Best Weekend Road Trips from Houston to Engage Your Senses
Living in the big city of Houston is wonderful and there are lots of things to do. Of course sometimes you just need a break from the all the big city excitement. Because Texas is so big and diverse, getting a way is relatively easy. Therefore we’ve put together an overview of the best weekend road trips to take from Houston.
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Distance: 60 miles
Due to the fact that Galveston is just a short hour ride away from Houston, it is first on my list. It’s also one of my favorite beach towns. It’s got something for everyone and it’s laid back and easy. Not to mention the fact that Historic downtown has so many buildings that managed to survive the horrific 1900 storm. Which makes it great for a lovely evening to check them out. In addition to the history, you can also enjoy a ghost tour after a scrumptious seafood meal.
Of course, enjoying some fun in the sun is the perfect way to spend a day in Galveston. Not only can you lay on the long stretches of white sandy beaches, you can also walk, bike, and rollerblade along the Seawall. Galveston Island is also a great weekend retreat for families. In addition to everything already mentioned, Galveston also has Schlitterbahn Water Park, Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens, to enjoy!
All these reasons and more make Galveston Island a top weekend road trip.
Distance: 165 miles
Live music, phenomenal food, and so much outdoor fun makes Austin one of the best weekend road trips from Houston! Located in the hill country, Austin offers a nice change of scenery from the big city of Houston.
If you’re a history buff, then you can spend the weekend in the historic capital and learn more about Texas’ long and interesting history. Not only as a state, but as an independent country.
For those that like outdoor activities there are plenty to choose from. Currently the natural pool and grotto Hamilton Pool and in-city waterhole Barton Springs are closed due to COVID 19, but check them out later. Of course, there are plenty of nature options that will allow for enjoyment while social distancing. In the first place there is the Greenbelt, a winding 12+ mile trail where you can bike, hike, and swim. You can also visit Lady Bird Lake for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and one-way hiking and biking. Alternatively you can enjoy the panoramic city views from Mount Bonnell, or have a socially distant picnic at Zilker Park.
Distance: 200 miles
One of my favorite and best weekend road trips from Houston is San Antonio. Each time you visit can be a different adventure. There is so much to see and do in San Antonio it’s hard to get bored.
First of all you can spend an entire weekend exploring the San Antonio Missions. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the missions are well worth a visit. Of course, you should defiantly visit the Alamo, but there are actually a total of five missions along the San Antonio River basin. They are historical gems and quite unique.
Then you can head over to the River Walk and stroll, take a boat ride and have some of the finest Tex-Mex food on the planet. Another great option is to explore the neighborhoods of San Antonio. My favorite is King William, where you can marvel at some beautiful historic homes. You can also check out the HEB Grocery Stores Headquarters, which was formally a United States Arsenal, from 1857 to 1949. You can also visit South Alamo street for some phenomenal food trucks.
Distance: 250 miles
Another of the best weekend road trips from Houston is Fredricksburg. Situated in the heart of Hill Country, Fredricksburg, is not only a relaxing place to visit, it also offers plenty to keep the adventurous busy. Here you will find wineries, museums, parks, festivals, and more to satisfy everyone’s taste. In addition to laid back activities, the adventure enthusiasts will love Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Old Tunnel Sate Park Bat Cove, and Cross Mountain Park. There are also plenty of options for horseback riding and cycling.
Distance: 95 miles
Round Top, Texas is a vibrant and fun town located between Houston and Austin. It is home to the nation’s largest antiques, vintage and junk show held twice a year. Not to mention its unique location also makes it a central point to visit some great towns and attractions. One of the best is Washington on the Brazos, better known as the birthplace of Texas. In addition there are numerous lakes and state parks nearby, lovely historic towns and some of the best food in Texas. If you’re looking for a fun getaway for shopping, antiques, food and history, then Round Top is a wonderful option.
Distance: 185 miles
Of course, everyone wants to visit Waco now because of Chip and Joanna Gaines Magnolia Market. Indeed the market is a fun day for family and friends to enjoy. As a result of the popularity it can be busy. However, it is not the only fun thing to do in Waco. Alternatively there are some other cool options to explore in Waco. To start with there is the Waco Mammoth National Monument. It is a paleontological site and museum where you can view Columbian Mammoths in their original positions within the bone bed where they were discovered.
Additionally you can visit the Baylor University Campus, where you can visit the Baylor bears, their mascots. Or if you have children or history buffs in your family, then check out the Mayborn Museum as well. You also have the option to visit the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Waco Suspension Bridge and Riverwalk. Not only is the Waco Suspension Bridge the oldest suspension bridge still standing in Texas, but it is a great place for a stroll at the end of the day and to watch the sunset. All these cool things to do make Waco one of the best weekend road trips from Houston.
Distance: 75 miles
Brenham is an inviting country town nestled among the sprawling farmlands and oak forests of South Central Texas. This small community, located off of Highway 290 between Austin and Houston, is home to the Blue Bell Creamery, a thriving arts scene, and its fair share of great shopping and dining. Not to mention that the only Forbes five-star restaurant in Texas, The Inn at Dos Brisas, is here in the area as well.
But there are more things to do in Brenham than its great entertainment. Brenham is just a few miles from other cool towns like Burton, Independence and Chappel Hill. Additionally the fertile lands that surround Brenham contain four unique wineries and farms that you can visit. In many ways, Brenham is a great starting point to experiencing the past and the present that make the Lone Star State what it is today.
South Padre Island
Distance: 380 miles
South Padre Island is another of the best weekend road trips to take from Houston. That being said, South Padre is a longer drive than the previous locations, but to enjoy a little piece of beach heaven, makes it worth the trip. Indeed with 34 miles of white sands and clear emerald waters, South Padre Island is the crown jewel of Texas beachfronts.
Fun activities are easy to find on South Padre Island. Not only can you relax on miles of beautiful beaches, but there are fun activities for adventure seekers, nature lovers and children and families as well. For instance there is boating, fishing, diving, surfing, kiteboarding and simply lounging on the beach. Not to mention Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark is also located on the island. Of course you could spend the day learning to build an epic sandcastle.
South Padre also offers opportunities to explore history with a visit to the Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum and some amazing seafood as well.
Distance: 350 miles
Last but not least, because New Orleans is probably the most popular of the best weekend road trips from Houston. I mean it is the Big Easy! New Orleans is exciting and fun and there is something for everyone.
You can easily escape to New Orleans for entertainment and nightlife, or enjoy a weekend of some of the best food in the USA. My favorite thing to do is enjoy walking tours and learn about the history of the splendid architecture and the city itself. It’s hard to get bored in New Orleans because you can enjoy the arts, jazz, ghost tours, shopping, as well as countless festivals throughout the year. For all these reasons and more it’s a favorite escape from Houston.
We hope you have enjoyed these ideas for the best weekend road trips from Houston. Please share with your friends as well, if you did.
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