San Antonio is a beautiful city and there is so much to see and do there. But on the days when you want to get out of San Antonio, there are actually lots of places that aren’t too far away for you to enjoy too!
The surrounding areas of San Antonio are both beautiful and incredibly fun to explore. There are some well-known places surrounding it, but there are also some hidden gems for you to get to know as well.
If you’re looking for somewhere to visit outside of the city, then you’ve come to the right place! We have put together a list of 19 of the best day trips for you to try that aren’t too far away from San Antonio. So let’s take a look at them!
Whether you are in the mood for being outdoors in some of the beautiful nature spots or you want to see more of rural Texas, there are plenty of places that make for the perfect day trip just outside of San Antonio.
There are lots of little towns not too far from the city that will keep you preoccupied all day, but there are also plenty of nature reserves, lakes, and forests for you to explore too.
Kicking off this list, we have the wonderful small town of New Braunfels. This town is filled with lots of cute and rustic shops, some of which include bars and cafes.
If you enjoy learning about history, then there are quite a few museums for you to check out here. One of the most popular in the town is the Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country.
This particular museum is home to more than 200 dinosaur footprints, as well as hiking trails and even dinosaur fossil digs! There are also numerous art galleries for anyone who prefers to admire some art.
The biggest attraction in New Braunfels though is the Guadalupe River. It runs right through the town and it is the perfect place to go when you want to cool off. It’s very family-friendly and incredibly picturesque.
If you’re looking for somewhere to spend your day that is completely immersed in nature, then you have to check out Lost Maples State Natural Area. This spot is beautiful all year round, but it is extra special during the fall.
The whole area is incredibly picturesque and it is full of trees, canyon waterfalls, and it is also home to the Sabinal River.
If you enjoy stargazing, then Lost Maples is also one of the best dark skies areas in the whole state, so if you have a car and you want to see more stars than you’d usually be able to, this is the perfect place to do so.
In fact, Lost Maples is so good for stargazers, that it is even home to star parties where park rangers will take you on a guided tour of the night sky.
This is something a little different in terms of a day trip (and it’s more of a night trip anyway!) but you will absolutely love it if you give it a chance.
You can find Garner State Park roughly an hour and a half away from San Antonio. It is perfect for nature lovers and even if you don’t go out hiking much, you can still appreciate Garner State Park for its natural beauty.
You can do lots of things in Garner State Park, some of which include camping, swimming, and having picnics. It’s quite easy to spend a whole day here without getting bored, and it’s a beautiful place to camp!
There are over 1,770 acres for you to explore, so you will definitely want to come back here once you’ve visited for the first time. If you go during the summer, make sure that you check out the Summer Dance.
It has been a tradition in Garner State Park since the 1940s, and it is incredibly lively and fun! Just make sure you get there early so you can attend.
Just over an hour away from San Antonio, Luckenbach is another beautiful small town located in Texas. It is especially well-known for its music scene, and there is plenty for you to do both during the day and at the night.
Because the music scene is so popular in Luckenbach, there are also plenty of festivals for you to attend and they happen all year round! Have a look into the Luckenbach events that are happening during the dates you plan on visiting to see if you can attend.
Pedernales Falls State Park is about an hour and a half drive away from San Antonio. You can get an up-close view of the Pedernales River here and it is a popular place to go wild swimming, so make sure you take a dip!
If you do go for a swim though, you have to keep an eye on your surroundings because sometimes the current can pick up to dangerous levels. If you notice the ground becoming muddy or the current picking up, it’s in your best interest to get out of the water.
This is also a fantastic place to go hiking and as the name would suggest, it is packed full of waterfalls for you to enjoy! There are so many great waterfalls located within the borders of the park, and they are all worth visiting.
Other fun activities you can do here include mountain biking, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and even horseback riding!
Grune is actually located within the Historic District of New Braunfels. If you want to experience the rustic side of Texas, then this is the place you need to visit.
You can see all sorts of things here, from country musicians to the oldest dance hall in the whole state, and there are even places you can go for wine tasting.
The entire town is incredibly picturesque, so don’t forget to take some Instagrammable photos while you are there! Gruene is truly one of the best places to go if you want to experience rustic and authentic Texas in all its glory!
Located between San Antonio and Canyon Lake, you will find the fantastic Natural Bridge Caverns. In the caverns, you will find an incredible sixty-foot natural limestone bridge that has been capturing the minds and hearts of geologists since the 1960s.
The natural limestone bridge actually allows visitors to explore the surrounding caves, and there are five different tours for you to take when you get there.
Whether you are a fan of rocks or you want to do something a little adventurous, the Natural Bridge Caverns are absolutely amazing to experience. The Adventure Tour is arguably the “wildest” of the tours available, but each of the tours offers something different.
The Discovery Tour will take you 180 feet below the surface, and if you have enough cash, you can take a Private VIP tour which can be customized for your group!
You can find Wimberly quite close by to Canyon Lake, and it is a wonderful, quaint town that is absolutely perfect for nature lovers. If you head to the Jacob’s Well Natural Area, you will be able to experience 81 huge acres of natural beauty.
This is also home to the last (and largest!) fully submerged cave in all of Texas!
If you go during the months of October to April, you will be able to participate in free guided tours of the cave, where a guide will give you detailed information about the history of Jacob’s Well, the local wildlife, and the cave itself.
Another place you have to visit in this area is Blue Hole Regional Park. It is home to one of the top ten swimming holes in the entire US and it is absolutely stunning.
The Blue Hole Regional Park is open between the months of May and September, so if you find yourself in the area, make sure to visit!
If you head north from San Antonio, you will eventually come across Dripping Springs. This is another beautiful small town and it is full of many wonderful attractions to keep you busy for the entire day.
Some of the most popular places to visit in Dripping Springs include the Hamilton Pool Preserve and the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead.
Dripping Springs is also very well known for its vintage market days, so if you like to browse through artisanal and vintage goods, this is the perfect place to find them.
The Hamilton Pool Preserve is also home to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire US, so make sure you venture there when you find yourself in Dripping Springs.
10. Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake can be found about an hour away from San Antonio, and it is home to a big and beautiful lake, as well as a small town that shares the same name.
You can participate in many wonderful tours around the lake and you can also explore the town and the lake at your own pace. There are plenty of things to do at Canyon Lake, including fishing, swimming, boating, and more.
Around two hours east of San Antonio, Corpus Christi is one of the most popular cities in all of Texas. There are so many things for you to do here that you can quite easily spend an entire day here and still want to come back to do more!
Whether you are in the mood for museums, tours, kayaking, or state parks, Corpus Christi has everything you need for the perfect day trip.
Some highlights we recommend you visit include Mustang Island State Park, Paddle the Padre Island Canals, and the Texas Surf Museum. Corpus Christi is worth exploring, and because it is not too far away in a car from San Antonio, this makes it quite easy to get to.
12. Austin, Texas
If you want to check out another big city that is close to San Antonio, then you definitely need to check out Austin. Another popular city in Texas, Austin is only an hour and a half away from San Antonito, and there is plenty there to keep you occupied for weeks!
It’s impossible to see and do everything in Austin in a single day, but if you plan it right, you will definitely be able to have a fantastic time there. Even if you don’t plan, you’ll still have a great time!
Some great points of interest in Austin that we recommend include Southern Walnut Creek Trail, McKinney Falls State Park, and Austin’s Haunted History Tour. You can enjoy Austin in the daytime, but it also has a fantastic nightlife that deserves to be experienced too!
13. Marble Falls
You can find Marble Falls about two hours away from San Antonio, and it is the perfect place to go if you love wine and food!
The winery in Marble Falls is highly praised and recommended for tourists to visit and there are plenty of wine tastings and vineyard tours for you to take part in. Specifically, head to Flat Creek Estate, as this is widely considered to be the best!
You will sample lots of delicious wine, walk through the vineyards, and eat beautiful food that is cooked and prepared by the on-site chef!
Guadalupe River State Park is full of unique trees and incredible rocky cliffs that are so much fun to explore. This whole park is a nature lover’s paradise and spending the whole day here is super easy and fun!
You will have over thirteen miles of both hiking and biking trails to venture down and this park is a great place to camp, so you can spend the night here with no problem!
There is also a paddling trail that is located on the river itself which is great for anyone who enjoys spending time in the water. This is the perfect place to visit if you want time away from the city without having to venture too far out to find it.
15. Gorman Falls
Located in the Colorado River Wilderness of Colorado Bend State Park, you will find a fantastic 70-foot waterfall that goes by the name of Gorman Falls.
You will have to hike three miles to actually see the falls for yourself, but the extra effort is totally worth it for how beautiful they are!
Also located in the Colorado Bend State Park is Spicewood Springs, which is a great place to swim and paddleboard if you want to get in the water.
San Marcos is already a great place to explore, but the San Marcos River deserves a spot on this list because it is full of things to do. You can book tours in various different forms on the river, and you can go kayaking if you prefer to explore it without a guide.
The water is clear and blue, making it incredibly picturesque. The San Marcos River is incredibly relaxing and a great way to spend the day, especially in the summer!
You won’t find anywhere else like the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area! It is home to a massive, pink granite dome and it is filled with amazing hiking trails and camping spots.
It gets its name from the Tonkawa Native Americans, who believed that the fire of ghosts burned the tip of the dome. The whole area is rich in archeological sites, with lots of incredible things for you to see.
Fredericksburg is another place you need to visit if you’re a bit of a wine enthusiast! It is absolutely filled with wine tours and tastings and you will learn plenty of things about the wineries found all over the town.
Most of the tours allow you to book it so it’s private as well, so if you want a more intimate experience, have a look into that!
Johnson City is a historical city located in Texas, and it’s not very far away from San Antonio at all! You can enjoy wine here as well as art, antique stores, and much more!
This town was built in 1860 as a settlement, but it wasn’t until 1879 that it became an official town, so it is rich in history and it’s the perfect place if you want to learn more about how Texas used to be.
There is so much to do outside of San Antonio, and if you have a car, these things aren’t too hard to find. Next time you want to get out of the city, try some of the things on this list!
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