As the state continues to open up, email updates from businesses, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, restaurants and attractions are flooding my inbox.
Although it can be difficult to keep up with all of the news, below are some notable updates I thought would be of interest to travelers. As always, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the decision to travel right now is a personal one, and increased safety measures are strongly urged.
Texas State Parks began accepting new reservations for overnight camping last month, allowing visitors to make new camping reservations through Sept. 7. Guests, including annual pass holders, are required to purchase day passes and overnight reservations in advance through the Texas State Parks online system or by calling 512-389-8900. Bring masks and hand sanitizer, and be aware that parks continue to operate at limited capacity; headquarters, visitor centers and nature centers remain closed. Texas state parks first reopened for day use on April 20, and overnight camping for existing reservations resumed on May 18. Learn more at tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks.
RELATED: Texas parks are taking camping reservations again
LCRA parks, lcra.org/parks, have also reopened and are offering day-use access as well as tent, RV and Airstream camping.
The National Park Service is increasing access and services to parks in a phased approach. Big Bend National Park resumed visitor access for recreational day use on June 1. Find details at nps.gov/bibe.
Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s proclamation that water parks may reopen at 25% capacity, Typhoon Texas in Pflugerville reopened May 29. The park, which was formerly Hawaiian Falls and is located at 18500 TX-130 North Service Road in Pflugerville, said anyone who purchases a $39.99 day ticket will also receive free admission for the rest of the summer. One important change, however, is that all visits will require a reservation. Typhoon Texas also has a location in Houston. For more information, visit typhoontexas.com.
Aquatica San Antonio, a water park next to SeaWorld, reopened June 6 at limited capacity. “The park’s team of health and safety professionals has spent the last two months making sure the park is ready by working diligently alongside health officials, local and state governments and attraction industry leaders to make its already exemplary sanitation and cleanliness standards even stronger,” the park said in a statement. Find details at aquatica.com/san-antonio.
Beach Park at Isla Blanca Waterpark, formerly Schlitterbahn South Padre Island, reopened May 29 at limited capacity. “This means shorter lines and more time enjoying all of our great water activities for guests, and we encourage guests to arrive early to ensure entry,” said Jimmy Hawkinson, Beach Park general manager. Find details at beachparktx.com. Schlitterbahn New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn Galveston had not released opening dates as of press time.
Epic Waters Indoor Water Park in Grand Prairie also reopened May 29. epicwatersgp.com
Hotels, resorts and other lodging:
The popular JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa will reopen June 15 with new safety precautions in place, including limited capacity at the on-site River Bluff Water Experience water park, opportunities for touchless ordering and modified hours at the Lantana Spa. Learn more at 210-276-2500 or visit jwsanantonio.com.
La Cantera Resort & Spa reopened June 3 with enhanced safety measures and limited overnight occupancy. lacanteraresort.com
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-barton-creek, and Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-downtown, have both reopened with new protocols and safety measures in place.
Hotel ZaZa, which has locations in Houston, Dallas and Austin, has also reopened and is offering a 20% discount and complimentary valet parking for a limited time to those who sign up for their loyalty program. hotelzaza.com
Water zones at Jellystone Parks across Texas also reopened May 29, including those at Canyon Lake, Kerrville and Burleson, which features a Pirate's Cove water park and a new Pirate Ship with 10 two-bedroom cabin suites. campjellystone.com
Vonlane, a luxury motor coach service that provides one-way trips from Austin to Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth, is blocking aisle seats and certain conference tables on board for the month of June to ensure social distancing. vonlane.com
The Texas State Railroad’s “Summer of Steam” in Palestine will be held July 3-5. The property will open to guests at 8 a.m., and the train will depart the Palestine depot at 11 a.m. In addition to its vintage steam engines that power many of the present-day excursion trains, Texas State Railroad is home to extremely rare Texas & Pacific steam engine No. 610, and No. 316, the oldest locomotive operated on this line. texasstaterailroad.net
Most Texas beaches, including beaches in Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Galveston and South Padre Island, reopened May 1. Most beaches are encouraging social distancing and limiting overnight camping, though some have still seen significant overcrowding.