A Group Guide to Day Trips from Austin
Austin is great, but not just for all the live music, food, and events that are within city limits. It’s also centrally located in Texas Hill Country, which makes it a great launch point for all kinds of day trips throughout the Lone Star State.
If your group wants to get out of town for the day, consider this guide your go-to for planning the ultimate day trip out of Austin. And if you need help getting to your top destinations, the GOGO Charters team can help you there too. Our reservation specialists are available around the clock to help travelers connect to comfortable and reliable transportation—all at a predictable bus rental rate. Call 512-640-4096 to learn how to secure crisp AC, plenty of legroom, free WiFi, and other amenities for your Austin road trip.
Now let’s get day-tripping!
For History Buffs…
Distance from Austin: 1 hour and 40 minus southwest
As one of the most historic cities in Texas, it’s no wonder why San Antonio is considered one of the state’s top tourist destinations. Where else can you check out dozens of UNESCO-recognized historic sites, munch on flautas by the Riverwalk, and peruse traditional craft stalls all in one spot?
In truth, exploring all that San Antonio has to offer will take your group of academics more than a day. So here are a couple of the city’s major highlights you won’t want to miss while you’re in town:
Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
The city’s most popular attraction, the structure we know as the Alamo was originally constructed in 1718 as a Spanish mission. Most folks, however, recognize it as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo—which claimed thousands of soldiers’, prisoners’, and civilians’ lives but marked a crucial turning point in the Texas Revolution.
Bus Rental Tip: The Alamo welcomes around 3 million visitors annually—which can make for tedious parking situations during peak tourist seasons. That being said, the Alamo sees plenty of tour buses and motorcoaches, so it has an efficient loading and unloading system. Your group can unload at the gate on Houston Street before your driver parks at the Henry B. González Convention Center. The Alamo’s loading area is completely wheelchair accessible, so groups traveling in an ADA-compliant bus rental won’t have to stress over getting to the site.
Historic Market Square
Address: 514 W Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78207
This popular tourist attraction began as the city’s primary marketplace in 1938, and farmers would park and sell produce from their truckbeds into the mid-1970s. Today you’ll find the U.S’s largest Mexican market located in these 3 square blocks of stalls, as well as dozens of restaurants, street food vendors, and leatherworkers. In other words, bring some cash and save the stop for last so you can pick up locally made souvenirs before heading back to Austin.
Bus Rental Tip: The Historic Market Square is very bus-friendly, so your bus driver shouldn’t have a problem dropping everyone off at the market’s entrance on San Saba Street. If traffic is particularly hectic on the day of your visit, though, you can disembark your bus in the designated loading zone on North Pecos Street, under the I-35 overpass.
Distance from Austin: 35 minutes southwest
Austin knows how to chow down, but if you’ve frequented your fill of taco stands and local breweries, it’s nice to branch out every once in a while. Foodies who are looking for a change of pace will love digging in at Driftwood’s restaurants—ranging from quaint cafes to authentic Mexican kitchens. If you are craving something familiar, though, be sure to stop by the original location of Salt Lick BBQ (an Austinian favorite) and order a plate of family-style ribs, brisket, or pulled pork for the table.
Another perk to a drive-through of Driftwood? The town has plenty of family-owned distilleries and wineries to give your alcohol enthusiasts something to look forward to. Support local taprooms by sampling Stinson Distillery’s elderflower liquor or Italian wines made from Texan grapes at Dutchman Family Winery.
Salt Lick BBQ
Address: 18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619
Address: 18281 Ranch to Market Rd 150 Suite 105, Driftwood, TX 78619
Dutchman Family Winery
Address: 13308 Ranch to Market Rd 150, Driftwood, TX 78619
Distance from Austin: 45 minutes west
BBQ and brews are fine and all, but if your group of foodies wants an experience that’s more unique, take a trip to Dripping Springs to tour the Texas Hill Country Olive Company orchard. Believe it or not, olive trees have thrived in the area for over a century, and this family-run olive orchard is a great place to learn about them! Book a guided tour of the farm’s 17 acres and mill house, and top it all off with some samples of olive oil and balsamic vinegar at the site’s tasting bar. Tours are limited to groups of 25 people—so if you’re planning to visit with more foodies than that, consider booking a private event or tour by calling 512-607-6512 or emailing email@example.com in advance
Texas Hill Country Olive Company
Address: 2530 W Fitzhugh Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
For Outdoor Adventurers…
The Guadalupe River
Distance from Austin: 1 hour south
This winding river is a popular spot for trout fishing in the spring, but most folks come here to tube come summer! Pack a picnic lunch in your bus rental’s storage space and pick any spot between Kerr County and the San Antonio Bay to begin your float. Most tubing veterans, however, stick to the stretch between Canyon Lake and Gruene, which includes portions of lazy river for easy floating, fun (yet mild) rapids, and plenty of places to take out and relax along the bank.
Bus Rental Tip: The area is full of outfitters that can provide tubes, kayaks, paddleboards, and more. But if your group would rather bring in your own gear, you’ll need to book a shuttle service that can include a trailer hitch if needed. Let your GOGO Charters rep know how much equipment you want to bring, and we’ll try our best to find a vehicle that can haul it all for you!
Distance from Austin: 2 hours west
This 425-foot pink granite monolith has drawn hikers and adventurers to its summit for millennia—from prehistoric people who pounded their food on granite rocks throughout the park to the Texas Rangers who surveyed the area for gold and other precious minerals in the mid-1800s.
Today, visitors can try their hand at primitive camping, rock climbing, and hiking the 0.67-mile out-and-back trail up to the summit. This hike is especially popular among scout troops and ecology classes, thanks to the slopes’ dozens of vernal pools—fragile micro-ecosystems of algae, bacteria, and small wildlife.
Bus Rental Tip: Of all the hiking trails at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, the hike to the summit is one of the shortest, but also one of the most difficult. We recommend having a minibus rental on standby, so when your hikers return to the parking lot, a cooler full of water bottles and a cabin full of crisp AC will be waiting for them!
Natural Bridge Caverns
Distance from Austin: 1.5 hours southwest
This natural wonder is a great place for a summer getaway, and not just for the stunning limestone caverns you can tour here. No matter how hot it gets above ground, the caves below stay 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year round! The surfaces and walkways do get slick due to the 99% humidity, though, so be sure to bring some comfortable walking shoes that have good traction.
The Natural Bridge Caverns offer a variety of cave tours, discounts, and special programs for groups of 10 or more and for field trips that bring over 20 students. Whether you opt for a half-mile descent tour along the caves paved walkways, a rough-and-tumble caving venture into the underdeveloped parts of the caverns, a high-wire ropes course 60 feet above the ground, or a little of everything, your outdoor enthusiasts are sure to find something to love at Natural Bridge Caverns.
Plan Your Day Away From Austin
Ready to get out of town? GOGO Charters can help you get wherever your day-trippers want to be in Texas. Our bus network consists of over 3,00 charter buses, minibuses, and motorcoaches of all sizes—so we can easily pair you with the ideal ride for your itinerary!
Get in touch with our 24/7 reservation team if you have any questions about renting a bus in Austin, and we’ll be happy to offer you a free and no-obligation quote for your personalized bus rental! Call 512-640-4096 today to get started.
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