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Southlake Style

Your Guide to a Fun and Fulfilling Spring Break

Jan 17, 2014 01:30PM ● By Anonymous

Why travel to faraway destinations when we have the best of the best right here close to home? That’s right: For Spring Break this year, we’re focusing on nearby destinations we often overlook, forgetting about the gems and pearls that made the South so great! Come with us as we tour the best of the best amenities our favorite Gulf of Mexico destinations have to offer, along with a couple of travel tips and alternative spring break ideas.

Splendor in South Padre

Forget the cheap spring breaks of your college years, and plan for 10 days in the lap of luxury at the Pearl at South Padre. Located on the southern tip of the island, the full-service resort offers guests tranquil views, soft sand beaches and the largest hotel swimming pool in South Texas, replete with a swim-up bar and glorious sundeck. Take a break from family-filled fun on the beach with some “me” time at the resort’s world-class spa. Part of the Omni family of hotels, the Pearl offers top-notch highly personalized service and stands ready to cater to your every need. Make memories for a lifetime with a daytrip south of the border by heading to Brownsville. Expert tip: Be sure to leave your car in the United States; border crossing is much easier on foot. You can revel in the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Matamoros for a half-day before heading back stateside, mementos in hand! 

Sumptuous Santa Rosa

Our fave non-Texas destination for those who live large would be the WaterColor Inn at Santa Rosa Beach in Florida. Rated four stars by Forbes and the recipient of a cornucopia of best-of awards, this resort caters to every need and desire a family could have. Enjoy the complementary bikes, kayaks and paddleboards on an outing with guides. Drop the kids off at the supervised Camp WaterColor while you spend a day hitting the links on one of three golf courses, including the acclaimed Tom Fazio-designed Camp Creek Golf Club. Or, take the kids with you for a day of short-play at the Origin’s Golf Course. Non-golfers can take a load off availing themselves of the InnSpa’s treatments and massages. And let’s not forget about the AAA four-diamond award-winning Fish Out of Water restaurant that features fresh farm-to-table food for the gourmand in you! We love the options the WaterColor offers for accommodation. Choose between an oversized room inside the resort (all have beachfront views!) or one of 160 vacation homes offered through the resort in surrounding neighborhoods and districts. 

Greenback Friendly Galveston

For those trying to pinch a penny or two, the tried-and-true Galveston will never fail. We love the brand-new Courtyard Galveston Island Gulf Front, a beautiful beachside property that offers plenty of quietude and privacy during a busy island season. It might be a little more basic than a full-service resort, but kids will be sure to enjoy the pool while their grown-ups enjoy adult beverages nearby. Don’t miss nearby Schlitterbahn waterpark, a 26-acre oasis of more than 33 attractions — including what has been voted the world’s best indoor waterpark, for when the weather doesn’t agree with your beachy plans. Don’t spend your entire vacation on the boardwalk, however. Take a tour of the (often free) historic side of Galveston, which was once the economic center of Texas, and be sure not to miss the Opera House, built in 1894, the historic and architecturally unrivaled Bishop’s Palace or the Rosenberg Library — the oldest such facility in the state. We love the idea of exploring Galveston’s tree sculptures, an excellent day of self-guided tourism that is sure to wow even the most jaded tourists!, 

Invaluable Vacations

Do something different with your time off this spring by giving back on one of many increasingly common alternative spring break opportunities. Kids of high-school age will find plenty of options to suit their volunteering sides from building houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans to assisting in aidwork overseas. Many organizations offer opportunities for solo travelers under the age of 18, such as i-to-i. Yes, those volunteer trips do look great on college applications, but the lifetime of memories and the feeling of having given back are priceless. Of course, giving back isn’t without its costs. Volunteers often are required to pay a fee for the program as well as provide their own transportation and housing.,

Destination Deluxe

Whether you’re traveling with family or on a romantic trip for two, you would probably appreciate the luxury and convenience offered by one of many destination clubs. For a one-time membership fee and annual per diems, you can gain access to the club’s exclusive collection of million-dollar homes, one-on-one vacation planning services and a guarantee of luxury no matter how far flung your destination. Services like the Exclusive Resorts, the largest club, offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences all over the globe, including stunning luxury villas, customized journeys, VIP members-only events, immersive cultural experiences and deeply personalized services. For the one-time fee of $170,000 and annual dues ranging from $10,000 to $60,000, members enjoy a 30-year membership, refundable travel and access to a set number of vacation days throughout the year. The more affordable American Express Inspirato offers membership fees of $17,500 and annual dues ranging from $3,000 and up, but it has access to fewer vacation options. You’ll enjoy the personalized service you’ve come to expect with American Express, a destination concierge in each location and resort amenities no matter where you travel.,