Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day Trips and Weekend Getaways Around Austin,TX

Just hop into the car and you will find so many places to visit and things to do around Austin. From a German Town to African style safari, from caverns to beautiful tropical water hole, these places provide a complete change of scenery and provides relaxed, fun and refreshing weekend for whole family. Below you will find ideas for some great Day Trips and Weekend Getaways from Austin, Texas. Travel Ideas: Thing to Do in Austin

Read More: Nature Resort in Texas Hill Country: Canyon of the Eagles

1. South Padre Island:

This is a great weekend trip only 6-7 hours drive from Austin. Even during long weekends it does not get that crowded. It has every thing for a fun and cheap vacation getaway for entire family. From unique restaurants to boutique shops, horse riding by the sea to dolphin watching or cute little ice-cream joints you name it and you will find it here. South Padre Island is one of the top 10 US location for Sand Sculpture Festivals or more famously know as Sand Castle Days. Read more about South Padre Island Itinerary and its Sand Castle Festival here.

2. Natural Bridge Caverns

Trip down to Natural Bridge Caverns is fun side trip from austin. It is only hour and half drive south from Austin on Hwy 35. They are probably the most beautiful caverns in Texas. There are guided laid back tours as well as adventure tours available.

3. Natural Bridge Safari

You will need whole day to visit Natural Bridge Caverns and Natural Bridge Safari. They are right next to each other. Natural Bridge Wild Life Ranch. It is like African safari but in Texas. You can pick-up animal feed at the ticket counter and drive leisurely in your car. Roll down the windows and feed the animals from your own hands. There are giraffes, lamas, zebras, deers, ostrich etc. You cannot feed giraffe though. There is a small petting zoo for little children as well. This will be experience that whole family will cherish forever.

4. Hamilton Pool and Krause Spring:

Only about 45 minutes drive from Austin on Hwy 71 west, is this beautiful oasis called Hamilton Pool and Krause Spring. Hamilton Pool is a natural water hole and 50 feet tall waterfall surrounded by lime stone canyons and tall Cyprus trees. Read more about Hamilton pool at Travel Ideas: Hamilton Pool

Kruase Spring is a natural water hole and overnight camping area. Year round water temperature here is only 70 F. Covered with very old and tall Cyprus trees and very interesting rock formations. Water passes through these formations and humans can pass though them as well. It is a very beautiful tropical oasis just outside Austin.

Both these water holes are in the same area and can be visited on same day.

5. Schlitterbahn Water Park Resort

Usually I would not make a note of a water park. But Schitterbahn is different. Created from river Guadalupe, part of it uses natural water flow and untreated water. While some rides uses treated water. It has been voted best water park of the country year after year. They also have rooms available on site for overnight stay. Kids will not want to come back from Schitterbahn. It is so much fun.

6. Sea World San Antonio

There are only three locations in USA with Sea World. One of them is only two hours drive south from Austin, in San Antonio. It is experience of a lifetime. Encounter with Dolphins , shows of Beluga Whales, penguins, walrus and above all Shamu the killer whale all under single roof. Their 4D theater is another hair raising experience.
 7. San Antonio

San Antonio is called "The Alamo City". Alamo is the church where first decisive battle for Texas Independence was fought. It is only 2 hours south from Austin. Apart from Alamo the another very interesting thing about San Antonio is its River Walk. Mainly at night it create very magical environment. Take a romantic dinner on River Walk by river side at night. There are so many amazing museums and architectural buildings to visit as well. You can visit two top attractions of San Antonio (Alamo and River Walk) in a single day, but for a more leisurely vacation plan a week-end getaway.

6. Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock

Settled by Germans in early 1800s, Fredericksburg still maintains its German Flavor and is full of history. You can make quick day trip or stay in one of the many charming bed and breakfast inns for the week-end. Tour wineries and vineyards. Enjoy the wild flower trails and peach farms. Either way you will have a enchanting experience. It is only two hours drive from Austin.

30 minutes drive from Fredericksburg is fun place for camping and hiking. Enchanted Rock is a very interesting rock structure created from earth quake. Parking is limited here. So do call before leaving.