• September 8, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Explore Lone Star Wonder: Your Ultimate Guide to Day Trips from Austin

Are you savoring the charms of Austin but yearning for something different? Perhaps some rural tranquility or an epiphany in art? This Guide to Day Trips from Austin is your perfect road map to explore these gems hidden around the city. Whether you’re a keen history enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, wine connoisseur or lover of art, there’s something for all in the Lone Star State.

A Walk through Memory Lane: Fredericksburg (Route 290)

An enchanting step back in time, Fredericksburg is a historic, German-influenced town located approximately 80 miles from Austin. Filled with unique architectural design, this quaint town offers a travel experience unlike any other.

Here’s a snapshot of what awaits you in Fredericksburg:

  • The National Museum of the Pacific War: Located in the heart of Fredericksburg, this Museum offers an immersive walkthrough of World War II’s Pacific Theater with interactive exhibits and heartwarming memorials attracting historians and patriots alike.
  • The Pioneer Museum: Capture the essence of earlier days through German settler’s artifacts nuzzled under authentic structures built by German pioneers of this historic town.
  • Stroll down the bustling Main Street, brimming with authentic German bakeries, family-run restaurants, and vibrant flower-adorned shops. This historic route offers sights and smells that will whisk you straight to Deutschland!
  • Do not miss the splendid Vineyards and Wineries like Becker Vineyards which offers delectable tastings of the famed Texan grapes, creating a European feel right in the heart of Texas.

Fredericksburg’s nostalgic allure and rich history make it a fascinating day trip from Austin.

Immerse In Nature’s Serenity: Pedernales Falls State Park (Route 71)

About 50 miles westward from the urban hustle and bustle of downtown Austin, you’ll find the serene escape into this stunning slice of the Texas landscape, the Pedernales Falls State Park. If a day of hiking, exploring, and soaking up the exhilarating Texas air tickles your fancy, add this destination to your list.

A day inside the park could revolve around:

  • River fun: The Pedernales River’s peaceful banks are an idyllic spot for a family day out, where you can swim, tube or simply soak up some sun.
  • Hiking trails: The Wolf Mountain Trail offers a four-mile trek straddling serene creeks and lush forest paths.
    Wildlife spotting: The park exhibits a rich ecosystem, providing a perfect vantage spot to witness native species in their natural habitat.
  • Night under the stars: Pitch your tent beside the river for an experience in tranquil wilderness, swimming under the stars.

Cozy Wimberley: A Hidden Hill Country Jewel (Route 290)

You don’t need more than an hour drive from Austin to stumble upon this hidden Hill Country gem. Wimberley, a small and charming town, is a bustling cultural hub wrapped up in slow-paced country life.

Your day trip could be filled with:

  • Wimberley Glassworks: Watch intricately designed glass sculptures come to life in real-time demonstrations.
  • The Wimberley Valley Winery: Delight your palate with tastings under the vine-drenched canopy overlooking the rolling Texan terrains.
  • Artistic Interactions: From the vivid display at Wimberley Village Art League to the handmade treasures at Wimberley Market Days, Wimberley is a paradise for local art lovers.
  • Blue Hole Regional Park: Enjoy the blissful waters of this iconic natural swimming hole, then roam the quaint city centre to discover a fusion of cowboy boot-wearing heritage fused with an artsy, entrepreneurial spirit!

A day filled with country life bliss, wine sips and local flavor, Wimberley will charm your heart.

Uncover the Elusive Marvel: Marfa in the Desert (Interstate 10)

Exuding an unexpected character amidst barren landscapes, Marfa, a small desert town in West Texas, is a 6-hour journey from Austin. Known for its thriving contemporary art scene and the enigmatic Marfa Lights, it’s worth the drive and makes for an intriguing day.

Make the most of your Marfa experience by:

  • Ballroom Marfa: Delight your senses with contemporary art installations at this cultural hub, housed in a converted 1920’s dance-hall.
  • Chinati Foundation: Notice minimalist art immersed amidst the desert landscape at this landmark contemporary art museum.
  • Mystery Lights: As night falls, don’t miss the chance to explore the infamous Marfa Lights dancing along the horizon.
  • Indulge yourself in the local food scene. From tantalizing pizza at Pizza Foundation to elevated camping cuisine at Planet Marfa’s beer garden, your taste buds are in for a treat!

Where the Sea Meets the City: Corpus Christi (Interstate 37)

Corpus Christi, a charming seaside city about 215 miles south of Austin, ensures you get to dip your toes in the Gulf’s warm waters. It makes for a perfect escape, offering a blend of beach fun, intriguing history, and some serious shell collecting.

Here’s how to relish your trip:

  • Step aboard the USS Lexington, nicknamed “The Blue Ghost”, and delve into compelling naval war history.
  • Enjoy sun, sand, and surf at the Padre Island National Seashore, a haven for beach lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Texas State Aquarium: Get close to sharks, rays, and dolphins! It’s a perfect stop for the entire family!
  • Dining Sea-side: Grab a fresh seafood meal at locally loved Snoopy’s Pier while you savor the sunset views.

The fusion of history and seaside retreats make Corpus Christi an enticing day trip from Austin.


Life in Austin offers you a ticket to explore the tiny dots on the Texas map, each making their distinct brushstroke on the canvas of Texan culture. This Guide to Day Trips from Austin is your feature-rich itinerary for crafting memorable experiences beyond the Austin city limits. We’ve covered historical charming towns, breathtaking national parks, artsy enigmas, and serene seaside escapes, here’s to your Lone Star Adventures! Happy Travelling!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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