I haven’t left Austin, Texas since December 2019. Yes, 2019. I haven’t been on a plane, a train, a boat, or in a rental car. Nothing. Okay, I did get in a kayak in September, but I stayed within city limits.
I don’t consider myself someone who LOVES to travel — I’m a homebody. But, I have been fortunate enough to travel many places, and I do love that it forces me out of my comfort zone. I like trying new things and traveling means I have to close my laptop and get outside.
Travel has helped me build confidence and get more creative. At the end of 2020, after an entire year of not traveling, I told myself I wasn’t going to do that this year.
Yes, we are still in a pandemic, and I very much intend on continuing to be cautious. I have been working from home, doing Zoom workouts, and relying on food delivery to keep myself (and others) from getting sick. So, traveling is going to be a very different approach.
I came up with the idea to look for trips I could take in a single day, so I wouldn’t have to stay in a hotel or even stop often for gas. Now, there’s WAY more than 12 options for this, but I also tried to pick trips that would be good to do alone since I’m not quarantining with anyone.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
Enchanted Rock State Park | 2 hr drive
Enchanted Rock is in Fredericksburg, Texas. The actual Enchanted Rock is a pink granite mountain — it’s the largest monadnock in the country. I have read that this one fills up fast, but you can book a spot online before you go. Some people said the busyness was a downside, but I don’t want to hike where there’s NO one around, so this seems like a plus as a solo traveler.
Luckenbach, Texas | 1.5 hr drive
Luckenbach is also near Fredericksburg, but it’s the home of country music. While this is a really small town, many say it’s a place you have to go. There’s a general store, restaurants, and live music. Of course, I’m not sure what the scene will be like mid-pandemic, but I’m willing to find out. There are also beer stops, vineyards, and Wild Seed Farms (which seems to be a good tourist spot), among other historical sites.
Wimberley, Texas | 1 hr drive
I put this on my list for one reason: the Boot Trail. It’s officially called “Bootiful Wimberley” and it’s 50 giant boot sculptures from different artists placed around the town. There’s an official map so maybe I’ll try and see them all, but there’s other fun things to do such as shop, visit wineries, enjoy fine dining, and there’s even a few spas!
Waco, Texas | 1.5 Hr drive
Waco has a weird mix of reputations that I’m not going to get into here. I put it on my list because there’s a Dr. Pepper Museum, which is still open after a short pandemic closure last spring. It has great reviews, plus there’s a soda fountain! It all looks very cute. I’d also like to stop at the Magnolia Market even though I am in no way a Chip and Joanna Stan… I figure it’s a necessary visit.
Dripping Springs, Texas | 45 min drive
Not only is this less than an hour away, but there’s a historic downtown area that I figure would be cute. But the real reason this is on my list? The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. It doesn’t take much to entertain me, which I’m sure you’re seeing by now! You can take a tour and learn about olives and their orchard. Sign me up!
Marble Falls, Texas | 1 hr drive
I’m sure there’s much to do in Marble Falls, but I’m headed there to pick berries and tulips in the spring! I’ve never done anything like that and it sounds so fun 🙂
Dinosaur Valley State Park | 2.5 hr drive
This is in Glen Rose, Texas. It’s basically the closest thing I’ll get to Jurassic Park. There’s animal tracks and birdwatching kits… I’m down for it.
Nacogdoches, Texas| 3 hrs 45 min drive
This is the longest drive on the list, but I thought it would be worth it. The pictures of the downtown area look very quaint, but the real reason this is here is because of it’s annual Blueberry Festival. Last year’s festival was canceled, but I’m hoping by June (when it’s usually held), it’ll still be a go. There’s fresh blueberries, pancakes, and probably a whole bunch of other blueberry options so everyone leaves looking like Veruca Salt.
Webb Gallery | 2 hrs 15 min drive
This is located in downtown Waxahachie, Texas. It’s known for being a gallery of unique art, books, and antiques.
Shiner, Texas | 1 hr 45 min drive
Shiner, Texas is where Shiner beer is made! There are tours at the Spoetzl Brewery, which is the only reason I added this to the list 🙂
Brenham, Texas | 1 hr 30 min drive
According to Google, this is a good place to see Texas Bluebonnets! They bloom in late March and early April. The Blue Bell Creamery is also there, which means an ice cream tour!
Lost Maples | 3 hr drive
Lost Maples State Natural area is listed as one of the best places to see fall foliage in Texas. I think this would be a great way to get into the spirit when October rolls around, since there isn’t much of a color change in Austin.
That’s my list! Have you been to any of these places? What are some day trips you’ve taken (no matter where you live)?
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