Deep in the heart of Texas, Austin stands as a beacon of culture, music, and vibrant living. Renowned for its bustling streets, iconic music festivals, and a unique blend of Texan and cosmopolitan flavors, Austin is truly a jewel.
But for those days when the city's enchanting murmur becomes a little too familiar or you're seeking a change of scenery, there's a world waiting just beyond its borders. Just hop in your car, set the playlist, and let the road lead you to experiences and sights that promise to rejuvenate and inspire.
Here, we delve into five must-visit destinations that are just a short drive away from Austin, ensuring that adventure is always right around the corner.
A Fusion of Natural Beauty and History
Nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg stands as a charming and historic town that seamlessly blends German heritage, natural beauty, and a vibrant cultural scene.
Discover trendy boutique treasures and enjoy gourmet dishes at Vaudeville while you dive deep into Pacific WWII history at the National Museum of the Pacific War. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous – climb the famous pink granite peak at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. We definitely recommend you check out the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290. Indulge in some of its 22 renowned wineries while you revel in the natural beauty of Wildseed Farms while tasting wines and relaxing in the beer garden.
Plus, a quick 15-minute drive southeast takes you to the historic Luckenbach Texas General Store. Grab a memento and later, swing to country rhythms at Luckenbach Dance Hall.
Distance from Austin: 78 miles
Drive time: 1 hour & 36 minutes
Where Past Meets Present
Perched on the edge of the Texas Hill Country (and known as the Gateway to the Texas Hill Country), Dripping Springs beckons with its rustic elegance and captivating blend of small-town charm and scenic wonders.
Dripping Springs offers rural charm and wide open spaces, just minutes from Austin. Recharge in an expansive resort set on a bluff with panoramic views of Onion Creek at Camp Lucy. Embark on an orchard journey and savor olive oils at Texas Hill Country Olive Co. If you feel like going in a time machine, experience the 1850s firsthand at The Pound House Farmstead. You can even get sporty with mini-golf and pickleball or soak in the arts and tunes at Dreamland.
There are a number of breweries, wineries, and distilleries to sample in Dripping Springs, including Jester King Brewery, Twisted X Brewing, Deep Eddy Vodka, Treaty Oak Distilling, Bell Springs Winery, and more.
Distance from Austin: 23 miles
Drive time: 28 minutes
Check out our Dripping Springs neighborhood guide for even more recommendations!
A Culinary and Sensory Adventure
Nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Driftwood, Texas, invites visitors to experience its serene landscapes, renowned wineries, and authentic rustic atmosphere.
Relish in the famous slow-cooked pork ribs at the iconic Salt Lick BBQ, pairing it with wines from Salt Lick Cellars. Embark on the Driftwood Wine Trail, hopping between six picturesque wineries. Experience the distinctive taste of sotol at Desert Door Distillery, then try out great beer at Vista Brewing before ending your day with a musical backdrop at Hays City Store & Ice House.
Driftwood is sure to deliver an outside-of-Austin feel while being under an hour away, making it a great day trip destination even for out-of-towners and tourists.
Distance from Austin: 24 miles
Drive time: 35 minutes
A Dive into Historic Elegance
Steeped in German heritage and surrounded by the scenic Texas Hill Country, Boerne offers a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, and modern charm.
Quaint, historic architecture and small-town charm await you in Boerne – stroll through the Hill Country Mile and immerse yourself in local shops and eateries. Tap your feet to live music and savor freshly brewed beer at The Dodging Duck Brewhaus. Experience nature’s subterranean marvels with a guided expedition through Cascade Caverns.
Distance from Austin: 97 miles
Drive time: 1 hour & 34 minutes
A Vintage Shopper's Paradise
Surrounded by rolling hills and a sense of timeless tranquility, Round Top, Texas, is a captivating small town renowned for its antique treasures, artistic spirit, and welcoming Southern hospitality.
Showcasing stores and diners set against a mid-1800s backdrop, Henkel Square Market is the place to be! Round Top becomes especially vibrant during The Original Round Top Antiques Fair held seasonally, a haven for vintage enthusiasts.
Distance from Austin: 77 miles
Drive time: 1 hour & 29 minutes
Escape the hustle and bustle of Austin and venture into these picturesque towns and attractions. Each offers its own unique flavor and charm, ensuring a memorable experience just a short drive away. Safe travels!
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