Long Weekend Getaways from Austin: Discover New Havens
Published on: August 29, 2023
Right behind end fence of Barton Springs pool many locals enjoy refreshing waters of the springs with their dogs.

Long Weekend Getaways

Whether you are a proud Austinite or a Newcomer to the area looking to escape the stress, anxiety, and structure of the big city, get ready to unwind your mind, body, and soul at local weekend getaways. If you are feeling brave and adventurous, then explore past the construction and traffic to beautiful nearby destinations.

Newcomers to Austin often seek a well-rounded long weekend getaway that provides a taste of the city’s unique culture, vibrant entertainment scene, outdoor activities, and delicious culinary offerings. Whether you have been planning a trip for some time or are making a spur of the moment decision, take note on some of these destinations that can offer relaxation, seclusion, or a dynamic family-friendly atmosphere sure to making memories of a lifetime!

Downtown Austin with view of Capitol building taken from South Congress Bridge.

Image by: Mitchell Kmetz

Here are some top recommendations for your trip throughout the city of Austin:

  1. Downtown Austin: Explore the vibrant downtown area, stroll along 6th Street for live music and nightlife, visit the Texas State Capitol, and take in the city’s unique atmosphere.
  2. Lady Bird Lake: Rent a kayak, paddleboard, or take a leisurely walk or bike ride around Lady Bird Lake. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail offers beautiful views of the city skyline.
  3. South Congress (SoCo): This trendy neighborhood is known for its eclectic shops, vintage boutiques, and a variety of restaurants and food trucks. Don’t miss snapping a photo in front of the “I Love You So Much” mural.
  4. Zilker Park: Enjoy the outdoors at Zilker Park, where you can have a picnic, fly kites, or take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed swimming pool.
  5. Barton Creek Greenbelt: If you’re a nature lover, hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt trails and cool off in the natural swimming holes along the way.
  6. Rainey Street: Experience a unique nightlife scene on Rainey Street, known for its bungalow-style bars and food trucks.
  7. Blanton Museum of Art: Explore the impressive art collection at the Blanton Museum, which features a diverse range of artworks from various cultures and time periods.
  8. LBJ Presidential Library: Dive into history at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, which provides insights into the life and presidency of LBJ.
  9. Live Music Venues: As the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has numerous venues where you can catch live music performances. The Continental Club, Antone’s, and Mohawk are just a few examples.
  10. Food Trucks and Culinary Scene: Indulge in Austin’s renowned food truck scene and try local favorites like breakfast tacos, barbecue, and gourmet donuts.
  11. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum: Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the sculpture garden, showcasing the works of renowned sculptor Charles Umlauf.
  12. Austin’s Bat Bridge: Watch the spectacle of thousands of bats emerging from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset. It’s a unique and popular Austin experience.
  13. Visit Nearby Wineries and Breweries: Take a short drive to the Texas Hill Country and explore the region’s wineries and craft breweries.
  14. Circuit of the Americas: If you’re a fan of motorsports, check the event calendar at Circuit of the Americas for exciting races and events.
Landscape view of Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, TX.

Image by: J. Amill Santiago

Here are some options that are beyond the construction and traffic explosion of the city:

  1. Fredericksburg: Known for its German heritage, Fredericksburg offers wineries, charming shops, and a historic downtown. It’s about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Austin.
  2. San Antonio: Explore the historic Alamo, stroll along the River Walk, and visit various museums and cultural sites. San Antonio is approximately a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Austin.
  3. Wimberley: This small town is famous for its artistic community, natural springs, and outdoor activities. It’s just about an hour’s drive from Austin.
  4. New Braunfels: Enjoy tubing along the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, visit Gruene Historic District, and explore Natural Bridge Caverns. New Braunfels is around a 1-hour drive from Austin.
  5. Lake Travis: Relax by the lake, rent a boat, or visit some lakeside parks for outdoor fun. Lake Travis is very close to Austin, making it a convenient getaway option.
  6. Enchanted Rock: If you’re into hiking and outdoor adventures, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area offers stunning rock formations and trails. It’s about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Austin.
  7. Houston: While a bit farther (around 3 hours), Houston offers a plethora of attractions including museums, parks, and diverse dining options.
  8. Dallas/Fort Worth: These cities are about a 3 to 3.5-hour drive from Austin and provide a mix of cultural experiences, shopping, and entertainment.
  9. Pedernales Falls State Park: This park offers beautiful landscapes, hiking, and the chance to explore the Pedernales River. It’s located about an hour away from Austin.
  10. Canyon Lake: Perfect for water activities like boating and fishing, Canyon Lake is about an hour and a half drive from Austin.

Remember to check for any local events, live music performances, and any COVID-19 related guidelines or restrictions that might be in place during your visit. Austin offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to various interests, so you are sure to find something that suits your preferences.