Enchanting Texas

21 Best Road Trips from Austin, Texas

Live in Austin or just visiting the Texas State Capital and want to get out of the city?

Luckily, there are countless amazing road trips you can explore all over Texas!

From small towns in the Texas Hill Country and stunning state parks to neighboring states like New Mexico and Arizona, we’ve got the ultimate list of best road trips from Austin, Texas.

Also Read: 32 Best day trips from Austin, Texas

Best Road Trips from Austin within Texas

Countless amazing road trips can be taken within a few hours of Austin, each with its unique attractions and experiences.

Here are our favorite road trips from Austin to nearby attractions.

Austin Fredericksburg Road Trip

Fredericksburg is a small town in the Hill Country of Texas with a rich German heritage.

Visitors can explore this history at the Pioneer Museum or take a tour of the Vereins Kirche, an 1880s-style German church.

Fredericksburg is also home to several museums, including the National Museum of the Pacific War, which tells the story of the Pacific campaigns of World War II. 

The town is located just a short drive from Austin, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway. 

A must-stop on this road trip is Enchanted Rock State Park. 

The massive pink granite dome rises 425 feet above the surrounding landscape and is one of the largest monoliths in the United States.

The highlight of the park is its summit, which offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Other great stops on this Austin Fredericksburg road trip include Luckenbach, Dripping Springs, and Blanco.

Also Read: 17 Best State Parks near Austin, Texas to Visit Now

Texas Hill Country Road Trip for bluebonnets

The Texas Hill Country is a scenic region of rolling hills and wildflowers.

It’s an ideal destination for a road trip, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and picnicking.

Start your trip in Austin and visit Muleshoe Bend and Turkey Bend Recreation areas to see the sprawling flower fields on the shores of Lake Travis.

The area is also home to several small towns such as Burnet – the bluebonnet capital of Texas, Marble Falls, and Llano.

In addition, the Hill Country is home to several vineyards and wineries, making it the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine after a day of admiring the bluebonnets.

San Antonio Road Trip

San Antonio is a beautiful city with a rich history.

The Alamo is one of the most popular destinations in the city.

This historic site is where the Battle of the Alamo took place.

Be sure to take a tour of the Spanish Colonial mission and learn about the history of this important landmark.

The city is also home to several excellent restaurants, hotels, and parks.

Next, take a stroll along the San Antonio River Walk.

This beautiful pedestrian walkway winds its way along the banks of the San Antonio River.

The river walk is lined with restaurants, shops, art galleries, and other cultural attractions. 

San Antonio also has many museums, including the Museum of Art and The Witte Museum.

The distance from Austin to San Antonio is just under 80 miles and the trip takes about 1 hr 30 mins.

Austin Houston Road Trip

Houston is one of our favorite weekend getaways from Austin.

The city has a lot to offer, from excellent restaurants and shopping to museums and cultural attractions.

Start your road trip to Houston by visiting the Museum District.

This area is home to several different museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Children’s Museum of Houston.

Next, head to the Space Center Houston.

This museum is operated by NASA and is a must-see for anyone interested in space exploration.

The center offers tours of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, as well as exhibits on the history of the American space program.

Spend some time at the beach by visiting Galveston Island.

The island is home to several beaches, as well as the famous Moody Gardens.

Also Read: Best Things to do in Austin, Texas

Austin Waco Drive

One of our favorite road trips in Central Texas!

Waco is home to several family-friendly attractions.

The Waco Mammoth National Monument preserves the remains of ancient mammoths in the fossil bed.

Visitors can also tour the ranger-led exhibits and learn about the area’s natural history.

The famous Dr. Pepper Museum chronicles the history of this popular soft drink.

Then, take a walk through the Cameron Park Zoo to see the animals.

And no trip to Waco would be complete without a stop at Magnolia Market at the Silos, made famous by HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”

With its quaint shops and boutiques, Magnolia Market is the perfect place to pick up home decor, clothes, souvenirs, and gifts.

Wimberley San Marcos Road Trip

Wimberley is our favorite small town in Texas!

This quaint town is situated on the banks of the Blanco River in the Hill Country.

Wimberley is home to several art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants.

The town is also a popular destination for swimming, tubing, and kayaking on the river.

Nearby, visitors can also explore the Blue Hole and Jacob’s Well.

Just a few miles from Wimberley is San Marcos, a lively university town.

The San Marcos River is known for its excellent swimming and tubing–and even kayaking!

Dallas Fort Worth Weekend Getaway from Austin

Looking for a fun weekend getaway from Austin?

Look no further than Dallas and Fort Worth!

Start your visit by exploring downtown Dallas.

Catch a ride on the elevator to the top of Reunion Tower for a stunning view of the city.

Be sure to check out the JFK Memorial and Dealey Plaza, as well as several museums including The Sixth Floor Museum, which explores the life and death of President John F. Kennedy.

Fort Worth is only about 45 minutes away but offers a very different experience.

Visit the Stockyards National Historic District to learn about Fort Worth’s cattle ranching heritage, then grab a bite at one of the many top-rated steakhouses in the area.

No trip to Fort Worth would be complete without witnessing a live Texas rodeo, so head to Cowtown Coliseum for steer wrestling and bull riding.

Read: Austin to Dallas Road trip Guide

Arlington Road Trip from Downtown Austin

Arlington is home to Six Flags, one of the best amusement parks in America!

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer something a little tamer, Six Flags has plenty of roller coasters and other rides to keep you entertained.

If you visit in the summer months, be sure to check out Hurricane Harbor, the water park next door.

Arlington is also home to Globe Life Park – the home of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

If you’re a sports fan, be sure to catch a game there during your trip!

No visit to Arlington is complete without spending some time in the entertainment district downtown.

Here you can find several bars and restaurants serving up local craft beers and delicious BBQ.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is one of the best state parks in Texas.

The park is home to miles of soft sandy beaches, as well as several hiking trails and birding areas through the dunes.

Mustang Island is a popular destination for camping, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

South Padre Island Road Trip

South Padre Island, located on the South Texas Gulf Coast, is the spring break capital of Texas.

With miles of white sand beaches, top-rated surfing conditions, and plenty of nightlife, it’s easy to see why.

South Padre Island is also home to some great family attractions like Sea Turtle Rescue Center and the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center.

You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities on the island including fishing, windsurfing, and horseback riding.

No trip to South Padre Island would be complete without taking a dolphin watch tour or going parasailing.

Corpus Christi Road Trip

Corpus Christi is a beautiful coastal city located on the Gulf of Mexico.

Here you will find miles of Corpus Christi beaches , as well as several great attractions.

Some of our favorites include the Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington Museum, and the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.

If you’re looking for a fun day trip, head over to Padre Island National Seashore or Port Aransas.

Caddo Lake Weekend Trip

Caddo Lake State Park is the perfect spot for a weekend trip in East Texas.

The park is home to Caddo Lake, the largest natural lake in the state.

This beautiful lake is known for its fishing and boating, as well as its abundance of wildlife.

The park itself is home to a variety of hiking trails and boardwalks, making it the perfect place to spot alligators, turtles, birds, and more!

No trip to Caddo Lake is complete without taking a scenic boat tour of the lake.

Tyler and East Texas

Tyler, located in East Texas, is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.

The city is home to a variety of attractions including the Caldwell Zoo, Tyler Rose Garden, and the East Texas State Fair.

If you’re looking for a more outdoorsy weekend, head to one of the nearby state parks like Tyler State Park or Daingerfield State Park.

Other small towns in East Texas worth visiting include Jefferson, Marshall , and Nacogdoches.

All three offer a variety of historical attractions, as well as outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Plan the ultimate West Texas road trip to the Guadalupe Mountains!

The national park is home to the Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas.

The park also offers several great hiking trails, as well as the opportunity to go horseback riding, mountain biking, and backpacking.

Don’t forget to pack your camera – the views from the top of Guadalupe Peak are simply breathtaking!

Extend this trip by visiting other West Texas attractions such as Carlsbad Caverns, Pecos, El Paso, and Fort Stockton .

Fort Stockton mural outside Bella Terrazza antique store

Big Bend National Park

For the ultimate outdoors adventure, head to Big Bend National Park in West Texas.

The park offers miles of scenic hiking trails through the Chihuahuan Desert and along the Rio Grande River.

Within the park, you’ll also find plenty of opportunities for camping, backpacking, rafting, fishing, and more.

Visit the Terlingua ghost town and Marfa, two popular towns located nearby.

You can also extend your trip by visiting Alpine, Marathon, and Big Bend Ranch State Park.

The best time to visit Texas is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds.

Also Read: Austin to Big Bend Road Trip

Texas Route 66

Texas Route 66 offers the perfect road trip, traveling through ghost towns, vintage gas stations, and natural wonders in the state.

Start your journey in Austin and make your way up the Texas Panhandle.

Along the way, be sure to stop at some of the most iconic attractions including Cadillac Ranch and Palo Duro Canyon.

End your trip in Amarillo where you can explore the Historic Route 66 Historic District.

Best Road Trips from Austin beyond Texas

Looking for multi-day overnight trips from Austin, Texas?

There are many amazing road trip options beyond the state’s borders, including the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Arizona;

….New Orleans in Louisiana;

Las Vegas in Nevada; or Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado!

Also Read: Weekend in Austin Itinerary

Austin New Mexico Road trip

Looking for a great road trip that combines the best of both Texas and New Mexico?

Consider taking a drive on Austin to New Mexico Road, which travels from Austin to Santa Fe.

Along the way, you’ll pass through iconic southwestern landscapes filled with canyons, red rock formations, and stunning sunsets.

Some of the highlights of this road trip include Albuquerque, Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands National Monument.

Carlsbad Caverns is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site while White Sands is famous for its dunes made of gypsum sand.

Make sure to add this one to your bucket list!

Austin Grand Canyon Road Trip

One of the most popular road trips from Austin is to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

This trip can be done in a week, making it the perfect summer vacation trip.

The drive from Austin to the Grand Canyon is about 18 hours, so be sure to take your time and enjoy the journey.

Along the way, make sure to stop at some of the many stunning natural wonders in this part of the country.

These include Petrified Forest National Park, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons.

Once you reach Grand Canyon National Park, be sure to spend a few days exploring its many hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and historic sites.

Texas Colorado Road Trip

Another popular road trip destination from Austin is Denver, Colorado.

The beautiful Mile High city is located in the front range of the Rockies and is surrounded by stunning landscapes.

This makes it the perfect destination for a Texas Colorado road trip .

There are many amazing scenic drives in Colorado, including the famous Trail Ridge Road and Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.

You can also explore Rocky Mountain National Park, which is located just outside of Denver and features hiking trails, wildflowers, waterfalls, and alpine lakes.

In winter, Colorado is the favorite ski and snow destination for Texans.

Austin New Orleans Drive

One of the most popular road trips from Austin is to New Orleans.

This drive will take you about 9 hours, but you’ll be sure to enjoy the beautiful southern scenery along the way.

Some of the top highlights of this trip include Cajun Country in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, with its beautiful beaches and vibrant towns.

As you near New Orleans, make sure to explore some of the city’s iconic neighborhoods including the French Quarter and Garden District.

End your trip with a beignet at Cafe du Monde, one of New Orleans’ most famous landmarks.

Texas California Road Trip

Plan the ultimate cross-country road trip adventure across the Southwest USA!

Starting in Austin, make your way to California via multiple scenic routes, including the classic Route 66 and the California Coast Highway.

Along the way, be sure to stop at some of America’s best national parks like Zion, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and Death Valley.

Visit the iconic cities of Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

And don’t forget to visit the Disney Parks in Anaheim.

This is a road trip you’ll never forget!

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Everything's bigger in Texas: The 9 best road trips to take from Austin

Katherine Fan

I think we can all agree there's never been a better year to take a classic road trip.

With the threat of COVID-19 persisting across the globe , and face masks coupled with social distancing the norm for disease prevention, driving to a destination in a private vehicle is one of the most effective ways to enjoy a safe, comfortable vacation right now.

Interested in more travel tips? Sign up for our daily newsletter .

For people who live in big cities with functional public transportation systems , finding and dusting off your driver's license may be the first step of your road trip. But for many travelers across the United States, cars are often an integral part of daily life already, which makes hitting the road for a getaway that much easier.

Related: My safe, socially distanced Kimpton staycation in Austin, Texas

If you're looking for activities to keep you busy on weekends, here are some of my favorite road trips from Austin, Texas, organized by distance, as well as some suggestions for what to do when you get there.

Note that, in 2020, it's imperative to check websites and social media updates beforehand to ensure that your destination is open and accepting visitors at the time you arrive. Many state parks and public areas require passes beforehand or impose a strict limit on the number of guests allowed at any given time, even during normal circumstances .

Offer from ShermansTravel: RV rentals from Texas, $89+

There's an old saying that "everything is bigger in Texas," and what counts as a commute for a Texan may well qualify as a road trip in other states. From Conroe to Freeport, Katy to Baytown, the greater Houston area spans more than 100 miles north to south and over 50 miles east to west. The Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis isn't much smaller, especially as suburban sprawl continues to spread, and San Antonio has expanded significantly as well in recent years.

Check out our guide for more road trip inspiration.

Big cities mean wide highways and fast speed limits: The 41-mile stretch of Texas Highway 130, just east of Austin, boasts a speed limit of 85 miles per hour — the fastest legal limit in the country.

Miles Away podcast: Escape the winter blues in sunny Austin, Texas

My hometown of Austin still retains vestiges of its small-town vibe, although locals already whisper about a future where Austin and San Antonio could morph into one giant megacity. And Austin is notorious for its daily traffic jams, at least during normal times: I've noticed that "rush hour" is really more of a three-hour ordeal, twice a day, between 7:30 to 10 a.m. and anywhere from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the afternoons and evenings.

But there's so much to see in Texas beyond its major metropolitan areas. So, if you're looking to ditch the hustle and bustle of big-city life, try any of these getaways for a day trip or a weekend escape.

For barbecue, the outdoors and small-town vibes

road trips in texas from austin

For many people, Buda, 15 miles south of Austin, is just a stopping place along the way to San Marcos and San Antonio — or these days, it could even be considered a super-south suburb of Austin, given the high cost of living within the city and the relatively affordable home prices in Buda. But this little town is more than just an extension of its northern sister. The motto is "breathe easy here," and Buda, pronounced BYOO-dah, will help you do just that.

Antique hunters will love the downtown shops full of rare, exciting and vintage collectibles at old-timey prices. Shoppers of another ilk will enjoy the massive Cabela's located right along Highway I-35, which is large enough to boast an entire street named in its honor. And despite Buda's relatively small size, don't underestimate either its culture or its voice: You can find karaoke, old-school arcade games, a soda fountain, delectable salsa and more within its 6 square miles.

The next time you find yourself crawling through traffic on Interstate 35, craving a spontaneous escape, just say no. Instead, hit your nearest exit and head east, toward Lockhart . Located just 25 minutes southeast of the Austin airport (AUS) and 33 miles east of the city, this small town is famous for barbecue. Back in the day, one family owned the spot in town … and then a family feud split them up into warring restaurants. Bad news for their family reunions; amazing for everyone who likes good smoke.

But there's a lot more to Lockhart than just smoked meats. This " little city with a big heart ," as the town slogan goes, retains much of its wild cowboy roots and will show you an entirely different perspective on Texas, especially compared to Austin. Check out the Jail Museum for its take on Norman castellated architecture (a popular style for jails during the time period it was built in the mid-1800s). Golfers can look out on the rugged Texas scenery while enjoying a round of golf at the Lockhart State Park Golf Course , which also has an on-site swimming pool, campsite and fishing hole.

For beautiful scenery and cool water

When you think of a relaxing vacation near water , Texas may not be the first place that comes to mind. But the Central Texas "Hill Country" region in particular is peppered with a number of watering holes, lakes, rivers and creeks that help soothe the intensity of the summer heat, as well as hikes and trails galore.

Within city limits, you have the ever-popular Barton Springs, Bull Creek and Shoal Creek and their associated greenbelts, as well as Lady Bird Lake (formerly known as Town Lake). But if you're looking for something a bit more off of the beaten path, head out a little farther into the Texas countryside to explore these alternative options.

Float down the San Marcos, Comal or Guadalupe rivers

Photo by Tom Black Dragon/Shutterstock.

If you've never been to Central Texas, I cannot state this strongly enough: Our summers get hot . Don't come to visit or stay without being well-prepared for this aspect of reality. That being said, we have powerful air conditioning and relaxing outdoor activities — and floating down a gentle river, cold beverage of choice in hand, is a popular summer pastime.

When your friend says, "let's go float the river this weekend," make sure you clarify which river you plan to meet at, and even which rental spot you're eyeing. That's because there actually are three major rivers popular for floating in this area all roughly 30 to 40 miles south of Austin

There's the spring-fed San Marcos , which is located in the eponymous town of San Marcos exactly halfway between Austin and San Antonio, where the extensive outlet malls are well worth a visit for some fun travel gear after you're done floating; the short, spring-fed Comal , located in New Braunfels a little south of San Marcos; and the Guadalupe .

If you've never gone tubing before, here's what to expect: You'll be sitting in a giant inflatable tube, with all of your friends, and you'll want to bring your own beverages. Many float rental places offer string you can use to tie your floats together into a large raft, and you might want to get an extra tube for your cooler of drinks to rest on. You'll start upstream at the rental facility's dock, float down to a certain stopping point, and then the facility will bus you back to your starting point.

Krause Springs

road trips in texas from austin

Located about 45 minutes (35 miles) west of Austin, Krause Springs is a gorgeous, forested park and campsite with 32 natural springs, watering hole, trails, pools and a small waterfall. Perfect for a quick, easy day trip or a weekend getaway, you can pack a picnic lunch and some towels and spend the afternoon alternating between the cool, refreshing dips into the spring, and sunning yourself on the large rocks facing the watering hole.

Jacob's Well

Photo by @christysmith5 via Twenty20

Jacob's Well Natural Area (about 35 miles southeast of Austin) surrounds an artesian spring that maintains a natural temperature of 68 degrees year-round. The hiking trails are free and open to the public , but swimming is only permitted between May 1 and Oct. 1 each year, and you'll need to make reservations beforehand if you want to get in the water. You can also hike here, but the underwater caves can be dangerous, and are accessible only to licensed professionals.

Other amazing places to cool off in the summertime are Blue Hole and Hamilton Pool , both of which require reservations in advance as well. Blue Hole reopened on Aug. 12 after closing down due to COVID-19, while Hamilton Pool remains closed.

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock at sunrise is, well, enchanting. Photo by Daniel Mullins/Shutterstock.

Enchanted Rock is an iconic monolith near Austin, about 95 miles to the west. A natural mound of pink granite with a very distinctive shape, there are a lot of outdoorsy ways to explore this spot. We recommend coming here in the fall for a hike, but because it's a state park, it may be subject to coronavirus restrictions.

For antiques, drinks and local flair


road trips in texas from austin

Fredericksburg (just under 80 miles west of Austin) and the surrounding regions are at the heart of Central Texas wine country. Located just about a 1.5-hour drive from Austin, and recently called the " Texas version of Aspen " by Texas Monthly, this area is particularly beautiful in the springtime, with gorgeous wildflowers erupting from the otherwise green landscape. You can either drive out on your own, or opt for a winery that offers pick-up in Austin. If wine isn't really your thing, Central Texas is also well known for its breweries and distilleries, including the ever-popular Deep Eddy vodka distillery just south of Austin.

Round Top, TX, is known for its antiques and other vintage collectibles. Photo by Engin Sezer/Shutterstock.

Did someone say antiquing? Eighty miles east of Austin is Round Top , with all the vintage, collectible paraphernalia you could possibly want. This tiny, quirky town is an intriguing place to visit even under normal circumstances.

But a few times a year, Round Top explodes into antiquing heaven with the Round Top Antiques Show , which spans the better part of a week and draws visitors and sellers from all over the country. (If you're looking for the store equivalent of the coolest grandparents' attic in Austin, check out Uncommon Objects in south Austin.)

For an artsy desert experience

Photo by Emma Backer/Shutterstock.

For a true road trip, go west — far west. About 430 miles west of Austin, to be exact.

Chances are, you may know a bit about Marfa , even if you think you haven't. If you've ever seen the iconic "tiny Prada" store in the desert, it's located just outside this little West Texas desert town. Originally founded as a railroad water stop in the 1880s, Marfa became a gathering place for artists and creatives starting in the early 1970s. Today, Marfa is a place for quirky hipster desert wonder. Located in the high desert 6.5 hours from Austin, the town offers an entirely different experience of Texas. Along the drive from Austin to Marfa, you'll watch the landscape shift from hill country scrub to desert.

Photo courtesy of El Cosmico.

You can stay in the famous boho glamping hotel El Cosmico here, where you'll likely stay in tents or a renovated vintage trailer. Alternatively, you can also find a lot of great Airbnb properties — including more campers . Frama Coffee at Tumbleweed Laundry is a hybrid laundromat-coffee shop — the perfect place to get some work done while simultaneously getting clean clothes.

Enjoy the vast skies at night from a vantage point at the McDonald Observatory, and don't leave before driving 33 miles farther west to take a photo at the famous Prada art installation. If you're heading back east, stop at a similar "tiny Target" installation 40 miles down Highway 90 on your way back.

Bottom line

While the tiny towns of Texas may not be very large, everything else is generally bigger , from the distances you'll be driving to the sheer amount of open sky you'll see on the road. This shortlist of destinations from Austin is far from an exhaustive list, but it's a start.

Lone Star Travel Guide

4 Terrific Texas Hill Country Road Trip Itinerary Ideas

Planning a Texas Hill Country road trip?

You’re in for a magical experience!

The Hill Country is one of my favorite places on the planet and incorporates everything from whimsical small towns to magical swimming holes, from magnificent rivers to a national historic site, from fantastic wildflowers to some of the absolute best food on the planet.

I’ve spent countless days on road trips in the Texas Hill Country when living in both San Antonio and Austin.

Here are the best Hill Country road trip itinerary ideas to help you start exploring this magical corner of Texas!

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm overlooking the texas hill country on a wooden platform at old tunnel state park

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How We Structured These Texas Hill Country Road Trips

There are truly limitless numbers of ways to design a Texas Hill Country road trip, and once you account for all of the lakes, small towns, swimming holes, barbecue joints, waterfalls, and beyond, it can easily take a lifetime to discover all of the secret corners and hidden gems that the region has to offer.

That being said, we’ve designed these road trips in the Hill Country to show off the most remarkable corners of the region.

These road trips are targeted to first-time visitors to the region, but even locals (myself included) are bound to find plenty to love here.

road trips in texas from austin

We’ve structured each road trip to last for 5 days, though of course, you can easily add or subtract days depending on how long you have available to road trip the Hill Country.

Each route begins in either Austin or San Antonio, and at the beginning of each itinerary, we’ve noted which.

However, since the drive from Austin to San Antonio is both short and (if you take the scenic route) beautiful, you can easily adjust each road trip to your preferred starting point.

Each of these Texas Hill Country road trips is fairly geographically compact, and it’s rare for a point-to-point drive to last longer than 2 hours.

Kate Storm Jeremy Storm and their puppy Ranger in front of Gorman Falls Colorado Bend State Park TX

Additional Texas Hill Country Travel Resources

We’ve intentionally kept this guide to road trips in the Texas Hill Country fairly high-level, and avoid getting bogged down into too many details about how to spend time in a particular place.

When you are ready to plan your stays in certain destinations in detail, though, we have you covered!

We’ll link our guides to specific cities, towns, state parks, and more throughout this travel guide, such as our guides to the best things to do in Fredericksburg , Wimberley , and Boerne .

Other guides, like our suggestions on the best things to do in the Hill Country or our guide to visiting Enchanted Rock , will also be included.

You can also use the search bar in the top-right hand corner of the screen (or on mobile, as part of the main menu) in order to search for any destination that we’ve covered here on Lone Star Travel Guide!

kate storm in a red dress sitting on the porch of a historic building at johnson settlement, one of the best johnson city attractions

The Best Road Trips in the Texas Hill Country

The classic texas hill country road trip.

Starting Point: Austin

Day 1: Dripping Springs + Waterfalls

Start your Hill Country road trip in Dripping Springs, the self-declared “Gateway to the Hill Country” and home to the famous Hamilton Pool!

On your way, stop in Driftwood for Salt Lick BBQ, then set off to go chase waterfalls.

In addition to Hamilton Pool, Westcave Preserve is also nearby and is home to one of the most–if not  the most–stunning waterfall in Texas . 

Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs TX as shot from inside the cave. Hamilton Pool Preserve is one of the most famous Texas waterfalls.

Day 2: Pedernales Falls State Park + LBJ National Historic Area

A mix of history and beautiful nature awaits on the second day of this Texas Hill Country itinerary!

Start your morning enjoying beautiful river views and subtle waterfalls in popular Pedernales Falls State Park, and then head to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park to visit the former president’s birthplace, ranch, the famous Texas White House, and more.

On your way to the main park, be sure to stop in Johnson City to briefly check out the Johnson Family Homestead (the home of LBJ’s grandparents and part of the national historical park).

You’ll also find a wine castle in Johnson City if you’d like to break up your day.

view of pedernales falls from above, a great stop on best road trips in hill country texas

Day 3: Fredericksburg + Wine Road 290

The ultimate classic Texas Hill Country itinerary destination is the beautiful town of Fredericksburg .

Known for its German heritage (complete with German food!), many museums, access to dozens of the best wineries on Wine Road 290, and proximity to popular stops like Enchanted Rock and Luckenbach, it makes a fantastic central attraction to your road trip.

Check into a beautiful bed and breakfast in Fredericksburg , head to Main Street, and start exploring immediately!

Vereins Kirche Museum in the Marktplatz in Fredericksburg TX

Day 4: Boerne + Guadalupe River State Park

From one beloved Hill Country town to the next: from Fredericksburg, head to charming Boerne to shop the Hill Country mile and to visit one of the most beautiful caves in Texas .

Both Cascade Caverns and Cave Without a Name are located in Boerne and are a great way to experience a totally different side of the Hill Country.

In the afternoon, head over to beautiful Guadalupe River State Park for a little hiking and–depending on the season– tubing or even leaf-peeping .

mural in boerne texas, painted on the side of a brick building. exploring downtown is one of the best things to do in boerne tx

Day 5: Wimberley and/or Canyon Lake

To wrap up your Hill Country vacation, head to the delightful town of Wimberley !

While you’re there, browse the many galleries and shops, enjoy views from Mount Baldy , and (during the summer) go for a swim in one of the town’s legendary swimming holes.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the many painted boot statues around town, either!

During your drive from Boerne to Wimberley, consider also stopping to spend some time at gorgeous Canyon Lake .

Kate Storm swinging over the Wimberley Blue Hole

Waterfalls + Swimming Holes Road Trip

Day 1: dripping springs + hamilton pool.

This TX Hill Country road trip is all about waterfalls and swimming holes–two things the region does exceptionally well.

Like the above itinerary, start your trip in Dripping Springs, the self-declared “Gateway to the Hill Country” and home to the famous Hamilton Pool.

On your way, stop in Driftwood for Salt Lick BBQ, then set off to go chase waterfalls, starting with Hamilton Pool.

the station historic gas station in dripping springs texas as seen on the austin to fredericksburg drive

Day 2: Westcave Preserve + Pedernales Falls State Park

On the second day of your road trip, get started with a visit to Westcave Preserve, home to one of the most magnificent hidden gems in Texas!

You’ll need to plan ahead and make a reservation to visit this waterfall, but it’s worth it.

From there, spend the afternoon at Pedernales Falls State Park.

In addition to the main falls, you can also take a short hike to visit the beautiful Twin Falls (though fair warning, you can’t get too close to this one).

kate storm standing with her arms spread in front of westcave waterfall

Day 3-4: Wimberley

Wimberley is one of the most popular small towns in the Hill Country for good reason.

With tons of art galleries, great food, and two of the most popular swimming holes in Texas ( Jacob’s Well and the Blue Hole ), a couple of days in Wimberley is bound to leave you smitten.

Be sure to take the time (you won’t need much of it) to climb Mount Baldy , too!

Kate Storm with her puppy Ranger Storm on top of Mount Baldy, one of the best wimberley tx things to do

Day 5: Canyon Lake and/or McKinney Falls

Whether you want to dive into one of the most beautiful lakes in Texas or go swimming amongst the delightful McKinney Falls, the final day of your Texas Hill Country road trip is bound to charm!

Looking for something a little different and visiting during lavender season ?

Blanco , AKA the lavender capital of Texas, would also make a great stop and boasts a swimming hole of its own!

mckinney falls water fall in austin on sunny day

State Parks + Horseback Riding Road Trip

Starting Point: San Antonio

Day 1-2: Bandera Dude Ranch

What could be more iconic on a Texas Hill Country itinerary than spending a couple of nights at a dude ranch?

The self-declared Cowboy Capital of the World is home to several world-class dude ranches where you can stretch your riding skills, learn about the care and keeping of the ranch, and eat excellent home-cooked meals while staying in cozy cabins.

close up of a rider on a white horse

Day 2-3: Garner State Park

As one of the most beloved state parks in Texas , stunning Garner State Park is known for tubing and swimming in the gorgeous Frio River, as well as for its hikes like the popular Mount Baldy.

Float the river one day and hike the next at this beautiful park!

Clear waters of the Frio River in garner state park, one of the best texas state parks near houston tx

Day 4-5: Lost Maples State Natural Area

Known for having some of the most stunning fall foliage in Texas, Lost Maples State Natural Area is a magnificent addition to any Texas Hill Country road trip!

Don’t miss quirky Monkey Rock or the sweeping views from the East Trail during your visit!

autumn lost maples texas from above

Highland Lakes Hill Country Road Trip

Day 1: spicewood + lake travis.

Rather than heading southwest of Austin, this road trip turns north!

Start your day by heading to Spicewood , where you’ll find Krause Springs (one of the best swimming holes in Texas), delicious Opie’s Barbecue (order the sausage + cobbler), and beautiful Lake Travis views.

If it happens to be bluebonnet season, don’t miss Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, and if you want great views, don’t miss Pace Bend Park (bring cash for the entry fee).

Alternatively, you could start your morning with a boat rental on Lake Travis and head to Spicewood once you wrap up!

ranger storm overlooking lake travis from pace bend park in spicewood texas, a fun destination on road trips in texas hill country

Day 2: Marble Falls + Longhorn Cavern State Park

The small town of Marble Falls is known for its excellent bluebonnet blooms, the incredible pie at the famous Blue Bonnet Cafe, and its proximity to Lake LBJ and Longhorn Cavern State Park.

As one of the most unique-looking caves in Texas, touring Longhorn Cavern is a great way to mix up this lake-heavy Texas Hill Country itinerary.

jeremy storm holding a slice of pie in front of the blue bonnet cafe marble falls texas

Day 3: Inks Lake State Park

Popular Inks Lake State Park is perfect for swimming, hiking, or enjoying a boat day–all of which are excellent options for this day on your itinerary for the Texas Hill Country.

Consider taking a short hike to visit (and swim at) the beautiful Devils Waterhole while you’re there!

devils waterhle at inks lake state park texas near sunset

Day 4: Llano + Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Start your morning with a visit to downtown Llano , where you’ll find everything from one of the most beautiful courthouses in Texas to gorgeous views of the Llano River to lots of interesting street art on Shakedown Street!

After having an excellent barbecue lunch at Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ or nearby Inman’s Kitchen, head over to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to climb the most famous piece of granite in Texas.

view of enchanted rock hiking looking up

Day 5: Burnet + Lake Buchanan

Above all, the small town of Burnet, Texas is known for its Bluebonnet Festival each spring–but it’s a delight to explore year-round!

Be sure to visit Fort Crogan for some hands-on 19th century Texas history, and then potentially visit either the Highland Lake Squadron Commemorative Air Force to see historic aircraft or the Hill Country Motorheads Motorcycle Museum.

In the afternoon, hop on a boat tour to visit the Falls Creek Waterfall in Lake Buchanan, which just may be one of the best hidden gems in the Hill Country!

falls creek waterfall lake buchanan, a fun stop on a texas hill country road trip itinerary

Texas Hill Country Road Trip Tips

Don’t change hotels every night..

We’ve intentionally designed these road trips in the Texas Hill Country to be geographically compact, so there’s no reason to move hotels every night!

Depending on your itinerary, we recommend staying in 1-3 hotels (or bed and breakfasts, or cabins, or treehouses) throughout your 5 day trip.

bedroom in a historic inn with teal wallpaper and white linens. historic bed and breakfasts in fredericksburg tx are among the best places to stay

Plan your activities around the season.

From bluebonnet season to peach season to swimming hole season to fall foliage season , there’s always something special happening in the Hill Country, and your road trip will be greatly enhanced by planning your visit around when you’re visiting!

In April, for example, we’d absolutely choose to head to the Highland Lakes for their legendary bluebonnet blooms.

Meanwhile, in late October, Lost Maples State Natural Area’s famous foliage is the clear winner.

Kate Storm sitting surrrounded by pumpkins in front of an antique red truck at das peach haus in fredericksburg tx

Be very cautious when driving at night.

Driving in the Hill Country at night means lots of dark country roads, limited street lights, and plenty of wildlife that like to wander into the road.

Pay close attention when driving at night!

You may need reservations.

Popular swimming holes like Hamilton Pool, Jacob’s Well , and the Blue Hole all require reservations to swim in (and in the case of Hamilton Pool, even to visit).

Other attractions like Enchanted Rock and some wineries may require reservations as well, so be sure to book in advance when planning your road trip in the Hill Country!

jacobs well texas as seen from above on a sunny day

Don’t spend your whole Texas Hill Country road trip on the road!

While the Hill Country is a fairly compact region, you can still end up overstretching your itinerary if you try to see the whole region from end to end in less than a week!

We highly recommend focusing on one small corner of the region during a fairly short Texas Hill Country road trip to ensure that you spend most of your time exploring rather than on the road.

2 photos hill country, one of hamilton pool and one of luckenbach. black and red text on a white background reads "4 best road trips texas hill country"

1 thought on “4 Terrific Texas Hill Country Road Trip Itinerary Ideas”

i would lov to do a 4 day road trip leaving san antonio & back on backroads please advise if you can

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The Perfect 10 Day Texas Road Trip Itinerary (2024 Guide)

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  • Last Updated: February 4, 2024

Plan the ultimate Texas road trip itinerary that includes national parks, hiking trails, and must-see cities around the Lone Star State.

Thinking about making your way south to visit Texas ? This epic 10-day Texas road trip shows you how you can experience the best that the Lone Star State has to offer.

The bulk of this 10-day itinerary is focused on central Texas where major highways form a meticulous triangle. By following this route you can experience major cities and state capitols, all the while learning just why everything is bigger in Texas!

Beginning in Dallas, you’ll venture even further by exploring Texas’ underrate nature and a past that continues to influence the wider country.

In reality, Texas is a massive state. You’d need much longer than 10 days to really see the entire state on an epic Texas road trip. So if you do have more time to spare, you can always add to this itinerary through many of the posts that we link to along the way.

But for the purpose of this Texas road trip itinerary, we’ll be focusing on the easily accessible highlights of Central Texas.

Find more ideas with our ultimate list of the best things to do in Texas !

Table of Contents

Where To Stay In Dallas + Fort Worth

Day 2 alternative – amarillo day trip from dallas, where to stay in austin, along the way to austin from dallas – waco, day 4 alternative – texas hill country, where to stay in san antonio, where to stay in corpus christi, where to stay in houston, where to stay in galveston, day 10 – return to dallas/houston, the wrap up, the perfect texas road trip itinerary.

Texas can be explored in a number of ways. From taking domestic flights to guided tours, this huge state has so much to offer. But a Texas road trip is a quintessential way to experience the Lone Star State!

During these 10 days, you’ll see charming small towns, magnificent cities, and natural beauty. This road trip in Texas is the perfect introduction to the second-largest state in the continental US!

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars , which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

Dallas Texas

Day 1 & 2 – Dallas + Fort Worth

Day 1 of your Texas road trip begins in Dallas . At the top of a trio of highways that form a triangle through the heart of Texas, you’re well-placed to begin a road trip of a lifetime.

Here in Dallas, you’ll find a blend of art, history, nature, and sport. Add on a second day in Fort Worth, and you can explore the history of cattle ranches before dancing the night away at Billy Bob’s Texas.

Dallas Arts District

Encompassing the largest arts district in the nation, exploring the Dallas Arts District is the best way to start your journey through Triple D . Here, you’ll discover 20 blocks of galleries and museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art.

This thorough 3-hour tour of Dallas, not only takes you through the district but to the Klyde Warren Park and Memorial Plaza.

Sixth Floor Museum

In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald entered the Texas School Book Depository and changed American history. Now the Sixth Floor Museum, learn all about this tragic event, including the hours before along with the emotional aftermath.

  • Address:  411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202
  • Hours:  10 am-5 pm (Wed-Sun)
  • Price:  $18

Klyde Warren Park

Escape the bustle of downtown Dallas with a relaxing picnic at Klyde Warren Park. Not far from the Arts District, the park features a thriving food truck scene and regular events including movie nights.

  • Address: 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201

Perot Museum of Nature & Science

A highlight of the Dallas Arts District, the Perot Museum of Nature & Science is a must-see. Featuring almost a dozen halls spread over five floors, you can dive into the topics of engineering, evolution, and earth.

  • Address:  2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201
  • Hours:  10 am-5 pm (Mon, Wed-Sat) 11 am-5 pm (Sun)
  • Price:  $20

African American Museum

Set in Fair Park, the African American Museum is believed to be the first of its kind. Home to a thorough collection of artifacts, documents, and art, it’s an incredible way to explore the history and culture of African Americans.

  • Address:  3536 Grand Ave, Fair Park, Dallas, TX 75210
  • Hours:  11 am-5 pm (Tue-Fri) 10 am-5 pm (Sat)
  • Price:  Free

Want to extend to 3 days in Dallas? Check out our Dallas Itinerary !

AT&T Stadium

On day 2 of your Texas road trip, it’s time to explore neighboring Fort Worth. Along the way, you’ll pass Arlington, home to the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium.

This spectacular stadium can seat 80,000 fans and houses what was once a record-breaking jumbotron. Go watch the Cowboys or sign up for a stadium tour.

Leave the car at home with this tour of AT&T Stadium that includes transportation.

  • Address: 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011

Sundance Square

Spanning 35 blocks, Sundance Square represents the beating heart of Fort Worth. Old brick roads guide you by eye-catching architecture, including the historic Tarrant County Courthouse. Enjoy Texan cuisine, scratch your shopping itch, and stick around for the boisterous nightlife.

Kimbell Art Museum

Known as much for its architecture as its art, the Kimbell Art Museum quickly captures your imagination. Featuring art and antiquities from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, the galley covers a range of eras and styles with works from the likes of Picasso and Monet.

  • Address:  3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
  • Hours:  10 am-5 pm (Tue-Thur, Sat) 12 pm-8 pm (Fri & Sun), closed Monday

Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is a unique look into Texas’ connection to ranching and cowboys. Every day on Exchange Avenue, modern-day cowboys and cowgirls guide longhorns down the historic street. You can learn more about why at the Livestock Exchange.

Billy Bob’s Texas

Come sundown, the Stockyards is one of the best places for nightlife in Texas. Here, you’ll find Billy Bob’s Texas where you can go boot scootin’ crazy and indulge in some classic honky tonk!

  • Address: 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, TX 76164

You can combine your Dallas experience with a day at Fort Worth on this guided tour .

Fort Worth Texas

At Hotel Crescent Court , you’ll feel right at home in your opulent setting before opening the ornate French doors for your own private balcony.

With cable TV, an on-site pool and a restaurant, Hampton Inn & Suites is a great place to recuperate as you explore downtown Dallas.

Close to nightlife and local culture, SOVA puts you in the heart of the action at a budget-friendly price.

Are you excited to explore Dallas and Fort Worth in greater depth? Read up on the complete list of things to do in Dallas right here.

This drive takes 5.5 hours from downtown Dallas.

Rather than spending a day in Fort Worth, start your day bright and early to make your way to Amarillo. As you drive into the more remote northwestern Texas, you’ll begin to see a different set of micro-cultures to go along with an increase in Stetsons, wild ponies, and dusty side roads.

Amarillo is a unique, quirky town that boasts a stop along historic Route 66 on top of being the gateway to Texas’ western frontier. It’s a great, historical stop on your Texas road trip!

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch is one of the most interesting roadside attractions in Texas. Right off I-40, the “ranch” features the frontends of 10 Cadillacs buried in the Texan dirt. Decorated with a kaleidoscopic use of spray paint, it’s one of those things you wouldn’t see anywhere but Amarillo.

  • Address: 13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124

Sixth Street Historic District

Home to 13 blocks of Route 66 fame, the Sixth Street Historic District dates back to the 1920s. The collection of old-time commercial buildings recalls the heyday of Amarillo and features Art Deco, Art Moderne, and Spanish Revival architecture.

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

A classic West Texas experience, the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum explores the history of the world’s most popular horse breed. Hands-on exhibits and events take you back in time to the height of cattle herding.

  • Address: 2601 E Interstate Dr, Amarillo, TX 79104
  • Hours: 10 am – 4 pm, Closed Sundays and Mondays

Amarillo Texas

Day 3 & 4 – Austin

This drive takes 3 hours from downtown Dallas

Whether you’ve taken a day trip to Amarillo or decided to just stay in Dallas, next you’ll be heading south to Austin along I-35. We recommend stopping in Waco on the way, which we’ll provide more details about shortly.

Austin is a beautiful mix of arts, culture, and color mixed in with all the things you’ve come to know and love about Texas. Unique neighborhoods abound in Austin. Add on ample outdoor activities, it’s best to give yourself at least two nights to explore what Austin has to offer.

One way to split your 48 hours up is by separating the attractions on either side of the surging Colorado River.

Read Next: Find out what other destinations made our list of the best places to visit in Texas !

Downtown Austin

Towering skyscrapers, museums, street art, and mouthwatering Tex-Mex lies in wait in downtown Austin. Spend your morning at the Museum of Weird or the Mexic-Arte Museum before enjoying some takeout food along the nearby waterfront.

See the best of downtown, along with South Congress on this e-bike tour .

Texas State Capitol

Nearby is the Texas State Capitol looming proudly over the rest of the city. The 19th-century building is one of the tallest government buildings in the country, with a beautiful dome and spire reaching over 300 feet. Join a guided tour to learn more about its history and stunning architecture.

  • Address: 1100 Congress Ave
  • Hours: 7 am – 8 pm (opens at 9 am on weekends)

University of Texas

Home to the iconic Texas Longhorns, the University of Texas is the place to be in the fall. But there’s more to this campus than just football. Explore to find the captivating Blanton Museum of Art, along with the Natural Science Center and the Memorial Museum.

Sunset at Congress Avenue Bridge

There’s no better place to be in Austin at sunset than the Congress Avenue Bridge. Boasting the largest urban bat colony in the world, all 1.5 million of them depart once the sun touches the horizon.

Such is the heady number, it can take 45 minutes to finish all the while the sky burns bright amber.

Watch the event from the Colorado River on a kayak tour .

The Dirty Sixth

To burn the midnight oil in Austin head to the Dirty Sixth. This rowdy nightlife strip harbors bustling music venues, pumping clubs, and dim-lit bars, perfect for enjoying a drink and reflecting on the road trip thus far.

Rainey Street Historic District

The alternative to the Dirty Sixth is Rainey Street Historic District. The revitalized old district is more laid back than Sixth Street with high-end eateries, vibrant bars, and charming, old-school pubs.

Lady Bird Lake

Nurse your hangover with a trip to Lady Bird Lake. When in Austin, you’re never far from nature, and you’ll find beautiful walking and biking trails from which to explore. Stop at Zilker Park for downtown views or paddle out on the lake with your traveling crew.

South Congress

Now that you’re back to normal, head to South Congress the hotbed of the Keep Austin Weird movement. Filled with kitschy shops, street art, and teeming with food trucks, it’s the place to stay weird, enjoy sprawling murals, and feast on delightful cuisine.

The Cathedral of Junk

Speaking of weird, the Cathedral of Junk finishes in the first place. The gallery of junk is spread through a simple backyard featuring a conglomerate of random items from engines to spooky mannequins.

Travelers must call ahead before visiting.

  • Address: 4422 Lareina Dr, Austin, TX 78745
  • Cost: Donation based

McKinney Falls State Park

If you haven’t quenched your thirst for nature yet on this Texas road trip, head to McKinney Falls State Park. Venture along the Onion Creek Hike to see both the lower and upper falls. While only 10 miles from Austin, the change of pace and color along with the fresh air will have you ready to tackle the rest of this road trip.

Lady Bird Lake Austin

Five-star opulence awaits at Hotel Saint Cecilia where you’ll enjoy, a la carte breakfast, an on-site pool, and free bike hire.

On Sixth Street, East Austin Hotel , is a 3-star hotel with cable TV, on-site restaurants, and close to the University of Texas.

In central, downtown Austin, the Firehouse Hostel provides a fun, atmosphere with modern amenities and close to nightlife.

Check out our post to learn more about the best things to do in Austin .

As you make your way from Dallas to Austin, get off Highway 35 for a quick stop in Waco. Home to the beautiful campus of Baylor University, you’ll find mouthwatering cuisine at local markets and plenty of kitschy shops to add to your road trip shopping bag.

Magnolia Market at the Silos

With your day now fully underway, replenish your energy stocks at Magnolia Market at the Silos. This small district features a handful of food trucks, along with the famous Silos Baking Co., to go along with the collection of live events, boutique stores, and a farmers’ market.

  • Address: 601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX 76706
  • Hours: 9 am – 6 pm (closed Sun)

Dr. Pepper Museum

America’s oldest major soda brand was founded right here in Waco. This museum features three floors packed with exhibits that take you along Dr. Pepper’s timeline. The historic bottling plant even includes a Liquid Lab where you can attempt to make your own soda.

  • Address: 300 S 5th St, Waco, TX 76701
  • Hours: 10 am – 5:30 pm (Mon to Sat) 12 pm – 5:30 pm Sun

Wooly Mammoth National Monument

Spanning five acres along the Bosque River, the Wooly Mammoth National Monument commemorates the discovery of a collection of Columbian mammoths found in Waco. The only discovery of its kind in the states, the monument provides a glimpse into the lives of the mammoths and the epic 3-decade excavation effort.

  • Address: 6220 Steinbeck Bend Dr, Waco, TX 76708
  • Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Price: Free. Guided tours are $6

Read next: The Ultimate 3 Days In Austin, Texas Itinerary

A guided tour of Austin may leave you feeling satisfied with your experience in the state capitol. If that’s the case, pack your car with all your day trip necessities and head to the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Featuring rolling hills, charming small towns, state parks, and elegant vineyards, it’s a lovely complement to Austin.

Pedernales Falls State Park

On route from Austin to the Texas Hill Country, stop off at Pedernales Falls State Park and soak up some natural beauty. One of the best things to do here is go for a swim in Hamilton Pool Preserve . This natural swimming hole is set in a dramatic canyon complete with limestone cliffs and a huge waterfall.

Other than Hamilton Pool, Pedernales Falls State Park has some awesome mountain biking and hiking trails.

Hamilton Pool Preserve


There are a number of cozy German towns in the Texas Hill Country. The best? Frederiksburg. With eye-catching European architecture, Germanic cuisine, art galleries, and cute cafes, it’s a small town not to be missed.

Visit the Wineries

On this guided tour departing from Austin, venture into the countryside stopping at three award-winning wineries. Sample wines and local treats before exploring the beautiful, winding roads in a luxury van. This is a must for wine lovers going on Texas road trips!

Day 5 – San Antonio

This drive takes 1 hour and 20 minutes from downtown Austin.

After your visit to the Texas Hill Country, head south to San Antonio . Home to Spanish colonial missions and a thriving riverfront community, San Antonio thrives on surprising its visitors. This charming city is really a must-see on any road trip in Texas!

After a drive through the Texas Hill Country from Austin, be prepared to experience a unique city that balances prominent a Spanish past, with hints of the Wild West and modern Texan culture.

If you have time, extend your trip and spend 3 days in San Antonio !

San Antonio Missions

A National Historic Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the San Antonio Missions is a veritable gem that’s vital to America’s story. Covering five missions including the famous Alamo (San Antonio de Valero), you can learn all about the Spanish influence in this region.

The San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio River Walk is the heart of local culture and hospitality. Home to river parades, the edges of the San Antonio River are lined with refined restaurants and chic bars.

This nighttime tour takes you on a River Walk Cruise with a visit to the Tower of the Americas.

Historic Market Square

Covering three blocks, the Historic Market Square is a great way to put on your tourist hat and shop, eat and drink. The square also boasts the largest Mexican market, known as El Mercado, in the States. Afterward, load up on fresh goods at the Farmer’s Market Plaza.

Natural Bridge Caverns

The Natural Bridge Caverns were discovered in the 1960s and are now the largest of their kind in the US. This guided experience allows you to skip the line and explore the vast cave network laden with stalactites and stalagmites.

Book your visit to the Natural Bridge Caverns on Get Your Guide !

Ranger Creek Brewing

It’s officially day 5 and halfway through your Texas road trip. Celebrate, reflect, and look forward to future adventures at Ranger Creek Brewing. Featuring more than just microbrews, you can enjoy small-batch craft whiskey before joining a guided tour.

  • Address:  4834 Whirlwind Dr, San Antonio, TX
  • Hours:  Monday – Thursday 10 am – 4 pm, Friday and Saturday 12 pm – 9 pm
  • Cost:  Tours cost $15 and run every Saturday at 1 pm and 3 pm

Next to the River Walk, Hotel Emma offers guests a sun terrace with excellent views, a fitness center, and a pool, plus an on-site bar.

Wake up with a complimentary breakfast and wake up with a swim at Drury Plaza , before exploring San Antonio.

WaterWalk offers free daily breakfast, BBQ facilities, a fitness center, and a swimming pool all without hurting the wallet.

San Antonio Riverwalk

Day 6 & 7 – Corpus Christi

This drive takes 2 hours from downtown San Antonio.

After departing San Antonio on your Texas road trip, make your way south to Corpus Christi. Two days here may seem like a lot, but it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the captivating nature that South Texas has to offer.

Mustang Island

30 miles south of Corpus Christi is an 18-mile barrier island that is a boon for animal lovers and beach bums. Grab the towel and head to the wild sands of this protected area. Go for a swim in the Gulf, kayak along the rugged shorelines, and keep an eye out for the island’s 400 unique bird species.

Padre Island National Seashore

Established in 1962, the Padre Island National Seashore is the largest of its kind on earth. With 70 miles of untouched nature, explore a major bird migration spot and sea turtles or simply enjoy the views from the majestic coast.

South Padre Island

Contrasting to the previous day’s national seashore, the southern version offers a balance of humanity and natural wonders.

The beaches are delightful and there are family-friendly theme parks. However, you can’t beat a horse ride on the beach or a sunset yacht charter deep into the Gulf.

The Rio Grande

Staying in Corpus Christi provides you with an interesting opportunity to see the Rio Grande flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Visit the Las Palomas Wildlife area and be able to take a peak into the gulf coast of Mexico while enjoying one of the most southern points in mainland USA.

The Oceanside Retreat comes with beach views from your balcony, full kitchens, and walking distance to the shoreline.

Tru by Hilton provides upscale rooms with a swimming pool and fitness center all within a short drive of Mustang and North Padre Island.

The simple Knights Inn comes with beach views, cable TV, an outdoor pool, and BBQ facilities.

Mustang Island Texas

Day 8 – Houston

Next on your road trip in Texas, head up towards East Texas and spend some time in Houston . This diverse city has plenty of Texas history and nature to check out, plus there are a lot of great road trips to take from Houston !

Space Center Houston

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas, the Space Center Houston lives up to the hype. Dive into the history of space travel, visit Mission Control, and touch a rock that was returned from the moon! Finish up with exploring the thrilling Rocket Park.

  • Address:  2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058
  • Hours:  10 am-5 pm (Mon-Fri) 10 am-6 pm (Sat-Sun)
  • Price:  $29.95

The Museum District

Home to 18 museums, (11 of which are free), Houston’s Museum District is as fascinating as it is budget-friendly. Highlights include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Menil Collection, and the Museum of Natural Science.

Buffalo Bayou Park

Enjoy some sunshine, a leisurely walk, and some cheese and crackers in Buffalo Bayou Park. This urban escape features a history water reservoir-turned-art-exhibit, plus old-time homes, beautiful, landscaped gardens, and some fun biking trails.

Find more things to do on this 3 Days In Houston Itinerary !

The La Colombe d’Or promises a memorable experience thanks to its Victorian decor, outdoor pool, and proximity to central Houston.

The Cambria provides road trippers with a central location and upscale amenities at a reasonable price.

At Wanderstay budget travelers will have a modern, themed hostel with spacious communal and dining areas.

Houston Texas

Day 9 – Galveston

From Houston, head further into East Texas with a visit to the coastal city of Galveston . Here are the top things to do when you get there!

Stewart Beach

Not far from the Historic Pleasure Pier, Stewart Beach is the spot to get some sun, go for a swim, and enjoy your last full day. Snack stands will keep your thirst quenched and your hunger at bay, and be sure to rent an umbrella for some handy shade.

The historic Strand in Galveston is lined with elegant 19th-century architecture and where tales of the past ring along the walking path. Spread along five blocks, you’ll find the Opera House from 1894 and dozens of fun shops within ancient walls.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is Texas’ answer to the one in Santa Monica. Soaring out into the Gulf, enjoy the 15-plus rides, family-fun arcades, and the token fair hot dog.

At the George Manor , you’ll be staying in a historic building with included breakfast and an on-site restaurant while being within walking distance of the beach.

On the Galveston Seawall, enjoy ocean views, on-site bar, and fitness center at Clarion Pointe .

By East Beach, Wingate by Wyndham , provides an excellent location, cable TV, and complimentary breakfast at low cost.

Galveston Texas

From Galveston, it’s time for the last leg of your epic Texas road trip. To complete the Texas “triangle” drive north for 4.5 hours along I-45. For a shorter trip, drop your rental car off in Houston, which is under an hour away.

Well, there you have it folks, the perfect Texas road trip. Over ten days, you’ll hit up some of the state’s best cities, learn about important history and indulge in some local culture. But rest assured, there’s plenty of time for fun, whether that be in Fort Worth, Austin, or Galveston.

Such is the size of Texas, there are still some notable absentees. A larger West Texas road trip would help you explore Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. But iconic places like Big Bend and the surrounding national parks would require much more time.

But no matter how much time you spend in Texas, you’re sure to have a blast!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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Wander With Wonder

9 Road Trips from Austin Texas

Written by jill robbins, road trips | texas | travel.

Whether you’re a local or visiting the capital of Texas, take one of these 9 road trips from Austin and explore more of the state.

If you live in the capital of Texas or want to expand your trip and explore a different part of Texas, here are nine road trips from Austin to show you more of the Lone Star State .

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Road Trips from Austin Texas

I’ve provided the mileage and drive times from downtown Austin , according to Google. You’ll need to adjust based on your actual starting location and traffic. Several of the trips from Austin on this list are less than two hours each way, which makes them great possibilities for day trips. There are two that are on the longer end of what I’d personally want to drive for a three-day weekend (South Padre Island and Marfa) but they’re great spots to visit and everyone has different ideas of what a long drive is.

1. Road Trip from Austin to San Antonio

79 miles/1 hour 27 minutes

As a popular convention and tourist city, visitors to San Antonio usually spend time exploring the River Walk and the Historic Pearl, which is a former brewery that’s been redone as a luxury hotel, shops, a food hall, and lovely outdoor space. A weekend trip is the perfect length of time to spend in either location but the options in this large Texas city are almost endless.

The Alamo might already be on your list of things to check out and if you’re staying downtown, that’s easy to do. If you have time, the other four San Antonio missions are worth a little extra effort.  The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park  is the only  UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas.

Alamo San Antonio Missions

Definitely remember the Alamo but add the other four San Antonio missions to your list of things to do. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Visitors from Austin may also be interested in checking out Six Flags Fiesta Texas , SeaWorld San Antonio , and the San Antonio Zoo , all of which offer special seasonal programming (i.e. special events for Halloween and Christmas).

This article outlines more things to do when you visit San Antonio .

2. Road Trip from Austin to Bastrop

29 miles/35 minutes

Although Bastrop is technically a part of the Austin Metro Area, it has zero of the big city, “Keep Austin Weird” vibe. Downtown Bastrop has fun shopping and dining options.

48 hours in Bastrop

Historic buildings with restaurants and shops line Main Street in Bastrop, Texas. Photo by Ashton LaFuente via Creative Commons

You can access the river walk from the town’s main drag. The river walk is a great place to stroll and take in views of the Colorado River. If you want something more adventurous, there are places to rent a kayak or paddleboard. Bastrop State Park has hiking trails and campgrounds and Lake Bastrop offers camping and places to fish .

road trips in texas from austin

Kayak or paddle along the Colorado River, which runs through Bastrop. Photo courtesy of Visit Bastrop

I have stayed at the Pecan Street Inn , which is a small, bed and breakfast style hotel. I loved the personal attention and the proximity to downtown. If you’re looking for a luxury getaway, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is a splurge worth checking out. You won’t see much of Bastrop because your desire to leave the resort will be zero. There are plenty of activities to do on-site and the river runs through the resort, so you can still take part in water activities that can be arranged through the resort.

This article outlines more things to do when you visit Bastrop, Texas .

3. Road Trips from Austin to South Padre Island

347 miles, 5 hours 38 minutes

If you want to escape the big city and head toward the beach, South Padre Island is one of the great trips from Austin to put on your list. Since enjoying the beach is probably already on your list of things to do, I’ll give you some ideas of other things to check out on South Padre Island.

Sea Turtle Inc is the place to go to learn about sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation. More wildlife watching opportunities are at SPI Birding, Nature Center, and Alligator Sanctuary . Kids, especially older kids or teens, will enjoy the activities (rides, go-karts, mini-golf) at Gravity Park . If you want to enjoy the ocean from a boat, this area has lots of fishing charters and dolphin-watching tours .

road trips in texas from austin

Gravity Park has fun rides and activities with a view of the water. Photo courtesy of South Padre Island Tropical Travel

NOTE : South Padre is the place where college students gather for spring break, so if you’re planning a visit in March or April, you’ll find quite the party atmosphere. If this is not what you are looking for, pick a different time of year or a more family-friendly Texas beach, like Port Aransas or Rockport.

4. Road Trip from Austin to Gonzales

65 miles, 1 hour 7 minutes

If you want to really dig into Texas history, Gonzales is the place to be. You probably thought the Alamo was where the battle for Texas independence started, but it was actually up the road in Gonzales. For the best experience, I recommend visiting during one of Gonzales’ two festivals: Come and Take It Festival and Winterfest. Come and Take It is in October and Winterfest is in December. Check the Chamber of Commerce website for specifics.

Don’t miss the battle for Texas independence reenactment at Pioneer Village Living History Center . Pioneer Village is a fun place to visit year-round, but the reenactment is pretty special and unique to this area.

road trips from Austin Texas

Gonzales County Courthouse in Gonzales, Texas. Photo by Bob Weston via iStock by Getty Images

In town, you’ll find the Gonzales County Jail Museum and the Gonzales Memorial Museum, which houses the original canon the Mexican army was so keen to come and take. The downtown area is very walkable and you’ll find a few places to eat and shop. You can stay at the Alcade Hotel and join the ranks of notorious former guests such as Elvis and Bonnie and Clyde. I stayed here in 2018 and found the room and amenities really in need of an update. The property has since been bought by Oyo, so your experience now might be better.

road trips in texas from austin

Gonzales is dotted with historic homes that are, for the most part, very well-maintained. Some are bed and breakfasts or small inns but they’re really fun to look at if you’re an ooh and ahh about houses kind of person. I did a windshield tour that the Chamber of Commerce set up for me. I’ve also seen interior tours offered in conjunction with the Come and Take It festival and Winterfest.

road trips in texas from austin

There are many historic homes in Gonzales. Guided tours are often available during the city’s two major festivals, Come and Take It and Winterfest. Photo by Jill Robbins

5. Road Trip from Austin to Decatur

228 miles, 3 hours 28 minutes

Decatur is just a short drive from Dallas. There’s enough to do in Decatur for a fun weekend trip from Austin but it also makes a good side trip from Dallas or Fort Worth.

Decatur has a fun-to-explore town square with lots of places to eat and shop. A couple of my favorites are Trinity Street Coffee Bar (I haven’t been since they opened their new restaurant side) and Hey Sugar Candy Store, which is a great place to go for nostalgic sweets of all types. There are murals and quirky street art to discover all over downtown Decatur. If you want to try your hand at making something to take home with you, the Decatur DIY Studio has lots of class options. This was easily one of the most fun things we did on our visit and definitely worth planning your trip around.

road trip from austin texas

The Wise County Courthouse in Decatur is a Romanesque Revival structure on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop by Trinity Street Coffee Bar just beside the courthouse. Photo by Strekoza2 via iStock by Getty Images

Just off the town square you’ll find the Whistle Stop Cafe and the petrified wood gas station. The cafe, popular with locals, serves breakfast and lunch. The petrified wood gas station next door is a fantastic photo opp. If you plan to eat at the cafe, arrive early or be prepared to wait.

Whistle Stop Cafe in Decatur TX

Visit the Whistle Stop Cafe for breakfast or lunch + iconic photo spots. Photo by Jill Robbins

Bridgeport is a short drive from Decatur and also has a fun downtown area with murals. There’s also an animal sanctuary that is available to tour (reservations needed).  The Center for Animal Research and Education is not a zoo and just recently reopened its tours. According to the website, they welcome kids over age 7, but I recommend using caution when taking younger kids. Visitors are very close to animal habitats and need to be able to be quiet and still and follow directions.

6. Road Trip from Austin to Boerne

85 miles, 1 hour 40 minutes

This charming Texas Hill Country city is close enough to Austin for a day trip but there’s so much to explore, I recommend doing at least a weekend if you can. The downtown area has lots of places to shop. The vintage Flashback Funtiques is a perennial favorite. The Dienger Trading Company features more high-end, boutique-style gifts as well as a bistro area where you can grab coffee and pastries or a meal. For great local brew plus food, you can’t go wrong with the family-friendly Cibolo Creek Brewing Company .

road trips in texas from austin

There are lots of fun photo opps outside of Flashback Funtiques. Photo by Jill Robbins

Located outside the downtown area, the Cave Without a Name and Cibolo Center for Conservation offer options to explore a bit of the outdoors. Cibolo Creek Nature Center is a great spot for an easy, scenic hike during cooler months. When the weather warms up, splashing in the creek is the thing to do.

7. Road Trip from Austin to Waco

101 miles, 1 hour 32 minutes

If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines, Waco is probably one of the trips from Austin you’re already planning. The neat thing about the Magnolia empire is that it’s always growing and changing, so if you really enjoy visiting the Silos or eating at Magnolia Table , you can enjoy the experience multiple times.

road trips in texas from austin

Although there are many things to see and do in Waco besides Magnolia Market, it’s worth a stop for photos and food trucks, even if you don’t plan on shopping. Photo by Jill Robbins

Other things to do in Waco include the Cameron Park Zoo , the Dr. Pepper Museum , the Waco Mammoth National Monument , and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame . If you’re a college football fan, check out the schedule of games at McClean Stadium (Baylor University.)

I also recommend checking out Waco Tours , especially if you plan to stay more than a couple of days. It’s a great way to orient yourself to this growing city and if you’re a Fixer Upper superfan, you’ll get to see some of the rehab houses from the show up close.

Tip : If Magnolia is your primary reason for going to Waco, be prepared to stand in line, especially during busy periods, such as spring break or holiday weekends. I love having breakfast at Magnolia Table and it is the one thing I’ll get up uber early for on vacation. If you visit on a weekday and go right at opening, you can usually get seated right away. Also note the Magnolia attractions are closed on Sundays.

8. Road Trip from Austin to Marfa

428 miles, 6 hours 30 minutes

Marfa is quirky but in a different way than Austin is quirky. The stunning backdrop of the West Texas desert and seemingly endless wide open spaces make Marfa a popular spot for visitors from all over.

Marfa draws many artists and art lovers so if your primary focus is to spend your time immersed in the various types of arts, it will be easy to fill up your time. I recommend consulting Marfa’s art guide as you’re planning your trip. One of the most popular art installations in the Marfa area is “Prada Marfa” which is located outside the city limits in Valentine. This tiny store in the middle of nowhere is one of the area’s most well-known landmarks.

Prada Marfa

Prada Marfa is actually in Valentine, Texas. Photo courtesy of Unsplash/David Solce

Another great and unexpected stop in Marfa is at Chinati. The contemporary art museum offers guided tours of the collection and outdoor viewing every Thursday through Saturday. It supports the work of its founder, Donald Judd, and various other contemporary artists.

Road trip from Austin Texas

Concrete structures on the grounds of the Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum located in Marfa, Texas. Photo by theresajam1 via iStock by Getty Images

No trip to Marfa is complete without going to check out the mysterious Marfa lights, which appear on the horizon after the sun goes down. These dancing red and white lights consistently appear east of town regardless of what the weather is doing and have been reported as early as the mid-1800s. There’s no logical explanation to what causes these lights, which is part of what makes the experience so fun.

Marfa, the county seat of Presidio County, is located near Big Bend National Park, Fort Davis National Historic Site , McDonald Observatory, and Davis Mountains State Park. Marfa’s neighboring city, Alpine , is also worth exploring.

road trip from austin texas

County courthouse in Marfa, Texas. Photo by Bob Weston via iStock by Getty Images

9. Road Trip from Austin to New Braunfels

48 miles, 47 minutes

Located between San Antonio and Austin, this small German town located on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers is big on fun options for things to do. New Braunfels is home to Wurstfest , a two-week German festival, that draws people from around the state. Floating in the rivers is the most popular warm-weather pastime for locals and visitors alike. There are lots of places in town to rent tubes that offer pickup service at designated points downriver.

road trip from austin texas

Comal River Tube Chute in New Braunfels, Texas. Photo by Creative Credit via iStock by Getty Images

If you want more thrills, New Braunfels is home to Schlitterbahn , a massive water fun park.

road trips from Austin Texas

Many people go to New Braunfels to enjoy Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Photo courtesy Schlitterbahn

Landa Park is one of several parks in New Braunfels, although I think it’s the best one. You’ll have a lot of choices for things to do. There’s the famous Landa Park Train, the aquatic complex, various play spaces, paddle boat rides, miniature golf, and more.

road trips in texas from austin

  • Have fun floating in the pool or at the lake with the Index River run I

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Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a drive-through animal park, although there are designated spots where guests can get out and look around. Just next door, Natural Bridge Caverns offers various cave tours and above-ground adventures, such as a zip rails course and a maze.

road trips in texas from austin

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a fun activity to do when it’s a little cooler outside. The ostriches and emus are always curious but some of the other animals are more active when the weather isn’t super hot. Photo by Jill Robbins

The Gruene Historic District is a fun place to explore, with Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall, being the most popular attraction. There are lots of stores to wander in and out of and beautiful river views.

I have a long list of favorite spots to eat in New Braunfels. Most popular is the Gristmill , although be prepared to wait. Other favorites are Huisache Grill , the brewpub at the Faust Hotel, and Union Station Diner for breakfast.

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Discovering Road Trips from Austin, Texas

Whether you’re a local or visiting the capital of Texas, these 9 road trips from Austin give you a chance to get out and explore more of Texas . We also have ideas for day trips from San Antonio and road trips from Houston . Some of the suggestions will overlap but many of these destinations can be adapted for trips from Austin. These are great ways to get out for a fun family adventure and enjoy a road trip !

Whether you're a local or visiting the capital of Texas, take one of these 9 road trips from Austin and explore more of the state. These great Texas road trips will make for unforgettable family vacations, or be something fun when you have extra time after a business trip in Austin.

Austin | Family Travel | San Antonio | Small Towns

Texas road trip - the only way to see real USA cowboys

Texas road trip - The ultimate 1 week itinerary

Howdy, welcome to Texas! As the second largest state in the United States in terms of both area and population, there's a near infinite amount of things to see in Texas, making it the perfect destination for an epic road trip.

While there are lots of different Texas road trip routes you could take, our seven day round-trip itinerary covers all the big cities, hitting up Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as a detour through the picturesque Hill Country.

Before we launch into the trip, a quick word on driving in Texas. The car is king here, so expect to rely on your car in cities as well as to drive between them. Although this may sound annoying, it means that the roads are really clear and easy to navigate, and that there's usually ample inner city parking, making travelling by car a doddle.

Other than that everything else is pretty self-explanatory, so just get stuck in to your trip and enjoy!

Day 1: Austin - go sightseeing, take a dip in the Barton Springs Municipal Pool, & eat classic Texas BBQ food

The vibrant city of Austin is the first stop on your Texas road trip, and it's the ideal place to start and end your round trip itinerary.

As well as having a large international airport that's well-connected to the rest of the U.S. and London Heathrow, it's an amazing cultural hub to introduce you to the buzzing atmosphere you'll find throughout your Texas itinerary.

Aim to land some time in the morning and take today pretty slowly - you'll be back in Austin on day 7, so don't feel pressured to cover everything if you're feeling jet-lagged or worn out from your journey.

Travel tip: Pick up your car straight away at the airport - you'll appreciate having it to visit some of today's sights.

Fly into Austin, get settled at your hotel then head to the Texas State Capitol Building

After a quick relax at your hotel, head to the famous Texas State Capitol Building for your first taste of Austin

This magnificent building is the seat of government for the state of Texas, and is a stunning piece of 19th-century architecture that's a true symbol of the Lone Star State.

Located on a hill overlooking downtown Austin, its dome pokes through the rooftops and contrasts beautifully with the ultra-modern skyscrapers that surround it.

Picturesque grounds also wrap around the building, scattered with statues and monuments shaded by leafy trees and plants.

Texas State Capitol building against a blue sky

After you've enjoyed the outside, the best way to make the most of the inside is to take a free tour with a knowledgeable guide who'll be able to tell you all about Texan history and legislature, as well as the architecture itself.

Tours depart every 30 to 45 minutes from the south foyer and last around 30 minutes, running between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm on Saturdays, and 12.00pm to 3.30pm on Sundays.

Have a lazy lunch then visit the Cathedral of Junk

The second attraction we're sending you to in Austin is very quirky and off-the-beaten-track, which means it's practically guaranteed to be unforgettable.

Have a lazy lunch at a cafe or restaurant that takes your fancy (save the BBQ food for later), then head to the Cathedral of Junk - an epic sculpture made entirely of - you guessed it - junk.

Located in a suburban backyard, this crazy art installation is the work of artist Vince Hannemann, and its cathedral-esque structure is made up of tangles of bicycles, household appliances, toys, CDs, and pretty much anything and everything - you name it, you'll probably be able to find it somewhere in the structure.

Cathedral of Junk, Austin with leaves growing on the outside

Although it may just look like a pile of junk at first glance, it's actually really intricately made and surprisingly thought-provoking. (You know what they say about 'one man's trash'!)

Make sure you go inside and look up to the spire-shaped roof to get the full cathedral experience, and interpret the artistic message however you see fit. We like to think it's there to make people stop and think about waste and consumerism.

You'll find the Cathedral of Junk at 4422 Lareina Drive, and owing to the fact that it's a home on a quiet residential street, it's vital you call ahead and make an appointment if you want to drop by. Call (512) 299-7413 to arrange a time.

The experience is free to enjoy, however there's a suggested donation of $10 per group to support its upkeep and continuous construction.

The easiest way to get there (and then to the pool afterwards) is to hop in your hire car and drive.

Bear in mind, however, that you won't be able to park on Lareina Drive, so pay attention to parking signs and find a spot on a nearby side street.

Alternatively you could have lunch at nearby Casa Maria before your visit - there's ample parking there and the Tex-Mex is great!

Drive to Barton Springs Municipal Pool for the rest of the afternoon

The Barton Springs Municipal Pool is around 20 minutes north of the Cathedral of Junk, so it should be easy to get there with enough time for a swim before it gets dark.

If you're travelling in the colder months don't be put off from taking a dip as this three-acre natural pool is fed by underground springs, meaning the water stays at a toasty 20ºC (68ºF) all year round.

Plus, temperatures in Austin tend to be pretty mild throughout the year anyway, so there's really nothing stopping you.

Aerial shot of Barton Springs Pool, Austin

As well as being a lovely place for a swim and a sunbathe, the water is home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander, so it's a pretty important feature of Austin's landscape.

For this reason, the pool is closed every Thursday from 9am to 7pm to clean and maintain the water, so ideally day 1 of your trip should fall on a different day so you don't miss out.

Admission to the pool costs $9 for adults, and note that lifeguards are only on duty some of the time, so make sure you take care when in the water and keep an eye on any children you're travelling with.

Watch the sunset and the bats from the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

Make it back to your hotel with enough time to freshen up and head back out to the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge before the sun sets - trust us, you won't want to be late.

This unassuming bridge over the Colorado River comes alive at sunset between March and October, when hundreds of bats fly out from underneath the bridge and are beautifully silhouetted against the orange glow of the sky.

Bats against the sunset with people watching in Austin

Following the 1980 redesign of the bridge, the structure includes lots of perfectly bat-sized crevices where the animals live and give birth to their pups.

If you're travelling in August, you'll get to see the pups emerge for the first time too, virtually doubling the cloud of bats flying against the pastel-hued sky.

The walkway on the east side of the bridge has the best view, but if you want to sit down it's also possible to spread out a blanket on the riverbank below. If you choose the latter, however, beware that you're more likely to get hit by bat poo!

And even if you're visiting outside of bat season, it's still worth heading to the bridge for the sunset view before you go for dinner.

Have a classic Texas BBQ feast at Black's Barbecue

It would be wrong not to kick off your Texas food adventure with some classic BBQ goods, so stroll north from the bridge to Black's Barbecue to work up an appetite.

This family-owned BBQ joint is currently run by the third generation of the Black family, and all the meat is still smoked using traditional methods developed by the very first generation.

Using a simple rub, oak wood, and a whole lot of patience, this restaurant cooks up some of the finest cuts of meat in town.

Classic brisket, ribs, and turkey are all on the menu, along with sides including beans, potato salad, and mac and cheese. The sides, however, are the only veggie options on the menu, so definitely opt for somewhere else if you're travelling with any vegetarians.

Those that do eat here, expect to leave very full, very happy, and very ready to retire to bed.

Day 2: Austin to San Antonio via the Hill Country - drive through the Hill Country, stopping to visit Hamilton Pool Preserve, Bandera & go horseback riding

The aim of day 2 is to get from Austin to San Antonio, and we're taking you on a detour through the Hill Country to make the most of the stunning Texan landscapes - there's more to it than big cities!

This beautiful area of rolling hills, glittering streams and tall oak trees is just a stone's throw from both Austin and San Antonio, and it's a great area for some scenic driving and cowboy culture.

Travel tip: If you're travelling in spring, look out for the colourful bluebonnet flowers that pop up all over the Hill Country. Peak season is from March to mid-April.

Bluebonnets in Texas Hill Country with a road in the background

Drive west to Hamilton Pool Preserve

We're sticking with the swimming theme for your first stop by sending you to Hamilton Pool.

This nature reserve features a 50-foot waterfall plunging into a beautiful natural blue pool, fringed by rugged rocks and trees; and yes, it's absolutely as idyllic as it sounds.

Hamilton Pool Texas - aerial shot

Unlike Barton Springs Pool, the water here is pretty cold so you'll probably only want to swim if you're visiting in summer. However it's still a really pretty place to stop off on your way through the Hill Country.

There are a couple of things to note when visiting Hamilton Pool Preserve, the first being that you have to reserve and pay for a time to go before you arrive.

Although this may sound fussy, it does mean that it never gets too crowded, which is good for both you and the preservation of the stunning natural environment.

There's two sessions - one in the morning and one in the afternoon - and entry costs $11 per person, with an additional $15 charged per vehicle on arrival.

It's also important to note that swimming isn't always allowed. This is because excessive rainfall or a change in the levels of bacteria present in the water can make it unsafe, so make sure you check online before you arrive.

One final thing to be aware of is that the pool is around a half an hour hike from the car park and includes some uneven surfaces and steps, so do come prepared with comfortable shoes, and consider opting out if you have mobility issues.

With the technicalities out the way, just enjoy this stunning area for an hour or two, exploring the pool's surroundings, relaxing in the sun, and going for a dip (if you're brave enough).

Ground level shot of Hamilton Pool, Texas

Travel tip: If the weather's not great, the pool's all booked up, or you just don't fancy going to the pool, you could always drive a little further and visit the Enchanted Rock instead.

This pink granite mound rises above the green plains of the Hill Country and is a lovely place for a walk and a breath of fresh air - just remember to wrap up warm if you decide to climb to the top, as it can get pretty chilly!

Enchanted Rock, Texas

Head back to the car and drive south to Bandera

Your next stop in the Hill Country is Bandera, which is roughly 105 miles from the pool.

It'll probably take you the best part of two hours to get there, so if you're feeling peckish you might want to stop off for lunch or pick up some snacks in Fredericksburg on the way.

Hopefully you'll arrive in Bandera in the early/ mid afternoon, giving you plenty of time to experience it's rustic Texan charm.

As the self-proclaimed 'Cowboy Capital of Texas', this is the place to go if you're looking for real life cowboys, dude ranches, rodeos, and honky-tonk clubs.

This town is true to its roots, embracing traditional southern U.S. culture without being bombarded by franchised restaurants and shops, so a visit here is a must if you want to get a feel for the genuine cowboy way of life.

There aren't many specific sights to see here, so just spend some time walking around and getting a feel for the quintessentially Texan culture. Walking down the Main Street is a great place to start, as it's lined with lots of bustling shops, bars, and restaurants.

One shop you should definitely peek into is Bandera General Store, a shop selling everything from cowboy boots and hats to gifts, BBQ sauces and ice cream.

The store even has one of only 11 original soda fountains left in the whole of Texas, so if you're in need of an old-school thirst-quencher after your drive, this is the place to go.

The front sign of Bandera General Store, Texas

Head to Silver Spur Ranch to go horseback riding

Kit yourself out with cowboy attire, hop back in the car and drive 15 minutes down the road to Silver Spur Ranch to go horseback riding. This historic ranch is the ideal place to embrace the last of the Hill Country before you head to San Antonio.

The ranch offers one -hour rides for $45 or two-hour rides for $80 (plus a $5 parking fee), so don your blue jeans, saddle up, and prepare to release your inner cowboy (or girl).

A back view of people horse riding at Silver Spur Ranch, Texas

Drive on to San Antonio and have dinner on the Riverwalk

By the time you've arrived in San Antonio and checked into your hotel it will probably be the evening, so make your way to the Riverwalk for a relaxing dinner to top off the day.

This charming portion of the city is made up of walkways that run along the San Antonio River, and is lined with loads of amazing bars and restaurants.

The Riverwalk comes alive with glittering lights at night, so pick a restaurant with tables overlooking the water so you can soak up the atmosphere. You'll be back on day 3 to explore properly, so don't feel guilty about prioritising food this evening.

San Antonio Riverwalk by night with people enjoying dinner

We've got two restaurant suggestions to give you some inspiration... just avoid Tex-Mex as you'll be feasting on that tomorrow.

Boudro's - Texas bistro Boudro's is a popular spot on the Riverwalk, and serves up hearty seafood and speciality meat dishes as well as soups, salads, and mouth-watering appetisers. Be sure to order their legendary tableside guacamole which they prepare as you watch - you can't get much fresher than this!

Ocho - Situated in a glass conservatory overlooking the river, Ocho wins top marks for location and delicious food. Dishes here draw on both Latin and Texan influences, so expect some really interesting flavour combinations and heaps of old-world charm. They also sell some of the best Margaritas in San Antonio in downstairs Havana Bar, so definitely check that out after your meal.

Stick around for a drink and a stroll along the Riverwalk, then head back to your hotel and call it a night - it's been a long day!

Day 3: San Antonio - visit the Alamo, browse the Historic Market Square & relax in the Japanese Tea Garden

Have a stroll along the riverwalk in daylight, then visit the alamo.

Kick off day 3 with a morning stroll along the Riverwalk. While by night the walk was buzzing with bars and eateries, by day it's a lovely relaxed place for a stroll, with lots of lush foliage and pretty buildings fringing the water.

Have an early morning wander, grab a quick coffee, then head to the Alamo for the rest of the morning.

The San Antonio Riverwalk by day with green plants fringing the river

Officially called the Alamo Mission (or the Misión de Álamo in Spanish), the building dates back to the 18th century and was one of the early Spanish missions in Texas to educate the American Indians on becoming Christian.

It later became a fortress and was famously the site of the Battle of the Alamo against the Mexican Army in 1836. It's essentially a monument that sums up Texan heritage and the bravery of the heroes who refused to surrender during the battle.

Today it's a really interesting historical site to visit, with a beautiful church, a Long Barrack housing an informative exhibition on the site's history, and lovely grounds with a fountain, courtyard and loads of green space to enjoy.

Entry to the Alamo is free, however it relies on donations, so dropping a few dollars into one of the collection pots is encouraged.

The white church of the Alamo, San Antonio

Head to the Historic Market Square for lunch

You'll have worked up an appetite after your morning of sightseeing, so make your way to the Historic Market Square for some lunch and a browse; it's around a 20-minute walk west of the Alamo (or a few minutes in the car).

One of the largest Mexican markets outside of Mexico, this lively outdoor plaza is home to over 100 locally-owned stalls and shops selling traditional Talavera pottery, colourful clothing, and handcrafted gifts.

You'll also find traditional music and performances in the market, transporting you straight to Mexico City.

Colourful flags at the Historic Market Square, San Antonio

Before you have a proper browse of the stalls, turn your attention to the food on offer and grab some lunch - the market celebrates the best of San Antonio's incredible Tex-Mex scene.

Grab some tacos and craft beer from Viva Villa Taqueria followed by a sweet treat from Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery, then spend some time looking around, soaking up the atmosphere and buying a few souvenirs.

Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the Japanese Tea Garden

You've explored Spanish culture at the Alamo and experienced Mexican traditions at the Historic Market Square, now it's time for some Japanese heritage at the Japanese Tea Garden.

Located in Brackenridge Park towards the north of the city (you'll probably want to drive), this serene garden brings an unexpected slice of Japan to Texas and is a really beautiful yet underrated attraction to visit.

The garden was originally a rock quarry before being converted into the Japanese Tea Garden in 1917, with walkways, stone bridges, and a traditional pagoda all filling the space.

After extensive restoration between 2005 and 2011, the garden is now home to exotic plants, Japanese Koi fish, and the historic Jinju house.

Pagoda and pond at the Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio

Take your time enjoying the garden, making sure to check out the stone Pavilion, lily ponds, and waterfall before popping into Jingu House Cafe for a cup of tea to rest your legs; we'd recommend you spend an hour or two making the most of this serene oasis in the heart of the city.

The pavilion at the Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio

If you've had enough of the garden and still have some time to spare before evening falls, Brackenridge Park is also home to San Antonio Zoo, a golf course and a botanical garden, so there's plenty more to occupy your time.

Have dinner then head to the Pearl District for a drink

Switch back to Texan culture for the evening and grab some dinner before heading to the Pearl District for a drink. This neighbourhood, built from the repurposed Pearl Brewery, is quickly becoming one of the city's trendiest areas.

Either honour the district's past and opt for a pint of one of Southerleigh Brewery's unique craft beers (look out for the quirky names, including 'Texas Uncommon Ale' and 'Koalas, Cocker Spaniels and Unicorns'), or head to Jazz Tx for a classy cocktail and live music.

Whichever you choose, both sum up this neighbourhood perfectly and are a great way to round off your San Antonio itinerary before you move on to Houston in the morning.

Day 4: San Antonio to Houston - drive to Houston, visit the Space Center & explore the city

Drive straight to space center houston.

The drive to Houston from San Antonio takes around three hours and 45 minutes, so you'll want to hit the road as soon as possible after breakfast to arrive at Space Center Houston in the late morning.

World renowned for being the home of NASA Mission Control, it would be wrong not to visit the Space Center on your Houston stop off. Book tickets well in advance to avoid the queues and get stuck in.

This fun and informative centre focuses on teaching its visitors all about space travel, with over 400 space artefacts, loads of exciting exhibitions and interactive displays, and actual flown spacecraft and replicas to explore.

As you can probably tell there's a lot to see here, which could easily cover the rest of the day, so if you're not too fussed about looking around Houston itself feel free to dedicate this leg of the journey exclusively to all things space.

If you'd rather keep some of your afternoon free, we'd advise spending around three hours here and prioritising the areas of the centre you'd like to see most.

Here's a list of what to expect on your visit so you can start planning:

NASA Tram Tour - A trip on the centre's tram will take you on a tour of the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for a behind-the-scenes look at space exploration. Features include a tour of the astronaut training facility, a look around the historic Mission Operations Control Room (from which NASA led the iconic first lunar landing) and a trip to Rocket Park.

A rocket on display at the Space Center Houston, Texas

International Space Station Gallery - This interactive gallery offers an insight into the technologies and role of the International Space Station (ISS) and what it's like to live in space, as well as presenting artefacts that have been worn or used during real ISS missions.

Starship Gallery - This area of the Space Center is home to multiple flown spacecraft including Apollo 17 (which made the last Apollo mission to the moon), and Gemini V (which took two astronauts to the moon during the Cold War). Here you'll also be able to touch a piece of genuine moonstone - pretty cool if you ask us.

Independence Plaza - This is definitely one of the centre's highlights. In the Independence Plaza you'll have the opportunity to enter the shuttle replica Independence, which is mounted on top of the original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience being on a shuttle, so definitely make sure you squeeze this attraction in.

Replica shuttle on display at the Space Center Houston, Texas

Mission Mars - This interactive exhibition gives you a feel for what it's like to travel to Mars. Experience a virtual Martian sunset, touch a Mars rock, and look inside a full-size Orion capsule to understand the colossal journey astronauts will have to make to this intriguing planet.

Astronaut Gallery - Home to one of the largest collections of spacesuits in the world, this gallery has examples on display used for everything from training drills to actual moon walks. The main suits to look out for are definitely those worn by the first two American women to go into space; they symbolise some pretty iconic moments in the history of space travel.

Spacesuits on display at the Space Center Houston, Texas

Tickets cost $29.95 and include admission to all of the above exhibitions.

Make your way into Houston and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city

If you've finished at the Space Center with some time to spare, drive into Houston and spend some time getting to know the city.

This buzzing metropolis is the most populous city in Texas, home to world-class restaurants, captivating art, an incredible shopping scene and a lively nightlife.

Tall buildings of the Houston skyline

You'll probably be quite museumed-out after your epic visit to the Space Center, so we'd suggest just spending some time walking around the city at a leisurely pace.

Be sure to stroll through a portion of the downtown underground tunnels (a network of climate-controlled walkways connecting hotels, banks, shops and government offices), take a look at the octagonal Rothko Chapel, and snap a photo of the statue of Sam Houston (an important leader of the Texan revolution) in Hermann Park at sunset.

Sam Houston Statue, Houston against the setting sun

Go for dinner at The Pass & Provisions

When you start to feel those hunger pangs, make your way to The Pass & Provisions for dinner (the best way to get there is to hop in your hire car as the restaurant has both self-parking and a complimentary valet service available).

This two-in-one restaurant offers you a choice between a refined tasting menu served in the formal dining room of The Pass, or a more relaxed and informal experience at Provisions; it's up to you which you go for.

At The Pass, expect an intricate five-course tasting menu ($65) of fresh seasonal ingredients which you can pair with the perfect drink to accompany each course ($110).

The dishes are varied and exciting, and there's also the option to have a vegetarian version of the menu if you want to.

Provisions is more of a hearty affair, with comforting bowls of pasta, indulgent pizzas, and rustic bistro plates served up in a more laid-back environment.

The food is still pretty fancy (think squid ink pasta and duck confit pizza), but on less of a fine-dining level than The Pass.

Enjoy your meal, have a cocktail or two (Provisions) or a glass of wine from their extensive list (The Pass), then head back to your hotel and relax.

Day 5: Houston to Dallas - drive to Dallas, explore the Arts District, discover the history of John F. Kennedy's assassination, & have dinner at the top of Reunion Tower

The drive from Houston to Dallas is another long stretch (around three and a half hours), so drag yourself out of bed for one more early morning to arrive with some sightseeing time before lunch.

Go for a stroll around the Arts District and visit the Dallas Museum of Art or Nasher Sculpture Centre

Spend what's left of the morning having a look around the Dallas Arts District.

Said to be the largest arts district in the country, this area has loads of different arty sights to look at, so have a walk around and pick somewhere to go inside.

We'd recommend opting for either (or both) the Dallas Museum of Art, which houses over 22,000 pieces from the third millennium BC to the present day, or the Nasher Sculpture Centre, which has one of the best collections of contemporary sculptures in the world.

Admission to the Dallas Museum of Art is free, and costs $10 for the Nasher Sculpture Centre.

After you've had your art fix, grab some lunch (both museums have really nice cafes), then swap artwork for history as you make your way to Dealey Plaza for the afternoon.

Head to Dealey Plaza and learn about President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Although it may not be the cheeriest claim to fame, one of the things Dallas is most famous for is being the site of 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, and it's an important fragment of history to learn about during your visit.

JFK was fatally shot in Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas while riding in an open top car with his wife and then-Texas Governor John Connally. There are a couple of different attractions to visit here related to his death.

A car driving through Dealey Plaza in Dallas

The first place to visit is the Sixth Floor Museum, located on the sixth floor of what used to be the Texas School Book Depository, in the very spot where Lee Harvey Oswald is thought to have fired the fatal shots.

The museum examines the life, death, and legacy of the president through historic film clips (including the chilling Zapruder Film of the assassination), artefacts, photographs, and informative displays detailing the events and aftermath of the shooting.

You can even stand in the exact place that Oswald is thought to have pulled the trigger.

With all the conspiracy theories that surround JFK's death, this museum is a fascinating place to get to grips with the full story and speculate about what you think really happened to the President that day.

Entry to the museum costs $18, and it's a good idea to book online in advance.

Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas

Once you're clued-up on the facts, head to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza to pay your respects - it's all too easy to get caught up in the theories of what happened and overlook the fact that these exhibitions are there to pay homage to the President's death, not just his story.

The plaza is home to a simple concrete memorial designed by architect and Kennedy family friend Philip Johnson, which is intended to be an enclosed space of refuge away from the bustle of the city.

Its design is a cenotaph, a kind of empty tomb, symbolising the freedom of JFK's spirit, and it's accompanied by some words inscribed into granite squares in the plaza (we'll leave you to discover this epitaph for yourself).

The memorial to JFK in Dallas

Take your time visiting these monuments, then head to the nearby Commissary Cafe for coffee and cake before having a final wander around downtown Dallas.

Travel tip : Go and visit the Giant Eyeball and the Cattle Drive sculptures in Pioneer Plaza - they're pretty epic sights that'll lift your mood after that sombre afternoon.

Go for dinner at the top of Reunion Tower

After relaxing at your hotel for a bit, head to the Reunion Tower for dinner. This futuristic building is topped with a distinctive glowing ball that offers incredible 360-degree views of the city.

Reunion Tower, Dallas at night

Reserve a table at Five Sixty , a restaurant located right at the top of the tower, where they serve up contemporary Asian dishes and a great selection of exotic beers and sake to accompany your meal.

Aside from the food, one of the best bits about this restaurant is that the whole dining room rotates as you eat, meaning that you really do get to enjoy 360-degree views without even leaving your seat - a dreamy way to celebrate your Texas road trip so far.

Have a long and slow dinner so you get to soak up the views for as long as possible, then make your way back to your hotel and call it a night.

Day 6: Dallas to Fort Worth - drive to Fort Worth to explore its modern art scene & cowboy heritage

Have a lie-in and brunch in dallas then drive to fort worth.

Have a slow start to day 6 - your itinerary has been super busy so far, so you definitely deserve a lie in!

When you're ready, head to All Good Cafe in the Deep Ellum neighbourhood for a hearty brunch.

The menu here has everything from fluffy buttermilk pancakes to classic fried breakfasts, Mexican huevos rancheros, breakfast tacos, and Texas omelettes.

If you're feeling particularly ravenous, go for their 'world's best' chicken-fried steak and eggs - definitely their signature dish that's sure to fill you with energy for the rest of the day.

Once you've eaten, make your way back to the car and hit the road for Fort Worth. This modern-yet-traditional city is located only 32 miles outside of Dallas along route 30, so it shouldn't take you more than around 40 minutes to get there.

Travel tip: Once you get to Fort Worth, we'd recommend you drive between sights rather than walking; the places on your itinerary are a little far apart and there's loads of parking available at each.

Browse the Kimbell Art Museum

There's no better place to continue your Texas art education than at the Kimbell Art Museum, so park up and head straight there once you've arrived in Fort Worth.

This world-class art museum houses an incredible permanent collection that features pieces by some of the most famous artists in history, including Matisse, Picasso, Rembrandt and Goya, that make it one of the best collections in the country.

One really special masterpiece to look out for is The Torment of Saint Anthony by Michelangelo.

The first known painting by this iconic Italian artist, it's believed to have been painted when he was just 12 or 13 before he found his niche as a sculptor. Definitely seek out this little painting as you walk around.

Michelangelo's earliest painting at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

The building itself, designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn, is also a work of art.

Its vaulted ceilings are embedded with skylights that allow natural light to filter into the modern building and illuminate the art; the effect is pretty special.

Admission to the permanent collection is free, however there's a fee to enter some of the exhibitions, so check online ahead of your visit for what's on and how much it will cost.

There is also free parking on site, so don't worry about finding a spot to leave the car.

Enjoy the tranquillity of the Fort Worth Water Gardens

When you're done at the museum, hop back in the car and drive a few minutes east to the Fort Worth Water Gardens, another of this city's must-see sights.

This tranquil urban park is tucked away in bustling downtown Fort Worth and offers visitors a welcome respite from the busy streets.

The gardens are architecturally impressive as well as pleasantly soothing, made up of modern pools, cascading waterfall-style fountains, and tree-lined plazas to explore.

The Active Pool is, however, the undisputed star of the show here.

It features water cascading 38 feet down ledges and steps into a pool at the bottom, and it's possible to walk down amid the water to experience its sounds and motion. If you're fit to walk down the steps then definitely do - it's a really memorable experience!

Water feature at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Texas

Go to the Fort Worth Stockyards and watch the cattle drive

Your final stop in Fort Worth is the Stockyards, a little further north of the Water Gardens.

This historic cattle district is steeped in cowboy history, making for quite the contrast from the modern downtown you've explored so far.

Made up of low-rise buildings, cowboy stores, honky-tonk bars and rodeos, you can't get much more Wild West than the Stockyards.

Have a wander around at your own pace, taking in all the cowboy action and dipping into the shops for some souvenirs if you fancy it.

The sign of the Fort Worth Stockyards, Texas

We're leaving your Stockyards itinerary up to you with just one piece of advice: make sure you arrive in time for the 4pm cattle drive.

This twice-daily herd of longhorn cattle is a tradition here that sees real Texas cowhands directing the animals down Exchange Avenue.

Every aspect of the display, from the type of cattle down to the traditional dress of the cowhands, is historically accurate, bringing the Old West to life in this modern city.

If you're worried about the ethical implications of going to a rodeo, the cattle drive is a great alternative.

Longhorn cattle being herded by a cowboy at Fort Worth Stockyards cattle drive

Spend the evening at Billy Bob's Texas

Owing to the fact that you've just spent the afternoon at the Stockyards and it's your last night in Texas, it seems only fitting to spend the evening at one of the world's biggest honky-tonk bars, Billy Bob's Texas .

This huge 100,000-square-foot country and western nightclub in the Stockyards contains everything cowboy-themed you can think of, including an indoor rodeo arena, dozens of bars, live country music, and an enormous dance floor.

Check ahead on their website to see if anyone is performing the night you're there, and get ready to two-step the night away to celebrate the last night of your ultimate Texas road trip.

Day 7: Fort Worth to Austin - drive back to Austin, see any last minute sights & make your way home

Drive back to austin and make the most of your last few hours in texas.

Day 7 is the final day of your Texas itinerary, and what you do today depends entirely on what time you have to be at the airport to head home.

If you've got a little time to spare, we have a few last minute recommendations:

Bullock Texas State History Museum - For a final history fix, head to the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Detailing over four centuries of Texan history, this is the perfect place to polish your knowledge of the Lone Star State before you head home.

There's loads of great artefacts and exhibits to explore, particularly the impressive renovated shipwreck. Admission costs $12.

The front of the Bullock Texas State History Museum

Franklin Barbecue - If you'd rather dedicate your final hours in Texas to your taste buds, then standing in line to sample the legendary brisket from Franklin Barbecue , which has been given the thumbs up by former President Barack Obama, is the activity for you.

Get in the queue as early as you can as they close up shop when the food runs out at around 3pm, and leave Texas with a belly full of the best food in town.

Food at Franklin BBQ, Texas

Zilker Park - If you'd rather just relax before jetting home, then a trip to Zilker Park should be on the cards.

This large green space is perfect for a leisurely walk, a picnic, or some relaxed sunbathing before you have to head to the airport, making it a great place to unwind.

If you decide that you want a little more excitement than that, Lady Bird lake is the ideal place for some kayaking or stand up paddle boarding in the warmer months.

SUP on Lady Bird Lake, Austin

University of Texas Tower - Another option is to get up high and bid farewell to Austin from the University of Texas Tower. The 45-minute tours of the tower end up at the observation deck, which offers views across the whole city. It's a wonderful way to round out your trip.

Tickets cost $6 and should be bought in advance, and note that the tower closes during winter.

University of Texas Tower, Austin

Say goodbye to Texas and head to the airport

Finish up your activity, say goodbye to Austin and hop back into the car to drive to the airport - we hope ya'll had a great time in Texas!

road trips in texas from austin

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The 6 most spectacular road trips in Texas

Amy C. Balfour

Aug 28, 2023 • 8 min read

road trips in texas from austin

Texas is the perfect state for a road trip filled with BBQ breaks monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

Texas is big – very big. But Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso are easy-to-reach launchpads for scenic road trips across the state. Just be ready for some lonely roads, particularly in West Texas.

These are six of our favorite road trips in the Lone Star State , from the kitschy charms of Route 66 in the Panhandle Plains to the windswept beaches of the Gulf Coast. Top tip? Brake for dance halls and BBQ joints – wherever you are.

1. Hill Country

Best scenic road trip Austin–San Antonio; 200 miles 

The Hill Country is one of the prettiest regions in Texas, especially in spring when wildflowers bloom along the roadside. In Austin , soak up the live music and food truck scene – and watch the bats swoop out from beneath the South Congress Bridge – before heading west to Dripping Springs. Dubbed the Gateway to the Hill Country, this welcoming small town is home to Jester King Brewery , Treaty Oak Distilling and Hamilton Pool Preserve . Wine country begins here too.

Swing north to the Lyndon B Johnson National Historic Park , which spotlights the 36th president’s local roots across two historic towns: Johnson City and Stonewall. Continue north to hike up the 425ft granite dome – part of an enormous underground batholith – at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area then dip south to explore antique shops and museums in German-settled Fredericksburg. After walking the caverns in Boerne, conclude in San Antonio , where The Alamo and the gorgeous River Walk anchor downtown.

Planning tip:  Get your Texas playlist ready with these tunes: New San Antonio Rose by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys; Luckenbach, Texas by Waylon Jennings; On the Road Again by Willie Nelson; Amarillo by Morning by George Strait; What I Like about Texas by Jerry Jeff Walker & Gary P Nunn; Miles and Miles of Texas by Asleep at the Wheel; El Paso by Marty Robbins; Waltz Across Texas by Ernest Tubbs; Corpus Christi Bay by Robert Earl Keen; God Blessed Texas by Little Texas.

Human observing Milky way at Balanced Rock, Big Bend National park, Texas

2. Big Bend Loop

Best off-the-beaten-path road trip El Paso–El Paso; 900 miles

The Big Bend region of West Texas isn’t the middle of nowhere, but it might be next door. Murals pack a visual punch in El Paso , a scrappy starting point for exploring West Texas . A drive east through the high desert leads to remote Guadalupe Mountains National Park , home of the highest peak in Texas. Cool off in the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park then settle in for world-class stargazing at the McDonald Observatory in tiny Fort Davis.

A battered school desk attracts intrepid hikers to the top of Hancock Hill in Alpine, which qualifies as a metropolis around here. Swing through Marathon before driving into the heart of Big Bend National Park . Stargazing, hiking in the Chisos Mountains, and admiring Santa Elena Canyon are just a few of the highlights here.

The Rio Grande feels like your sidekick while driving scenic FM 170 west through Big Bend Ranch State Park . With minimalist art, mysterious lights, and tasty Marfalafel on offer, the city of Marfa is the right kind of weird. And just as you think you’re driving back into normal on your return to El Paso, Prada Marfa rises up from the desert to say, “Not quite yet.”

3. Houston & the Gulf Coast

Best road trip for beaches Houston–South Padre Island; 600 miles 

A drive along the Gulf Coast delivers birdwatching, kayaking, coastal conviviality and oh-so-many beaches. Immerse yourself in Houston's culture and cuisine, then pull over for Space Center Houston – where the tram passes the Apollo Mission Control Center – on your drive to the coast. The first stop on the Gulf is Galveston , a barrier island where sunny beaches and old-school Southern charm reign supreme. Whooping cranes winter at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge while galleries and restaurants shine in pedestrian-friendly Rockport.

Kick back in winsome Port Aransas, a small beach town with a big personality. Escape the crowds at Padre Island National Seashore , where you can kayak and windsurf and also drive on the beach. Explore museums and the aquarium in Corpus Christi , then drive south for an end-of-trip embrace of festive beach living on South Padre Island. Although it might be a touch too festive during spring break.

Local tip:  Let the Texas landscape surprise you. No less than 35 ecoregions exist here. Contrary to stereotypes, white-sand beaches, soaring pine forests and snowcapped mountains are all part of the picture. Indigenous birds, mammals and alligators outnumber the head of cattle here. All told, the natural attractions are a major reason to visit Texas.

Colorful graffitied cars half buried in the ground at Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

4. Route 66 & the Texas Panhandle Loop

Best road trip for American kitsch Amarillo–Amarillo; 450 miles 

This windswept drive tackles the Mother Road and the Panhandle Plains with breezy, and we mean breezy, aplomb. About halfway between Chicago and Los Angeles on the old Route 66, Amarillo is a cattle town with a kitschy side – just step inside the neon-fronted Big Texan Steak Ranch . As numerous billboards attest, diners can earn a free 72oz steak – if they can eat it in an hour!

On your drive east on Route 66, pull over for the Leaning Water Tower and the World's Tallest Cross in Groom, the barbed wire museum in McLean and the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock – it was the model for Ramone’s Body Shop in the Pixar movie Cars .

Drop south across the plains to explore the magnificent Palo Duro Canyon , the second-largest canyon in the US behind the Grand Canyon. Lubbock is home to the Buddy Holly Center , which honors the rockabilly legend, and the fantastic Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum . Drive north to complete the loop at Cadillac Ranch , where 10 Cadillacs are buried hood-first on the windy plains on the western outskirts of Amarillo. Route 66 runs for 177 miles across Texas, often overlapping with I-40.

5. Fort Worth, Dallas & Northeast Texas

Best road trip for quintessential Texas Fort Worth–Jefferson; 250 miles 

Stockyards, museums, oil derricks and outdoor adventure. This road trip is all Texas. Explore the historic stockyards in Fort Worth , a stopover for cattle drives on the Chisholm Trail, then dive into art and history in Dallas , a posh oil industry hub. The city is also home to the Sixth Floor Museum , which delves into the assassination of JFK here in 1963.

From Dallas, drive east through Northeast Texas , a region known as the Piney Woods due to its extensive pine forests. Roses and spring azaleas bring manicured charm to Tyler while oil wells bring money to mind in Kilgore. The beauty gets wild – and slightly eerie – among the moss-covered cypress trees in swampy Caddo Lake , which branches off into bayous and tributaries ready-made for adventurous paddlers. Unwind in charismatic Jefferson, a wild riverboat town in the 1800s now known for its Greek-revival homes, brick streets, and gentile Southern spirit.

Local tip: Stretch your legs in Dallas. The major art and history sights are concentrated blissfully close together, something you'll appreciate given the overall sprawl. Downtown museums and Arts District attractions nearby are in areas easily traversed either by walking or taking the McKinney Ave trolley.

A worker with firewood for the never-ending barbecue fire at Smitty's Market in Lockhart, Texas

6. Texas BBQ and Dance Halls

Best road trip for a rollicking fun time Austin–Gruene; 100 miles, 350 miles if you take the detour

Two things Texas does extremely well? BBQ and dance halls. This road trip may not be the most scenic or the most direct, but it is a blast. Bring a portable chair and rest your legs while waiting in the line at Franklin BBQ in Austin – you’re gonna need ‘em at full strength later with all the two-stepping going on at the legendary Broken Spoke. Head west to the Hill Country for dancing at Mercer Dance Hall in Driftwood then dig in the next day at Salt Lick , where the indecisive should go for the family-style all-you-can-eat platter.

Swing southeast for a BBQ quadruple-threat in Lockhart. Designated the BBQ capital of Texas by the state legislature, it’s home to Black’s Barbecue , Kreuz Market (don’t ask for sauce or a fork), Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Q and Smitty’s Market . When your belly is full, it's just a 45-minute drive southwest to the worn wooden dance floor at Gruene Hall . Open since 1878, it’s the oldest continually operating dance hall in Texas. Music nightly. Beer cold. Happiness assured.

Detour: It’s a 75-mile haul northwest from Driftwood to Llano for brisket at Louie Mueller, which opened in 1949, and at Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ, which opened in 1963. But hey, they’re Texas classics and worth a trip if you’re serious about your BBQ. Stop by Enchanted Rock State Natural Area on your drive south to tiny Luckenbach. Made famous by Willie and Waylon’s catchy tune, Luckenbach is home to another beloved dance hall. It’s also a laid-back place to sip a beer under the oak trees on a lazy afternoon.

This article was first published Nov 12, 2020 and updated Aug 28, 2023.

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Texas Travel 365

texas road trip route going across the desert with blue sky

The Perfect Texas Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

August 23, 2021 //  by  Texas Travel 365

Are you trying to figure out the perfect Texas road trip for your next United States adventure? Whether you live in Texas and want to see more of your state or want to visit each state in depth, Texas is a place to consider for your next American road trip. This Texas itinerary will give you plenty of ideas on how to spend your time in the largest of the continental U.S. states.

Texas might not be at the top of many people’s lists of the most beautiful or interesting U.S. destinations, but they would be wrong to dismiss the Lone Star State. Texas is perfect for anyone into history, art and culture, natural wonders, or simply having a fun time. There are a ton of national and state parks, locations significant in United States history, and other unique attractions you can only find in Texas.

Texas Road Trip Map

Begin Your Texas Road Trip By Flying Into Austin

Fly or drive into Austin, the state’s capital, to start your road trip of Texas. Though, if you are driving from a nearby state, feel free to start this Texas road trip at any of the other stops that might be closer to you.

If you plan on flying in, make sure to check Skyscanner ahead of time to find the best airfare. Most likely, you will land at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport where there are plenty of rental car options for you to choose from. Pick the car best suited for your needs, then head into the city of Austin.

If you think you need some extra help planning your road trip, there are plenty of apps you can download. Check out our recommendations here !

Don’t forget to check out our Detailed Road Trip Packing List so you don’t forget any essentials for your trip!

long empty paved road surrounded by desert landscape on a sunny day

Stop 1: Austin

Austin is the capital of Texas and is a city known for its fun, hip atmosphere mixed with a culture devoted to music and art. The city’s slogan is famously “Keep Austin Weird” due to its diverse and eccentric nature. Austin has embedded creativity and art so well into its urban development, that it is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

There are plenty of activities to do here that are bound to excite and leave you craving more. You will need at least one or two nights in Austin to fully embrace it. You will have a blast bar hopping, testing out cool food trucks, exploring expansive parks, and soaking in the vibe of the city.

Texas State Capitol on a sunny day

Things to Do

Admire the state capitol.

Standing in the heart of Austin is Texas’s State Capitol. Built in 1888 out of pink granite, this domed building is even taller than the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. The beautiful building is worth a visit and is free to tour as well.

Visit Some of the Amazing Museums

Austin is full of different types of museums for people of many interests. The Bullock Texas State History Museum hosts exhibits focused on the history of Texas. Found on the University of Austin’s campus, the Blanton Museum of Art is home to thousands of pieces of art from the past centuries. Art and history lovers alike will want to see the Mexic-Arte Museum, which is dedicated to Mexican and Latin American art and culture.

Swim at the Barton Springs Municipal Pool

If you feel like cooling down after a day of exploring the city, try taking a dip at the Barton Springs Municipal Pool. This natural pool is fed by a spring and remains at a cool 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The bright, green water is surrounded by trees creating a calm setting to relax in. The pool is found within Zilker Park and there is a small fee to enter, but it is so worth it to swim is such a pretty location.

Enjoy a Concert or Music Festival

You can’t visit the Live Music Capital of the World without taking time to enjoy some of the live music that can be found throughout the city. You can spend the night on Sixth Street hopping from bar to bar enjoying the live music at each. Or head over to the Moody Theater for the famous Austin City Limits, which has featured a variety of musical artists over the years. If you are in Austin at the right time, you can attend the South By Southwest music festival.

Where to Stay

Affordable:  Days Inn by Wyndham Austin . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  The Carpenter Hotel . Check Rates:  Booking.com

above view of Barton Springs Municipal Pool with downtown austin in the background

Stop 2: Hamilton Pool

The Hamilton Pool Preserve is just outside of Austin and makes for a great day trip from the city since it is only about a 45-minute drive west. The oasis-like pool is a lake-turned popular swimming hole and features a magnificent 50-foot waterfall. A cool carved-out cave behind the waterfall and circling a large portion of the pool provides a shady area to avoid the sun in between swimming on your visit. Know that there is no lifeguard on duty, so swim at your own risk.

The area also includes hiking trails and picnic tables and is a great place for bird watching. Before you visit, make sure to make an online reservation. Try to time your visit after a rainfall to ensure the waterfall is flowing as it does dry to a trickle at times. Swimming is sometimes no allowed when the bacteria levels of the water are too high.

drone view of Hamilton Pool with waterfall falling into bright blue water

Stop 3:  San Antonio

From Austin, it is about an hour and a half drive to the next city on your Texas road trip, San Antonio. This city boosts a great mix of historic and natural attractions to fit everyone’s interests. You will not be bored here as you explore famous battlegrounds and intricate caverns.

San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas and was founded in 1718 as a Spanish mission, the evidence of which can still be found around the city. The UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park draw in millions of people per year.

Because of San Antonio’s history, the influences of Spanish culture can be seen around every corner. If you want to search it out, check out the Cathedral of San Fernando, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, or La Villita Historic Arts Village. Don’t forget to check out the best photography spots in San Antonio! 

photo of an outside view of the Alamo in San Antonio

Remember the Alamo

Located almost smack dab in the center of San Antonio, the Alamo is a must-see location for your Texas road trip. The old Alamo Mission was the site of a battle and standoff between the Texans and the Mexican army in 1836. Though the Alamo was eventually taken, the events that transpired there helped to rally the U.S. troops.

The Alamo is a history buff’s paradise and the building, along with the grounds is interesting to visit. It is free to visit if you do a self-guided tour, or you can pay to take a tour with a knowledgeable guide.

Stroll the River Walk

The River Walk is a pedestrian walkway below street level spanning 15 miles along the San Antonio River. The most popular part of the walk is in the city’s downtown and is full of restaurants, bars, shops, and museums. Take a stroll here during your stay to soak up the atmosphere.

Enjoy the Views from the Tower of the Americas

The 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas is found in Hemisfair Park and is a great place to visit if you are not afraid of heights. The tower features a panoramic observation deck, a revolving restaurant, and a 4D theater ride.

Explore the Natural Bridge Caverns

If you are looking for a fun adventure at a natural wonder, drive to the Natural Bridge Caverns just north of the city. These caverns are the largest commercial caverns in Texas and are certainly awe-worthy. Travel 180 feet below ground to enjoy the sight of amazing rock formations.

Relax at the San Pedro Springs Park

San Pedro Springs Park is a beautiful, 46-acre area perfect for those who enjoy time outside. It is said to be the second-oldest remaining park in the United States and is worth a visit. There is a spring-fed swimming pool, playground, and lush gardens, making it the perfect spot for families.

Affordable:  La Hacienda Inn . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range: Hotel Havana . Check Rates:   Booking.com

photo of a bridge and restaurant seating on the San Antonio riverwalk

Stop 4: Big Bend National Park

Now it is time to really get ready for the “road” part of your Texas road trip. This stop is a good six hour drive from San Antonio and is farther from any of the other stops. However, Big Bend National Park is a must-visit place, especially if you love to check off U.S. national parks. Because of the long drive to get there and the size of the park, you may want to stay for one or two nights. Also because of these factors, you are sure to get time to yourself, far from the tourists that can crowd other popular spots.

Big Bend is located on the Texas border with Mexico and is made up of superb desert and mountain landscapes. The park is perfect for camping and hiking, as well as photographing beautiful scenes and wildlife.

Big Bend National Park at sunset on your texas road trip

Hike the Santa Elena Canyon

The Santa Elena Canyon was carved out by the Rio Grande, creating a beautiful natural rock formation as well as a great hiking area. The trail here is just under two miles round trip and will give you drop-dead gorgeous views.

Search for Ruins

There are a smattering of cool ruins throughout the park. Search out these historic buildings to feel like an anthropologist and snap some photos. Look for the Mariscal Mine, Dorgan House, and an old post office, among others.

Soak in a Hot Spring

If all the hiking has left you with aching muscles, there are some natural hot springs to relax in. You can find a cluster of these springs down by the Rio Grande where a Hot Springs Historic Trail will lead you to each one will also providing nice views of the river.

Take a Trip into Mexico

If you bring your passport, consider taking a day trip into Mexico, which has its own national parks right across the border as well as many cute towns. Cross the border at Boquillas and take a ferry across the Rio Grande.

Affordable:  Terlingua Ranch Lodge . Check Rates:  Booking.com

Affordable:  Riata Inn – Presidio . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  Eve’s Garden Bed & Breakfast . Check Rates:   Booking.com

stone structure with palm tree in a desert landscape

Stop 5: Explore Texas Hill Country

From Big Bend loop back around to find the next stop on your Texas road trip itinerary. Texas Hill Country is found in south-central Texas between Austin and San Antonio. It is named after the rolling hills that form the area’s landscape. You can seven see Blue Bonnets In Texas here!

The area is a paradise for both nature lovers and photographers due to the many state parks and pretty scenic vistas. With so much to do and see in Texas Hill Country, you should plan to stay a couple of nights here.

blue bonnet field with house in the background at sunset on your texas road trip

Drink Wine at the Fall Creek Vineyards

Some people have referred to Texas Hill Country as the Napa Valley of Texas and if that is true, you have to try some wine! Fall Creek Vineyards can be found in the city of Driftwood. With a beautiful property and a tasting hall open seven days a week, this is a great stop for wine lovers.

Discover Fields of Bluebonnet Flowers

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas and if you drive through Texas Hill Country in the spring it will become apparent why as you pass field after field of the vibrant flowers. If you want to find an exceptionally photogenic bluebonnet field, try to find the Bluebonnet House outside of the town of Marble Falls. This abandoned building is known for the flowers that bloom around it.

Hike to the Top of Enchanted Rock

Head to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to climb the 1,825-foot, pink granite mountain called Enchanted Rock. This mountain provides outstanding views of Texas Hill Country, especially if you reach the summit at sunset.

Kayak on the Guadalupe River

The scenic Guadalupe River State Park is sought after by people who love to spend time on the water. Whether you want to kayak, go tubing, fish, or just swim, the Guadalupe River is a good stop for your road trip in Texas. This state park is also great for hiking and mountain biking.

Stay in Fredericksburg, a cute and centrally located town that will provide the perfect place to stay the night in-between days out exploring the Texas Hill Country. Or stay in either Austin or San Antonio, both a short drive away as well.

Affordable:  Fredericksburg Hill Country Hotel . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  Wine Country Inn . Check Rates:   Booking.com

photo of trees and fall foliage at Nichol's Landing Paddle Trail on your texas road trip

Stop 6: Dinosaur Valley State Park

From Texas Hill Country, drive about three hours north to find the next stop for your Texas road trip. Dinosaur Valley State Park is a small park that allows visitors to take a look into the prehistoric past.

Dinosaur Valley is a classic Texas road trip stop where you can discover preserved dinosaur footprints along the banks of the Paluxy River. There are also scale-model statues of dinosaurs here that make for a great photo-op, perfect for posting on social media. The park also has hiking trails and a playground. The park is free for children twelve and under, all others pay $7.

Just outside of the park, you can find Dinosaur World, which adds to the dinosaur theme of the area. This is a fun museum with interactive exhibits, a playground, and a nature trail that winds among more scale-model dinosaurs. This is the perfect place to spend some time with kids of all ages.

Stay in Glen Rose, a small town right outside of the park, or camp at one of the park’s campgrounds.

Affordable:  Glen Rose Inn and Suites . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  Inn On The River . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Dinosaur footprints at dinosaur valley in Texas

Stop 7: Dallas

From Dinosaur Valley State Park, it is only about an hour and a half drive northeast to Dallas. This large, modern city, like many cities in Texas, is full of both historic and fun things to look forward to. You have to stop in Dallas or your Texas road trip simply would not be complete.

You will want to spend a couple of days here to see everything. There are so many amazing day trips from Dallas that you can make it as your home base and visit the surrounding area quite easily. You can spend one day here but we suggest two or three days in Dallas to really get a feel.

Dallas is one of the most diverse cities in the United States and is home to a population with many ethnic and religious backgrounds as well as being the home of one of the largest LGBT+ communities. Due to these factors, Dallas is clearly a very modern and welcoming city. The city also houses many Fortune 500 companies, such as American Airlines, AT&T, and ExxonMobil, creating a good economic standing.

downtown dallas at night on your texas road trip

Learn About the JFK Assassination at The Sixth Floor Museum

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald. Anyone interested in the history of this pivotal event will want to visit the Sixth Floor Museum, which is housed in the former Texas School Book Depository where Oswald had shot from.

At this informative museum, you will be able to learn about everything that lead up to the assassination, look at many photos and videos, learn about conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting, and see the preserved spot where Oswald had fired his gun.

Watch Animals at the Dallas Zoo or Dallas World Aquarium

If you have kids with you on your Texas road trip or just love animals, you may want to visit either the Dallas Zoo or the Dallas World Aquarium. Both locations are extensive and feature a variety of animals, including many endangered ones.

Admire the View from Reunion Tower

The odd-looking Reunion Tower was built in 1978 and is 171 meters tall. At night, it is lit up and is an interesting addition to the Dallas skyline. The top of the tower provides stunning views of the city. There are also two restaurants in the tower.

Check Out Fair Park

Fair Park in Dallas is 277 acres and hosts the Texas State Fair each fall. If you are in taking your Texas road trip during this time, you have to go to the fair! There will be a ton of rides to enjoy and food to devour.

Even if the state fair is not happening when you are in Dallas, Fair Park is still worth a visit. There are many other events and concerts held here throughout the year. You can also take time to be one with nature by walking the paths or check out some of the museums here as well.

Affordable:  Best Western Cityplace Inn . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  Canvas Hotel Dallas . Check Rates:  Booking.com

Luxury:   Hotel Crescent Court . Check Rates:  Booking.com

Fair Park, Dallas Ferris wheel in the distance with water in the foreground

Stop 8: Houston

The next stop on your road trip of Texas is Houston, the largest city in the state and the fourth-largest in the country. You can spend a whole weekend in Houston or only go for a short stop!

To get there from Dallas, it is a three-and-a-half-hour drive south. Houston is another city that can’t be excluded from a Texas itinerary as you can tell by all the interesting and unique things to do there.

Houston is a global and diverse city full of culture and known for its tourist-friendly Museum and Theater Districts. Some of the city’s many nicknames include Space City, Bayou City, and the Culinary Capital of the South. Make sure to try some succulent, Texas BBQ while in the city as well.

Moon display with astronauts at Space Center Houston Astronauts

Learn About Space Travel at the Space Center Houston

Outer space is something that has fascinated people for most of human history. If you are interested in space travel, NASA, or science, you have to visit one of Houston’s most popular tourist attractions. The Space Center Houston is full of artifacts, interactive displays, cool exhibits, and behind-the-scenes movies that really pull you into the world of NASA. Houston, we do NOT have a problem!

Discover History at the Museum of Natural Science

After learning about things far off in space, it is time to learn about our own planet earth. At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, you will find displays of gems and minerals, complete dinosaur skeletons, Egyptian artifacts, wild animal dioramas, and more.

Relax at Hines Waterwall Park

The focal point and namesake of Hines Waterwall Park is a magnificent 64-foot tall waterfall-like fountain. This landmark begs to be photographed. After taking a selfie for Instagram next to the cascading water, take a seat in the green lawn in front of it for a picnic or just to relax.

Walk Among Butterflies at the Cockrell Butterfly Center

The Cockrell Butterfly Center welcomes you to walk through a beautiful butterfly habitat that is home to hundreds of butterfly species. The simulated rain forest paradise has not only butterflies, but a 50-foot waterfall, tons of tropical plants, and a few other animals and insects as well.

Pretend to be a Cowboy at a Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo take place annually in March and if your Texas road trip lines up right, you should make she to drop by the event. This is the largest event of its kind in the world, so if you have ever been interested in attending a rodeo, this is the one for you! Millions of people visit each year.

Affordable:  La Quinta Inn. Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  Club Quarters Hotel in Houston. Check Rates:   Booking.com

beautiful monarch butterfly resting on leaf at Texas Cockrell Butterfly Center

Stop 9: Galveston

Just a few minutes southeast of Houston is the coastal city of Galveston. This fun beach town is found on a long island connected to the mainland by causeways. You can visit here as a day trip from Houston or, if you have time and want to explore more in-depth, you can stay in the small city. Whatever you chose, Galveston is the perfect place to wind down from your Texas road trip.

Galveston is a tourist hub similar to New York City’s Coney Island and is known as the “Playground of the South”. Though there is a historic district, Galveston is not a place people go to visit museums or learn about history, like some Texas cities. Instead, people flock here for the carnival rides and resorts. This city is guaranteed to be a great, fun-in-the-sun time!

Pleasure Pier in Texas with roller coasters, Ferris wheel and other rides

Have Fun at the Schlitterbahn Water Park

Whether you like the thrill of zooming down a water slide, floating in a lazy river, or lounging in the sun, head to the Schlitterbahn Water Park for a great day. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!

Explore the Historic Pleasure Pier

If you want more rides after the water park, head down to the Pleasure Pier, where you can find a year-round carnival. With roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, yummy junk food, and awesome ocean views, this pier is sure to be a fun location.

Take a Boat Tour of the Harbor to Spot Dolphins

There are many tour companies along the coast of Galveston that will happily take you out into the Gulf of Mexico in order to see dolphins. Some excursions even allow you to swim with the animals. Make sure to book a tour ahead of time to ensure a spot.

Take a Tour of Bishop’s Palace

Bishop’s Palace is not really a palace but was built as a private mansion for a wealthy couple in 1892. It is a now a beautifully crafted, historic landmark. Take a tour of the Victorian building to soak in the history of the place and admire the detailed architecture.

Explore the Moody Gardens

The Moody Gardens are comprised of three modern, glass pyramids. The three buildings each have a different theme which denotes what can be found within them. There is the Aquarium Pyramid, the Rainforest Pyramid, and the Discovery Pyramid. The Moody Gardens are like a mix of a zoo, park, and museum.

Simply Chill at the Beach

If all of your driving and sightseeing has tired you out, one way to relax and end your perfect Texas road trip vacation is to simply chill at one of Galveston’s seven beaches. Throw down a beach tower or snag a chair with an umbrella, then doze to the sound of waves crashing against the shore.

Affordable:  Galveston Beach Hotel. Check Rates:   Booking.com

Mid-Range:  Hotel Galvez and Spa . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Luxury:  Cozy Historic Beach Cottage . Check Rates:   Booking.com

Bishop's Palace on a sunny day with people riding motorcycles in front on their texas road trip

Conclude Your Texas Road Trip By Flying Out Of Houston

From Galveston, head back up to Houston, return your rental car, and get checked in at the airport. If you drove, it is time to embark on your journey home.

Houston Skyline on a sunny day

Now you know that Texas is not just a flat, bare place with nothing to see or do. This large state is bigger than many European countries and has plenty of attractions to entertain you on a driving tour of your own country. Texas is full of unique and varying landscapes and has much historic significance. A Texas road trip is sure to be a great time for the whole family!

water hanging in the hamilton pool one of the best things to do in texas

Reader Interactions

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January 26, 2022 at 12:03 pm

Hey – love the itinerary!

I know this is up there with the ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, but do you have any thoughts on the minimum time for this?

We’re looking at a road trip itinerary at the moment, so any idea of timings would be great – thanks

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February 4, 2022 at 6:48 pm

There is a LOT of driving in some parts so I would say 10-14 days would be ideal but if you have less such as 5-7 i would just cut some things out!!

' src=

April 18, 2022 at 3:26 pm

This is a great itinerary- a good starting point for planning. Thank you!

April 25, 2022 at 9:07 pm

' src=

June 29, 2022 at 11:35 am

Appreciate this information and hotel suggestions as well. Curious if you think Fort Worth would be worth a side trip?

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8 Must-Do Weekend Road Trips from Austin, Texas

Posted by Cindy Brzostowski June 10, 2021 Updated October 02, 2023

Have a free weekend and want to get out of town? You don’t have to drive far from Austin to reach another place worth your while.

Sure, there’s plenty to see and do without leaving Austin’s city limits, but when the travel itch hits, the state capital’s location in central Texas makes it the perfect starting point for your weekend adventure. From metropolitan adventures to nature escapes, these are the best weekend road trips from Austin.

Quick note: As you’re planning your getaway, just keep in mind that traffic can get bad around the big city centers during the morning and evening rush hours. To spend more time exploring and less time on the road, it’s in your best interest to plan your drives around these busy time periods. Or at least have some podcasts pre-downloaded.

Related Read: 9 Best Texas Scenic Drives for Enjoying the Lone Star State Countryside

1. San Antonio

the alamo san antonio texas

Austin is neighbors with another one of Texas’ major cities: San Antonio. Nicknamed both Alamo City and the River City, San Antonio is known among other things for its historical attractions, amusement parks, and Hispanic heritage. It was founded all the way back in 1718 so it has plenty of history on offer.

While you’re in San Antonio, you can’t miss seeing two of the top attractions not just in the city, but in the whole state: The Alamo (the famous 18th-century mission), and the River Walk , a picturesque stretch of shops and restaurants along the water. Aside from those spots, make time to see the other beautiful Spanish missions. Along with the Alamo, they form a collective national historical park and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you love a good theme park, you’ll be happy to know there are two big ones in San Antonio. First, there’s Six Flags Fiesta Texas , which is full of roller coasters and other thrill rides. Then, there’s SeaWorld , which is the country’s largest marine life park.

  • Distance from Austin: 80 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 1 hour, 20 mins

Related read: The 8 Best Weekend Road Trips from Dallas, Texas

2. Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg weekend road trip austin

Good news, vino lovers: there’s no need to fly to Sonoma to have a wine-themed getaway. Fredericksburg is the center of the Texas wine country and the best weekend trip from Austin if you’re obsessed with all things pino. From here, you can easily book a wine tour or shuttle, or you can make your own itinerary by hopping between the many tasting rooms in the city center and the vineyards in the immediate surroundings.

Not into wine? Fredericksburg still has a lot to offer its visitors. For history buffs, there’s the National Museum of the Pacific War as well as the Pioneer Museum . For hiking enthusiasts, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is has views to justify its impressive name.

Another thing that makes Fredericksburg unique is its German heritage. The city was founded by German immigrants in 1846, and you’ll see that celebrated in some of the local restaurants and biergartens (yes, they have biergartens!)

  • Distance from Austin: 78 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 1 hour, 30 mins

weekend trip from austin

Houston is the largest city in Texas by population and by area. Needless to say, you’ll find more than enough to fill your itinerary if you choose to spend your weekend trip from Austin here.

It may be hard to believe, but Houston has over 150 museums and cultural institutions, and you can hop between many of them with a visit to the city’s Museum District. Some of the best include the Houston Museum of Natural Science , the Museum of Fine Arts , The Menil Collection , and the Holocaust Museum .

If it’s your first time in Houston, you’ll also want to visit Space Center Houston (the city is called “Space City,” after all). This attraction is the official visitor center of NASA and features awesome exhibits on science and space exploration, including real and replica spacecrafts.

You’ll also find a few beloved green spaces tucked into Houston’s sprawling city landscape. Buffalo Bayou Park, Hermann Park, Memorial Park, and Discovery Green are all popular spots with locals and the perfect spot for a picnic or walk in between museum visits.

  • Distance from Austin: 162 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 2 hours, 30 mins

dallas texas trip

A straight shot north from Austin on I-35, Dallas is one of Texas’ biggest cities. Given that fact, you can settle down in the neighborhood that best matches your interests, or spend a little bit of time checking out a few of the city’s unique pockets.

Does your perfect day sound like hopping between local boutiques, galleries, and restaurants? Then the Bishop Arts District (slogan: “Dallas’ most independent neighborhood”) is calling your name. Interested in catching some live music? Deep Ellum, a neighborhood known for its entertainment venues and nightlife, is the place to go. Want to shop ‘til you drop? Then it’s Uptown for you. In terms of variety, the city offers plenty, even if you have a group of travel companions taking a weekend trip from Austin all interested in different activities.

Museum-wise, there’s quite the range here from the Dallas Museum of Art to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to the Nasher Sculpture Center . Another top attraction is the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza , which commemorates JFK’s life, death, legacy, and is located in the spot from which Kennedy’s assassin took aim.

  • Distance from Austin: 195 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours

5. Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Texas trip

Austin may not be on the coast, but a weekend is definitely enough time to get there and have some leisurely fun in the sun. South of Austin on the Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi is a popular weekend trip from Austin for beach-minded Texans.

Close to the city center, you have North Beach and McGee Beach, but drive a little bit further and you can get to Padre Island – the world’s longest barrier island – where you’ll find the popular Whitecap Beach. Near there is also Mustang Island State Park, which offers more than five miles of coastline and lots of opportunities for camping, paddling, and birdwatching. You can have a party type of atmosphere, or more of a “relax and feed the seagulls” type of weekend.

It’s not just about fun in the sun in Corpus Christi, though. Other local attractions include the Texas State Aquarium (a nonprofit aquarium dedicated to conservation and rehabilitation), The Selena Museum (honoring Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the late “Queen of Tejano music”), and the USS Lexington (a World War II aircraft turned museum).

  • Distance from Austin: 199 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours, 20 mins

6. Galveston

galveston texas

Near Houston, Galveston is another option for a coastal weekend trip. With 32 miles of shoreline, the island has a few different beaches where you can post up for the day. Another way to enjoy that ocean air is to walk along the historic Seawall, which dates back to 1902 and was built for protection from hurricanes.

Speaking of 1902, Galveston has quite a few beautiful historic sites. There’s the Strand Historic District (a national historic landmark district with Victorian-era buildings) as well as Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion , two impressive Victorian mansions you can tour. Are they haunted? Up to you.

If you can find some time to step away from the beach, head to Moody Gardens , a popular attraction recognizable by its three large pyramids. There’s one with an aquarium, one with tropical flora and fauna, and one with science exhibits and activities. For even more fun, you can pay a visit to Schlitterbahn Waterpark .

  • Distance from Austin: 215 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours, 45 mins

7. Garner State Park

Garner State Park, Texas

If you’re getting out of town because you want to connect with nature and get away from the concrete vibes for a bit, the best weekend trip from Austin for you will be Garner State Park , which spans over 1,700 acres and has 16 miles of trails to hike. It’s a nearly perfect place to get away for the weekend. West of Austin in Concan, it’s one of the most popular state parks in Texas.

Since a few miles of the Frio River run through the park, it’s particularly nice to come here when the weather is warm so you can go for a swim or float the river. Another reason to come during the summer? The park’s famous nightly Summer Dances at the park’s concession building and dance pavilion, a tradition that started back in the 1940s.

In terms of camping, there are tent sites, screened shelters, and cabins available, and you can make reservations online.You can also rent on-site everything you need for water-bound fun, like inner tubes, paddle boats, and kayaks.

  • Distance from Austin: 175 miles

Related Read:   The 9 Best State Parks Near Austin, Texas

8. Lost Maples State Natural Area

weekend road trips from austin

Not too far from Garner State Park is another popular place to commune with nature: Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool. Totaling about 2,900 acres, this area is famous for its fall foliage, so plan for a weekend trip from from Austin in October or November if you want to try and catch the beautiful transformation of colors. There’s even a fall foliage color report you can check online that’s updated weekly during the season.

Even if you go to Lost Maples during a season other than autumn, you’ll be in for a good time. You can hike over 10 miles of trails; the East and West Trail loops in particular take you to some pretty great views. There’s also fishing in the Sabinal River or Can Creek (you don’t need a license to fish from a shore or pier here), and birdwatching (keep an eye out for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler).

Lost Maples has 30 campsites with water and electricity as well as primitive campsites you can backpack to, all of which you can reserve online in advance.

  • Distance from Austin: 143 miles
  • Drive time without stops : 3 hours

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Cindy Brzostowski avatar

Posted by Cindy Brzostowski

Cindy Brzostowski is a freelance writer focusing on travel and other lifestyle content. Originally from Texas, she is currently based in Berlin. Her work has been featured in Travel & Leisure, Thrillist, TripSavvy, Food & Wine, The Infatuation, and more.

When not writing, reading, or eating, you can probably find her making an itinerary for her next adventure or dreaming about pizza.

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At the western tip of Texas, El Paso stands as a gateway to adventures across multiple states.

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Incredible Road Trips To Take From Austin, Texas


Road trips from Austin often mean passing through charming small towns, taking in hill country views, encountering good food, and finding unique stops along the way. For a roundup of the perfect Texas road trips, check out these must-see destinations.

About 6.5 hours west of Austin is the coolest desert city you ever did see. Marfa is a major tourist destination known for its growing minimalist art world and music scene comparable to Austin’s. Head down during Marfa Myths – a cultural festival taking place in March – which will also give you a chance to see the spring wildflowers along the highway. You can also check out the Marfa Lights, said to be the work of UFOs – you be the judge. Before reaching this art lover’s paradise, however, you’ll pass through small, almost forgotten towns. Make sure to stop in Alpine to see the numerous historic adobe structures, and then grab a raspa (Mexican snow cone) to go.

road trips in texas from austin

Wimberley, TX

About a 45-minute drive from Austin, Wimberley is a great place for families, artists, and those just looking to take it slow. This charming small town features gorgeous cypress trees, a large river, swimming holes, art galleries, and boutique shopping. It’s one of the most delightful towns in Texas, and the drive is equally enjoyable. When you get there, check out Blue Hole, a forested swimming area complete with rope swings, or drive further south for a hike up Devil’s Backbone – be sure to look up the unsolved mysteries of the area before your trip – where you’ll find beautiful views.

Johnson City, TX

Travel an hour west of Austin and you’ll hit Johnson City , the hometown of the 36th US President, Lyndon B. Johnson. At LBJ’s ranch, or ‘The Texas White House,’ you can enjoy the grounds, get an overview of America’s political history, and find out what it’s like to be a Texas rancher. The Johnson City area also has some of the best wildflower sightings during springtime.

Round Top, TX

If you’re looking for an antique haven, then Round Top is a perfect destination. Located an hour and 20 minutes southeast of Austin, this small town is known for its antique show, which happens every spring and fall. You’ll find jewelry, apparel, vintage collectibles, industrial salvage, and more. Then head 30 minutes southwest and visit Fayette County’s well-known four painted churches. The beautifully designed churches include St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and St. Mary’s Parish, all built over a hundred years ago by German and Czech settlers.

One hour and 45 minutes north of Austin is Waco , Texas. It’s known widely for two separate things: the Dr Pepper Museum and HGTV’s show Fixer Upper . Take a tour of the Dr Pepper Museum or head over to Fixer Upper stars Joanna and Chip Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos . You might also want to check out the Waco Mammoth site where they’ve uncovered over 20 mammoth and sabertooth tiger skeletons in the last 30 years.

road trips in texas from austin

Often referred to as a Texas paradise, Utopia really lives up to its name. The geography alone makes it a worthwhile trip; with lakes, rivers, pecan trees, and changing colors during the fall, it’s a beautiful place to simply take a drive. You can also go bird-watching, fishing, hiking, or swimming, and stay in one of the many delightful bed and breakfasts around town.

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Fredericksburg, TX

Just about 1.5 hours west of Austin is a great German-influenced town in the middle of Texas. The drive to Fredericksburg is filled with scenic views of the hill country and vineyards. Head to Enchanted Rock for a hike that ends with a gorgeous scene, and then stop by Das Peach Haus for some homemade jam; if you’re fortunate, they might have some warm peach cobbler you can enjoy while overlooking their breathtaking peach vineyard.

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Places to Stay

The best hotels to book in waco, texas.

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The Best Hotels to Book Near Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas

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The Best Hotels to Book Near Spa Castle, Texas

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Film & TV

It’s curtains up as films hit the silver screen in texas hill country.

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The Best Beach Hotels and Beach Houses to Book in Texas

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Guides & Tips

Tick off texas with these three essential hotspots.

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The Best Hotels to Book in College Station, Texas

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Explore the Most Beautiful Places in Texas With This Epic Road Trip

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The Best Vacation Rentals to Book in Texas

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The Best Cabins and Lodges to Book in Texas

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The Best Cottages to Book in Texas

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Best day trips from austin, tx.

Looking for fun day trips from Austin ? Check out this list of 21 day trip ideas in Central Texas! The list is broken down by distance from Austin:

  • Less than 30 minutes away
  • 30 – 45 minutes away
  • 1 hour away
  • Under 2 hours away

Happy day trip planning! Don’t forget to make sure your car is road trip ready and check out these super helpful apps to download before your next driving adventure !

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Day Trips From Austin That Are Less Than 30 Minutes Away

Driftwood wineries + the salt lick.

Looking for a fun day trip from Austin with friends? Head to Driftwood and enjoy some amazing wine, brewery, and distillery tours! Stopping for BBQ at The Salt Lick is a MUST.

road trips in texas from austin

Distance from Austin: About 30 minutes southwest

McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls State Park is filled with winding trails and beautiful waterfalls. You can do it all here: hike, bike, fish and swim! Check out their interactive trail maps and plan your next Austin day trip.

Distance from Austin: About 15 minutes southeast

Dripping Springs Wine Tour

Dripping Springs is a great day trip destination! You can check out the area’s wineries, or do something a little different… tour the Texas Olive Industry Orchard! 

road trips in texas from austin

Bastrop, TX

Bastrop is said to be “the most historic small town in Texas.” There are tons of things to do, like exploring their historic downtown, zip line at Lost Pines, hike in Bastrop State Park and more! Visit their website for more ideas.

Distance from Austin: About 30 minutes east

Lockhart, TX

Lockhart is another great day trip from Austin for anyone who loves BBQ! The must do things in Lockhart, TX are:

  • Black’s BBQ
  • Smitty’s BBQ
  • Caldwell County Courthouse + Jail Museum
  • Lockhart State Park

Day Trip from Austin lockheart

Distance from Austin: About 30 minutes southeast

Day Trips From Austin That Are 30 - 45 Minutes Away

Lake travis, tx.

I absolutely love spending the day out at Lake Travis. Rent a boat and spend the day at the lake or check out The Oasis on Lake Travis  – an iconic restaurant with an amazing view! 

Day Trip from Austin - Lake Travis

Distance from Austin: About 40 minutes away

Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley

A hidden gem near Wimberley, Blue Hole Regional Park is just a short drive South of Austin and a great place to spend the day!

View this post on Instagram Found paradise in Wimberly, TX today💚 #bluehole #visittexas #gltlove A post shared by Chelsea Bancroft | ATX (@onechelofanadventure) on Aug 21, 2017 at 3:49pm PDT

Distance from Austin: About 45 minutes

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool is a beautiful natural pool located just outside of Austin. As they are trying to preserve it, you now have to reserve a spot ahead of time. Reservations are $11 online ahead of time, and then $15 per vehicle when you arrive — CASH ONLY. For tips on visiting Hamilton Pool, click here .

To schedule a reservation,  visit their website . 

road trips in texas from austin

Distance: About 45 minutes west of Austin

Float the River

If you haven’t floated the river, you can’t really call yourself a true Texan 😉 There are three rivers in the area you can float…

San Marcos River

The San Marcos river is popular with Austinites since it’s the closest, only about 40 minutes away. There are several tube rental companies:

  • Don’s Fish Camp
  • Texas State Tubes
  • Lions Club Tube Rental

Comal River

The Comal River is a very popular float because it’s only 3 miles long and usually has a lot of shade. There are several tube rental companies:

  • Rockin’ R
  • Texas Tubes
  • Comal Tubes

Distance from Austin: About 50 minutes south

Guadalupe River

The Guadaupe River is arguably the most popular river tubing spot in Texas! With two-hour, three-hour, or six-hour float options, this river will take you all through Central Texas! These are just a few of the companies that offer tube rentals:

  • River Sport Tubes

Cypress Valley Canopy Tours

Cypress Valley Canopy Tours  offers awesome zip lining tours that includes 5 ziplines, 2 sky bridges, and a rappel and lasts from 90 minutes to two hours. (photo below from their Facebook)

road trips in texas from austin

Distance from Austin: about 40 minutes northwest

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Day Trips From Austin That Are 1-Hour Away

Krause springs.

Krause Springs is a camping and swimming hole about 30 miles northwest of Austin. It’s a perfect day trip for a hot summer day! Below photo by Brian P. Barnes .

Day Trip from Austin - krause springs

Distance from Austin: about 50 minutes west

New Braunfels

Located about an hour South of Austin, New Braunfels is a great day trip for families and friends alike! There are tons of things to do, here are just a few favorites:

  • Schlitterbahn
  • Natural Bridge Caverns
  • Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Day Trip from Austin - New Baunfels Schlitterbahn

Distance from Austin: About 50 minutes

A historic district in New Braunfels, Gruene , has lots of great things to do on a day trip:

  • Gruene Hall
  • The Grapevine Winery
  • Gristmill River Restaurant
  • Fickle Pickle Antiques and Pickles
  • Gruene Olive Tasting Menu

road trips in texas from austin

Jacob’s Well near Wimberley

Jacob’s Well Natural Area is a great swimming hole in the Hill Country that’s worth the drive from Austin. This artesian spring releases thousands of gallons of water a day! For tips on visiting Jacob’s Well, click here .

Distance from Austin: about 50 minutes 

Marble Falls

Marble Falls is a cute small town located about an hour outside of Austin. Situated on Lake Marble Falls, there are plenty of outdoor activities to partake in:

  • Hidden Falls Adventure Park
  • Longhorn Cavern State Park
  • Sweet Berry Farm

Day Trip from Austin - marble falls

Distance from Austin: about 1-hour northwest

Day Trips From Austin That Are Less Than 2 Hours Away

Enchanted rock.

Enchanted Rock is a great choice for anyone looking for an outdoorsy day trip from Austin — there are over 11 miles of trails! You do have to pay an entrance fee and can make a reservation online beforehand. 

Day Trip from Austin - Enchanted Rock

Distance from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes west

Round Top, TX

If you’re into shopping, Round Top, TX is the day trip for you! From antiques to handcrafted goods, there are tons of shopping options to choose from. 

Also See:   Round Top, TX Visitor’s Guide: Best Things to Do + See

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Chelsea | Travel Blogger (@onechelofanadventure)

Royers Pie Haven in Round Top Round Trip

Distance from Austin: 1 hour and 20 minutes west

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is another great day trip destination from Austin! Rent a boat and spend the day relaxing on the water.

View this post on Instagram Beautiful morning with an even more beautiful view. Heading out on the boat today -- follow along on my story☺️ #canyonlake #texasforever #visittexas A post shared by Chelsea Bancroft | ATX (@onechelofanadventure) on Aug 19, 2017 at 6:12am PDT

Distance from Austin: 1 hour and 20 minutes southwest

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX

Made famous by the HGTC show “Fixer Upper,” Magnolia Market in Waco, TX makes for a great girls day trip idea from Austin! Photo below is from their Facebook page .

Day Trip from Austin - Magnolia Markets Waco

Distance from Austin: 1 hour and 40 minutes


Fredericksburg is a super popular day trip destination! There is so much history in this small town, and tons of things to do:

  • Outdoor Activities
  • Museums and Historical Sites
  • Breweries and Wineries

road trips in texas from austin

Distance from Austin:  1 hour and 30 minutes

You May Also Like: 5 Texas Hill Country Weekend Road Trip Ideas

Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas

If you’re a fan of Shiner Beer, take a day trip down to Shiner, Texas and tour the Spoetzl Brewery! For more information on tours, visit their website . 

Day Trip from Austin - Shiner Brewery

Distance from Austin: 1 hour and 30 minutes southeast

Made famous by Willie Nelson, some say Luckenbach is the heart and soul of Texas. Located right outside of Fredericksburg, the Luckenbach Texas General Store , Bar and Dancehall is a must visit!  Photo below by Gino on flickr . 

road trips in texas from austin

Distance from Austin: about an hour and a half southwest of Austin

Happy day tripping! What are your favorite day trips from Austin? Let me know in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram !

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18 thoughts on “ best day trips from austin, tx ”.

Great post 😁

Thank you 😊😊

The food looks awesome! Thanks for sharing. Stay safe. Greetings from London.

Thank you so much! Hope you are staying safe as well!

Quick edit. It’s Lockhart, not Lockheart 🙂

Whoops! Good catch, thank you!!

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Cool. I thing this is the good idea

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Austin to Fredericksburg Road Trip Guide

The drive from Austin and Fredericksburg is a beautiful drive between two of the most popular destinations in Texas! They each offer their own blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.

A road trip from Austin to Fredericksburg is a great way to experience the best of both worlds (and two of my favorite Texas spots!) with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way.

Seriously one of my favorite drives in all of Texas – I just drove it again last week on a summer fun day with my children!

Starting in Austin , visitors can explore the vibrant music scene, indulge in some of the best barbecue in the country, and take in the city’s many museums and art galleries. From there, the drive to Fredericksburg takes about an hour and a half, with stunning views of the Texas Hill Country along the way.

Once in Fredericksburg, visitors can explore the town’s German heritage, with plenty of opportunities to sample local wines, beer, and cuisine. The town is also home to a number of historic sites and museums.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun-filled family vacation, a road trip from Austin, TX to Fredericksburg, TX is the perfect choice for a Texas road trip!

Some of the links below are affiliate links which means that we earn a small commission if you choose to purchase – at no additional cost to you. See our full Privacy Policy here.

How Far is Fredericksburg from Austin?

The most common route is to take Highway 290 west, which takes approximately 1.5 hours and covers 78 miles.

This short but amazing road trip showcases some of the best that Texas has to offer . I will usually suggest a scenic route in addition to the fastest route on road trips, but in this case, the direct route is WONDERFULLY SCENIC!

road trips in texas from austin

>>> READ NEXT:  

  • F lower Farms in Texas
  • Best Hill Country Activities
  • Austin Texas Top Attractions

Planning the Road Trip

When planning a road trip from Austin to Fredericksburg (or from Fredericksburg TX to Austin TX), there are a few things to consider to for a smooth and fun drive. Here are some tips to help plan the perfect trip.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Fredericksburg is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful. In the spring, wildflowers bloom and Hill Country is at its peak beauty. The temperatures are comfortable and close to perfection. In the fall, the leaves change colors mildly and the weather is great for outdoor activities.

Summer can be hot and crowded (but great for swimming holes!), while winter can be chilly and less scenic, but will allow you to explore some of Texas’ best Christmas towns – sooo magical!

Packing Essentials

When packing for the road trip, it’s important to consider the activities you plan to do and the weather. Comfortable clothing and shoes are a must for exploring the town and hiking trails. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are absolutely necessary for protection from the sun.

Don’t forget to bring a camera or great photo taking phone for capturing the beautiful scenery along the way.

I would usually always remind you to pack snacks, but there is not much of a need on this road trip. Roadside stands and small town markets will have plenty of yummy treats to pick up!

Austin Attractions on the Route to Fredericksburg

Whether you’re a foodie, music lover, or just love being outdoors, Austin has plenty of incredible things to do. You may be based in Austin as a local or flying into Austin-Bergstrom Airport and then moving on to Fredericksburg.

Either way, before leaving this fun city, here are some of the top things to do in Austin!

Austin Hot Spots

Austin is known for its live music scene, and no visit to the city is complete without catching a show. Some famous music venues include the Continental Club, Antone’s, and Stubb’s BBQ.

If you’re interested in history, you can visit the Texas State Capitol, which is the largest state capitol building in the US. You can also explore the LBJ Presidential Library, which features great exhibits on Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency.

Take a walk through the gorgeous Driskill Hotel for a piece of history, beautiful architecture (even the bathrooms!), and a tasty beverage.

We also always recommend a self-guided tour of Austin’s street art! It is one of our must-do activities in Austin as locals. If you prefer to have someone else do the navigating, we love this street art tour. An urban photo shoot around town would also make a GREAT souvenir.

Austin has a thriving food scene with a variety of cuisines to choose from. Some of the must-try dishes include breakfast tacos, barbecue, and Tex-Mex.

You can visit the food trucks at South Congress Avenue or East 6th Street for a fun meal outdoors. Or if you’re a beer lover, you can check out the many local breweries, including Jester King Brewery and Austin Beerworks.

Outdoor Activities

Austin has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including hiking, biking, and swimming. You can hike the trails at the Barton Creek Greenbelt or bike along the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.

If you’re looking to cool off, you’ll definitely want to head to Barton Springs Pool, which is a natural spring-fed pool located in Zilker Park.

Kids will love getting their energy out at Alliance Children’s Park or on the lawn at Auditorium Shores (Bonus! Its a great photo spot too with the skyline over the lake!)

Best Austin to Fredericksburg Road Trip Stops

Dripping springs.

This charming town is known for its wineries, breweries, and distilleries, such as Bell Springs Winery and the Duchman Family Winery, as well as its beautiful natural scenery. You will also want to explore the Hamilton Pool Preserve, which is an absolutely stunning natural swimming hole (be sure to make advance reservations if this is on your itinerary).

Hungry visitors will want to plan a meal here – from farm-to-table cuisine at the Creek Road Cafe to classic Texas barbecue at the Salt Lick BBQ, they are both so yummy!

Johnson City

Families with children will want to stop by the Science Mill for an AMAZING interactive museum that is fun for all ages. Exhibits are geared toward children 5-12, but there is plenty to keep littler ones entertained. We visited with ages from 2-13, and had to drag them all away after 4 hours!

road trips in texas from austin

Pedernales Falls State Park

This stunning park features cascading waterfalls (some of the best waterfalls near Austin ) and swimming holes, as well as hiking and biking trails. Expect layers of limestone and a series of pools and rapids that are perfect for swimming, tubing, and hiking. There is also camping, fishing, and birdwatching in the park if you wish to stay even longer.

road trips in texas from austin

Hye is a cute little stop between Johnson City and Stonewall. If you blink you might miss it! But this charming little stop has beautiful wineries and an old historic post office with some fascinating history to explore.

road trips in texas from austin

The hometown of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, Stonewall is home to the LBJ National Historical Park, which includes the LBJ Ranch and the Texas White House. This is one of the best state parks in Hill Country to visit for history lovers.

Stonewall is also known for something else very important… Texas peaches ! If visiting in the late spring or summer, you absolutely must stop for a box. And if you pick up some homemade ice cream too, you won’t be sorry!

If you want to check out the smallest of towns (population 3!) and lavender , you can add just a few minutes to your route and hit up Blanco and Luckenbach instead of Stonewall and Johnson City. Or detour off the main route but head back and see them all for an extra 45 minutes on your total drive time from Austin to Fredericksburg.

Blanco is known for its picturesque courthouse and the Blanco State Park, which offers hiking, fishing, and swimming. Blanco is also home to the annual Blanco Lavender Festival and many gorgeous lavender fields nearby.

Made famous by the Willie Nelson song, Luckenbach is a tiny town with a big personality! Stop by the general store for some live music (almost every day!), cold drinks, and a wonderful taste of history.

Drive from Austin to Fredericksburg Final Destination

Fredericksburg is a charming town in the heart of the Texas Hill Country with so many things to see and do. Here are some of our favorite Fredericksburg activities to help you make the most of your stay there.

Visit the National Museum of the Pacific War

The National Museum of the Pacific War is dedicated to telling the story of World War II in the Pacific and is a must-see for those interested in history. Check out their calendar to see if any special events, such a film screenings or behind the scenes presentations, are happening while you are in town.

Pick Your Own Fruit at Jenschke Farms

road trips in texas from austin

From blackberries to peaches, strawberries to plums, and plenty of vegetables to boot, this farm is a true gem. They offer an epic Texas corn maze in the Fall, and fruit for picking or just buying in their shop seasonally. We picked 8 pints of blackberries in an hour just last May.

Main Street

Fredericksburg’s Main Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and galleries, making it the perfect place to shop or window shop.

Tour the Wineries

Fredericksburg is home to over 50 wineries and vineyards, making it a great destination for wine lovers! Grape Creek Vineyards and Texas Wine Collective are some of the most popular spots to get a glass or two.

road trips in texas from austin

Visit Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

This park features a massive pink granite dome that is a popular spot for hiking and rock climbing. Avoid the hot summer days for the best experience, and for a real treat check out the area at sunset or in the fall for beautiful colors.

We camped here last November and it was stunning! Be sure to explore the trails around the base of Enchanted Rock too for sweet little creeks, cactus, and amazing exploring in the trees.

road trips in texas from austin

Learn about German heritage

Fredericksburg was founded by German immigrants and is still home to many German restaurants and shops. Be sure to visit the Pioneer Museum to learn more about the town’s history, watch a short informative video (it even kept my kiddos’ attention!), browse the old blacksmith shop, and sit in the old desks at the schoolhouse.

For a fun souvenir for kids, pick up a “Jacob’s Ladder” wooden toy in the gift shop. My kids love theirs and it is a great road trip activity.

Take a scenic drive

The Texas Hill Country is known for its beautiful scenery, and Fredericksburg is a great starting point for a scenic drive! If you are visiting in Spring, please promise me you’ll go see the Texas bluebonnets !

A drive into Marble Falls , a stroll through Wildseed Farms (amazing wildflower farm !), or a drive through Willow City Loop are all great choices!

Scenic Drive from Austin to Fredericksburg with bluebonnets

Oh! Staying overnight in Fredericksburg?!

This lovely town has adorable cottages, historic accommodations, family friendly stays, and romantic spots for two. Here are some of our favorite spots to stay overnight:

  • Blacksmith Quarters – central location, Victorian cottages with creekside views
  • Luxury Shipping Container – for luxurious accommodations in nature
  • The Evers House – solid budget option for a romantic stay
  • Breezy Hills Cottages – cute cottages that sleep 4

road trips in texas from austin

Sierra Schmidt is the founder of Very Truly Texas as well as the lead writer and photographer. She is a Texas local living near Austin in the beautiful Texas Hill Country and exploring every inch of this vast state.

She provides detailed itineraries, inspiring images, and hidden gems to encourage locals and visitors to discover their own next adventure in the great state of Texas!

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San Antonio, Texas: Visitors walking next to the bars and restaurants along the river walk, via Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock.com

8 Best Road Trips to Take in Texas

Embarking on a road trip is one of the best ways to explore a state—especially with friends and loved ones. Unlike being on an airplane, the open road offers plenty of opportunity to stop at natural wonders, charming towns along the route, and delicious roadside diners to refuel. Texas , also known as the Lone Star State, features plenty of roads to discover, thanks to its vast size. With more than 16,000 historical markers and breathtaking landscapes, you'll understand why 279 million tourists flock here every year. This article will explore the top eight road trips to take in Texas.

Galveston to Cove

Pleasure Pier amusement park in Galveston, Texas.

Kickstart your trip at Galveston , colloquially known as "Oleander City" due to the vast oleander plants nearby. Since Galveston sits on a barrier island, there will be plenty of scenic views as you cross the Galveston Causeway bridge into mainland Texas. From there, it's roughly 55 miles of coastal terrain on the highway, with the drive taking less than an hour to complete. Significant points of interest include the Bay Forest Golf Course, Little Cedar Bayou Wave Pool, and Whataburger, a 1950s-themed quick-service restaurant that offers delicious hamburgers, with multiple layers of patties. Nearly 20 minutes later, you will find yourself on the Fred Hartman Bridge, a massive eight-lane structure spanning 2.6 miles while towering 436 feet above water, providing mesmerizing views of the Tabbs Bay. After reaching Cove, you're free to explore several attractions, including J.J. Mayes Trace Park, Trinity River Waterbird Rookery, and the Chambers County Museum at Wallisville, located just a short five-minute drive from Cove.

San Antonio to Big Bend National Park

Canoeists prepare to paddle down the Rio Grande River through Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend Texas.

This road trip will require a few things: time, fuel, and eagerness! It will take five hours and 45 minutes to reach Big Bend National Park , but there will be plenty of attractions during the trip. One such place is the Amistad National Recreation Area, which lies 2.5 hours away from San Antonio . This preserve is renowned for its stunning crystal-clear blue waters, ideal for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Additionally, it's only a few minutes from the Diablo East Swimming Area in the picturesque Walk Lake, a perfect chance to cool off from the heat and refresh amidst your journey. As you traverse the US-90 W, you will eventually stumble upon the Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site, offering access to fascinating Native American rock art, trails, and campsites while being able to take a breather. From here, you have 2.3 more hours before reaching Big Bend, one of America's most historically significant national parks. Big Bend harbors ancient archeological locations that date back tens of thousands of years, providing miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking. Since Big Bend is insulated from light pollution, it's a prominent area to stargaze and look into the cosmos. In fact, Big Bend National Park is one of few parks listed on the National Park Service's list of parks to stargaze, so remember to bring your binoculars and telescopes.

Dallas to Runaway Bay

Downtown Dallas Skyline from Trinity Overlook

This road trip will be easy, consisting of just 1.5 hours. Your journey will begin on the I-35E in Dallas , heading northwest toward Fort Worth. The first half of your voyage will be in the city as you gradually reach the outskirts, and the first point of interest is the quaint town of Rhome, home to several eateries, including Taco Casa and Good Morning Doughnuts. Around half an hour later lies Bridgeport Falls, a scenic tourist attraction that provides a refreshing cool breeze to stop and take some pictures. From this prime location, Runway Bay is just a short 15-minute drive away. After arriving, experience the crystal-clear waters of the Runway Bay Public Swimming Beach and grab a bite at the One Stop of Texas, or camp out at the tranquil Fort Davis Campsite located on the bay of Lake Bridgeport.

San Antonio to Fredericksburg

The Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas.

The distance from San Antonio to Fredericksburg requires 71.5 miles of driving. Since San Antonio is a historic city, the 300-year-old Alamo is a worthwhile landmark to visit—it stands as one of the most significant attractions not just in the city but the whole state, honoring the brave defiance of a small, yet powerful band of fighters against a much larger army in the struggle for Texan independence. After that, Friedrich Wildness Park also serves as an excellent place to rest as you make your way north. Here, you can take stunning photographs and enjoy a short hike in the 200-acre reserve that includes woodlands, meadows, and canyons if you're feeling extra adventurous. After reaching Fredericksburg, the entire city is your playground to explore. Visit the National Museum of the Pacific War or the relaxing Fredericksburg Nature Center to see exotic birds and wildlife. And not to be outdone, trek the Cross Mountain Park, a historic landmark that enables panoramic views from 1951 feet above sea level.

Lubbock to Monahans Sandhills State Park

City park skyline, Lubbock, Texas

Few towns embody the Lone Star State better than Lubbock with its cowboy culture, music, and several oil rigs that tower over the arid land. The journey from Lubbock to Monahans Sandhills takes around three hours of driving, but fret not, as there will be plenty of attractions along the route to make it worthwhile. Around 28 minutes in, you will pass through Tahoka, a small quaint town with many cafes and eateries, including the Crushers 40 Weight coffee shop serves refreshing iced cappuccinos and bistro sandwiches. 109 miles later in Odessa lies the Stonehenge Replica, a project built by students from the University of Texas that now stands as a famous attraction in the local area. Once you arrive at Monahans Sandhills State Park, the list of opportunities is endless: see dunes that reach 70 feet high, scenic ripples perfect for capturing everlasting photographs, or rent disks for you and your friends to descend and slide down the dunes. Moreover, the park boasts 26 campsites with amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Fort Worth to Wichita Falls

A bird's eye view of the cityscape of Wichita Falls, Texas on a sunny day

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, this road trip is for you. The TX-199 highway will take you along several lakes, parks, and quaint towns. Less than 10 minutes into your journey, you will come across the riverside Rockwood Park and, 15 minutes in, the Marion Sansom Park Pavilion #2 Inspiration Point, one of the most beloved spots in Fort Worth. Not too far away, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge provides 3,621 acres of land to deer, gators, birds, majestic bison herds and other exotic wildlife. To recharge and grab a bite, consider stopping by Dairy Land Drive Inn in Jacksboro, a delicious barbecue restaurant offering authentic Texan cuisine in a cozy, art-filled environment. After reaching your destination, Lake Wichita Park is a good first stop to visit and get some fresh air amidst the lush trees and scenic lake. The expansive 234-acre park is also ideal for hiking and picnicking. Alternatively, for a more relaxing option, the Wichita Theater provides numerous opportunities for events and shows, and more impressively, was built over a century ago.

Corpus Christi to Lake Jackson

Corpus Christi, Texas Skyline view of City harbor.

The duration it takes to reach Lake Jackson from Corpus Christi will take roughly 3 hours. However, you will witness scenic vistas of the Corpus Christi Bay waters, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and more along the way. Your first point of interest will be the Texas State Aquarium, which offers a premier exhibition of local marine species, including dolphins and sharks. After that, you'll find a wide range of parks and beaches, such as North Beach and Sunset Lake Park—but nothing will top the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge—this 115,324-acre area was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a sanctuary for migratory birds and other wildlife. Today, it's home to sea turtles, alligators, endangered whooping cranes, and armadillos, to name a few. The park also includes an observation tower and picnic areas overlooking the San Antonio Bay. After your stop, Lake Jackson is 132 miles away, where you can explore the tranquil shores of Surfside Jetty County Park. Moreover, Lake Jackson is also home to the esteemed Brazosport Museum of Natural Science, the Wetlands Exhibit Sea Center, and the Lake Jackson Freeport Beach.

Houston to San Augustine

San Augustine, Texas: The old business district on Broadway Street

Finishing off the list is Houston , also known as "Space City," to the delightful town of San Augustine. The trip will be 3 hours and 25 minutes, consisting of 191 miles. During the journey, you will pass through several small towns, including New Waverly, Huntsville, and Trinity, each offering a wide range of eateries to stop at and recharge. The first significant point of interest is Huntsville State Park, ranked number four on TripAdvisor's list of things to do. This vast preserve is known for being a great fishing spot and is ideal for horseback riding while taking pictures amidst the tapestry of pine trees that dominate the landscape. As you head towards the north, the town of Groveton comes 53 minutes later and is the main gateway to the Davy Crocket National Forest, home to wooded areas, camping facilities, and swimming spots. After finally reaching San Augustine, consider experiencing the Gary Brewer's Deck House, one of the town's top tourist attractions, before refueling for some delicious food at the Heart of Texas Grill, a prominent bar and grill establishment. Like its predecessor towns, San Augustine is also a gateway to nature preserves, as the Sabine National Forest is conveniently located just a short 21-minute drive away. Sabine spans over 160,000 acres and fosters an ecologically rich environment while harboring life for over 10,000 years. Additionally, the forest is also prominent for recreation and camping purposes.

In conclusion, the Lone Star State offers countless ways to forge memorable experiences with its diverse landscape and habitat. From coastal views to historical landmarks and natural wonders, Texas has something for everyone. So pack your bags, cameras, and binoculars to the road and create unforgettable memories on these scenic drives.

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San Antonio to Salado: 5 cool history day trips that won't take you too far from Austin

road trips in texas from austin

When you fantasize about summertime day trips in Central Texas, dreams likely transport you to pools, lakes and swimming holes. Places to cool off.

There's another kind of day trip that can tickle the mind while soothing the body, if you know how do it right.

Of the dozens of day trip destinations within fairly easy reach of Austin, we picked these five historic spots to get your motors started.

Monument Hill in La Grange

(Round-trip drive time: 2 hours)

Perhaps you've noticed this high point while driving past La Grange on Texas 71. To the south rises a hill above the Colorado River that stands out like no other. Head there.

A Texas State Historic Site, elegiac Monument Hill is shaded by trees that are, at times, monuments in themselves.

The first order of business, then, might be a refreshing repast taken at one of the many discreetly spaced picnic tables. For my last visit, I picked up an enormous "Back Porch Sandwich" from  Back Porch BBQ , located at the crossroads of Texas 71 and U.S. 77.

One can find plenty of history and nature in this park. Recognized as a meditative spot early on, it was selected in 1848 as a cemetery for the Texans who died in the Dawson Massacre (1842), along with the dead of the Texan Santa Fe (1841) and Mier (1842) expeditions, and those captured during Gen. Adrián Woll's raid on San Antonio (1842).

You see, the 1840s was an unsettled decade for the new republic, as Mexico and Texas asserted their territorial claims without engaging in decisive battles. A soaring art-deco slab, decorated with some low-relief figures, was added to the renovated tomb for the dead of these conflicts in 1936 during the Texas Centennial.

More: Texas History: Spelling out life on an 1800s Texas plantation

To find out how the disputes were settled during the Mexican American War in the late 1840s, visit the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum for its current exhibit on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo .

The hill hides some other historical treasures: A few dozen yards away, one finds the solidly built Kreische House, furnished and decorated with pieces that reflect how its residents lived during the mid-19th century.

In a low spot below the house sits the extensive remains of the Kreische Brewery, which can be seen from an elevated viewing point or fairly close-up, although with restrictions. (414 Texas 92 Spur, La Grange, thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/monument-hill )

Courthouse Square in Mason

(Round-trip drive time: 4 hours)

Mason is one of those Hill Country towns that has — so far — not been spoiled by overly curious tourists. The round-trip drive time — to and from this county seat — is longer than the other excursions recommended here, but the route through the rugged countryside is a treat in itself.

The chief magnet these days is the Mason County Courthouse , completely rebuilt in 2023 after an arsonist set the structure afire in 2021. For me, one of the reporting thrills of the past few years was to watch as a new dome was hoisted atop the courthouse, while practically the whole town cheered on all four sides of the long square, many of them protected from the elements by the generous shade structures positioned in front of older buildings.

More: Texas history: Loading up on the state’s past in the Hill Country town of Mason

This is not the only courthouse Mason County lost in a fire. The first, which stood on the northeast side of the courthouse grounds, also burned down.

"The first one burned on Jan. 21, 1877, during the Hoodoo War," said local historian Fran Hoerster in 2023. The extended conflict, sometimes called the Mason County War, was really a series of feuds and lynchings related to cattle rustling that sometimes pitted German Americans against Anglo Americans. "People rushed in to grab the land records. Got most of them. But we lost brand records, marriage records, probate records. We had to start all over again," Hoerster said.

"There was a second courthouse somewhere over there (pointing toward the western side of the courthouse grounds), but we don't know exactly where, from 1879 to 1909. It was torn down. This one was finished in 1910."

Mason supports two historical museums, one on the square, which displays one of the county's famous topazes. Another is a magnificent old rock schoolhouse; a pre-Civil War fort; a fine modern library with a permanent exhibit on  "Old Yeller" author Fred Gipson , a local; and a good deal of art.

There's plenty to eat and drink around the courthouse square. If you get a chance, visit the ornate Seaquist House; check for tour times and dates in advance.

Main Street in Bastrop

(Round-trip drive time: 1 hour)

Bastrop is not just an Austin suburb. That's a relatively recent role for this town that is older than Austin and fell a just few votes short of becoming the capital of Texas.

Not long ago, I explored the historic districts alongside Ken Kesselus, a Bastrop native, former mayor, retired Episcopalian pastor and community historian. Among the places we visited were Bastrop County African American Cultural Center, Bastrop Casino (an old German gathering place) and Calvary Episcopal Church.

More: Elgin bound: There's more than barbecue and bricks in this Texas town

The Museum and Visitors Center of the Bastrop County Historical Society (904 Main St.) is a good place to start. I wrote this about the excellent small museum: "Each display is clear, properly lighted and historically accurate, as far as I could surmise. Among others, two excellent exhibits cover the local coal industry, which I knew almost nothing about, and the cotton boom, which includes a map of the county's freedom colonies, with background about slavery and emancipation."

Kesselus and I shared a meal on the town's historic Main Street, which comes alive, especially on weekends in fair weather, and many buildings offer awnings or other shade devices. Several  newcomers have opened shops and restaurants  along this main stem. We lunched al fresco at Paw-Paw's Catfish House, which serves a fried, breaded catfish that is light as air and tender as a mother's love.

Stagecoach Inn in Salado

If you grew up in Texas, you remember this old landmark, now situated along Interstate 35 north of Austin, as an inn and eatery suspended in amber. For decades, nothing changed. Recently, it has undergone a series of improvements that make it 1) a luxury resort of sorts, 2) a gateway to the revived Salado arts and crafts district, 3) an even more authentic expression, to me, of its ancient origins.

More: 'Destination' hotel coming to historic strip of Fredericksburg, a Texas daytrip hotspot

I wrote this recently about the place: "Part of the existing complex above Salado Creek goes back to the 1860s, when it was a true stagecoach stop known as the Shady Villa Hotel. Its restaurant was founded in the 1940s and was known for its unchanging menu and staff. A nearby modernist motel rose next to the interregional highway during the 1950s; it, too, seemed trapped in amber. The next layer was laid down during the past decade: a  winningly reinvented restaurant  and a luxury hotel complex that tempts one to stay the night."

Note that the restaurant, which is surrounded by cooling greenery, has gone through a series of temporary name changes, but it will always be the Stagecoach Inn.

Pearl District in San Antonio

(Round-trip drive time: 3 hours)

I know, I know, Interstate 35. How do you get around that monster of a freeway that becomes a psychological barrier to visiting the other half of our quickly merging "mega-metro"? If you leave early on a weekend morning, at least the trip to SA is less stressful.

Once there, many of the historical attractions are readily at hand. One cluster of attractions downtown includes the Alamo campus, including the new Ralston Family Collections Center, the main plaza, with the San Fernando Cathedral and the Governor's Palace, along with, of course, the magical Riverwalk and its several historical destinations.

Another San Antonio historical jaunt requires a car in the summer, unless you were recently trained by the French Foreign Legion (see the 1999 movie "Beau Travail"): The Mission Trail south of downtown, which includes the other four 18th-century Spanish church complexes, each with its own discrete history. If you don't do it this time, do it later.

More: Meet me in San Austin: It's time to explore the idea of an Austin-San Antonio 'mega-metro'

To fully combine history and refreshment, perhaps head north of downtown to the Pearl District .

The centerpiece of the Pearl District these days is the luxury Hotel Emma embedded in the1894 building that once housed the San Antonio Brewers Association, which produced Pearl Beer. Opened in 2015, the hotel includes an elaborate lobby bar filled with elements of the structure's former industrial role, as well as carefully selected local eateries on the ground level. (Try any of them!)

Bundled around the plaza are an indoor food market, a thriving bookstore, new condos, a music venue situated in a round building that once served as a stable, a riverside amphitheater, and several more restaurants, one of them associated with the San Antonio base of the Culinary Institute of America.

Still sweating? Duck into one of these oases for a long siesta, or stroll down the extended Riverwalk to the old Lone Star brewery that became, in 1981, the stunning — and air-conditioned — San Antonio Museum of Art.

Road Trip Texas: What To Know About Driving From Austin To Dallas


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10 Scenic Upstate New York Road Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List

This underrated arizona national park is set to be one of the most popular for 2024, 10 additional scenic stops to make if you're visiting the grand canyon, quick links, distance and route to take from austin to dallas, towns to see along the way from austin to dallas, must-see sights along the way from austin to dallas, how to plan your road trip.

Road trips are a classic American pastime, and there's no better place to take one than in the revered state of Texas. The state boasts a plethora of amazing places to visit in spring , wide-open highways, charming small towns, and endless possibilities for adventure. One of the most popular routes for a road trip adventure in the Lone Star State is the scenic drive from Austin to Dallas.

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a native Texan, this is one of the classic day trips from Austin that is sure to make your heart yeehaw with joy! Here is everything you need to know for a trouble-free trip, from the finest route to travel to the perfect advisory for an unforgettable time. So buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable Texas road trip.

Related: Three Days In Austin: The Ultimate Three-Day Texas Itinerary

Distance: Approximately 200 miles, which takes about 3.5 hours on average

There are a few different routes you can take from Austin to Dallas, including;

I-35: This is the most direct route from Austin to Dallas. I-35 travels roughly 195 miles between Austin and Dallas, and depending on traffic and your speed, the trip can take three to five hours.

The scenic route through Hill Country: This route is approximately 195 miles long and takes around three and a half hours to complete. Start by taking Highway 290 west toward Johnson City, and then take Highway 281 north. Along the way, you'll pass through charming towns like Blanco , Marble Falls , and Burnet, and you'll have the opportunity to see the stunning Enchanted Rock State Natural Area . Once you reach Lampasas, take Highway 183 north to Dallas.

The journey time can vary depending on traffic, weather, and your preferred route.

The Best Time To Go

The weather in Texas can significantly change from season to season. Texas's summers may be scorching hot, with frequent highs of above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is, therefore, better to stay away from June, July, and August. Instead, think about going on your road vacation from March to May or from September to November. The weather is colder, and the scenery is stunning throughout these seasons. Additionally, during these seasons, you can enjoy the wildflowers that blossom around the state.

Related: Texas Travels: 10 Unique Things To Do In Dallas This Summer

The adventure starts in vivacious Austin, which is renowned for its live music culture, culinary scene, and outdoor recreation choices. The Texas State Capitol, the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, and the Barton Springs Pool are a few of Austin's top-rated and prominent attractions worth a visit. While you're here, don't forget to try some of the city's renowned restaurants with Tex-Mex food and barbecue!

About halfway between Austin and Dallas, you'll find the city of Waco. This charming town is home to the Magnolia Market at the Silos, a shopping and dining destination created by Chip and Joanna Gaines from the hit TV show "Fixer Upper." Other must-visit attractions in Waco include the Waco Mammoth National Monument , the Cameron Park Zoo , and the Dr. Pepper

As you approach Dallas, be sure to stop in Fort Worth, which is known for its Western heritage and culture. Some of the top attractions in Fort Worth include the Fort Worth Stockyards , the Kimbell Art Museum , and the Sundance Square entertainment district . You can also catch a rodeo or a live country music performance while you're here.

This multicultural metropolis is home to top-notch galleries, stores, and restaurants. The Sixth Floor Museum in Dealey Plaza, which details President John F. Kennedy's murder, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden , and the

are a few of the must-see sights in Dallas.

  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Located near Fredericksburg, this park has one of the most adventurous hiking trails in Texas and features a massive pink granite dome that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can hike to the top of the dome or explore the many trails that wind through the park.
  • LBJ Ranch: The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is located in Stonewall, Texas, and includes the former president's ranch, home, and final resting place. You can take a guided tour of the ranch or explore the many exhibits that detail Johnson's life and career.
  • Dr. Pepper Museum: Located in Waco, this museum celebrates the beloved soft drink with exhibits on its history, advertising, and memorabilia. You can learn about the origins of Dr. Pepper and see how the drink has evolved over time.
  • Dealey Plaza: Located in downtown Dallas, this historic site is where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum, which chronicles the events of that day, is also located here.
  • Southfork Ranch: This ranch is located north of Dallas in Parker, Texas, and was made famous by the TV show "Dallas." You can take a tour of the iconic mansion and grounds, see the famous Ewing family pool, and learn about the show's history and impact on pop culture.
  • Decide on your route: As mentioned earlier, there are several routes you could take from Austin to Dallas. Consider the time you have available and what sights and attractions you want to see along the way.
  • Budget for gas and food: Make sure you have enough money set aside for gas, food, and any additional costs you may incur because road trips may often turn out to be expensive. If you plan on staying the night during your trip, Texas has some affordable resorts which provide a touch of luxury without breaking the bank .
  • Book accommodations in advance: If you intend to stopover anywhere along the trip, make sure to reserve lodging in advance. Popular locations have been known to fill up quickly during peak travel times, so it is advisable to make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Pack smart: Remember to pack essentials for the trip, such as a map, sunscreen, comfortable clothing and shoes, snacks, and plenty of water.
  • Consider timing: If you have the option to pick the date of your road trip, carefully evaluate the season. It might be wise to schedule your trip for the spring or fall when the temperatures are more bearable because the summer heat in Texas can be intense.
  • Destinations

road trips in texas from austin

Things To Do On a Waco To Austin Road Trip

Wondering what to do on a family-friendly trip in Texas? Check out this 4 day / long weekend trip itinerary idea for visiting Waco and Austin in one trip… Don’t miss tips for stopping at the Silos and eating at Magnolia Table, along with zoos, museums, and food to try in Austin, Texas…

There are a TON of fun things to do on a road trip from Waco to Austin… And I’ll walk you through (with a video) all we did in 4 days, coming from Dallas …

Things to do when visiting both Waco and Austin, Texas…

Here is a quick look at some of the Waco and Austin destinations things you’ll see on this list: 

Waco travel highlights

  • Cameron Park Zoo in Waco
  • Magnolia Table – Joanna Gaines restaurant in Waco
  • Magnolia Silos
  • Magnolia Press
  • Shopping At Magnolia Market
  • Driving From Austin To Waco in about 2 hours

Austin travel highlights

Family-friendly things to do in austin.

  • Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin, Texas
  • True Food Kitchen 
  • Thinkery 
  • Veracruz 
  • Mueller Lake Park (a great playground for kids in Austin)
  • Lick Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Nights
  • Austin Visitor Center
  • Austin Duck Adventures Tour
  • Corinne Restaurant inside the Marriott Austin
  • Catch live music (it’s what Austin is known for!) I had a fun night activity I attended (YouTube Creators Event) at the Soho House which included live music from an Austin band, Bros Fresh

See our Family Trip Itinerary from Waco to Austin

Follow Jenna Passaro from Sip Bite Go on Instagram …

Driving From Waco To Austin

If you can spare a few hours, there’s definitely something to do in Waco on the way to Austin: eat some food!

Magnolia Table (Waco TX)

The lemonade flight at Magnolia Table was one of my family’s favorite things to try from the menu…

No reservation? No problem, you can still get take-away food at the Magnolia Table restaurant and eat on the patio outside.

Cameron Park Zoo (Waco TX)

This zoo is a perfect spot to explore during a road trip / visiting Waco. 

All the animals are up-close and personal at this zoo.

They even have a Komodo Dragon, which I’ve never seen in any zoo I’ve visited.

The zoo is open 9am – 5pm (Mon-Sat) and 11am – 5pm on Sunday. Children two and under get free entrance too. 

Bru Coffee (Waco TX)

There are quite a few coffee roasters to check out in Waco, and on this trip I stopped at Bru.

Bru Coffee is tucked away inside a historic building lobby, but the hidden coffee shop feel is definitely worth the stop. 

Plus…the brew is a great pick me up for the rest of the road trip.

Stay at a family-friendly hotel

We stayed at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin, TX.

It was pretty family friendly and our room even included a treadmill exercise area.

True Food Kitchen (Austin TX)

If you’re looking to have some tasty food delivered to the Omni Hotel, True Food Kitchen is right down the street. 

Place your order online using a site like GrubHub or Caviar and within 30 minutes you’ll have some of the freshest food in town in your room. 

Thinkery (Austin TX)

This spot is great for all ages.

Kids and adults alike will be able to explore their imagination by conducting science experiments, building with blocks, using interactive tools, playing with water, and learning about light and sound.

Oh, and for the kids, the Thinkery has a HUGE playground area outside with plenty to climb on.

FYI, they are open on Wednesday – Sunday and take reservations if needed.

General admission walk-up availability is offered too. 

Veracruz (Austin TX)

Talk about a taste of Mexico…wow! 

Veracruz has multiple locations – including a food truck – throughout Austin. 

We ate at the Mueller Lake Park location and it was delicious. 

You can pick and choose your tacos. 

I recommend trying the Al Pastor, Shrimp Macha, and Grilled Steak tacos. They come with side sauces which further enhance the taste.

When you eat at Veracruz, you should ask to try their house made Mole. 

They’ll serve it with tortillas to dip and use it as the topping for their chicken enchiladas. The children’s menu is fully loaded too. 

They’ll have a ton of options to choose from.

You can’t miss the drinks either. 

Of course they have your classic Mexican alcoholic drinks and beers, but you should definitely try the house-made juices like the Agua Fresca. You cannot go wrong.

Mueller Lake Park (Austin TX)

Right near the Thinkery and Veracruz restaurant, this playground is a fantastic spot to visit while in Austin. 

The park features an amphitheater, walking trail, a large picnic area, and a big playground for kids. Everyone in your family will have fun here on a nice day. 

Parking is conveniently located next to the park as well. Just remember to pay at the parking meter! 

Lick Ice Cream (Austin TX)

The cool thing about Lick Ice Cream is that it’s part of a self-guided ice cream walking tour in the Mueller Lake Park area. 

Yes, there are multiple ice cream shops within a block of each other…how tasty!

Lick Ice Cream is known for its farm-to-table approach to making ice cream. In fact, their motto is “honest ice cream.” 

They source all ingredients locally and the staff will be happy to tell you specifically about the source of all of their ingredients.

Definitely a must try after playing at the playground.

Pumpkin Nights (Austin TX)

When you visit Austin in October, you must go to Austin’s Pumpkin Nights .

Pioneer Farms is the host of this family-friendly adventure. 

Opening at 6pm each evening, you’ll be able to walk your way through the forest which is decorated fully with hundreds and hundreds of carved pumpkins. 

Each area has a specific theme and music. Be sure to get all your photos taken by the friendly staff and try some of the food and drink on the way out. 

This is not a scary attraction, so all ages are welcomed here.

Visitor Center (Austin TX)

This visitor center is located in the heart of downtown Austin. 

Specifically, it’s right next to the convention center which holds tons of events and conferences like SXSW.

If you have a free day in Austin without any plans, just swing into the Visitors Center and the helpful staff can tell you about all of the tours happening that day. 

They have walking tours, van tours, a doubledecker bus tour, and a duck adventures tour. If there are free spots, you can book your tour right then.

The visitor center itself offers some shopping too. If you’re looking for a cool Austin souvenir to remember your trip, you’ll find it there. 

Austin Duck Adventures (Austin TX)

We had a blast on the Austin Duck Adventures Tour. We even booked it that day because of open availability! 

If you’re unfamiliar with duck tours, you’ll be seated in an open air vehicle that drives on land and floats in water! 

Your driver will take you on a tour through downtown Austin where you’ll drive down the popular 6th Street, checkout the Texas State Capitol building, learn about the main famous hotels and musical buildings. 

Once you get to the lake, your driver will drive the duck bus/boat right into the water. 

For the next 20 minutes, you’ll be cruising the lake learning about all the lakeside houses. 

Your tour guide will even shed some light about the famous people that live in those houses too. 

Definitely book this tour if you have a free 90 minutes!

Corinne Restaurant (Austin TX)

Located inside of the Austin Marriott hotel, this restaurant is a great place to dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

They offer a wide variety of drinks, starters, main dishes, and desserts. 

If you’re eating during lunch or dinner, I highly recommend you try the Rotisserie Chicken. It’s a large one, so perfect for families to have. 

At the end of your meal, order the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. This pie is the perfect ending to a fantastic dining experience.

Night activities

During this visit, I attended a YouTube Creators Event in Austin at the Soho House – a “hotel club” with a really cool bar inside…

During the event, I caught some live music which is a must-experience part of visiting Austin. 

This band was great, they are called Bros Fresh .

Driving From Austin To Waco 

Magnolia silos (waco, tx).

Looking to relax, grab a bite, shop or run around to burn out some energy, the Magnolia Silos is the place to stop in Waco . 

Owned by Joanna & Chip Gaines, the silos has the Magnolia Press coffee shop, Magnolia bakery, plenty of food carts with tacos and hot dogs , shopping, and even a small baseball field to play wiffle ball. 

Everyone in the family will find something to do at the Silos. 

Magnolia Press (Waco, TX)

This coffee shop is located in the Magnolia Silos and is a great spot to start your day at the Silos

They offer all fresh coffee variations for you coffee drinkers, freshly made hot chocolate for the kids, as well as homemade pastries. 

This coffee shop has indoor self-seating available, so no reservations are required. If the weather is nice, take your drink & food outside to the patio to enjoy in some fresh air. 

Shopping At Magnolia Market (Waco, TX)

Shopping at the Magnolia Silos is plentiful and the Magnolia Market is the place to stop for you home decor fans. 

This market oozes home inspiration, so keep your creative mind open when shopping at Magnolia Market. 

Whether you’re looking for that perfect seasonal home decor or shopping for a friend, you’ll find something here for sure. 

Guides for visiting Austin, Texas on Sip Bite Go

  • See what to do on a weekend trip to Austin
  • Packing list for Austin
  • Pumpkin Nights Austin
  • See my negative review of Embassy Suites Austin Central
  • Get tips for visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX
  • See what to do on a road trip from Waco to Austin …

More travel tips

  • Check out my Dallas area travel guides  
  • See the best restaurants in Portland , Oregon
  • I love this portable potty for car 🙂

Dallas Area Guides

  • What to do in Historic Downtown McKinney
  • Best restaurants in Plano
  • Best restaurants in Allen TX
  • Life in Dallas
  • McKinney Texas Tiny Doors
  • Plano, TX foodie spots: North Italia Menu / Toulouse
  • McKinney, TX foodie spots: Stix Icehouse Menu
  • Frisco, TX foodie spot: see favorites from the Tupelo Honey Menu
  • Visit Waco to see Magnolia Market

Are you a foodie traveler, too?

Hey theres, hope that answers all your questions about what to do on a family trip to Waco and Austin, TX.. 

Enjoy cooking and chat soon on Instagram / TikTok / YouTube .

Next, browse the Sip Bite Go recipe collection …

The post Things To Do On a Waco To Austin Road Trip appeared first on Sip Bite Go .

Wondering what to do on a family-friendly trip in Texas? Check out this 4 day weekend trip itinerary idea for visiting Waco and Austin.

Council Chambers Meeting

  • Departments
  • Communications

Presidential Visit July 15 Expected to Impact Austin Traffic

City of Austin Seal

City of Austin

On Monday, July 15, 2024, President Joe Biden is expected to visit Austin.

On Monday, July 15, 2024, President Joe Biden is expected to visit Austin. His visit will impact traffic, causing delays in some areas. The City of Austin would like to remind our community to expect traffic delays and potential street closures from morning to evening between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and the LBJ Presidential Library (2313 Red River St.), where he will be commemorating the 60 th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We’d like to remind our community to:

  • Plan alternative routes to avoid delay.
  • Use public transportation options; some routes may be adjusted to accommodate the closures.
  • Avoid parking along the route.

Please be patient if you find yourself within the route, as we understand the inconvenience this may cause.

See live map of Texas road conditions, closures amid power outages, flooding from Beryl

road trips in texas from austin

Hurricane Beryl landing on Texas coast has caused several road closures and delays in the Houston area and beyond.

More than  1 million customers have lost power within hours of Beryl's landfall , as  CenterPoint Energy in Houston reported. Rising waters swiftly led to street closures throughout Houston and flood warnings were issued for a large portion of the Texas coast.

Here is a look at where road closures and power outages are in the state.

Map: Driving conditions, road closures in Texas

Houston traffic cameras, tips for driving in heavy rain, strong winds and flood conditions.

Texas Department of Insurance urges drivers to be careful when driving in poor weather conditions. Here are some tips from them.

  • Avoid puddles : Driving into puddles or low-lying areas where rainwater collects, such as dips under rail or highway bridges or near streams, can cause vehicles to hydroplane out of control.
  • Drive in the middle lanes : Staying on higher ground is a good safety measure, especially during heavy rains. Rainwater often pools on the outer edges of roads, which can create hazardous driving conditions, including hydroplaning. It's always best to drive with caution and avoid flooded areas whenever possible.
  • Keep headlights on: Using your vehicle's headlights in the rain, even during daylight, is a crucial safety measure. It enhances your visibility to other drivers and improves your ability to see the road ahead. This practice can significantly reduce the risk of accidents in rainy conditions.
  • Use turn signals early: Giving plenty of notice to other drivers before slowing down to take a turn is essential for road safety. Signaling early and clearly allows other drivers to anticipate your actions and adjust their driving accordingly, reducing the risk of collisions.
  • Don't slam the breaks: In bad weather, it's important to brake safely. Remove your foot from the accelerator and apply the brakes lightly to stop. Always keep an eye out for brake lights ahead to anticipate any sudden stops or slowdowns by other drivers. This cautious approach helps maintain control of your vehicle and reduces the risk of skidding or losing traction.
  • Avoid sharp turns : Quick driving maneuvers can lead to skids and accidents.


  1. 20 Best Road Trips From Austin, Texas

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  2. 19 Best Road Trips From Austin Texas (Updated 2024)

    road trips in texas from austin

  3. Planning a road trip in Texas? We have you covered with this list of 5

    road trips in texas from austin

  4. BEST ROAD TRIPS in Texas

    road trips in texas from austin

  5. 19 Best Road Trips From Austin Texas (Updated 2024)

    road trips in texas from austin

  6. 20 Best Road Trips From Austin, Texas

    road trips in texas from austin


  1. AUSTIN TEXAS GOLF TRIP AT OMNI BARTON CREEK #golf #golftrip #golflife #golfswing

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  1. THE 32 BEST Road Trips From Austin, Texas

    Austin to El Paso. 🚗 820 miles ⏱️ 13 hours, 50 minutes. Embark on a long drive from Austin to El Paso exploring the heritage of West Texas, from the Hill Country to the desert vistas. As you head south it'll take you straight to the historic heart of San Antonio, before arriving at must-visit Big Bend National Park.

  2. 21 Best Road Trips from Austin, Texas

    Austin Waco Drive. One of our favorite road trips in Central Texas! Waco is home to several family-friendly attractions. The Waco Mammoth National Monument preserves the remains of ancient mammoths in the fossil bed. Visitors can also tour the ranger-led exhibits and learn about the area's natural history.

  3. 19 Best Road Trips From Austin Texas (Updated 2024)

    Driving distance from Austin: 637.6 miles west (10 hours) Points of interest: Los Poblanos in Albuquerque. Canyon Road in Sante Fe. White Sands National Monument (stay at one of the many campgrounds) Meow Wolf. Ojo Caliente. Ten Thousand Waves. Earthship Visitor Center in Taos.

  4. 7 Epic Texas Road Trip Itinerary Ideas

    Unforgettable Texas Road Trip Ideas Austin to San Antonio Loop. For first-time visitors to Texas and Lone Star State lovers alike, it's hard to imagine a better short Texas road trip than the route between Austin and San Antonio-especially because it is so customizable!. While Austin and San Antonio are less than 2 hours apart (allegedly-traffic often has other plans), here are just a ...

  5. 17 Fun Weekend Getaways from Austin (Road Trip Ideas!)

    Garner State Park. Encompassing more than 1700 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country, nearly 3 miles of the stunning Frio River, and roughly 16 miles worth of trails, Garner State Park is absolutely one of the best weekend getaways from Austin! Whether you'd like to hike, camp, float the river, or simply enjoy a picnic and a swim, Garner ...

  6. Everything's bigger in Texas: The 9 best road trips to take from Austin

    Check out our guide for more road trip inspiration. Big cities mean wide highways and fast speed limits: The 41-mile stretch of Texas Highway 130, just east of Austin, boasts a speed limit of 85 miles per hour — the fastest legal limit in the country. Miles Away podcast: Escape the winter blues in sunny Austin, Texas.

  7. 4 Terrific Texas Hill Country Road Trip Itinerary Ideas

    21 Wacky + Weird Roadside Attractions in Texas. Day 1: Dripping Springs + Waterfalls. Start your Hill Country road trip in Dripping Springs, the self-declared "Gateway to the Hill Country" and home to the famous Hamilton Pool! On your way, stop in Driftwood for Salt Lick BBQ, then set off to go chase waterfalls.

  8. The Perfect 10 Day Texas Road Trip Itinerary (2024 Guide)

    In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald entered the Texas School Book Depository and changed American history. Now the Sixth Floor Museum, learn all about this tragic event, including the hours before along with the emotional aftermath. Address: 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202. Hours: 10 am-5 pm (Wed-Sun) Price: $18.

  9. 9 Road Trips from Austin Texas

    5. Road Trip from Austin to Decatur. 228 miles, 3 hours 28 minutes. Decatur is just a short drive from Dallas. There's enough to do in Decatur for a fun weekend trip from Austin but it also makes a good side trip from Dallas or Fort Worth. Decatur has a fun-to-explore town square with lots of places to eat and shop.

  10. Texas road trip

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  11. Texas Road Trip Itinerary: Must-See Stops + Where To Stay!

    Mustang Island. If you're craving beaches, your must-stop is Mustang Island. This small, 18-mile island on the Gulf Coast of Texas goes from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas. With a plethora of water activities such as kayaking and swimming for you to enjoy. This beach is noted for wild horses and endangered sea turtles.

  12. 6 best road trips in Texas

    1. Hill Country. Best scenic road trip Austin-San Antonio; 200 miles . The Hill Country is one of the prettiest regions in Texas, especially in spring when wildflowers bloom along the roadside. In Austin, soak up the live music and food truck scene - and watch the bats swoop out from beneath the South Congress Bridge - before heading west to Dripping Springs.

  13. The Perfect Texas Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

    Stop 4: Big Bend National Park. Now it is time to really get ready for the "road" part of your Texas road trip. This stop is a good six hour drive from San Antonio and is farther from any of the other stops. However, Big Bend National Park is a must-visit place, especially if you love to check off U.S. national parks.

  14. 8 Must-Do Weekend Road Trips from Austin, Texas

    Distance from Austin: 199 miles. Drive time without stops: 3 hours, 20 mins. 6. Galveston. Photo: Gagliardi Photography / Shutterstock. Near Houston, Galveston is another option for a coastal weekend trip. With 32 miles of shoreline, the island has a few different beaches where you can post up for the day.

  15. Incredible Road Trips To Take From Austin Texas

    Waco, TX. One hour and 45 minutes north of Austin is Waco, Texas. It's known widely for two separate things: the Dr Pepper Museum and HGTV's show Fixer Upper. Take a tour of the Dr Pepper Museum or head over to Fixer Upper stars Joanna and Chip Gaines' Magnolia Market at the Silos. You might also want to check out the Waco Mammoth site ...

  16. Best Day Trips From Austin, TX

    New Braunfels. Located about an hour South of Austin, New Braunfels is a great day trip for families and friends alike! There are tons of things to do, here are just a few favorites: Schlitterbahn. Natural Bridge Caverns. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. Landa Park. Distance from Austin: About 50 minutes.

  17. 10 Family Road Trip Ideas Within 10 Hours of Austin

    Below are 10 family road trip ideas within 10 hours of Austin, some in Texas, some beyond. 10 family road trip ideas within 10 hours of Austin. Glen Rose, Texas (2.5 hours) Not too far from home, Glen Rose has a lot to offer. Some popular attractions include Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (the drive-thru wildlife tour is a must), Dinosaur Valley ...

  18. 10 Perfect Road Trips When You Need to Escape Austin

    New Braunfels. Distance from Austin: 48 miles southwest; 50-minute drive. With Hill Country charm, historic German roots, and natural beauty, New Braunfels is a solid pick for a day trip or ...

  19. Austin to Fredericksburg Road Trip Guide

    Starting in Austin, visitors can explore the vibrant music scene, indulge in some of the best barbecue in the country, and take in the city's many museums and art galleries. From there, the drive to Fredericksburg takes about an hour and a half, with stunning views of the Texas Hill Country along the way. Once in Fredericksburg, visitors can ...

  20. The Best Road Trips From Austin: Four Day Road Trip Itinerary

    Day 4: Marfa to San Antonio. Another one of the best road trips from Austin sees you heading east towards San Antonio, one of the most vibrant and historic cities in Texas. Along the way, stop at the Alamo, which played a pivotal role in the Texas Revolution and is now a popular tourist destination. Once in San Antonio, spend the afternoon ...

  21. Top 10 Road Trips From Austin, Texas

    A road trip from Austin, Texas to Montgomery, Alabama can take 11 hours and 31 minutes covering a distance of 794 miles (1277.82 kilometers) driving towards the northeast direction via the I-10 E route. You will be passing through Houston, Beaumont, Louisiana, and Mobile before you reach Montgomery. Known as the "Birthplace of Civil Rights ...

  22. 8 Best Road Trips to Take in Texas

    Texas, also known as the Lone Star State, features plenty of roads to discover, thanks to its vast size. With more than 16,000 historical markers and breathtaking landscapes, you'll understand why 279 million tourists flock here every year. This article will explore the top eight road trips to take in Texas. Galveston to Cove Pleasure Pier ...

  23. Time To Hit The Road! Here Are 11 Awesome Day Trips From Austin, Texas

    These 11 day trips have all the fun and adventure anyone could crave just a short drive away. 1. Fredericksburg. Located less than 2 hours West of Austin, historic Fredericksburg is a great place for anyone to spend a day. Downtown, the city has over 150 stores for one-of-a-kind shopping, breweries, and some of the best dining in Texas.

  24. 10 Scenic Texas Road Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List

    Here are 10 scenic Texas road trips that should be on your bucket list. ... Connect Austin and San Antonio, two of Texas' most vibrant cities, on this 79-mile drive past the stunning Hamilton Pool .

  25. Explore Texas history in these short summer road trips from Austin

    Monument Hill in La Grange (Round-trip drive time: 2 hours) Perhaps you've noticed this high point while driving past La Grange on Texas 71. To the south rises a hill above the Colorado River that ...

  26. Road Trip Texas: What To Know About Driving From Austin To Dallas

    I-35: This is the most direct route from Austin to Dallas. I-35 travels roughly 195 miles between Austin and Dallas, and depending on traffic and your speed, the trip can take three to five hours. The scenic route through Hill Country: This route is approximately 195 miles long and takes around three and a half hours to complete.

  27. Things To Do On a Waco To Austin Road Trip

    Check out this 4 day / long weekend trip itinerary idea for visiting Waco and Austin in one trip… Don't miss tips for stopping at the Silos and eating at Magnolia Table, along with zoos ...

  28. President Biden to speak at LBJ Library in Austin next week

    The White House-sponsored event, which will commemorate the 60th anniversary of then-President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, will be Biden's first trip to Texas ...

  29. Presidential Visit July 15 Expected to Impact Austin Traffic

    On Monday, July 15, 2024, President Joe Biden is expected to visit Austin. His visit will impact traffic, causing delays in some areas. The City of Austin would like to remind our community to expect traffic delays and potential street closures from morning to evening between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and the LBJ Presidential Library (2313 Red River St.), where he will be ...

  30. See Texas road closures, conditions as Beryl hits Houston area

    Hurricane Beryl landing on Texas coast has caused several road closures and delays in the Houston area and beyond. More than 1 million customers have lost power within hours of Beryl's landfall ...