No matter who you bring along on the ride, here’s how to treat yourself to a long weekend full of views, relaxing spa treatments, art, and wine, Texas-style.
What to Do
Go Wine Tasting at Becker Vineyards
Arrange a 45-minute drive out to the countryside for a wine tasting at Becker Vineyards, which for more than 20 years has been making award-winning wines. It couldn’t be more picture-perfect: an idyllic Texas farm where a giant live oak fans out and lavender fields bloom in summer. Walk-in tastings are $20 for 6 samples, but if you want to get a more exclusive look, book a reserve library tasting in advance for $60 per person to for a behind-the-scenes tour with wine and cheese pairing. Maybe even better than the wine itself are the owners, Dr. Becker and Bunny–if you have the chance to meet them, do.
Visit The McNay Art Museum
Venture off to San Antonio’s modern art museum, which has European and American paintings (think post-impressionism); it’s perfect for an afternoon stroll. The architecture and grounds themselves are worth the 30-minute trip.
Indulge in a Spa Day
Do yourself a favor and go to La Cantera’s 25,000 square-foot Loma de Vida Spa (that means “hill of life,” which we think is totally accurate). There’s a sauna with a Himalayan salt wall, pool, and cozy perches, but for a really luxe experience, splurge on a sky loft where your open-air treatment room overlooks the hills. The “Absolute Texas,” a two-hour massage and scrub, immerses you in the Lone Star state through locally made products: honey, shea butter, and lavender.
Lounge in a Private Cabana by the Infinity Pool
The adults-only infinity pool at La Cantera is maybe our favorite spot on the property. Here, you can rent one of 10 private cabanas stocked with Moet Ice Imperial Champagne and your own mini fridge, then take a dip in an infinity pool overlooking rolling green hills. Oh, and the poolside bar is steps away.
Where to Eat
Chef Andrew Weissman’s restaurant is the kind that serves your risotto encrusted with gold leaves, and where waiters come offer fresh citrus and mint for your water. Peek outside the floor-to-ceiling windows and you might spot deer nibbling the grass. The restaurant is located on La Cantera’s property, but in-the-know San Antonio locals make the drive for both Sunday brunch and dinner (the local venison is amazing). At brunch, try the refreshing pomegranate mimosa and go to town on some pain perdu or the behemoth breakfast burger—proof that everything is bigger in Texas.
If you’ve been sightseeing in the city, this is the place a little south of downtown to stop for dinner, where you can nosh on highly-rated American contemporary fare. Short ribs, prime steak, and roasted duck are stars on the menu. When the weather is nice (and it usually is), there’s outdoor dining on the back patio.
Where to Stay
Sitting high above Texas Hill Country, La Cantera feels like the most sophisticated of ranches. Even with 496 rooms, it manages to be relaxed and personal, with enough grounds and thoughtful spaces to spread out.
The views alone are enough to make you feel like a million bucks. Looking over the rolling green from the pools (there are five), “Everything the light touches is my kingdom” feels like the appropriate reaction. At night, the sprawl of city lights below makes you feel a world away (even though shuttles can whisk you to nearby attractions, and a quick drive takes you to town).
You can book a room on the adults-only floor called “SEVEN” for privacy, but the really luxurious way to stay here are 34 new villas away from the main building, a part of the property’s sweeping recent renovation. Besides the seclusion, villa guests have access to a private bar, pool, and their own golf cart for the two 18-hole courses on property. Inside each villa (which connect if you need to make it a family affair) are balconies that open up to the courtyard, king-sized beds, and deep bathtubs.