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8 Best Day Trips from Austin

day trips from austin

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The capitol of Texas is home to one of our greatest national treasures (and no we’re not talking about our  tire subscription service), of course we’re talking about Matthew Mcconaughey who has been appointed as Minister of Culture and owns Austin’s newest sports team, Austin FC.

As iconic an Austinite as Matthew is, he makes up only a small part of what makes Austin so great. Tourists and residents alike, love the lively music scene, Longhorn football, endless bars on 6th street, and delicious restaurants like world famous Franklin’s BBQ. Simply put, it’s a city you’ll never forget. However, some people aren’t fond of the crowds. Many people living or visiting Austin enjoy taking day trips away from the main hustle and bustle of the city. Luckily there are plenty of weekend getaways nearby!

Below are 8 day trips from Austin that you should take. Go ahead and start packing the car once you’re done reading.

1. Canyon Lake

If you’re looking to spend a few days on the water, this is the top pick for the best day trips from Austin. This town has a huge lake perfect for swimming, boating, and any watersport you can think of.

Some say you can even spot a ghost town at the bottom of the lake. See for yourself by renting scuba gear for the day. Keep an eye out for sunken treasures that have been left behind such as bicycles and graveyards.

Are you wanting to cool off in the A/C? Visit The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country.

2. Lockhart

Nothing beats juicy BBQ and cold sweet tea on a hot summer day. Drive the 35 minutes over to Lockhart- the barbecue capital of Texas.

Some local BBQ favorites include Kreuz Market, Black’s Barbecue, and Smitty’s Market. Help your body digest the food by taking a post-lunch stroll around Lockhart State Park or the Caldwell County Jail Museum.

Don’t forget to pop into the Southwest Museum of Clocks & Watches if you enjoy unique collections.

3. San Antonio

History buffs can’t get enough of San Antonio. This town is stuffed with historical landmarks in addition to its buzzing scenery and amazing food. It’s definitely one of the most fun day trips from Austin.

Take a breather on a river cruise if it’s a sweltering hot day, or stroll down the River Walk if there are some clouds in the sky. Then head on over to the Spanish missions to get your history fill.

Do you like art? You’re in luck. There are tons of local artists working in San Antonio who enjoy showing off their creations.

Treat yourself by spending a night in the town to check out the local bars and music scene. Popular bars in the area include The Bang Bang Bar and Sancho’s.

4. Fredericksburg

It’s time to clean up your tires and head to the next adventure. Fredericksburg is only an hour and a half away from Austin.

Don’t be fooled by the small-town charm because there’s plenty to do in this town. It’s a prime spot along the Texas Wine Trail, and it’s well-known for its strong German heritage.

Take the day to explore the local boutiques and art galleries before dining at one of the town’s many fine restaurants. Depending on what weekend you go, you might even catch a small music festival.

Book a hotel room for the evening because you’ll have plenty of fun checking out Fredericksburg’s many wineries.

5. Guadalupe River State Park

For one of the best day trips from Austin, hop into your swimsuit and visit this state park. You’ll love floating down the river in the warm sunshine with your friends and family.

If your friends and family prefer to stay dry, rent fishing gear or ride mountain bikes through the trails. You can even camp out at night in one of the walk-in tent sites.

Learn more about the park by visiting the area’s Discovery Center. The staff can give you a peek into the exciting history of the area.

6. Waco

Dress in green and gold before heading to Waco. It’s the home of Baylor University. (And the Magnolia Market was created by Chip and Joanne Gaines.)

Are you touring the Baylor Campus with one of your kids? Make a whole day trip out of it by exploring the campus and checking out the Dr.Pepper Museum. After the Dr.Pepper Museum, head over to the Mammoth National Monument for a unique photo opportunity before the 2 hours drive home.

7. Enchanted Rock State Park

You’re likely to have seen it on instagram, two hours away from Austin is one of the largest rock formations in the United States. The Enchanted Rock State Park is a massive natural landmark that’s worth exploring.

Wear comfortable hiking shoes because you’ll want to check out the variety of hiking trails the area has to offer. There is also plenty of interesting history in the park that’s connected to Native Americans. If you like keeping an eye out for birds and other small animals, make sure you don’t forget your binoculars. There are plenty of beautiful animals to see during your hike.

8. Georgetown

To continue your adventures into nature, head 35 minutes outside of Austin to Georgetown.

This town has one of the most wonderful town squares that you’ll never get enough of. It also offers the Blue Hole for a cool, daytime swim or the Inner Space Cavern for those who enjoy exploring underground.

End your day with a delicious slice of pie at Monument Cafe, and grab some candy for the drive back home at All Things Kids.

Start Your Engines: The Best Day Trips from Austin

Austin is an incredible city, but it’s nice to get away every once in a while. Try a few spots on the above list to get away from the city hustle.

There’s something for everyone when it comes to day trips from Austin. Check out a state park or river if you enjoy being in the sun, or head to Lockhart if you’re more interested in chowing down. No matter what, you won’t be disappointed.

Before hopping in the car for your day trip, make sure your tires are in top-notch shape. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to Treads. We take care of all of your tire needs with our monthly subscription plans.

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