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17 Best Day Trips from San Antonio

During the years that we called San Antonio home, we spent the majority of our weekends traipsing around central Texas, seeking out the best day trips from San Antonio along the way!

From small towns to state parks, we ended up experiencing some incredible San Antonio day trips–plenty of which we can’t wait to visit again.

Here are the best places to visit near San Antonio!

All of these day trips are within a couple of hours of San Antonio, making them easy to fit into one day, and include something for every interest.

Keep in mind, though, that the driving distance calculated in this post is based on traveling from central San Antonio with minimal traffic, so your driving commitment may vary dramatically depending on your starting point!

San Jose Mission in San Antonio Texas as seen through a stone window. San Antonio is one of the best places to visit in Texas.

City + Small Town Day Trips from San Antonio

If you’re looking for an adorable small town or fun city, these are the best day trips from San Antonio for you!

Fredericksburg

Known for its prevalent German heritage, fantastic peaches, and many, many wineries, Fredericksburg is the perfect getaway for wine lovers.

With plenty of vineyards to choose from, not to mention a plethora of great restaurants, shops, distilleries, and nearby hikes, Fredericksburg is easily among the top day trips from San Antonio.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 10 minutes.

Library in Fredericksburg Texas, one of the cutest small towns in Texas to visit

Johnson City

The hometown of President Johnson is best-known to daytrippers these days as the home of the LBJ Ranch and the Texas White House, but it’s also located very close to Pedernales Falls State Park!

If you’d like to combine a tour of US History with a visit to a Texas waterfall, Johnson City might be the right trip for you.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 10 minutes.

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Austin

As arguably the best-known city in Texas on the national and international tourism scene, Austin is an incredibly fun day trip from San Antonio, but as someone who has driven the (supposedly) less than 1.5-hour route between the two cities dozens of times, let me warn you: the traffic between Austin and San Antonio is notoriously terrible, so try to plan your drives for well outside of rush hour!

If you do make the drive, though, you’ll find no lack of fun things to do in Austin: perusing the street art and boutiques around South Congress, watching the bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, touring the state capitol, climbing Mount Bonnell, and enjoying Austin’s famous live music scene are just a few things that might be on your agenda!

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 40 minutes.

Skyline of Austin Texas as seen over Lady Bird Lake. Austin is one of the best weekend getaways from Dallas tx

Boerne

The adorable small town of Boerne, Texas is one of the easiest day trips from San Antonio–it’s located so close to the city that some Boerne residents even commute into San Antonio for work!

With a strong German heritage, a beautiful downtown packed with restaurants and antique shops, and plenty of year-round festivals to hit up, Boerne is a fun and simple way to enjoy a classic small Texas town without traveling far.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

35 minutes.

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Lockhart

Known as the “barbecue capital of Texas”, be sure to come hungry when you head out to Lockhart on a day trip from San Antonio!

Smitty’s, Kreuz, and Black’s are among the most legendary barbecue spots in the area, but Lockhart is also home to plenty of breweries and a big helping of small-town Texas charm.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 5 minutes.

beautiful library in lockhart texas on a mostly cloudy day

Shiner

Shiner beer is a staple of Texas bars and barbeques everywhere–and in the small town of Shiner, Texas, you can tour the Spoetzl Brewery and learn all about the process of making the classic drink–and, of course, sample some while you’re at it.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 30 minutes.

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Dripping Springs

Located just outside of Austin and nestled in the Texas Hill Country, the small town of Dripping Springs is primarily known for two things: weddings and the Hamilton Pool.

The many wineries surrounding Dripping Springs make it a prime wedding venue in Texas, though of course its vineyards, distilleries, and even olive farm all make the town worth visiting even without a wedding.

Then, of course, there’s Instagram-famous Hamilton Pool, the natural pool that was carved out of limestone when a river caved in thousands of years ago, leaving a refreshing hangout (complete with a 50-foot waterfall!) behind for generations of Texans to enjoy.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 25 minutes.

Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs Texas with waterfall visible on the left side of the photo

Luckenbach

Home to just 13 official residents, the positively minuscule town of Luckenbach is well-known as a country music hotspot, with a popular dance hall and far more live shows than one would expect from a town of merely 13 people!

Luckenbach is only a short drive from Fredericksburg, so you can also combine the two for a multi-stop San Antonio day trip!

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 5 minutes.

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Wimberley

Known for its whimsy, its painted boots that decorate the town, its many art galleries, and its impressive swimming holes (two of them, Jacob’s Well and the Blue Hole, rank among the most famous swimming holes in central Texas), Wimberley is one of our personal favorite towns in the Texas Hill Country and absolutely one of the best day trips from San Antonio!

Keep in mind that if you’d like to hit up one of its famous swimming holes, you’ll need to make reservations well in advance.

Even traveling at the last minute, though, Wimberley is worth the drive.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 10 minutes.

painted boot in downtown wimberley texas

Nature-Focused Day Trips from San Antonio

Looking to enjoy a bit of nature?

These San Antonio day trips include some of the best natural beauty in the area–but you don’t need to leave the San Antonio area at all to find beautiful hikes.

If you’re looking for a quick hike but don’t want to travel outside the city, Government Canyon State Natural Area and Friedrich Wilderness Park were our two favorite places to hike within San Antonio, and we visited them both dozens of times each. 

Blooming Cactus in central Texas as seen on a San Antonio day trip

Guadalupe River State Park

Floating the river is a time-honored tradition all over Texas–and nearby Guadalupe River State Park is one of the most accessible places to float near San Antonio.

For those not inclined to grab a tube, the park has some lovely hiking as well.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

55 minutes.

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Pedernales Falls State Park

With plenty of places to both hike and swim, Pedernales Falls is an incredibly fun place to enjoy the great outdoors–and it’s also located right next door to Johnson City, which it can be combined with for a great San Antonio day trip that balances multiple interests.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 25 minutes.

Kate Storm wearing a backpack and sitting on the edge of Pedernales Falls on a cloudy day. Pedernales Falls is one of the best day trips from San Antonio Texas

Cascade Caverns

The stunning Cascade Caverns are located just a few miles south of Boerne and date back 140 million years, making them a fascinating place to visit.

While the typical daily tours are very interesting, if you’re the adventurous sort and can get a group together for the tour through the lower cave system, we highly recommend it.

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Even after traveling full-time for years through nearly 50 countries, we still consider our spelunking tour of Cascade Caverns to be one of our favorite tours that we’ve ever taken!

Driving Distance from San Antonio

35 minutes.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm covered in mud after touring Cascade Caverns on a day trip from San Antonio TX
If you do sign up for the spelunking tour, though, be sure to wear clothes that you’re comfortable destroying! We snapped this photo right after finishing our tour.

Garner State Park

Located on the beautiful Frio River, Garner State Park makes an excellent day trip for visitors looking to hike, swim, or float the Frio River (which we personally loved to do there).

We are a bit biased, but Garner State Park is one of our favorite state parks near San Antonio, and it makes an absolutely sublime day trip!

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Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 35 minutes.

View of the turquoise water of the Frio River in Garner State Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Austin TX

Lost Maples State Park

Lost Maples, as you can probably guess from the name alone, is best known for its stunning fall foliage–but it’s a beautiful place to hike and explore year-round!

Given that this is Texas, if you are aiming for the best foliage, you’ll want to head out a bit later than in many parts of the country! The foliage tends to peak in November, but use the foliage tracker to know what you’re getting into before setting off.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 40 minutes.

Jeremy Storm and Kate Storm hiking in Lost Maples State Park, one of the best day trips from San Antonio TX

Natural Bridge Caverns

Named for its famous, naturally-occurring, 60-foot limestone bridge, the Natural Bridge Caverns as we know them today were discovered in 1960, and are part of the largest cave system in Texas that is open to the public.

With a wide variety of tours to choose from (varying in both price and intensity), there’s a visit to Natural Bridge Caverns that works for everyone.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

35 minutes.

Photo of the interior of Natural Bridge Caverns, one of the best San Antonio day trips

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enormous, pink, and mostly free of vegetation, Enchanted Rock is unmissable as you approach it.

Made of granite and soaring 425 feet into the air, summiting Enchanted Rock is a classic Texas Hill Country experience.

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The hike doesn’t take long, but it is very unprotected, so be sure to bring a hat and plenty of water, especially if you’re hiking on a hot summer day.

Enchanted Rock can be visited independently on a day trip from San Antonio, or combined with a stop in nearby Fredericksburg.

Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour, 30 minutes.

Kate Storm standing on Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg, one of the best places to visit in Texas

Canyon Lake

Beautiful Canyon Lake, located on the Guadalupe River and known for being an excellent place to hit the water, is one of the most popular day trips from San Antonio and an excellent place to cool off on those brutal summer days!

With beautiful turquoise water, plenty of swimming and hiking opportunities, and easy access to other beautiful spots like New Braunfels and the Guadalupe River, you will definitely find plenty of fun things to do in and around Canyon Lake for a day!

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Driving Distance from San Antonio

1 hour.

2 photos: library in Fredericksburg TX on top and Guadalupe River on bottom. Black text on a white background reads "15 best day trips from san antonio tx"

2 thoughts on “17 Best Day Trips from San Antonio”

  1. We have friends in San Antonio and we love to visit. There are so many great things to see and do in the city (the missions & trail, Japanese garden, River walk, Briscoe Museum, just to name a few) and surrounding area. We have been to several of the day trips on your list and we will definitely check out some of the others the next time we are there (restrictions permitting). Happy travels!

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