Destinations and Attractions Close to Major Texas Cities

Often times a quick escape is all the schedule allows. Luckily for Texans - and visitors to the Lone Star State - there are several interesting attractions and destinations within a short drive of major Texas metro areas such as Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
  • 01 of 10
    Longhorn Caverns
    Longhorn Caverns. TPW

    Longhorn Caverns is a Hill Country wonder that have housed Comanche Indians, Confederate Soldiers and, perhaps, and outlaw or two. Today the site is a state park, offering a number of tours and educational programs. Because of its "insulated" underground location, Longhorn Caverns remains a comfortable temperature for visitors throughout the year. 

  • 02 of 10
    Enchanted Rock
    Enchanted Rock. TPW
    Located just north of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is one of the largest natural rock formations in the United States, with a dome that rises 425 feet above the ground (1825 feet above sea level). Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1970, Enchanted Rock is also part of the Texas State Parks System and attracts thousands of visitors annually.
  • 03 of 10

    Lake Travis

    Created in 1941, Lake Travis is over 60 miles long, winding through the scenic Texas Hill Country. Lake Travis' clear waters, scenic surroundings and close proximity to Austin have made it one of the most popular lakes for recreational boaters.
  • 04 of 10

    Located on the Colorado River above Lake Buchanan, Colorado Bend State Park offers visitors some of the best river swimming in the state, as well as hiking, camping, fishing, birding and mountain biking. Tours to Gorman Falls waterfall and various caves within the park (Colorado Bend is home to more than 400 caves!) are also available to visitors. 

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  • 05 of 10
    Located a short distance outside of Austin, Krause Springs is located near the headwaters of Cypress Creek. Krause Springs encompasses two large swimming holes and numerous campsites.
  • 06 of 10

    Lake Lewisville

    A favorite spot for Dallas watersport enthusiasts, Lake Lewisville offers visitors a variety of activities, including fishing, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, sailboarding, and more.
  • 07 of 10
    Located in Humble, a short drive from Houston, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a 250 acre collection of native and cultivated plant life. Additionally, the center has an outdoor classroom, picnic area and miles of walking trails.
  • 08 of 10

    Lake Conroe

    Lake Conroe's 21,000 acres lie just a short drive from Houston. It's quick access to the nation's fourth largest city has made it one of the busiest lakes in the state when it comes to recreational boating traffic.
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  • 09 of 10

    Natural Bridge Caverns

    An underground wonder, Natural Bridge Caverns shows the family a side of the world they probably haven't seen. In addition to a variety of subterranean tours, Natural Bridge Caverns offers a host of above-ground educational activities for kids of all ages.
  • 10 of 10
    Big Thicket National Preserve
    Big Thicket National Preserve. National Park Service
    Covering nearly 100,000 acres, Big Thicket National Preserve was the first such preserve in the United States. The Big Thicket NP is home to a diverse group of plants and animals and plays host to thousands of nature enthusiasts annually.