There's the ongoing joke that you can drive hours and hours in Texas and still never make it out of the state. Some find this tragic, but others understand that a few hours drive in Texas may not take you out of the state, but it will lead you somewhere magical within it.

This summer, it's important to know exactly what those magical places are, and how many of them you can road trip to in one day. Get a group message to your closest friends ready, because there's hundreds of places to go and we've narrowed the list down to the top 15 best road trip destinations in Central Texas.

Enchanted Rock

Price: $7 entrance fee 

Address: 16710 Ranch Rd 965 Fredricksburg, TX 78624

Why you need to go: Enchanted Rock offers incredible views atop their many mountains. Enchanted Rock itself is a must-climb, but there's plenty more trails and hiking to do, and even a cave to go exploring in!

Website: Enchanted Rock

Caverns of Sonora

Price: Adults $18, Children $16

Address: 1711 Pvt Rd 4468, Sonora, TX 76950

Why you need to go: Caverns of Sonora is one of the most stunning caverns in all of Texas. With emerald-colored bodies of water and formations that take hundreds of years to grow, you'll feel like you stepped into another world. 

Website: Caverns of Sonora

San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden

Price: Free! 

Address: 200-414 Alpine, San Antonio, TX 78212

Why you need to go: This garden is filled with flowers, bodies of water, stunning koi fish, and much more. It's super inexpensive to explore and will leave you with tons of beautiful photos. It's near everything exciting in downtown SA!

Website: Japanese Tea Garden 

Hamilton Pool Preserve

Price: $26 per vehicle 

Address: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Why you need to go: Hamilton Pool is a stunning paradise of pools and waterfalls. There's only certain times of the year you can go, so planning ahead is a must. But the summer time is always a safe bet. Be sure to reserve your spot in advance!

Website: Hamilton Pool

The Historic Pearl

Price: Free!

Address: Pearl Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78215

Why you need to go: "The Pearl" as San Antonians like to call it, has more shopping and eateries than most places you'll visit. There's plenty of areas outdoors to explore and play in and even a beautiful hotel that's open to visitors. 

Website: The Historic Pearl

Texas Eiffel Tower

Price: Free!

Address: 2025 S Collegiate Dr, Paris, TX 75460

Why you need to go: Seeing The Texas Eiffel Tower means getting the iconic photo you've always wanted without taking a trip to Paris, France. You'll feel like you've left the country without leaving the state at all! Yee-haw.

Website: Texas Eiffel Tower

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Price: $54.99

Address: 17000 W IH 10, San Antonio, TX 78257

Why you need to go: There's plenty of Six Flags' in the world, but none as friendly and fun as this. Fiesta Texas has tons of crazy and fun rides, and a massive water park to cool off in when it gets too hot!

Website: Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Cascade Caverns  

Price: $19.95

Address: 226 Cascade Cavern, Boerne, TX 78015

Why you need to go: Cascade Caverns has so many unique things to it - like a view of the above ground from underground. Don't forget to pose with the dinosaur while you're there!

Website: Cascade Caverns

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Price: $7

Address: 1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043

Why you need to go: You can find actual dinosaur track remains here! Pose with them or make your own mark, Dinosaur Valley State Park will give you the experience of your lifetime.

Website: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Colorado Bend State Park 

Price: $5

Address: 2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, TX 76824

Why you need to go: This place is perfect to camp, hangout, or just explore! There's tons of trails and almost all of them lead to waterfalls or other treasures.

Website: Colorado Bend State Park

Magnolia Market

Price: Free!

Address: 601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX 76706

Why you need to go: Say what you will about Waco not having much to do, but they do have one of the most incredible markets ever. Magnolia Market has incredible food, awesome shops, and tons of areas to lay out and relax. This place has it all, and people travel from across the country to visit it! 

Website: Magnolia Market

Menger Hotel

Price: Free to tour, $116 a night

Address: 204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205

Why you need to go: Who doesn't love an exciting haunted hotel? If you're road tripping already, you might as well stay somewhere cool... and totally haunted!

Website: Menger Hotel

Pedernales Falls State Park

Price: $6

Address: 2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636

Why you need to go: Pedernales Falls has beautiful swimming areas and waterfalls anywhere you go. If you're lucky, you'll even see horses wandering around with their riders in tow. 

Website: Pedernales Falls State Park

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Price: $24.50

Address: 26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266

Why you need to go: This drive-thru zoo makes it possible to feed and see animals from the comfort of your vehicle. Friendly zebras will approach your windows while you admire the rest of the outdoors!

Website: Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Mount Bonnell

Price: Free!

Address: 3800 Mount Bonnell Dr., Austin, TX 78731

Why you need to go: This incredible location in Austin offers stunning views of the famous Lake Travis. You can sit on top of a massive tree or simply hike around the top and take all of Austin in.

Website: Mount Bonnell

Whichever desination(s) you end up deciding on, you're in for a truly wonderful trip. There's something to enjoy for everyone in the Lone Star State, and as long as you have a full tank of gas and your closest friends with you, you won't be disappointed. 

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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