Spicewood – When it comes to lodging in the Lone Star State, we’ve seen all sorts of interesting ways to spend the night under the big bright stars of Texas. From see through plastic bubbles, teepee’s, top of the line desolate destinations, to yurts you can call your own. While all these locations were unique there’s one thing they didn’t have. A view from the trees.
“Now you know what I mean when I say this is adult comfort in a tree,” said Amy Beilharz, the owner of Cypress Valley, a central Texas hideaway in Spicewood that specializes in shelters that happen to be suspended in century old cypress trees.
“Our whole goal is to get people out in nature, find really unique places that we can share with people and then provide them something like a tree house that’s so enticing,” explained Amy. Living in the trees? Who could have come up with such an idea?! “I’m from California originally. And I moved to Austin in 1984,” stated Amy.
Amy purchased this property back in 1997 and wanted it to share its unique central Texas topography with the world. “We kept trying to find a way to share it, because it’s like a little state park, but we didn’t want to destroy it in sharing it,” explained Amy.
So in 2005, she opened a zip line adventure course and according to Amy, it was the first in the continental United States. “It was just a zip line. And then the first year we would do the last tour of the day because our guides would be so tired, we got so popular so fast and we’d do the last tour. And everybody kept asking if they could spend the night in the trees. So that winter we built a treehouse,” said Amy.
Today, the tree houses have taken over her property with 5 different spots to stay on site. “We just decided to refocus our energies on providing people a deeper experience in nature,” stated Amy.
Considering Amy used to work in the technology sector in Austin, she gets a kick out of her more recent venture. “My prior life, I was in high tech and building and designing phones, data communications. And at that time I was looking for ways, this is in the eighties, looking for reasons people would want to use these things, right? And now at Cypress Valley, I’m pretty much giving people a way to stop and get off the screen and enjoy each other,” Amy explained.
The seclusion helps. To get to a few of the more private treehouses, a trek across a suspension bridge is required. “We tell people to pack light. You’re going to go over a suspension bridge that moves a little. It’s part of the adventure. You don’t have a hallway and an elevator. This is not your typical hotel,” said Amy as we walked across this suspension bridge.
Once safely across, you see why these treehouses are so sought-after. “That’s actually an interesting dilemma and we’ve worked with it because everybody does want a treehouse in their heart. They have that childhood dream still. Right? So we want to keep it playful while at the same time you want adult creature comfort,” explained Amy.
“When you’re in a tree house, you’re experiencing the tree, right? You’re not just in a hotel box with a pretty landscape. You’re really out in nature,” said Amy.
The solitude and silence of being up in the trees makes you feel peacefully alone yet brings out the childlike instinct of doing something so cool and out of the ordinary. “We don’t play very often. We entertain ourselves. We stay busy, but we don’t have that real joyful playfulness that we did as a kid and a tree house just lets you do that. It’s like you’re already breaking all the rules, you’re up in a tree and it just opens that party back up,” said Amy.
If a family experience is what you’re looking for, the Nest tree house has a bit more space. That is home to the Swiss Family treehouse that is filled with all of the amenities needed to entertain the whole family!
And of course, if getting married in the middle of the woods is the wedding of your dreams, you can do that here too.
This experience is all about being one with the trees and having a tree all to yourself. A unique feeling that only a few kids got to experience with their own treehouse but now everyone can get that feeling of having your own private hideaway. “ I think people are calmer and kinder the more time they spend in nature. And I really enjoy the fact that we’ve got something so seductive that people will want to come do it. They don’t have to be a nature lover to want to come do it. I think it gives adults a free pass to actually start to find that part of themselves again,” expressed Amy.