In a giant city that has no shortage of diverse food, things to do, and festivals, it's hard to find a reason to leave Houston. But sometimes life is better with a little bit of spontaneity—and Texas is full of wonders that are waiting to be explored. So you can justify it sometimes, I guess. So if you are going to leave Houston, you have to do it right. Here are 7 great places that are less than 3 hours away to still be back in town in time to eat dinner at your favorite local hot spot.

Surfside Beach

Time To Get There: 1 hour

Why you need to go: Relax on the beach, or even take a cool horseback ride along the beach for an unforgettable experience and view.

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Rusk, TX

Time To Get There: 2 hours and 37 minutes

Why you need to go: In this quaint small town of Texas, you can visit the second-longest footbridge in the country and take a magical train ride through the scenic land.

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Kemah, TX

Time To Get There: 41 minutes

Why you need to go: To walk the beautiful boardwalk, ride the Kemah attractions, and even check out this super eccentric restaurant

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Austin, TX

Time To Get There: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Why you need to go: It's the next best thing to Houston, just a little weirder. Visit the Capitol, check out some cool places, or even get serenaded while floating a river in August.

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Port Arthur, TX

Time To Get There: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Why you need to go: See what the cajun food hype here is all about and even take a Port Arthur ghost tour if you dare.

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Davy Crockett National Forest

Time To Get There: 2 hours

Why you need to go: This forest is a whopping 160,000-acre wonderland with hammock spots and a stunning swimming hole.

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San Antonio, TX

Time To Get There: 2 hours and 55 minutes

Why you need to go: Explore the riverwalk for a nice date, see the Alamo again so you never forget it, and visit the exciting Six Flags: Fiesta Texas. You also have to check out their stunning Japanese Tea Garden.

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Alright, so now you have plenty of things to do and see without straying too far from home for a last-minute trip to end your summer. For now at least.

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