5 day trip ideas to explore near Austin


Kathryn Patterson

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Take a Bus From Austin Texas

You never realize the spectacular views lurking just around the corner until you take the passenger seat. This is what inspired my college friends and I to embark on one more summer adventure before classes started. We set out on a minibus with a map in hand and our driver at the wheel, exploring unparalleled sights and iconic postcard views of Texas.

With our unique angle, we caught a glimpse of its long-standing secrets from an unfiltered lens and a fresh pair of eyes. Grab a seat on our charter bus journey as we explore these special spaces that epitomize the Texan heart. Though our trip spanned several days, each of these travels can easily be turned into a one-day trip!

Here are 5 of the best day trips from Austin:

San Antonio

We decided to make this our first stop since this popular city is a must-see while visiting Texas! The city of San Antonio is quintessential for family and friends as it is home to the famous mile-long River Walk, SeaWorld, and Six Flags. Our favorite stop, however, was the Alamo, the ancient Spanish mission turned into a battleground for Texas’ independence. This attraction is a great choice for nature lovers, history buffs, or adventurous groups of friends like us. We tied up the memory by collecting some unique “Remember the Alamo” souvenirs in the gift shop.


Next we decided to check out the never-before-seen sides of Houston. Houston had an entirely different vibe and character than anywhere else in the Jumbo State. As a major city, Houston offers a myriad of things to do for the common day tripper with trendy shops, museums, and restaurants. What we didn’t expect to stumble across, however, were several hidden wilderness spaces; George Ranch Historical Park, Willow Waterhole Greenspace, Lake Houston Wilderness Park, the Art Palace, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, and the Rice Village.


As Texas’ third most populous city, Dallas was the perfect option for a day trip from Austin. After experiencing a Dallas Cowboys game at the AT&T Stadium, we headed over to Dealey Plaza, sometimes referred to the “birthplace of Dallas.” It stands as a pillar of solemn historical significance as it was the place where JFK was assassinated in 1963. We then decided to head to hidden gems off the beaten path, which led us to the nearby city of Waco!


Halfway between Dallas and Austin, the city of Waco sits along the Brazos River. Waco, Texas was one of our favorites as we were able to stop by Woodway Park, Lake Waco Wetlands, Cameron Park Zoo, and the Martin Museum of Art. Any sports lover can’t help but to also stop at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Magnolia Market, featured by the couple that hosts HGTV’s Fixer Upper, also made for the perfect girls’ trip activity!

Enchanted Rock State Park

My friends and I really loved the adventure at this state park as it was a nature lover’s paradise! This ancient dome makes for amazing Hill Country views with outdoor area attractions including 11-miles of hiking, rock climbing, and even shopping at the park store.

Traveling by bus has taught us that there is adventure to be found around every corner. There is something special about hopping on a bus with all of your closest girlfriends and stopping at each new destination as you go. Who knew a charter bus ride could be so fabulous!

Kathryn Patterson is a full-time travel writer