The Retreat at Artesian Lakes in Texas
Updated: Apr 6
A place where families play and alligators lay. When in Texas this is the place to stay. I'm a poet and didn't know it. lol That's about as creative as my writing gets. Now let's get to the point and that is what I'm good at. This is why you should stay at Artesian Lake.
Cabins at The Retreat at Artesian Lakes in Texas
This is a cabin only resort. There are a wide selection of cabins and we stayed in the cheaper "one room" cabin, which was the perfect size for my family. The decor will remind you of your grandmother's house which I like to be polite and call "cozy". However, the sheets and mattresses do not feel like your grandmothers. The sheets are super comfortable. The mattresses are new and soft. I know you want to know if the cabin has air conditioning. The answer is "yes!" lol I know your second question, "Does it have WiFi internet?". Yes, yes it does. And your last question, does it have a TV. Nope, you are out of luck with that one. Also, check in is at 5 pm, but we arrived at 12:08cpm and our room was ready. Score! It never hurts to ask.
The kitchen comes stocked with plates, silverware, and cups. It does not come with pots, pans, or cooking utensils. They do provide a coffee maker and coffee. Also, they provide plenty of towels in the bathroom.
The outside of the cabin is perfect for hanging out with picnic tables and a swing to soak in the gorgeous view of the lakes.
We enjoyed fishing from the cabin.
Are there alligators? Yes!!!
They will swim up to cabin. However, we have never seen them get out of the water. Here is our alligator "Croc Jaw". We knew him when he was little baby and now he is over 7 feet long. As long as you do not get in the water with him then he is somewhat friendly. lol They are like dogs. If you call them they will come. We usually scream "Croc Jaw" over and over again then he comes. He LOVES uncooked eggs still in the shell.
My view in the morning with coffee.
Just a heads up, we did find these bugs all over our room everyday. Our son had fun catching them and putting them in a cup. If you dislike these bugs then this resort may not be for you. We had to check our sheets every night before bed.
(If you have a golf cart, bring it, otherwise you will have to drive your car or walk around the park. They do not have golf carts to rent. Some people bring bikes)
What to do
This is what we did 50% of the time. The pool!!! I have an A.D.D. personality, which makes it hard for me to slow down. What I love about camping is it forces me to slow down. Their pool is really nice and where we spent most of our time. the pool gets packed around 12pm so show up early. It closes at 11:00pm.
Do not sit around and physically blow up your inflatables. They have a free air machine at the pool in between the women's and men's restrooms. I swear this float screams Texas and I love it.
I found it online!!!
Alcohol is not allowed on the property but everyone is drinking. Just keep it in a cup and no one will ask questions. Absolutely, no glass at the pool.
Pond & Waterslide
I know what your thinking, a pond? WTF there are alligators. Well the resort does a fantastic job of keeping the alligators out of this specific pond. I know it's scary, but eventually you will see everyone doing it, so you will do it too.
You can rent canoes and paddle all through the channels. It is a lot of fun. I've asked the employees if they have ever had an issue with alligator attacks. Nope, they said the alligators are not aggressive. The larger the body of water, the larger the alligators. Did we take our kids? Nope, we were too nervous. You will see a lot of people taking their kids around in the canoes.
It's $49 a person and two people are not allowed on one horse. It is now illegal in Texas. Your child must be 6 and up, plus be able to ride alone. Our kids were not old enough to ride, so we just went around petting the horses. They are some of the sweetest horses I've ever meet. My kids had a blast playing with the horses.
They have a small man made fish pond for toddlers, so bring those fishing poles. Do not worry, this pond does not have alligators.
If you want to fish with the alligators, you can do that too.
You can buy bait at Romayor's Bait Shack. They have two dozen minnows for $5 dollars and are right down the street.
They have several playgrounds. This is where my kids met some amazing friends.
Hayride and Smores
For $10 a person you can take a hayride and make smores afterwards. The event is held one day a week and lands on the weekend. Honestly, I would skip this event. The hayride was fast and the smores were super fast. It's not worth the money.
List of Free Events
You have to request this list. They do not just hand it over.
We participated in the scavenger hunt. We did not win, but we were all allowed to pick an item from the gift shop for free afterwards. My daughter picked candy and my son picked an alligator tooth. The winners received a shirt.
They played the new DUMBO movie. My kids were excited about this event, because they made friends at the resort and wanted to watch the movie with their new friends. Show up early because the room fills up fast.
We are all competitive, so if there is challenge then game on. lol
They have a really nice fitness center for a camping resort. At check-in you will get the code to the center.
If you are staying for the 4th of July, they have fireworks at the pool/pond.
Enjoy the animals you find during your adventures.
This is by far the best part. We came across some amazing animals.
Hang out in the lobby and watch some tv.
Every time we needed some down time, we hung out in the lobby and watched tv. It was a great way for us, the parents, to get some rest before heading on to the next activity.
Where to eat
Free Breakfast on Saturdays- Hilltop Restaurant
When you check in, you will receive a time for carriage ride pick up. The carriage will pick you up on Saturday and take you to the breakfast buffet.
The breakfast buffet is really good and has a large selection. This is not your typical continental breakfast you receive at hotels. This is a real breakfast buffet.
Cook your own food in the cabin kitchen.
Hilltop Restaurant at Artesian Lakes
The restaurant is located on property and requires a reservation. You can make a reservation at check-in. The menu selection is limited and the food is expensive. The food is good, but not great. If you are tired of eating in your cabin and need a break from cooking, this restaurant is for you. You can view the seasonal menu at the front desk.
Comes with complementary homemade bread.
The Grill at the Pool
This place is perfect for lunch and it's located by the pool. It is not open for dinner. The food is really good and the prices aren't bad.
The snow cone stand is located by the pool and it's the perfect place to cool down. My son had the Shrek snow cone and my daughter had the Barbie snow cone.
Overall, we had a very relaxing time at Artesian Lakes. We are even considering going back next 4th of July. It was the perfect long weekend getaway. If you are thinking about going...do it! You will not regret it.
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