Top 5 Day Trips from Austin
As much as we love spending time in Austin, here are a few day trip ideas for when you want to get out of the city. The hill country has so much to offer, from wineries, to caves, to rivers, and hiking there are endless opportunities for fun activities.
Fredericksburg: Located only an hour away from Austin, Fredericksburg is a German town in central Texas that is known for its wineries and specialty shops. Some popular wineries include Barons Creek Vineyards, Signor Vineyards, Texas Wine Collective, and Messina Hof Winery which are known for their excellent wine tastings and stunning views. After spending a fun day at the vineyard, make sure to stop by Mainstreet for shopping and great German food! Located just north of Fredericksburg is Enchanted Rock, a granite mountain that covers 640 acres of land and is 425 feet high. With over 11 miles of hiking trails, Enchanted Rock is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Hill Country.
Dripping Springs: Dripping Springs is the perfect place to visit for a fun hill country getaway, only a half hour outside of Austin. Make a reservation at Hamilton pool to escape the summer heat and enjoy the picturesque watering preserve. Don’t forget to stop by one of the many breweries and distilleries that Dripping Springs has to offer – our favorites include the infamous Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery, Dripping Springs Vodka Distillery, Twisted X Brewing Company, and the Bell Springs Winery. For the outdoor-activity enthusiasts, Reimar’s Ranch offers a variety of unique hill country experiences including over 18 miles of beautiful trails to hike or bike along, and 3 miles of Pedernales River frontage to take a dip in. Above the trails, there is horse-back riding, fishing, and a separate area for climbing the big, limestone rock walls that encompass the Ranch. Another quick 30 minute drive out of Dripping Springs and you’ll find yourself at Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood if you’re looking for a delicious taste of Texas cuisine.
New Braunfels: Floating the river is the perfect way to cool off from the hot summer heat. The Comal River is located in New Braunfels,Texas which is approximately 50 minutes from Austin. It takes around 2 hours to float the river but there are multiple spots to stop and get out along the way. Bring your own tubes or rent tubes from Corner Tubes, Texas Tubes, or Comal Rockin R tube rental. While in New Braunfels you must make a stop at Gruene, which is a historic district located inside the city. The area is known for its rustic Texas vibe and is the perfect getaway from the city. Make sure to stop at Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas, known to host popular country musicians, such as Willie Nelson. Next door to Gruene Hall is the famous Gristmill Restaurant which is known for their amazing chicken fried steak and their outside patio that looks over the Guadalupe River. After eating dinner at The Gristmill, head across the street to the Gruene General Store for souvenirs, homemade fudge, and ice cream!
Lockhart: Located between Austin and San Antonio is the small town of Lockhart and is considered the Barbecue Capital of Texas. No trip would be complete to Lockhart without BBQ and we suggest trying Black’s BBQ, Kreuz Market, Smitty’s Market, and Chisholm Trail BBQ. Lockhart is also home to the unique Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches, located right in the town’s square. It’s completely free to visit, but only opens on Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, or by appointment. The charm of this small town continues with the Lockhart State Park, a spot popular for its 9-hole golfing range, swimming pool, and fishing holes (no fishing license required). So much history resides in this state park as it came to fruition during the Great Depression by Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). Explore Lockhart and all it has to offer – you might even find a few scenic places showcased in many Hollywood films and TV shows … like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape!
Wimberley: Less than an hour away from Austin is the beautiful town of Wimberley, TX. If you are an adventurous person and love the water, this is the perfect place for you, with one of the largest underwater caves in Texas. Jacob’s Well is only available via reservation in which guests are granted a 2 hour time slot. Just like Jacob’s Well, the Blue Hole is a naturally-occuring and incredibly popular swimming hole. You also need reservations in advance for the Blue Hole. After plunging into the well, swimming in the surrounding spring, or hiking around the park, take a stop in Wimberley’s town center for boutique shopping and delicious restaurants!