Palm thatched cabanas nestled among heliconia and hibiscus, wooden bridges over quiet lagunas, hammocks swaying in an island breeze. Kayaks, paddle boards, sand and lapping water. Sounds like a daydream, a far-off vacation, maybe something to enjoy once the kids are grown. How about a day trip? Son's Island at Lake Placid is an exotic island paradise located less than twenty minutes from downtown New Braunfels, just downstream from Lake McQueeney.

The latest addition to Byron Riedel and Best Texas Travel's collection of waterfront getaways, Son's Island has everything for a perfect day with friends and family. The island itself is accessible by way of an unusual timber bridge that harkens back to olden days and an easier pace. Fourteen cabanas, shaded by native cypress, pecan, and mulberry trees, are accessible by car for unloading purposes. Each one is well outfitted, with enough rattan chairs, bar stools, and settees to comfortably seat eight, as well as drink, dining, and picnic tables, a bar, and hammocks. Each cabana has water and power, and features a ceiling fan and a charcoal grill complete with grill tools.

For those looking for fun in the sun, Son's Island has you covered as well, with beach-style volleyball, tether ball, and a huge lawn with horseshoes, washer pits, and available frisbees, lawn darts, and paddle ball sets. There is plenty of room to run and play, to throw a football, or just bask in the sun. And with three and a half acres available, there is enough elbow room for everyone, even when the grounds are full to capacity.

Around and among the numerous amenities on Son's Island are comfortable paths, generously landscaped with a mix of tropical and native flowers and foliage interspersed with patches of manicured lawn. Philodendron and palmetto mixed with loquat and lillies are among the verdant mix, with Tiki themed signs and markers contributing further to the authentic island feel.


But let's not forget that this is an island, and if nothing else, that means water! There are plentiful kayaks of various sizes and styles, from sporty one-person models to longer, broader boats appropriate for couples and kids, stand up paddle boards, a paddle boat, and more. We found a rope swing and even a water slide! There are life jackets for everyone (my four year old left his on for most of the afternoon without complaint), and each cabana has its own floating dock, so crowding is never an issue. With nearly a mile of waterfront, there is room to swim or fish, paddle around, or just sit with your toes in the water.

As if all this were not enough, more watercraft are scheduled to arrive in September. "We're bringing in Waverunners, bass boats, pontoon boats – that's about to happen," says Patrick O'Toole, account executive for Best Texas Travel, who took the time to show me around, and has clearly been involved in every step of the development of this resort. "We just haven't quite finished that part yet." Patrick listed a few unfinished items on his agenda, including refurbishment of a pair of vintage Spartan travel trailers that have recently arrived on the premises. "As soon as those are finished out, there will be a place for overnight stays." Despite the newness and Patrick's ongoing to do list, the property hardly feels incomplete. Well planned, thoughtfully detailed, and bountifully appointed, Son's Island at Lake Placid delivers. "I wish we could come back tomorrow," said the four year old, wistfully turning his head as we drove back across the plank bridge. I grinned as I realized how close to home we were, and thought, 'We can, son. We can.'


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