Nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Bryson offers a convenient base for exploring the region's natural wonders, cultural landmarks and delightful small towns. Many of these destinations are less than three hours away, making them perfect options when you are looking to get away for the day. Here are 10 of our favorites:
Bryson is less than an hour from Austin, so when the city calls, it’s easy to answer. Zilker Park is home to Barton Springs Pool and events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival. If you love the night life, you’ll love Sixth Street. Take the kids to Thinkery for some hands-on learning or take in some modern art at the Blanton Museum of Art. Don’t miss the nightly bat show at the Congress Avenue Bridge.
Approximately 30 minutes from Leander lies one of Texas’ most popular aquatic playgrounds. Known for its unique crystal-clear blue water, the lake is surrounded by 17 parks, numerous waterfront restaurants and spectacular amusement centers. Kayak, sail, fish or swim then head to The Oasis Lake Travis for dinner, live music and spectacular sunsets. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures offers high-flying adventures and wonderful views.
The Bluebonnet Capital of Texas isn’t just for spring road trips. It’s a charming small town where you can load up on wine and cheese at Torr Na Lochs Vineyard and Winery or visit an antique plane at the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Don’t forget to visit Burnet’s beautiful natural areas including Inks Lake State Park, Lake Buchanan and Longhorn State Park.
A short drive south of Leander, Pedernales Falls State Park is the adventure seeker’s playground. Hike along the scenic trails, swim or try your hand at fishing. The highlight of the park is undoubtedly the magnificent Pedernales Falls, where the river cascades over rock formations, creating a picturesque spectacle.
For those seeking a natural oasis, Hamilton Pool Preserve is a must-visit destination. Located approximately 45 minutes southwest of Leander, this hidden gem is a tranquil paradise. Take a refreshing dip in the natural pool formed by a collapsed grotto. Surrounded by limestone cliffs and a lush forest, Hamilton Pool Preserve offers an idyllic setting for hiking, birdwatching and capturing stunning photographs.
There are a lot of swimming holes in and around Texas Hill Country, but Blue Hole is a particular favorite. Located less than two hours away in Wimberley, the spring-fed swimming hole is lined with Cypress trees and features a grassy sunbathing lawn and rope swings. The 126-acre park also offers trails, picnic areas, sports courts, pavilion, playscapes and an amphitheater.
The highest point in Texas Hill Country is the unique pink granite dome found in this designated wildlife sanctuary two hours from Leander. Climb to the top and take in breathtaking panoramic views. The nature area also offers scenic hiking trails, campsites, rock climbing and picnic tables.
Just a short drive west of Leander lies the enchanting town of Fredericksburg. Known for its German heritage, Fredericksburg is a delightful blend of history, art and hospitality. Stroll along Main Street, lined with charming boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Immerse yourself in the town's rich history at the National Museum of the Pacific War or explore the nearby wineries and vineyards. Don't miss the opportunity to savor some locally crafted beer.
The largest known commercial cavern in Texas recently opened a new tour families will not want to mis. Hidden Wonders features state-of-the-art lighting, a sound and light show and expansion into areas usually only open to experienced cavers. In addition to tours of the enchanting caverns families can pan for gems, fossils and other treasures at the Mining Company.
You can be in San Antonio in approximately two hours making it easy to visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Sea World, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center San Antonio, Morgan’s Wonderland & Inspiration Island and more. Not a thrill seeker? Chill out on the San Antonio River Walk. Searching for something unique? Hopscotch is a 20,000 square-foot art gallery featuring 14 distinctive immersive and interactive installations. In the mood for romance? Check out San Antonio’s night life.
Houston is approximately three hours from Leander which makes it ideal for a weekend away. Deciding what to do once you get there might be more challenging. The Houston Museum District is popular with all ages. Fashionistas thrive at The Galleria. Boldly explore the final frontier at Space Center Houston. Houston is a food lover’s paradise so be sure to visit some of the acclaimed restaurants found there.