It’s pretty rare, but every once in a while, Russell and I have a whole weekend off together. We spotted a free weekend on the July calendar and crafted a plan to get out of town without the kids. Keep reading for our adventures at Horseshoe Bay Resort in Marble Falls, Texas.
What To Expect at Horseshoe Bay Resort
Horseshoe Bay is a luxurious destination with a laid back feel. There’s something for everyone. That’s adults, kids, regular people like us, or rich people who land their private planes at the nearby jet center. The resort is nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill country and sits on the edge of Lake LBJ.
When booking, you have a few options. We stayed in the tower or the “regular” hotel rooms. Newly renovated, the rooms are well priced. If you’re looking for a little more space, you can select a villa. You can also choose a waterfront condo or private home rental depending on the size of your group.
Make sure to book those rentals through the hotel if you want to have access to all the amenities.
Marble Falls is an hour and a half north of San Antonio or about an hour west of Austin. We drove up scenic highway 281 from our house in New Braunfels. The city of Blanco is the halfway point on that route. You can stop and walk around the cute downtown there. Make sure to visit The Blanco Floral and Gift Shop to check out the unique outdoor decor.
Check-in time at the resort is at 4 pm. If you arrive early, I recommend going to Blue Bonnet Care for pie happy hour. Yes, that’s a thing, and Blue Bonnet’s pies are some of the best in Texas.
Kid and Pet-Friendly
Horseshoe Bay Resort is pet-friendly. Furry family members can stay in the Palm Villas and some of the private homes. There is a non-refundable $75 pet fee. Dogs on a leash are welcome anywhere on the property.
We saw lots of things for kids to do as well as tons of cute little families enjoying a weekend away with their kiddos. There is even a kids club for potty-trained little ones under 12 years. It’s called the Jungle Kids Club and offers childcare, arts and crafts and a two-story jungle gym with a rock wall. Call for the kids night out option, available by reservation only.
Do you enjoy traveling with your kids? Keep reading to hear about all the casual dining spots, animals, and s’mores available at Horseshoe Bay Resort.
We pulled into Horseshoe Bay Resort in the early afternoon. We used the free self-parking instead of paying $20/night for valet. Our room wasn’t ready yet. So, we dropped our bags and explored the property via one of the shuttles. The resort is enormous, and you’ll want to ride these comfy (and air-conditioned) shuttles to avoid the Texas heat. They pick up at marked shuttle stops throughout the property and come through about every 5-10 minutes.
After getting settled, we took a drive to Kingwood for dinner. The Grand Central Cafe is just a few minutes from Horseshoe Bay. The restaurant itself is the house from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film (1974). How cool is that?
The Victorian house was adorable and located right next to a hotel made up of train cars. The food was great, and so were the drinks. We walked around and took lots of pictures. I highly recommend visiting The Grand Central Cafe if you are in the area!
We might even stay on the train for our next visit to the lake.
If you’ve read any of my previous vacay recaps, you know that we are exhausted parents who sleep whenever we can. This trip was no exception. After our Texas Chainsaw Massacre dinner, we headed to bed to sleep like we hadn’t slept since our last vacation away from the kids.
The next morning Russell slept in, and I grabbed some coffee and worked in the comfortable lobby. After that, we hopped in a shuttle and headed down to the marina and rented jet skis. We cruised around the lake for an hour and checked all the fancy houses.
Lake LBJ is a constant water lake. That means just how it sounds. The level of water in lake LBJ remains relatively constant throughout the year. Lake LBJ is part of a chain of lakes called the Highland Lakes system. With the creation of the Highland Lakes, someone decided that lake LBJ would maintain the same level throughout the year and that the other lakes would be used to ensure that happens.
After our jet ski adventure, we were starving and grabbed lunch at the Waterfront Bar and Grill near the marina. The atmosphere there is excellent and so are the frozen rose drinks. It’s a sweet spot for lunch or a casual dinner.
We spent the rest of the day at the various pools on property. For swimming, you have a few options. The hotel pool is heated and open late, the paseo pool at the fitness center is for adults only, and the yacht club is on Lake LBJ. The yacht club was our favorite. It was packed on Saturday, but only moderately busy when we visited on Sunday.
The pool at the yacht club features a swim-up bar and the biggest hot tub in Texas. Or, you can walk over to the beach and grab a chair on the shore and swim in the lake.
We swam and relaxed until early evening. I enjoyed a couple of prickly pair sangrias from Cafe Del Sol, the poolside cafe with tasty snacks and delicious adult beverages. After that, we enjoyed a laid back dinner at Lantana, the hotel’s casual American fare restaurant.
Other casual options for dinner at Horseshoe Bay Resort include:
- Slick Rock Bar and Grill (golf grill)
- Cap Rock Cabana (grab and go)
- White Water 360 Sports club (bar food).
We considered having a drink at the Y Bar, followed by a nice dinner at the Yacht Club. But, we didn’t bring the proper attire and were just plain lazy on this particular weekend.
Here is the dress code for Yacht Club dining so you can pack appropriately:
- Daytime Resort Casual: Dress shorts, dress/sports shirt, designer jeans, ladies’ casual evening wear, dress shoes, boots, and sandals.
- Resort Evening Wear: Cocktail attire, dress shorts, designer jeans, dress shoes, sandals.
After dinner, we headed over to the main lawn. There we battled some children for a spot at the fire to make s’mores. I prefer a perfectly browned marshmallow while Russell burns his, so it’s ready faster. We played a few rounds of giant checkers before, you guessed it, going to our room so we could sleep some more!
Things To Do at Horseshoe Bay Resort
Just because we sleep through half our vacations, doesn’t mean that you have to. Horseshoe Bay Resort has activities going all day and night! Here are a few other things you can enjoy while staying at this property:
The Bayside Spa
The Bayside Spa and Salon offers massages and body wraps, nail services, and you name it. You can even get your hair did there or relax in the oasis-like indoor pool.
A lot of people come to the resort specifically to golf. There are several options for golf including Slick Rock Golf Course, Slick Rock, Apple Rock Golf Course, Ram Rock Golf Course, Cap Rock Driving Range, Whitewater Putting Course.
I don’t work out on vacation. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t frequent the fitness center, tennis courts, or play pickleball.
We thoroughly enjoyed our jet ski rental. The marina also offers rentals of stand up paddle boards, kayaks, and pontoon or ski boats.
We missed out on this, but you don’t have to. For $20 per adult and $10 per child, you can ride the ladybird Yacht for a Sunset Cruise on Lake LBJ. Cruises leave from the Yacht Club at 5 pm, and you can bring a picnic dinner if you like.
At the “Birds Of The Bay” show, children and adults can mingle with macaws, kookaburras, and cockatoos. If birds aren’t your thing, get your picture taken as you feed the African Spurred Tortoises a snack.
While I’m not suggesting you crash a stranger’s nuptials; I do think this does look like a great spot for such an event. If you know a friend who loves the Texas Hill country, tell them to consider Horseshoe Bay for their wedding.
All and all, we had a beautiful and relaxing time at Horseshoe Bay Resort. We’ll certainly be back to the area and want to bring the boys there once they are older. Are you planning a trip to Marble Falls, Texas? Make sure to reach out with any questions.
Or, let me know if you want to meet up for coffee or a slice of pie.