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3 Amazing Day trips from Austin, TX

# 3 Amazing Day Trips from Austin, Texas.

Craving adventure beyond the city limits? Look no further than these incredible day trips from Austin, Texas! 

Forget spending three whole days in the city itself; within a short drive, a world of diverse experiences awaits, ready to tantalize your taste buds, challenge your body, and leave you breathless with natural beauty. So buckle up, because we’re about to prove that Austin’s true magic spills far beyond its city limits. 

Get ready to conquer majestic peaks, cruise along charming waterways, and delve into hidden underground wonders – all just a day trip away from the vibrant Texas capital.

Back in August 2017, my buddy Katja and I found ourselves jetting off to Austin for work. With a super tight schedule, we had a mere 72 hours to soak in the sights. Of course, we had an absolute blast, or else we wouldn’t be here sharing this awesome blog with you today!

Now, here’s a little insider scoop: our day trips from Austin were nothing short of epic, but they were quite the haul, all done by car.
Oh, and because of that, we had to be early birds, hitting the road around 8 am like true adventurers!

Back in those days, the thought of blogging was as distant as the farthest places we visited. So, we didn’t exactly pack our bags with notebooks and cameras. But hang tight, because we’ve got some very exciting adventures lined up for you!  Stay tuned for some detailed hiking and camping guides in our upcoming blogs. We promise to spill all the beans!

Now, let’s get down to business. This blog is your ticket to the thrilling wonders awaiting you on a one-day journey from Austin. So, buckle up, because our adventure is about to kick into high gear!

# DIRECTIONS DAY 1 of 3 day trips from Austin

Our adventure kicked off with a scenic drive from Austin, cruising along Route 71, and then onto the picturesque Route 16 towards the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Total driving time? A breezy 2 hours.

Post a delightful hike, Katja and I hopped back into our trusty car and set our course via the scenic Highway 87 and 10 towards San Antonio. The journey clocked in at approximately 1.5 hours, and once we hit the Alamo City, it was all about strolling along the enchanting River Walk and satisfying our taste buds.

To add a spectacular twist to our day trip from Austin, we made a little detour to the Natural Bridge Caverns. From San Antonio, it was a quick 25-minute drive along Highway 35. And finally, as the day drew to a close, we headed back to Austin, soaking up the scenery on a 1.5-hour drive. What a day it was! 🚗💨

We didn’t really need a map, but we love this map in case you want to take one: TEXAS STATE MAP

# Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock Natural State Area Texas Trails Map

# Summit Trail Enchanted Rock

As we approached our destination, the colossal pink Enchanted Rock loomed on the horizon, teasing us with its grandeur from miles away. We found ourselves yearning for a few extra moments to soak it all in. But, hey, a brisk hike would have to do, and it did not disappoint!

One of the must-try trails is the Summit Trail
It’s relatively short, spanning just 1.3 miles. This makes it a fantastic choice if you’re pressed for time, much like we were.

# Nice to know

Enchanted Rock rises majestically about 425 feet above its surroundings, boasting an elevation of 1,825 feet above sea level. This makes it the largest pink granite monadnock in the entire United States. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, evidence from archaeological digs suggests that humans have been drawn to this site for over 12,000 years!

According to local folklore, the Tonkawa, Apache, and Comanche tribes attributed magical and spiritual powers to this geological wonder, giving rise to its fitting name, Enchanted Rock.

What’s more, its remote location offers a celestial show like no other. The pitch-dark sky makes it a prime spot for stargazing in Central Texas. In fact, Enchanted Rock proudly holds the title of being an International Dark Sky Park, a distinction shared by only one other state park in Texas. For those eager for a cosmic rendezvous, you can visit the park’s website for information on Star Parties.

# Summit Trail Enchanted Rock TRAIL INFO

Length: 0.8-1.3 miles (1.3-2.1 km)
Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: moderate
Elevation gain: 419 ft (128m)

Interactive Map: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Interactive Trails Map (texas.gov)

Stay well-hydrated, take more water than you think you’ll need
a
nd  don’t forget to take breaks, especially in the scorching summer heat!
Click HERE for ENCHANTED ROCK STATE NATURAL AREA PARK ALERTS !!

Always check park alerts & conditions for more information before visiting any park!!

# recommended books for your trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Embark on a journey through Enchanted Rock State Natural Area with our carefully chosen books!
Uncover its fascinating history, and geology for a truly memorable adventure. 

# Explore the Vibrant San Antonio River Walk on Your Day trip from Austin

If you’re planning day trips from Austin, make sure to include a visit to the iconic San Antonio River Walk on your itinerary. While we didn’t have the chance to explore the entire stretch, the part we did walk left us enchanted and eager for more.

As we strolled along, we discovered many charming riverside restaurants, each offering a unique dining experience. Arriving just in time for lunch, we settled on a gem called Casa Rio.

# Nice to know

This historic establishment holds a special place in San Antonio’s heart. Casa Rio was the first San Antonio business in 1946 to open its doors to the River. 

Its picturesque location, paired with an authentic Mexican food menu, made it an instant favorite. Picture yourself savoring delicious dishes while gazing at passing boats and the hustle and bustle of fellow tourists.

TIP: For an alternative experience, consider exploring the River Walk by boat. Go Rio offers Narrated River Cruises and River Shuttles.

Last but not least: if you decide to end your day trip from Austin here, an extraordinary spectacle will be awaiting you. Every summer, approximately 50,000 male Mexican free-tailed bats seek refuge beneath the Camden Street Bridge along the Museum Reach of the River Walk. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during these warm months, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking sight as this bat colony takes flight at sunset (usually between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.). Imagine the sky filled with these remarkable creatures, setting off on their nightly quest to feast on the city’s plentiful bugs and insects. To enhance this experience, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere with live music, savor delectable offerings from food trucks, grab a chair, and revel in the captivating scene.

San Antonio Map

# recommended books for san antonio

Explore San Antonio’s essence through our curated booklist. From captivating novels to insightful guides, discover the city’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re a history buff or a foodie, there’s something for everyone. Let the words transport you!

# Natural Bridge Caverns, Unearthing Wonders on Your Austin Day Trip

Natural Bridge Caverns San Antonio Texas

Even though we had already seen a lot on our first day trip from Austin, we couldn’t resist a quick side trip to the amazing Natural Bridge Caverns on our way back. 

These caves are the biggest ones in Texas that people can visit. It’s like a huge underground world waiting to be explored!

# GOOD TO KNOW

The caves got their name from a giant 60-foot bridge made of rock that stretches over the entrance, creating a spectacular sight. That’s why they’re called “Natural Bridge Caverns”.

Besides the underground wonders, there’s a whole lot of excitement waiting for you above ground. Let me break it down for you: there’s thrilling zip lining, a challenging obstacle course, a fun maze to get lost in, the chance to discover precious gems through mining, and even some shopping and dining to top it all off.

After considering all the options, we settled on going for one of the cavern tours. It promised a unique experience, and we were eager to see what secrets lay beneath the surface!

As we went deeper into the caves, we found all sorts of cool formations made by nature. It felt like being in a magical underground wonderland! To learn more about these fantastic formations, I’d suggest taking one of the guided tours they offer, like the “Natural Bridge Cavern Tours”

Visiting the Natural Bridge Caverns was like the cherry on top of our amazing day trip from Austin. It’s incredible how such a hidden world can be right under our feet, waiting for curious explorers like us. If you’re into discovering the wonders of nature, this place is a must-see!

# TEXAS BBQ

Before we went back to our hotel, my friend and I had some pretty awesome barbecue food.
The restaurant is a historic former iron shop in Austin.

The  Iron Works Barbecue has been serving “Real Texas Barbecue” since 1978.
Not only is the food extremely yummy, but also the atmosphere is exactly how it should be in a Texas BBQ restaurant. If you don’t expect fancy plates and cutlery, this is, without a doubt, a very good Texas BBQ restaurant.

# Memories - Day Trip from Austin Day 1

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