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Barton Creek Resort

Want a quick, laid-back escape without giving up all of the creature comforts of your swanky Dallas digs? Opt for the natural (not the weird) wonders of the Capital three hours south. Perched atop the breathtakingly scenic Hill Country in one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods, Barton Creek Resort is more East Coast than Austin.

The refined hotel offers Texas-sized, upscale-and-hushed environs that even appeal to your astute young travelers. A miniature golf course, nature trail and classic pool (no water slides or trendy lazy rivers here) will keep them busy, along with special weekend and holiday activities.

But, let’s face it. You’re really here to golf and the two top-rated Fazio-designed courses (with exclusive forecaddie service) do not disappoint. Plus, the resort offers a childcare retreat where the kiddies can dine and mingle with other junior jet-setters, while parents tee-off for 18 or Mama hits the world-class spa for that much needed body wrap (to achieve a youthful glow for lounging in her new Lilly Pulitzer frock).

The resort offers inspired-American fare in its formal dining room (with sweeping views of the pristine hills) but think about escaping to the nearby original County Line Bar-B-Q (you are in Austin, after all, and a little brisket and beer helps put all that bling into perspective). Also, on your way out of town, hit the Austin Museum of Art for the Modern Art. Modern Lives. Then+Now. exhibit (before it ends Nov. 2; second Saturdays are for families).