Did you know that there are many amazing day trips from San Antonio, Texas?
Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, San Antonio is a perfect starting point for exploring the surrounding area.
Just a short drive from the city, visitors can find scenic hiking trails, quaint small towns, and rolling hills blanketed in wildflowers.
There are also several interesting small towns to visit within a few hours’ drive, including New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, and Wimberley.
Also Read: 14 Best State Parks near San Antonio, Texas
Best Day Trips from San Antonio, Texas
Tired of the crowds on the San Antonio River Walk? Looking to explore more of Texas than the Alamo?
Here are our favorite San Antonio day trips.
Natural Bridge Caverns
San Antonio is home to some of the best caverns in Texas, and Natural Bridge Caverns is one of the most popular ones.
The Natural Bridge Caverns are located just north of San Antonio in New Braunfels and offer a variety of tours that are perfect for all ages.
The popular Hidden Passages Tour takes you deep inside the underground chambers…
… where you get to experience total darkness and see the cavern in its natural state!
Looking for something truly unique?
Be sure to check out the Discovery Tour, which takes you off the beaten path to explore hidden areas of the caverns.
This tour offers approximately an hour of extensive exploration and adventure – and is hit with teens!
Good footwear is strongly recommended!
Natural Bridge Caverns also has above-the-ground attractions.
Fitness enthusiasts can check out The Twisted Trails – a 60-foot high, four-level rope course that offers an exciting experience.
An easier version of the obstacle course equipped with safety measures ensures little kids can have adventures too.
The adjacent Natural Bridge Safari is also perfect to combine as one of the fun day trips from San Antonio.
Canyon Lake Day Trip
Canyon Lake is a reservoir on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country.
It is about 35 mi northeast of Downtown San Antonio and just over an hour away.
There are a variety of activities to enjoy at Canyon Lake, including swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and boating.
Many businesses offer canoe and kayak rentals for water sports enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, there are several public parks located around Canyon Lake that offer scenic views and opportunities to relax.
Many of these parks have beaches too – perfect for cooling down on a hot day.
There are also several hiking trails in the Canyon Lake area that offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding hills.
If you’re looking for a great day trip from San Antonio, Canyon Lake is worth a visit.
Guadalupe River State Park
Guadalupe River State Park is a 4,897-acre state park located along the Guadalupe River in Comal County, Texas.
The park provides great bird-watching opportunities with curated bird trails.
Several miles of hiking and biking routes weave through the hills and offer spectacular panoramas of the river.
You can also swim, fish, and canoe the river. Fishing gear is available for rent.
For those who want to extend their stay, you can camp at one of the 85 campsites with water and electric hookups or 9 walk-in tent sites.
There are several RV parks located nearby.
Whether you are looking for hiking, biking, fishing, or camping, Guadalupe River State Park is one of the best day trips from San Antonio during the summer.
Garner State Park
Garner State Park is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, about an hour and a half drive from San Antonio.
Situated along the banks of the Frio, the park offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
The most popular activity in the park is swimming in the clear waters of the Frio River.
The state park has several rental options for kayaks, paddle boats, or even stand-up paddle boards.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can go tubing or canoeing down the river.
There are also several miles of hiking and biking trails with a beautiful view of the Frio river.
The state park is also a popular fall foliage destination in Texas.
You may even try your hand at fishing or playing miniature golf.
Various events are held at Garner State Park throughout the year, including live music, movies, and dances.
Garner State Park is the perfect place for a fun-filled weekend getaway.
There are over 300 campsites available, cabins as well as screened shelters.
Making reservations for both camping and day use is highly recommended.
Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park
The 56-acre national historical park is located in Johnson City, Texas about 73.6 miles from San Antonio.
This is a great day trip for those interested in American history.
You can take a self-guided auto-driving tour, learn about President Johnson’s childhood and time in office, and see where he spent his retirement.
While a free driving permit is necessary to enter the park, you can just stop at the Visitor Center to get one.
The park consists of two properties: the Johnson Settlement, the President’s birthplace, and the Johnson City Unit, also known as the Texas White House.
The park also includes a museum, an amphitheater, the Sauer-Beckmann living history farm, a nature trail, and a Hill Country botanical exhibit.
The Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park is open year-round and there is no entrance fee.
San Marcos is a great day trip destination for the whole family, with many options for a relaxing day trip, adventurous outdoor activities or shopping.
If you are looking for some adventure, take a tubing or kayaking trip down the San Marcos River.
Several businesses offer rentals and shuttle services.
For those who want to stay dry, there are numerous hiking and biking trails throughout the city.
You can also enjoy picnicking, fishing, and swimming in one of the many parks located along the river.
Explore the Texas state university campus or visit the Wonder World Cave and Park.
In need of retail therapy? San Marcos is home to the largest outlet mall in Texas.
The San Marcos Outlet Mall features over 140 stores and has great deals on clothing, shoes, and home goods.
Just 20 mins away from San Marcos, you will find the wonderful town of Wimberly.
It is home to many art galleries, antique stores, and great restaurants.
Take a stroll downtown to visit the DIY fro-yo shops offering unique flavors and check out the glass sculptures at Wimberley Glassworks.
It also offers many attractions from adrenalin soaring Zipline adventure, to striking views from the twin summits of the Old Baldy mountains.
San Marcos is only a 30-minute drive away from San Antonio making it the perfect day trip destination.
Located in the Texas Hill Country, Dripping Springs is a charming small town.
It is about 45 minutes from San Antonio and can be easily seen in a day.
The town is known for its many wineries and breweries as well as natural beauty.
You can go on a brewery tour and taste the local craft beer.
The Dripping Springs Vodka Distillery and the Twisted X Brewing Company offer tours and tastings.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as rock climbing options in the area.
Enjoy a dip in the cool waters of Hamilton pool preserve and pack a picnic for a fun family outing.
If you’re looking for something different, visit the Wildflower Center or Mercer Botanic Gardens about an hour’s drive from here.
Make sure to keep some time to explore the many shops and restaurants in downtown Dripping Springs.
New Braunfels, a historic city with Texan-German heritage, is located about 35 minutes from San Antonio.
The city is home to the oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall, which hosts live music every night.
The Brauntex Performing Arts Theater hosts various bands, plays and comedians.
Visit The Mill Street Historic District, Stock Historic District and the Gruene Historic District to explore well-preserved and restored historical landmarks.
Stop over in the New Braunfels Conservation Society Museum to learn about the history of the city.
You can also visit the New Braunfels Railroad Museum and the Sophienburg Museum and Archives.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are many parks and trails to explore such as Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Landa Park, Comal Park, Snake farm Zoo, and Hoffmann Haus.
With so much to see and do, New Braunfels is a great day trip from San Antonio.
Lockhart State Park
Lockhart State Park is just an hour’s drive from San Antonio.
This day trip is for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
The park has hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. It is also popular for wildlife watching.
You can spot deer, coyotes, armadillos, and a variety of snakes in the park.
The park also has a 9-hole golf course, a swimming pool, and picnic areas.
If you want to learn more about the area, stop by the Lockhart Visitors Center.
Here you can explore exhibits on the history and culture as well as read information on the wildlife and plants that can be found in the park.
Lockhart, a charming Texas town, is also worth a stop after visiting the park.
Known as the Barbeque capital of Texas, Lockhart has many options for smoked meat and authentic Texas Barbeque.
Black’s Barbeque, Kreuz and Smitty’s are a few must-visit places. Make sure to try some while you’re here!
You can visit the Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches and the Dr Eugene Clark Library in downtown.
Enjoy a live performance at Gaslight-Baker Theater or see a movie at the old Art Deco-styled cinemas.
Make sure to visit Manny Gammage’s Texas Hatters to shop for unique hats.
Austin, the capital of Texas, is a great day trip destination from San Antonio.
Just over an hour’s drive away, Austin is a vibrant city with a lot to offer.
Visit the State Capitol building, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, or the Blanton Museum of Art.
For nature lovers, Austin nature and science center, Mayfield Park and Preserve, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are great places to visit.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of parks and hiking trails to explore.
The most popular Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake has wonderful views of both nature and the Austin skyline.
Austin is also known as the live music capital of the world. Make sure to stop by Sixth Street for live music, bars, and restaurants.
South Congress Avenue is another great place for shopping, food, and people-watching.
A trip to Austin would be incomplete without a visit to the University of Texas at Austin campus.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Located about 2 hours from San Antonio, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a must-visit for anyone who loves the outdoors.
The area has hiking trails of varying difficulty and is also popular for rock climbing and picnicking.
You can also take part in ranger-led programs such as sunset hikes and stargazing.
The highlight of the park is a huge pink granite dome that offers amazing views.
The summit trail is an easy 0.5-mile hike to the top.
If you are looking for a challenge, the Echo Canyon Trail is a difficult 3-mile hike with a 1,000-foot elevation gain.
The natural area is also home to a variety of wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, armadillos, and snakes.
Enchanted Rock is a great place for a day trip from San Antonio during spring, when the whole area is bursting with Texas bluebonnets.
It’s perfect for those looking for a natural paradise in Central Texas.
Fredericksburg is a small town located about an hour and a half away from San Antonio.
The town is known for its German heritage, and you can see it reflected in the architecture and food.
Main Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes – make sure to try German food while in Fredericksburg!
The town is also home to several amazing wineries, many of which offer tastings and tours.
The Pioneer Museum Complex is a great place for kids to learn about the history of Fredericksburg and the Hill Country.
Many parks and museums have special events for the little ones.
The National Museum of the Pacific War is located here and is a must-see attraction.
It chronicles the history of World War II in the Pacific Theater.
The museum grounds are home to a Japanese Garden, perfect for some peace and calm.
Nearby Luckenbach, with a population of just 3, is famous for hosting live country music performances.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is located about an hour away from San Antonio and is a great place for hiking, swimming, camping, geocaching, and stargazing.
There are several trails of varying difficulty, so there’s something for everyone.
The highlight of the park is the Pedernales Falls, a 65-foot waterfall.
You can take the easy Hill Country trail or opt for 5-mile Twin Falls Nature Trail overlooking the falls or even mountain bike on the Juniper Ridge rail for an advanced workout!
If you want to cool off, there is a dedicated Swimming Area located just off the trail.
If you plan to stay, various campsite options are available. Make reservations in advance.
The unique landscape with the rock formations, waterfalls, and the gushing river is a perfect place for avid photographers.
Pedernales Falls State park is a great birding site as well.
Pedernales Falls State Park’s captivating views make it a great San Antonio day trip.
Mustang Island State Park
Located on the Gulf Coast, Mustang Island State Park is about 3 hours away from San Antonio.
The state park has 5 miles of sandy beaches, making it a great place for swimming, fishing, bird watching, and beachcombing.
You can also ride horses on the beach (hence the name Mustang Island).
There are several trails in the park for hiking and biking.
The most popular trail is the 4-mile Nature Trail which takes you through dunes, salt flats, and coastal prairies.
The park is home to various shorebirds like Spoonbills, Egrets, and Long-billed Curlews as well as many migratory birds.
The best time for birdwatching is during spring and fall.
Also Read: 17 Best Beaches near San Antonio, Texas
If you plan to stay overnight, campsites and cabins are available. Making reservations in advance is highly recommended.
Mustang Island State Park is a great day trip from San Antonio if you want to enjoy the beach and spend time outdoors in the sun.
Corpus Christi is located on the Gulf Coast, about 3 hours away from San Antonio.
The city is known for its beautiful beaches that are perfect for swimming, fishing, and sunbathing.
With more than 100 miles of sandy shoreline, you can enjoy various water sports like windsurfing, sailing, and kayaking in Corpus Christi.
If you’re looking for something more low-key, walk along the Corpus Christi Bayfront or visit the Texas State Aquarium.
There are several museums here, including the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, and the Texas State Aquarium.
The USS Lexington Museum is a decommissioned aircraft carrier converted into a museum, which chronicles the history of naval aviation.
The Selena Auditorium is a must-see for fans of the late Tejano singer.
The auditorium is located near downtown Corpus Christi.
The city also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs to choose from.
Pelican Lounge, Whiskey Rio, and Havana Club are popular amongst visitors.
Corpus Christi is a great day trip from San Antonio for those who want to enjoy the beach and city life.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore is located on the Gulf Coast, about 3 hours away from San Antonio.
The national seashore has more than 130 miles of beaches, making it the longest undeveloped stretch of seashore in the world!
The National Park site is a great place for swimming, fishing, bird watching, and beachcombing.
There are several trails in the national seashore for hiking and biking.
The unspoiled shores of Padre Island National Seashore are very popular for beach camping.
Visitors can also experience sea turtle hatchlings released on the island in summer.
San Antonio is a great place to live if you enjoy taking day trips.
There are many different places to explore, all within a few hour’s drive from the city.
Whether you’re looking for a beach day or want to explore somewhere new, there’s sure to be a day trip from San Antonio that’s perfect for you.
Which is your favorite day trip from San Antonio? Let us know in the comments!