There are many amazing attractions in and around Cedar Park, Texas, including the educational museums, entertainment, and restaurants in nearby Austin. However, there are many other fantastic cities and towns all around Central Texas you and your family can explore. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Cedar Park on Lakeline Boulevard has put together a list of our six favorite day trip destinations you can take from Cedar Park and the Greater Austin area.
“Gruene Historic District, New Braunfels, Texas” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by heatheronhertravels
As its name would suggest, New Braunfels is a town heavily influenced by its German heritage. While you can celebrate and explore German-American culture during the town’s cultural events throughout the year, you can also visit local bakeries, shops, and restaurants that serve German food, snacks, and beer. For example, Naeglin’s German Bakery sells strudels, kolache, danishes, and other German and European baked goods.
New Braunfels is also known for its fun attractions, including Schlitterbahn Waterpark (which is open seasonally during the late spring and summer), the McKenna Children’s Museum, Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo, a drive-in movie theater, and quite a few campgrounds. History lovers will enjoy a visit to the New Braunfels Railroad Museum and the Sophienburg Museum. Plus, this town is on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers, so you can go kayaking, canoeing, or boating in the area, too.
Located just north of New Braunfels is this historic district of Gruene. It’s technically part of New Braunfels, so you can enjoy this destination during the same trip. In this area, you’ll find Gruene Hall, a live music venue and dance hall where you can do some line dancing, listen to country artists, and take in a bit of preserved history. This district is also a great spot to go shopping in unique shops, including clothing boutiques, antiques stores, an old toy shop, and a farmers market. You also have a great selection of delicious local restaurants, wineries, and bars.
If you’re looking for accommodations with a historic twist, stay at the Gruene River Hotel, the Gruene Mansion Inn (a Victorian mansion converted into a bed and breakfast), and Antoinette’s Cottage (a pre-Civil War home that is now a B&B).
Fredericksburg is another town settled by Germans in the mid 1800s. It, too, has a small-town feel, with walkable shopping areas, a welcoming town square, and festive cultural celebrations throughout the year that the whole community takes part in. The area is home to many wineries and breweries, fantastic restaurants, plenty of spots to enjoy live music, and dozens of art galleries where you can view and purchase unique pieces of art, many of which are made by local artists.
See Central Texas and Western history come to life at the live-action Pioneer Museum and Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Visit the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and National Historic Site to learn more about the former president. Explore the National Museum of the Pacific War to hear the stories of men and women who served in the Pacific theater during World War II. And if you’re not sure where to go first, consider hopping on a guided tour of the city, such as one about local ghost stories or one that takes you to some of the best local restaurants, wineries, and breweries.
Wimberley is a small city located in Texas Hill Country, with gorgeous natural landscapes as far as the eye can see. Here you can enjoy outdoor activities like exploring the Cave Without a Name and its cavernous tunnels, zip lining through the scenic valley, hiking and viewing wildlife at Blue Hole Regional Park, and climbing up to Old Baldy Park.
Since Wimberley is in Hill Country, it’s surrounded by amazing wineries, and you can tour the vineyards and taste delectable wines for a fun date night idea. With the kids, you could catch a show to see the Wimberley Players or at Emilyann Theatre, where you’ll also find beautifully manicured gardens and a life-sized chessboard. If you have any cowboy fans in the family, then take them to Jack Glover’s Cowboy Museum.
San Antonio is a city rich with culture, history, and fun family-friendly activities. It, too, is near Texas Hill Country, so you can still enjoy the scenic drives, outdoor adventures, and wineries you would at other destinations on this list. In addition to those activities, you can explore historical sites like the Alamo, view art at one of the many art museums and galleries, and stroll along the stunning River Walk, which features shops, restaurants, bars, and fantastic sites along the San Antonio River.
Kids and parents alike are sure to have a great time in the city, thanks to LEGOLAND Discovery Center San Antonio, the DoSeum‘s hands-on exhibits, the fantastical Hopscotch Art Museum, and AT&T Center, home of the San Antonio Spurs basketball team and many touring musical acts. Any golf lovers in your family? Then San Antonio’s dozens of professional-grade courses are sure to please.
Waco is another Texas city with small-town charm and big-city amenities for visitors. Parents can enjoy the many wineries, distilleries, and breweries. But everyone will enjoy the outdoor recreation spots, interesting museums and historical sites, and shopping destinations. Make your trip an educational one with a visit to any (or all) of the awesome museums in town, such as the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, the Mayborn and Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University, and the Dr. Pepper Museum.
Get in touch with nature at Indian Spring Park and the Carleen Bright Arboretum, splash around at Hawaiian Falls Waterpark, and see animals like giraffes, rhinos, elephants, and more at the Cameron Park Zoo. And if you’re a big fan of the show “Fixer Upper” and Chip and Joanna Gaines, then Waco is the place for you. It’s their hometown and the location for Magnolia Market shopping center and Magnolia Table, the Gaines’ restaurant. So there you have it, six of the best day trips from Cedar Park you have to try. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite day or weekend trip locations? If so, contact us to let us know. We’ll be sure to add yours to our growing list!