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Get Out of Town: The Top 15 Day Trips from Houston

Get Out of Town The Top 15 Day Trips from Houston

Houston is a great city to live in, but sometimes it’s nice to get away and explore somewhere new. Luckily, you can take plenty of fantastic day trips from the city. 

We packed our bags and took day trip after day trip to figure out the best places to go. Today, we’ll show you the ones our staff picked as the top options. So, grab your car keys and hit the road—these are the best places for an unforgettable day trip from Houston!

1. Richmond 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/GRW3qorU9Fes6KaH9

Distance from Houston: 37 min (30.6 miles)

Want an authentic cattle driving experience? In that case, George Ranch Historical Park should be on your list of places to stop by while in Richmond for the day. 

It’s a sprawling 23,000-acre ranch just outside town where you can explore interactive exhibits about the area’s rich history and, of course, participate in a cattle drive experience! 

Afterward, head into town for some shopping. In town, you can pick up local artisans’ souvenirs like handmade jewelry, pottery, and other trinkets. 

There are also plenty of specialty shops with antiques and vintage clothing, for finding that one-of-a-kind souvenir for your daytrip.

Pro Tip: 

  • If you just want to relax and enjoy some good food, go to the Rosenberg Historic Downtown District, which is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

2. Alvin 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/DYAdo6qZD9G69iUj7

Distance from Houston: 40 min (30.9 miles)

Alvin offers a refreshing escape that’s not far from Houston—only 40 minutes away depending on traffic. There’s something for everyone in Alvin, from historical sites and museums to family-friendly attractions and outdoor activities. 

If you’re into history, you’ll want to check out the Alvin Historical Museum, which tells the story of the town’s founding and rich agricultural heritage. You can also visit the Alvin Depot, a restored train station that now houses a visitor’s center and various shops and restaurants.

Pro Tip: 

  • Parents with younger kids, we suggest checking out the Alvin Community Center—it has a pool, playground, and game room. Or go to the Bayou Wildlife Center, which has a petting zoo, pony rides and plenty of opportunities to get up close with giraffes, bison and more. 

3. Galveston Island

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/eKPwe7ygtoPzuD9P6

Distance from Houston: 1 hr 7 min (55.7 miles)

Galveston Island is full of unique experiences and activities that will make your day unforgettable.

Start your day with a stroll along Galveston’s historic Strand district. This area has beautiful Victorian buildings and shops offering everything from antiques to local seafood. 

Be sure to stop by Bishop’s Palace, one of the country’s most impressive architectural monuments, or visit the Texas Seaport Museum for some interactive exhibits on Galveston’s maritime history. After exploring the Strand, take some time to relax at one of Galveston Island’s many beaches. 

You can finish off your day trip with dinner at one of the many exquisite restaurants near the Seawall Boulevard area. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood or classic Tex-Mex dishes—there are plenty of options! 

Pro Tip: 

  • Head over to Moody Gardens for an afternoon filled with fun! From rides and shows to a 3D theater and aquarium—there’s plenty to do here that will keep you entertained all day long.

4. Brenham

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/7MofSxwC2npjwRRVA

Distance from Houston: 1 hr 10 min (76.0 miles)

Brenham is known for its sweet treats, so you’ll definitely want to stop by the Blue Bell Creamery and pick up some ice cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try some of the local honey or jellies.

To work up an appetite, take a walk through Old Baylor Park. This park is located on the site of the original Baylor University, and it’s a great place to learn about the city’s history. 

Pro Tip: 

  • Visit the Antique Rose Emporium if you are a lover of roses. The Emporium has over 2,000 varieties of roses, as well as a beautiful garden where you can see them in bloom.

5. Beaumont 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/4wgadyHLJAyP46WX8

Distance from Houston: 1 hr 17 min (84.9 miles)

Beaumont boasts a unique mix of outdoor recreation and cultural attractions, making it the perfect little getaway from Houston. 

Take a hike at Big Thicket National Preserve to experience the area’s diverse flora and fauna, or swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t forget about the nearby bird sanctuary at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge—it’s a must-see!

When you’re done exploring nature, head to downtown Beaumont to experience some of their cultural attractions. Visit the Art Museum of Southeast Texas for an inside look at local works by both established and emerging artists. 

Or take in a show at the Julie Rogers Theatre – from comedy acts to musical performances, there’s something here for everyone! 

Pro Tip: 

6. Bellville 


Distance from Houston: 1 hr 41 min (62 mi)

With its scenic views and castles, spending the day in Bellville is an adventure.

If you’re looking for a bit of culture, make your way to the Bellville Opera House. It’s an iconic building in the heart of downtown that has been hosting theatrical performances since 1911. 

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of Bellville’s proximity to nature by exploring the nearby Stephen F. Austin State Park or visiting Grand Lake—an 800-acre natural lake perfect for fishing, kayaking, or simply admiring the stunning landscape

For those seeking something unique, check out Bell Ranch. This working cattle ranch has activities like horseback riding and wagon rides available to visitors.

Pro Tip: 

  • Newman’s Castle—a 16th-century-style castle—is a must-see! You can explore the inside, where you’ll find a variety of rooms, including a library, a ballroom, and a bedroom. There’s also a museum on the property that exhibits Newman’s collection of medieval artifacts.

7. Schulenburg 


Distance from Houston: 2 hr 34 min (105 mi) 

Schulenburg is a charming small town with historical buildings, known for its Czech heritage. So you’ll find many Czech restaurants, shops, and even a museum dedicated to Czech culture.

Since the town is in the heart of the Hill Country, Schulenburg also has some awesome scenery, and plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing. 

Pro Tip: 

8. Austin 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/DeiwZsgRh7Foeb899

Distance from Houston: 2 hr 38 min (162 miles)

If you’re looking for a great day trip from Houston, look no further than Austin. Whether you’re into music, food, culture, or outdoor activities, you’ll find it in Austin.

Music fans will love strolling down 6th Street—known for its live music venues featuring country music stars and up-and-coming artists. For art enthusiasts, plenty of galleries show works from local artists and there are museums like The Blanton Museum of Art and The Contemporary Austin. 

And if you’re looking for something different to do, visit one of Austin’s many artisanal food markets—like the famous Whole Foods flagship store on Lamar Boulevard—where you’ll find locally made crafts and delicious treats from around the world.

Pro Tip: 

  • Catch a show at Stubb’s BBQ. There, you can enjoy some of the best barbecue in Texas while listening to some great tunes.

9. San Marcos 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/B38vXxrtThuGMEuL8

Distance from Houston: 2 hr 44 min (165 miles)

The San Marcos River is a must-see place when spending the day in San Marcos. We’ve gone tubing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming here. 

We also recommend taking time to explore the historic Aquarena Springs State Park, as you’ll no doubt enjoy the views of crystal-clear springs and lush cypress trees.

If you’re a hard-core shopper, take a stroll down the picturesque streets of downtown San Marcos and explore all the area offers—from unique boutiques and antique stores to lively shopping districts like The Square at Sessom Drive.

Pro Tip: 

  • If you have time, go to Wonder World Park—the only park in Texas with an underground cave system!

10. Waco 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/5REsrZL5327qkcwD8

Distance from Houston: 2 hr 51 min (185 miles)

Waco is the perfect day-trip destination from Houston for families, friends, and couples alike! 

Outdoor enthusiasts can take a kayak trip down the Brazos River or bike along Cameron Park Trails. Anglers can fish for largemouth bass, yellow catfish, and with fish at Lake Waco Wetlands or Mother Neff State Park.

Waco also has plenty to offer for those looking for a more cultured experience. The Baylor University campus is a must-see attraction for its beautiful architecture and 19th-century buildings. 

Pro Tip: 

  • For something more fun, check out the Dr. Pepper Museum to learn about the history of this famous Texas soft drink—and even enjoy a taste test at the end! When you’re finished with that, go to Magnolia Market at the Silos for some shopping. 

11. New Braunfels 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/ZrfcE6MGTFppQsU18

Distance from Houston: 3 hr (178 miles)

New Braunfels is a beautiful destination for a day trip from Houston. The city has something to offer everyone, and its unique blend of German-Texan culture makes it an exciting and enjoyable place to explore.

If you’re looking for something to do in the water, you can’t go wrong with tubing down the Guadalupe River. This is a great way to cool off on a hot day and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

Oh, and if you’re not into tubing, you can also go swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding. 

Pro Tip: 

Those looking for something offbeat should head to Natural Bridge Caverns—Texas’ largest commercial caverns—and go off on an underground adventure! You can take a guided tour of the caves or explore them on your own.

12. San Antonio

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/GYqf9TqtfyUqcxFu5

Distance from Houston: 3 hr 5 min (197 miles)

San Antonio is a vibrant city full of culture and rich history. 

Start your day in the historic Alamo district, where you can explore the renowned walls of the famous Alamo mission and learn more about its significant role in Texas’s independence. The area is bustling with shops, restaurants, and museums that will keep you entertained for hours.

In the afternoon, check out some of San Antonio’s other popular attractions, like Six Flags Fiesta Texas, or the San Antonio Zoo. And if you’re looking for something a little more cultural, visit the San Antonio Museum of Art or the McNay Art Museum.

Pro Tip: 

  • If you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax, we recommend checking out the Backtrail overlook at the Japanese gardens. From the overlook, you can see the entire Japanese gardens, as well as the San Antonio River winding its way through the city..

13. Corpus Christi 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/mpyAZo2XCpuGihP99 

Distance from Houston: 3 hr 14 min (208 miles)

Corpus Christi’s harbor offers plenty of opportunities to get out on the water, with boat tours and beach cruises, as well as a variety of water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, and fishing. 

Along the shoreline is a beautiful boardwalk with spectacular views of downtown Corpus Christi and miles of white sand beaches perfect for relaxing and soaking up some sun.

Besides all its waterfront activities, Corpus Christi has many cultural attractions, like the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay and the Texas State Aquarium. One of our favorites was the Corpus Christi Museum of Art. This museum has an extensive art collection worldwide, including works by Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh. 

Pro Tip: 

  • If you come to Corpus Christi from June to August, get in touch with Padre Island National Seashore to witness the release of the baby turtles! 

14. Dallas 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/C659rCJ9DV1qae2U6 

Distance from Houston: 3 hr 26 min (239 miles)

We were entertained for hours in Dallas—there’s something for everyone to do. 

For the culture aficionado, there are plenty of museums to explore, like the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Music lovers can check out The Bomb Factory, where bands from all genres play their music in an intimate setting. 

We can’t forget about the historical Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza for those looking for more history on their day trip. 

For those who prefer retail therapy, there’s no shortage of shopping options in Dallas—from high-end designer stores at NorthPark Center and Highland Park Village to eclectic boutiques in Deep Ellum or Uptown.

Pro Tip: 

  • Take a ride on the Reunion Tower Observation Deck. This 750-foot-tall tower offers stunning views of the Dallas skyline—you can even see all the way to Fort Worth on a clear day.

15. Fredericksburg 

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/ZMMAPqmTwxr26ZHw5

Distance from Houston: 4 hr 19 min (237 miles)

Fredericksburg is a charming town located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, and it’s full of history, culture, and delicious food.

You can start your day by exploring the historic downtown, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Be sure to stop by the National Museum of the Pacific War, which tells the story of the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Foodies will be delighted by the range of eateries on offer in Fredericksburg – many of which feature traditional Texas-German cuisines such as schnitzel or sauerbraten.

And take some time to relax and head to one of Fredericksburg’s many wineries for a tasting. There are over 100 wineries in the area, so you’re sure to find one that you like.

Pro Tip: 

  • If you’re feeling adventurous, go hiking at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This granite dome has attracted many worldwide for hundreds of years due to its breathtaking views and unique geological features.
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