Austin’s only real full-service resort—one that caters to business travelers, couples, singles, and families alike—Barton Creek sits on 4,000 gently rolling, wooded acres near Lake Travis. The resort feels rural, but it’s close enough to central Austin (about 20 min. away) that you can easily sightsee or party there. 

To mark its 30th anniversary, the resort is undergoing a $150-million expansion and renovation, expected to be completed in May 2019; the resort is temporarily closed until then. It’s adding a tower of rooms, several restaurants, and the Mokara Spa, while refreshing its already top-notch accommodations and recreational facilities: four 18-hole championship golf courses and the Chuck Cook Golf Academy, tennis courts and a tennis clinic, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with an indoor track. Restaurants include Bob’s Steak & Chop House, an appropriately clubby fine dining room; Nopales, a hip Latin-flavored spot to sip and sup, named for the prickly pear cactus; and Blind Salamander—an allusion to a local endangered species—which serves light, healthful fare in a room with a panoramic view. Guest rooms in all three buildings—the European chateau-style reception building and two modern towers—are generously sized, with those in the new tower starting at a whopping 425 square feet. Mixing heavy wood furnishings with lighter, more casual fittings, the look is elegant without being stuffy—in short, typical upscale Texas.