Looking for a late summer road trip with the family or your mom squad? Or a celebratory “we survived the first week of school” Labor Day long weekend? You’re in luck!
I’ve collected some of our favorite, drivable, Texas destinations and included how far, where to stay and what to see, sip and eat, so pack-up the fam or friends and get going!
Buffalo Gap, Texas
Distance from Austin: about 4 hours Northwest
Stay: Perini Ranch hosts two houses for lodging on-site….the Main House, a recently restored and renovated 1885 farm house, that comfortably fits five, and the Camp House that comfortably sleeps three.
See: View wildlife, gorgeous Texas sunsets and stars from the comfort of your porch. And Gus…the beloved Ranch Basset Hound!
Sip: Perini Ranch is home to the exclusive, annual Buffalo Gap Food and Wine Festival. Keep an eye on dates/tickets for next Spring. In the meantime, in nearby Abilene is the Winery at Willow Creek with a nice outdoor patio and weekend food trailer and music nights.
Eat: Perini Ranch Steakhouse is known for its “quintessential cowboy gourmet” and is home to one of the top burgers in Texas, the Ranch Burger. You can also try out their Friday night fishy fry – yum!
Fun in the Sun
Port Aransas (Port A), Texas
Distance from Austin: about 4 hours Southeast
Stay: There are a ton of condos or homes for rent on or near the beach. The Port Royal Resort is a good option if you’re looking for hotel-like amenities including pools, water slides and activities such as volleyball and tennis.
See: Seven aquaria displaying Texas coastal habitats at the Marine Science Education Center; Local art and live music at First Friday Art Reception at Port Aransas Art Center; Take a stroll on the jetty and keep an eye out for dolphins; sword-fighting, pirate arrrg-ing and dancing aboard a Red Dragon Pirate Cruise, matey!
Sip: Bron’s Shaved Ice & To Go Bar have snow cones for everyone, giant Connect Four and even rent beach carts.
Hill Country; Johnson City, TX
Distance from Austin: about an hour and a half West
Stay: The Farmhouse Vineyard Guest Cottage is an adorable two bedroom cottage right in the heart of Johnson City. The decor is adorable and the tub is fit
Credit: Katy Jane Seaton
See: Leather craftsman and Stidham Outfitters & Custom Leather co-owner, Seth maintains a workshop where you can shop and take a live peek at the age-old, unhurried craft. In addition to custom-leather wallets, belts and journals, they sell home goods, gifts and apparel. Stroll along Main Street for tons of great antique shopping and Texas flare.
Sip: Visit the beautiful Kuhlman Cellars for delicious wines and a lesson in what types of foods and flavors pair with what wines. If you’re up for more, also check out: William Chris Wines and Hye Meadow.
Eat: Mussels and the schnitzel at Bryan’s on 290 — to die for.
And if you’re Chip and Joanna Gaines fans, check out Carrie’s recommendations for a day trip to Waco to explore and shop in and around The Silos.