Planning a Houston to San Antonio road trip?
San Antonio is one of the most popular cities to visit in Texas and makes a perfect road trip from Houston.
The road trip takes just about 3 hours and makes for a great vacation for all kinds of travelers.
Plus, there are many fun and unique things to do between Houston and San Antonio including small towns, state parks, natural attractions, and more.
This is by far our favorite I-10 road trip in the Lone Star State.
Also Read: Best Road Trips from Houston, Texas
Houston to San Antonio Drive Hours
The time needed for the drive between Houston and San Antonio is 3 hours.
However, construction frequently takes place on I-10 just out of Katy, and as you are near San Antonio so there can be delays especially during peak time.
We consider keeping 4 hours as safe drive time from Houston to San Antonio.
Also Read: Houston Austin Road Trip Itinerary
Houston to San Antonio Trip Distance
Houston and San Antonio are about 200 miles away from each other along I-10.
Wondering how far is Houston from San Antonio on the scenic route?
The route via US-290 through Brenham is 220 miles and takes about 4 hours.
If you are looking for Houston to San Antonio scenic route, then you can take US-290 all the way to Austin and then down to San Antonio.
Houston and San Antonio fly and drive trip
Out-of-state visitors can also plan a Texas road trip by flying into Houston and flying out of San Antonio.
Flying into Houston? Your arrival airport will be IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport or Hobby Airport, which is the hub for Southwest airlines.
While it is the hub of United airlines, all major airlines fly to the Bayou City too.
If you don’t have a car for your trip, rent one at the airport, or anywhere in the Houston Metro area.
You can also get an electric car if you are worried about fuel efficiency.
You can make use of the many San Antonio bus services such as Greyhound bus, the road is just perfect for a road trip.
Planning a bus trip will make you skip all the attractions enroute and so we don’t recommend it.
Also Read: Houston to New Orleans Drive
Flying out of Texas
You can fly back from the San Antonio Intl Airport.
There are plenty of San Antonio flights to various major cities all across the country.
Using one-way rental, you can return the car at your departure airport and enjoy a smooth check-in with amazing memories of your trip fresh in your mind.
Essential Stops on Houston to San Antonio Road Trip on I-10W
Here are some of the top attractions and stops to check out on this amazing Texas road trip.
If you are new to Texas, spend some time exploring Bayou City.
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the US so there are plenty of things to do.
Art Car Museum in the Heights district, Houston Zoo, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Kemah Boardwalk, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center are must-see attractions.
Kids especially love seeing the space exhibits, mission control rooms, space shuttles, and other attractions at the Space Center.
Of course, don’t forget to check out the culinary scene and enjoy some mouthwatering Texas barbecue or Tex Mex food while you are here.
About an hour from Houston, you will reach Katy, Texas.
Katy is one of the top growing suburbs in Houston and one of the best cities between Houston and San Antonio.
You can check out top Katy attractions including Katy Mills Mall (one of the best outlet malls in H-town), Old Town Katy, and more in a short time.
Katy also has an excellent food scene and is a hit with foodies.
Also Read: Houston to South Padre Island Road trip
Buc-ee’s is an essential stop on any Texas road trip!
This mega convenience store features plenty of gas pumps to fill up your tank and offers an amazing array of food, snacks, drinks, camping supplies, and more.
It is one of the most popular roadside attractions between Houston and San Antonio.
You can easily spend an hour or three here looking at the various Texas-themed souvenirs!
Make sure you check out their wild selection of beef jerky.
The huge roadside beaver statues are hard to miss!
Looking for one of the unique I 10 attractions on the road trip from Houston, Texas to San Antonio, Texas?
Visit the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site – a true Texas treasure!
Built in 1823, it was the first Anglo-American settlement established by Stephen Austin in the now Lone Star state.
The nearby Stephen F. Austin State Park is great for hiking and seeing the famous Texas armadillos.
Columbus, TX is a historic town on the Colorado River with plenty of charm and character.
The Colorado County Courthouse is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Columbus – don’t miss it!
Other must see landmarks include Old Stafford Opera House and the Columbus Water Tower.
Next, the I-10 road trip from Houston comes to a very interesting part.
Wondering what’s halfway between Houston and San Antonio?
The German towns of Schulenberg and Weimar!
Schulenberg even has the ‘Halfway to Everywhere’ sign on its water tower visible from the I-10.
Located in an area rich with German heritage, Weimar, Texas is a charming town that celebrates its culture and history.
Here you will find charming historic buildings, antique stores, and local cafes.
Weimar embraces unique aspects of German-Texan heritage during festivals and special events.
Next, the drive from Houston to San Antonio will take you through Schulenberg.
Schulenburg is an old-fashioned German town with loads of charm.
People from all over the world have been coming here for German heritage and food.
The painted churches of Schulenberg are also beautiful to visit on the road trip from Houston to San Antonio.
You can also take a quick tour of the Victorian buildings.
If you love antiques and beautiful art, this is a must-stop to check out.
A trip to Texas isn’t complete without taking time out for some of the best barbecues.
Make sure you stop by Luling City Market, famous for its long lines and delicious homemade sausage.
The rustic ambiance of the place makes it perfect for enjoying America’s favorite food with family and friends!
Explore the town of Seguin and enjoy the charming downtown.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Seguin from visiting historical sites to shopping.
Seguin also has great restaurants, breweries, and wineries.
In fact, it is one of the best towns between Houston and San Antonio on I-10W.
Essential Stops on Houston to San Antonio Road Trip on US-290W
Leaving downtown Houston, take US-290W towards Cypress and Brenham.
After Brenham, you can take the route via Round Top and La Grange to meet the I-10W.
Or take US-290W all the way to Austin and then drive to San Antonio.
Here are popular stops on US-290W and via La Grange to I-10.
The San Antonio to Houston drive hours along this route is 3 hrs 40 mins.
While there are not that many attraction sin Waller except for the Jellystone Park and the famous Dewberry Farms, the area is bursting with wildflowers in spring.
Be sure to look out for large flower fields if making the trip in March.
Chappell Hill, Texas is a beautiful historical town located in Washington County.
Founded at the turn of the 19th century, it is home to many of the original structures and buildings.
Each year, the annual Chappell Hill Bluebonnet Festival draws thousands of visitors to the area.
When it comes to places to stop on the way to San Antonio on this route, Brenham is a must.
Brenham, Texas is a beautiful city with a lot of charm.
From its quaint Victorian homes to its bustling downtown, Brenham is just amazing to visit.
You can take a historic walking tour, visit the famous Blue Bell Creameries, or go antiquing.
Round Top, Texas is an interesting destination for history and art lovers.
It has a small-town charm and historic buildings in abundance.
However, its highlight is the Round Top Antiques Fair, which brings shoppers as well as vendors from around the country.
La Grange, Texas – located in Fayette County – has an intriguing history.
It is known for its 19th century architecture, excellent restaurants and bars, numerous attractions like the restored Cotton Gin Museum and Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic site.
In La Grange, you will find one of the best roadside attractions between Houston and San Antonio – Timeless Texas Classics Car Museum.
Optional Detours: Houston San Antonio road trip
On both these routes, you can drive directly to San Antonio or take some interesting detours in the Texas Hill Country.
Did you know, you can also plan a trip between Houston and San Antonio via Austin if you have more time?
Austin is full of fascinating things to do including the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library & Museum, Blanton Art Museum, Austin Nature Science Center, along with great shopping and restaurants.
The Texas State University campus is also great to explore as a detour on road trip Houston to San Antonio.
This is a beautiful city located about 30 minutes from Austin.
San Marcos River is popular for river tubing and kayaking in the summer.
Other things to do in San Marcos include shopping at San Marcos premium outlets, the Hays County Courthouse, and the nature trail.
There are also a number of wineries and breweries that you can visit for an afternoon.
Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Texas
Lockhart is famous as the barbecue destination of Texas.
Make sure you stop by the world-famous Black’s Barbecue and sample some of their amazing barbecue meats.
You can also check out the stunning Victorian architecture of downtown Lockhart.
New Braunfels is a charming town featuring a stunning Bavarian-style downtown.
You can also check out the German culture at local restaurants and wineries.
Other popular attractions include Schlitterbahn New Braunfels waterpark, Faust Hotel, and Natural Bridge Caverns cave tours.
New Braunfels is one of the most fun things to do between San Antonio and Houston for families.
Things to do in San Antonio
One of the most popular attractions of Texas, San Antonio is a great place to visit.
Check out these top attractions in San Antonio, Tx on your visit.
San Antonio River Walk
One of the highlights of this road trip!
The San Antonio Riverwalk is a great place to check out the picturesque downtown.
There are plenty of things to do on River Walk from a stroll along the river, shopping, dining, or taking boat tours.
The Alamo is also a popular attraction located in the heart of downtown San Antonio.
You can learn more about the history and significance of this historical landmark on a self-guided tour.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is home to four different missions too.
The missions are one of the most popular free attractions in San Antonio.
San Antonio also has fantastic Tex Mex food that shouldn’t be missed!
A Houston San Antonio road trip can easily be combined with plenty of other Texas attractions to create a wonderful vacation.
San Antonio to Houston road trip
You can also use this itinerary in the reverse order to plan the drive from San Antonio to Houston.
Summer is another great time for this road trip to visit the beaches near Houston, Texas.
How many days for the road trip to San Antonio from Houston?
You can easily plan a day trip from Houston to San Antonio to see the city’s famous attractions.
Or you can plan a longer trip, checking out the many attractions on the way. See the bluebonnets in Brenham and check out Austin’s famous live music scene on Day 1.
Next day, take a river float trip in San Marcos and see the caverns of Natural Bridge in New Braunfels.
Then stay in a hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk and have a romantic meal by the water’s edge.
See the historic Alamo, shop in the Historic Market Square, and see the museums before you make your trip back to Houston, TX.
We hope you liked our Houston to San Antonio road trip guide.
What is your favorite attraction on the Houston to San Antonio drive? Let us know below!