San Antonio
Share
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Our Top 5 Favorite Day Trips from San Antonio

A Story By

We absolutely love our city!  San Antonio has so many wonderful places to explore, dishes to eat, and friendly faces. No matter how long you’ve been here, it is pretty much guaranteed that you haven’t seen it all yet.  

While we’re all about finding the best events, restaurants, and stuff to do in our city, every now and then, a little getaway is nice!  We don’t always have the vacation days to jet off to some far away locale, but these day trips from San Antonio are some of our favorite ways to take advantage of just a day or two off.  As soon as we’re able, you can bet we are making the drive!

📷 Mina Garagozlo

We know, we know… “they’re weird”, but we love the funky vibes Austin is putting out!  This sprawling city has a little something for everyone: history, shopping, outdoor spaces, and of course food!  

Head out to the Domain to shop a collection of your favorite brands and boutiques.  Bonus: While you’re shopping, you can get in some serious dog watching since it seems like everyone out here has their dogs with them!  If you want some unique finds though, head over to South Congress.  Austin classics like Allens Boots and Stag line the street, and when you work up an appetite, you can take a break at Home Slice and then pick up where you left off.  

While Austin has certainly grown like crazy into a sprawling metropolis, they have also held onto plenty of their green spaces.  If you’re in the mood to do some light hiking, there are a number of gorgeous trails to explore.  Mount Bonnell provides stunning views, and The Barton Creek Greenbelt has a whole host of activities for guests to enjoy.  

San Antonio has some killer restaurants, but our neighbors up 35 definitely have some of their own.  Whatever you’re craving, you can get your fix here.  Just thinking about Trudy’s, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, and Franklin’s BBQ have our mouths watering just thinking about them! You can even get the inside scoop from our very own Austin team! 

Easiest Way to Get There:  Just take I-35 North until you hit Austin!  East Enough (Drive time about 1.5 Hours)

2. Canyon Lake

There are several fantastic lakes around the area where you can cool off and beat the Texas heat.  Medina Lake, Lake McQueeny, and Canyon Lake are all just about an hour drive away, but Canyon Lake is where we want to be on/in the water.  

Texas Parks & Wildlife consistently ranks fishing conditions at the lake as “EXCELLENT”, so grab your tackle box and see if you can hook into a record bass or catfish.  Even if you don’t have a boat or kayak, bank fishing is allowed at all 8 of the lake’s public parks.  If you’re more into just lounging around, you can head out to any of those same areas, to camp, swim, or picnic.  

If you happen to be dive certified, Canyon Lake is a pretty interesting dive site.  There is a protected entry area on the north shore of the lake. Once you go under, you will find submerged cars, boats, and standing trees from before the lake was filled in.  It is kind of eerie, but fascinating!

We know it is Canyon Lake, but the Guadalupe River also runs through the area, so we have to mention that some of the area’s best float houses are  located over here too!  Grab a tube and let the current carry you downstream!

Easiest Way to Get There:  Take US 281 N past Bulverde, then turn right onto St HWY 46.  Take 46 to FM 3159, then turn left onto FM 2573 and ride it into town! (Drive time about 1 hr)

3. Fredericksburg

There is more to this town than just the delicious peaches!  This little German town offers great local shopping, wine tastings, and natural areas.  

You can easily spend the day wandering up and down the Main St visiting the unique shops, boutiques, and nibbling on bites from specialty shops.  Some of our favorites include Der Kuchen Laden, Dogologie, & Hill Country Outfitter.   

If you’re heading out this way because you’ve heard all of the wonderful things about the wineries in their area, you won’t be disappointed!   There are more than 50 to visit in the Fredericksburg area!  There are also multiple tour companies that will shuttle you from vineyard to vineyard if you don’t have a designated driver of your own.  

For the family or the outdoorsy type, you must journey over to Enchanted Rock!  The massive granite dome offers a fairly mild hike with huge payoffs of hill country views.  If you want to add a little adventure (and you’re not claustrophobic), there is a cave at the top of the rock you can shimmy your way through.  You will need to bring your own light source, but the path is marked with spray paint and it will eventually spit you out on the other side of the rock.  

Easiest Way to Get There:  Head out of town on 1-10 W, then exit to US 87 N in Comfort.  It’s a straight shot from there! ( Drive time about 1 hr 15 min)

4. Dripping Springs

This little town has been name “The Wedding Capital of Texas” for good reason!  The town is full of charm and gorgeous hill country views.  In town you will find plenty of boutiques and artisan shops to browse through where you can scoop up a nice little memento of your visit that you will be proud to have on your coffee table or show off to friends.  Think one of a kind jewelry pieces, local art, and artisan foods.  

Just outside of town to the north and south are two of Texas’ true treasures!  Head south of town to where you can chow down on some of the best BBQ in the state at The Salt Lick.  Keep in mind that most days you could easily be waiting upwards of an hour for a table, but it’s really not that bad when you bring a cooler (yes, it’s BYOB!), find a seat and listen to some live music.  

If you decide to turn the wheel north instead, you can head out to one of the most magical spots in Texas. I’ve seen a lot of places from the panhandle to Brownsville, but Hamilton Pool Preserve is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the state.  Make sure you make a reservation ahead of time because only a limited number of people are admitted per day and it usually sells out.

Easiest Way to Get There: Take US 281 N all the way to Blanco, then turn onto TX  163 Loop N which will take you to 165E.  Take 165E  until it T’s into HWY 290.  Turn right and it will take you straight into Dripping Springs.  (Drive time about 1.5 hrs)

5. Corpus Christi

Alright we might be pushing 2 hour limit with this one, but from most places in San Antonio it is going to be right about a 2 hour drive.  There is no better place to satiate that craving for seafood!  Corpus is loaded with local favorites like Waterstreet or Doc’s.  If you prefer to try to catch your own though, you have tons of options from piers and shore fishing to wading or bay charters.  

While you’re in the area, you can also explore the WWII aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Lexington, or the Texas State Aquarium which has world class displays and exhibits.  They have done some pretty extensive renovations in the last several years, and the new habitats are amazing! 

Growing up in this area I can say that The Sparkling City by the Sea hasn’t always lived up to its name, but in recent years there has been a real push to revitalize areas like downtown and promote more art and culture in the city.  If you haven’t been in awhile, it is definitely worth revisiting.  And don’t worry, Selena is still there.  

Easiest Way to Get There:  Head south on I-37.  That’s it!  It will take you straight there (Drive time about 2 hours)

Head Out There

We know that our city is amazing, but every now and then, day trips from San Antonio are truly refreshing.  We know that traveling somewhere exotic may not be an option right now, but we hope you can take advantage of some of these great destinations right down the road from San Antonio.  

Kelsey Campbell

Kelsey Campbell

Kelsey is a City Manager for UNATION and author of the Stuff to Do in San Antonio City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do in the San Antonio area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinSanAntonio on Instagramand Facebook.

Subscribe Now

Get the best things to do in San Antonio delivered right to your phone! 
Please enter a valid email address.
Thank you for subscribing!
Weekend Guides
Checkout all the past Tampa Bay weekly Guides in the Stuff To Do Archive
Find Stuff To Do
Discover the best featured and staff pick events in Tampa Bay on UNATION
Connect on Facebook
Join our Stuff to Do in Tampa Bay Facebook group to find more upcoming events

Get the App!

Download the UNATION app and discover tons of local events

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin