Austin Travel Mama: Hyatt Lost Pines and Bastrop, TX

I remember a funny quote from an episode of Modern Family where the entire clan went on a trip to Hawaii in which Claire (the mother) said, “I’m a mom traveling with her kids. It’s not a vacation, it’s a business trip.” I find this hilarious because it rings true. “Family vacation” does seem like the ultimate oxymoron. Getaways with young kids in tow are rarely restful. So you must understand my delight to have just discovered that the perfect family vacation destination actually exists and is only a short drive from Austin!

The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa offers an amazing balance of luxury and family-friendliness, giving parents just as much to enjoy as the kids. Nestled around the Loblolly Pine forest in Bastrop, TX adjacent to McKinney Roughs Nature Park, the resort is only about a 30 min. drive from Austin. Which means that there’s hardly any time for squabbles in the car or the “are we there yet?” questions. When we approached the resort, we noticed the many hiking trails and signs indicating crossings for horseback riders. We immediately felt like we were far off the beaten path, and farther from home than we actually were.


The first thing we noticed when getting out of the car were the many animals on the property. Longhorns, horses, llamas, donkeys, and miniature horses, oh my! The boys were excited to take turns sitting on top of a longhorn named Rib Eye with giant horns. Once we had our activity schedule in hand after checking in, we realized that a falcon show was about to start. So we hurried over to the amphitheater to “oooh” and “ahhh” as a falcon, owl, hawk, and vulture flew right over heads as we listed and learned a lot about these birds. The Hyatt Lost Pines offers daily opportunities to interact with the animals including time to “pamper the ponies” and get right in the corral with the donkeys. You can also opt for horseback riding and birding activities among other ways to get up close to the animals.


Water Park & Pools

After we checked into our spacious room that featured colorful poster art of local musicians, we quickly put on our swim suits and headed for the on-site Crooked River Water Park. Is there anything more relaxing the floating around a lazy river? No way. The pool area also features a splash pad for young children, a two-story water slide (that we went down a gazillion times), a sandy beach, a pool equipped with a basketball hoop as well as a volleyball net. There was also an adult pool, kiddie pool, and whirlpools. Seriously, this pool area is like none other that I have ever seen! While cooling off in the water, you can also order drinks and food from the on-site restaurant, Old Buck’s Place.
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Evening Activities

  • S’mores
    I have some really fond memories of making s’mores in the summertime on family vacations. But I’ve never done it quite like this. The Hyatt Lost Pines invites guests to gather around the huge fire each night for complimentary make-your-own s’mores. Needless to say, this was a big hit with my boys! S’mores each night? Don’t mind if I do!-11
  • Live Music
    “Live at Lost Pines” features an amazing lineup of local musicians playing both in the lobby as well as outdoor where you can listen in big rocking chairs under the canopy of stars in the big Texas sky. We listened to tunes from top-notch performers, Redd Volkaert, Dallas Wayne, and Jim Stringer.


  • Outdoor Movies
    Each night, guests can pick up a blanket and settle into a perfect spot in the grass to watch a kids movie on the lawn. My kids had never watched a movie outdoors before and thought this was so cool! The free popcorn was also greatly appreciated.
  • Dining
    There are several restaurants at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, but we stuck with the most overly kid-friendly options. The Firewheel Cafe offers buffet and menu options , as well as a kid’s buffet full of standard kid-approved choices. My boys gave the mac-and-cheese two thumbs up. And I’ve never seen my boys eat as much as they did at the breakfast buffet! We also enjoyed the ease of having lunch delivered right to our beach chair from Old Bucks Place. There’s also a little cafe on-site where you can pop in for morning coffee, pastries, sandwiches, or an afternoon ice cream break.


There seemed to be an endless option of activities at the resort! I was astonished to see how many extras were offered to both kids and adults. Here were a few of our favorites:

  • Arts and crafts
    The kids can choose between three different craft projects offered twice daily.
  • Playground
    There is a small little playground for the little ones in your family, and during our stay there was also a bouncy house next to the playground to give the kids even ways to work off some energy.
  • Horseshoes and washers
    My boys really enjoyed challenging each other to a game of horseshoes, located in a nice shady patch near the water park.
  • Game room
    Once the kids discovered a game room (although very small with just a handful of games), they kept begging for quarters to play Ms. Pacman and Galaga.
  • Bikes
    Guests can check out bikes of all sizes including tricycles and small bikes with training wheels to enjoy on the paths around the resort.

-15-16In addition to the kid-focused activities mentioned above, there were so many other options that we just didn’t have time for this time around, including:

  • dance lessons
  • stargazing
  • kayaking
  • archery
  • golf
  • tennis
  • horse back riding
  • fishing
  • zip lining
  • spa treatments (both an adult spa and a kids spa are available with a great variety of treatments)

If you really want to indulge in some quality rest time, you can hit the spa or the golf course knowing that the kids will be looked after in the on-site Camp Hyatt. Families can enroll in either a morning or afternoon session of “camp” for $40-$50, depending on your choice of session.


More to Explore in Bastrop, TX

If you should venture off the resort property, you’ll find yourself just a short drive from the town of Bastrop, dubbed “the most historic small town in Texas”. Bastrop features a quaint downtown with a Main Street that invites you for a leisurely stroll to browse art galleries, shop in unique boutiques and dine on local cuisine.


If you’ve got dinosaur lovers in your family, you do not want to miss a trip to The Dinosaur Park located nearby in Cedar Creek, TX. As you walk along woodsy trails you encounter giant dinosaur replicas around every turn. Take note that the gift shop is so terrific, it will be hard to escape without a few fun dino purchases.
It’s only been a few days since I left the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, but I am already longing to splurge on one more complimentary s’more or take one last trip around the lazy river. Being such a short drive away, at least I can take comfort in knowing that I am sure we’ll be back.

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Heidi Okla is mom to three boys (ages 4, 6, and 8), and can’t pass up any opportunity for fun family adventures. Heidi covers theatre, health and beauty topics on And she is excited to be currently working on where you can find lots of ideas for keeping the kids busy this summer.

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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