Austin is packed with enough teen-friendly entertainment options to last the whole summer (Seriously, check out our guide to the 50 Things Every Austin Teen Should Have on Their Summer Bucket List). Still, sometimes you just gotta get out of town for a bit. That’s why Aceable has curated a list of the top five amazing day trips for Austin teens. Each destination is less than a 2-hour drive from Austin and offers enough quirk and/or natural beauty to keep you entertained for the day. Don’t waste the last few weeks of summer vacation!
Dive Into Marble Falls
A mix of adventure and small-town charm awaits just an hour away in Marble Falls. Hit up one of the town’s many parks, including Falls Creek Skatepark, where you can try your luck on something called the Double-Dorito Hip. Stop to refuel with lunch and a lushious slice of pie from Blue Bonnet Cafe, which has been around since 1929. Next, stop in Spicewood, TX (it’s on the way back to Austin)! Cool off with a dip in the gorgeous oasis that is Krause Springs (like Barton Springs, but with more trees and fewer hippie drum circles). Admission is $7 for teens and adults. Camping is also an option if you want to turn this day trip into a days trip.
Stop it, Krause Springs. You’re making other springs feel bad.
Explore San Antonio
Texas is so huge and spread out, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole major city just an hour and a half south of us. In San Antonio, you can Remember the Alamo (from that elementary school field trip when you were probably too young to appreciate the historical site). Afterwords, stroll along the River Walk and take your pick of the many Tex-Mex restaurants and ice cream shops. For a little more excitement in your life, spend your day at Six Flags. Maximize your virtual and IRL fun with the amusement park’s guide to Pokemon Go. Better wear your comfy shoes.
Oh hey, Alamo.
Stay Cool in New Braunfels
Drive a mere 50 miles to explore the vonderful German settlement turned fun-filled city of New Braunfels. One of the biggest draws, of course, is Schlitterbahn. This water park is 70 acres of rides, pools, and other aquatic attractions for beating the summer heat. Lowkey hoping to keep it low-key? Opt for lazy tubing on the river. If you don’t wanna spend your day trip being sopping wet (suit yourself), there are plenty of fun activities on dry land. Catch a double feature under the stars at the Stars and Stripes drive-in theater (complete with a retro 1950s-themed cafe).
New Braunfels has water slides galore.
Tour the Hill Country
Hear us out on this one, but may we suggest...trains? Most teens have never been on a train, so this is like whole ‘nother realm of transportation recreation. Head up to the Austin Steam Train in Cedar Park and get ready to do the locomotive. They have all sorts of themed routes to choose from, including murder mystery rides. For a beautiful day trip, though, try the classic Hill Country Flyer, a 66-mile round trip through the Hill Country. You get to stop for a couple hours in Burnet (grab lunch and wander around the historic town) before you chug back home. It’s relaxing, quality time with a view.
Take a break from driving.
Hike and Bike in Bastrop
Bastrop may bring to mind the Bastrop County Wildfire of 2011, still the most destructive wildfire in state history. But Bastrop is back, and the sight of the burned Lost Pines coupled with new green growth is both eerie and beautiful. Head to Bastrop State Park for a day of hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting. Bring your bike for a cruise on Park Road 1C, which connects Bastrop and Buescher state parks. If you’ve had your fill of nature’s splendor, head into the city of Bastrop to check out museum, shops, and restaurants.
Ride your bike down this serene path.
What if you don't have a driver license to get to these alluring locales? Aceable can help with that, too. Check out our fun and convenient Texas Drivers Ed app.