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Best Day Trips and Weekend Getaways from Austin

Read time: 9 minutes

We can all agree that Austin is the best city in the world, offering many different activities and events for the perfect day trip, including a visit to a museum and cooling off in its natural swimming holes. Even though Austin is the best city to live in, sometimes we need to go on an adventure not too far away and discover new activities. There are so many places to experience and travel to outside of Austin, so let us make your decision easier and check out our list of day trips and weekend getaways!

Fun Day Trips and Weekend Getaways From Austin:

Admire Artwork at a Nearby Museum

Image of The Blanton Museum of Art

Image Credit: The Blanton Museum of Art

Downtown Austin

If you admire the arts, check out what The Blanton Museum of Art has on its walls! The Blanton Museum of art has nearly 18,000 works of art from across the ages ranging from ancient Greek pottery to abstract expressionism and European paintings to Latin American art. With all these unique pieces, it’s no wonder that The Blanton is one of the best university art museums in the country! You are guaranteed to leave with a greater appreciation for the arts!

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Blanton is closed. But they are offering 360 virtual tours so you can still enjoy looking at amazing work!

BBQ in Lockhart

Image of Black's BBQ

Image Credit: Black’s BBQ

30 Miles from Austin

Before Franklin Barbecue and food trucks like La Barbecue and BBQ Revolution became popular, there was only one place to get the best BBQ near Austin, Black’s BBQ. If you want to get away from Austin for the day and have some amazing barbecue, then head out into BBQ territory in Lockhart! Lockhart is known for their lineage of BBQ stores and dueling families who claim they make the best brisket. That might be the reason why Lockhart is called the BBQ capital of Texas! If BBQ isn’t your thing, then visit one of the haunted schools at night for a scare challenge.

Discover Gruene, Texas

Image of Gruene Hall

Image Credit: Gruene Hall

45-50 Miles from Austin

After floating the Comal River in New Braunfels, grab dinner at the famous restaurant, Gristmill, for delicious food and stunning views of the Comal River. Then put on your cowboy boots for a show at Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall! Once you get tired from dancing, you can go to bed in a cozy cottage at the Comal River Cottages or spend the night at River Road Campgrounds for an average of $25 per night! The next morning, walk around town and buy something at some of the beautiful antique stores or on your way back to Austin, stop by the San Marcos Outlets and save big on hundreds of designers!

Drink New Beers at a Local Brewery

Image of Family Business Beer Company

Image Credit: Family Business Beer Company

Downtown Austin

There are a growing amount of breweries in Austin making it easy to find fantastic local craft beers you don’t want to miss out on! Some include Austin Beerworks, Blackstar Co-op, Blue Owl Brewing, Jester King Brewery, Oasis Texas Brewing Company and more! If there’s too many for you to check out in one day and you don’t want to drive around Austin all day, then check out ATXcursions! They offer public brewery tours, which are great for smaller groups, pairs or single riders and they have custom brewery tours that are perfect for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties, business events and other private events!

Drive Over to Magnolia Market

Image of Magnolia Market

Image Credit: Magnolia Market

102 Miles from Austin

If you love Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper, you should check out their amazing market in Waco, Texas! There’s a little something for everyone at Magnolia Market like shopping, games, the garden and even a bite to eat. Spend time at the lawn with your family and play cornhole, potato sack races, and throw the football around. Joanna’s garden has a wooden teepee to adventure under, and beds filled with seasonal produce and flowers. Let’s not forget the SILOS BAKING CO! Their on-site bakery is filled with Joanna’s personal recipes and hand-picked favorites such as The Silos Cookie, The Prize Pig bacon and cheddar biscuit, and the Nuts & Bolts cupcake!

Explore Sea Animals

Image of Sea World San Antonio

Image Credit: SeaWorld

90 Miles from Austin

If you love animals and sea creatures, then SeaWorld is the perfect place for you! Experience thrilling coasters and extraordinary rides for the whole family from a raft ride to a hyper coaster; SeaWorld San Antonio’s mix of rides are some of the best in Texas. They also have shows that are fun for the whole family like Ocean Discovery and the award-winning, Pets Ahoy. SeaWorld is home to many amazing animals and gives you the perfect opportunity to make a connection and swim alongside a dolphin, beluga whale or sea lion! If you want to spend more than one day at SeaWorld, then stay the night at one of their offical hotel partners for a great price!

Make sure to make a reservation before driving out to SeaWorld!

Glamping and More

Image of Ranch Pillow Motel

Image Credit: Ranch Pillow

75 Miles from Austin

Camping has always been a favorite Austin pastime, but now you can do it in style at Rancho Pillow, known for its unique take on glamping. Glamping is a new glamorous style of camping with amenities and resort-style services you don’t usually get with traditional camping. Located near the tiny town of Round Top, which is known for its annual antique festival, Rancho Pillow has many opportunities to stay in style in everything from a giant teepee to a huge, vintage barn from the 1940’s. Whether you love antiques or want to get away from home in a cool and new style, Rancho Pillow has it all and more!

Go-Kart and More at Austin’s Park n’ Pizza

Image of Austin's Park and Pizza

Image Credit: Austin’s Park and Pizza

15 Miles from Austin

Fill your time with memories and fun times by going to Austin’s Park n’ Pizza! Start your day by tearing around the track in one of their slick track Go Karts! Then test your skills on their 18 hole mini golf courses! After that, get ready to play in the dark in their laser tag arena. There’s a full service 10 lane bowling alley and bowling alley bar games like shuffleboard, pool, and pinball. And when you get hungry, there’s always the great chef-inspired menu options from their bar and grill to try! It’s a great way to spend a summer day or any day!

Pick Fruit at Sweet Berry Farm

Image of Sweet Berry Farm

Image Credit: Sweet Berry Farm

52 Miles from Austin

Bring the kids out, and spend a day picking your own fruit at Sweet Berry Farm! Located just outside Austin in Marble Falls, this cute little farm grows delicious fruits all through the spring and summer, making it the perfect day trip. There’s no need to bring a basket, as they supply them for free on the property! Once you’ve picked enough delicious fruits, cool down with their homemade lemonade, ice cream, and popsicles, made fresh daily. Then, go and meet some of the animals living on the property! Keep in mind that Sweet Berry is closed every Wednesday, and their recommended time of the week is around 10:30 on Thursdays when it’s still cool and not too busy!

Sweet Berry Farm is temporarily closed for the summer. But no worries, they are getting ready for a special fall surprise!

Play Connect the Dots With Swimming Holes

Image of Hamilton Pool

All Around Austin

Central Texas has some pretty amazing swimming holes, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of them during the dog days of summer. So plan a day around these swimming holes and beat the summer heat! This itinerary is perfect for families of all sizes. Start your day off at Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, then drive over to Hamilton Pool (don’t forget to make a reservation first) and, to complete the triangle, finish up at Barton Springs. There are so many more swimming holes in Austin to cool off in, so be sure to check out our list of Austin’s best swimming holes to see more!

Make sure to make a reservation before heading out to swimming holes!

Reach the Summit at Enchanted Rock

Image of Enchanted Rock

Image Credit:

97 Miles from Austin

Just down the road from Fredericksburg is Enchanted Rock, known for its challenging rock cliffs for climbers and massive granite summit overlooking the beautiful park. The park’s most popular hiking path is Summit Trail for its scenery and rock formations. Once you’ve had your fill of hiking, head back into town for some food and a bit of shopping. At Enchanted Rock, there are so many activities you can participate in such as caving, hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing and picnicking! There’s even a rock climbing competition you can participate in as a way to raise money for park conservation!

Make sure to make a reservation before heading out to Enchanted Rock!

Scream Your Head Off on a Roller Coaster

Image of Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Image Credit: Six Flags Fiesta Texas

82 Miles from Austin

Make the most of your day by going to Six Flags Fiesta Texas! Bring your family and friends for thrilling rides and good times! This year, Six Flags has lots of new experiences in store for you with new attractions, premier entertainment, additional shops, new food locations, and updated game stands! Ride their newest roller coaster, the Wonder Woman Golden Lasso! This new roller coaster is the world’s first single I-beam rail coaster with a 90-degree drop, two airtime hills, a 180-degree stall, a zero-G roll, and overbanked wave turns! It’s guaranteed everyone will have a blast!

Make sure to make a reservation before heading out to Six Flags Fiesta Texas!

Slip and Slide at a Waterpark

Image of Hawaiian Falls

All Around Austin

Here in Austin, there’s no shortage of water parks of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s going headfirst down a huge slide, floating in a wave pool, or even just relaxing on the shore, you’ll always be able to find thrills wherever you go. Local classics include Volente Beach, which is located on the shores of Lake Travis, and Schlitterbahn, which is in New Braunfels, has a myriad of wet and crazy water attractions of all kinds, guaranteeing fun for everyone! Recently, water parks have been popping up all over Austin, making sure that no matter where you live, you can always find a fun and new way to cool off. Check out our guide of all Austin waterparks to learn about all the fun ways to spend a hot summer day!

Make sure to check out which water parks are open and which ones are closed before planning a getaway with family and friends!

Take a Ride On a Steam Train

Image of Austin Steam Train

Image Credit: Austin Steam Train

22 Miles from Austin

Climb aboard one of Austin Steam Trains’ vintage trains for an adventure that perfectly blends the past with the present. Austin Steam Train offers a variety of tours with beer and wine tastings, tales of murder mysteries and fun rides. So punch in your ticket and ride on the Bertram Flyer or Hill Country Flyer, and enjoy seeing the Hill Country from a different perspective. You can also bring your kids for a more kid-friendly ride on a Big Adventures Tour with Thomas the Train or take a ride on The Bertram Flyer! Touring with Austin Steam Trains is the perfect way to spend time with your family or have an exciting day trip with friends.

Make sure to make a reservation before taking a ride on the steam train!

Visit the San Antonio Riverwalk

Image of the San Antonio Riverwalk

Image Credit:

77 Miles from Austin

Best way to see the Alamo? Skip the touristy part and stay north of the Riverwalk loop at the chic Hotel Havana (same owners as Hotel San José). Grab a bite at the hotel restaurant, Ocho, then head downstairs for a cocktail in their secret room. After dinner, see a show at the historic Aztec Theatre or enjoy people watching on the Riverwalk where you can take your drink to go! When the clock strikes, midnight don’t forget to stop by the lively bar, Howl at the Moon, for a night of fun by singing pop songs with dueling pianos!

Wine Tasting in the Hill Country

Image of Texas Wine Tours

Image Credit:

80 Miles from Austin

The Hill Country wine region is one of the most visited wine areas in the US with up to 5 million visitors each year. For us Texans, it comes to us as no surprise. There are numerous vineyards to discover, which can take a while. No worries though, Texas Wine Tours has your back! Bring your friends, jump on one of their tour buses or rent one of their limo’s and discover multiple vineyards in one day! You can even customize your tour by stopping by a few of your favorites vineyards like Spicewood Vineyards, Becker Vineyards, and Sister Creek. It’s the perfect way to have super fun bachelorette parties, girlfriend getaways, or large gatherings who want a memorable tour and getaway!

Ziplining in Wimberley

Image of Wimberly Zipline

Image Credit: Wimberly Zipline

40 Miles from Austin

Prepare for high-flying fun as you harness up and glide through the air on Wimberley Zipline’s thrilling, action-packed zipline adventure. This incredible adventure gives you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding hills, meadows, and canyons. Their course consists of 10 zip lines, each line ranging in length from 150 feet to 900 feet for a mile of thrilling zip-line fun! Experience a rush like never before as you soar over canyons and creeks with breathtaking views of the Wimberley Valley!

Map of Day Trips and Weekend Getaways From Austin

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