Are you looking for the best day trips from Austin? Look no further – Best Day Trips from Austin allows you to explore some of the most breathtaking sights in Texas and beyond!
From lesser-known destinations to well-known favorites, Best Day Trips from Austin gives you access to some of the most interesting and exciting places just a short drive away from the capital city.
Take a trip to majestic Texas Hill Country for the ultimate getaway experience. Experience its rolling scenery, rich German heritage and amazing natural attractions; all within close proximity to nearby towns and cities. If that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of museums, parks, trails and other hidden gems to explore as well.
Perfect for spontaneous weekend getaways or even day trips with family or friends – Best Day Trips from Austin has something for every type of traveler. So sit back, relax and let us show you some of the best day trips around Austin!
Need a break from the hustle and bustle of Austin city life? Embark on one of the best day trips from Austin, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by blissful views of nature, breathtaking outdoor attractions, and plenty of places to explore in neighboring cities.
Take a short drive to Dripping Springs or Johnson City and you’ll discover hiking trails that lead to Hamilton Pool or Pedernales Falls. With Austin’s winter-less climate, you can take full advantage of your visit any time of year. Make your way to San Antonio, only 80 miles away from Austin to witness the grandeur of The Alamo and spend some time strolling along the picturesque San Antonio Riverwalk.
Here at Best Day Trips from Austin, we’ve got all your sightseeing plans covered with our carefully curated list. Get ready for a memorable time – grab your traveling essentials and hit the road!
Best Day Trips from Austin
1. La Grange
Come to La Grange, the small Texas town that’s full of charm! Just an hour east of Austin, La Grange is a hidden gem that’s been celebrated by music legends like Dolly Parton and ZZ Top.
Make the perfect day trip from Austin or Houston and explore the rolling hills of Hill Country that surround the town. Stroll along the familiar banks of the Colorado River — where you’ll find plenty of weekend wildlife watching opportunities — and admire beautiful views without the big-city crowds.
Watch out for some celebrity sightings too; singers, songwriters, and traditional country stars grace this part of Texas with their presence year-round. Take a memorable walk up Monument Hill to get an untouched view of all La Grange has to offer, from its gorgeous landscapes to its history.
The local state historical site is dedicated to remembering those lost during past battles fought in these parts — so you’ll truly be able to take in the beauty and heritage of this Wild West destination. Don’t miss it!
The Fayette County Courthouse is the main architectural feature in downtown La Grange. Several neighborhood cafes are within walking distance of this magnificent and century-old building.
Art galleries that capture the eye are also close to the county courtroom. The Texas Quilt Museum is located right next to the courtroom for individuals who enjoy spinning yarn.
2. Johnson City
Johnson City is the perfect day trip destination, located just an hour west of Austin in Texas’ Hill Country. This charming community is known as the birthplace of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the final resting place of his legacy.
Enjoy a variety of activities and attractions throughout the city, from exploring national and state parks, to art galleries, outdoor recreation and even historical sites.
Looking for history? Look no further than Lyndon B. Johnson National Park! Visitors can explore LBJ’s birthplace and boyhood home, as well as take a stroll through the “Texas White House” at the former president’s ranch.
The Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site shares a crossroads space with the historically accurate Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm — it’s like turning back time!
If you’re looking to get outside while taking in some fresh air Johnson City has plenty of opportunity for that too with nearby Barton Springs County Park or Pedernales Falls State Park to name just a few area attractions – every type of adventure awaits you in this charming live music town!
Pedernales Falls is located just outside of Johnson City, on the way to Austin. Pedernales Falls State Park has hiking paths, camping, and swimming areas in addition to the limestone waterfalls.
Main Street, also known as Highway 290, provides a variety of neighborhood cuisines, including local restaurants, to fuel up after an experience in Johnson City.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to honor our 36th President’s legacy, Johnson City is one delightful day trip full of fun experiences!
Wimberley is the perfect destination for a day trip from Austin. Exploring the picturesque Texas Hill Country and colorful Wimberley Square promises an unforgettable adventure!
Whether you’re shopping for a modern ranch décor, first-class cookware, or chic boutique Threads, there’s something for everyone in this charming shopping district.
Don’t miss Market Days – the largest open-air market in Texas – overflowing with 475 diverse booths ranging from local produce to artisan crafts, pet items, yard art, and holistic remedies.
After you’ve completed your shopping spree, swing by one of the nearby areas to share live music performances.
This quaint hill country city is overflowing with outdoor wonders to explore away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A perfect place to escape the noise is Blue Hole Regional Park on the outskirts of town; here you can find a rare winter-fed swimming hole surrounded by towering cypress trees.
Not only that, but there are also campgrounds and three and a half miles of trails waiting to be discovered by nature enthusiasts. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head over to Wimberley on your next day trip–you won’t regret it!
Make sure your next day trip includes everything Wimberley has to offer!
4. Inks Lake State Park
Look no further than Inks Lake State Park for the ultimate day trip adventure. This one-of-a-kind state park, located 50 miles northwest of downtown Austin , is a shining example of what Texas’ great outdoors has to offer.
The 830-acre lake a picturesque reservoir on the renowned Colorado River, and part of Central Texas’ Highland Lakes chain – did you know that Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin also belongs to this chain?
At Inks Lake State Park all your recreation dreams can come true! Visitors can explore, boat, fish and even water ski on this glorious sheet of water.
The state park also offers two fishing piers plus handy fish cleaning stations. Plus all the necessary equipment is available for rent – you don’t have to worry about packing a bunch of stuff if you’re short on space!
To top it off adventurers can take an unforgettable hike along 1.8 mile Pecan Flats Trail. And 200+ campsites are ready to provide an overnight getaway if you want to make the most of your day trip experience!
Located close to Longhorn Cavern State Park, visitors will have the privilege of exploring a stunning range of rock walls and limestone formations.
Speaking of Longhorn “Cavern,” Development by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s makes it a spectacular sight to behold – but with guided tours occurring daily, you won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity.
Pick from any number of trails and paths around Inks Lake State Park and discover why so many people flock to this unique corner of Texas for a fun day away.
So, let’s set our sights towards Inks Lake State Park – because there’s no better destination for those seeking big day adventure near Austin!
5. Palmetto State Park
Are you looking for a destination that has it all? Look no further than Palmetto State Park! Located just an hour away from Austin, Palmetto State Park is the perfect spot for a day trip.
Catch glimpses of exotic and unique plants as you hike along the Palmetto Interpretive Trail, followed by relaxing in the San Marcos River to cool off.
With standup paddleboards and tandem kayaks available to rent, you can truly experience this stunning landscape in every way.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the fishing pier at the park’s oxbow lake!
Nestled just an hour outside of the city, Palmetto State Park is a breath of fresh air. Pristine nature trails, remarkable wildlife, and alluring landscapes make this state park your destination for an unforgettable day trip.
Make it even better — rent a bike from the park to make your outdoor adventure that much more enjoyable! Get close to nature on two wheels as you traverse the lush trails that envelop the park.
Children and adults alike can rent bikes at Palmetto State Park which helps make it the perfect family outing.
What’s more is that you don’t have to worry about packing up and leaving if you’d like to spend the night at Palmetto State Park too — there are campgrounds available so you can stay in blissful comfort while breathing in that fresh country air.
Whether you are looking for adventure or just want to soak up some sunshine, Palmetto State Park is the place for you.
So head out, hit the road, and explore nature’s beauty with Palmetto State Park!
6. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs
Make the most of your weekend with a day trip to Hamilton Pool Preserve – one of Austin’s best-kept secrets! Located only 45 minutes southwest of the city, this hidden cave is like no other – surrounded by dramatic cliffs, it’s home to a peaceful pool and spectacular waterfall.
Known for its photogenic charm, Hamilton Pool is the perfect way to refresh yourself in the summer heat and immerse yourself in breathtaking natural beauty.
From the cascading waterfalls to breathtaking rocky canyons, you won’t find more stunning views and unique experiences anywhere else in Texas.
Eager adventurers should be sure to plan ahead before visiting due to the high level of interest. Reservations must be made prior to arrival, and each party is limited to one vehicle.
The breathtakingly majestic grotto which houses Hamilton Pool is an awe-inspiring natural wonder. And when you’ve explored all that the preserve has to offer, explore more of Dripping Springs.
Listen to some authentic Texas tunes while you enjoy local eateries and shop around historic downtown streets.
With plenty to see, do and eat, spending a day at Hamilton Pool Preserve surrounded by the small town charm of Dripping Springs will not disappoint!
Make this unforgettable day trip yours today to experience Hamilton Pool Preserve at its remarkable peak!
7. San Antonio
San Antonio is the perfect place for a day trip from Austin. It’s only 1.5 hours away, and its vibrant streets offer an abundance of activities and attractions.
Start by taking a tour of the iconic San Antonio Riverwalk. Its stone walkways make it perfect for walking and exploring, with plenty of restaurants to choose from along the way.
Take a calming cruise on the San Antonio River so you can really take in all this city has to offer.
History buffs won’t want to miss The Alamo, and other significant cultural landmarks like San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and San Fernando Cathedral should also not be missed.
Read up beforehand on the history of these awesome places before embarking on your journey – they have quite a tale to tell!
The Pearl District is your gateway to experiencing it all – historical buildings, bustling restaurants, and creative gems abound.
Seek out the delicious fare at some of the best restaurants in the city. Perhaps you’ll find yourself at one of the many taquerias or traditional Texas-style BBQ spots – either way, a stop in San Antonio ensures that your palate will be satisfied.
Follow up lunch with a stroll to take in the amazing 17th century architecture displayed in some of the oldest buildings still standing today.
Finally, marvel at all the different kinds of works by local artists that can be found throughout San Antonio.
Whether rounding out an entire day or taken as an afternoon jaunt, San Antonio truly offers something extravagant for travelers near and far alike.
We think you’ll get as much out of your day trip to San Antonio as any weekend getaway. So book your flights now, get ready with those maps, and let this Texan gem surprise you!