Whether you live in Texas or are visiting, you’re probably aware that it’s a huge state. The benefits are that you can plan extremely varied trips. The Lone Star State is a vast and diverse landscape filled with a variety of weekend getaway options. From nature escapes and city adventures to historical sites and beach retreats, there’s something for everyone here. If you’re looking for inspirational Texas weekend getaway ideas, stick around as we explore 24 fantastic weekend getaways in Texas. Get ready to discover the best of Texas!
Weekend Getaways in Texas for Nature Lovers
Only in Texas can you veer between deserts, oceans, mountains and more. The varied landscape and sheer size means that there is something for every type of nature lover no matter what you are seeking!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Yes, Texas has mountains. Guadalupe Peak boasts a 3,000 foot elevation gain over 8 miles. It takes most hikers 6-8 hours to complete this roundtrip hike to the “Top of Texas”. Upon reaching the peak at 8,751 feet above sea level, you’ll be able to grab a pic with the metal pyramid that marks the summit.
Just because this hike is popular doesn’t mean it is easy. Tons of switchbacks, a steep trajectory and the Texas heat makes it challenging, even for experienced hikers. Start hiking early in the day and carry more water than you think you’ll need.
Lodging nearby is super limited. The Pine Springs Campground is a great choice but you’ll need to book it in advance. The closest camping and accommodations outside of the park are in Carlsbad, New Mexico or Van Horn, Texas. And the term close is relative – you’re looking at 35-55 miles to NM locations and 70 miles to Van Horn. One option is to check out camper vans like Winnebagos or Mercedes Sprinters for rent from RVshare.
Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park is a unique and mysterious destination, featuring a maze of bayous, sloughs and cypress trees draped in Spanish moss. This East Texas park is perfect for those looking to explore nature by boat, kayak or canoe. Your best bet is to stay at the Caddo Lake State Park Cabins or camp there. Book early to get a spot!
If you choose to stay at a hotel, it will likely be in Marshall. Read reviews very carefully before booking. There are some poor choices in that area. Personally this is one of the times we recommend renting a private home. You can get an entire Karnack, Texas home complete with dock on the lake through booking.com. Sue’s Camp is also a good choice, sleeping up to 9.
Read More: 7 Best Places to Get Your Feet Wet in Texas
Sea Rim State Park
If you’re looking for a totally unique experience and don’t mind roughing it, Sea Rim State Park is perfect for you. As far as weekend getaways in Texas go, this one is unique. Sea Rim State Park is located south of Beaumont and is easily accessible from Southern Louisiana and Houston.
The draw of Sea Rim State Park is the floating primitive campsite. That’s right, this boat-in only campsite is a floating dock in the nearby marsh. At $15/night it’s a bargain just be sure to read all of the rules and keep an eye out for alligators.
You can also fish, go horseback riding on the beach or paddle watery trails here.
Read More: 13 Best Beaches Near Houston
Lost Pines, Bastrop
You may not think of pine trees and forests when you think of Texas but they exist. Outside of Austin in Bastrop, you can hike in both Bastrop State Park and Buechler State Park.
Not into hiking but just want to get away from it all? Book a stay at the serene and relaxing Hyatt Lost Pines. It’s rare for a resort to be both family-friendly and great for couples or girlfriend getaways, but Hyatt Lost Pines manages to do that. The grounds cover more than 400 acres along the Lower Colorado River. Families can visit farm animals, do crafts, practice archery or go to the waterpark and lazy river. Adults will enjoy the 18-hole golf course, spa, horseback riding or ride trails on UTVs.
Read More: Hyatt Lost Pines for Families
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park in West Texas is home to the second-largest canyon in the United States. The views are incredible and the hiking trails are varied, offering great options for both beginners and avid hikers. You can book horseback riding trips or zipline adventures in the canyon as well. This park is ideal for those seeking a challenging adventure and breathtaking landscapes. Stay at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park Cabins for a rustic retreat. The town of Canyon Texas isn’t that far away. If you’re looking for a hotel, the Best Western is a decent option. Downtown Canyon has some really good food options like Feldman’s Wrong Way Diner and Joe Taco (huge servings) and Palace Coffee, which is a personal favorite coffeeshop for me.
Best City Weekend Getaways in Texas
Did you know Texas is home to three of the largest cities in the United State? Texas cities welcome businesspeople and tourists. Each city has a different feel to it allowing you to visit multiple different cities and have a completely unique experience.
Austin, the capital of Texas, is a unique and quirky Central Texas city known for its live music scene, delicious food and outdoor activities. As a city with the motto “Keep Austin Weird” you know you’re in for a fun weekend. With activities including sunset bat watching kayak tours, haunted pub crawls, chicken shit bingo (yes, really), half-day Hill Country Wine Tour, Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake and music festivals there’s something for everyone.
Great Food Options in Austin, TX
For food there is of course BBQ. Franklin BBQ often gets the top billing but the line is long and if your stay is short, skip it. Terry Black’s BBQ is a more efficient choice or try la Barbecue. They’ll have a line too but you can order ahead to go!
If you’re in Austin for the IG photo ops, book Lutie’s for brunch. It’s a splurge but it’s stunning. Another totally worth the cash splurge is Otoko. This sushi experience at a 12-seat sushi restaurant is tricky to book and requires advance planning but is worth it. One of my all time Austin favorites is Sway, a modern Thai restaurant. On the super budget friendly end of things, check out Juan in a Million for breakfast or lunch plates.
Where to Stay in Austin
There are numerous options for hotels, AirBNBs and everything in between. Ultimately Austin traffic can be a bitch. If your plans center around specific timed activities or are all located in a similar area, book based on that. The less driving around Austin you need to do the better. Hyatt House is a great choice if you’d like to be able to walk downtown. The suite-style makes it ideal if you need more space and their breakfast is good. Boutique hotel, Hotel ZaZa, is perfect for a girls weekend and is centrally located. The Stephen F Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel is practically neighbors with the Texas State Capital. Offering a boatload of amenities, it is a great pick for an upscale stay. If your plans don’t center around Downtown the Element Austin Domain is a great and modern choice.
I adore San Antonio. Having lived there for several years it is always going to be one of my top picks. You can explore The Alamo, stroll on the San Antonio Riverwalk, visit museums and eat in great restaurants. Hotel options are abundant and you can usually grab one at a reasonable price, even last minute.
Looking for thrills? Popular amusement parks like Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Sea World are located on the outskirts of San Antonio.
Where to Stay in San Antonio
On the Riverwalk, the Canopy by Hilton San Antonio is a great choice. It’s well-located, newer and of course we love to earn our points! If you’re looking for a luxury option, the Omni La Mansion del Rio is the obvious choice. Romantic Spanish decor touches, fluffy robes and rooms that look out onto the river make the experience superb. Next to the Alamo, the Emily Morgan by Doubletree is my personal favorite. Legend is it’s haunted.
If you’re looking for a resort experience further outside of the city center, both the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa and the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa are epic. Both feature extensive pools and slides alongside relaxing spas.
Where to Eat in San Antonio
If you’ve only got one weekend in San Antonio, hit up the highlights. Mi Tierra Cafe in downtown’s Market Square is a must. Cuddle up with your sweetie while the mariachi band serenades you. Other locations within walking distance of the Riverwalk that we love are Rosario’s which boasts amazing flautas, moles and killer margaritas. Hot Joy’s crab fat caramel wings are delicious and their mapo tofu is top notch. They’ve got a great happy hour menu and creative drinks.
Fort Worth offers a taste of the Old West, with the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, rodeos and cowboy culture. When most folks think of Dallas they’re really picturing Fort Worth.
To get the full experience, stay at the Stockyards Hotel, dine at the Joe T. Garcia’s for delicious Tex-Mex, visit Billy Bob’s – The World’s Largest Honky Tonk and check out the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
As one of Texas’ big cities, Dallas has a lot to offer. It’s a fairly easy road trip from other areas of Texas and tons of flight land every day at both DFW and Love Field. With so many options to get there, weekend trips are easy to plan.
Dallas has a great mix of activities to explore. Educational attractions like the Sixth Floor Museum, Perot Museum, Dallas Museum of Art and the George W. Bush Presidential Center exist alongside more unique spots like Reunion Tower, the Museum of Illusions and the Giant Eyeball.
Dallas Hotels and Restaurants To Try
If you’re wanting to explore Deep Ellum, The Kimpton Pittman is a great jumping off point. The Omni Dallas is luxe with onsite dining and easy access to the sites. For access to the botanical gardens, downtown and other sites, The Beeman has a good location with easy highway access.
As far as food goes the hardest thing is picking where to eat. There are a lot of options! Personally, it’s not a Dallas trip without a meal at Rodeo Goat. Amazing burgers, loaded fries, good beer on tap and a river view make it a great experience.
Texas Weekend Getaways for History Buffs
Located in Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is a charming town with a rich German heritage. The historic architecture, numerous wineries and cute shops draw in numerous visitors annually. In addition, there are some great historical sites like the National Museum of the Pacific War.
Longneck Manor, home to the famous Giraffe Suite, is located on 140 acres. It’s a pricey but unique splurge. You’ll be sleeping in a 1200 square foot suite on the 2nd floor of the giraffe barn. They might even pop their heads in to say hi! If the nightly rate made your heart skip a beat, you can look into a day tour instead. The Country Inn Cottages are also a cute choice with access to both Fredericksburg and the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. If you’re planning on hiking there, look into it.
Read More: 15+ Awesome Things to Do in Fredericksburg
Founded by German settlers, present day New Braunfels includes the Historic District of Gruene (pronounced Green). Wurstfest is celebrated annually in November. Visitors also come to visit Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest continually operating dance hall. Built in 1878, it retains most of its original appearance.
Shop the town’s boutiques with a beer or wine from Dry Creek Comal Vineyard, open containers are ok here.
Is having the largest gas station in the world historic? If so New Braunfels is home to a Buc-ee’s with 120 gas pumps and claims to have the cleanest restrooms. They aren’t wrong about that part. It’s a good place to stop on a Texas road trip.
New Braunfels is also home to the original Schlitterbahn, a giant Texas water park. If you’d rather be on a river, look into tubing excursions. There are entire outfitter operations who will drop off on one part of the Comal River or Guadalupe River and pick up at a different part, leaving you ample time to float downstream with a cooler and friends.
Where to Stay and Eat in New Braunfels
The Gruene Innis a dreamy choice with balconies overlooking the river in every room. The Courtyard by Marriott New Braunfels River Village is a good choice for families and has access to downtown, Natural Bridge Caverns and local parks. Don’t want to see a single kid on your trip? Adults-only Gruene River Hotel and Retreat is the perfect choice for you.
Alpine Haus Restaurant offers German food in a wine and beer garden. Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar is one of the most sought after spots to eat. Located in a historic cotton gin, it serves up favorites like Chicken Fried Steak, Bacon Wrapped Filets and Baby Back Ribs overlooking the river. Pat’s Place is a personal favorite because their menu combines comfort food and Mexican food, making it perfect for when everyone wants something different.
Beach Destinations in Texas
With hundreds of miles of mostly public oceanfront, Texas has some great sandy beaches. Many are driveable from Houston, Texas’ largest city.
Galveston, a popular Texas beach destination, is located just an hour south of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico. Offering miles of sandy beaches, historic attractions and fun activities this beach town is perfect for family trips or romantic getaways.
If you’re looking for romance, stay at the luxurious San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center, Schaefer Haus Mansion or The Tremont House. Families often choose the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Galveston or Moody Gardens Resort and Spa.
Families will love Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens. It’s a Galveston island staple.
Dining ranges from casual to upscale but seafood is a common theme. Black Pearl Oyster Bar, Rudy & Paco’s and Gaido’s are popular high end choices. Pho Tai, The Spot and Soul 2 Soul are some of my favorite budget choices.
Read More: 15 Things to Do in Galveston
South Padre Island
South Padre Island is a barrier island known for its beautiful beaches, water sports and vibrant nightlife. Unless you’re located in South Texas or the Rio Grande Valley, you’ll probably want to fly in. The closest airports are Brownsville (30 min), Valley International/Harlingen (55 min), McAllen (1.5 hrs) and Corpus Christi (2 hrs 45 min). Valley and Corpus are both served by Southwest Airlines. Remember things in Texas are further apart than they look. Houston is almost 6 hrs away from South Padre.
Port Aransas is a charming beach town located on Mustang Island. With beaches, fishing, bird watching and a laid-back atmosphere, this town is perfect for those seeking a relaxing getaway with a touch of adventure. Mustang Island State Park features a paddling trail instead of a hiking trail where you can traverse over 20 miles by kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Stay at the Port Royal Ocean Resort or Belles Sea Inn and dine at the popular restaurants like Virginia’s on the Bay, Tortuga’s Saltwater Grill and Rollin’ Tide Boil Company for fresh seafood and great views.
Don’t come for me! I know Corpus gets a bad rap sometimes but the location is perfect. You’re 15 miles from Padre Island National Sea Shore. Time your trip between June and August for a chance to see sea turtles hatching.
Corpus Christi is a great compromise for groups or couples who want to go to a beach but also want activities and dining that a small city offers. Pay your tributes to Latino-Texan singing sensation Selena at the Selena Museum. Tour the Art Museum of South Texas or the Botanical Gardens of South Texas and Nature Center. The USS Lexington Museum and the Texas State Aquarium are other popular stops for visitors.
Charming Small Town Weekend Getaways in Texas
Located halfway between Houston and Austin, Brenham’s Main Street area offers cute shops, an art gallery and restaurants. In March and April, the area is filled with visitors seeking out bluebonnets. The Texas Arts and Music Festival is put on annually in October by a group of volunteers and as a result downtown has dozens of colorful murals.
Where to Stay in Brenham
Families will love the Holiday Inn Express & Suites located just off of 290. It’s conveniently located near shopping and food. Boutique hotel Ant Street Inn is a great choice for friends or couples who want to be right in town. You can walk to food, bars and shops. A renovation was just completed on the historic Dixie Motel which had fallen into disrepair (and frankly was sketchy). It’s now completely updated while maintaining vintage charm.
What to Eat in Brenham
Brenham has a surprisingly decent food roster for a small Texas city. My top choice is Country Sunshine. Their menu changes regularly but it is always amazing and the burger remains on it. It’s a fantastic burger. You’ll order at the window and eat in an outdoor courtyard. Perfect for a warm night.
LJ’s BBQ is a choice you can’t go wrong with for lunch. Get there early, they do sell out. Be sure to check them out on Facebook to keep up with their specials. They make a killer brisket burger and also drool-worthy brisket mac and cheese.
Grab a flight of beer and bar food at Brazos Valley Brewery. Food trucks rotate out offering additional food choices. If you’re lucky you can visit on a trivia night and try to beat Team Six Degrees of Rosenbaum. Their regular beer lineup is solid but if you can grab a seasonal the Bramble On and Watermelon Weather are really special.
Read More: 15+ Things to Do in Brenham
Another great bluebonnet destination much further north than Brenham is Ennis, Texas. Located about 30 miles south of Dallas, Ennis was influenced heavily by Czechoslovakian settlers. The National Polka Festival takes place here annually over Memorial Day weekend. Galaxy Drive-In is also a fun spot to check out for an evening movie.
Stay in a vintage trailer at The Range. This spot is designed for weekend getaways. You’ll check in on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Checkout is always on Sunday and the rate is for the whole weekend no matter what day you show up. The vintage trailers are super cute and make for great photos. Or book a family-friendly favorite like the La Quinta by Wyndham and the Comfort Suites.
Read More: Where to Find Texas Bluebonnets
This tiny charming town has a regular population of under 100. However during their antique shows, the population swells. Even if you aren’t there for a show, the shopping options are available. Junk Gypsy is a popular stop as are other boutiques closer to Henkel Square. For food, grab a slice of pie at Royer’s Pie Haven. They’re all good but the Buttermilk Pie, Eggnog Pie (seasonal) and Chess Pie (when they have it) are favorites. The Garden Company has a solid brunch menu and a very aesthetic interior. For dinner, Prost on Block 29 is excellent – especially when food truck Country Sunshine pops up there during antique shows.
The Round Top area is full of unique lodging options. Stay in a converted shipping container at the FlopHouze Shipping Container Hotel. If you’re traveling with a group, the Lone Star Glamp Inn is an amazing and unique choice for indoor camping in vintage trailers.
Read More: Exploring Round Top Texas
If your vacation vibe leans towards food, wine, watching glass blowing or browsing artisan goods, you’re going to love Wimberley. There used to be a pretty solid retiree vibe here but over the past few years it has become a popular vacation spot for all ages.
Wimberley is also home to popular swimming holes like Jacobs Well Natural Area and Blue Hole Regional Park. Both parks have trails that can be enjoyed year round.
Most lodging in the Wimberley area is through private owners but there are a few hotel options.
For a resort-feel, 7A Ranch is a good choice. It’s close to everything and has Blanco River access. Couples love the Wimberley Inn. We suspect the proximity to Wimberley Pie Company and the onsite bar probably doesn’t hurt!
Located outside of Waco, Clifton doesn’t often get listed but this “Norwegian Capital of Texas” makes a fun trip. Looking for a unique stay? Spend the night in an old jail that’s been renovated or at the Velkommen Inn.
This active arts community brings shows to town throughout the year. Learn about early Norwegian settlers at The Bosque Museum or sample wines at the Red Caboose Winery and Distillery. If you love the night sky, try to schedule during one of the monthly open houses for the Turner Research Station at the Meyer Observatory.
While you’re in Clifton stop into Corner Drug for a meal, or to grab a float or phospate from their old-fashioned soda fountain.
It’s called the wedding capital of Texas but it’s also great for a weekend getaway! Dripping Springs is an easy drive for residents in the Austin and San Antonio areas. Nature lovers will enjoy a trip to Hamilton Pool, but make sure you check their website before heading there. Certain times of year and days require advance reservations. Dripping Springs has a ton of options for wine tastings, distillery visits and more.
If you’re looking to reconnect with yourself and your environment, book a stay at 13 Acres Retreat. This mindfulness weekend getaway in Texas includes classes like yoga, sound bowls and meditation. Choose the perfect cabin and arrive ready to renew your relationships with yourself or close friends. The Alexander at Creek Road is another great choice with cottages and bungalows available.
Off the Beaten Path Weekend Getaways in Texas
These options may require a bit more planning. They’re either further from civilization requiring travel time that would cut into a quick weekend, or you’ll need a few extra days to explore. But definitely don’t discount them! They’re each an amazing spot to explore.
Terlingua is a “ghost town” located near Big Bend National Park, offering a unique and adventurous getaway experience. It’s perfect for those looking to explore the rugged beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and enjoy hiking, mountain biking and river rafting. Stay at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge which is located on 425 acres and has stunning nighttime sky views. If you’re looking for a super upscale experience close to Terlingua, head over to Lajitas Golf Resort. With a golf course and full spa it is a relaxing and remote escape from society. You can even fly into the private airport in Lajitas. It sounds pricey but the flights from Houston, Dallas and Austin on JSX are actually reasonable if you plan in advance.
Food options in Terlingua that deserve your attention are Starlight Theatre. Burgers, sandwiches and more are served up in this former theatre. High Sierra Bar and Grill and DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ are also great choices.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a stunning natural wonder, offering breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and numerous outdoor activities. Perfect for nature lovers and those seeking adventure, the park features hiking trails, river rafting and stargazing opportunities. Beginners can explore Santa Elena Canyon. Avid hikers can hit the Rim trail or part of it.
Stay at the Chisos Mountain Lodge for a comfortable and convenient base. Or choose one of the numerous hotels and rental homes in the surrounding area. Personally my bucket list Big Bend stay are the amazing cave rooms at Summit. Luxury, natural beauty and built in wow factors make them perfect for couples. You can check out dining options in nearby Terlingua or eat at the lodge restaurant.
Things to Consider When Planning for Big Bend
Big Bend is not a great option for everyone for a true weekend getaway. Because of its remote location you could easily spend two full days just getting there and back. It’s best for long weekend getaways for those living within 3-4 hours of Big Bend. It was doable for us when we were in San Antonio but way too much for less than 4-5 days once we were closer to Houston.
Be aware that Texas Spring Break falls in March. Christmas and Spring Break are some of the busiest times for Big Bend National Park and reservations for the lodge, campsites and hotels in nearby towns like Alpine and Terlingua book up far in advance.
Weekend Getaways in Texas: 24 Options to Get You Started
Texas is a land of diverse landscapes, rich history and endless adventure. With 24 fantastic weekend getaways to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect destination for your next trip. Whether you’re seeking a nature escape, a city adventure, a historical journey, an abundance of outdoor activities or a beach retreat, Texas has it all. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best of the Lone Star State!