22 Epic Day Trips from Austin, TX

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You’re tired of city life but don’t have the time to travel far. Do you find it’s hard to decide where to go that would both entertain and rejuvenate you? Don’t worry; one of the day trips from Austin that I recommend is listed below.

Must-read: Dallas to Austin Drive: Best Places to Stop + Tips!

Dripping Springs

dripping springs
Cre: Dave Mead

Dripping Springs is one of the great day trips from Austin because it’s only about an hour away. There are many wineries in Dripping Springs where wine enthusiasts can sip and spend a beautiful afternoon. Don’t expect it to take you an hour to go out and drink wine. The famous Hamilton Pool Preserve is located in Dripping Springs, and there’s nothing like taking in the breathtaking scenery while cooling off in the pleasant waters.

Start your day by the pool and then spend the afternoon sipping wine, as this is the one-day schedule I prescribe for you to make the most of your time here. You can stop in nearby Driftwood for dinner at The Salt Lick if you have more time. One thing to remember is to make a reservation ahead of time!

Wimberley

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Photo by Robert Thigpen via Flickr

The drive to Wimberley takes around 45 minutes, and you will not be disappointed because the city center has indescribably charming beauty. What makes Wimberley one of those must-see day trips from Austin TX? Most visitors from Austin like the glittering lights from the town’s businesses lighting on the town’s decorated sculptures for photos. It offers a lovely and straightforward small-town scene. It is renowned as Texas’s largest outdoor market. You’ll be taken on a tour of local handicrafts like pet accessories, garden artwork, and healthy home cures. The concert performances with vibrant local cultural hues are unique to these events.

Aside from admiring the city’s splendor, don’t miss Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole, two of Hill Country’s most famous bathing holes.

Lockhart

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Do you have a strong desire to cook? Are you a fan of grilled meat? On the list of must-visit day trips from Austin, Lockhart is home to many restaurants participating in the contest for the best barbecue restaurant in Texas. The BBQ is bursting with flavor from every angle.

Smitty’s store, Kreuz Market, Black’s and Chisholm Trail BBQ are among the highly rated restaurants in the area. Each business has its flavor profile, so choose the best suits your preferences. You are welcome to visit each shop anytime you have the opportunity.

Krause Springs

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It would be best if you came on one of Austin’s most worthwhile day trips. Krause Springs will not disappoint you because it is only 45 minutes away by car, but there is nothing to see and do. On the contrary, you will undoubtedly enjoy your brief stay here. The jade-green water and the cool shade provided by the large trees in the lovely woodlands will make you with feel comfortable and be healed and aid in the renewal of your healing energy.

Have you ever swum in a half artificial pool and half natural? The private owners here use 32 massive natural springs to construct a gigantic collection regarded as the most beautiful in the Texas Hill Country. You can relax pleasantly here, but because it is natural, it will be a little colder than other lakes, so be cautious before entering.

Georgetown

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Photo courtesy of Aquila Commercial

Georgetown is one of Texas’ historical centers, and it’s worth visiting on one of your historical day trips from Austin. This square, located north of Austin, is widely regarded as the state’s most beautiful. Inner Space Cavern also allows you to explore the underground planet. If you visit for the first time, you will undoubtedly be impressed. If you have extra time, go swimming at the Blue Hole (this hole is not like the hole in Wimberley).

New Braunfels

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New Braunfels has a lot to offer despite its modest size, from the picturesque Gruene Historic District (home to the historic Gruene Hall) to river floats, Schlitterbahn rides, and tours of the spectacular Natural Bridge Caverns. Do you understand why New Braunfels is considered one of the must-visit day trips from Austin now?

On an Austin day trip, you won’t be able to see all of the most important things to do in New Braunfels, but you may pick your favorites, choose some good places to eat in New Braunfels and have a fantastic time.

You can stay in The Courtyard by Marriott New Braunfels River Village to spend the night if your day trip becomes an overnight one. It is also often chosen as the best place to stay if returning to New Braunfels. The rooms here are clean, comfortable, with an outdoor pool and deck area for you to enjoy Texas.

Round Rock

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SWCargill / iStock

While today’s Round Rock is essentially a suburb of Austin, it has its history dating back to 1848 and a variety of exciting things to do. 

In the list of must-visit day trips from Austin TX, Round Rock became well-known thanks to its bat colony; stroll through its charming downtown district, visit a park or two, look for the round rock for whose named in the city is named, and–most importantly, in our opinion–try some of the city’s famed Round Rock Donuts. 

San Marcos

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Cre: Facebook

When you go to San Marcos for a day excursion, you usually want to float the river or shop at the country’s largest outlet mall. However, there’s no reason why you can’t do both!

You can and around San Marcos as part of your day trip from Austin:

  • Go snorkelling.
  • Hunt for some of the city’s colorful murals.
  • Take a glass-bottom boat tour.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

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Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is a terrific destination for people looking to get away from the city for a day. With excellent hiking trails, an abundance of wildlife, and possibly some of the best sunset views in Texas from its observation decks, this place is considered one of the desirable day trips from Austin

Johnson City + Pedernales Falls

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On your Austin day excursion, visit Johnson City and the surrounding area –the home of LBJ Ranch–to tour the former president’s childhood home, working ranch, and the Texas White House for a mix of US history and classic Texas scenery and fantastic swimming.

After you’ve finished, travel next door to Pedernales Falls State Park for some hiking and swimming in the quiet but lovely falls.

Fredericksburg

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Fredericksburg is a Hill Country favourite for a reason, with its German background and great location along the official Texas Wine Trail. Many people voted this place to the day trips from Austin list.

Fredericksburg has something to offer anyone seeking a day trip from Austin, whether they want to visit a half-dozen wineries (or more, who’s counting), go antiquing, trek to the top of Enchanted Rock, or harvest their peaches in the summer.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

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You can combine Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg into one Austin day trip by driving 17 miles north, but Enchanted Rock is worth visiting on its own!

Climbing to the top of this pink granite mountain has attracted mankind for hundreds of years, and it is one of Texas’ most unusual excursions. But be warned: Enchanted Rock has no shelter, so bring plenty of drink and sun protection!

San Antonio

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Cre: Facebook

San Antonio is one of Texas’ most popular tourist destinations, featuring attractions such as the Alamo, the rest of the UNESCO-listed San Antonio Missions, the Riverwalk, the busy Historic Market Square, and the beautiful La Villita.

Taking a one day trip from Austin to San Antonio necessitates getting up (very) early in order to avoid the horrendous traffic that jams the route between the two cities–but it’s well worth it if you time it right.

There’s a treasure trove of fun free things to do in San Antonio, TX for who want to explore its nature, culture and history. This is a great chance for the whole family to spend the day together, learning and exploring.

Must read: 22 Best Breakfast Restaurants in San Antonio, TX

Marble Falls

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Photo courtesy of TexasHillCountry

Marble Falls is popular as a charming Hill Country town which is perfect for travelers looking to enjoy the outdoors and visit the small-but-lovely downtown. It is located on the banks of Lake Marble Falls (which aren’t set on marble at all, but rather that classic Texas staple of limestone), Marble Falls is one of the most popular tourist day trips from Austin.

Don’t leave the town without trying a slice of pie from the Bluebonnet Cafe, which serves some of Texas’ most excellent pies!

Shiner

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Photo by Randall Metting

Most Texans are well-versed in Shiner, even if they’ve never considered visiting this tiny Texas town of 2,000 residents: here is the birthplace of Shiner Beer, a staple of all Texas grocery shops!

Because of its celebrity, the most popular thing to do in Shiner is to tour the Spoetzl Brewery, which produces Shiner Beer–but it’s worth staying long enough to see the charming downtown following your tour of the brewery!

Colorado Bend State Park

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Image from The Dyrt camper JJ T

Colorado Bend State Park, home to excellent hiking, stunning waterfalls (including the spectacular 70-foot Gorman Falls), and great swimming holes, will make you forget Texas.

Do you want a little more action? Consider joining a dangerous cave trip!

Waco

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Cre: Facebook / Waco Parks and Recreation

Waco has been considered as one of the most popular day trips from Austin for many years because of a different reason: the launch of Magnolia Market, owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame.

Even if you don’t visit the Silos, Waco has enough to offer: explore the Dr Pepper Museum, tour Baylor’s magnificent campus, or visit the Wooly Mammoth National Monument. And don’t forget to find places to eat in Waco.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

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Photo by Ian Shive

Touring Longhorn Cavern, one of Texas’ most unusual caverns, will take you through numerous rooms while describing the cavern’s history and geology.

However, the state park offers more than just the cavern: go trekking on one of the trails or catch sight of adjacent Falkenstein Castle!

Lost Maples State Natural Area

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Lost Maples State Natural Area has become the most remote of these best day trips from Austin, but it is well worth the travel. Especially in the fall, when Lost Maples is one of the best sites in Texas to see fall foliage.

The foliage usually is most delicate from late October to mid-November. It lasts 3-4 weeks, but the season varies from year to year, so if you have your heart set on seeing it at its peak, verify the status before heading out!

Palmetto State Park

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Photo by phillip77901 via TripAdvisor

Palmetto State Park is an hour’s drive southeast of Austin with its unique forested acres and offers a refreshing respite in a tropical scene. The San Marcos River allows for such prolific development, and dwarf palmetto plants give this state park its name and dynamic ambience. The San Marcos River, which flows swiftly through the park’s center, is also the source of numerous day trips.

Visitors are able to swim and fish in the San Marcos River within the park, and canoeing and tubing are also popular. Stand-up paddleboards and tandem kayaks are also available for rent at the state park. Oxbow Lake may also find an Oxbow lake with a fishing pier in the park. Hiking pathways like the Palmetto Interpretive Trail provide the best view of the park’s namesake flora for land-based activities.

Inks Lake State Park

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Photo: Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Day visits from Austin are possible to several fantastic state parks. Inks Lake is a tourist attr day-use and overnight getaway about 50 miles northwest of Atlanta. The 830-acre lake is part of the Central Texas Highland Lakes, which run into Austin and are fed by the Colorado River. Lady Bird Lake, located in downtown Austin, is one of the Colorado River’s Highland Lakes.

The state park is known for boating, fishing, and water skiing and is one of Texas’ top lakes. Two fishing piers, fish cleaning stations, and gear to borrow are available at the state park. Hiking routes surround the shoreline, and there are over 200 campsites to choose from. Visitors may find the most excellent views in the park on the 1.8-mile Pecan Flats Trail.

Another reason to visit the area is the adjacent Longhorn Cavern State Park. Longhorn Cavern was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and is still a famous cave to visit today. Every day of the week, the park offers guided tours, which are the only method to visit the cave’s inside.

La Grange

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About an hour east of Austin, La Grange is a bit of small-town heaven. This lovely and somewhat infamous village, nestled in the foothills of Hill Country, is also next to the Colorado River. This modest Texas town feels hundreds of miles distant from any big city when you arrive. Music superstars such as Dolly Parton and ZZ Top have praised La Grange. It is still a popular day excursion from both Austin and Houston today.

In La Grange, the Colorado River is the primary source of recreation. It’s the same river that runs through Austin, except there are significantly fewer people.

Walking up Monument Hill is another favorite option to spend time outside La Grange. This state historical site honors long-lost Texans while also providing a spectacular perspective of the Colorado River. At sunset, Monument Hill puts on a spectacular show.

The Fayette County Courthouse is the main architectural feature in downtown La Grange. Several neighborhood cafes are within walking distance of this magnificent century-old structure. The county courthouse is also close to art galleries that attract attention. The Texas Quilt Museum is located directly across from the courtroom for anyone interested in spinning a yarn.

There are best day trips from Austin listed above. These locations can accommodate your demands whether you want to drink wine, eat BBQ, swim, or relax in nature after a long and exhausting day at work. Without driving far, you can make your vacation significant by traveling for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Explore more on our website bbalessandra.com!

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