After a few years of having to save up all my time off and extra money to go towards maternity leaves topped with an emergency vet visit and our our AC going out last summer, family vacations have been on the back burner. I started a new job a year ago with generous vacation and higher pay. So I was determined to have a real vacation this year.
The thing about having two toddlers though is that traveling and vacationing can be tricky. I didn’t want to go anywhere too far but still wanted to feel like we were getting away. Also, I didn’t want to stay too long in case they flipped out from being out of their element and routine. After a little research I decided on Quartz Mountain Resort. It’s two about and half hours away from Oklahoma City in the southwestern corner of the state towards the Texas boarder. A reference for any readers in Texas, it’s four hours northwest of Dallas. The distance is max car ride time before meltdowns would happen. We had never really explored that part of the state. A resort was really appealing. I liked the idea of taking the kids to one place for the whole trip without having to load and unload them a million times. Plus, it is extremely affordable.
I’m not going to lie. Driving in from the Oklahoma side was pretty bleak and flat. I know my husband was wondering what in the world I had gotten us into, like we were being lured to some sort of Terminus type place. We just kept going without seeing anything. Finally we approached a few rocky mountains, went around a curve, and BAM! In a valley between several mountains was a glistening blue lake behind a clear blue sky. It was beautiful. We drove through a state park and finally made it to the resort.
Everything is tastefully lodge style, not overdone. The lobby, conference areas, and hotel rooms are decorated with art, including a sculpture in the courtyard. The rooms and the pool are nice and clean and comfortable but also in a way were no frills. For example, you don’t come here because there’s a lazy river pool and paper-view on a huge TV. You come here to be HERE. You come here to enjoy the place itself. I would venture a guess that most people come to be outdoorsy: hike, mountain climb, swim, boat, fish, bike. If you aren’t actively outdoorsy though, I think this would still be a great place to come and unplug. Bring a book and read it lakeside! I should mention they do have WiFi, but we did try to stay mostly unplugged during our stay.
At the bottom of the state park, which is not a part of the resort but you do drive through it to get to the resort, there was miniature golf, a water slide, and carnival type rides. To be honest they seemed dated, and our kids were too young for it. We mainly did a lot of hiking and swimming. There are trails up the mountains that would be fun to try sometime, but they were a little much for how small our kids are right now. We stuck to the paved and gravel trails around the resort. The kids enjoyed crossing the long foot bridge and finding different places to stop to find rocks for my husband to skip in the water for them.
I brought a bunch of snacks like cereal bars, nuts, and fruit. We also grabbed pre-made sandwiches from the store at the state park. We did eat at the cafe at the resort once. They serve all three meals, but we had the pleasure of being surprised by a having a truly lovely dinner there. They had a mix of appetizers, salads, steak, seafood, and other entrees. The portions, for dinner at least, were huge! My husband and I both have very healthy appetites and were very hungry. We could have split a meal. Seriously. He ordered the catfish, and I ordered the short rib. Everything was perfectly cooked and tasted so fresh. The kids ordered pizza off the kids menu and ended up mostly eating off our plates if that tells you anything. I wish I had gotten a picture of the restaurant or our food when it was pretty and presentable, but below is our to-go box to give you an idea of the portion sizes based on what we had leftover.
The highlights, besides the hiking and swimming, was the wildlife. Deer were literally outside our backdoor. We also saw a ringtailed cat (ummmm have you ever heard of that before?! I hadn’t.), and a crazy lizard I have yet to identify. On the state park trails we saw rattle snake warning signs. So do be careful. Because all the rooms have little porches or balconies, we got to enjoy our morning coffee looking out over the lake. There was a stone amphitheater that my kids thought they were “mountain climbing” on.
I think we will go back, but we learned a few things. Next time we will bring our fishing gear. We didn’t realize so many spots would be accessible without a boat. You could literally step out of your room, walk twenty feet, and put your pole in the water. The rooms don’t have refrigerators, and we wanted to throw cold bottles of water in our bag for when we were out and about. Next time we will bring a little ice chest. We will also bring a few pop up chairs for rests on our hikes and to use while fishing. We’d like to go in spring or fall when it’s a bit cooler since it was 90-100 degrees while we were there (in July.)
My husband and I just kept saying it looked like this place was dropped there from the sky by accident. It’s a gorgeous hidden spot in the middle of nowhere and nothing. My son cried when we left because he wanted to stay. So you know that means it was a perfect family vacation.
*** This post was not sponsored.