19 December, 2016

Everyone wants to get away from the city sometimes. In the summer it’s easy. There are plenty of watering holes a short drive from Austin to cool off in. However, in the winter it’s harder to settle on a place to go. Here are a few ideas of places a short drive away that are a great escape for every Austinite.

Dripping Springs: 35 minute drive

Just north of this quaint town is Hamilton pool. Though it’s wonderful in the summertime for a dip, in the winter this natural grotto is a beautiful serene location for a hike or picnic with a beautiful view of the water. If you’re more of a below-ground traveler, consider visiting West Cave Preserve. Once you’re back in town, get a drink or take a tour at Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery, then settle down for dinner at The Pizza Cave, a highly rated Italian restaurant.

Wimberly: 45 Minute drive

This is the place to go if you need to get unique holiday gifts! On the first Saturday of every month, Wimberly hosts the Wimberly Lions Club Market Day. This market has all kinds of vendors, from handmade to vintage to bling tees.  The center of town is filled with cute boutiques and restaurants. For the more adventurous, check out Wimberly Zipline Adventures.

Pedernales Falls State Park: 50 Minute drive

For the outdoorsman, this day trip is perfect. Fill your day with hiking, biking, geocaching, bird watching, horseback riding and any nature activity you can think of.  At the north end of the park, view the Pedernales Falls. This 300 million year old limestone formation used to be completely underwater, but now is available for your exploration. For the kids, check out the junior ranger program.

Gruene: 35 minute drive

Home of the oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene is a barrel of fun! Hear some real Texas musicians and dance the night away, but not until you’ve spent the day shopping at the many antique shops around town! If you need a drink, get a soda at the General Store, a Gruene classic. You can also try your hand at fishing on the lower Guadalupe River. Gruene is known for its Bed and Breakfasts, so if you’re looking to turn this day trip into an overnight getaway, be sure to consider those.

What’s your favorite place to go near Austin?

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