14 Day Trips From Austin Under 100 Miles Away

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I think it’s safe to say that our travel plans for 2020 are completely kaput. Anyone else? We had some grand times ahead, but now we’re stuck at home and practicing social distancing. (But I’m still trying to come up with lots of fun things to do in Austin during quarantine!)

Rather than mourning the epic global trips that can’t be (phew, but I’m thankful I snuck in that international trip with my baby in early 2020!), I’m choosing to get excited about something else: day trips from Austin! Because, y’all, there are some really good places to visit are easy drives from downtown Austin. 

These little Texas towns have character, food, ice-cold swimming holes, and beautiful hotels (just in case you decide to turn your day trip into a weekend trip from Austin.) I grew up in Texas, so I’ve been visiting these little towns my entire life. And now that I have a family and my own baby boy, I’m excited to introduce my son to these cities near Austin.


ALSO SEE: 27 Ideas To Celebrate Your Birthday At Home


All 14 of these day trips from Austin are under 100 miles away downtown Austin, so you can easily drive there in the morning, enjoy a full day exploring, and get home by bed time. I’m listing them from closest (17 miles) to farthest away (96 miles.) Use the table of contents below to jump to the city that interested you.

14 Day Trips From Austin (Under 100 Miles Away

14. Buda, Texas 

(17 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 20 minutes)

Day Trips From Austin: Buda TX

First off, it’s pronounced “Byoo-duh,” not “Boo-duh.” 😉 Buda is considered an Austin suburb (one of the fastest-growing ones, too!), and it’s a fun and easy place to explore if you need a very quick day trip from Austin. It’s considered a commuter town, meaning that lots of Buda residents head up I35 into Austin for work, and then drive back down to Buda in the evenings. Buda is a town full of Antique shops and good places to eat and drink.

5 things to do in Buda: 

1. Wander through historic downtown Buda. It’s recognized as a national historic site, full of shops, and there are annual events like South Main Music Nights and the Sip ‘n Stroll. 

2. Go antique-ing at the Old Town Buda Antique Mall.

3. Grab a slice of cake at Sweet Cakes 4 U, one of the top 20 desserts in Austin Texas.

4. Wine and dine at the Buda Mill & Grain Co., a historic site that has been re-designed for restaurants and retail.

5. Explore the Historic Stagecoach Park, a 51-acre facility with a trail system, wildlife, and lots of open parkland. 

13. Lake Travis 

(18 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 30 minutes)

Day Trips From Austin: Lake Travis

Lake Travis is a reservoir that was formed in 1942 in far west Austin. It’s now a hot spot for boat rentals, water activities, restaurants, breweries, and hotels. If you’re looking for a high-activity day trip from Austin, or you just want a beautiful restaurant with a view, you’ll find it at Lake Travis. {photo via Lake Travis}

5 things to do at Lake Travis: 

1. Fly over the lake on Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, the fastest and longest zip line in Texas. 

2. Swirl and swip at Bent Oak Winery. 

3. Pack a picnic or fire up the grill at Windy Point Park. You can even camp overnight! 

4. Rent a boat (I love this company) and spend all day out on the water. 

5. Watch the sunset over the lake at the award-winning Oasis Brewery. 

12. Dripping Springs, Texas

(24 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 30 minutes)

14 day-trips from Austin: Hamilton Pool

“The gateway to the hill country” is one of my favorite day trips from Austin. Why? It’s full of some of the best breweries, wineries, and distilleries in this part of the state! 

5 things to do in Dripping Springs: 

1. Visit breweries: Jester King, Family Business Beer Co., 12 Fox Beer, Beerburg Brewing, and Twisted X Brewery are a few of your options.

2. Not into beer? There are also several fantastic distilleries (Deep Eddy, Treaty Oak, and Frog Pond, Desert Door), wineries (Bell Springs Winery, Henley Vineyards), and cideries (Argus Cidery.) 

3. Make a reservation for Hamilton Pool (NOTE: currently closed for COVID-19), a stunning natural pool that was created thousands of years ago. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Hamilton Pool.

4. Go rock climbing and swimming at Reimers Ranch Park.

5. Eat dinner at Alice’s Restaurant: Texas barbecue and comfort food!

Looking for outdoor dining? Here are the 20 Best Patio Restaurants in Austin Texas

11. Driftwood, Texas

(24 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 30 minutes)



A near neighbor to Dripping Springs, but Driftwood is a much quieter place to spend the day. While Dripping Springs is booming in population with lots of housing developments, Driftwood still has a small town feel. It’s most famous for being the home to The Salt Lick Barbecue, but there are plenty of other things to do in Driftwood. 

5 things to do in Driftwood: 

1. Eat a big meal at The Salt Lick. It’s one of the most iconic BBQ spots in Texas!

2. Go wine tasting. Fall Creek Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, and Driftwood Estate Winery are the trio of wineries you want to target. 

3. Stop by Hays City Store, an adorable gastropub with burgers, wings, tacos, margaritas, and more. 

4. Enjoy a flight of beer at Vista Brewing.

5. Drive through Driftwood during sunset. There are some beautiful views in this Texas town. 

10. Georgetown, Texas

(28 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 30 minutes)

Day Trips From Austin: Georgetown

Georgetown is to north Austin what Buda is to south Austin: a commuter city that is a charming and fantastic place to visit as an easy day trip from Austin. Georgetown was awarded the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas, and the entire city is booming in population right now. Locals love the arts and culture, easy access to bike trails and nature, and the fun places to eat and shop. {photo via}

5 things to do in Georgetown: 

1. Walk the downtown square. It’s full of more than 20 historical markers, Victorian homes, shops, and dining. 

2. Go underground into the Inner Space Cavern, a cave that was hidden for 10,000 years. 

3. Fish for largemouth bass and catfish at Lake Georgetown.

4. Eat some of that famous pie from Monument Cafe. Grab dinner, too – it’s one of the best places in eat in Georgetown. (Pizza at 600 Degrees or Mexican food at El Monumento are other favorites.)

5. Enjoy a picnic and swimming at Blue Hole Park. (Temporarily closed due to COVID-19)

9. Spicewood, Texas

(36 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 43 minutes)



Spicewood is a small town but 100% worth the quick drive from Austin! It’s near Lake Travis, so these two places would be easy to combine if you find a few things you want to do in each. Spicewood is known for its beautiful swimming holes with rope swings, fun places to eat, and quiet and relaxing environment. 

5 things to do in Spicewood: 

1. Swim at Krause Springs, a family-owned property with 32 beautiful springs, tent camping, and even RV sites. 

2. Eat your fill at Opie’s Barbecue. 

3. Go wine tasting at the beautiful Spicewood Vineyards.

4. Try on-site spirits, cocktails and food at Iron Wolf Ranch and Distillery.

5. Stay in a treehouse or go on a zipline tour with Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. (The zipline component is currently unavailable due to COVID-19) 

Also see: my staycation at the Hotel Van Zandt

8. Wimberley, Texas

(37 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 45 minutes)

Day Trips From Austin: Wimberley

Oh, how I love Wimberley! It’s one of the most famous little hill country getaways, mostly known for its incredible swimming. (You’ve definitely seen pictures of Jacob’s Well, a swimming hole that looks like it’s infinitely deep, and Blue Hole Regional Park, a wooded swimming area just off of the Blanco River.) But Wimberley is also a darling place for shopping, arts, lodging, music, and so much more. {photo via AustinTexas.org}

5 things to do in Wimberley

1. Jump into Jacob’s Well (just be sure to make a reservation!)

2. Find a spot to go swimming in the cold blue river. If you can’t get into Blue Hole Regional Park, there are plenty of other places where you can jump in the water. 

3. Hike Old Baldy, a summit that offers a 360-degree view of the area at the top. 

4. Wander through downtown Wimberley. It’s a precious (small) area with shops, restaurants, coffee, wine, and more. 

5. Taste 100% Texan olive oil at Bella Vista Ranch, a ranch that has over 1,200 producing olive trees. 

7. Gruene, Texas

(47 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 50 min)



Things to do in Gruene, TX

One of my favorite old-time Texas towns near Austin, Gruene was originally a German town but is now mostly based in tourism. It’s a precious place for a day trip from Austin or an overnight trip (read about my family’s mother-daughter weekend trip here.)

5 things to do in Gruene:

1. Grab dinner at Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, a shady indoor/outdoor restaurant located inside a renovated 1878 cotton gin. Get the onion rings!

2. Go two-stepping at Gruene Hall, the oldest continually-run dance hall in Texas. They get some big names to come through and perform there.

3. Float the river with Rockin R River Rides

4. Get ice cream at Rhea’s Ice Cream. All of their ice cream is made from scratch, by hand, in store.

5. Soak up the river culture with shopping in historic downtown Gruene.

6. Canyon Lake

(65 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 1 hr 20 min)

Day Trips From Austin: Canyon Lake

If you’re into watersports and you want a scenic day trip from Austin, go to Canyon Lake! It makes for a beautiful day trip from Austin on a hot summer day. {photo via}

5 things to do at Canyon Lake

1. Rent a boat and spend the day out on the water. 

2. Take in the views and jump in for a swim at Canyon Overlook Park.

3. Hike the Guadalupe Park Trail, a 2-mile out-and-back trail near Canyon Lake. 

4. Take a guided tour at the Canyon Lake Gorge. In 2002, a historic flood sliced away the earth and created a 64-acre gorge; you can tour it to see waterfalls, lagoons, and fossils. 

5. Catch a show at the Whitewater Amphitheater (well, probably not in 2020…)

5. Luckenbach, Texas

(73 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 1 hr and 20 min)



Day Trips From Austin: Luckenbach TX

Luckenbach is a quirky one! The town was founded in 1849 and nearly became a ghost town in 1960 (it had a whopping population of 3 at the time)…but it became known for its country music culture when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his 1973 album at the Luckenbach Dance Hall. Since then, it’s been a country music destination. {photo via Visit Fredericksburg}

3 things to do in Luckenbach, Texas:

1. Stop by the General Store, one of the original buildings of the town. 

2. Listen to some live music at the Luckenbach Dance Hall 

3. Pair your day at Luckenbach with a stop in Fredericksburg, because there’s really not enough to do in Luckenbach to fill an entire day. 😉 

4. Fredericksburg, Texas

(78 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 1 hr 30 min)



Day Trips From Austin: Fredericksburg

Certainly THE Texas Hill Country destination if you’re into Texas wine, Fredericksburg is known for its beautiful wineries, bachelorette trips, peaches, and fun places to eat. The city has a strong German culture, and recently it’s really become a tourism power house with lots of lodging, spas, arts, music, shopping, night life, antiques, and more! 

5 things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas: 

1. Wineries! Duh. There are more than 50 wineries and tasting rooms in Fredericksburg. If you’re not sure where to start, you can book a wine tour. 

2. Drink authentic German lager at Alstadt Brewery

3. Taste jams, jellies, preserves, and sauces at Das Peach Haus

4. Go to the National Museum of the Pacific War. 

5. Go peach-picking! Fredericksburg peaches are best in the early summer, but some varietals are available until Labor Day. Use this guide to find places to pick (or buy) peaches. 

3. San Antonio, Texas

(81 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 1 hr 20 min)



Yep, San Antonio is a really easy day trip from Austin! Although Austin’s metro population is approaching that of San Antonio, there are big differences between the two Texas cities. If you’ve been in Austin for a long time, taking a day trip to San Antonio could be just the thing to mix things up a bit. 

5 things to do in San Antonio, Texas:

1. Wander through the Pearl District. It’s a cultural hub with a brewery, restaurants, a gorgeous hotel (Hotel Emma is my top pick if you want to turn this into an overnight stay!) and shopping. 

2. Walk the River Walk. Yep, it’s a bit cheesy, but two margaritas in and that mariachi band will sound reeeeal good. 

3. Explore the Natural Bridge Caverns, the largest commercial caverns in Texas. 

4. Go on a brewery tour – there are lots of good ones in SATX! Roadmap Brewing, Alamo Beer Co., Back Unturned, and Burleson Yard are all within about a ½ mile radius. 

5. Eat Mexican food! San Antonio has a strong Mexican culture. You don’t have to search far to get some killer tacos. 

2. Round Top, Texas

(81 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 1 hr 20 min)

 

Round Top is the antique store destination in Texas. If you love home decor and renovation, a day trip from Austin to Round Top needs to be in your future. There are some fun things to round out the day, like coffee, wine, restaurants, and music, but the main goal of this trip should really be antique shopping. 

5 things to do in Round Top: 

1. Start the day with coffee and pastries at Round Top Coffee Shop. 

2. Go antique-ing. From year-round stores to annual events, Round Top is the antique shopper’s paradise. 

3. Listen to classical music from the Round Top Festival Institute

4. Grab a slice of pie at Royer’s Pie Haven

5. Shop for custom artwork at The Gallery At Round Top.

1. Enchanted Rock

(96 miles from downtown Austin, approximately 1 hr 40 min)

Day Trips From Austin: Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock is a really fun spot to visit with kids! It’s a pink granite rock area that covers 640 acres. The highest point is 1825 feet above sea level, so…pretty darn high for central Texas. {photo via TPWD}

5 things to do at Enchanted Rock

Hiking. There are nearly 11 miles of hiking trails, so you can fill up a big chunk of the day with that. 

2. Bring a picnic from home and enjoy the beautiful scenery during lunch. 

3. Geocache, bird watch, or star gaze. 

4. Go rock climbing.

5. Grab dinner at Hill Top Cafe, an American restaurant inside 1930s gas station. Their slogan is “conveniently located…in the middle of nowhere.”  


I hope this provides some inspiration for you to pan your own day trip from Austin. If you’re willing to drive a bit further, there are tons of other Texas towns that are worth exploring for a fun weekend road trip! 

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