The Lone Star State offers some amazing weekend getaways. In this post I have gathered some great suggestion for weekend getaways around Texas from National Parks, big cities like Dallas and Houston to little towns.
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12 Amazing Weekend Getaway Ideas in Texas
Big Bend National Park
Recommended by Victoria of Guide Your Travel
One of the best places to spend a weekend in Texas is the Big Bend National Park. Located in the south-west of the state this park has a unique landscape that includes mountains, the desert, and of course the impressive Rio Grande.
Come here for hiking, photo opportunities and to truly appreciate the great outdoors. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most well-known hikes in this area and shouldn’t be missed. The hike is only 1.7 miles long and is great for hikers of all experience levels. The views are incredible so don’t forget to take your camera.
Big Bend National Park is very large so make sure you find a place to stay close to where you want to go hiking. There are great options for camping and lodging but also larger hotels and resorts. This is the perfect weekend getaway to relax and get back in touch with the beautiful nature that texas has to offer.
Recommended by Daphna from A Tiny Trip
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States located in Southeast Texas, not far from the Gulf of Mexico. It is known for the world renowned Texas Medical Center, and of course NASA’s Johnson Space Center and its Mission Control.
Start your weekend in Discovery Green, a fun urban green space in the heart of downtown. Then check out Buffalo Bayou Park for a walk along the trails of the bayou and views of the downtown skyline.
Spend another day in the museum district: the Houston Museum of Natural Science or the Museum of Fine Arts Houston are great choices, especially if you come to Houston with kids. When you tire of museums, head to Hermann Park and check out Centennial Gardens, McGovern Lake, or the zoo. If you have another full day, take a day trip to NASA Space Center. The exhibits and trolley tours of the facility will take several hours.
Recommended by Bruna from Maps ‘N Bags
While this incredible national park in Texas has enough activities to justify weeks of salty, sandy vacation, Padre Island is also a perfect weekend getaway by the sea.
Holding the title of the world’s largest barrier island, Padre sits between the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre. On the beach side of the island, you can go for a refreshing swim, look for shells to add to your collection, or paddle out into the best surf in the Lone Star State. Beyond that, Padre’s seashore is extensive and pretty much flat, making it perfect for bike rides while you take in the view.
On the lagoon side of Padre, you can experience one of the best windsurfing destinations in America, or simply go for a spin in a canoe or kayak.
Either way, Padre Island is a fantastic weekend trip for the whole family.
Recommended by Lee and Stacey of One Trip at a Time
Far more than just surf and sand, you can easily pack a weekend getaway with so many great things to see and do in Galveston. While you can certainly enjoy its 30 miles of beaches, Galveston’s 19th-century history and family-friendly attractions also make the city a Texas favorite.
With over 1,500 structures from the 1800s, Galveston’s historic districts, such as ‘The Strand’, have some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in North America. Undoubtedly the most of impressive of these is the beautiful Bishop’s Palace, in the East End, which you can tour.
For those with (or without!) kids, Galveston’s biggest attraction is Moody Gardens. Made up of several pyramids, you could easily spend the better part of a day exploring rainforests, interactive and futuristic exhibits, and aquariums.
Finally, do not forget about Galveston’s seafaring history that you can learn about at the Seaport Museum and the 19th-century Tall Ship Elissa, right next door, which is the third-oldest ship still afloat!
Recommended by Dymphe from Dymabroad
One of the best places for a weekend getaway in Texas is Austin. Austin is the capital city of the state of Texas and it is lovely to visit. The city is well-known for its music. Therefore, going to a live music venue is a great thing to do during your weekend.
There are opportunities for this throughout the city. Besides that, there are lots of other things to do in the city. For example, you can go to the Bullock State History Museum to learn about the history of the state of Texas.
If you are looking for a great park in Austin, then go to Zilker Park. This is a beautiful park with lots of nature that is suitable for many outdoor activities or simply for a relaxing walk. Furthermore, one of the best things you can do in Austin is doing a free tour of the Texas Capitol!
Another thing that’s great about Austin is that the weather is good throughout the year, with more than 300 days of sunshine. This makes for a pleasant weekend trip!
Recommended by Priya Vin from Outside Suburbia
Whether you are planning a girl’s weekend, a Mother-daughter trip, or a weekend with family, there is plenty to do in Dallas, Texas. Start with a stroll along the paved trail at White Rock Lake. It offers gorgeous views in nature and you can bike or renting paddle boards or kayaks to adventure the water. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is another great place to spend some time in nature. Bring a picnic and enjoy the colorful blooms.
Dallas has a variety of educational and engaging museums – from science to art and everything in between. The Dallas Museum of Art offers quite an impressive collection of amazing artworks or visit Deep Ellum to see the vibrant murals. For some retail therapy, head to the outlet malls located in the suburbs of Allen or Grapevine.
For some luxury shopping visit the Spanish Mediterranean styled Highland Park Village. Go beyond Tex-Mex and try a couple of the amazing restaurants for brunch or dinner to round up your weekend in Dallas.
Recommended by Jessica Schmit of Uprooted Traveler
Marfa, a tiny town buried in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert in west Texas, is an unexpected art hub. In the late 1970s, acclaimed artist Donald Judd moved here from New York City, promptly acquired a World War II army base, and filled it with huge pieces of utilitarian sculptures against the empty, dusty landscape.
Other artists followed suit and now, some 40 years later, Marfa is an unusual mecca for weirdos and wanderers, bursting at the seams with crystal shops, edgy art galleries, and artisanal coffee shops.
Be sure to stop at Food Shark, dishing up delicious gyros and falafels out of a food truck (Beyonce ate here!), El Cosmico for some funky glamping options, and Do Your Thing Coffee for some bougie caffeinated beverages.
Recommended by Nicole Sunderland from Bucket List Lists
Looking for one of the best weekend getaways in Texas? Then don’t miss San Antonio! Considered to be the top destination in Texas and a USA bucket list for many, this 15 mile stretch of urban waterway has something for everyone. From shopping, dining and attractions to explore, you can keep yourself busy all weekend. This is great for solo travelers, couples, families, and even group trips. It is truly a city for everyone.
Top attractions you must see include: The Alamo, Riverwalk, the San Antonio Museum of Art, La Villita Historic Village, and the Majestic Theatre. You could actually spend your entire trip on the Riverwalk and never get bored (or see it all). Make sure to plan a trip back.
For food, do not miss puffy tacos at Henry’s Puffy Tacos! You would be doing yourself a disservice by not stopping by for this local favorite.
Recommended by Dan Bagby from CabinCritic.co
Fredericksburg is a small hill country town with lots of charm located within 75 miles of both San Antonio and Austin. The town is known for its food, wine, and authentic German soul. Farm-to-table dining is the norm in Fredericksburg for restaurants ranging from fine dining to casual german restaurants.
Just like most Texas towns, you can not miss trying some Texas barbecue while you are there. Fredericksburg is a great home base to exploring the many Texas Hill Country wineries with dozens of wineries and tasting rooms loaded in the city and many more within a short drive from the area.
Going on a wine tour makes it easy to enjoy several varieties of wine. When you aren’t eating and drinking, head to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area where you can hike some of the 8.4 miles of trails. In town, you can explore the unique shops, art galleries and see the historic buildings around Main street.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Recommended by Kristen of Yonderlust Ramblings
If you’re looking for an adventurous weekend getaway, no destination has more rugged opportunities in Texas than Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Natives and non-natives alike are often surprised to discover that Texas has two National Parks, and the Guadalupe Mountains is the one to put on your list if you enjoy under-rated spots, challenging hiking, diverse geography, and secluded camping!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a true testament to the fact that Texas is not all flat! This park harbors the tallest mountains in the state, creating a wealth of invigorating hiking sure to fill any weekend! This park’s unique diversity includes canyons, forests, and high desert ecosystems.
One of the most beloved hikes in Texas belongs to Guadalupe’s McKittrick Canyon Trail, a day hike that traverses a surprisingly verdant, hidden oasis at the bottom of the Guadalupe Mountains. On the other extreme, there’s the trek to the highest point in Texas at Guadalupe Peak, a hike that encompasses both high desert and ponderosa forest scenery.
Top off a weekend of outdoor adventures with some of the best secluded camping and unfiltered, nightly panoramas in Texas! Guadalupe has two campgrounds, both highlighting different regions of the park, and both are first come first serve.
Recommended by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
Fort Worth is one of the best cities in the Lone Star State for a true Texas getaway. The North Texas city that shares a metropolitan area with Dallas, has a long, rich history of cowboy culture.
As an original stop along the Chisholm Trail, once used to drive cattle from Texas to Kansas, Fort Worth’s cowboy roots are most apparent in the historic area known as the stockyards.
In fact, the Fort Worth Stockyards is the only place in the world where you can watch a real cattle drive twice daily through the streets. Watching the cattle drive is one of the best free things to do in Fort Worth!
Although a visit to the stockyards offers you a glimpse back in time to the city’s Wild West origins, Fort Worth is also a booming urban area. With majestic botanical gardens and captivating water gardens all within a short distance from a lively downtown, Fort Worth offers visitors a look at both the historic and the modern metropolitan life in Texas.
Recommended by Kate of Lone Star Travel Guide
Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, spending a weekend in the whimsical, artistic small town of Wimberley is an absolute delight.
Wimberley is arguably most famous for its two iconic swimming holes: Jacob’s Well, the 140-foot-deep submerged cave that has fascinated Texans for generations, and the beautiful Blue Hole, with its bright color and shade from the bald cypress trees that line it.
Both are incredibly popular and require advance reservations to take a swim in during the summer.
Other fun things to do in Wimberley include hiking the short-but-sweet Prayer Mountain for incredible Hill Country views, going antiquing, enjoying a wine tasting or two, browsing the eclectic boutiques and galleries lining the town square, and hunting down some of the 30 uniquely painted boot statues that decorate the town.
Wimberley is also perfectly located for combining with visits to other Hill Country favorites like Fredericksburg, Driftwood, Canyon Lake, and Dripping Springs, making it easy to extend your weekend adventure in Texas!