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4 Short Road Trips from Austin, Texas | Van Life Destinations

Here are 4 short, campervan-friendly road trip ideas within 6 hours from Austin, TX. Explore Texas scenery, history, wildlife, wine, and more things to do.

By Annie Aladjova

Austin, Texas is known for its vibrant music scene and delicious barbecue, but there's so much more to experience near this city than its downtown core, which is why we chose it for our next location!

If you’re looking to explore new areas, there are plenty of short, campervan-friendly road trip destinations within six hours of Austin, Texas. From scenic drives through the Hill Country to outdoor adventures in the Big Bend region, there's a daytrip or weekend getaway for everyone. 

Here are our picks for the best road trips from Austin, TX along with estimated travel times:

View of Austin. Texas during a sunset

1. Texas Hill Country

Located just outside of Austin, the Texas Hill Country is the perfect destination for a scenic drive. Enjoy breathtaking views of rolling hills, rivers, orchards, and more. You can also explore the region's best wineries via the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail or visit some of the most charming, small towns that Texas has to offer like Fredericksburg and Wimberley.

Estimated travel time from Austin: 1 hour

Additional Things to Do: 

  • Visit the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site
  • Take a hot air balloon ride over the Hill Country
  • Go hiking or biking on the Hill Country State Natural Area trails
  • Visit the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
  • Go fishing or kayaking on the Guadalupe River
  • Explore the Fredericksburg Wildflower Trail
  • Visit the Texas Wine and Food Tasting Room in Fredericksburg

View of a black roameo van with the mountains in the background 

2. The Gulf Coast

If you're looking to relax by the water, then a road trip to the Texas Gulf Coast is in order. This region boasts a 350-mile stretch of sandy beaches and plenty of things to do. Take a scenic drive down the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and spot a variety of birds or visit popular coastal towns like Galveston and Corpus Christi.

  • Estimated travel time from Austin: 2 hours
  • Additional Things to Do: 
  • Visit the Galveston Island State Park
  • Take a boat tour to see dolphins and other marine life
  • Go fishing off the Gulf Coast
  • Visit the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi
  • Explore the Padre Island National Seashore
  • Visit the Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria
  • Take a scenic drive down the Aransas Pass Scenic Drive 

3. The Big Bend

For a more rugged and remote road trip, head to the Big Bend region in West Texas. Take the Big Bend Ranch River Road Scenic Byway for some of the most scenic desert landscape in Texas or visit historical small towns like Marfa and Terlingua.

Estimated travel time from Austin: 6 hours

Additional Things to Do: 

  • Visit the Big Bend National Park
  • Go hiking or backpacking in the Chisos Mountains
  • Visit the McDonald Observatory and see the stars
  • Take a scenic drive down the River Road to Presidio
  • Visit the Chinati Foundation in Marfa
  • Go birdwatching in the Big Bend area
  • Visit the Terlingua Ghost Town and see the famous Terlingua Chili Cook-off

View of a road between mountains

4. The Davis Mountains

If you're looking for a road trip with a bit more history and culture, the Davis Mountains are the perfect destination. Discover the region’s rich history along the Fort Davis Mountains Scenic Loop Drive or visit small mountain towns like Alpine and Fort Davis.

Estimated travel time from Austin: 3 hours

Additional Things to Do: 

  • Visit the Fort Davis National Historic Site
  • Go stargazing at the Davis Mountains State Park
  • Visit the Fort Davis Drugstore Museum and Soda Fountain
  • Go hiking or biking in the Davis Mountains
  • Visit the Marfa and Presidio County Museum
  • Take a scenic drive on the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

No matter what type of road trip you're looking for, there are plenty of great options near Austin, Texas. So, grab your friends and family, hop in the car or campervan, and hit the road for an adventure you won't soon forget.

Interested in renting one of our luxury mobile suites for your next road trip? Browse our available camper vans here.