Lake o the Woods Resort at Lake Palestine is in Flint, Texas. The resort is less than 2 hours from Dallas, Texas, and just minutes from nearby Tyler Texas. I have recently stayed at another Hilton Resort just north of Tyler, Texas, and had a great time. I was happy to be going back to the area.
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Day One Travel & Arrival at Lake o the Woods Resort at Lake Palestine
My trip started with a flight to Dallas. The flight is not bad but did include a transfer just because I could not find a decent deal on a flight with no connections. Call me crazy, but I love saving money and using that money to spend on the trip itself, eating out, or doing something fun. The flight I feel is just my method of getting to that fun.
With a 40-minute layover, I still made it in a little over 4 hours. If I had driven, it would have been almost 19 so, I know I came out ahead. Had it been critical that I get there faster, I would have booked a nonstop flight which would have been just under 3 hours of flight time. However, I saved $200 on the round-trip airfare so it felt like getting paid $100 hours to sit and watch TV or get a drink at the bar in the airport.
Once I landed in Dallas, I moved to get my rental car and started off toward the resort. I took I20 to the outskirts of Tyler, then took a left on route 49. In 3 turns and less than 2 hours, I was at the resort.
The route I chose had a modest toll road, but it saved like 20 minutes of travel time, so it is worth it.
When you arrive at the resort you find older but well-maintained log cabins. Now, this resort is simple and rustic. It has the feel of a really well-maintained hunting cabin. The kitchens have all you need to cook on-site, and you can really dig into the surroundings since things feel disconnected from the day-to-day. They do offer Wi-Fi access for free. It may not be fast enough for a remote meeting, but great for email and basic internet searches.
The cabins have a loft area and a pull-out sofa bed. This extra space makes these comfortable for up to a party of 6. Getting here, I think I would take away the phones from everyone and lock them up. There are TVs in the unit but other than that you would almost force some time on nature in your group if you locked away the internet devices.
I look forward to going fishing and just disconnecting from my work, and day-to-day hustle. To, even though I vacation often as a travel writer part-time, I do miss just unplugging. Since this was a rustic retreat, I thought it was a good time to just try to be with and in nature. Pretend at least 80% of the time that the internet is not there and that the TVs don’t work. I did bring my Kindle with a few books on it, but I promised myself to not access the internet.
I would go online no more than once a day just to send a message to family and check for important emails. Then I would enforce my own break from the internet. It is likely as hard for me as it would be for a teenage girl because I work online and have a number of websites. Also, all of my clients are online. So, I set the expectation with my clients that I would be largely unavailable for 4 days.
I think we all need to do that. This resort is perfect for someone who wants to just spend time away from every day, and enjoy nature. It is likely not the place you go to enjoy things from typical resort towns. Things like live music, clubs, fireworks, and tons of local entertainment, are just not on the menu here. What is on the menu is mother nature. Fishing, a visit to the local zoo, and water-based fun. The water-based fun includes a local water park. You can also enjoy the local rose garden.
Another part of enjoying nature is golf and nearby there is a local course and club that you can access on your vacation. I will have to see if I can find a foursome to join or someone to play with locally while I am here. Until 2 years ago, I never took the time to play golf. I played mini-golf as a flashback to childhood, but a friend got me out on the links and I have played on most of my mini vacations since.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then Lake o the Woods Resort at Lake Palestine offers all of these amenities.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Fitness Center
Day Two Gone Fishing
Today I wanted to just enjoy mother nature. Not go really anywhere, or do a lot. So, I chose to fish. Just the old fish from the dock is kind of fun. I took a chair in a small cooler, rented a rod, and bait, and grabbed a Texas Fishing license for $16 a day.
I understand that the money goes to a good cause, and it is not much at all, but at some level, it seems weird to pay for something so simple that should be free. But every state seems to have these programs in place now. So, I paid my fee to let it drift from my mind, then focused on catching the big one.
You can fish from the docks at the marina, or you can certainly rent a boat and go out on the lake. I am likely to do that at some point during my stay, but as I said today, I am just going to watch the world move around me. Take it easy for a while. No phone, no internet, not a single luxury (well at least for a few hours).
About a 25-minute drive into town will take you to Stanley’s Famous BBQ. I arranged to meet my friend here for lunch and, likely, a few drinks. He is a family man these days, but I knew my buddy in his 20s and I saw him on my last trip to Texas at a nearby resort. So, I called before this trip and we arranged the lunchtime meeting. He also may join me for golf tomorrow. He was trying to get off of work.
Stanley’s is a neat joint. I think it qualifies as a join because they also have live music fairly often and have served BBQ here for over 60 years. I love places that have stood the test of time like that.
The bar and food menu here are bargains. So much so that I had to look up the average income online to figure it out. The average income in Tyler is less than $22,000 a year. So, this being a local place, the food is affordable for locals.
The local pricing will probably see me eating out more on this trip. It is just so affordable. I am used to spending a lot more out at restaurants when on a trip. This feels like somehow I am cheating.
We enjoyed the lunch and sat for a few hours after catching up more on each other’s lives and what we had done over the years. I told him about building my business after my time working for the Fortune 500, and he talked about his time in his father’s company, starting his own business, and his family. It is neat to see him as a family man. It fits him.
Day Three Golf
My buddy is going to meet me for golf again. We had a good time reconnecting and remembering some of our old days, too. So, he worked his way out of work for the morning so we could play 18 together and try out the local course. Eagles bluff is a nice club and course. My friend knows a member of the club so he made the arrangements for us to go as his guest, which was nice because there was not an open tee time for non-members this day. We made it a foursome with my buddy and myself playing the other two for a small wager of lunch for the winners. I have only golfed maybe 20 times now for a full 18 holes. That is over about a 3-year period. I just never golfed until late in life. So, I have a handicap but I am not sure what it accurately is. My friend is not a bad player judging from our last game a few months before. So, we may have a chance to win a meal.
Although if it does not go well, it would be nice to take the guy to lunch that is having us as his guest, so that would be an OK outcome.
The course is a very nice local course. It is along the lake and has its own water hazards on the course as well.
We lost the, so I offered to take the other guys for a meal at a local spot they recommended. An hour later and we are drinking beers and cutting into some nice steaks. They offer a Peppercorn Filet at Dakotas which credited to the other golfers is the nicest steakhouse in town, a town with tons of options.
This was a great end to the day with an old friend and some new ones. It was a great cap on the day and a great option when you stay at the resort.
Just make sure you book your stay with Tzort to be able to afford the meal out.