Houston

Walk around any college campus at the beginning of a new school year, and you’ll feel the energy and excitement. (Trust us. We walk through Washington Square Park every morning on the way to our Oyster offices.) A new year brings new opportunities; it’s a fresh start and a blank slate, and particularly at the beginning of the school year, it feels like anything is possible — and it is! For all of us working here at Oyster, this optimistic attitude is something we miss about our college years. So, we put our nostalgia to good use and came up with a pretty awesome list of some pretty awesome college towns. Here are 10 college towns that’ll have you thinking about hitting the books once again.

Berkeley, California

UC Berkeley

Photo Credit: John Morgan

Welcome to Berkeley, a place with mere perfect weather that’s teeming with history and culture – and corner coffee shops. It also just so happens to be home to the oldest campus in the University of California system — you guessed it, University of California Berkeley. Whether you’re looking for gourmet vegan dining, a world-renowned theatrical performance, or serious city nightlife (hello, San Francisco), you’ll find it in Berkeley.

Where to Stay: Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel

Visitors to Berkeley might want to stay in nearby San Francisco (only 30 minutes by car) for convenience. Because of its location in a tourist-friendly neighborhood, The Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel is a great option for those exploring the area.

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Baseball season is now in full swing (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) and you have six months of heartbreak and/or joy — depending on your team — ahead. Taking in a game from the comfort of your living room can be nice, especially if it means saving face after an embarrassing loss (hey, Rangers!). But there’s nothing quite like taking in your team from the stands, with a hot dog and beer in hand. And there’s nothing like showing your team spirit than being there to root them on in the flesh. So whether you cheer for the Yankees (or the Mets), the Red Sox, the White Sox (or the Cubs), the Braves, the Cardinals, the Dodgers, the Marlins, the Phillies, the Giants, or the Astros, we have the perfect hotel where the die-hard fans can stay.

For: Yankees Fans, New York City

Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York City

He may have sold his penthouse apartment a few months ago, but Derek Jeter fans will still love being in a place the famed Yankee once called home: The Trump International Hotel and Tower. A luxury skyscraper with hotel rooms and residences, the Trump is one of the top spots for pre and post-game pampering, with an indoor pool, a tasty restaurant, and one of the best spas in the city. Plus, with a fabulous location on Central Park West, the hotel is less than a block from the B and D lines which will drop you off right by Yankee Stadium.

For Mets Fans: If you’re a Mets fan and can’t stand to be in the same hotel as Yankees fans (and to be honest, the stadiums aren’t that close), you may consider the Grand Hyatt. Rumored to have hosted numerous celebrity athletes (particularly during the U.S. Open), the Grand Hyatt is conveniently located next to Grand Central, where Mets fans can catch the 7 train to Citi Field in Queens. It’s also a prime location for visiting numerous must-see Big Apples sights.

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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

Houston has just about everything Texans could want right at their fingertips. The Lonestar State’s biggest city also has some of the biggest attractions including the famed Museum and Theater districts as well as NASA’s Johnson Space Center (as in, “Houston, we have a problem”). But one of Space City’s greatest assets is its mere proximity to some of the other most unique and cultured cities. So saddle up for a true taste of Texas goodness, from beaches and rock ‘n roll; from water parks to oil rigs. Let’s hit the road!

Road Trip #1: Houston to Corpus Christi, TX

Corpus Christi is the best beachside locale in Texas.

  • Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 51 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 222 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You need a much-needed day at the beach.

The rooftop restaurant at the Omni Corpus Christi lets us enjoy miles of the Gulf.

The fishing dock at the Lighthouse Inn is perfect for enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting pretty on the Gulf of Mexico’s crystal blue coast, Corpus Christi really does live up to its “sparkling city by the sea” nickname. With more than 131 miles of beaches, the city’s main shores of Corpus Christi and McGee beaches draw large summer crowds. The city’s sand helped earn Corpus Christi a “Best Restored Beach “award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association last year, one of only seven cities in the nation to receive the honor.  For some of the best views of the beach, the waterfront Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay can’t be beat, especially when looking out from on-site fishing dock and private balconies with rocking chairs. And a slightly more affordable option is the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel Bayfront Tower. The hotel also has incredible views from the rooftop lounge, and is within walking distance of many other downtown attractions.

  • Top Driving Tip: Weedhaven was once a tiny bustling village settled by wealthy businessman J.F. Weed, about halfway between the two cities. His store, cafe, and inn may have closed, but the Wild West remains of Weedhaven make it a popular roadside stop along the route.

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Texas may be the second largest state in the Union, but all of its residents seem to agree on at least one thing — there’s nothing better than kicking off your boots and enjoying some downtime in the Lonestar State. So we’ve traveled all over the state — and found some spots perfect for rest and relaxation. After all, when in Rome Texas! From Dallas to Corpus Christi, there’s a chill place calling your name. But we couldn’t help but start with Austin in honor of the (dreamy) Matthew McConaughey’s nuptials. After all, he is the *king* of chilling out.

The Lakeside Grounds at the Lake Austin Spa Resort

Grounds at the Lake Austin Spa Resort

Grounds at the Lake Austin Spa Resort

Why we love it: Though it looks like McConaughey had no trouble chilling in a hammock pre-ceremony, we’re thinking his guests could have preferred a stay at the romantic Lake Austin Spa Resort — rather than the tents the film star set up for them in his backyard. This waterside retreat, along the shores of Lake Austin, is more than a spa resort — with kayaking, canyon hikes, yoga and “discovery programs,” Lake Austin Spa Resort is a true wellness destination. But if you’re looking to kick back, there’s no better spot than the lush, lakeside grounds. Pick a grassy spot in the shade or head down to the water’s edge for some peace and quiet.

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With the Superbowl in sight (in the super-glam city of Indianapolis, no less), do-or-die playoff games mean serious crowds, crazed fans and tons of hotel reservations for the aforementioned. We checked out this weekend’s schedule and made our own picks — for sleeping, that is.

The Cruise Room Bar at the Oxford Hotel; Denver, CO

STEELERS V BRONCOS IN DENVER, CO
Top Spot to Sleep: The Oxford Hotel

Why: You don’t need to worry about Fido, packing your iPhone charger or getting around the downtown district when you camp out at the Oxford Hotel. Bose docks are in every rooms, pets are welcome and complementary towncar service is offered within a 2-mile radius. After you watch Tim Tebow put on what’s undoubtedly going to be an interesting performance, you can grab a drink at The Cruise Room Bar, the oldest in all of Denver. Read More »

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