Summer is here, and many Southwest Austinites are looking for excursions close to home. There are several destinations to explore that are less than an hour away.

Community Impact Newspaper has compiled some tourism, dining and shopping options for your next trip out of town. This guide is not comprehensive.

Duchman Family Winery Dripping Springs

Visit: The beer and wine trail

Breweries, wineries and distilleries are located in and around Dripping Springs and Driftwood. Options include:

  • Duchman Family Winery, 13308 W. FM 150, Driftwood, 512-858-1470,

  • Twisted X Brewing Co., 23455 W. FM 150, Dripping Springs, 512-393-9224,

Do: Dancing and swimming

The Mercer Street Dancehall offers dancers a place to stretch their legs and hear live country music. Swimmers can visit Hamilton Pool Preserve. The park charges $15 for entry, does not accept credit or debit cards, and there is usually a long line to enter, according to Travis County Parks.

  • Mercer Street Dancehall, 332 Mercer St., Dripping Springs, 512-858-4314,

  • Hamilton Pool Preserve, 24300 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, 512-264-2740,

Eat: American food and barbecue

Dripping Springs options include the casual, farm-to-table American eatery Homespun Kitchen and Bar. Travelers can also swing by Driftwood to visit The Salt Lick, known for its barbecue.

  • Homespun Kitchen and Bar, 131 E. Mercer St., Dripping Springs, 512-829-4064,

  • The Salt Lick, 18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, 512-894-3117,

Bastrop historic districtBastrop County

Visit: Bastrop County Historical Society’s Museum

Located in a 1930s fire station and jail, the Bastrop County Historical Society’s Museum & Visitor Center is open seven days a week and can provide information on local museums, shopping, dining and recreation.

  • Bastrop County Historical Society Museum & Visitor Center, 904 Main St., Bastrop, 512-303-0904,

Eat: Elgin sausage

Historic barbecue establishments in Elgin are known for producing the town’s famous sausage. Southside Market & BBQ Inc. has been making Elgin Hot Sausage for more than 125 years at its current location.

  • Southside Market & BBQ Inc., 1212 Hwy. 290, Elgin, 512-281-4650,

Shop: Antiques

Bastrop’s historic district offers shoppers a variety of collectibles, furniture, home decor, vintage toys and more.

  • Stores are located on Main Street, Chestnut Street and more.!antiques/c1ek4

San Marcos River San Marcos River[/caption]

San Marcos

Visit: San Marcos River

Visitors can rent boats or inner tubes to traverse the San Marcos River. Lions Club Tube Rental, located in the Recreation Hall at San Marcos City Park, offers rentals and is open seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Another local attraction is Cheatham Street Warehouse, which offers live music.

  • Lions Club Tube Rental, 170 Charles Austin Drive, San Marcos, 512-396-5466,

  • Cheatham Street Warehouse, 119 Cheatham St., San Marcos, 512-353-3777,

Shop: Outlets

In addition to a variety of local retailers, San Marcos is home to an outlet mall with 145 stores.

  • San Marcos Premium Outlets, 3939 N. I-35, San Marcos, 512-396-2201,

Eat: Grins Restaurant

The local restaurant’s menu features chicken-fried steak, burgers and happy hour all day Monday through Friday.

  • Grins Restaurant, 802 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, 512-392-4746,

Innerspace CavernsWilliamson County

Visit: Inner Space Caverns and Hawaiian Falls Water Park

Hidden for more than 10,000 years, Inner Space Cavern offers cave tours for all ages and ability levels. Pflugerville’s new water park, Hawaiian Falls Water and Adventure Park, opened June 9 and offers a variety of water rides and slides.

  • Inner Space Cavern, 4200 S. I-35, Georgetown, 512-931-2283,

  • Hawaiian Falls Water and Adventure Park, 18500 Southbound Service Road Texas 130, Pflugerville, 512-270-6967,


Shoppers can seek out deals at Round Rock Premium Outlets off I-35.

  • Round Rock Premium Outlets, 4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 512-819-0002,

Eat: donuts and Ethiopian food

Williamson County offers options for many tastes, from Pflugerville’s Taste of Ethiopia to Lone Star Bakery/Round Rock Donuts.

  • Taste of Ethiopia, 1100 Grand Avenue Parkway, Pflugerville, 512-251-4053,

  • Lone Star Bakery/Round Rock Donuts, 106 W. Liberty St., Round Rock, 512-255-3629,

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