Living in Central Texas offers many opportunities for Small Town Road Trips.
There are many cute and historic Texas towns to discover, all within a one or two hour ride from Cedar Park, making for the perfect day trip.
Since my family’s life basically revolves around our next meal, our usual start of the planning process for a road trip involves finding a good restaurant. Once we have scouted a pit stop for lunch, we then look for things to do in the area. From the random road side find to the well know tourist attraction, we have pretty much seen it all. The pre-planning stage usually gets us there, but what we have discovered along the way and what we just happen upon through luck are usually the best parts about the trip.
When we first moved here, I would scour Trip Advisor, Yelp and City-Data to find things to do and get local tips. In the first year we lived here, we must have covered every square mile of the Hill Country and surrounding areas. We discovered some favorites that we visit often. Here are some of our favorite day trips to Texas small towns.
Johnson City is a great place for a day trip, but there is so much to do that you can even make a weekend of it. For kids, the Hill Country Science Mill and the Exotic Zoo resort are sure to please. For adults, there are many great wineries between Johnson City and Fredericksburg including William Chris, Lewis, Ron Yates, and Kuhlman. Our favorite local restaurants are Pecan Street Brewing, East Main Grill and Bryan’s on 290. Also, Hye Market just down the road. For outdoor activities visit Pedernales Falls State Park, the LBJ Ranch or stroll around the downtown antique stores and galleries.
This picturesque small town is an easy drive and there is plenty to do. Dine along the Guadalupe River while listening to live music at The Grist Mill. Visit the oldest dance all in TX to enjoy more live music. Take a stroll and visit a wide variety of boutiques and specialty shops. If you make a weekend of it, there are plenty of B&B’s and you can also start your tubing adventure right downtown.
Just outside our back door, Georgetown will take you back in time. The central square is one of the prettiest in TX and is surrounded by many shops and restaurants. Have breakfast at Monument Cafe, shop their farmers market and then visit Inner Space Caverns for a fun filled day trip.
You can’t pass through Marble Falls without stopping at the Blue Bonnet Cafe for a home cooked meal and a giant slice of pie. Find a spot to sit a while at Lakeside Park and watch the boats go by. On the way to or from, take Cow Creek Rd off 1431 to drive through the scenic Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife refuge.
When the weather is nice, Fredericksburg is the best place to visit as it’s a walking town with plenty of unique shops to browse. We enjoy eating at Herb Farm, Auslander, Otto’s and Vaudeville but there are tons more. Visit during Trade Days, 3rd Saturday of the month, for more shopping fun. And of course, it’s the wine capital of TX so book a wine tour and a B&B for a weekend getaway. On the way back, stop at Wildseed Farms to pick up a few nice plants or some garden art.
This quaint little scenic town along the Blanco River makes for a great day trip. Eat lunch at The Leaning Pear, enjoy fun little shops and boutiques and have an ice-cream while watching the river flow by. You can also visit several great wineries in the area and a few breweries too. Pack a swim suit for Jacobs Well and Blue Hole.
I hope you enjoy this list and it inspires you to get out on your own adventure. I’d love to hear about your journey!
Note: Please call ahead to confirm restaurants are open and to make reservations for swimming holes, dining and tours.