Summer is the season for road trips, and if you are wondering “Where can I go on a road trip from Houston?” we have you covered. Road trips are a fun, safe option for traveling out of town for a getaway. Whether you’re looking for somewhere you can make in a day or a week-long driving tour of Texas, we have the list.
Road Trips Within 200 miles Of Houston
Hunstville State Park is under two hours away from Houston and has great amenities like their swimming hole with a platform, nearby washrooms, a snack shop, camping sites, and more. Make sure you stop by the local statue of Sam Houston on your way, A Tribute to Courage. Huntsville is also the home to The Blue Lagoon, a beach and training facility for scuba diving. Don’t worry, you don’t have to scuba to swim there.
Where: 565 Park Road 40 W Huntsville, TX 77340
How Far: ~70 miles
When: Open daily, 6 am – 10 pm
How Much: 13 years & older : $7 |12 years & under: Free
We’ll be upfront here – Shiner, Texas is a very small town. We think the trip is worthwhile but it won’t be the most glamorous vacation you’ve ever had. Still, the town is charming with its own, unique businesses. You definitely want to tour the brewery and have your daily tasting. Just down the road is Howard’s, a gas station with picnic tables outside. You can drink beer and play cards at the gas station. How cool is that? Also, stop by Antiques Art & Beer, Sunken Gardens, and of course the Shiner Brewery for a tour. Stay at a local B&B for even more charm.
Where: 603 E Brewery St, Shiner, TX 77984
How Far: 127 miles
When: 10:30 am – 4:30 pm Mon-Sat | 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm Sun
How Much: Tours of the brewery are $10 per person
3. TWIN LAKES
Don’t feel like going too far? This RV and scuba park in Manvel is fun for everyone and it’s not far at all from Houston. You can scuba, swim, paddle, and fish. They have barbecue pits for grilling and a few tables. The lake usually does not get very crowded but on busy days, there may not be any tables available so come prepared to be flexible.
Where: 19400 Hwy 6, Manvel, TX 77578
How Far: 23 miles
When: Open Tues-Fri from 2 pm – 7 pm, Sat – Sun from 8 am – 7 pm
How Much: Admission is $5 per car and scuba diving has extra fees
One of the most under-rated towns in Texas is Seguin. Surrounded by the Guadalupe, there are places to tube and plenty of cascading water features around town. They’re also home to the oldest licensed bar in Texas, the largest World’s Largest Pecan, and plenty of amazing festivals. While you’re there, you definitely want to check out Son’s Island. It is a real island in the middle of Lake Placid with blue water, a sandy beach, cabana rentals, live music, kayaking, and more. You can enter the island only by reservation. Definitely bring your river shoes- the bottom of the lake is rocky.
Where: 110 Lee St. Seguin, TX 78155
How Far: 162 miles
The Heart of Texas has recently become famous for its Magnolia Market, the birth child and flagship home & decor store of Chip & Joanna Gaines from HGTV. They have so much more to offer – the Waco Mammoth National Monument is one of the best. Their nationally recognized trails at Cameron Park are worth an entire day. If that’s not enough, you can visit the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame & Museum. End your evening with a trip to Buzzard Billy’s Swamp Shack to let the kids feed the animals while you sip on cocktails.
Where: 100 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Waco, TX 76704
How Far: 185 miles
This aquarium and aquatic educational center near Lake Jackson, Texas is FREE! There are several different aquariums and exhibits, plus a fish hatchery. There are also three forest areas nearby and you’re just a short drive from the beach. If you’ve had enough of the outdoors, be sure to stop by the Center for Arts and Sciences, an interactive, kid-friendly museum.
Where: 302 Medical Drive, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566
How Far: 54 miles
When: Tue – Sat: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Sun: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
How Much: Free
Also known for its tubing and swimming, Wimberley, Texas is the home of both Blue Hole Regional Park and Jacob’s Well. Both of these nature areas are known for clear, beautiful water holes. If you’re there any time from March to December, check out their Market Days held every Saturday. You can also visit a drive-in movie theater, The Corral Theatre. This is a hill country classic and one of our favorite road trips from Houston!
Where: Blue Hole – 100 Blue Hole Lane, Wimberley, Texas 78676
How Far: 182 miles
8. GREEN ACRES
Located in Elgin, Texas, just outside of Austin, this is the home of glamping professionals. They have eight different accommodations to choose from, including glammed-up tents, cabin oases, renovated Airstreams, and the Spartan Mansion. You would expect outrageous prices but these people are down to earth- they are priced reasonably.
Where: Elgin, TX
How Far: 138 miles
How Much: $112+ per night
Another beautiful swimming area you don’t want to miss is Pedernales Falls. Nearby is the famed Hamilton Pool, a crystal clear swimming hole located inside a cave with a waterfall. This particular swimming area is best for kids who can swim and climb well independently- younger kids are allowed but it’s a bit stressful, especially on busy days. Get there at least an hour before they open and be prepared to wait in line in your car, then walk about half a mile to get to the swimming area. You will want to wear water-safe shoes. To make your visit truly remarkable, try staying at the nearby Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. They offer zipline tours but the real gem is their treehouse hotel. It’s pricey but the views and experience are amazing.
Where: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636
How Far: 197 miles
When: Open Wed through Sun, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
How Much: 13 years and older – $6 Daily | 12 Years and Under: Free
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10. BARTON SPRINGS
Located right off the Colorado River in Austin, this spring-fed municipal pool is open with lifeguards year-round. It’s about 3 acres in size with plenty of grassy areas for sunbathing. The pool has a cheap admission fee but the nearby Barton Creek is free! This is a local Austin favorite so you may want to go early on a week day to avoid crowds. Great option for a fun road trip from Houston.
Where: 2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
How Far: 168 miles
How Much: Free
Looking for a quick trip just down the road? Located in Hockley, Texas, this drive is just about an hour from Houston. Bring the kids to experience a real, old-fashioned drive-in theater. Get there early for the best parking and to visit their snack bar and games areas. The drive-in is popular with kids of all ages. You just tune into a radio station to hear the movie. If you have a hatchback, make sure to tie it down so that it doesn’t block anyone else’s view- or they will do it for you.
Where: 22422 Farm to Market 2920, Hockley, TX 77447
How Far: 38 miles
When: Fri, Sat and Sun at 8:30 | Open every night in the summer
How Much: $8+
Road Trips More Than 200 miles from Houston
You probably know Fredericksburg as a vintage and antique mecca and it’s true. Go there for the shopping but stay for the natural beauty and great attractions. You will definitely want to stop by one of their many wineries and weingartens but don’t miss the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park or the Pioneer Museum. The real gem, though, is the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This huge, dome-like mountain of limestone has miles of trails. Make it to the top for a never-before-seen view of the Hill Country.
Where: 126 W Main Street Fredericksburg, TX 78624-3708
How Far: 237 miles
13. FORT WORTH
Dallas gets a bad reputation, and while we think that’s a little unfair, we KNOW that Fort Worth is the bomb! The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is one of the top-rated museums in the United States. They have a permanent collection of Monet you must see in your lifetime. Admission is free and the grounds are Insta-worthy. Their water features out front are fun for the kids and you’ll definitely want to lunch at their restaurant. There are tons of other great things to do in Fort Worth, like visiting Sundance Square, the cultural district, the stockyards, and the Trailhead.
Where: Kimbell Art Museum – 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
How Far: 262 miles
There are a handful of caves in Texas to visit and we recommend you see them all! The most beautiful cave is Cave Without A Name. You’ll love the dripping stalagmites, soda straws, rimstone dams, and more. The cave is about 66 degrees all year round so it’s comfortable to walk around- you might even need a light sweater. One of the top road trip options from Houston!
Where: 325 Kreutzberg Rd. Boerne, TX 78006
How Far: 230 miles
When: Open 7 days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
How Much: Kids $10 | Adults – $20
15. CORPUS CHRISTI
Just going to the beach should be reason enough to visit Corpus. If you’re wondering why we’re suggesting Corpus and not Galveston, you may just have to go to see for yourself. Corpus Christi is a little bit sleepier and that’s a good thing. Less traffic means better-preserved beaches, smaller crowds, less traffic, and a more laid back crowd. You will also enjoy their museums, galleries, aquariums, botanical gardens, the USS Lexington, and great cuisine. If you go in October, be sure to check out their Jazz Festival.
How Far: 211 miles
16. LOST MAPLES
If you’ve never seen the trees in New England when the leaves change, this is your chance to do that with just a five-hour drive. The sights and colors here are amazing year-round. The area is known for its beautiful trees, stargazing, swimming, and fishing. As a bonus, you don’t need a fishing license to fish from the shore or pier in the state park or natural area. Keep in mind, there is no cell service!
Where: 37221 RM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885
How Far: 283 miles
When: Open daily, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
How Much: 13 years and older – $6 Daily | 12 Years and Under: Free
17. RIO FRIO
The Frio River in Three Rivers, Texas is one of the coolest rivers around. Spring-fed means the water is crystal-clear and the average temperature is around 68 degrees. There are some rapids and waterfalls but it’s typically an easy tubing trip suitable for kids and elderly. Be sure to check the water levels and flow rates before you go. The river is also just one mile from Garner State Park, known as one of the most beautiful parks in Texas.
Where: 5964 Ranch Road 1120, Rio Frio, TX 78879
How Far: 289 miles
How Much: Free
18. CHISOS MOUNTAINS
Whoever told you Texas has no mountains was a liar! This mountain basin in Big Bend National Park has rivers, scenic drives, and more. This is one of the most visually appealing parks in the state with a variety of landscapes including carved-out canyons, desert scenes, and limestone cliffs. Take the kids to Colorado Canyon and the experienced rafters to Mariscal. A bit far from Houston, but a great road trip option with family!
Where: Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
How Far: 601 miles
How Much: Vehicles: 30| Motorcycles: 25 | Individuals: $15
This place should really be one of the wonders of the world. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” their crimson mountains and sunset-colored cliffs will make you feel like you’re in a whole other state. Palo Duro is a great place for climbing and horseback riding. Star-gazing here is a nightly ritual.
Where: 11450 Park Road 5, Canyon, TX 79015
How Far: 613 miles
When: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
How Much: 13 years and older – $8 Daily | 12 Years and Under: Free
Marfa, Texas is probably the most unexpected mention on this list but if you visit, you’ll see why we recommend it. The small, desert town is an art mecca. You’ll find a Prada store on the side of the highway, except it isn’t open for business- it’s a permanent installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. There is also an entire army base- 400 acres worth- dedicated to art and sculpture. If you’re budget-conscious, stay at El Cosmico, a desert ranch offering a collection of Airstreams and tee pees. If you can afford to spring for nicer accommodations, check out Hotel Paisano with their indoor, atrium-style pool.
Where: 302 S. Highland Ave. Marfa, TX 79843
How Much: 597 miles
Do you have another favorite road trip (from Houston) destinations in mind? Tell us where you’re going in the comments below
There are lots of fun things to do in and around Houston as well. Check out our list of Best Hikes Around Houston.
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