50+ Best Day Trips From Austin Texas

Escape the hustle and bustle of Austin, Texas, and explore a myriad of exciting day trips just a stone’s throw away. Explore the scenic landscapes of Texas Hill Country, filled with vineyards and wildflowers, the historical landmarks of San Antonio, and the laid-back vibe of Waco. A wealth of experiences awaits right at Austin’s doorstep!

With our latest edition of our Texas Travel Guide, you can take an exciting vacation every weekend without breaking the bank and still have more to do! And in just one trip, the guide pays for itself! You’ll be amazed at all the hidden gems, international influence, and wacky attractions you’ll find all over Texas!

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Table of Contents

Day Trips Less Than 1 Hour From Austin TX

Dripping Springs (30 min)

Set off for Dripping Springs, also known as “The Gateway to the Hill Country.” Start your day with breakfast at Mazama Coffee Co., a locally renowned coffee shop serving specialty coffees and homemade pastries.

Then, make your way to Hamilton Pool Preserve, a remarkable natural pool formed thousands of years ago. The emerald green water, the 50-foot waterfall cascading over limestone outcroppings, and the lush vegetation are sure to provide a refreshing experience, especially in the Texas heat. Don’t forget to reserve your visit in advance, as it’s a popular spot.

Driftwood (30 min)

Embark on a journey to Driftwood, a charming Texas hamlet nestled in the heart of the Hill Country. Start at the famed Salt Lick BBQ for a taste of authentic Texas barbecue, where succulent smoked meats and hearty sides pay homage to traditional Southern cuisine.

Once you’ve had your fill, head to Driftwood Estate Winery. Perched on a hilltop, the winery offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, as well as a wide selection of locally crafted wines.

Things to do in Driftwood

Manchaca (30 min)

Begin your Manchaca exploration at the Manchaca Springs Saloon. It’s a rustic, down-home bar known for its live music and vibrant atmosphere. Unwind with a local brew in hand and enjoy Texas-style hospitality.

From there, venture out to Indian Springs Ranch, where you can meet different animals like zebras and camels. You can enjoy walking trails, picnics, and wildlife viewing.

Lastly, make your way to Texas Keeper Cider, where you can sample a variety of artisanal ciders crafted from local apples. The tasting room in a restored historic farmhouse adds a charming touch to your cider experience.

Things to do in Manchaca

Leander (45 min)

Leander is a small town just north of Austin. Start your day at the charming Casa Costa Bake Shop. Wrapped in the aroma of fresh bread and pastries, this family-owned bakery offers an array of delectable treats.

After a caffeine boost and a hearty breakfast, head over to Waterloo Adventures, an innovative water park on Lake Travis. Featuring a floating obstacle course, this park delivers a unique blend of relaxation and playful challenges. Finally, end with the Lake Travis Zipline and bird’s-eye views of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Things to do in Leander

Liberty Hill (45 min)

Embark on a journey to Liberty Hill, renowned for its distinguished distilleries and picturesque landscapes. Start your trip with a visit to Schitz Creek Distillery and Brewery. This brewery is an artisanal establishment that boasts a great selection of locally crafted spirits.

After savoring their delectable offerings, head over to Gabriel’s Overlook Park. This park is home to breathtaking views of the San Gabriel River. Its verdant surroundings make it an ideal spot for a serene picnic.

As your day winds down, make your way to Fire Oak Distillery. This award-winning distillery is known for its premium spirits, including whiskeys and vodkas, which are distilled using the age-old method of fire. Indulge in a tasting session and explore the intricate flavors of their finely crafted spirits and maybe even see zebras.

things to do in liberty hill

Round Rock (45 min)

Start off your time in Round Rock with some water-filled fun at Kalahari Resort and Conventions. A home to America’s largest indoor waterpark. Here, you’ll discover an array of thrilling water slides, pools, a lazy river, and a wave pool that cater to all ages. The resort also offers an extensive range of dining options, ensuring a satisfying meal after your aquatic adventures.

After you’ve dried off, head to Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park next door. This vast, indoor entertainment venue features everything from thrilling rides and arcade games to an impressive climbing wall and an exhilarating ropes course.

Things to do in Round Rock Texas

San Marcos (45 min)

Venture to the vibrant city of San Marcos, a hub of cultural, recreational, and educational attractions nestled along the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Begin your journey at the Meadows Center for Water & the Environment. Here, you can explore the beauty of Spring Lake through glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, and more!

Next, consider a visit to the Wittliff Collections, a treasure trove of writing, photography, and music from the Southwest. If you’re a shopaholic, the Tanger Outlets and San Marcos Premium Outlets are a must-visit. They offer an extensive selection of brand-name and designer stores.

For nature lovers, Purgatory Creek Natural Area provides miles of trails winding through lush, unspoiled landscapes. After a busy day, unwind by strolling through the downtown area. The craft breweries, local eateries, and live music venues there create a lively and inviting atmosphere.

Things to do in San Marcos

Wimberley (55 min)

Escape to the charming town of Wimberley, nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, for a day filled with natural beauty, unique art, and Texas hospitality. Start your day with a visit to Blue Hole Regional Park. This scenic natural swimming hole is surrounded by towering cypress trees.

If you’re an art enthusiast, don’t miss the chance to explore the various art galleries clustered around the town square, each showcasing an array of art forms. For breathtaking views of the Hill Country, make your way to the peak of Old Baldy, a local hiking favorite. Next, step back in time with a visit to Pioneer Town. It’s a living history museum portraying life in the early 20th century.

You can end your day with a delicious meal at one of the many local eateries serving up authentic Texas cuisine. Or, you can take in a live production at the Wimberley Playhouse. With its laid-back vibe and scenic landscapes, Wimberley makes for an enchanting day trip destination.

Things to do in Wimberley

Georgetown (1 hr)

Begin your journey by exploring Georgetown‘s historic downtown square, an enchanting blend of Victorian-era buildings and modern establishments. It’s the perfect spot to indulge in unique shopping, local cuisine, and the vibrant arts scene.

From there, make your way to the Blue Hole, a scenic lagoon on the South San Gabriel River. This tranquil spot, framed by limestone bluffs, offers a refreshing respite from the Texas heat.

Lastly, dive into the subterranean wonders of Inner Space Caverns. Discovered in the 1960s, these caverns showcase stunning stalactite formations and provide a glimpse into the region’s geologic past.

Things to do in Georgetown Texas

Bertram (1 hr)

Journey to Bertram, a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country, renowned for its rural charm and historic heart. Start your exploration at the Bertram Train Depot, a beautifully restored 1912 train station that serves as a museum. This place provides a glimpse into Bertram’s rich railroad heritage. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to take a scenic ride on the Bertram Flyer. A vintage passenger train that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Follow this up with a visit to Flanigan’s Texas Distillery & Winery. Here, you can sample an array of locally sourced spirits and wines. Round off your day with some antique shopping at the numerous vintage stores scattered throughout town. Each store is filled with unique treasures waiting to be discovered.

Things to do in Bertram

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State Park & Hiking Day Trips From Austin Texas

McKinney Falls State Park (30 min)

A stone’s throw away from downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is an oasis of outdoor adventures and natural beauty. Start your day trip with a leisurely hike on the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail. It’s a 2.8-mile loop that meanders past the park’s namesake falls. Along the way, stop to admire the park’s standout features: the Upper and Lower Falls. It’s where Onion Creek cascades over limestone ledges into tranquil pools below.

After lunch, you can explore the Homestead Trail. This will take you to the past traces of early Texas settlers, such as the Smith Rock Shelter and the ruins of Thomas McKinney’s homestead. Cap off your day with a quiet moment by the falls, basking in the peaceful sounds of nature as the sun sets.

Blanco State Park (1 hr)

Just an hour’s drive from Austin, Blanco State Park provides a perfect locale for a rejuvenating day trip. This hidden gem, nestled along the scenic Blanco River, offers an array of outdoor activities to fill your day.

Begin your journey with a morning stroll along the Caswell Nature Trail. This tranquil path is where you can soak up the park’s natural wonders. Next, dive into the Blanco River for a mid-morning dip or try your hand at fishing for Rainbow Trout.

Pedernales Falls State Park (1 hr)

Your day trip begins with a scenic drive to Pedernales Falls State Park. It’s a natural haven nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Spend your morning hiking along the Pedernales River. This will take you in the panoramic views of the falls and the park’s diverse wildlife.

After a packed lunch amidst nature, indulge in bird-watching or fishing, two of the park’s popular activities. As the day winds down, find a comfortable spot to unwind and watch the sun set over the falls, painting the Texas sky with hues of red and orange.

Palmetto State Park (1 hr 15 min)

A relatively short drive from Austin takes you to the unique ecosystem of Palmetto State Park. The park, named for the dwarf palmetto plants found among its vegetation, offers a unique landscape for a day trip.

Start your visit with a leisurely hike on the Palmetto Trail. The lush, tropical vegetation offers a sense of walking through a jungle right in the heart of Texas. The trail also takes you past the Lake, a great spot to pause and soak in serene surroundings.

Guadalupe River State Park (1 hr 20 min)

Guadalupe River State Park is an idyllic spot located just over an hour from Austin. It is known for its captivating river views and diverse range of outdoor activities. Trails range from easy, such as the Bald Cypress Trail with its stunning river views, to challenging, like the Bauer Unit Trail that takes you through remote, rugged terrain.

After a morning of exploration, cool off with a swim in the Guadalupe River. For lunch, enjoy a picnic by the riverbank, surrounded by the park’s lush greenery. Post-lunch, engage in bird watching or simply unwind by the river.

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Day Trips from Austin Texas (Less Than 2 Hours)

Burnet (1 hr 15 min)

Burnet offers a plethora of attractions for daytrippers. The city is home to the renowned Longhorn Cavern State Park. This place is a remarkable underground wonder formed thousands of years ago by the erosive power of the Colorado River. Ink Lakes State Park is a popular spot in the summer, and there are even multiple wineries in the area!

Calvert (1 hr 44 min)

Calvert is a delightful day trip destination for those seeking an escape from Austin’s urban buzz. Whether you’re a history buff, an animal lover, or simply looking for a charming small town to explore, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in Calvert.

Best Things to Do in Calvert TX

Kingsland (1 hr 15 min)

Kingsland is especially known for stunning Lake LBJ, a part of the Highland Lakes chain of seven reservoirs. Visitors can enjoy a variety of water activities, including swimming, fishing, and boating. This makes it an ideal day trip during the summer months.

Beyond the lake, Kingsland is home to the historic Antlers Hotel. It’s a converted railroad resort that now serves as a hotel and offers a taste of Kingsland’s rich past.

Things to do in Kingsland

Seguin (1.5 hrs)

Seguin is fun, quirky, and is known for things like being home to the “World’s Largest Pecan.” Some top activities include hanging out at the river park, the ZDT amusement park, and another funky but fun attraction, the town’s huge collection of nutcrackers.

New Braunfels (1.5 hrs)

New Braunfels, a city rich in German heritage. It is situated a comfortable 1.5-hour drive from Austin, making it an ideal destination for a day trip. Famed for its old-world charm, New Braunfels is a city steeped in tradition and history, with its roots dating back to the early 19th century.

Visitors can explore the historic Gruene District with its well-preserved 19th-century buildings, indulge in traditional German cuisine at local eateries, or visit the fascinating New Braunfels Railroad Museum. The city is also home to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, a perfect retreat for families during the summer months.

Things to Do in New Braunfels

Hye (1.5 hrs)

Hye, Texas, a small unincorporated community in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. This place offers a quaint and peaceful retreat for those looking for a quiet day trip from Austin. Renowned for its burgeoning wine scene, Hye is home to several notable wineries and distilleries. Hye Meadow Winery and Garrison Brothers Distillery are some of the prominent examples.

Wine-loving visitors can embark on delightful tasting tours, savoring the rich, varied flavors of local produce. History buffs may also appreciate a visit to the Hye Post Office, a historic postal office dating back to 1886. Despite its small size, Hye offers a charming Hill Country experience, making it a worthwhile addition to any day trip itinerary.

Stonewall (1.5 hrs)

Stonewall is known for the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. This park offers an immersive experience into the life and times of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Visitors can tour “the Texas White House,” Johnson’s childhood home, and explore the grounds, which include a living history farm.

Even though it’s right next to Hye, you could spend an entire day, or weekend, just exploring Stonewall and a separate day (or weekend) exploring Hye. Of course, there are also all of the wineries!

Fredericksburg (1.5 hrs)

Fredericksburg, a popular tourist city in Texas, is known for its charming German heritage, lush vineyards, and vibrant arts scene. The city is a wine lover’s paradise and the Texas wine scene keeps getting better and better each year.

Visitors can also explore the National Museum of the Pacific War, dedicated to the history of WWII in the Pacific. In addition, Fredericksburg’s bustling Main Street invites guests to discover a plethora of unique shops, art galleries, and local restaurants offering delicious German-Texan cuisine. This blend of heritage, wine, and art makes Fredericksburg a captivating day trip destination from Austin.

Things to Do in New Braunfels

Lampasas (1.5 hrs)

Lampasas, just an hour and a half’s drive from Austin. It is a small Texas town wrapped in historic charm and natural beauty. Known for its therapeutic mineral water springs, Lampasas was once the site of a popular health resort in the 19th century.

Today, visitors can enjoy a walk through the scenic Hanna Springs Sculpture Garden. You can also explore the historical architecture in the downtown area, which is home to several antique shops and cozy restaurants. Additionally, Lampasas is a gateway to the picturesque Texas Hill Country. This place offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Things to do in Lampasas Texas

Belton (1.5 hrs)

At an equal distance from Austin as Lampasas and Fredericksburg, Belton is a charming Texas town teeming with history and culture. It is home to the beautiful Belton Lake, a favorite destination for fishing, boating, and outdoor recreation.

History enthusiasts will find delight in the Bell County Museum. This place offers a rich collection of exhibits detailing the area’s history, from prehistoric times to the modern era. On a leisurely stroll through Belton’s historic downtown, visitors can discover a range of antique shops, art galleries, and dining venues that reflect the town’s unique heritage.

Things to do in Belton

Sisterdale (1.5 hours)

Sisterdale, a quaint and historical town situated in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, is just a 1.5-hour drive from Austin and serves as an idyllic destination for a day trip. Start your day at the Sisterdale Dancehall and Opera House. It is a significant landmark that encapsulates the town’s rich history and cultural heritage.

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Sister Creek Vineyards is a must. Nestled in the serene landscapes of the Sisterdale Valley, the vineyard offers wine enthusiasts an opportunity to taste some of the finest wines produced in the region.

Spicewood (1.5 hrs)

Embark on a day trip to Spicewood, a charming locale nestled in the picturesque Hill Country. Begin your visit at Krause Springs, a well-loved natural swimming spot, perfect for staying cool. Some people like to swing from the rope swings or explore the miniature cave. Don’t forget to explore the beautiful butterfly gardens.

After a refreshing dip, head to Stone House Vineyard for an enchanting wine tasting experience. This family-owned winery is renowned for its meticulously crafted wines. The delicious wines are made from grapes grown in their vineyard, and other carefully selected locales.

Things to do in Spicewood

San Saba (2 hrs)

San Saba, often referred to as the “Pecan Capital of the World,” is approximately a two-hour drive from Austin. This quaint Texas town, located on the banks of the San Saba River, offers visitors a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and local culture.

Famous for its pecan orchards, San Saba is a haven for foodies. Here, you can visit local farms and sample the best of Texas’ pecan produce, or even pick pecans yourself! San Saba is also close to Colorado Bend State Park, which has a beautiful waterfall, kayaking options, and waters to swim in.

Mill Pond Park provides a scenic spot for a peaceful picnic or leisurely stroll. The local downtown area offers a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and wineries, ensuring there’s something for every day tripper to enjoy in San Saba.