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Best Summer Day Trips from San Antonio: Luxurious Escapes in the Texas Hill Country!



San Antonio is a treasure trove of history, culture and natural beauty. But sometimes, a summer day calls for a change of scenery—a chance to embrace the wonders that lie just beyond the Alamo City’s borders. Whether you’re a long-time resident or considering building your dream home here, these day trips showcase the many reasons we love living and working in San Antonio. From floating down the Guadalupe River to sipping wine in the Hill Country, here are some of the best luxurious and leisurely escapes you can embark on this summer.

1. Tubing Down the Guadalupe River

Distance from San Antonio: About 40 miles, roughly a 45-minute drive

Why We Love It: There’s nothing quite like the refreshing, carefree experience of tubing down the Guadalupe River. Imagine lounging in a tube, drink in hand, while the sun warms your skin and the gentle current carries you through scenic Hill Country landscapes. Pack a cooler, grab your friends or family, and let the river’s calm waters help you unwind from the hustle and bustle of city life. Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat!


  • Guadalupe River State Park: A great spot to start your tubing adventure with rental options and shuttle services.
  • Whitewater Amphitheater: Enjoy live music at this riverside venue after a day on the water.
  • Comal River: Another popular tubing destination nearby for variety.

Pro Tip: We’ve always been a fan of Rockin’ R River Rides in Gruene. Also, opt for a weekday visit to avoid the weekend crowds and ensure a more relaxed float.

2. Wine Tasting in Fredericksburg

Distance from San Antonio: About 70 miles, roughly a 1.5-hour drive

Why We Love It: Fredericksburg is the heart of Texas Wine Country, known for its charming vineyards and delightful tasting rooms. A leisurely drive from San Antonio, this destination offers a sophisticated escape where you can sample award-winning wines amidst rolling hills and picturesque vineyards. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a day with friends, Fredericksburg invites you to savor the finer things in life.


  • Grape Creek Vineyards: Enjoy a private tasting and tour the beautiful estate.
  • Becker Vineyards: Sample exquisite wines paired with locally made cheese and chocolates.
  • Pedernales Cellars: Renowned for its breathtaking views and exceptional Tempranillo.

Pro Tip: Book a guided wine tour to enjoy multiple vineyards without the hassle of driving.

3. Exploring Jacob’s Well

Distance from San Antonio: About 50 miles, roughly a 1-hour drive

Why We Love It: Jacob’s Well is a natural artesian spring and one of Texas’ most famous swimming holes. Its crystal-clear waters and strikingly beautiful blue-green hues make it a perfect spot for a refreshing summer swim. Diving into the well’s cool waters is a thrill and offers a unique natural experience that’s both exhilarating and tranquil.


  • Hiking Trails: Explore the scenic trails around the well for stunning views and nature photography.
  • Wimberley: A charming town nearby with artisan shops, cafes, and galleries worth exploring.
  • Blue Hole Regional Park: Another pristine swimming spot with shaded picnic areas.

Pro Tip: Reservations are required to swim at Jacob’s Well, so book ahead to secure your spot.

4. Historic New Braunfels and Gruene

Distance from San Antonio: About 35 miles, roughly a 40-minute drive

Why We Love It: Stepping into New Braunfels and the nearby Gruene Historic District is like taking a delightful trip back in time. With its German heritage, New Braunfels offers a charming mix of old-world architecture, boutique shopping, and unique eateries. Gruene, on the other hand, is famous for its historic dance hall and vibrant music scene, making it a must-visit for those looking to tap into the area’s rich cultural vibes.


  • Gruene Hall: The oldest dance hall in Texas, where you can catch live music and enjoy a drink.
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark: A family-friendly attraction with exciting water rides and lazy rivers.
  • Historic Downtown: Explore quaint shops and sample German cuisine in the heart of New Braunfels.

Pro Tip: Visit Gruene Hall for a nighttime concert to end your day on a high note.

5. Wildlife Safari at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Distance from San Antonio: About 25 miles, roughly a 30-minute drive

Why We Love It: Experience the thrill of an African safari without leaving Texas! At the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, you can drive through sprawling grounds and observe exotic animals like zebras, giraffes and ostriches up close. This safari adventure is a hit with families and offers a unique and engaging way to connect with wildlife.


  • Drive-Thru Safari: See over 500 animals roaming free from the comfort of your car.
  • Petting Zoo: Get hands-on with friendly animals in a safe, controlled environment.
  • Caverns: Explore the Natural Bridge Caverns nearby for a subterranean adventure.

Pro Tip: Visit early in the day for the most active animal sightings.

6. Boating on Canyon Lake

Distance from San Antonio: About 40 miles, roughly a 45-minute drive

Why We Love It: Canyon Lake is known as the “Water Recreation Capital of Texas,” offering deep waters ideal for boating, fishing and swimming. Spend your day cruising the lake’s beautiful waters, enjoying the sun and picnicking on one of its sandy shores. With stunning vistas and ample outdoor activities, Canyon Lake provides a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.


  • Boat Rentals: Rent a boat or jet ski to explore the lake at your own pace.
  • Hiking Trails: Take a scenic hike on the trails surrounding the lake for panoramic views.
  • Canyon Park: A great spot for a picnic or a leisurely swim.

Pro Tip: After a long day on the water, grab a few beers and a great bite to eat at the popular local’s hot spot, Dam Red Barn Bar & Grill, about 10 minutes from the lake.

7. Shopping and Dining in Boerne

Distance from San Antonio: About 30 miles, roughly a 35-minute drive

Why We Love It: Boerne is a picturesque town brimming with boutique shops, gourmet restaurants and stunning parks. Strolling down its charming Main Street is a delightful experience, with plenty of opportunities to discover unique treasures and savor delicious cuisine. It’s an ideal destination for a relaxed yet enriching day trip.


  • Hill Country Mile: Shop for unique crafts, antiques and fashion along this vibrant street.
  • River Road Park: Enjoy a peaceful walk along the river and take in the local scenery.
  • Fine Dining: Treat yourself to a meal at one of Boerne’s upscale restaurants.

Pro Tip: Visit during one of Boerne’s many festivals or market days for an extra dose of local flavor.

8. Hiking and Wine in Dripping Springs

Distance from San Antonio: About 70 miles, roughly a 1.5-hour drive

Why We Love It: Dripping Springs offers a delightful mix of outdoor adventure and savvy wine tasting. Start your day with a hike through lush trails, then reward yourself with a visit to one of the area’s acclaimed wineries. This town captures the essence of Hill Country charm and makes for a refreshing and indulgent day trip.


  • Hamilton Pool Preserve: Swim in a natural pool surrounded by a dramatic grotto and waterfall.
  • Deep Eddy Distillery: Sample handcrafted spirits at this renowned distillery.
  • Bell Springs Winery: Enjoy wine tasting with stunning vineyard views.

Pro Tip: Check the availability and make reservations for Hamilton Pool in advance.

9. Discovering Pedernales Falls State Park

Distance from San Antonio: About 80 miles, roughly a 1.5-hour drive

Why We Love It: Pedernales Falls State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering spectacular scenery and a variety of outdoor activities. The park features cascading waterfalls, serene swimming holes, and miles of hiking trails that showcase the rugged beauty of the Hill Country. Whether you’re hiking, picnicking or simply soaking in the natural splendor, Pedernales Falls provides a refreshing retreat from city life.


  • Pedernales Falls: A stunning series of waterfalls over ancient limestone formations.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the park’s extensive trail system, from easy walks to more challenging hikes.
  • Swimming Areas: Enjoy a swim in the cool, clear waters of the Pedernales River.

Pro Tip: Bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes for hiking, as some trails can be rocky and uneven.

Embrace the Best of Hill Country Living

These summer day trips not only highlight the breathtaking beauty and diverse attractions just a short drive from San Antonio but also reflect the lifestyle that many of our luxury home clients cherish. Whether you’re floating down a river, sipping fine wine or exploring historic towns, these destinations offer a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and indulgence that enrich the San Antonio living experience.

Ready to bring a piece of this Hill Country charm into your home? Our luxury custom home designs capture the essence of these stunning locales, creating spaces where you can enjoy the best of Texas living every day. Contact us today to start building your dream home!