20 Best Day Trips From San Antonio, Texas
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3rd Feb | 20 min read

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    Looking for day trip ideas from San Antonio? Because of its position in south-central Texas, San Antonio has easy access to rolling hills, beautiful streams, peaceful lakes, and the diverse Texas coast. You're never far from adventure, no matter which direction you choose to travel.

    At the end of this article, you'll know the best 20 San Antonio day trips you won't want to miss—from Texas Hill Country vineyards to seaside towns, this list has it all!

    Whether you're visiting San Antonio for a weekend or a few days, start planning your schedule now and be sure you visit at least one of these locations.

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
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    1. Austin

    State Capitol

    With so much to see and do, Austin is one of the finest day trip locations from San Antonio.

    The state capital of Texas is renowned as the "Live Music Capital of the World" because of its flourishing arts, culture, and cuisine scene.

    Explore Austin's numerous live music venues, pubs, restaurants, and art galleries in the historic Sixth Street District.

    The 2nd Street District, which has over 40 boutiques and retail shops, is a great place to go for some shopping therapy.

    Free guided tours are available at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum and the historic State Capitol.

    Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Metropolitan Park, and Mount Bonnell are just a few of the outdoor leisure options available.

    Visit the Congress Avenue Bridge at night to witness hundreds of bats that live under the bridge take flight for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

    Distance and driving time: Austin is at a distance of 79.9 miles, roughly a 1 hour and 36 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    2. Fredericksburg


    Fredericksburg is full of Old World charm, history, and some of the country's finest vineyards.

    Many ancient houses and structures have been carefully maintained and may be visited in this town established by German immigrants more than 160 years ago.

    In and around Fredericksburg, there are over 45 vineyards and wineries. You may stroll to numerous tasting rooms directly on Main Street, or take a wine trip to various vineyards nearby.

    The National Museum of the Pacific Military, which focuses on World War II in the Pacific, is a must-see for maritime and war enthusiasts.

    Fredericksburg also has hiking, cycling, rock climbing, fishing, and birding options for outdoor lovers.

    Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, located just north of the city, is a wonderful hiking destination with magnificent views of the countryside.

    Distance and driving time: Fredericksburg is around 70.7 miles, 1 hour and 12 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    3. Houston

     Space Center Houston

    Houston is a sprawling city that is conveniently accessible from San Antonio. There are many reasons to visit Houston, one of the country's biggest cities.

    The Space Center Houston is one of the city's most popular attractions, where tourists can learn about space research and take a tour of a space shuttle.

    There are almost 20 museums in the city's Museum District, so museum enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice. The Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Children's Museum are all excellent options.

    The Houston Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium are very popular with families, especially those with children.

    Visit Hermann Park or Buffalo Park to enjoy the outdoors. There are also many excellent stores and restaurants where you may indulge in some retail therapy and delicious food.

    Distance and driving time: Houston is around 197 miles, approximately 3 hours drive from San Antonio.

    4. Pedernales Falls State Park

    Pedernales Falls State Park

    Pedernales Falls is located in the Texas Hill Country right on the Pedernales River. 

    The park has more than 20 miles of hiking trails, so for everyone, there is something. It varies in duration and difficulty.

    Pedernales Falls Trail System (1.8 miles), Twin Falls Nature Trail (0.5 miles), Wolf Mountain Trail Loop ( 5.8 miles) are some of the best trails in the park!

    The greatest way to cool off in Texas' summer heat is by swimming on the river. Make sure you only swim in designated areas.

    There is a major camp area at Pedernales Falls State Park that offers 69 electrical tent sites. They cost $20 a night in campsites and can accommodate up to 8 people per spot. Situated close to the Twin Falls Nature Trail and the designated swimming area.

    The Juniper Ridge Trail is for the more adventurous mountain bikers. It’s a 10-mile advanced trail with plenty of obstacles.

    $6 Daily entrance charge per individual aged 13 years and older.

    $70 Texas State Park Annual Pass (covers the entire family for every Texas state park)

    Distance and driving time: Pedernales Falls State Park can be reached with a 1.20-hour drive from San Antonio covering 76 miles.

    5. New Braunfels

    Comal River at Landa Park

    When the temperature rises, you can drive to New Braunfels from San Antonio to cool down in the water.

    The Guadalupe River and the Comal River flow through New Braunfels, making it one of the most picturesque cities in Texas. Swimming, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting are all popular activities on both rivers.

    Schlitterbahn Waterpark, one of Texas' biggest water parks, is also located in New Braunfels, where visitors may enjoy lots of water play in the form of water slides, coasters, and a man-made wave pool.

    Landa Park, which includes hiking and bike paths, a lake with paddleboats, a swimming pool, children's playgrounds, a rideable miniature railway, golf, and miniature golf, is a more relaxed alternative.

    Distance and driving time: Around 32 miles from San Antonio, it takes a 36-minute drive to get there.

    6. Guadalupe River State Park

    Guadalupe River State Park

    There's no reason not to visit Guadalupe River State Park, which is just a short drive from San Antonio.

    Make sure that you take a walk around the many trails the park offers during your visit. If you wish to go on a guided walk, explore and learn about the local ecology at Honey Creek State Nature Area.

    This park is packed with outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, and even river tubing!

    This park is the perfect place to go with a family because there’s so much to do. Find out more about bats, bugs, and birds, or try the archery of your hand. The volunteers often go on tours and search for wildflowers, to check how many toads and frogs are visible on the river.

    The state park of Guadalupe River embraces the emerging geocaching trend.

    Distance and driving time: Guadalupe River State Park is at a distance of 37 miles, approximately 44 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    7. San Marcos

    Whitewater Park in San Marcos, Texas

    San Marcos is a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts.

    There are more than 800 acres of outdoor leisure options within the city boundaries, including parks, open spaces, and hiking and biking trails.

    The San Marcos River, which is ideal for swimming, tubing, canoeing, and kayaking, is a major attraction for both residents and tourists. You may also do scuba diving or snorkeling here.

    A glass-bottomed boat is a wonderful option for people who want to go on the water but don't want to get wet.

    Visit the Calaboose African American Museum or the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos for a taste of history and culture.

    Texas State University is also located in the city, which has the feel of a bustling college town.

    San Marcos also has many famous outlet malls, including the San Marcos Premium Outlets and the Tanger Outlets, where visitors may indulge in some shopping therapy.

    Distance and driving time: Located around 50 miles northeast of San Antonio, It's about a 55-minute trip from San Antonio.

    8. Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi is now one of the finest locations for a day trip from San Antonio for tourists looking for the sun. 

    The region was inhabited following the arrival of Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda in 1519, the man who gave the lovely tropical bay its Latin name of Corpus Christi (translated literally as the "Body of Christ"). Today, this beautiful city is known as the Texas Riviera and with good reason: many excellent hotels and resorts, along with countless interesting activities and things to do, have made Corpus Christi a popular destination for visitors.

    The USS Lexington, a World War II battleship, is also based at Corpus Christi. Onboard, there's a museum, an escape room, a flying simulator, and a theater.

    The Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi offers interesting information and entertaining exhibits on the Gulf of Mexico's diverse aquatic life.

    The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a delightful place to experience nature's beautiful floral abundance, set within 180 acres and including a first-rate Orchid House.

    The Art Museum of South Texas, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, and the Selena Museum are all worth seeing.

    Distance and driving time: Corpus Christi is at a distance of 143.5 miles, approximately 2 hours drive from San Antonio.

    9. Padre Island

    Padre Island

    Padre Island, a fantastic beach town in Texas, is a little out of the way from San Antonio but well worth the trip. Padre Island is a wonderful beach destination all year due to its warm weather, calm sea, and an average of 300 days of sunshine.

    Padre Island, located just south of Corpus Christi, is the world's longest unspoiled barrier island, stretching 70 miles from end to end. 130,000 acres of magnificent beaches, dunes, and grassland ecosystems make up this vast region of outstanding natural beauty. 

    During certain periods of the year, almost half of all North American migratory bird species may be seen here.

    Padre Island National Seashore, Mustang Island State Park, and Andy Bowie County Park are all worth visiting. You may even witness some sea turtles being released into the water by certain local groups if you're fortunate.

    Distance and driving time: Padre Island is at a distance of 172.2 miles, approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    10. Canyon Lake

    Canyon Lake

    The Canyon Lake is a hidden treasure, just an hour's drive from San Antonio.

    If you want to get active during your day excursion then rent a kayak or maybe a canoe and paddle the day around this beautiful reservoir.

    You may also walk around the undulating hills and the calestonous cliffs nearby, or search for dinosaur footprints at the Texas Hill Country Heritage Museum, apart from swimming, tubing, rafting & fishing on Canyon Lake and Guadalupe River.

    Take one of the numerous picturesque rural streets, or play a golf tour at lakeside Canyon Lake Golf Club.

    The region also has many breweries and distilleries to experience the local flavors.

    Distance and driving time: Canyon Lake is at a distance of 43.7 miles, approximately 53 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    11. Gorman Falls

    Gorman Falls

    Within a three-hour journey from San Antonio, Gorman Falls is a real treasure of the Country of Texas Hill. This waterfall is located in one of the region's most varied state parks, Colorado Bend State Park, which is regarded as a "living" waterfall.

    While most waterfalls are becoming smaller, Gorman Falls is growing larger with time. The reason is because of the significant carbon dioxide concentration in the water running through the area's massive limestone deposits.

    Temperature and pressure changes dissolve minerals in deposits of water creating mineral surfaces on small submerged plants. Over time, the reservoirs are built into a rock called Travertine, which over millions of years has created Gorman Falls 650 feet broad and 60 feet thick.

    The trailhead of Gorman Falls is just outside the park gate and has a parking area conveniently at the start. The walk itself is three miles, but a free group tour of two hours takes you on a 1.5-mile shorter walk towards the falls.

    It is important to start early to fight the heat and carry plenty of water. 

    $6 Entrance Fee (Free with TX State Parks Pass).

    Distance and driving time: Located 148 miles away from San Antonio, it takes roughly 2 hours and 42 minutes to drive to Gorman Falls.

    12. Longhorn Cavern State Park

    Longhorn Cavern State Park

    Longhorn Cavern State Park is a one-of-a-kind Hill Country attraction with natural beauty and Texas-sized stories to tell.

    Longhorn Cavern, an underground wonder formed by an ancient river's dissolving and cutting activity, was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

    The park's intricate geology is interesting to learn about, and the visitor's center has a wealth of useful and informative information.

    Longhorn Cavern State Park offers guided tours, and the park staff offers walks of various complexity and with a variety of themes.

    They provide, for example, a cavern photography tour, a geology program, and a wild cave trip.

    Longhorn Cavern State Park is a wonderful location to visit if you want to learn more about geology and geography. It's excellent for families, but it's also ideal for solo travelers.

    Distance and driving time: Longhorn Cavern State Park is at a distance of 100 miles, roughly a 1 hour and 45 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    13. Dripping Springs

    Hamilton Pool

    Dripping Springs is a half-day trip from San Antonio and is full of a great adventure. It's the place to go whether you want to try something new in the outdoors, eat something wonderful, or visit one of the numerous wineries, distilleries, or breweries that call this piece of Hill Country paradise home.

    Dripping Springs is renowned for its rolling hills, beautiful river and streams, and distinctive downtown, which includes shops, a charming coffee shop, and brewpubs.

    Dripping Springs is home to Hamilton Pool. A visit to the 200-acre Hamilton Pool Preserve will take you to another planet filled with beautiful vegetation and a diversity of animal species. The pool, a geological wonder, was produced by thousands of years of water erosion, which resulted in a collapsed grotto, gorges, and a massive waterfall.

    The Texas Hill Country Olive Company is located along Fitzhugh Road, approximately northwest of Dripping Springs. When you pull into the parking lot of the Tuscan-inspired home, you'll be surrounded by over 15 acres of olive trees and smack dab in the middle of some of the most gorgeous terrain in the Hill Country.

    When you visit Reimers Ranch, you'll be right on the banks of the Pedernales River, with three miles of river frontage to explore. The park, which is spread out across 2,400 acres, provides access to approximately 18 miles of hiking and biking trails. Reimers Ranch also offers horseback riding trails and great fishing conditions in addition to the walk and bike routes.

    Visit Bell Springs Winery for small-batch wines, chef-prepared cuisine, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Distance and driving time: Dripping Springs is at a distance of 74 miles, roughly a 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    14. Bandera


    Bandera, Texas' self-proclaimed "Cowboy Capital of the World," is a fantastic day trip from San Antonio.

    Bandera is renowned for its sweeping vistas and cowboy history, and it is located in the beautiful Hill Country. Near Bandera, which lies on the banks of the pristine Medina River, are some of the state's most stunning natural regions.

    Immerse yourself in Bandera's Western culture by riding a beautiful path or staying at a dude ranch. In the beautiful town of Bandera, you may do all of these activities and more.

    Start your day with a steaming cup of coffee and a delicious bacon and egg breakfast before wearing your cowboy hat and taking a horseback ride through the scenic Texas Hill Country. This would be an odd morning for almost anybody. You may pick from 11 dude ranches, each situated on a beautiful landscape and offering outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and swimming in the Medina River.

    Trail rides are available at Bar M Ranch and Dixie Dude Ranch, which take you through rolling green hills, wide-open meadows, and over trickling streams. 

    If you like museums, the Frontier Times Museum has a 40,000-item collection of Western art and artifacts. The museum's historical artifacts, photos, and art displays recount the narrative of Bandera County's beginnings.

    Distance and driving time: Located 52 miles away from San Antonio, it takes roughly 1 hour to drive to Bandera.

    15. Lockhart

    Barbeque at Lockhart

    Many locations in Texas serve excellent barbeque, but Lockhart is probably the finest - there's a reason it's regarded as the "Barbeque Capital of Texas."

    There are four barbeque giants in town, which are around 70 miles from San Antonio and attract thousands of visitors:

    Black's Barbeque, Smitty's Market, Kreuz Market, and Chisholm's Trail BBQ are just a few of the restaurants in the area. But Lockhart is more than simply excellent barbeque.

    The Caldwell County Courthouse, the Caldwell County Jail Museum, and the Dr. Eugene Clark Library are all great places to learn about the town's history.

    Visit the Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches for something different. Lockhart State Park is also a wonderful place to visit if you want to explore the great outdoors.

    Distance and driving time: Lockhart is at a distance of 70 miles, roughly a 1 hour and 7 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    16. Luckenbach

    Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park

    Luckenbach, a teeny-tiny town with just a few buildings, is a great day excursion from San Antonio.

    This small town has the impression of a western ghost town, and you can purchase Luckenbach goods with the slogan "Everybody's Somebody in Luckenbach." There are RV campgrounds nearby, and live country music concerts are held every weekend.

    Visitors may experience nature, a functioning cattle ranch, and the Texas White House at the adjacent Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.

    Country music is popular in this town. Several vineyards are also located close to town. At the Texas Grapes Wine Tour, you can taste Texan grapes.

    The Luckenbach Dance Hall and Bar and the Luckenbach Texas General Store are two must-see locations in town where you can get a bite to eat, listen to live music and shop for gifts.

    Distance and driving time: Luckenbach is located around 80 miles west of San Antonio, roughly a 1 hour and 5 minutes drive. 

    17. Wimberley

    Jacob's Well

    Located around 60 miles northeast of San Antonio, Wimberley lies in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, close to some of the finest natural swimming holes, wineries, and culture. Wimberley has a lot to offer and is home to a unique culture.

    At Blue Hole Regional Park, you can go swimming. For many years, this has been rated as one of Texas' top ten swimming holes. Even in hot Texas summers, this magnificent, deep blue pool is spring-fed and maintains a constant pleasant temperature. Jumping into cold waters surrounded by magnificent Cypress trees is a popular activity for visitors. The swimming area is closed during the winter, but the park has 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) of paths, a pavilion, sports courts, and an amphitheater for people to enjoy all year.

    Although many people swim securely at the top of the Jacob's Well, even shallow swimmers may be harmed by upward currents and rocks.

    Wimberley Zipline Adventures is a great place to go ziplining. When you arrive, professional guides will take you on a walking tour of the area, where you will learn about the ecology, history, and other interesting facts about Wimberley.

    Climb to the top of Lookout Mountain. The journey to the summit of the mountain is approximately 220 steps, and climbers will be rewarded with a spectacular view of Wimberley and the surrounding regions.

    Wimberley Valley Winery and Driftwood Estate Winery are also worth a visit. Wimberley Valley Winery strives to provide a diverse range of wines while also injecting innovation and freshness into the Central Texas wine industry. Driftwood Estate Winery specializes in making Mediterranean-style wines using Texas grapes.

    Distance and driving time: Wimberley is at a distance of 58 miles, roughly a 1 hour and 5 minutes drive from San Antonio. 

    18. Garner State Park

    Garner State Park

    Garner State Park is located in the heart of the beautiful hill country of Central Texas, near the towns of Concan and Leakey.

    The main attraction of Garner State Park is the Frio River and the crystal clear spring water is too beautiful to resist. Anyone who comes to the park likely will do swimming, kayaking, or tubing in the water.

    Old Baldy Trail, Crystal Cave Via Horseshoe Canyon And Bridges Trail Loop, White Rock Cave are some of the popular hikes in the park.

    The Frio River is home to Catfish, Largemouth bass, Bluegill, and Rainbow trout and makes for a great fishing spot. 

    If you’d rather explore trails by bike than by foot, several trails in the park allow bikes including Frio Canyon Trail– 2.9 miles, Old Entrance Road– 0.8 miles, Highway Trail– 0.6 miles, Madrone Walkway– 0.7 miles, Ashe Juniper Trail– 2.5 miles.

    It costs $8 per person per day to visit Garner State Park. If you camp at the park, this fee will be added to your reservation.

    If you have the Texas State Parks Pass, you’ll be able to get in for free! This pass is $70 per year and gets you into all state parks for free for the year, as well as discounts on camping.

    Distance and driving time: Approximately 93.5 miles, it takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes drive from San Antonio.  

    19. Concan

    Shores of the Frio River

    Concan, a small town in picturesque Uvalde County, is centered on the Frio River and surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills.

    Any vacation to Concan should include a swim or float down the Frio River, and many businesses in town will rent tubes and rafts.

    The Frio River may be accessed from Garner State Park, which also has miles of hiking trails and natural areas. 

    Frio Bat Flight Tours provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the beautiful flight of millions of Mexican free-tailed bats against the blue sky. This bat population is the world's second-biggest, and the bat-flight trip is led by a professional tour guide.

    Golf fans should play around at the Golf Club of Texas.

    Alternatively, River Oaks Mini Golf offers a round of mini-golf. Hunting, fishing, birding, horseback riding, and even helicopter excursions are all popular pastimes.

    Stop at Horse Pasture Cattle Company or Big Iron BBQ for a bite to eat, and Fergie's River Store or Frio's Dry Fifty for souvenirs.

    Distance and driving time: Concan is around 85 miles, approximately a 1 hour 30 minutes drive from San Antonio.

    20. Port Aransas

    Port Aransas

    Port Aransas is situated about 180 miles southeast of San Antonio on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Port Aransas, known as the "Texas fishing capital," offers the finest in all categories of sport. It is a wonderful choice, with 18 miles of broad and sandy beaches for those who expect to explore the beach.

    Cruise around town or the beach on a colorful golf cart or bicycle and take in the Port Aransas vibe.

    Go to the observation tower at Roberts Point Park for stunning views, offering a magnificent perspective of the sea.

    Port A’s five nature preserves feature hiking and bike trails, boardwalks, and wildlife observation areas. Enjoy a dolphin-watching cruise, beachcomb for seashells, or learn about sea turtles and marine birds at the Animal Rehabilitation Keep.

    Port Aransas & Mustang Island are a paradise for birders, located in the center of the Central Flyway. Hundreds of species of resident birds and thousands of migrants can be found here.

    Distance and driving time: Port Aransas is at a distance of 180 miles, roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes drive from San Antonio. 

    As you've seen, San Antonio offers infinite possibilities for a day vacation. You'll have a great trip, from tiny towns to larger cities, regardless of where you choose to go. Try a weekend vacation if you're traveling to San Antonio longer.

    Discover San Antonio, one of the finest locations to visit in Texas!

    Other popular day trips in the United States!

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