The first day of summer is officially here, which means that road trip season is in full swing. The days are flying by, and before you know it, you'll be back stuck in the classroom, or working 9-5 every day.

If you're like us, and are feeling eager to take advantage of this sweet Texas sunshine, we've got a treat for you. While Austin is an amazing city with plenty to offer, sometimes you've got to get outside your comfort zone and try something new.

The following is a list of amazing places that are just a short drive from Austin. Next time you've got a day, or even a weekend to spare, plan to check a few of them out with your friends, family, or loved ones:

Chow down on some BBQ in Lockhart

@vincentcrossembedded via  

Time from Austin: 45 minutes

The city of Lockhart is known for their insane BBQ, so we highly recommend you make a stop there. Local favorites include Smitty's Market, Kreuz Market, and Black's Barbecue, so there's no shortage of options for you to pig out on.

Website


Spend the day on the water at Canyon Lake

@shannon_remyembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 40 minutes

The weather outside is hotter than Channing Tatum's smile, so you'll definitely need to take some time to cool down. The best way to do that? Spend a day at Canyon Lake. Try boating, paddle boarding, or simply floating down the water for a super relaxing day.

Website


Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

@melodychebrellanembedded via  

Time from Austin: 20 minutes

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center looks like a scene out of your favorite romance movie. There are over 7,000 unique flowers to be admired and the center is known for hosting unique events worth checking out.

Website


Go for a hike through Pedernales Falls State Park

@go4giftembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

Even if you're the kind of person who feels out of breath after a short climb up the stairs, we still recommend you head out to Pedernales Falls State Park to take a hike. There are trails for all levels of expertise, as well as swimming holes where you can take a soak and cool down.

Website


Hangout in the giant trees at Rio Frio

@julianna_rodriguezembedded via  

Time from Austin: 3 hours

Those childhood days of playing in treehouses may feel like old news but a quick trip out to Rio Frio can help you relive them. Apart from the giant trees, there's also an incredibly picturesque body of water nearby where you can splash around.

Website


Go floating down the creek in Krause Springs

@brittney.guilbeauembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

Krause Springs is just a short drive away from Austin and it's a great place to spend a hot summer day. You'll find 34 springs, a waterfall, and a natural pool at the springs—perfect for floating, swimming or sunbathing.

Website


Go wine-tasting at Duchman Family Winery

@ivoriesembedded via  

Time from Austin: 45 minutes

Let's be real, sometimes a glass of wine after a long, stressful day is the best way to relax. If you're looking for new wineries to visit, we recommend Duchman Family Winery in Fredericksburg. 


Check out the San Antonio River Walk

@sophers_smoresembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes

San Antonio is another great Texas city that has plenty of offer and is just a short drive from Austin. If you want to make the most of your trip, we recommend checking out the San Antonio River Walk. Here you can walk or float past all the unique restaurants, shops, and people. 

Website


Go rock climbing in Enchanted Rock State Park

@enitzyembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes

If you're into rocks Enchanted Rock State Park just so happens to be home to one of the largest natural rock formations found anywhere in the U.S. Here you can challenge yourself to climb the massive rocks, watch some wildlife, or even camp out overnight.

Website


Go dancing at Gruene Hall

@rhondaloembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

Gruene Hall is the oldest dance hall in Texas, so it's definitely worth putting on your dancing shoes and heading there at least once! Even if you don't know how to two-step, Gruene Hall may just be the best place for you to learn.

Website


Spend the day in your swimsuit at Lake Travis

@natalieemariee__embedded via  

Time from Austin: 45 minutes

You know how the saying goes: suns out, buns out! While the bright summer sunshine is here, take advantage of it and be sure to plan at least a few trips to the lake. Lake Travis is a great spot for diving, boating, water skiing, sun tanning, and more.

Website


Explore the caves of Longhorn Cavern State Park

@alisonmarlboroughembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 30 minutes

The caves at Longhorn Cavern State Park will definitely bring out your inner Indiana Jones. Not only are they fun and interesting to explore, they're also super picturesque.

Website


Soak up the sun on the infamous Guadalupe River

@taylordvasekembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

If you head to the city of New Braunfels you'll find amazing access to the Guadalupe River. New Braunfels is also the spot where "floating the Guad" was invented, so we're willing to be it's also the best spot to get your float on.

Website


Explore the small town of San Marcos

@bailey_oconnembedded via  

Time from Austin: 45 minutes

When you live in the big city sometimes you've just got to get away from it all! The small town of San Marcos is one of the most popular in Texas, especially for tourists, but if you don't mind being in the back of the occasional photograph, it's a totally awesome place to kick back and relax.

Website


Go cliff jumping at Jacob's Well

@therealshantelembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

Ready to get your adrenaline pumping? Jumping from the top of Jacob's Well is easily one of the scariest feelings in the world, but also one of the most exhilarating. Apart from jumping, there are also other gorgeous natural areas to explore, and plenty of natural pools to cool off in. 

@jennm84_embedded via  

Website


Take a guided safari tour of the Exotic Resort Zoo

@mal.webbembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 15 minutes

It's not quite an African Safari but it's probably the closest thing you'll find in Texas. Get up close with your favorite animals with the guided safari tour offered by the Exotic Resort Zoo. You can kiss a camel, pet a baby giraffe, and take a selfie with a goat, all in the same day.

Website


Wander through the flowers at Wildseed Farms

@melodievuongembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Wildseed Farms is an incredibly beautiful spot. If you want to be let in on a little secret, we've heard that bright flowers and refreshing smells make for a particularly great hangover cure. Make the trip out on a Sunday afternoon after a Saturday night out and get ready to feel like a brand new person.

Website


Learn something new at the Waco Mammoth National Monument

@jonathanhawkinsestatesembedded via  

Time from Austin: 2 hours

If you've ever wanted to learn more about mammoths than what you saw in Ice Age now you can! The Waco Mammoth National Monument is home to the nation's only recorded discovery of Columbian Mammoths. Check out the bones, learn some fun facts, and explore the nearby area.

Website


Take your dog for a walk, or float, in Blanco State Park

@emilyblincoeembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Even if you don't love the great outdoors, your dog does, and you should probably take him outside to enjoy them! Take that pupper to Blanco State Park to go for a walk or a float if your pup doesn't mind relaxing on the water.

Website


Catch a movie at the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre

@catcherintheryeneembedded via  

Time from Austin: 45 minutes

Dinner and a movie is never a bad date idea, but why not spice it up a little and visit a drive-in movie? Load up the back of your truck with blankets, pillows, and snacks, and get ready to enjoy a film with your s/o or best friend.

Website


Pick up some fresh fruit at Sweet Berry Farm

@anjalignembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 15 minutes

There's no better feeling than eating some fresh fruit on a hot summer day, but there's something even more satisfying about enjoying said fruit when you've picked it yourself! If you make the trip to Sweet Berry Farm you can hang out amongst the flowers and pick your own sweet, fresh berries.

Website


Take a stroll around the beautiful Hamilton Pool Preserve

@ashsalihhembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

If you want to be around the water, but don't want to deal with the hassle of getting wet, why not head to the Hamilton Pool Preserve and take a walk around? There are plenty of amazing photo ops and sights to see!

Website


Watch the bats take off from Old Tunnel State Park

@instagramtexasembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes

If you find yourself longing for Halloween we recommend heading to Old Tunnel State Park where you can watch three million bats take flight at dusk during the summer months.

Website


Cool off with a hard lemonade from Deep Eddy Vodka in Dripping Springs

@marcelo05sembedded via  

Time from Austin: 30 minutes

Sometimes you just need a shot of vodka. Or three. Deep Eddy's Vodka Distillery, located in Dripping Springs, has an abundance of drinks that should be on your radar. Sample unique vodka flavors, find a new favorite vodka, or order a flight.

Website


Hang out in Colorado Bend State Park

@jarrod209embedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Next time you and all your friends have a weekend off (if you're ever lucky enough for that to happen), plan a day trip out to Colorado Bend State Park. Get ready to pitch a tent, roast some marshmallows, and swat away mosquitos in the Texas sunshine all day long.

Website


Do some exploring around the city of Georgetown

@gtxphotofestembedded via  

Time from Austin: 40 minutes

If you want to get away from Austin why not make a trip over to Georgetown? Georgetown is home to one of the most beautiful town squares in Texas, as well as some unique shopping and dining experiences for you to enjoy.

Website


Do some shopping at the Magnolia Market

@rufusw126embedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes

There's no better feeling than lazily strolling through a market on a Sunday afternoon. If you agree with me then you should definitely plan a trip out to Magnolia Market. Whether you plan on spending money or not, it's still a great opportunity to mingle with other Texans, sample local goodies, and get out of the city for awhile.

Website


Visit the Hill Country Science Mill

@freshhfrankembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour

Remeber that feeling of excitement you would get while doing an experiment in science class as a kid? A trip to the Science Mill in Johnson City will make you feel that all over again. It's a great spot for people of all ages and always gives you the opportunity to learn something new.

Website


Check out the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco

@sammithacherembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 45 minutes

As the inventors of Dr. Pepper called the Lone Star State home, it would only make sense that there be a museum dedicated to it in Texas. If you find yourself in Waco, be sure to stop by the museum and learn a bit about the history of your favorite (or least favorite) drink.

Website


Snap some photos of the Waterfalls in McKinney Falls State Park

@oklasoonersfanembedded via  

Time from Austin: 20 minutes

If you don't have time to get too far from Austin McKinney Falls is a great option. It's just a brief 20-minute drive outside of the city and offers a beautiful body of water, some waterfalls, and hiking trails for you to check out.

Website


Discover everything that truly is Texas in Luckenbach

@thetrendytomboyembedded via  

Time from Austin: 1 hour and 30 minutes

It's been said that Luckenbach is the heart and soul of Texas. So, if you want to see if that's true, hit the road and find out. The tiny town has a crazy history and was made famous by none other than Willie Nelson.

Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Log Out