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25 Cute Road Trip Ideas Near Houston You Need To Go On With Your S/O

Sometimes you and bae just need a little getaway — especially if you’re deep in the day-to-day grind and your go-to date night spots are looking a little less than inspiring.

Spice things up with a little adventure and take your love on the open road for a day trip or weekend escape that won’t take you too far from home. But, that doesn’t mean that you won’t feel worlds away from your Houston reality.

So, where will this list take you? Many places, but not to the recognizable regions of Austin and San Antonio — and even Dallas-Fort Worth. Those are no-brainers for tripping outside H-Town city limits, so we’re leaving them off this list for the most part. We don’t need to tell you to remember the Alamo, to take a romantic stroll along the River Walk, or keep it weird.

It’s time to get creative and go slightly more off the grid with these quick-trip destinations. They’re all under four hours by car — many places are way less than that. And, that includes a pit stop at Buc-ee’s, naturally.

Sleep in the trees at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours

Where: 1223 South Paleface RR, Spicewood

3 hr 30 min drive

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You’ll never forget your first time — sleeping in the trees. Not just a destination for zip line adventures, Cypress Valley also has an even better treat: glamping in tree-top havens nestled in ancient cypress trees. The Juniper, Willow, and Nest treehouses are all lovely, but indulge in the whimsical, round Lofthaven. It has a huge trunk growing right through the middle and features a romantic canopy bed, hammock, and wraparound porch. A bridge connects to a bathhouse with a waterfall-filled tub. It’s made for love.

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Be HGTV hotties at Magnolia Market at the Silos

Where: 601 Webster Ave., Waco

2 hr 50 min drive

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As the mother ship for Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hit HGTV series “Fixer Upper,” this place attracts mega fans and shiplap fiends. Even if you both aren’t following the show, the Waco destination is still worth the trip. You’ll definitely feel inspired when you wander the perfectly coordinated décor store, garden, bakery, food trucks, and more. But, you may leave with more than a few shopping bags — and an urge to redecorate. Fair warning.

Take a dip in Hamilton Pool

Where: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Springs

2 hr 45 min drive

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If you haven’t been to this magical spot, you should — especially with your S/O. The tucked-away grotto boasts a 45-foot-tall waterfall that pours into a beautiful, turquoise-green body of water beneath.

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Drive up to a movie at Showboat Drive-In Theater

Where: 22422 FM 2920, Hockley

35 min drive

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There’s something just so romantic about a drive-in theater. After all, who wouldn’t want to snuggle up to a double feature under the stars. This retro place is just a short jaunt out of the city. Bring blankets!

Go tubing down the Comal River

Location: New Braunfels

2 hr 30 min drive

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Chill out with this sparkling, spring-fed water that maintains a refreshing 72 degrees all year. It’s the shortest, navigable river in Texas, but it is still a sweet place to float around. You will get a riverside tour of the town of New Braunfels — and you’ll even pass by the famous Schiltterbahn Water Park, should you feel so inclined to swap the river for the slides and sky coaster.

Hit the beach with Galveston Island Horse and Pony Rides

Where: 1929 Boedeker Rd., Galveston

1 hr drive

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Horseback riding together along the beach has an inherent romantic quality that’s definitely worth the drive to Galveston.

Hike through Pedernales Falls State Park

Where: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City

3 hr drive

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Choose your own adventure at this park that boasts a variety of trails that weave among the limestone rocks of the river.

Get lost in Lost Maples State Natural Area

Where: 37221 F.M. 187, Vanderpool

4 hr drive

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If fall colors (and forest bathing) are you and boo’s happy place, Lost Maples in Central Texas is just the thing. It has a certain dream-like quality with steep canyon walls, the crystal-clear Sabinal River, and a special stand of its namesake Uvalde bigtooth maples. It’s a wilderness wonder you won’t soon forget — and worth the extra time in the car.

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Get sweet and savory at Tejas Chocolate Craftory

Where: 200 N. Elm St., Tomball

35 min drive

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At this place, you both can have it all — sweet and savory, that is. Tejas makes rustic chocolate and urban barbecue for the ultimate treat. It has even been heralded among the top 10 barbecue joints in Texas Monthly. So, you know it’s going to be next-level good. It’s only a short drive for H-Town, but there’s no distance too lengthy for this decadence.

Bare it all in Hippie Hollow Park

Where: 7000 Comanche Trail, Austin

2 hr 45 min drive

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If you both are free spirits, and bare bums don't bother you and bae, then this nude beach is just the place. Even though it’s technically in Austin, we included it because the hidden haven at Lake Travis feels like another world. The quirky-peaceful park fully upholds the skin-is-in trend — and, you better believe that many people fully comply. Views of the Hill Country complete the, ahem, scenic surroundings.

Play games at Kemah Boardwalk

Where: 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah

45 min drive

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It’s all fun and games (and a Ferris wheel) at this coastal theme park that’s worth the short road trip for the kitschy, old-school amusement park rides alone. Plus, you can both indulge your love of cotton candy and carnival food; just ride the roller coast beforehand.

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Explore the Longhorn Cavern

Where: 6211 Park Road 4 South, Burnet

3 hr 30 min drive

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Who knew there was this deep, dark secret underneath the Texas ground. It’s almost hard to believe the undulating drama that unfolds in this dreamy underground haven that was created by the dissolving and cutting action of an ancient river.

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Go sky high at San Jacinto Monument

Where: One Monument Circle, La Porte

30 min drive

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Safety in numbers! Take your S/O sky high to the dizzying observation deck of the world’s tallest monument column; it soars a 567.31 feet into the air. The location commemorates the battleground that became the birth of Texas independence.

Stargaze at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Where: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg

3 hr 45 min drive

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The mystical name of this destination just sounds romantic. And, spoiler alert, it is. Located near the cute town of Fredericksburg, it's technically a giant pink granite dome that was believed to have a spell cast on it by a Spanish conquistador. Hiking to the top of the rock is a reward in and of itself with 360-degree views of the surrounding Hill Country. But, where the magic really comes in is after dark; the view of the night sky is phenomenal.

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Wine down on Wine Road 290

Where: Multiple locations, Fredericksburg

3 hr 45 min drive

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Sip ’til you drop and then wine down some more in the heavily German-influenced town of Fredericksburg that’s also considered the epicenter of the Texas Wine Country. Wine Road 290 boasts 19 award-winning wineries at your disposal, although you can go off the road and find many more vineyards on the Texas Wine Trail. You may also want to book a car service, limo, or tour; no drinking and driving allowed. Lucky for you, Fredericksburg also has a bunch of charming bed-and-breakfast places to sleep off the vino like the Fredericksburg Herb Farm.

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Recharge at the Blair House Inn Bed & Breakfast

Where: 100 W. Spoke Hill Dr., Wimberley

2 hr 45 min drive

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A sweet bed-and-breakfast ranks pretty highly on the romance scale, and this one delivers on the charm factor and all the welcoming Texas hospitality you and your S/O could hope for. It’s located on 22 acres in the beautiful village of Wimberley in the Texas Hill Country. Recharge at the day spa or brush up on your kitchen cred at the onsite cooking school before watching the sun set.

Glamp at Green Acres

Where: Elgin, exact address available upon inquiry

Houston: 2 hr 15 min drive

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Green Acres really is the place to be — this hidden wonderland not only looks like a modern, boho dream come to life, the Pinterest-perfect accommodations provide eco-lodging at its very finest. Sitting on 25 acres, the retreat is owned by two families who have created the coolest sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation in nature — without any of the stresses of traditional camping. With two luxe yurts, a rustic-chic lodge with a swinging porch bed, a kitschy-sleek Airstream land yacht, and a 1955 restored “Spartan Mansion” trailer — all with the highest level of amenities and comforts — your biggest conundrum will be where to lay your head.

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Be beach babes at Mustang Island State Park

Where: 17047 TX-361, Port Aransas

3 hr drive

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This Gulf Coast getaway is an idyllic, peaceful barrier island that’s a ferry ride away from the mainland. Beachfront campfires are a frequent occurrence along the five miles of peaceful shores. And, if you both want to be more active than just sunbathing and camping, co-paddle along the 20-mile-long Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail. Keep in mind: At the north end of the island is the small town of Port Aransas, where you can wander the spunky shops and seafood restaurants or charter a deep sea fishing excursion.

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Chase waterfalls at Gorman Falls

Where: 2236 Park Hill Dr., Bend

3 hr 45 min drive

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Because chasing waterfalls together sounds so romantic, you should definitely road-trip it to this one that’s located deep within Colorado Bend State Park. Water dances over dramatic travertine formations and lush vegetation — it’s the reward after the hike.

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 Treat yo-selves at The Inn at Dos Brisas

Where: 10000 Champion Dr., Washington

1 hr drive

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You may well feel a honeymoon vibe at this luxurious Relais & Chateaux resort that’s made for a special occasion. It’s nothing short of an idyllic and very romantic getaway in the rolling meadows of the eastern foothills of Texas Hill Country. Horseback riding here is a must!

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Pretend you’re in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon

Where: 649 Pinedale Rd., Huntsville

1 hr 15 min drive

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Iceland has its Blue Lagoon — and so does Texas. Seventy miles north of Houston, two limestone quarries are filled with warm, blue-green spring water shaded by pine trees, creating nothing short of a surreal scene. The spot especially caters to scuba divers, as there’s a training facility and full gear shop onsite. But, the capped daily admission ensures a hidden-gem-like experience for you and your S/O.

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Go back in time in Bartlett

Where: Bartlett

2 hr 45 min drive

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If you watched the NBC television series Revolution, a trip to the abandoned town of Bartlett will likely be déjà vu. Parts of the show were filmed there, taking advantage of the late 19th and early 20th century Victorian-style homes, churches, and other architecture that make the town both forlorn and fabulous. The place has also appeared in movies including The Stars Fell on Henrietta, The Whole Wide World, and The Dalton Boys. While some refer to it as a “ghost town,” there’s a small number of residents that still call Bartlett home.

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Become one with nature at Brazos Bend State Park

Where: 21901 FM 762, Needville

45 min drive

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The flora and fauna is on another level here, what with the 37 miles of trails across 5,000 acres of prairie along with live oak trees, mature forest canopies, lakes and marshes along with alligators, birds, and so much more. Bring a picnic and don’t forget to hit the George Observatory after dark for celestial gazing and maybe even a Milky Way sighting as the dessert of the day.

Cowboy up at Mayan Dude Ranch

Where: Bandera

3 hr 30 min drive

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Mayan Ranch in the Cowboy Capital of the World — Bandera — is the closest you’ll get to an authentic Wild West experience because they’re passionate about keeping the traditions of the Texas cowboy alive. While there, you can dude ranch it up and commune with the real cowboys over chuck wagon meals, trail rides, and more. Bring your boots.

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Save the last dance at Gruene Hall

Where: 1281 Gruene Rd., New Braunfels

2 hr 30 min drive

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The oldest operating dance hall in Texas — built in 1878 — is still a legit place to hit the dance floor. The place has seen the likes of many stars including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and George Strait on its stage — and has more famous names on the reg. Bonus points to plan a visit during the third weekend of the month (February through November) for Gruene Market Days, featuring handcrafted products from more than 100 artisans and artists. Pro tip: Gruene is pronounced “Green,” just so you know.

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