In a state so big, it’s no surprise there’s a huge range in family resorts in Texas. From beachfront resorts to cozy hideaways on the river, luxurious suites in the city, and remote lodges in the desert, there is sure to be something perfect for your next family vacation. These are the best family-friendly resorts in Texas, from the beach to the big city.
Table of Contents
The Best Family Resorts in Texas: At the Beach
1. Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa, and Convention Center
The Moody Gardens Hotel sits right next to the Moody Gardens amusement complex on the bay side of Galveston Island. The hotel features a casual dining restaurant, coffee shop, a pool exclusive to hotel guests, and an upscale steakhouse.
The real allure of the resort, however, is the entertainment right outside the hotel doors. The amusement complex is centered around three large glass pyramids.
One pyramid houses an enclosed rainforest habitat, the second has an aquarium, and the third has rotating exhibits akin to a science museum. Families can meander through the pyramids at their own pace, observing all kinds of animals and ecosystems up close. It’s like a sleepover at the aquarium, but way more comfortable.
Adventurous kiddos can conquer five stories of obstacles on the ropes course and zipline, adults can sneak in some time at the spa, and everyone can stay cool at Palm Beach. The Palm Beach pool complex showcases a lazy river, wave pool, two slides, and a water playground.
2. The San Luis Resort and Spa
The San Luis is a luxury beachfront resort in Galveston. Enjoy tranquil views of the ocean from the pool, hot tub, firepit, some guest rooms, and luxury cabanas.
With the beach and resort pool out the front door and several restaurants on site, including a family bistro, an Italian place, and a steakhouse, your family may never feel the need to leave the resort.
However, this is also a great choice for families that want to spend a lot of time at Moody Gardens and/or Schlitterbahn but still stay beachfront on the Gulf.
3. The Galvestonian
The Galvestonian is a condominium building located directly on East Beach, arguably the best beach in Galveston due to its location on the quieter end of the island. This is the best pick for families that need roomy accommodations and want to spend most of their time at the beach.
The condos range from one to five bedrooms, and are individually owned and maintained.
East Beach is cleaned daily which can be a really nice perk depending on the seaweed levels during your stay. Beach chair rentals are available so plan on spending long days at the beach followed by a rinse at the pool and a soak in the hot tub.
4. The Grand Galvez
The Grand Galvez was built soon after the Great Storm of 1900 that decimated the booming port city of Galveston. This luxury hotel is ideal for families that want to soak up the historic charm of Galveston either on foot or by bike but still be very close to the beach.
The hotel provides complimentary bikes for guests to ride over to historic downtown. It’s also an easy walk along the seawall to Pleasure Pier and directly across the street from the beach.
Guest rooms are freshly renovated, some with ocean views, and the spruced-up pool will debut in early 2023. Relax at the full-service spa and don’t miss the Sunday Brunch Buffet at the Galvez Bar and Grill.
Galveston is home to several great family resorts in Texas! Check out our list of 20 Fun Things to Do in Galveston with Kids.
5. Port Royal Ocean Resort and Conference Center
The Port Royal Ocean Resort is a beachfront condo resort just outside of Port Aransas, Texas. The Port Royal is a great option near Port Aransas if you’re mostly interested in amenities and staying on property.
The resort’s claim to fame is the largest lagoon pool in the state, complete with multiple slides and hot tubs. The pool area also has an Olympic-sized lap pool and a splash pad. Programming at the pool includes dive-in movies, aqua zumba, and pick-up water volleyball games.
Of course, families will want to spend lots of time out at the beach as well! Lots of condos have balconies with ocean views and every guest can walk right out onto the sand from the pool area. Don’t miss sandcastle lessons and beachfront yoga on select Saturdays.
See our 8 Fun Things to Do in Port Aransas with Kids for ideas on what to do in the area if you do decide to leave the resort.
6. Isla Grand Beach Resort
The Isla Grand Beach Resort is a beachfront resort in South Padre Island. It’s got all the trappings of a family beach resort including pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, a poolside bar and grill, shuffleboard, sand volleyball courts, live music, tropical landscaping, and poolside games.
Families can stay in a beachfront, beach view, or pool view hotel room. For more space, book a two-bedroom condo in the high-rise tower.
Check out our 10 Fun Things to Do in South Padre Island for ideas on what to do in the area.
The Best Family Resorts in Texas: On the River
7. River Inn Resort
The River Inn Resort is a condo building on the banks of the Guadalupe River near Hunt, Texas. The studio, one-, and two-bedroom condos are individually owned and furnished in a casual, “keep it simple” manner.
The real draw here, of course, is the access to the river. Swim, fish, jump off the floating dock, tube, canoe, or rush down the water slide into the river. Beyond the water, families can play a round of tennis, beach volleyball, or ping pong. After a full day of fun, cookout on the grill and wind down next to the fire.
This is not a full-service resort and there’s nothing fancy about the condos or the grounds, so go prepared to allow the cool water, natural beauty, and peaceful sounds of the river settle your soul.
If you’re up for a drive through Hill Country, Lost Maples State Natural Area is about 30 minutes to the southwest. Lost Maples State Natural Area is a wonderful place to enjoy Texas fall foliage.
Check out our awesome Texas Hill Country road trip itinerary.
8. 7A Ranch
7A Ranch Resort occupies seven acres on the banks of the Blanco River just outside Wimberly. It’s a mellow place focused on offering families unfettered enjoyment of the Blanco.
As a guest, you will have private and unlimited access to the river to swim, tube, fish, and kayak to your heart’s content. Even the pool focuses on the river, essentially functioning as a comfy observation deck for the river down below.
Beyond the river, there is a splash pad near the pool, sand volleyball, basketball, and a summer scavenger hunt through Pioneer Town.
The size and quality of the accommodations at 7A Ranch are exceptional. Cabins with river views sleep 6+ (up to 16!), so this is the place to let the kids bring a friend or travel with multiple families! Some of the cabins are relatively new, while others are older, but all are well appointed with comfortable furnishings and decor.
9. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort is about 30 minutes outside of Austin, close to the charming small town of Bastrop, Texas.
Feel your worries melt away as you walk into the elegant, yet definitively Texan, main lobby. It features high ceilings, massive stone fireplaces, comfy leather seating, and pecan floors made from the trees on the property. Last but not least, the lobby looks out onto a beautifully manicured lawn dotted with Pecan trees.
There’s plenty of space for families to relax and find something fun to do together at the Lost Pines. Trail rides, bike rides, s’mores, swimming, outdoor movies, walks along the Colorado River, tennis, horseshoes, and a visit with the longhorns are all ripe for the taking.
Additionally, parents can grab a spa appointment or a tee time if they play their cards right!
Best Family Resorts in Texas: On the Lake
10. Horseshoe Bay Resort
Horseshoe Bay Resort is a destination lake resort on the shores of Lake LBJ. While Inks Lake State Park and several wineries are within 30 miles of the resort, your family may never want to leave this fabulous property. There are so many fun things for the family to do together at this lakeside family resort in Texas!
Swim in the lake or pool, lounge on the lakeside sandy beach, play on the 18-hole putting course, or rent a water toy at the full service marina. Special programming includes a Birds of the Bay exhibit of live exotic birds, movies on the lawn, live musical performances, and special holiday events.
When it’s time to split up, send the kids to the Jungle Kids Club while you hit the spa, fitness center, or golf course. Wrap the day up with dinner on site, a sunset cruise, and s’mores by the fire. Lodging choices include classic hotel rooms in the Tower, family condos in the Palm Villas, and private condo rentals in the Waters.
11. Lakeway Resort and Spa
Only 30 minutes outside of Austin, Lakeway Resort and Spa sits right on the shores of Lake Travis. There are great views of the lake from the pool complex, many guest rooms, and the Back Porch Lobby Bar.
This resort is ideal for families that want to play in the water and features three pools. The kid’s pool has a water slide and splash pad, while the family pool has a volleyball net. Of course, the lake is another huge attraction. The resort hosts Texas Sailing and the Lakeway Marina on property, so it’s easy to rent all sorts of watercraft to enjoy a day out on the lake.
If you can carve out some adult-only time, hit the full-service spa or one of the three golf courses within a 15-minute drive of the resort.
12. Heart of Texas Lake Resort
The Heart of Texas Lake Resort is a seven-acre property with just over 500 ft. of waterfront on Lake LBJ, about an hour and a half outside of Austin. This is not a luxury resort, so you won’t find a spa or restaurant or even upscale rooms on property.
What you will find is a quiet, shady property on the water with a variety of comfy accommodations for the family at very reasonable rates. Families can book a cabin, condo, lake house, large lodge, or an RV site.
On-site amenities include fishing docks, a putt-putt course, a pool, a playground, a game room, a firepit, picnic tables, shuffleboard, and a basketball court. Basically, think of the place as a nice state park and you’ve got the right idea.
13. Canyon of the Eagles Resort
Canyon of the Eagles is located on Lake Buchanan, the largest of the Highland Lakes. Everything about this remote, rustic resort aims to connect your family to the surrounding natural environment. From the Eagle Eye Observatory to guided nature walks, you will feed your family’s appreciation for the great outdoors.
The property offers 900+ acres to explore, with 14 miles of hiking trails and exquisite views of the lake. The Canyon Cruise (open to kids 8+) is a two-hour sightseeing cruise of the lake. When it’s time to relax, family movies, craft classes for kids, and live music on the lawn will be waiting.
The park store is stocked with the basics plus kayaks, handmade pizza, souvenirs, and beer/wine. Lodging choices include rooms in small, cabin-like buildings spread throughout the hills above the lake, and wooded campsites for tents and RVs. The entire property is pet-friendly.
The Overlook Restaurant serves Texas cuisine crafted from free-range meats and local produce. For more casual noshing, the Eagle’s Nest Lounge has a full cocktail menu with flatbreads, salads, and burgers.
14. Thunderbird Lodge at Spider Mountain
Listen up mountain bikers, this one’s for you! Spider Mountain maintains nine downhill mountain biking trails served by a chairlift. Thunderbird Lodge, within walking distance of the lift and right on the shores of Lake Buchanan, offers a variety of accommodations for families to turn an afternoon of mountain biking into a full weekend adventure.
This is another family resort that certainly isn’t a luxury property, but more of a family cabin compound with a very unique location and purpose.
The lodge also has a marina with boat and kayak rentals, as well as a swimming pool, hiking trail, lawn games, and basketball court on property.
15. Margaritaville Lake Resort
At the resort, relax on the lake’s edge beach, explore the lake aboard a rental boat or kayak, or stay cool in the 3 acre waterpark with several pools, a splashground, and a lazy river. When your family has had enough time in the water, there’s mini-golf and tennis courts to keep everyone active.
Fill up at one of several casual eateries at the resort and rest easy in either a Tower Suite or family cottage. The Tower Suites are large with a sitting room separate from the bedroom and a balcony overlooking the lake. For more privacy and space, the lakeside cottages are a short walk away from the main building.
16. The Westin at the Woodlands
If you want to stay right in the thick of the activity on the Woodlands Waterway, The Westin at the Woodlands is a great bet. It’s within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of Market Street, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, and the Riva Row Boathouse.
The Westin does have a heated, rooftop pool and an upscale Italian restaurant onsite. However, a stay here is really about getting out and about in the Woodlands, whether it be in town center or on the extensive network of wooded hike and bike trails.
The Woodlands is one our favorite Weekend Getaways in Texas. See what else made the list.
Family Resorts in Texas: Cities and Suburbs
17. The Houstonian
The Houstonian is a luxury hotel in an oasis of green in central Houston. Sitting on almost 30 acres of lush, wooded land dotted with massive oaks and beautiful azaleas, families head here to squirrel away for some R&R within the city.
Hotel guests have full access to the luxury health club, The Houstonian Club, and the Trellis Spa at the Houstonian. The Club is where you’ll find the resort pool, the Arbor Grill, the jogging trail, yoga studios, tennis courts, and so much more.
The property is adjacent to Memorial Park and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, and an easy 20-minute drive from downtown Houston.
Memorial Park is home to a municipal golf course, playground, food truck park, tennis courts, and over 30 miles of walking trails. The Arboretum and Nature Center is a great place to find fun nature programming for the whole family.
See our Top 10 Awesome Things to Do in Houston with Kids for more must-see attractions for families in Houston.
18. Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is for families that want to go big and go hard from sunup to sundown. The primary attraction is a full-scale waterpark indoors.
Other attractions include the live action game that takes place around the lodge called MagiQuest, a ropes course, an arcade, and a family gaming den. Additionally, there are regularly scheduled character appearances, story times, dance parties, family games, and craft activities.
Families love the unlimited access to the waterpark and the adorably themed rooms where the bunk beds for the kids seem to be inside their own cabin or tent.
19. Gaylord Texas Resort and Conference Center
The Gaylord Texan is a large hotel on the shores of Lake Grapevine, just north of Dallas. The massive indoor atrium at the center of the resort, home to several bars and restaurants, makes the Gaylord feel incredibly special!
Well, at least for the adults. The wow factor for the kids is more likely to be the 10 acre water park, Paradise Springs. A lagoon pool, several slides, a large sprayground, and a lazy river should keep the whole family entertained for the day. The waterpark is only open seasonally, but the Gaylord does have an indoor lap pool and heated outdoor pool that is open year round.
When everyone has had their fill of swimming, family programming like live performances, live music, crafting, animal encounters, dance parties, and scavenger hunts round out the fun.
Beyond the resort, Grapevine has a ton to offer families from boating on the lake to shopping down Main Street.
20. La Cantera Resort and Spa
The La Cantera Resort and Spa is a luxury resort in outer San Antonio, just a five-minute drive from Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The resort’s main lobby is inspired by famed King Ranch featuring a grand, stone fireplace, rustic furnishings, and unobstructed views overlooking over 500 acres of resort property.
Spend the afternoon in one of two family-friendly pools; the kids’ pool has slides and a splash zone. Other fun things to do on the property include playing video games in the arcade or a round of bocce ball or tennis.
The resort offers special family programming including naturalist classes, outdoor movies, games on the lawn, family trivia, scavenger hunts, and more.
When it’s time for a little adult relaxation, send the kids to the Kid’s Club while you enjoy some time at the spa, on the golf course, or walking the nature trail through the property.
21. Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa
The Omni Barton Creek is an expansive resort in the soft rolling hills of west Austin, about 20 minutes from downtown. The four (yes four!) championship golf courses and Mokara Spa are certainly the stars of the show, but the resort does a good job of scheduling family programming to cater to families with kids.
Spring ushers in the season of animal encounters, movie nights, guided nature hikes, an easter egg hunt, and pool games. The holidays welcome hot cocoa bars, stories with Mrs. Claus, and breakfast with Santa. Year-round amenities for families include two family pools, a splash pad, firepits, mini-golf, game lounge, and tennis courts.
If you want to venture into Austin, be sure to look at our roundup of Fun Things to Do in Austin with Kids post.
22. Westin Dallas Stonebriar Resort
The Westin Dallas Stonebriar Resort is just outside of Dallas in Frisco, or as locals like to say, Sports City USA. Frisco is home to the practice facilities for both the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Stars. FC Dallas, and the Frisco Rough Riders.
The resort’s location and amenities allow your family to find the perfect mix of relaxation on property and adventure out and about in the city. For some R&R, spend the morning at the spa or out on the golf course, and then reunite with the kids and splash the afternoon away in the resort style pool together. For some adventure, go cheer for your favorite team of course!
23. Hilton Anatole Dallas
The Hilton Anatole is an upscale resort property in downtown Dallas, five minutes from the Dallas Arts District, the Perot Museum, the Dallas World Aquarium, and more.
The massive atrium of the Anatole, energized by a large reflection pool and incredible art collection, provides a spa-like atmosphere that’s accessible to the whole family.
Enjoy the atrium together before the kids see the pool. They’ll be chomping at the bit to swim after they lay eyes on the lazy river and water slides at the JadeWaters Resort Pool Complex.
The Anatole hosts fun family seasonal celebrations as well, especially for Halloween and Christmas.
See our article on Ten Fun Things to Do in Dallas with Kids for family entertainment in Dallas.
Family Resorts in Texas: The Hill Country and Beyond
24. Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort
Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort is just outside of Boerne and makes for a great basecamp to explore this part of the Texas Hill Country. Boerne has a cute downtown, known for its German and Czech food and the tranquil Cibolo Creek Trail. For a more active adventure, get a taste of the cowboy way with a trail ride in Bandera.
Tapatio can also stand completely on its own as a destination resort. It’s a sprawling property with a golf course, spa, resort pool, firepit, walking trail, disc golf course, and horseshoe pit.
The resort schedules special events such as dive-in movies, animal encounters, poolside games, and trivia nights, as well as their signature singer-songwriter performances.
25. JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort
The JW Marriott is the most luxurious spot in the Hill Country. The name of the game at this hill country resort is chill. It’s a fantastic counterpoint to all of the hustle and bustle in San Antonio (looking at you SeaWorld and Six Flags!).
The standout amenity at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort is the water park, so plan on letting the kids swim until they turn into prunes. The pool has a zero-entry, sandy beach and is connected to a lazy river, river rapids, and large tube slides.
Golf one of the two onsite courses, make an appointment at the full-service spa, or jog the nature trails through the countryside. Several restaurants onsite will keep you well fed, whether you need a quick snack or crave a big, juicy steak.
26. Wildcatter Ranch
Wildcatter Ranch is for the families that dream about finding peace on the wide open range from the comfort of a leather saddle.
You can get a taste of just about everything pertaining to Texas ranch life here including trail rides, pony rides, clay shooting, archery, tomahawk throwing, roping, and branding. Throw in an open air jeep tour of the over 1,500 acre property and an indulgent dinner at the Wildcatter Steakhouse you’ve got yourself a weekend to write home about.
The resort is about 80 miles west of Fort Worth and right around the bend from Possum Kingdom Lake if you want to spend an afternoon at the lake.
Accommodations are hotel rooms, cabin suites, and a few large homes furnished with an upscale, yet uniquely Texan, vibe.
27. Lajitas Golf Resort
Considering that the Lajitas Golf Resort sits on the US-Mexico border created by the Rio Grande River in far west Texas, it can’t exactly be considered conveniently located. However, if Big Bend National Park or Black Jack’s Crossing (the resort’s highly regarded course) is on the family’s bucket list, this is the only luxury resort in the area.
Families can relax or take off on unique adventures at the Lajitas. To get the adrenaline pumping, book a zipline tour in Quiet Canyon, SUP down 1.5 miles of the Rio Grande, go on a trail ride, hit the shooting range, or jump on a mountain bike.
When it’s time to unwind and relax, grab a poolside lounger with amazing vistas of the desert mountains or stargaze the desert night sky. Gather together for a family dinner at the onsite Tex-mex restaurant or embrace some solitude at the full-service spa. Finally, retire in a hotel room, suite, condo, or large villa.
Of course, one of the nation’s most rugged and remote national parks is about a 30-minute drive away, so block at least a full day, most likely several, to explore Big Bend.