The Top 7 Ideas for Day Trips in Texas
Just given how big Texas is, it’s no surprise there are so many pockets in the state that are full of wonder, excitement, and charm. However, we understand how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your life in your city and forget to make time to explore other areas.
If you are looking for a refreshing escape from the summer heat or something new to do during the winter months, a day trip is a perfect solution. While there are countless spots to visit in Texas, we have come up with a list of our favorite destinations.
Each of these locations holds its own special charm, so which destination you visit will depend on your interests and the time of year. These gorgeous locales won’t be too far away from home, with most of them sitting just within an hour’s drive from your city.
After you start exploring the hidden gems of Texas, you will probably find it hard to pull yourself away. Don’t fret — we have all the information you need to make your day trip into a relaxing weekend getaway.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
On the outskirts of San Antonio sits an immersive wildlife ranch that is fun for the entire family. The main attraction of this wildlife ranch is the safaris they provide, right in the heart of Texas.
After signing up for a Safari Adventure Tour, you will be taken onto a caravan or bus and driven through countless acres of Texas Hill Country, admiring the view and seeing how many animals you can spot as you pass through.
The animals located on the ranch are there for conservation purposes, and common sightings include antelopes, giraffes, bison, monkeys, ostriches, and more.
As the Irish capital of Texas, Dublin welcomes you with a sign in the shape of a four-leaf clover immediately upon driving into the town. Located about two and a half hours North of Austin, this small town boasts a lot of charm and opportunities for adventure.
If you love the aesthetics of old soda bottles and soda shops, take a tour with Dublin Bottling Works to learn more about the process and bottle your own soda. Dublin used to be home to some of the most popular Texas rodeos, so be sure to check out the Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum to get a better sense of the town’s impressive history.
Lastly, pick up some Irish souvenirs at Things Celtic located in their quaint downtown.
Just two hours away from Austin, College Station is most known for being home to Texas A&M University. However, even as a non-student, there is so much to discover.
Messina Hof is known as the area’s resident winery, and it’s the perfect place to explore a vineyard, have a wine-tasting experience, and get a front-row seat to watch part of the wine-making process. The most loved restaurant in College Station is Dixie Chicken, a charming spot for fried chicken, domino games, and pool tournaments.
In November and December, fill up on the Christmas spirit at Santa’s Wonderland, a holiday fair with Christmas-themed food, crafts, carriage rides, music, and more.
Located near San Antonio, this Hill Country spot is the perfect destination for outdoor exploration. New Braunfels sits on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers, making water activities one of the biggest draws for tourism.
Visit Landa Park to swim in or take a paddle boat out on Landa Lake. When you’re finished with the water, take a hike on their scenic trails or get your heart pumping on their tennis and volleyball courts.
To end the day with an activity that screams small-town charm, head to Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre. There is nothing more picturesque than pulling up in your car, buying some snacks, and watching the sunset as your favorite movie plays on a big screen in the background.
Fredericksburg is one of the most visited spots in Texas Hill Country due to its natural beauty and charming businesses and attractions. And speaking of charming attractions, Wildseed Farms is a wildflower farm that is filled to the brim with colorful flowers and shrubbery, making a walk through the park feel like a fairytale.
Stroll down the walking trails, visit the butterfly gardens, and pick up some plants, seeds, or treats at their gift shop for a wholesome, picturesque afternoon.
For a combination of outdoor and indoor excitement, visit Das Peach Haus to stroll their food market, pick out a few treats, and enjoy them on their beautiful deck that overlooks a serene pond.
If you are in the mood to shop or stop at a family-owned restaurant, take a walk down Main Street, and you will have more options that you will know what to do with.
Located just southwest of Austin, also in Hill Country, is Dripping Springs, known as the “Wedding Capital of Texas,” due to its countless beautiful backdrops. If you are traveling during the summer months and are escaping the city to hopefully cool off, spend the day at Hamilton Pool Preserve.
This spring-fed swimming pool sits below a 50-foot waterfall and beside stunning limestone slabs that are covered in moss. As you float below the waterfall and jump off the rocks into the crystal-clear water, you may forget you’re even in Texas.
For a picturesque happy hour, head to Treaty Oak Distillery, located on a 28-acre ranch right outside of Dripping Springs. Sip on your favorite glass of wine or craft beer as you watch the sunset from their open-air bar.
Pedernales Falls State Park
This Hill Country State Park is situated just West of Austin and offers every outdoor experience you could ever ask for. The park is centered around the Pedernales River, which flows through large slabs of limestone rock, which makes it the perfect spot for hiking and water activities.
A section of the river is marked off for swimming, but to get there you must complete a .25-mile hike that is fairly strenuous. Thankfully, jumping in the cool, clean water after the hike will be the exhilarating and refreshing reward for a trail well-traveled.
There is a range of hiking trails in the park, including the .5-mile Twin Falls Nature Trail which is doable for any level of hiker and takes you to an overlook that gives you a memorable view of the entire park. If you are looking for something a little more challenging, tackle the six-mile Wolf Mountain Trail and walk through forested areas and along small canyons, stopping at Arrowhead Pool on the way to cool yourself off with splashes of water.
Extending Your Day Trip
With so many charming spots existing right around San Antonio and Austin, you can easily see something new and get a breath of fresh air within a day trip. However, once you start exploring the outdoors, you might not be ready to jump right back into city life; you might want to turn your day trip into a weekend getaway.
Where to Stay
Located in the heart of Hill Country, Collective Retreats has created an ideal oasis with a high-end outdoor resort experience that immerses you in nature without sacrificing comfort.
Our most popular accommodation, the Summit Tent, is nothing like the tents you pitched on a camping trip as a kid. These tents are more like accommodations in a five-star resort with fully functioning heating and air conditioning to keep you comfortable no matter what time of year, full electrical hookups, and an en-suite bathroom stocked with spa-quality products.
After a full day of exploring, hiking, and swimming, the Summit Tent offers either a king bed or two double bed configurations that all come with 1500 thread count linens, luxurious duvets, and Texas-inspired woven textiles.
You won’t want to miss a moment of admiring the Hill Country beauty, so each Summit Tent comes with a private deck located just outside your front door, with lounge chairs for optimal comfort. Step out in the morning with your coffee to watch the sunrise, or bring a blanket out at night to count the stars after a successful day of activities.
Once you extend your trip and stay at the Collective Retreats ranch, you will unlock access to many different experiences that will get you further acquainted with Texas Hill Country.
Spend your day hiking on the two trails located just steps away from your tent or on horseback during a two-hour tour of the ranch. There are also activities offered that are focused on your well-being, including daily sunrise yoga, sound meditation sessions, and massages.
Take The Trip
Don’t let the wonders of Texas go undiscovered; be sure to schedule some time in your schedule for a nature-filled getaway that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and grateful for your home state.
Whether you choose to spend your days in small businesses, swimming holes, wineries, or wildflower farms, you can rely on Collective Retreats to provide you with high-end amenities to give you the space to properly recharge for the next day.