Tuesday, May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024
78° F Dallas, TX

Your Perfect Summer Escape Is a Short Drive Away

It really couldn't be easier to get out of Dodge.
Bedroom at the Walden Retreats
Elizabeth Lavin

Every year, I have the enviable task of identifying easy weekend getaways a short drive from Dallas. I usually keep notes all year long about promising properties, and then dispatch editors (myself included) to check them out. (Leave me a comment below if you have a favorite place that you think should be considered for next year’s list!)

This year, one of the top options initially had me stymied: the new Commodore Perry Estate in Austin. I grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is named for Commodore Oliver H. Perry, who defeated the British navy on the waters of Lake Erie in that famous battle, The Battle of Lake Erie, in 1816. I was pretty sure neither the Redcoats nor Commodore Perry ever made it to Lake Travis. Turns out I was correct.

“Commodore” Edgar H. Perry, for whom the resort is named, was not a sailor but a cotton broker. The honorary title was bestowed by a Texas governor in recognition of his civic works, which included working with then Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson to spearhead the first affordable housing project to be completed under the 1937 Housing Act. Edgar built the mansion that is now the central feature of the eponymous resort in 1928, and he wasted no time throwing Great Gatsby-esque parties with his wife on the beautifully landscaped grounds.

The property still has that feel of decadent escape, as do all of our travel picks for the June 2022 issue. Both of the ones I visited, I will certainly revisit. A splurge stay at the Commodore Perry Estate may not always be in the cards, but I will absolutely return to the on-site restaurant, Lutie’s. I still dream of the magical dinner I enjoyed there.

The other place I have already returned to since writing the story for the travel issue is The Carlisle in Lockhart. I always thought the town was just about barbecue. (Which, don’t get me wrong, would be more than enough.) Instead, I discovered a thriving, diverse city to rival Fredericksburg and Provincetown. I went back last month with a couple of other couple friends. We had the most marvelous time: lounging by the pool, exploring the town square, buying art, drinking craft cocktails in basement bars.

We all need a respite right about now. I hope you find one the perfect one here. The story is online now.


Kathy Wise

Kathy Wise

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Kathy Wise is the editorial director of D Magazine. A licensed attorney, she won a CRMA Award for reporting for “The…