Are you looking for an easy day trip or a wonderful getaway to the Live Music Capital of the World? While Austin, Texas surely has it all, it can be so rewarding to skip town with the family and soak up the Texas sunshine. Whether you are a Texan looking to try something new or are on an epic road trip through the area, this list boasts some of the best day trips in the state.
From small towns to legendary rivers to insane geological features, these day trips from Austin are sure to ignite the smiles of every family member!
Day Trips From Austin, Texas
A small town with a big German Heritage in central Texas, just 80 miles from the capital that makes under a two hour drive, Fredericksburg offers fun for the whole family. While most of the town is focused on its incredible wineries and breweries, you can definitely make this Austin day trip family-centered. Visit the Pioneer Museum, stroll around the town square, and check out the Vereins Kirche (a replica of a 19th-century German church). For a truly epic day trip, head to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and explore the hiking trails and witness the gigantic pink-granite mound in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.
2. New Braunfels
There is nothing better on a hot summer day than an easy day trip to the hottest, coolest time in Texas, Schlitterbahn Waterpark. New Braunfels is a short drive from downtown Austin, rounding out to under one hour away. A trip to Schlitterbahn is sure to be the best day for all involved, as this award-winning park features three separate parks that makeup one huge waterpark wonderland.
If theme parks are not your thing, don’t worry, as this old-German town is known for both the Comal River and the Guadalupe River. Spend a few hours floating on one of these spring-fed bodies of water, followed by a visit to the Gruene Historic District, where the famous dance hall, Gruene Hall, still stands today. You can also tour the Natural Bridge Caverns, a series of underground limestone caves that are sure to blow any kids’ mind. After a day of fun in the sun, enjoy a nice dinner at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar.
3. San Antonio
Another exciting day trip is 80 miles south of Downtown Austin in San Antonio. This south-central Texas city has a deep colonial heritage as it was home to the infamous battle against Mexico at The Alamo. Today, you can take a tour of the historic building. After your tour, spend a day on the River Walk, a landmark pedestrian corridor lined with shops, cafes, and attractions.
A quintessential Texas Hill Country town, there is no denying Wimberley’s small-town charm. Nestled just 45 minutes from Austin, Wimberley offers a charming town square, gorgeous rivers and creeks, and world-famous swimming holes. Make a reservation to spend time at Blue Hole Regional Park or Jacob’s Well.
5. Texas Hill Country Tour
This three-hour round-trip drive from Austin hits multiple staples of the Hill Country, starting off with a scenic drive to Hamilton Pool. Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural swimming pool underneath a 50-ft waterfall, surrounded by a grotto. After Hamilton Pool, you can head to Pedernales Falls State Park and then drive into Johnson City for an adventure at the Science Mill. To top of this incredible day, drive through Dripping Springs into Driftwood for some of the best BBQ of all time at The Salt Lick. With so much to do, including a wide array of breweries and distilleries for the grown-ups, it is easy to break this up into multiple day trips from the city!
6. Lake Living
There are so many beautiful lakes surrounding Austin, that is a no-brainer to take the kids to one on a hot summer day. Perfect for boating or beaching, some of our favorite lakes near town include Lake Travis, Lake LBJ, and Canyon Lake. If you make it to Lake LBJ or Inks Lake in the Marble Falls area, make sure to stop at Sweet Berry Farm, where you can pick strawberries or whatever happens to be in season during your visit.
Lastly, but not of less importance, is the 90-mile drive to Waco, a town that has become famous due to Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV’s show Fixer Upper. You can take the kids to the Dr. Pepper Museum and then head to Magnolia Market for shopping and dining through the gardens and silos.
Have you and your family enjoyed all the that Austin, Texas, has to offer? Share your favorite times at our Wide Open Roads Facebook!