2404 IH 35 S.,
Austin TX 78704
Central Texas: more FUN close by
More fun stuff within a two hour drive of Austin:
Aquarena Springs, San Marcos
Located one hour south of Austin on the campus of Texas State University, San Marcos. You can tour a large spring-fed crystal clear pond on their glass bottom boats.
The park has just started a large ecosystem restoration project. Call ahead to check if the boats are running (512) 245-7570.
For more information: http://www.aquarena.txstate.edu/
Blue Bell Creamery, Brenham
Weekdays only, but it's worth a special trip. Here's where our premium Texas ice cream is made. You get a tour of their plant and a free sample! It's also a pretty road trip particularly during spring wildflower season.
Directions and more information... http://bluebell.com/the_little_creamery/visiting_blue_bell/VisitBB_Brenham.html
Bluebonnet Spring, Central Texas
Enjoy our state flower along the highways all over Central Texas.
Essay: Bluebonnett Spring
Capital of Texas Zoo, Cedar Creek
Part of the Guinea Pig "herd" at Capital of Texas Zoo
A fun zoo in the country is just down the road off of Texas 71. Turn south on South Pope Road and then follow the signs. My favorite exhibit was the guinea pig "herd." Our younger friends also enjoyed feeding the goats and the monkeys. A small zoo but with a very good range of animals exhibited including a Zion, Camel, Tiger, Birds and more.
Directions and more information: www.capitaloftexaszoo.org
Dick's Classic Garage, San MarcosOld car overload! This is a very worthwhile private museum of classic autos featuring over 70 autos from 1929 to 1959. All autos displayed are immaculate and include historical notes.
Directions and more information: www.dicksclassicgarage.org
E-Rock, South Face,
a challenging hike but
the North Face is a
sheer drop & an
intense climbing area.
Enchanted Rock State Park
A huge dome of granite just north of Fredericksburg about two hours west of Austin. Great day trip including a challenging hike up the dome. Also, overnight camping facilities are available. Some of the best rock climbing in Texas is located on the very steep backside of the dome.
Directions and more information: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/
Exotic Resort Zoo, Johnson City
You are in cage (an enclosed wagon drawn by a tractor) the animals are roaming free. The range of animals is impressive including a couple buffaloes, lots of exotic deer, kangaroos, zebras and ostriches. Lots of "feeding" surprises (be sure to buy a bucket of food) during your tour of the 137 acres.
LBJ Ranch, Stonewall
Enjoy the Hill Country by visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park near Johnson City. Using a CD, you drive around the grounds of the working ranch with stops to visit LBJ's school house, reconstructed LBJ birthplace house, family cemetery, show barn, Air Force "One-Half" executive jet and the ranch house. Parts of the ranch house are now open to be toured and are presented as they were in 1968 when it was the "Western White House."
Directions and more information: http://www.nps.gov/lyjo/index.htm
Port A / Texas Gulf Coast
Port Aransas is great place to escape the urban jungle for a weekend. Great shrimp feasts at locally owned restaurants provides a gastronomic element. Walks in the surf, the beach / ocean panorama and visits to the jetty give you a prospective of the planet you can't get in any city. Big ships transiting the Corpus Christi ship channel will get the big ship craving satisfied. Don't miss a Dolphin Discovery tour from Woody's or a gulf fishing trip. You may also see Dolpins from the free State Highway ferry between Port A and the road to Aransas Pass to the north. The best bird watching in Texas is just north of Port A in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (Whooping Cranes!).
Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.portaransas.org/
Aransas Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Aransas/
Woody's Sport Center, Port Aransas: http://www.woodysonline.com/
A Travis County park with rugged beauty. A good place for a hike or just to escape urban live for a couple hours. One of the parks many features is the cliff along the Pedernales River. The park is just west of Austin on Hamilton Pool Road.
Travis County Website for Reimer Ranch: https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/reimers-ranch
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The Alamo is only part of the immense history of San Antonio. The Mission San Antonio de Valero "The Alamo" was one of five that existed in the 1700's to open up the world of Texas to Spanish settlement two hundred years ago. Start at San Jose at the park visitor’s center. Don't miss The Alamo but keep it for last. You will understand The Alamo better with the historical perspective from seeing the other missions first.
Link to park website: http://www.nps.gov/saan/planyourvisit/
Santa's Ranch, San Marcos
Fun for the kids and parents, a drive through Christmas lights spectacular. Santa Ranch is just south of San Marcos. It operates during the Christmas season yearly and is priced per carload. Plan to spend about 45 minutes as you slowly drive through the ranch on a mile long loop packed with lighted displays.
Link to Santa's Ranch: http://www.santasranch.net/
Sweet Berry Farm, Marble Falls
Worth the drive (not to mention, good site-seeing along the way) to pick your own strawberries (mid-March to Mid-May), Blackberries (May to June), Potatoes (May), Tomatoes (May to June) and Pumpkins (late-September thru October). It is located just northwest of Marble Falls. Good visit for families with "wonder" age kids (ages 4-8) with fun activities to compliment the fruit picking.
Link to Sweet Berry Farm (be sure to check what is ripe!) - www.sweetberryfarm.com