Take a day trip or weekend getaway from Austin! Whenever a flight or long trip isn’t possible but you’re itching to experience something new, it’s a great idea to take a drive to somewhere in Texas. There are plenty of places to spend a few hours or a weekend taking in the outdoors, trying new restaurants, and getting out of your comfort zone.
Pack up your car. Here are 10 spots in Texas to visit.
Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock
Having visited Fredericksburg annually in the last few years, it’s a favorite for me. There are plenty of cute bed and breakfast places to stay and lots of wineries to visit. Some of my favorite spots in Fredericksburg include Cabernet Grill and Enchanted Rock.
See my Fredericksburg Travel Guide here.
Austin to Fredericksburg: 78 miles, 1 hour 40 minutes
Hamilton Pool is arguably Texas’ most famous watering hole. It’s beautiful landscape and intimate surroundings make it feel like a secret spot. Reservations are required for the summer, so be sure to make them early.
See my post about Hamilton Pool here.
Austin to Hamilton Pool: 31 miles, 52 minutes
Jacob’s Well and Wimberley
Another popular watering hole is Jacob’s Well, the spring where people take brave jumps into a deep, dark pool. It’s about eight minutes from the town of Wimberley, known for its antique shopping. Also, their Blue Hole Regional Park is a place where you can swim and jump in from a swing. If you want to stay overnight, check out Collective Retreat or Yurtopia for glamping.
See my Wimberley Travel Guide here.
Austin to Wimberley: 35 miles, 50 minutes
Distilleries and Breweries in the Hill Country
One of my favorite day trips is driving out to the distilleries and breweries in the outskirts of Austin near Dripping Springs. Remember my visit to Treaty Oak Distilling Ranch? You can also visit Jester King Brewery, Family Business Beer Company, Twisted X Brewing Company, Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery, Argus Cidery, and more. Most if not all have food on-site but if you need other recommendations, stop by Pieous or The Pickle House.
If you want to make it a weekend getaway, stay in a luxury cabin or yurt at Lucky Arrow Retreat, a cute cottage at The Wayback, a treehouse at Cypress Valley, or a simple bungalow at Living Waters on Lake Travis.
See more about the Austin area breweries here.
Austin to Dripping Springs area: 18 miles, 35 minutes
The closest big city away from Austin has plenty of activities. From the history of the Alamo and Missions to plenty of tacos, San Antonio is a fun city for a weekend getaway. Be sure to check out the vibrant Pearl Brewery district and you have to visit the Alamo and Riverwalk at least once in your life.
See my San Antonio Travel Guide here.
Austin to San Antonio: 80 miles, 1 hour 35 minutes
Tubing in New Braunfels
If you lived your 20s in Austin, there’s a chance you’ve been on a few trips to float the river. Tubing for three to six hours can be the most relaxing or crazy experience. It’s most fun with a big group of friends. (I’ve done tube rental through Rockin’ R a few times.) In New Braunfels, check out the Comal River. Other popular tubing spots south of Austin are the Guadalupe River and the San Marcos River.
I’ve stayed at Hideout on the Horseshoe where there’s a two-hour float on the Guadalupe River that lands back at the hotel. Rent a house, book, a room, or stay nearby at the luxurious Wahwahtaysee Resort or Geronimo Creek Retreat. If you don’t stay local, be sure to have a designated driver back to Austin or book a tour through Texas Winos.
See our lakehouse and tubing weekend post here.
Austin to New Braunfels: 48 miles, 1 hour
The Chip and Joanna empire has caused an increase in visitors to the town of Waco. If you’re a “Fixer Upper” fan or want to see what the hype is all about, stop by Magnolia Market at the Silos for home décor and a cupcake. Book a room at one of the Magnolia properties or stay in a tiny house. The Dr. Pepper Museum, Baylor University, and Balcones Distillery are some other attractions to check out. (The Cell Block is a unique stay – a jail – about 40 minutes from Waco.)
See my visit to Magnolia Market here.
Austin to Waco: 105 miles, 1 hour and 40 minutes
This charming town north of Austin is the perfect day trip or a relaxing weekend getaway. Take a dip in their Blue Hole and visit Rentsch Brewery. Don’t forget to stop by the most beautiful town square in Texas!
See my Georgetown Travel Guide here.
Austin to Georgetown: 30 miles, 40 minutes
This day trip has been on my to-do list for a long time! Grab some friends and go to Lockhart, known as the barbecue capital of Texas. You’ll want to save room to visit a few barbecue spots, including Kreuz Market, Smitty’s Market, and Black’s Barbecue. (If you’ve been to Lockhart, maybe you should try a barbecue road trip to Taylor or Lexington.)
Austin to Lockhart: 35 miles, 45 minutes
West Texas is nothing like the rest of Texas. Its expanse and wildness will inspire your adventurous side. It’s farther from Austin than all the other places on this list but you’ll be glad you visited for a long weekend. Big Bend National Park is a must-do if you want to see incredible landscapes. When you visit Big Bend, you’ll probably stay in Terlingua, which has this cool place to stay. Marfa has a really cool art museum, Chinati Foundation, which is also a must-do for me.
Ready for your Getaway?
I know I am! These are some destinations I’ll return to again and again because of the proximity to Austin and there’s more to see.
Where would you recommend visiting in Texas? Do you have any summer trips planned?