With so much ground to cover in the USA’s second-largest state, weekend getaways in Texas are the best way to stay awhile, see the highlights, and still leave room for more in your itinerary.
On this list, we’re exploring 19 Texas getaways that just can’t be missed, heading to every corner of the state to find all the weird and wonderful it has to offer.
The Lone Star State is home to a diverse array of landscapes, from miles of beaches to dramatic mountains to bustling cities (and, of course, a charming small town or two).
Ready to start planning your perfect Texas weekend trips? Keep reading!
Weekend Getaways in Texas
Hotspots like Austin and San Antonio, old classics like Galveston Island and Fredericksburg, and tiny towns with big personalities that you’ve never even heard of…they’re all up ahead!
Set right in the heart of Texas, San Antonio is a well-known and well-loved cultural hub with a rich history and a fascinating blend of Mexican, Spanish, and American cultures, which makes it one of the best weekend getaways in Texas.
Stroll and shop at the iconic San Antonio River Walk, explore 18th-century architecture along the Mission Trail, and sample incredible Mexican cuisine at the Historic Market Square during your weekend in San Antonio.
The whole city is packed with antique shops and art galleries featuring traditional pottery and locally-made paintings, so you’re sure to find some souvenirs to take home.
Welcome to Texans’ favorite summer vacation and seaside getaway! This incredible beach destination has been drawing crowds for decades with calm surf, long sandy beaches, and a lively boardwalk.
Get your thrills at the Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park (right on the water!), admire the colorful Victorian buildings of the downtown Strand Historic District, and dig deeper into local history at one of the area’s many museums, covering everything from oil drilling to the Wild West.
One of the most instantly recognizable attractions in Galveston is Moody Gardens, which features three dramatic glass structures–the Aquarium Pyramid, the Rainforest Pyramid, and the Discovery Pyramid–each packed with natural wonders and tons of learning opportunities.
Besides, this Galveston is one of the most enjoyable beach towns in Texas!
Nature lovers and adventure seekers will feel right at home in Wimberley, a village of just over 3,000 people nestled in the Hill Country, which is an easy weekend getaway from Austin and San Antonio.
Soar high above the woodlands of Central Texas at Wimberley Zipline Adventures, take the plunge into crystal clear natural springs at Jacob’s Well, stay in a charming cabin, and watch live glass blowing demonstration at Wimberley Glassworks.
If you visit during the warmer months, you might just want to spend your whole weekend at Blue Hole Regional Park, an enchanting wooded swimming area with rope swings, picnic spots, and hiking trails.
Sheltered inside a bay and hugged by the beautiful Padre Island, Corpus Christi is home to clean, white-sand beaches and a thriving downtown.
It’s also a quick weekend getaway from San Antonio since it’s just 2 hours away.
Step aboard a World War II aircraft carrier turned floating museum at the USS Lexington, visit memorials to beloved singer Selena, and hike through pristine seaside landscapes at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve.
Once you’ve seen some of the native fauna, check out the flora too! The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center features world-class facilities and 180 acres worth of orchids, roses, cacti, and other plant species, non-native and local alike.
So if you’re looking for a romantic hotel, we suggest you stay in a charming cabin instead. There are many romantic cabins in Fredericksburg!
The town square, Marktplatz von Fredericksburg, is a must-visit, featuring a replica of a 19th-century German church, picnic areas, and tons of Christmas lights during the holiday season.
Meanwhile, history buffs will enjoy a stop at the National Museum of the Pacific War, which has earned accolades as one of the best history museums in the country with its vivid WWII storytelling and battle reenactments.
Last but not least. Outdoor enthusiasts will love climbing the Enchanted Rock, which is near town.
Read next: Magical Winter Vacations in the USA
A tiny dot on the map 30 minutes from the Louisiana border, Jefferson truly embraces the slow pace of life that makes Texas small towns so charming. Entering this town is a bit like traveling back in time.
Historical highlights include the 1866 Jefferson Playhouse (still putting on shows today!) and the country’s last train trestle bridge, the 1897 Howe Truss Bridge (which has gotten a playful makeover in more recent years).
Once you’re done admiring the architecture, spot one of the last Civil War relics of its kind at the Jefferson Ordnance Magazine, purchase penny candy and 5-cent coffee at the Jefferson General Store, and embrace your whimsical side at a museum devoted entirely to “Gone With the Wind.”
It’s an incredible weekend getaway in Texas for anyone who wants to escape the big cities.
You may not think of Fort Worth when you imagine weekend getaways in Texas, but don’t let this shining city get overshadowed by its more well-known neighbor, Dallas.
Watch a cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards, learn about the heroines of the Wild West at the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame, and experience life in 19th-century Texas at the Log Cabin Village.
But there’s more to Fort Worth than just cowboys (and girls)! The city holds a number of world-class art museums–The Kimbell, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, just to name a few.
Certain weekend getaways in Texas have earned their titles as true classics, and Austin is one of them.
Kayak on Lady Bird Lake, picnic in the vast, sunny Zilker Park, and see Austin from above at the summit of Mount Bonnell.
When you want to cool off during your weekend in Austin with some indoor activities, pay a visit to the Texas State Capitol, home to the state legislature, and enjoy one of the city’s many arts, history, or science museums.
Of course, you can’t leave this Hill Country jewel without experiencing the legendary Austin nightlife, so hit West 6th Street for live music, quirky bars, and lots of Texas barbecue.
Texas’ biggest city also holds some of its biggest attractions and one of the coolest weekend getaways in the state!
During your weekend in Houston, dine at the spot where fajitas were first invented at Ninfa’s on Navigation, browse vintage treasures and artsy coffee shops in the Montrose neighborhood, and get lost in the Museum District, which holds a staggering 19 world-class institutions.
The city’s coolest destination is, quite literally, out of this world. At Space Center Houston, you can go behind the scenes of human space exploration, touch a Mars rock, and ride in a simulator that mimics the feeling of blasting off into orbit.
By now, you might have realized that yourself, but Houston is one of the best places to visit in the USA. You can’t afford to miss it!
For those that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Houston, take a Texas weekend getaway in nearby Conroe!
Conroe serves as a lovely gateway to several state and national parks in the area. Both Sam Houston National Forest and W. G. Jones State Forest are full of miles of tranquil, shaded trails where you can hike, bike, picnic, and birdwatch.
In the city itself, you can sample local wines and tour Conroe’s historic downtown, known for its original brick storefronts built during the early 1900’s oil boom.
Art, culture, and myths galore await at this weird, whimsical town in West Texas, most recognized for its tall tales of strange, inexplicable lights that dance across the horizon.
Since the 1800s, various locals and visitors alike have reported spotting this phenomenon.
Although the theories are numerous, no one has determined just what causes them. The town far away from major cities even holds an annual Marfa Lights Festival, so snag a ticket and try to spot them for yourself!
Otherwise, you can window shop at a perfect replica Prada store on the side of a quiet highway, enjoy daily desert sunsets, and just indulge in the quirky culture that makes Marfa so loveable, making it one of the coolest weekend getaways in Texas.
Most weekend getaways in Texas draw considerable crowds, and this country music haven is no exception (but on a slightly smaller scale).
Although only 13 people call Luckenbach home, this town in the Hill Country fills up on the weekends for live music events, dancing, and good old Southern fun.
A concert and a quick tour of Luckenbach’s two main buildings might not keep you occupied for an entire weekend, so keep this option in mind as a day trip or a stop on one of these iconic road trips in Texas.
Wine, nature, and charming historic streets make Dripping Springs one of those Texas getaways that feel as though you’re in a whole different state (or even country)!
The rolling vineyards will transport you to Italy, while the dramatic landscapes bring to mind floating in a Mexican cenote.
Nearby Hamilton Pool Preserve is one of the perfect destinations in Texas, with steep canyon walls, a 50-foot waterfall, a refreshing turquoise swimming hole, and hiking trails to explore the rest of the area.
Needless to say but Dripping Springs is one of the most incredible places for a weekend getaway in the Texas Hill Country.
Big Bend National Park
Although it’s certainly one of the most incredible national parks in Texas (and arguably the entire country), Big Bend doesn’t receive nearly as many visitors as other US parks.
That means you get all the remote, dramatic landscapes and none of the giant crowds!
Raft down a winding river surrounded by towering red cliffs at Santa Elena Canyon, climb to the highest point of the Chisos mountain range at Emory Peak, or embark on the challenging South Rim Trail to reach a reward of sweeping panoramic vistas.
Needless to say but this is one of the best weekend getaways in Texas for camping.
Pssst: You might want to purchase the America the Beautiful Pass if you’re visiting a couple of national parks within a year!
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Now, this is a state park that makes a fun weekend getaway in Texas for the whole family. At the aptly named Dinosaur Valley, you can hike the same ground that great beasts roamed millions of years ago.
There are preserved dinosaur footprints hidden in the park’s Paluxy riverbed, which was once an ancient ocean. As you hike, mountain bike, and paddle around, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled onto the set of Jurassic Park.
Beyond the main attractions, Dinosaur Valley also holds 20 miles of trails and campsites, so you can spend your whole weekend traveling back in time.
If you have some time left, spend some time in Glen Rose, a charming town just 5 miles away.
South Padre Island
Ride the world’s tallest reverse-bungee at Gravity Park, battle it out at Texas’ largest outdoor laser tag arena, and dance the night away at Clayton’s, the biggest beach bar on the Texas coast (And that’s just day one of your weekend getaway on South Padre Island).
Keep the adrenaline pumping with more fun in the water–and the air. Scuba dive at a WWII shipwreck, parasail over Laguna Madre, and spend a night under the stars at the South Padre Sand Dunes.
Top Reunion Tower for 360 degree views of the city below, picnic and play at the urban Klyde Warren Park, take selfies in front of epic Dallas murals, and uncover 5,000 years’ worth of masterpieces at the Dallas Museum of Art during your weekend in Dallas.
If you want to add some history to your visit, stop by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to learn about the life, legacy, and tragic end of former President JFK.
Pssst: If you live in Dallas or the region, you might want to go on a weekend getaway in a treehouse! There are a number of treehouses in Texas and one of the prettiest happens to be in Dallas!
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Texas’ answer to the Grand Canyon, Palo Duro stretches for roughly 120 miles of rugged, breathtaking beauty. On top of that, Palo Duro Canyon is the country’s second largest canyon system, full of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.
You can rough it and hike down into the canyon yourself, or opt to drive and just enjoy the amazing views at the bottom.
Palo Duro Creek Ranch offers guided Jeep tours that take you on a wild ride over the bumpy landscape while letting you in on the region’s history.
Also, what makes Palo Duro Canyon one of the best weekend getaways in Texas are the several campsites nestled deep in the canyon, from which you can see the Milky Way on clear nights.
Oh, and you might want to stretch your trip to Amarillo’s Route 66 District and check out Cadillac Ranch since it’s less than an hour’s drive away.
We’re wrapping up our list of weekend getaways in Texas with a tried and true tropical hotspot.
Port Aransas on Mustang Island boasts a busy beach popular for swimming, surfing, and seashell hunting, as well as a couple of pristine wildlife-viewing walks.
You can watch dolphins in Roberts Point Park, paddle on the coast of Mustang Island State Park, go bird watching in Padre Island National Seashore, or stroll through the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, keeping an eye out for their resident rare birds and giant alligators.
For activities beyond the beach, check out the picturesque Chapel on the Dunes, browse the Port Aransas Art Center, or learn more about local history at the Port Aransas Museum.
Wrapping Up on Fantastic Weekend Getaways in Texas
With so many amazing weekend getaways in Texas to choose from, there is something for everyone!
From sandy beaches to lazy rivers to bustling cities, this list of weekend getaways in Texas is sure to have something for your taste.
Did you enjoy reading about these weekend getaways in Texas? Then share it with your friends!