roadtrips from san antonio
Summer is the season for road trips, and if you are wondering “What are the best places for road trips from San Antonio?” we have you covered. Road trips are a fun, safe option for traveling out of town for a getaway. Whether you’re looking for somewhere you can make in a day or a week-long driving tour of Texas, we have the list.

Road Trips From San Antonio – Locations Within 200 miles


How Far: 181 miles    |    Where: 100 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Waco, TX 76704
The Heart of Texas has recently become famous for its Magnolia Market, the birth child and flagship home & decor store of Chip & Joanna Gaines from HGTV. They have so much more to offer – the Waco Mammoth National Monument is one of the best. Their nationally recognized trails at Cameron Park are worth an entire day. If that’s not enough, you can visit the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame & Museum. End your evening with a trip to Buzzard Billy’s Swamp Shack to let the kids feed the animals while you sip on cocktails.


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How Far: 178 miles  |   Where: Leonabelle Turnbill Birding Center- 1356 Ross Ave, Port Aransas, TX 78373
Port Aransas can be found at Mustang Island, on the Texas coast. Port A is well known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and the fish that fill the waterway. Two popular activities in Port Aransas are swimming and fishing. There’s also the Port Aransas Nature Preserve which is home to diverse wildlife, beautiful topography, and some of the most scenic sunsets on the island. Bird watching is also a popular activity in Port Aransas and the best place to go is Leonabelle Turnbill Birding Center.











Port Aransas – Pic courtesy: Visit Port Aransas Facebook page


How Far: 143 miles   |    Where: USS Lexington – 2914 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402
Corpus Christi is a fun beach to visit if you’re looking for a relaxed, sand-filled weekend trip. Less foot traffic means that beaches are better preserved and the smaller crowds mean that you can go to more places and do more things without the hassle of a noisy crowd that you may encounter in Galveston. The city also has museums, galleries, aquariums and is home to the USS Lexington.


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How Far: 104 miles    |    Where:  Elgin, TX
Green Acres is where glamping is done right. Located in Elgin, Texas on the outskirts of Austin, road trippers will find eight different glamping spots to choose from, such as tents, cabin oases, airstreams, and even Spartan Mansions. The reasonable prices and scenic aesthetic creates the perfect place to unwind in nature in the most pampered way.


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How Far: 127 miles    |     Where: 603 E Brewery St, Shiner, TX 77984
We’ll be upfront here – Shiner, Texas is a very small town. We think the trip is worthwhile but it won’t be the most glamorous vacation you’ve ever had. Still, the town is charming with its own, unique businesses. You definitely want to tour the brewery and have your daily tasting. Just down the road is Howard’s, a gas station with picnic tables outside. You can drink beer and play cards
at the gas station. How cool is that? Also, stop by Antiques Art & Beer,  Sunken Gardens, and of course the Shiner Brewery for a tour. Stay at a local B&B for even more charm.

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Spoetzl Brewery – Pic courtesy: Shiner Beer Facebook page


How Far: 283 miles    |    Where: 37221 RM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885
If you’ve never seen the trees in New England when the leaves change, this is your chance to do that with just a five-hour drive. The sights and colors here are amazing year-round. The area is known for its beautiful trees, stargazing, swimming, and fishing. As a bonus, you don’t need a fishing license to fish from the shore or pier in the state park or natural area. Keep in mind, there is no cell service! 


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How Far: 82 miles    |    Where: 2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
Located right off the Colorado River in Austin, this spring-fed municipal pool is open with lifeguards year-round. It’s about 3 acres in size with plenty of grassy areas for sunbathing. The pool has a cheap admission fee but the nearby Barton Creek is free! This is a local Austin favorite so you may want to go early on a week day to avoid crowds. One of our top picks for road trips from San Antonio


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How Far: 289 miles    |    Where: Garner State Park – 234 RR 1050, Concan, TX 78838
The Frio River in Three Rivers, Texas is one of the coolest rivers around. Spring-fed means the water is crystal-clear and the average temperature is around 68 degrees. There are some rapids and waterfalls but it’s typically an easy tubing trip suitable for kids and elderly. Be sure to check the water levels and flow rates before you go. The river is also just one mile from Garner State Park, known as one of the most beautiful parks in Texas.


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How Far: 76 miles    |    Where:  2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636
Another beautiful swimming area you don’t want to miss is Pedernales Falls. Nearby is the famed Hamilton Pool, a crystal clear swimming hole located inside a cave with a waterfall. This particular swimming area is best for kids who can swim and climb well independently- younger kids are allowed but it’s a bit stressful, especially on busy days. Get there at least an hour before they open and be prepared to wait in line in your car, then walk about half a mile to get to the swimming area. You will want to wear water-safe shoes. To make your visit truly remarkable, try staying at the nearby Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. They offer zipline tours but the real gem is their treehouse hotel. It’s pricey but the views and experience are amazing.


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How Far: 237 miles   |    Where: 126 W Main Street Fredericksburg, TX 78624-3708
You probably know Fredericksburg as a vintage and antique mecca and it’s true. Go there for the shopping but stay for the natural beauty and great attractions. You will definitely want to stop by one of their many wineries and weingartens but don’t miss the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park or the Pioneer Museum. The real gem, though, is the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This huge, dome-like mountain of limestone has miles of trails. Make it to the top for a never-before-seen view of the Hill Country.


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How Far: 70 miles   |    Where: 215 N Main St, Lockhart, TX 78644
Tiny Lockhart, Texas can be found outside of San Marcos, Texas, and is well known for its BBQ. In fact, Lockhart is the BBQ capital of Texas.  Black’s, Smitty’s, and Kreuz are three of the BBQ restaurants that you won’t want to miss out on. Lockhart State Park is a great place to do some exercising after you eat copious amounts of delicious BBQ.

Kreuz Market – Pic courtesy: Kreuz Market Facebook page


How Far: 63 miles   |    Where: 617 IH 35 North, San Marcos, TX 78666
The San Marcos River is located in San Marcos, Texas which is perfectly situated halfway between Austin and San Antonio on I-35. The San Marcos River is home to many beautiful rapids and cypress trees that line the banks and provide tubers and kayakers alike with plenty of shade from the sun. There are multiple parks in San Marcos that provide riverfront access and can get crowded around spring break. You can also venture to the neighboring New Braunfels as well.

San Marcos River – Pic courtesy: San Marcos River Foundation Facebook page


How Far: 182 miles    |    Where: Blue Hole – 100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley, Texas  78676
Also known for its tubing and swimming, Wimberley, Texas is the home of both Blue Hole Regional Park and Jacob’s Well. Both of these nature areas are known for clear, beautiful water holes. If you’re there any time from March to December, check out their Market Days held every Saturday. You can also visit a drive-in movie theater, The Corral Theatre. This is a hill country classic and one of our favorite road trips from San Antonio!


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How Far: 53 miles    |    Where: Bandera Visitor Center, 126 State Highway 16 South, Bandera, TX 78003
Bandera, Texas is close to the Medina and home to plenty of history. This quaint country town has some of the most beautiful hill country views in all of Texas and some of the best Texas experiences as well. If you make this road trip from San Antonio, stay at a Dude Ranch at the Cowboy Capital of the World and go on a scenic trail ride. There are also plenty of museums and rodeos that will help you get a taste for the cowboy culture.

Bandera – Pic courtesy: Bandera Cowboy Capital Facebook page


How Far: 50 miles    |    Where:101 Park Road 23. Blanco, TX 78606
Blanco, Texas is close to Wimberley and San Antonio and was settled in the mid-1800s for Texas Rangers, immigrants, and their families. Blanco State Park is filled with wildlife, diverse topography, and hiking trails. Once you’ve spent some time exploring the outdoors, you can head over to the local winery, Texas Hills Vineyards. They’re actually the only winery in Texas to produce Pino Grigio. Relax at their onsite tasting room. And don’t miss Real Ale Brewery!

Blanco River – Pic courtesy: Blanco State Park Facebook page


How Far: 49 miles    |    Where: 630 Hwy 27, Comfort, TX 78013
Comfort, Texas embodies everything there is about a small Texas town. One of the strange and fun attractions that Comfort has to offer is its Hygioestatic Bat Roost. This historic tower has been home to over 100 malaria fighting bats for years and it’s a fun activity to watch them fly. There are also plenty of down-home restaurants and shops worth visiting in the old town. If you’re looking for a humble Comfort history, visiting shops in the old town is a great place to start.

Hygieostatic Bat Roost – Pic courtesy: Wikipedia


How Far: 230 miles    |    Where: 325 Kreutzberg Rd. Boerne, TX 78006
There are a handful of caves in Texas to visit and we recommend you see them all! The most beautiful cave is Cave Without A Name. You’ll love the dripping stalagmites, soda straws, rimstone dams, and more. The cave is about 66 degrees all year round so it’s comfortable to walk around- you might even need a light sweater. Among the most unique road trips from San Antonio! 


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When: Open 7 days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
How Much: Kids $10 | Adults – $20


How Far: 162 miles    |    Where: 110 Lee St. Seguin, TX 78155
One of the most under-rated towns in Texas is Seguin. Surrounded by the Guadalupe, there are places to tube and plenty of cascading water features around town. They’re also home to the oldest licensed bar in Texas, the largest World’s Largest Pecan, and plenty of amazing festivals. While you’re there, you definitely want to check out Son’s Island. It is a real island in the middle of Lake Placid with blue water, a sandy beach, cabana rentals, live music, kayaking, and more. You can enter the island only by reservation. Definitely bring your river shoes- the bottom of the lake is rocky.


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Road Trips From San Antonio – Places More Than 200 Miles Away



How Far: 268 miles    |  Where: Kimbell Art Museum – 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Dallas gets a bad reputation, and while we think that’s a little unfair, we KNOW that Fort Worth is the bomb! The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is one of the top-rated museums in the United States. They have a permanent collection of Monet you must see in your lifetime. Admission is free and the grounds are Insta-worthy. Their water features out front are fun for the kids and you’ll definitely want to lunch at their restaurant. There are tons of other great things to do in Fort Worth, like visiting Sundance Square, the cultural district, the stockyards, and the Trailhead.


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How Far: 297 miles    |  Where: Laguna Madre Nature Trail – 7355 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597
South Padre is beautiful island set on the Texas coast that’s home to 34 acres of leisurely beachfront property and should be on your road trip from San Antonio list. The stunning sandy beaches, numerous tourist attractions, and exciting water activities make sure that every traveler will have fun in South Padre. Laguna Madre Nature Trail is a great place to start exploring the island.

South Padre Island – Pic courtesy: City of South Padre Facebook Page


How Far: 372 miles    |  Where: Gage Hotel – 102 NW 1st St Highway 90W, 102 NW 1st st Hwy 90w, Marathon, TX 79842
Marathon, Texas is a tiny town close to Big Bend National Park. If you’re stopping in Marathon for the night, the Gage Hotel is a historic property that is full of local history in a comfortable setting. There’s also plenty of adventure to be had in Marathon. Post Park in the city is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert where travelers can head to the water and feed the local ducks. Don’t miss the Papercrete bed and breakfast, Eve’s Garden! A hidden gem among road trips from San Antonio! 

Gage Hotel – Pic courtesy: Gage Hotel Facebook Page


How Far: 403 miles    |  Where: Davis Mountain State Park – TX-118 N., Park Rd. 3, Fort Davis, TX 79734
Fort Davis, Texas is also a small town out west near Big Bend National Park. This town is well known for the observatory that helps travelers see the beautiful night sky and all the stars that dance and skip inside it. Fort Davis is also home to the Davis Mountains that are fun to explore at the Davis Mountain State Park.

Fort Davis Mountains – Photo by Matt Blackman – Pic courtesy: Fort Davis Facebook Page


How Far: 405 miles    |  Where: 302 S. Highland Ave. Marfa, TX 79843
Marfa, Texas is probably the most unexpected mention on this list but if you visit, you’ll see why we recommend it. The small, desert town is an art mecca. You’ll find a Prada store on the side of the highway, except it isn’t open for business- it’s a permanent installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. There is also an entire army base- 400 acres worth- dedicated to art and sculpture. If you’re budget-conscious, stay at El Cosmico, a desert ranch offering a collection of Airstreams and tee pees. If you can afford to spring for nicer accommodations, check out Hotel Paisano with their indoor, atrium-style pool.


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How Far: 436 miles    |   Where: 11450 Park Road 5, Canyon, TX 79015
This place should really be one of the wonders of the world. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” their crimson mountains and sunset-colored cliffs will make you feel like you’re in a whole other state. Palo Duro is a great place for climbing and horseback riding. Star-gazing here is a nightly ritual. One of our top picks for road trips from San Antonio. 


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How Far: 448 miles    |    Where: Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Whoever told you Texas has no mountains was a liar! This mountain basin in Big Bend National Park has rivers, scenic drives, and more. This is one of the most visually appealing parks in the state with a variety of landscapes including carved-out canyons, desert scenes, and limestone cliffs. Take the kids to Colorado Canyon and the experienced rafters to Mariscal. A bit far from San Antonio, but a great road trip option with family!


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Planning a road trip? Don’t forget to check out our list of State Parks in the area that are allowing overnight camping!

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Also check out Road Trips from Houston, and Road Trips from Boston!

Caroline Kidd