Escape with your sweetheart to an exciting destination near Austin, Texas for a short weekend getaway. While the capital city of Texas is a must-visit spot for live music, media festivals, and tasty BBQ, sometimes you might crave a more low-key vacation. After settling into your Austin vacation rental, head out to a surrounding city and town to experience other truly Texan attractions such as Fort Worth’s Leather Trading Co. and Krause Springs in Spicewood. Check out other noteworthy areas around Austin.

1. San Antonio

san antonio tx riverwalk
Source: Flickr/Prayitno

San Antonio is famous for its River Walk, which borders the banks of the San Antonio River for approximately 2 miles. Known as one of the romantic locations in the city, the River Walk features hotels and restaurants and shops that stay open late for plenty of after-hours fun. Dine on Tex-Mex food and sip on a margarita at Rita’s on the River Walk. Then, grab your significant other’s hand and board a River Walk cruise, where you can experience the amazing view and learn about the area’s history from a knowledgeable tour guide. As the sun sets, visit the Naked Iguana Tequila Bar to mingle with the locals and enjoy “Reverse Happy Hours,” which lasts from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday.

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2. Fort Worth

fort worth tx stockyards
Source: Flickr/Alex Butterfield

Experience a blend of old-town charm and new-school flair when you visit the Fort Worth Stockyards Station. If you’re interested in the area’s history, take a guided walking tour. After you’ve built up an appetite, get your fingers dirty at Riscky’s BBQ, which is well-known for its tasty rubs, barbecue chicken and sandwiches, or grab a buffalo burger at Trailboss Burgers while listening to live music or watching the Fort Worth Cattle Drive from the patio. Before heading back home, stop by Leather Trading Co. to pick up Texas-style leather boots, sandals, and belts to remember your trip.

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3. Bandera

bandera tx tower
Source: Flickr/Bill Staney

Escape to one of many rural vacation rentals in Bandera, Texas. Known to locals as the “Cowboy Capital of the World’, Bandera offers some truly unique sights. Take a leisurely stroll by the Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Texas, to see a beautiful landmark that makes good use of limestone within the chapel. If you’re looking to get in touch with nature, a stop at West 1077 Guest Ranch may be exactly what you need. A family-run hotel, which used to operate as a cattle ranch, offers cozy cedar wood cabins, a relaxing pool, and a Cowboy Lounge where you can sip drinks, watch TV, play games, and get cozy next to an open fireplace.

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4. Dallas

dallas blooms festival
Source: Flickr/TexasEagle

With a variety of vacation destinations throughout Dallas, this thriving city offers something for everyone. Share laughs with your better half at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, where you can see everything from improv shows and comedy musicals to burlesque shows. For a more intimate experience, head to Trinity River or White Rock Lake. In either location, you can rent kayaks or canoes and explore the water together, or you can take a guided tour where you’ll see historic structures, wildlife, beautiful greenery, and remnants of ancient archaeological sights. For dinner, get your hands on some of the best barbecue around at the Pecan Lodge, named one of the best barbecue restaurants in the state of Texas.

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5. Spicewood

krause springs spicewood tx
Source: Flickr/Ed Schipul

Spicewood is home to a popular swimming and camping site known as Krause Springs, where and your significant other can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Located about 30 miles from Austin, this property is a short trip away from your home base. Bring your own barbecue pit, or use one of the site’s barbecue pits to cook up a mouthwatering meal after kayaking down the natural pool. Enjoy the exciting experience of camping outside in a tent, or unwind in your RV at one of the 24 dedicated RV sites with electricity and water available.

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6. Fredericksburg

road to enchanted rock fredericksburg tx
Source: visitfredericksburgtx.com

Wake up to the rising sun peeking through your window and the sound birds chirping when you reserve a vacation rental in Fredericksburg. You and your loved one can leave your room to dine on a full, two-course breakfast served at the dining room of the Magnolia House, which is adorned with luxurious tables with fine linens. Magnolia House is known for its spectacular breakfast, and everything that touches your fork is prepared from scratch using local, fresh ingredients. After eating, venture seven blocks down the street to Fredericksburg’s Main Street, where you can enjoy a full day of sightseeing, live music, shopping, museum hopping, and sipping on tasty wines from the local wineries.

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7. Houston

houston tx trail sunrise
Source: Flickr/Mitchel Jones

Houston, the fourth-largest city in the nation, offers a myriad of romantic activities. Enjoy a relaxing couples’ picnic at Williams Waterwall, located near the Galleria. Located nearby, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center features 5 miles of hiking paths that wind through the western area of Memorial Park. Bond and create lifelong memories by taking a cooking class at Well Done Cooking School, Central Market, or Sur la Table, where you can learn how to cook Tuscan-themed dishes, tapas, and sushi.

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