Treat yourself to some time away during the crazy holiday season. Although bills are piling up from holiday shopping expenses, some time for yourself doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some affordable holiday escapes near Houston where you can get some much needed R&R.

College Station
Manor Inn College Station
2504 Texas Ave S.
College Station, TX 77840
(800) 231-4100

College Station is home to Texas A & M University, home of the “Aggies,” and has all of the charm of a small college town with a lot of open land and famous football rivalries. In addition, College Station is the site of the George Bush Library and Museum. The Manor Inn College Station is a slightly older building with an inviting outdoor pool. The Inn is in the City Center near malls and the University campus.

Palacios, TX
The Luther Hotel
408 S. Bay Blvd.
Palacios, TX 77465
(361) 972-2312
www.palaciostexas.comPalacios (Spanish for Palace) is in the center of Tres Palacios Bay on the Texas Gulf Coast, 110 miles southwest of Galveston and 110 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. The waters are home to abundant shrimp, and Palacios has been called the Shrimp Capital of Texas. The beach is relatively short, but the town offers the tranquil setting for palm-lined streets, walks among seagulls and dozens of other birds and the sights and sounds of shrimp boats coming to the dock. Shrimp are served at all meals and all times of the day or night. The Historic Luther Hotel, built in 1903, offers moderately priced rooms, many with a view of the bay.

Beaumont, TX
Hilton Garden Inn
3755 I-H 10
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 842-5646
www.hiltongardeninn3.hilton.comBeaumont is an ideal destination for history and art aficionados. The Texas oil boom began in Beaumont, resulting in a relatively large nouveau riche group of tycoons. They constructed impressive mansions, many of which are still standing and open for tours. The heirs of the business class became well-educated and well-travelled art connoisseurs, and they contributed ample works of art to the local museums for several generations. Beaumont suffered severe damage from Hurricane Ike, as did many other Gulf Coast towns, but it as recovered nicely. Only a few miles from the Louisiana border assures plenty of Cajun fare and zydeco music.

Related: Best Weekend Getaways In The Houston Area

Brazos Bend State Park
Best Western Sugarland Inn
6330 E. Riverpark Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479
(281) 232-0680‎Brazos Bend state Park is a 40-acre game preserve, home to hundreds of species of birds and numerous alligators. The park is well-appointed with hike and bike trails. For those who do not wish to camp, the Best Western in Sugar Land is the nearest hotel, about 14 miles from the park. In addition to birdwatching and alligator viewing, stargazing is available at the George Observatory. An online outdoor field guide can be downloaded free of charge or purchased in the gift shop.

Conroe, TX
Comfort Inn
1115 League Line Road
Conroe, TX 77303
(936) 890-2811
www.comfortinn.comConroe is a local “jewel” of a town in the Piney Woods near the 22,000-acre Conroe Lake. A local tour guide describes it as an “ideal balance between starry nights and city lights.” The area has amazing wooded recreational facilities near the lake within a short drive of the historic and artistic downtown area. One of many interesting structures is the Crighton Theatre on N. Main Street. The theatre is home to Stage Right Productions and a near neighbor to a local art gallery. Check the town website and visitor tab for details on scheduled entertainment.

Related: Best Outdoor Fall Dates In Houston

Marc Pembroke is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. His work can be found on