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19 Best Day Trips from San Antonio

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Are you planning a trip to San Antonio, Texas? You’re in luck because not only is the city great, but there are also many day trips from San Antonio that can help you chase your wanderlust.

With a population of 1.5 million people, this top-rated city in Texas is filled with outstanding attractions ranging from the 18th-century Alamo to the San Antonio River Walk.

While there is no shortage of things to do in San Antonio, going on a day trip will show you a new side of Texas.

Still, it can be hard to find all the best day trips to take, especially because Texas is a huge state.

Luckily, by the end of this article, you’ll know the top 19 San Antonio day trips that you won’t want to miss—from wineries in the Texas Hill Country to beach towns, this list has it all!

Whether you’re spending a weekend in San Antonio or a week, be sure to start nailing down your itinerary today and include at least one of these places in your trip.

Looking for accommodation in SA? We wrote a detailed guide to where to stay in San Antonio for every budget and the main neighborhoods. It’s worth checking it out, especially if this is your first time in the city.

The Best Day Trips from San Antonio

Below, find the best places to visit near San Antonio, all of which can be explored with a day trip. They’re ranked in no particular order; each one is an epic destination!

Day trips from San Antonio within a 1-hour drive

Fredericksburg

Public library in Fredericksburg, Texas

First up is Fredericksburg, one of the best day trips from San Antonio. This German town in the Hill Country can be reached within an hour’s drive from the city, covering 71 miles.

If you’re traveling with a significant other, you’re in luck because it is seen as one of Texas’s most romantic destinations.

Calling all wine lovers! Fredericksburg is known for its wine because it’s home to many vineyards and tasting rooms.

The best way to explore the area is to book a wine tour or plan one of your own! You’ll also want to explore a lot of the German roots of the town.

Luckenbach

Country music band in Luckenbach, Texas

An hour, or 63 miles, north of San Antonio is Luckenbach, which is easily a perfect day trip or even a weekend getaway from San Antonio.

Luckenbach in the Hill Country is also a smaller town, similar to Johnson City, but it’s filled with its own fun attractions that you won’t want to miss.

Be sure to stop by the General Store, which also doubles as a dancehall. It can be an enjoyable time in the evening and dates back to 1849!

Other fun places to visit in Luckenbach include Heath Sparkling Wines and the National Museum of the Pacific War.

Canyon Lake

Aerial photo of Canyon Lake, Texas

Canyon Lake on the Guadalupe River is only 50 minutes or 44 miles from San Antonio. For an outdoor adventure, this is the place that you’re going to want to visit.

The beautiful turquoise water is pretty inviting and you will find everything you need to hit the water and cool off on summer days. Swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, kayaking, and more are pretty popular at Canyon Lake.

If you prefer to stay dry, just go for a hike in the area—there are enough hiking opportunities here!

Needless to say, this is one of the most popular day trips from San Antonio.

Wimberley

Wimberley Retail Shops
Wimberley is a lovely small town Texas Hill Country

Located an hour northeast, or 63 miles, of San Antonio, is Wimberley. It’s considered to be extremely beautiful and picturesque, which is why it’s one of the best day trips from San Antonio.

There are tons of fun places to visit here if you are an outdoor enthusiast.

Be sure to add Blue Hole Regional Park to your itinerary, which is filled with incredible hikes and even places to swim. Oh, and you will want to check out Jacobs Well, one of the top spots in nature in Wimberley!

Castroville

The Steinbach House in Castroville, Texas
The Steinbach House in Castroville, Texas – Photo: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the shortest day trips from San Antonio is Castroville! It’s only 30 minutes away or 27 miles from San Antonio.

This small city is most well known for being home to unique architecture commonly referred to as Alsatian-Texas.

Castroville is home to the Alsation Steinbach Haus (an absolute must-see), Castroville Regional Park, and the Landmark Inn Historic Site, which is a great place to stay if you want to take a weekend trip instead.

For a great meal during your visit to Castroville, head to Sammy’s Restaurant, arguably the best place to eat in the whole town.

San Marcos

The Hays County Historic Courthouse, in San Marcos, Texas
The Hays County Historic Courthouse in San Marcos

Fifty minutes or 50 miles from San Antonio is San Marcos! While it’s a college town mainly, San Marcos is still one of the most fun day trips from San Antonio because of its incredibly historic downtown area.

In addition to exploring the downtown area, you’ll want to take the time to check out the beautiful nature here. Some top outdoor spaces include Rio Vista Park and Lake Kyle Park.

If you have time, stop by the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum too, which has exhibits covering the 36th president of the United States.

Guadalupe River State Park

Fall Foliage on Guadalupe State Park near San Antonio, Texas.
Guadalupe River is one of the best state parks near San Antonio, Texas

Next is Guadalupe River State Park, which is 45 minutes or 37 miles away from San Antonio.

Like the other state parks on this list, this is one that you’re not going to want to miss. Plus, it’s such a short drive from San Antonio that there’s no excuse for you not to make the trip!

This park is filled with outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing, and even tubing down the river! But of course, it has some of the most incredible San Antonio trails for you to discover.

This state park near San Antonio is the perfect place to go with a family because there’s honestly so much to do.

Natural Bridge Caverns

Stalagmites in Natural Bridge Caverns near San Antonio, Texas
Stalagmites in Natural Bridge Caverns near San Antonio

The Natural Bridge Caverns are only 35 minutes or 28 miles. They’re the largest caverns of their kind in the entire country, which makes them worth visiting. The caverns are filled with limestone and rocks jutting out from every angle.

Tickets change prices throughout the year but tend to be around $17 per adult. On average, you’ll need at least an hour to go on a tour and fully explore them.

Despite popular belief, the caverns can be pretty warm, so make sure you dress appropriately when you come!

Canyon State Natural Area

Dinosaur tracks in Government Canyon State Area near San Antonio, Texas
Dinosaur tracks

Canyon State Natural Area is a more recent state park that opened back in 2005. It’s only 35 minutes away or 27 miles. It’s unlike other parks in Texas because it’s a natural area, meaning that the park’s mission is conservation.

The best thing to do here is to explore the many trails. You can go hiking, walking, or even biking along them if you are adventurous enough!

There are also campsites here in case you want to make it a weekend trip. Be sure to look out for the dinosaur tracks!

Day trips from San Antonio within a 2-hour drive

Schulenburg

Sengelmann Hall in Schulenburg, Texas
Sengelmann Hall is a fully restored 1890’s Texas dance hall

Located 1.5-hour drive or 103 miles from San Antonio is Schulenburg! This city is a bit smaller, but it’s most well known for its European roots.

It has strong German links and is popularly visited by those wanting to explore the Texas Polka Museum.

Other great places to visit here include the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum, the Piano Bridge, and Schulenburg Historical Museum.

For a great meal, head to Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant! It’s family-friendly and serves up excellent entrees that will leave you wanting more.

Johnson City

Lady Bird swing in Lyndon B Johnson National Park in Texas
Lyndon B Johnson National Park in Texas

Johnson City is one of the best San Antonio day trips that can be reached in a little over an hour. It’s 64 miles from San Antonio. It’s a small town, so it’s the perfect place to explore small-town Texas life and mingle with locals.

The town is named after former President Lyndon B. Johnson, so check out his childhood home when visiting.

Another must-visit place in Johnson City is the Pedernales River Nature Park which is beautiful and is perfect for visiting if you’re traveling with kids.

Austin

Capitol Building in Austin, Texas

Austin is easily one of the most popular destinations for locals and tourists visiting Texas, and it even can make a great weekend trip from San Antonio. It’s only 1.15 hours or 80 miles away from San Antonio.

While it’s known as being a foodie city, it’s also popular for its live music. Try to head to one of its incredible music venues or a local bar so that you can experience it for yourself!

Other great places to visit here include the Texas Capitol, Lady Bird Lake, and Zilker Park.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Sunrise on Enchanted Rock in Texas
Sunrise at Enchanted Rock State Park near Fredericksburg, TX

The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is only a 1.5-hour drive or 88 miles from San Antonio, and it is one of the most beautiful state parks in Texas. If you have the time, you should put it at the top of your day trip list!

It’s most well known for being home to pink granite rocks, which will take your breath away.

There are also many miles of trails, spots for camping, and just epic views all around. For a fun day outside, look no further than Enchanted Rock State Natural Park!

Dripping Springs

Dripping Springs Texas
Dripping Springs is a small town in the Texas Hill Country

Dripping Springs is a 1.20-hour drive, or 74 miles, from San Antonio. It’s easily one of the top places to visit near San Antonio. This small city isn’t that far from Austin, so you could easily visit both destinations on the same day.

This city is known for its great alcohol, so be sure to head to Deep Eddy Vodka Tasting Room for some epic wine tasting.

Other great places to visit on this day trip include Bell Springs Winery, Charro Ranch Park, and Veterans Memorial Park, which often holds festivals in the summer.

Garner State Park

Fall Foliage on Frio River at Garner State Park, Texas.
Fall Foliage on Frio River at Garner State Park, Texas.

An hour and a half away from San Antonio is Garner State Park. It can be reached with a drive covering 94 miles, making it the perfect day trip from San Antonio.

Beyond that, Garner State Park is arguably the most popular in the state for those who want to go camping.

There are lakes, hiking trails, and fishing opportunities throughout the park. For a fun experience, rent a kayak to go out on the lake!

Lockhart State Park

Man walking in Lockhart State Park, Texas

There are eighty different state parks in Texas, but Lockhart State Park is one that you won’t want to miss out on if you’re visiting San Antonio. It can be reached within a little over an hour or 67 miles.

The park is incredibly immense and covers more than 250 acres of land.

Truthfully, it could even be a weekend getaway from San Antonio so you can explore more of the park! It’s filled with trails, lakes, and spots to go camping.

Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales Falls State Park in Texas
Pedernales Falls State Park

Last but not least is another state park! This one can be reached with a 1.20-hour drive covering 76 miles. It’s genuinely immense and covers more than 5,000 acres of land, so there are tons to explore.

It’s right along the Pedernales River, so there are many different water activities to do here, including fishing and tubing. Be sure to check out the many hiking trails, which this state park is most well known for.

Day trips from San Antonio within a 3-hour drive

Houston

Houston Downtown

One of the great longer day trips from San Antonio is Houston! It’s also one of the top places to visit in the state, like Dallas and Austin.

From San Antonio, Houston can be reached by a 3-hour drive spanning 197 miles. Don’t let the distance scare you, though!

The top place to explore here is the NASA Johnson Space Center. However, it’s also home to the great Houston Museum of Natural Science and Museum of Fine Arts for art lovers.

If you’re not a museum fan, you could also explore Hermann Park or Discovery Green, two outdoor green spaces.

Padre Island

Boardwalk on South Padre Island, Texas

Calling all nature lovers! Padre Island, an incredible beach town in Texas, is a bit farther away from San Antonio but is still worth visiting.

This incredible national park in Texas can be reached in a 2.40-hour drive, spanning 172 miles. This island is home to some of the best protected beaches in all of Texas.

Be sure to stop by the beautiful Padre Island National Seashore, Mustang Island State Park, and Andy Bowie County Park. If you’re lucky, you may even see some sea turtles get released into the ocean by some local organizations!

Wrapping up on San Antonio day trips

As you can see, the opportunities for a day trip from San Antonio are genuinely endless.

From small towns to bigger cities, you’ll have a memorable experience no matter which destination you choose. If you have a more extended trip to San Antonio, try to take a weekend trip too.

Enjoy planning your trip to San Antonio, one of the best places to visit in Texas!

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