Austin is a hip city, so jam-packed with things to do that no one could ever get bored, right? Well, sometimes you just need to get away from all that hustle and bustle and find somewhere you can just relax. That's where we come in, showing you some of the best weekend getaways in the whole USA. These 9 destinations will help you unwind, and feel the stress of your day-to-day just melt away.

Quick Answer: Best Weekend Getaways From Austin

‌Best Day Trips From Austin‌

‌Best Road Trips From Austin‌

‌Best Weekend Trips From Austin‌

Best Day Trips From Austin

Looking for a place to go on your day off? These three places are perfect for a quick trip when you don't have much time but just need a place to unwind for a little while. We've also included a couple options for places to stay in case your day trip turns into something a bit longer.

1. Inks Lake State Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Outdoorsy folks who love the water
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Beautiful scenery
    • Quiet campsites
    • Scenic hiking trails
    • Paddle boat, canoe, and kayak rentals

Inks Lake is a beautiful park centered around a cool, calm lake. The water is serene, the land majestic, and believe me when I say the sunsets are unparalleled. With an array of activities on land or in the water, you won't lack for things to do on your trip.

‌How to Get to Inks Lake‌

Inks Lake is a simple 90-minute drive from Austin. Head west on Highway 71 until you hit Highway 281. Then, take Highway 281 north up to Marble Falls. From there, take a left on Park Road 4 and you'll be there in 15 minutes flat.

‌Things to Do at Inks Lake‌

If you prefer to stay on land, I would recommend hitting the trails. With 9 miles of trails to choose from, you certainly won't lack for variety. Also make sure to check out the bird blind. For those who prefer the water, try renting a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat and hitting the lake.

‌Where to Stay at Inks Lake‌

This lovely lakefront cabin is right on the LBJ lakefront near Inks Lake. If you're looking to make your day trip into something longer, they have you covered with a canoe and fishing gear provided. If you decide to stay four days or more, they'll even deliver your groceries, free of charge. The cabin is only an hour from Austin, so you can get back home in no time whenever you need.

Inks Lake lakefront Airbnb Book Now

If hotels are more your style, check out the Antlers Inn in Kingsland. A quick, 20-minute drive from Inks Lake, this beautiful hotel has a rich and storied history. The inn has been serving travelers from all over the USA since their opening in 1901.

The Antlers Inn Book Now

2. Enchanted Rock State Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Hikers and geology fans
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Fascinating rock formations
    • Rock climbing
    • Picnic areas
    • Stargazing at night

Enchanted Rock is an experience like no other. The massive granite dome makes for an awe-inspiring sight. Made entirely of the pink granite that Central Texas is famous for, it truly makes you feel as though you're in a more magical world.

‌How to Get to Enchanted Rock‌

Enchanted Rock is a two-hour drive from Austin, so you'll probably want to hit the road early. It's a straight shot down Highway 71 West until you get to Llano. Then take a left on Highway 16, and keep going until you see the John C. Hays Historical Marker. Make a right on Ranch Road 965 and you'll be there in ten minutes.

‌Things to Do at Enchanted Rock‌

With 11 miles of trails, Enchanted Rock is a hiker's paradise. The huge rock is full of places to explore, and you can always see the bottom so there's no real worry of getting lost. For those more athletically inclined, check out the park's rock climbing areas. If you stay until night falls, make your way to the top of the rock and look up; you'll see the stars like never before!

‌Where to Stay at Enchanted Rock‌

If you're looking for a rustic, Texan experience, then look no further. This cute cottage in Fredericksburg offers down-home country vibes while still offering modern comfort. The porch backs up to the rest of the property, where donkeys, alpacas, and sheep roam free. No seriously, alpacas. In addition to all that, the cabin is just three miles from Fredericksburg's main street.

Fredericksburg Farm Cottage Book Now

The Peach Tree Inn and Suites is located just a few blocks from main street in downtown Fredericksburg. It offers a pool, a continental breakfast, and an outdoor picnic area. After a long day of hiking, the Peach Tree is sure to be a welcome respite.

Peach Tree Inn & Suites Book Now

3. Wimberley

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  • Perfect For:‌ Art lovers with a small-town soul
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Wimberley Glassworks
    • Wimberley Market Day
    • A big theater scene
    • Cozy, small town vibes

Wimberley is a small town in the Texas Hill Country known for its arts and crafts. Founded around the same time as Texas itself in 1845, the town has a rich history and a down-home culture.

‌How to Get to Wimberley‌

Wimberley is just an hour's drive from Austin. Take Mopac South out of the city and turn right onto Texas Highway 45. Then take a left on Farm to Market Road 1826 and change over to Elder Hill Road in Driftwood. Make a left when you get to Ranch Road 12 and you'll be there in half an hour.

‌Things to Do in Wimberley‌

I cannot recommend Wimberley Glassworks enough. They give live demonstrations of their glassblowing techniques throughout the morning and early afternoon every Thursday through Sunday. The first Saturday of the month from March through December is the Wimberley Market Day, featuring arts, crafts, food, and live music. At night, checkout Shakespeare Under the Stars at EmilyAnn Theatre and Gardens.

Wimberley also features a dazzling array of wineries, both in the town itself and the surrounding area. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards features Texas-style wines showcasing the black Spanish grape. The New Braunfels winery also produces French colombard, orange muscat, and comal red. Another Texas Hill Country vineyard, Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, features 46 acres of French vines that generate eight different varietals, including sauvignon blanc and syrah. Grape Creek Vineyards in Fredericksburg features four vineyards trellised for vines, producing such varieties as montepulciano, aglianico, petit verdot, and chenin blanc.

‌Where to Stay in Wimberley‌

The Mustard Seed Treehouse is a lovely cabin overlooking the Wimberley Valley. It's only a five minute walk from the Blanco River and a three minute drive from Wimberley Square. With great views and a great location, who could resist?

The Mustardseed Tree House Book Now

The Bygone is a wonderful hotel that looks out over the Blanco River Valley. The view is perfect for bird-watching, and the hotel also boasts its own nature trail with an authentic dinosaur track. This hotel is like a mini-getaway all by itself.

The Bygone Hotel Book Now

Best Road Trips From Austin

If you have a bit more time to spare, why not hit the road? Texas is famous for its beaches, and rightly so. The calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico will help anyone beat the heat, and the ocean breeze will have you feeling cleaner and healthier than ever before. So load up the car and be sure to pack your sunscreen, because we're going swimming!

4. Surfside Beach

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  • Perfect For:‌ Beachgoers who like the quiet life
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Beach houses
    • Calming waves
    • Beaches without the crowds

Surfside isn't the most famous beach town in Texas, but it's a personal favorite. Located just an hour or so from Houston, the waters here are calm, the beach isn't too crowded, and the view of the water from the beach houses is breathtaking. In the world of Texan beaches, this one falls on the idyllic side.

‌How to Get to Surfside‌

Surfside is one of the closest beaches to Austin, only three and a half hours away. Take Texas Highway 71 East out to Garwood, then get over to Farm to Market Road 102. From there you'll change to Farm to Market Road 1301 in Wharton until you hit Texas Highway 35. Head eastbound until you get to State Highway 288, then head south until you get on Texas Highway 332 E in Clute. Soon enough you'll be living the beach life!

‌Things to Do at Surfside‌

Surfside is a family-friendly beach, and great for swimming. The Gulf is calm enough that you can wade out pretty far with ease, but there are still enough waves to boogie-board or body-surf. There are also plenty of spots for fishing, and lots of shore for sunbathing or searching for seashells. If you feel like going for a walk, hit the Bluewater Highway Trail. Plus, the town of Galveston is just an hour’s drive up the island.

‌Where to Stay at Surfside‌

There are plenty of beach houses to choose from at Surfside, but I recommend those from Surfside Paradise. Just a short walk from the water, they all come equipped with high-speed internet and charging for electric vehicles. Add in the multiple restaurants within walking distance, and you can't go wrong here.

Surfside Paradise Book Now

If a hotel is more your style, the Ocean Village Hotel is a great option. Right on the beach, it boasts large decks with ocean views and a boardwalk restaurant.

Ocean Village Hotel Book Now

5. North Padre Island

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  • Perfect For:‌ Those who love the natural side of the beach
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • No crowds
    • Lots of wildlife
    • Beautiful, natural shores

At 70 miles, this federally protected shoreline is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. The beaches are clean and generally unpopulated, with numerous opportunities to view wildlife, including 380 different types of birds that either live or fly though this important, protected ecosystem. Winter temperatures average in the mid-to-high 60s, reaching the mid-70s by March.

‌How to Get to North Padre Island‌

North Padre Island is about four hours from Austin, but it's a pretty straightforward drive. Take I-35 South down to San Antonio, then get onto I-37 South. When you get to Corpus Christi, take a right onto Highway 358, then once you get across the bridge you're on the island.

‌Things to Do at North Padre Island‌

Take advantage of the relative desertion of the area by relaxing on the beach and listening to the sound of the waves. Check out the Laguna Madre, one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world (and perfect for windsurfing). If you're up for the challenge, you can also try ocean kayaking.

‌Where to Stay on North Padre Island‌

The Dover is a cozy little condo with a view of the ocean. It has a lovely balcony, a pool, and a saltwater fishing pond. Plus, it's only a five-minute walk from the beach.

The Dover resort-style condo Book Now

Lively Beach is a wonderful little hotel that's right on the beach. Featuring a private boardwalk that leads straight to the water, you won't want to miss this opportunity. Lively Beach is also committed to conservation, focusing on keeping their ecological footprint as small as possible to leave the island's natural habitat undisturbed.

Lively Beach Hotel Book Now

6. Port Aransas

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  • Perfect For:‌ More extroverted beachgoers
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Water sports
    • Art, music, and restaurants in the town
    • Great fishing
    • Port Aransas Museum

Located northeast of Corpus Christi is the town of Port Aransas — known as “Port A” by the locals. Located on Mustang Island, one of the Gulf’s barrier islands, Port Aransas is a casual, pleasantly sleepy Texan beach town with all of the amenities.

‌How to Get to Port Aransas‌

A four-hour drive from Austin, Port Aransas is just on the other side of Mustang Island from North Padre. Follow the same directions as above, but when you get across the bridge, take a left on Highway 361 and you'll be at Port A instead.

‌What to Do in Port Aransas‌

Water sports like kayaking, windsurfing, and parasailing are very popular in Port A. While the beaches of Port A are hardly crowded, some people like to take the five-minute ferry ride to San Jose Island. The only way to access the island is by boat, providing another opportunity to find a stretch of solitary Texas beach all for yourself. If you need a break from the beach, check out the Port Aransas Museum, including their tours of the Chapel on the Dunes.

‌Where to Stay in Port Aransas‌

Peace of Paradise is a wonderful little condo right on the waterfront. It includes a balcony with a great view of the Gulf, a heated pool, and a private boardwalk. You can enjoy the ocean before you even leave the condo!

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If you're interested in history, this hotel is the place for you. Built out of an old Civil War barracks, The Tarpon Inn is a chip off the old block. The main lobby features walls covered in scales autographed by those lucky enough to catch a tarpon during their stay, including Hedy Lamarr and FDR.

The Tarpon Inn Book Now

Best Weekend Trips From Austin

Sometimes, you really need a break from it all and staying in-state doesn't quite cut it. If you're one of those who's seen everything from Dallas to The Alamo and Big Bend to the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco (or if you just need a break from the Lone Star State), we have some suggestions that are only a quick flight away. From otherworldly deserts to mountain retreats, these weekend getaways will really break the mold while still keeping you in the familiar territory of the USA.

7. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

  • Perfect For:‌ Explorers looking for something new
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Sand sledding
    • Otherworldly view
    • Campsites

White Sands National Monument protects almost 275 square miles of an arid desert landscape best known for its chalk-white dunes of gypsum crystal sand. The stark beauty of White Sands attracts an array of visitors, including campers in search of starry nights under the desert sky, hikers looking for some new terrain, and dreamers just looking to find the beauty in the world.

‌How to Get to White Sands‌

White Sands is a bit out of the way, but worth it. First you'll take a quick, 90-minute flight to El Paso, then it's just another 90-minute drive out to the desert. You'll take the I-10 up to Las Cruces, and then get on US-70 out to White Sands.

‌Things to Do at White Sands‌

The dunes of White Sands are full of exciting opportunities for adventure. I recommend renting a sand sled and going sliding down the dunes. The desert also affords plenty of opportunities to explore, but make sure not to stray too far. Despite being the coolest sand desert in the world, you still don't want to get lost here.

‌Where to stay in White Sands‌

While there's nowhere to stay in the desert itself, this quaint little cabin offers plenty to make up for that. Located in the small community of High Rolls, you'll only be 30 minutes from the desert. Plus you'll be staying in the midst of Lincoln National Forest, so it's like two vacations for the price of one.

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If you're looking for something a bit closer to the desert, The Classic Desert Aire Hotel is the place for you. Located in Alamogordo, this beautiful hotel offers high-speed internet, complimentary breakfast, and a prime location. They also partner with an airport shuttle service, so you won't need to rent a car after you land.

The Classic Desert Aire Hotel Book Now

8. Cloudcroft, New Mexico

  • Perfect For:‌ Mountaineers
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Snow tubing
    • Hiking through the forest
    • Village shops

The village of Cloudcroft is located in southern New Mexico, about 220 miles from Albuquerque and about 85 miles from Interstate 25. The community is nestled within the Lincoln National Forest, at an altitude of about 9,000 feet. The mountainous and undeveloped terrain around Cloudcroft makes it an ideal spot for tubing during the winter months, while the village and surrounding forest can be enjoyed all year.

‌How to Get to Cloudcroft‌

To get to Cloudcroft, you'll need to first take the 90-minute flight from Austin to El Paso. Once there you can take US-54 up to La Luz, and then you're just a charming mountain drive away from the rustic, mountain village.

‌Things to Do in Cloudcroft‌

Cloudcroft is a great place for all sorts of winter sports like skiing and tubing. The village also has plenty of little shops lining the main street, with local artists handcrafting things like pottery and jewelry. If you're tired out, you can also relax in a cabin or stroll through the surrounding forest.

‌Where to Stay in Cloudcroft‌

Blynken is a charming cabin up in the mountains of Cloudcroft. It has hardwood floors and pine walls, as well as plenty of natural light. Built in the early 1900s, it feels as though you're stepping back into a simpler time. It’s the perfect place for your romantic getaway to Cloudcroft.

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Do you like ghost stories? If so, The Lodge at Cloudcroft offers a hauntingly beautiful experience you won't forget any time soon. Said by the locals to be haunted by the spirit of a late guest since the early 1900s, the Lodge offers mystery and history intertwined.

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9. Cashiers, North Carolina

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  • Perfect For:‌ Nature-lovers looking to relax
  • Highlights of the Area:
    • Beautiful mountain scenery
    • Sparse population
    • Antiquing
    • Farmers Market

Cashiers is a charming town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It sits at an elevation of 3,500 feet, and is located in the middle of the Nantahala National Forest. With its cool temperatures and small-town charm, you'll forget what it was you needed a vacation from in the first place.

‌How to Get to Cashiers‌

Cashiers is a bit further than our other destinations, but it's worth the extra travel time. The flight from Austin to Asheville is two and a half hours, and then it's an hour and a half drive out to Cashiers.

‌Things to Do in Cashiers‌

In addition to the usual mountain activities of hiking and skiing, Cashiers offers an impressive array of fine arts, with plenty of live music venues and art galleries. If you're into history, you can visit the Zachary-Tolbert house, built in 1852 and still standing. For those looking to fish or see some waterfalls, you can head over to the local swimming hole, Lake Glenville just a few miles north of the town.

‌Where to Stay in Cashiers‌

The romantic cabin gives great view of the surrounding area, as well as a private outdoor tub. The cabin is well-stocked with games for a small family getaway, or plenty of room to snuggle up with a loved one.

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The Wells is an old-school hotel, but it still offers modern amenities. It sits on a beautiful property, surrounded by the natural scenery of the mountain forest. It also has its own brewery and restaurant, and is in walking distance to many other places to eat and drink.

The Wells Hotel Cashiers Book Now

Whether you want to stay in Texas, or see some of the sites at places nearby, I hope these 9 trips near Austin will inspire you to plan your best weekend getaways ever. There are so many trips you can take where Austin, Texas is centrally located. Happy trip planning!