Whether you live in Texas, or you’re planning a visit to the area, there are so many great day trips from Austin. Not only does Austin have a lot to see and do, the surrounding area offers just as much. You’ll find great food, activities, hiking, shopping and more!
From small towns, to lakes (well rivers actually), to other metropolitan areas, I’ve compiled my top 10 easy day trips from the capital of Texas.
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Day Trips from Austin - Heading West
1. Dripping Springs, Texas
Just a short 40-minute drive outside of Austin, Dripping Springs, is perfect for adding to your day trips from Austin list. Littered with breweries, distilleries, and wineries this area is the perfect spot to be outdoors, enjoy a beverage, and relax.
Food in Dripping Springs focuses on pizza, BBQ, and tacos. Visit Pieous for some world-renowned Neapolitan pizza, try BBQ at Alice’s restaurant on-site at Treaty Oak Distilling, or tacos and Tex-Mex at Flores.
You’ll also find outdoor adventure and beauty in this area. Hamilton Pool is a gorgeous place for swimming and hiking in Dripping Springs. Reservations are required, so make sure to check their website in advance.
Hamilton Pool Address: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Distance from Austin: 23 miles, about 40 minutes.
2. Johnson City, Texas
Continue along 290 West just a few more miles from Dripping Springs and you’ll reach Johnson City, Texas. For a unique day trip from Austin visit the Exotic Zoo in the area! Visitors drive through the zoo in their car and can feed some of the animals right from the window.
Things to do in Johnson City continue in the town center. For a bit of history, check out Lyndon B Johnson’s boyhood home where you can take a free tour. Afterward, there are several wine tasting rooms within walking distance. Last, grab a meal at Bryan’s on 290 or Pecan Street Brewing.
The Exotic Resort Zoo: 235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City, TX 78636
LBJ’s Boyhood Home: 200 E Elm St, Johnson City, TX 78636
Distance from Austin: 48 Miles, about 1 hour.
3. Fredericksburg, Texas
Take a day trip from Austin to the Texas Hill Country to Fredericksburg, about an hour and a half west out of town. The Texas Wine Trail along 290 offers more than 50 wineries to taste wine at. Downtown Fredericksburg has become the epicenter of the area with lots of restaurants, shops, wine tasting rooms, and more.
For Hiking in the Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is a great location. Bring a picnic and hike the massive pink granite dome for amazing views of the area. Camping at Enchanted Rock is also an option. You’ll need reservations for any visit, check their website for more details.
If you want to stay longer than a day, which I recommend to fully experience the area, I have a few recommendations on where to stay in Fredericksburg.
Distance from Austin: 78 Miles, about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
4. Lake Travis
Another popular day trip from the central Austin area is out to Lake Travis. Austinites love spending time on the water boating, doing water sports, or swimming.
Lake Travis, which is really just a controlled section of the Colorado River, can be reached within about 30 minutes of Austin. Several companies will rent boats or water sports equipment to you either hourly or daily. Check out Float On – Lake Travis Boat Rentals. For food on Lake Travis, dock your boat at the Sundancer Grill and enjoy a burger and a cocktail on the patio. When you’re done boating, stop for some shopping at the Hill Country Galleria.
Sundancer Grill: 16410 Stewart Rd, Lakeway, TX 78734
Hill Country Galleria: 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave, TX 78738
Lake Travis distance from Austin: 19 miles, about 35 minutes.
Day Trips from Austin - South
5. Wimberley, Texas
South of Austin, Wimberley is a fun spot to visit for a day trip. Along the Blanco river in downtown Wimberley, you can stroll along and visit the tiny shops and restaurants. Shopping in Wimberley you’ll find clothing, gifts, antiques, kitchen supplies, and more.
If swimming in Wimberley is what you’re looking for, plan to visit Jacob’s Well. A beautiful underwater cave, this swimming spot has become pretty popular and requires reservations. The gorgeous blue-green water and deep hole to jump into are something to see!
Jacob’s Well Address: 1699 Mt Sharp Rd, Wimberley, TX 78676
Distance from Austin: 38 miles, about 45 minutes.
6. Natural Bridge Caverns
Texas is home to several caves and caverns to explore, one of the best being Natural Bridge Caverns. Open daily, the caverns are a neat site to tour. They offer several tours including a Discovery Tour and Hidden Passages Tour, as well as a combo of both.
Above the cavern, you’ll find plenty of Austin day trip things to do! Try your balance and agility on the zip rails and ropes course (they have a separate course for smaller children too), test your problem-solving skills in the 5000 square foot maze, or go mining for gems and fossils. They also have food on-site when all these activities make you hungry.
Natural Bridge Caverns Address: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266
Distance from Austin: 67 miles, about 1 hour and 10 minutes
7. Boerne, Texas
A small town just north of San Antonio, Boerne is a good day trip from San Antonio or Austin. Some of the things to do in Boerne include Cibolo Nature Center with hiking and a wildlife preserve, Cave Without A Name that features a six-room cave, and Boerne City Lake Park surrounding Boerne Lake.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there are some great spots for food in Boerne, Texas. Check out Cibolo Creek Brewing for a meal and craft beer, or Peggy’s on the Green for elevated Southern food.
Cibolo Nature Center Address: 140 City Park Rd, Boerne, TX 78006
Cave Without A Name Address: 325 Kreutzberg Rd, Boerne, TX 78006
Distance from Austin: 97 miles, about 1 hour and 40 minutes
8. San Antonio, Texas
Did you know that San Antonio is only a little over an hour south of Austin? There are many options for things to do in San Antonio, but I’ll outline the top things to see if you only have one day.
Downtown San Antonio offers the most bang for your buck if you have limited time. Start your day visiting The Alamo in the center of town, a historic Spanish mission, and the site of the Battle of the Alamo. If you like history, continue to the historic San Fernando Cathedral built in the 1730s. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling the Riverwalk, and maybe even hop on a Riverwalk boat tour! Don’t miss La Villita, a historic arts village where you’ll find unique San Antonio Riverwalk shopping.
The Alamo Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
Distance from Austin: 80 miles, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Day Trips from Austin - North/East
9. Waco, Texas
Home to Baylor and Chip and Joanna Gaines, Waco is a fun location to add to your day trips from Austin list. North of Austin about an hour and a half, you can easily visit this town in one day.
To get your Waco shopping fix, Magnolia Silos is a destination in and of itself. With a store curated by Joanna Gaines, food trucks out back, and a bakery on-site, you can spend a few hours just in this location. Afterward, you can head over to the Dr. Pepper Museum which is located downtown in a historic bottling building.
Magnolia Silos Address: 601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX 76706
Dr. Pepper Museum Address: 300 S 5th St, Waco, TX 76701
Distance from Austin: 102 miles, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
10. Round Top, Texas
Round Top is the perfect day trip for antique lovers. This area is home to a twice-yearly Texas antique market that stretches for miles and miles up Route 237, but don’t worry antiques can still be found at local Round Top shops when the market is not happening.
Start the day by grabbing some food at Royers Round Top Cafe to fuel you up for all that shopping. Shops to include on your tour are the Junk Gypsy Company, Old Depot Antiques, and Townsend Provisions.
Distance from Austin: 80 miles, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Which day trips from Austin are you planning? Let me know in the comments!
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