As a San Antonio native I can say that this city is definitely one to visit! Only an 1 and a ½ from Austin this city is worth the drive. You not only have sites for historic buffs such as the Alamo, Davy Crockett Hotel (rumored to be super haunted), and San Fernando De Bexar Cathedral but also great places to eat and drink! The Riverwalk is a landmark in San Antonio, that everybody should at least visit once. But if you are more into hip places you can even try south town, which has grown to accommodate some of the best food and coffee shops, San Antonio has to offer. Don’t forget the old Pearl Brewing which has switched from an actual brewery to a new and hip art/ food district. Even check out the Zoo or the DoSeum!
Talk about the quintessential little town on steroids! Only 40 minutes from Austin! If you like in South Texas you have heard about Fredericksburg. This can be a romantic escape or even a great place to host your next bachelor/bachelorette party! With heavy German influences you can get authentic food and shop until you cannot stop. Some of the best festivals and events you can go to. Right outside of Fredericksburg you can visit Enchanted Rock, a “massive rock dome rises about 425 feet above the surrounding area.” This is a highly sought after destination, so be wary because they do stop allowing people in at capacity.
One of my personal favorites! My husband and I frequent this quaint, picturesque town quite frequently. Much smaller than Fredericksburg but has the same feel with great restaurants, art galleries, a farmers market on Saturdays. Pecan Street Brewing is a staple in this town with live music and some of the best home cooking I have ever eaten! You can even visit LBJ Ranch for a hike and to visit the historical sites and buildings!
I have made many more day trips than I thought I did when typing this out, I actually also lived in Waco. I will say a few years ago, I would have said no way is Waco worth it but it has its gems! The Dr. Pepper Museum is so much fun and you can get a float on your way out! We all know Fixer Upper, but they have done a lot for Waco (minus the soaring property values) and initiated the Silos, a hip family area with a store, live music some nights, and some of the best food trucks you will ever find! Bare Arms Brewing is growing in popularity but still a semi-secret, such amazing craft beer and some of the best people. Waco is worth the drive, even to drive through Baylor Campus. And visit the Cameron Park Zoo or the Mammoth site!
Okay, not entirely too far out of the way of Austin, but is home to some of the best distilleries, breweries, and nature you can find. Their downtown is full of history and things to see. There is something so calming about Dripping Springs, with its natural swimming holes, lakes, and even places to hike and explore. You must check out Jester King, a huge ranch converted to a brewery with one of the best pizza places you will ever eat at!
We cannot forget about this gem! One of the most known day trips from Austin has to be San Marcos. You can go tubing or lay out by the river, shopping in the outlets, or even go hang out at Buccees! And the downtown square is beautiful and ready for a night out.