Austin, Texas is a fantastic place to call home, but sometimes you need to get out and explore the open road. Luckily, many incredible driving routes around Austin offer breathtaking scenery, historic landmarks, and killer food. Here are some of the best short road trips around Austin, TX.
1. Devil’s Backbone
Devil’s Backbone is a scenic drive winding through the Texas Hill Country between Wimberley and Blanco. The 30-mile route offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including limestone cliffs, rolling hills, and wildflowers. Along the way, stop at the Devil’s Backbone Tavern, a popular spot for live music and cold beer. You can also explore the nearby town of Wimberley, known for its quaint shops and galleries.
Lockhart is located about 30 miles south of Austin and is known as the “Barbecue Capital of Texas.” Take a relaxing drive through the countryside and stop at one of the famous barbecue joints in town, such as Black’s Barbecue, Kreuz Market, or Smitty’s Market. These three make up the “Holy Trinity of Barbecue”. Lockhart also has a charming downtown area with antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The Caldwell County Courthouse is a must-see while strolling downtown.
3. Round Top
Round Top is a small town located about an hour and a half east of Austin and is known for its antique shops and charming countryside. You’ll enjoy a beautiful drive through the rolling hills on the way. Once you arrive, stop at one of the many antique shops in town, such as The Hen House or The Arbors. If you’re a big fan of antiques, be sure to visit during the Round Top Antiques Fair, held twice a year in the spring and fall. Round Top also has several restaurants, including Royers Round Top Cafe, Duo, and Mandito’s.
4. Marble Falls
Marble Falls is located about an hour northwest of Austin and is known for its gorgeous scenery and outdoor recreation. After a drive through the Texas Hill Country, stop at the iconic Lake Marble Falls for a picnic or a swim. If you’re ready to get out of the sun, try touring Longhorn Cavern, just north of Marble Falls. You can also visit the historic Main Street District, which is home to several restaurants, shops, and galleries. Don’t leave without trying Bluebonnet Cafe’s famous pie!
5. Hill Country Wine Trail
You’ll definitely need a designated driver for this one! The Hill Country Wine Trail is a scenic drive that winds through the Texas Hill Country and is home to over fifty wineries. Take a leisurely drive through the rolling hills and stop at several wineries along the way, such as Becker Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, and Fall Creek Vineyards. The area also has several charming towns, such as Fredericksburg and Johnson City, which offer a mix of history, culture, and outdoor recreation.
Speaking of Fredericksburg, it’s a fun location that deserves its own road trip. Located about an hour and a half west of Austin, Fredericksburg is a charming town known for its German heritage, wineries, and beautiful countryside. We’ve already covered the Hill Country views and wineries, but you can also explore the historic downtown area, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. Don’t miss the National Museum of the Pacific War, which is dedicated to the Pacific Theater of World War II and is located in the childhood home of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
For a shorter drive, check out Georgetown! It’s a charming town located just 30 minutes north of Austin. It offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking and fishing, as well as historical sites like the Williamson Museum. One popular spot is Blue Hole Park, a scenic natural swimming hole that’s perfect for a hot summer day. The park features hiking trails, picnic areas, and plenty of places to swim and relax. Additionally, downtown Georgetown is filled with boutique shops and local restaurants, including The Hollow, which offers farm-to-table dining.
These are just a few of our favorite driving routes and day trips around Austin that offer stunning scenery, historic landmarks, and delicious food. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely drive through the countryside or want to explore some of the outlying towns, there’s plenty to do a short drive away.
Of course, nothing ruins a road trip faster than having the check engine light come on! We can help you handle all your regular maintenance before you hit the road. Contact us today for an appointment.