Texas is known for football, beef, barbecue, bull riding and … beaches? It’s true: Although it might not be the first place that comes to mind when you imagine a sandy getaway, Texas is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful and boisterous beaches. Come summertime, that makes the Lone Star State a surprising yet seductive destination for beach-themed meetings and events.
It’s not just on the Gulf Coast, either. Even further inland, you’ll find fun “beach” activities for meeting groups. In San Antonio, the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa offers beach-themed team-building activities at its own 5-acre Edge Falls Water Park. Options include group surfing and bodyboarding lessons with the help of instructors and a FlowRider wave-simulation machine (pictured), as well as beach volleyball tournaments.
The resort -- which has 500 guest rooms and over 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space -- also offers a 950-foot lazy river and four pools, including an adults-only pool with a waterfall Jacuzzi.
“Here at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, we bring the beachfront to Central Texas,” said director of sales and marketing John Hernstat. “Leading into the warmer summer months, our beach-themed team-building activities are the perfect way to enjoy the sunny weather.”
Four More Texas Beach Hotels
Looking for an actual beach instead of a simulated one? Texas has your group covered. Here are four group-friendly properties that offer lots of sun, sand and sea alongside their meeting space.
• The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center (Galveston): One of the most popular beach destinations in Texas is Galveston, an island city on the Gulf Coast that’s known for its avian wildlife and thrilling seaside amusement rides. Among the area’s top venues is the San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center, which features 700 guest rooms, 10 restaurants, a spa and over 200,000 square feet of meeting space. There’s also a resort-style swimming pool that overlooks the beach and a large menu of island-inspired team-building activities for groups, like miniature boat-building workshops, shrimp and crawfish boils, luaus, beach blanket bingo, fishing tournaments and beach volleyball games.
• Hotel Galvez & Spa (Galveston): Another Galveston gem is the Hotel Galvez & Spa, a historic beachfront property that’s been welcoming guests for more than a century. Along with 230 guest rooms and suites, there’s a restaurant, a saline outdoor heated pool with a seasonal swim-up bar, a spa with nine treatment rooms, an on-site history museum with free audio tours and over 13,000 square feet of meeting space. Plus, just across the street are 32 miles of Gulf Coast beaches that guests can explore either on foot or on one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles.
• Omni Corpus Christi Hotel: Roughly halfway between Galveston and Mexico, south of San Antonio, is Corpus Christi, a coastal city that also happens to be the fourth largest port in the United States. Here, meeting groups flock to the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, which offers 475 newly renovated guest rooms in the downtown Marina Arts District, which is known for its waterfront art, restaurants and entertainment. The property offers bay views, two restaurants, a fitness center, an outdoor heated swimming pool, indoor racquetball courts and 24,000 square feet of meeting space. Although the hotel isn’t actually on the beach, Corpus Christi’s McGee Beach is nearby, and the gorgeous beaches of Padre Island are just a short drive away.
• Isla Grand Beach Resort (South Padre Island): Speaking of the beaches of Padre Island, they’re rivaled only by those of South Padre Island, a barrier island south of Corpus Christi, on the coastal tip of Texas. The resort town of the same name is full of pretty places to stay, including the Isla Grand Beach Resort, which has 128 guest rooms and 66 condominiums, not to mention a restaurant, a nightclub, two swimming pools, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The beach is just steps away, as are activities such as surfing, fishing, jet skiing, beach horseback riding and parasailing, just to name a few.