Texas road trips

Austin

19 Best Road Trips From Austin

January 20, 2021

Best Road Trips From Austin

Austin is named one of the best cities to live in and with it being in Central Texas makes the city a great starting point for road trips. 

SEE ALSO: 45 Top Things To Do In Austin, Texas

I’ve rounded up the best day trips and overnight trips from Austin sorted by North, South, East, and West!


Road trips west of Austin

Goats at Jester King Brewery in Austin Texas

Dripping Springs

Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin, Dripping Springs is an option for dinner (I just went for dinner at Camp Lucy last week!) Dripping Springs is one of my favorite weekend getaways from Austin for all the outdoor activities that are both dog and family-friendly.

Driving distance from Austin: 25 miles west (30 minutes) 

Points of interest:

 

Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls Texas

Marble Falls

This laid-back town is known for boating, fishing, golfing, hunting, camping, swimming, bird-watching, and geology.

Driving distance from Austin: 48.4 miles northwest

Points of interest:

  • Sweet Berry Farm – we shot the photo above during their wildflower festival in October 
  • Blue Bonnet Cafe
  • Granite Mountain
  • Dead Man’s Hole
  • Lake Marble Falls
  • Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
  • Save The World Brewing Co
  • Johnson Park
  • Galleries at Pecan Creek

 

Krause Springs in Austin Texas

Spicewood

I go swimming in Krause Springs at least once every summer but to be honest, I haven’t explored much of the area.

Driving distance from Austin: 35.6 miles northwest

Points of interest:

  • Krause Springs – 115-acre property has 32 springs (see also: 11 Best Swimming Holes in Austin)
  • Pace Bend Park
  • Spicewood Vineyards
  • Stone House Vineyard
  • Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area
  • El Gaucho Winery
  • Iron Wolf Ranch and Distillery
  • Crystal Creek Distillery
  • Silvers Trails

 

Peach orchard Gold Orchards in Stonewall Texas

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is the most popular road trip from Austin and people love this German-influenced town in the middle of Texas for the scenic views of hill country and vineyards. Did you know the Texas Hill Country is home to over 100 wineries and vineyards? Peach season is mid-May through mid-August and grape stomping happens in August.

Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles west (one hour and 30 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • Enchanted Rock – 11 miles of hiking trails
  • LBJ National Historical Park
  • Fredericksburg Wine Road 290
  • Pick-your-own-peach farms
  • Bluebonnet season peaks in late March and early April

RELATED: 7 Top Things To Do In Stonewall Texas

 

Prada Marfa store in Marfa Texas | things to do in Marfa

Marfa

Finally made the trip out to West Texas in 2020 to Marfa and Terlingua – the 7 hour drive honestly wasn’t as bad! Check out my guide to top things to do in Marfa if you’re planning a trip.

Driving distance from Austin: 429 miles west

Points of interest:

  • Prada Marfa
  • Marfa Lights Viewing Area
  • Marfa Mystery Lights
  • Stargaze the Milky Way

 

Abandoned building in Terlingua Texas

Terlingua 

We also went to Terlingua on the same West Texas road trip. Here’s my guide to things to do in Terlingua.

Driving distance from Austin: 485 miles west

Points of interest:

  • Big Bend National Park (26.18 miles)
  • Rio Grande

 

 Chilies in New Mexico

New Mexico

If you’re already in Terlingua, you might as well make the 8-hour drive via US Hwy 285 N to New Mexico! Here’s my guide to New Mexico on Albuquerque, Sante Fe, and Taos.

Driving distance from Austin: 637.6 miles west (10 hours)

Points of interest:

  • Los Poblanos in Albuquerque
  • Canyon Road in Sante Fe
  • White Sands National Monument
  • Meow Wolf
  • Ojo Caliente
  • Ten Thousand Waves
  • Earthship Visitor Center in Taos
  • Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Road trips south of Austin

San Marcos

Located south of Austin is San Marcos you’re looking to do some shopping!

Driving distance from Austin: 31 miles south (40 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • San Marcos River
  • San Marcos Premium Outlets
  • Tanger Outlets

 

Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley Texas

Photo by Ready Set Jet Set

Wimberley

Another one of my favorite weekend getaways from Austin is the small, quaint town of Wimberley. You can easily walk around the town square and visit the local shops and boutiques. Don’t miss Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole while you’re there.

Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles south (45 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • Bella Vista Ranch
  • Jacob’s Well
  • Blue Hole Regional Park (above)

 

The Pearl in San Antonio

San Antonio

I don’t go to San Antonio too often but I really should! I just went to San Antonio for a quick day trip at the beginning of the year and was impressed by how much The Pearl area has developed. We spent the day lounging on the grass at The Pearl while eating Mexican food from the new food hall there.

Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles south (1 hour 15 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • The Alamo
  • Riverwalk
  • The Pearl
  • San Antonio Botanical Gardens
  • San Antonio Missions 

 

New Braunfels

New Braunfels was founded in the 1840s by German settlers so it keeps a lot of that small-town charm. 

Driving distance from Austin: 48.3 miles south

Points of interest:

  • Float the Guadalupe and Comal rivers
  • New Braunfels Farmers Market
  • Krause’s Biergarten & Cafe
  • Phoenix Saloon – the first bar in Texas to serve women
  • Comal Inn

 

Lockhart

If you’re making the trip down to South Texas, make sure to stop in Lockhart for some barbecue!

Driving distance from Austin: 30 miles south

Points of interest:

  • Black’s Barbecue
  • Kreuz Market
  • Lockhart Chishole Trail Bar-B-Q
  • Smitty’s Market

 

Corpus Christi beach

Port Aransas

I’m from South Texas and haven’t been back to the area since high school. I did a mini vacay to Corpus Christi last summer to stay at Lively Beach and loved the beach getaway. 

Driving distance from Austin: 251.9 miles south (3 hour 45 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • Port Aransas Beach
  • The Port Aransas Ferry System
  • Mustang Island State Park
  • San Jose Island

Road trips north of Austin

Things to do in Salado Texas

Salado

Salado is a small town located just north of Austin and I would recommend this for a weekend getaway when the weather is cooler. I stayed at Stagecoach Inn during the summer and wished the weather was cooler so I could walk around the town square. Fun fact: Salado was first incorporated in 1867 for the sole purpose of building a bridge across Salado Creek.

Driving distance from Austin: 51 miles north (50 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • Stay at the historic Stagecoach Inn
  • Salado Glassworks
  • Mud Pies Gallery
  • Barrow Brewing Company
  • Salado Museum & College Park
  • Boutique shops in Salado Square – Magnolias of Salado (13 specialty shops under one roof), Classics on Main
  • The Shoppes on Main
  • Salado Winery Co.
  • Salado Legends
  • Mill Creek Country Club

 

Waco

This little town in north of Austin has been put on the map thanks to Fixer Upper stars Joanna and Chip Gaines.

Driving distance from Austin: 101.9 miles north (1 hour 35 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • Fixer Upper stars Joanna and Chip Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos
  • Waco Mammoth site
  • Dr Pepper Museum

 

Dallas

I’ve been to the Dallas and Plano area a couple of times in the past and need to make a trip back. Here’s my guide to 18 Best Restaurants In Plano Texas.

Driving distance from Austin: 195 miles north (2 hours 50 minutes)

Points of interest:

  • Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Klyde Warren Park
  • Eat & explore Lower Greenville

Road trips east of Austin

Rancho Pillow Hotel In Round Top Texas

Round Top

I love going to the Round Top for the weekend or even week! I’ve been out there 3-4 times now so I’ve put together a guide to Round Top with everything you need to know on where to stay, eat, and do. 

Driving distance from Austin: 80 miles east (1 hour 20 mins)

Points of interest:

  • Junk Gypsy 
  • Round Top Antiques Show 
  • Round Top Vintage Market
  • Royers Pie Haven 

 

Houston

I’ll be honest with you guys that I don’t know too much about Houston other than Chinatown so let’s circle back 🙂

Driving distance from Austin: 165.4 miles east (2 hours and 30 minutes)

Points of interest: 

  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Chinatown
  • Minute Maid Park
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Houston Zoo
  • The Galleria
  • Cockrell Butterfly Center
  • Rodeo Houston or Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

 

Brennan's in New Orleans 

New Orleans

I love NOLA especially in early February or the fall when the weather is cooler. Here are my guides on New Orleans:

Ultimate Guide To New Orleans French Quarter

17 New Orleans Best Restaurants You Have To Eat At

9 Top Things To Do In New Orleans During Mardi Gras

Where to Stay In NOLA: Ace Hotel New Orleans

Driving distance from Austin: 511.4 miles east (8 hours)

Points of interest:

  • Explore the French Quarter
  • Whitney Plantation Tour
  • Bike the Garden District
  • Jackson Square
  • Cafe du Monde
  • District Donuts
  • St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
  • Drink a Hurricane cocktail

RELATED: 7 Top Things To Do In Hot Springs Arkansas

Round Top
Spicewood
Fredericksburg
Marfa
Terlingua
Wimberley
San Antonio
Port Aransas
Check out my other content @atasteofkoko on Jumprope.

WRITTEN BY:

Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.

SHARE THIS POST


Follow on instagram
@atasteofkoko

shares