Thinking of Austin weekend getaways? With its central location and importance in the Texas economy, the city of Austin is a major hub with easy access to the major roads leading to all parts of the state. It is easy to connect from Austin to the other major cities, such as Houston, San Antonio, or the Dallas/Fort Worth area. However, there are also several great locations in less populated towns which can make for a wonderful weekend. Austin locals can hit the road in almost any direction and find fabulous destinations with gorgeous scenery and great activities. Keep reading to learn about six driveable weekend getaways near Austin.
Getaway to Fredericksburg: Crown Jewel of US 290
Just an hour and a half drive away on US 290 in Austin, Fredericksburg is a small town with a long list of things to do. What makes this drive so great is that it is entirely through the scenic Texas Hill Country. The best time to make the drive is in the spring when fields of bluebonnets blossom by Fredricksburg roads. Once in Fredericksburg, there are plenty of things to enjoy. Fredericksburg is a great place to explore the history and culture of the German pioneers who came to the region. In particular, the Pioneer Museum is a great place to see the heritage of the reason. Fredericksburg is also a great place for wine tasting, with the county being home to over fifty wineries. In early October, the town also hosts Oktoberfest, a large celebration of German culture, music, food, and drink.
Where to Stay in Fredericksburg
- The Lodge Above Town Creek: Located just off Main Street, this resort features a cozy feel with a patio fireplace and multiple outdoor lounging decks.
- Fredericksburg Inn & Suites: Also not far from the heart of town, this location has multiple pools available even at night and plenty of outdoor meeting space.
- Fredericksburg Hill Country Hotel: This hotel has a central location near the Pioneer Museum and the shopping district.
Getaway to Cruise Ranch Road 2222 to Lake Travis
To find the area’s go-to lake destination, drive for about half an hour on Austin’s Ranch Road 2222 and discover Lake Travis and Mansfield Dam. This large lake offers a plethora of activities for a fun weekend. One spot for water fun is Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures, a property on the lake which offers boat rides to the complex. This waterpark features a private island where visitors can enjoy beachside lounging and drinks, as well as multiple floating obstacle courses. Volente Beach Resort offers amenities such as a swim-up tiki bar and a private sandy beach for fun in the sun. Another great destination is The Oasis on Lake Travis. This outdoor restaurant built on a cliff overlooking the lake has been called the “Sunset Capital of Texas.” It is also home to two stages where live music is performed. The Oasis is also surrounded by other restaurants and shopping venues, making a trip here worthwhile indeed.
Where to Stay on Lake Travis
- Lakeway Resort and Spa: This lakefront resort combines a full spa with amenities such as a pool and playground.
- The Reserve at Lake Travis: This community on the lake offers luxury homes for both residents and travelers to stay in and enjoy amenities such as a private marina.
- Volente Beach Bungalows: This site is attached to the Volente Beach Resort and Beachside Billy’s restaurant.
Getaway to San Antonio: Take I-35 to Alamo City
The city of San Antonio is just a little over an hour and a half drive on I-35 in Austin. It is one of the largest and most historic cities in Texas and features plenty of activities to fill up a weekend getaway. One of the most popular destinations is The Alamo, where one of the most important and famous Texas War of Independence was fought. San Antonio is also home to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, a large theme park with roller coasters, water slides, and a wave pool. Visitors can also visit the Riverwalk downtown. The Riverwalk is home to many shops and cafes. One popular activity is the riverboat tour of the town, which passes along several historic buildings. Visitors to the city can also visit the San Antonio Zoo, one of the largest zoos in the state.
Places to Stay in San Antonio
- Hotel Emma: This riverfront hotel features multiple restaurants and provides lovely views of the Riverwalk.
- La Cantera: Resort and Spa: This sprawling resort features both a full spa and a golf course.
- Inn on the Riverwalk: This Bed and Breakfast overlooks the Riverwalk and features several cozy rooms and a home-cooked breakfast.
Get-a-Float Down I-35 to New Braunfels
Just an hour-long drive south on I-35 from Austin is the town of New Braunfels. Situated in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country, this town offers a lot. Probably the most famous spot in the city is the Schlitterbahn Waterpark. This 65-acre water park features seventeen waterslides, three miles of tubing, a surfing machine, and three uphill water coasters. The park gets most of its water from the Comal River. Visitors to the park often also like to go tubing in the Comal River itself. For a different kind of adventure, visitors to New Braunfels can enjoy the nearby Natural Bridge Caverns. This cave complex 180 feet below the ground is extensive and has many natural rock formations. Another popular pastime in New Braunfels is visiting the various craft beer breweries in the city and further out in the hill country.
Where to Stay in New Braunfels
- Gruene Mansion Inn: This historical complex is made up of refurbished buildings from the Victorian era.
- River City Resorts: This location offers homes and condos for rent not far from Schlitterbahn.
- Gerlich Wagenfuehr Bed & Breakfast: This location has a small garden to enjoy in an intimate setting within walking distance of city amenities.
Getaway to Canyon Lake Awaits Off I-35
An hour and a half drive on I-35 will get you to Canyon Lake. This lake is a great place to try your hand at fly fishing. On the south side of the lake is the Lakeside Golf Club, which takes advantage of the terrain of the Hill Country to make an exciting course. The area is also home to the Heritage Museum, which documents the region’s history from dinosaur fossils, Native American Artifacts, and pioneer farm equipment. Visitors can also explore Canyon Lake Gorge, where waterfalls, fossils, and a lagoon can be discovered. Hikers will also find much to enjoy at Canyon Lake. Particularly interesting is the trail at Overlook Park, which provides excellent views of the lake. Additionally, some of the most famous performers have played at the nearby Whitewater Amphitheater, where visitors can enjoy the show and the attached beer garden.
Where to Stay in Canyon Lake
- Canyon Lakeview Resort: This waterfront complex features unique cathedral cabins alongside amenities such as fireplaces and hot tubs.
- Horseshoe Riverside Lodge: This location along the Guadalupe River offers lots of outdoor picnic space and access to the river.
- The Lakehouse Bed & Breakfast: This lakefront location serves breakfast in a room overlooking the lake.
Get-a-Blast Off on US-290 to Houston
The city of Houston is one of the biggest cities in the country and a top tourism destination. This one is a bit farther of a drive than the others. The trip starts on US-290 in Austin and takes about three hours, and ends on I-45 South in the Clear Lake City area of southwest Houston. However, the drive is well worth it for the many attractions that Houston has to offer. One crucial stop in Houston is Space Center Houston, home to NASA Mission Control. This center provides fascinating exhibits covering space, Mars, and the history of human space flight. Slightly closer to Earth, the Lone Star Flight Museum offers a fascinating look at refurbished planes from across all eras of flight. Another museum of interest in Houston is the Houston Museum of Natural Science, one of the most heavily attended museums in the United States. Additionally, Houston is home to five professional sports teams and prides itself on hosting other sporting events such as rodeo and college basketball.
Where to Stay in Houston
- The Houstonian: This resort offers a spa, bar, and restaurants to enjoy.
- The Lancaster: This hotel in the Theatre District is just minutes away from Minute Maid Park.
- La Maison in Midtown: This bed & breakfast features spa bathrooms and is located in the heart of the city.
Hit The Road for a Weekend Getaway Near Austin
Although there are near-endless options for fun things to do in Austin, even more adventure awaits within a short drive of the city limits. The area features lakes, historic towns, and big cities. There are all kinds of exciting places to explore. South Texas features some of the most beautiful drives in the state, making getting away for the weekend not only easy but also extremely fun. The only difficulty is deciding which way to go.