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5 Unique Day Trips From Austin, Texas

Day trips are an exciting way to take a mini-vacation when you don’t have much time off, extra money to spend, or both. Day trips off a chance to experience something new and different than what your normal day entails and reset your mind and body in a very short time. There are plenty of fun things to do in downtown Austin, but sometimes taking a staycation isn’t enough distance from your everyday life to reset your stress level or provide enough creative inspiration to awaken the senses. This is where day trips come in. Taking a day trip outside the city of Austin can be planned or spontaneous depending on your lifestyle and provide you with everything needed to recharge and recover from the busyness of life.

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What are some great things to do for a day outside of Austin?

If you need a break from Austin and are looking to take a unique day trip in the area, consider checking out one of these destinations:

  • The arty town of Salado
  • Natural Bridge Caverns
  • Dripping Springs and Hamilton Pool
  • Canyon Lake
  • Becker Vineyards and Fall Creek Vineyards

Austin is a beautiful city, and I might not think to leave the city with the numerous things there are to do there. Since I am always up for a quick day trip in Texas, I never hesitate no matter where I am, Austin or anywhere else.

Best Day Trips Outside Of Austin

Salado

Salado, Texas

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Not too far outside Austin, you will find this quirky artist commune where you can stay in unusual country inns, bed and breakfast, and hotels. The town is loaded with unforgettable charm and an aura of rare uniqueness.

This small town is a self-contained haven for local artists and the artist that lives in us all.  You can grab a bite to eat, stay the night if time allows, and meet and greet local artists who take their skills seriously and learn about what they do.

Many of the local artists are very passionate about their work/art. They won’t mind discussing what they do and how one learns or becomes involved in these creative processes.  At certain times you can take a class, and find your inner creativity.

It’s a very short drive at just under sixty miles and under an hour from Austin.

Natural Bridge Caverns

26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, San Antonio, Texas 78266

(210) 651-6101

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For an outdoor experience not in a state park, this location can claim the largest natural bridge in the entire world. The bridge itself is a natural limestone bridge that spans sixty feet at the entrance to the park. It’s both breathtaking and a beautiful natural wonder to behold.

If you love the idea of touring caverns or caves, this one won’t disappoint. You can see stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique geological formations in their cavernous trails, and this adventure is great for families with kids.

More exciting attractions like dusk bat flights, mining for gems, and zip-lining can add some excitement to the day trip. The trip takes just under an hour and a half from Austin at about sixty-five miles, depending on where in Austin you are located.

Dripping Springs/Hamilton Pool

Dripping Springs, Texas

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With a tranquil, exotic, and stunningly beautiful day where you can have some water fun, it’s a great place to visit. This location is a great spot to get a bit of education about how olive oil is made and taste some of the first pressed oils on a tour when visiting.

The beautiful pool of water is a breathtaking sight to behold that will make you feel as though you are visiting some exotic island.

Aside from the olive oil, beautiful views, and water fun, there are numerous other spots in this area to explore distilleries and wineries where you can sample other goods while having a mini education. It’s an experience probably best for couples or all adult parties unless the children in the group are older. The swimming holes can be dangerous, afterall.

The trip from Austin is short, at just over thirty minutes and over twenty miles. It’s the kind of day trip that can be combined with other adventures to create a well-rounded experience.

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake, Texas

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Let’s face it, Texas is one hot state, and with the numerous lakes, rivers, and watering holes to cool off, it’s no wonder that this Lake makes a list. The Lake out in Texas hill country is over eight thousand acres in size and very deep. It is a lake that is stocked pretty well, and you’ll find many spots to camp, park, host a picnic, hike, or bike.

You can bring your own boat and launch it in the water or enjoy some paddle boating or water skiing for a more personal adventure. If those aren’t your cup of tea, you can track and watch the wildlife that is native to the area.

There are eighty miles of shoreline to be explored just over sixty miles from Austin and about an hour’s drive.

Becker Vineyards and Falls Creek Vineyards

Stonewall, Texas and Tow, Texas

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Just outside Austin, you will find some delightful wineries and vineyards where you can take a tour and sample some wines. There are numerous ones to choose from, but if it’s your first trip outside the Austin area and you are headed to a vineyard, choosing a top-rated larger vineyard is a good idea.

You can check out some amazingly beautiful views during your stay and enjoy sampling the wine and cheeses that pair nicely together. Some of the wineries, including Becker, offer tours of their facility so you can get an up-close and personal look at what it takes to make sure sinful wines.

This makes for a lovely short-day trip that’s relaxing and fun. This activity makes a great adventure for adults in a group or couple, not for children.

The driving distance to Falls Creek Vineyards is eighty miles and approximately one hour and thirty minutes. To reach Becker Vineyards will take under an hour and a half at around sixty-five miles.

Closing Point

Whatever reason you decide to take a unique day trip outside of Austin, there are many exciting mini adventures to explore.

A day trip may not seem like enough to make you forget about all the busyness of life, but it sure is a great way to try. Scheduling in weekly day trip getaways can go a long way to getting rid of stress, anxiety, and overwork, and it’s one fun way to do it.