Visitors can dine or have drinks at four on-site restaurant concepts: Red Herring Mediterranean restaurant, Lucky Buck’s rooftop sports bar, Songbird wine and charcuterie bar and Nightlight Donuts and Coffee. Nightly rates start at $233.

Hotel HerringboneHotel Herringbone in Waco is inspired by art deco and mid-century modern design styles.Photo by Shelby Sorrel

In the Heuvelland

Here’s a new family trip idea for this month: Take a drive to New Braunfels to visit Schlitterbahn’s new Storybrook Park, and the park’s first-ever children’s water coaster. According to a press release, Storybrook Park was the most anticipated new Schlitterbahn attraction in more than a decade when it opened in late April. In addition to the Bow Wow Blaster water coaster, the park debuted three new “mini-lands” for kids to play: Schatze’s Paw’nd, the Fur-Bidden Forest and the Fairy Tail Trail. Admission to Schlitterbahn New Braunfels starts at $39.99.

The acclaimed Hotel Emma San Antonio has done it again. The esteemed hotel was featured in the May 2024 print issue Travel + Leisure “Readers’ 500 Favorite Hotels and Resorts in the World.” The annual list is determined by readers who vote for the highest quality luxury hotels and resorts with consistently excellent service and amenities. Rates at Hotel Emma start at $463 per night.

If you’ve never been to the sweet little town Round top, now is your chance. The luxury boutique hotel Hotel Lulu is offering guests a 50 percent discount on weekday stays all summer long from May 28 to August 31 with the code ‘SUMMER50’. The hotel has 14 comfortable rooms, spread over six restored bungalows. When guests need to relax after a full day of exploring the city, they can enjoy a dip in the pool, dine at Lulu’s restaurant, or enjoy a drink at the hotel bar Il Cuculo.

Along the Gulf Coast

Idyllic coastal escapes become more tempting every day as summer approaches. There is plenty to do to satisfy those cravings Corpus Christi, where visitors can enjoy colorful nighttime bike rides, or similar glow-in-the-dark kayaking tours, or private fishing adventures. Retro – the city’s newest restaurant, bar and arcade concept – is a must-see for adults 21 or older who want to enjoy live music, unlimited arcade games and visit the largest glass floor in Texas.

Well-known travelers who want to avoid the busy seashores this month will head there Matagorda Bay Nature Park to spend time kayaking, fishing, exploring on a guided adventure tour or enjoying a round of mini golf. At night, campers at the secluded beach destination can relax in one of the cozy beach bungalows, Airstream campers or RV campsites on site. Vacation rentals start at $247.50 for a two-night minimum, or $49.50 per night for a full RV hookup.

Matagorda Bay Nature Park, LCRA Parks, Airstream CamperAirstream camping along the coast? Count us in.Photo courtesy of LCRA Parks

Throughout North Texas

Theater lovers won’t want to miss the 13 best local shows happening in Dallas-Fort Worth this May. From productions exploring the founding of America or the Civil Rights movement, to performances that ponder the dystopian future that awaits us, there’s something for every type of audience to enjoy this month.

In Austin

With the return of warm weather in Texas, many locals and visitors will be flocking there More from Austin or Lake Travis to get the most out of a sunny weekend. For travelers looking for a stress-free and unique experience on their next boating day, online rental service GetMyBoat offers unique captained yacht charters in the Austin area. Lake enthusiasts can rent eccentric boats such as a double-decker tiki pontoon, the ‘Floatin’ Saloon Pontoon’, or even a personal pirate ship. Hourly rental rates start at $100 per hour.