Top 12 Day Trips from San Antonio

Last Updated on February 17, 2024 by Emily Johnson


As the seventh most populous city in the United States, San Antonio serves as a hub for culture and commerce in South-Central Texas. But residing within its sprawling city limits provides merely a glimpse of the diversity of experiences awaiting exploration in the surrounding areas.

DestinationHighlights
WimberleySmall-town charm, swimming at Blue Hole Regional Park.
New BraunfelsGerman heritage, river tubing, Natural Bridge Caverns.
GrueneHistoric district, Gruene Hall, riverfront dining.
FredericksburgGerman settlement, wine country, boutique shopping.
Johnson CityLBJ’s hometown, historical sites, wineries.
BoerneHistoric downtown, nature trails, boutique shopping.
Canyon LakeWater activities, scenic views, proximity to attractions.
Kerrville-Guadalupe River SPNature trails, birdwatching, river activities.
BanderaCowboy culture, dude ranches, outdoor activities.
San MarcosSpring-fed river, vibrant downtown, university town vibe.
Hill Country State Natural AreaWilderness exploration, camping, hiking.

Venture beyond the metropolitan borders to discover sprawling state parks, charming historic towns frozen in eras past, magnificent caverns underground, towering mountain vistas, winding wine trails, and more within easy day trip distance. These destinations promise adventure, education, tasty temptations, family fun, and nonstop sights to delight visitors of all ages–no lengthy itineraries required.

Wimberley – Shop & Splash on the Square

Name and Location: Wimberley – Shop & Splash on the Square

History and Significance: Known as a popular summertime getaway, Wimberley’s quaint town square offers over 2 dozen shops, art galleries and restaurants housed in historic and newer buildings for visitors to explore. Nearby watering holes and swimming holes provide opportunities to beat the heat.

What to Expect: Wimberley’s downtown stretches along Ranch Road 12 and features boutiques filled with art, antiques, clothing and souvenirs. Eateries range from cafes to fine dining. Cypress Creek and Blue Hole beckon swimmers, while local breweries and winery tasting rooms quench adult thirsts.

Visitor Information: Free public parking lots and street parking available. Year-round visitor options but summer weekends are busiest. First Friday Art Walks occur monthly March-December with shops open late. Most stores and restaurants are locally owned.

Wimberley exudes small-town charm yet overflows with activities for a perfect quick getaway. Nestled along the gentle slopes of the Texas Hill Country about 45 miles northwest of San Antonio, Wimberley came into prominence as atrading post in 1848. Today, locals lovingly refer to it as “a little bit of Austin in the Hill Country” thanks to the weird and wonderful mix of restaurants, galleries, specialty boutiques and live music venues clustered around its historic town square.

Let the kids frolic in the cool cascading waters of Blue Hole Regional Park, one of the Hill Country’s most beloved swimming holes, complete with hiking trails ribboning along cypress-lined creeks shaded by towering bald cypress trees. Or opt to observe the natural beauty from afar at the Wimberley GlassWorks studio, watching master artisans transform molten globs of glass into exquisite works of art during live demonstrations.

For a perfectly Instagrammable memento, pose amid fields of vibrant wildflowers in bloom at M J Stevens Sunflower Trail come summer. Or sample appellations from family-owned vineyards now producing 85% of Texas wine at nearby winery tasting rooms. Whenever the mood strikes for a nibble, the Wimberley Pie Company serves up heavenly homemade pies, while Ino’z Brew & Chew dishes out savory fusion fare loved by locals, both located right on the square.

New Braunfels – Tubes, Tunes & Texas Traditions

Name and Location: New Braunfels – Tubes, Tunes & Texas Traditions

History and Significance: German settlers first came to New Braunfels in 1845, influencing food, music, architecture and culture. Today, tubing outfitters and riverside restaurants/bars fill the area near the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers. Elsewhere, German feast hall meals, polished dance halls and resorts share the city with Schlitterbahn Waterpark and wildlife parks.

What to Expect: Tube chutes and rides at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, live music at Gruene Hall, German fare at old saloons near the town plaza, wilderness animal encounters and, of course, relaxing rides down the Comal or Guadalupe in an inner tube.

Visitor Information: Plan tube rentals/transportation in advance. Free visitor parking areas. Gruene historic district has shops, tasting rooms and lodging in restored buildings from the late 1800s alongside modern hotels.


Founded along the tree-lined banks where the spring-fed Comal River converges with the Guadalupe River, New Braunfels wears its German heritage prominently. In fact, it’s home to the oldest continuously operated Biergarten in Texas, founded in 1867. And every March the town proudly hosts the largest free accordion festival, Wurstfest, celebrating old world Bavarian customs with music, dancers, cuisine and beer galore. Beyond the star-shaped historic courthouse anchoring MarketPlatz in the heart of downtown lies endless opportunities for family fun in this charming hill country hamlet just over 30 miles northeast of downtown San Antonio.

Float down either river encircling New Braunfels in an oversized inner tube, cooler of refreshments in tow, soaking up the pristine scenery and sunshine on a lazy river tubing adventure perfect for visitors of any age. At Natural Bridge Caverns—one of the largest cavern networks discovered in Texas—witness unbelievable stonework sculpted across eons deep underground via a maze of paved walking trails just outside New Braunfels. Or beat the summer sizzle at Schlitterbahn, voted the #1 Waterpark in the World for over 20 straight years, enjoying family friendly thrill rides ranging from relaxing to extreme.

When hunger strikes, sate southwestern Texan and German fusion fare comfort foods at favorites like Naegelin’s Bakery serving savory strudel or Phoenix Saloon dishing up slow-smoked barbecue since the 19th century. New Braunfels delivers ample attractions for lively yet laidback Hill Country family fun just begging for a day trip.

Gruene – Vintage Charm & Timeless Texas Dance Halls

Name and Location: Gruene – Vintage Charm & Timeless Texas Dance Halls

History and Significance: Gruene (pronounced “green”) provided a much needed rest stop for settlers traveling from New Braunfels to San Antonio in the mid-1800s. Today, the historic town transports visitors back in time with its restored buildings housing shops, restaurants, wine-tasting rooms and Gruene Hall – Texas’ oldest continually operating dance hall.

What to Expect: Beyond two-stepping at Gruene Hall, visitors can shop for antiques and crafts, sip Texas wine varietals, stay in charming cottages, enjoy food from burgers to fine dining, tube the Guadalupe River or catch a show at Rockin’ R River Rides.

Visitor Information: Just off I-35, 6 miles from New Braunfels. Free public parking. Year-round events include outdoor markets and concerts. Most businesses open daily. Call venues for show schedules and cover charges.


As the best preserved 19th century town in Texas, Gruene (pronounced “Green”) transports visitors back with its rustic wooden cottages and old-fashioned storefronts lining Main Street. Located along the Guadalupe River just 45 miles northeast of downtown San Antonio, German and Anglo-American cotton farmers originally founded Gruene as a community in 1872. Today it comprises a National Historic District officially recognized for preserving much of its bygone era building stock and village atmosphere. Beyond picturesque architectural sightseeing, Gruene delivers a robust roster of quintessential Texas attractions for making special memories over the course of an unforgettable day.

Two legendary live music and entertainment venues anchor Gruene’s appeal—Gruene Hall and Gruene River Grill. Claiming fame as the oldest continually operated dance hall in the state, Gruene Hall has been hosting performers and patrons within its timber-framed structure every week since 1878. Kick up your heels alongside fiddlers and guitarists performing everything from folk and country to rock tunes in an authentic Texas honky-tonk atmosphere filled with charm. Next door, pull up a patio chair at the more casual Gruene River Grill for Craft Texas brews and scratch-made pub eats while listening to local talent against the backdrop of the gently flowing Guadalupe River.

Work up an appetite browsing trendy boutiques like the Funky Art Gallery showcasing colorful works by regional creatives. Or browse Western wear, hats, boots and stylish souvenirs for all ages at Texas-proud stores like Stars and Horses Outfitters. Burn off calories on scenic bike rides rolling through the countryside or along the roads lining the Guadalupe River. Come dusk, marvel at the calm beauty mirrored in the river during a refreshing tube float or stand up paddleboard yoga session. However you choose to spend it, whiling away an afternoon drifting between heritage building backdrops harboring hip shops, eateries and entertainment guarantees sweet memories.

Fredericksburg – German Heritage Meets Texas Wine Country

Name and Location: Fredericksburg – German Heritage Meets Texas Wine Country

History and Significance: Settled by German pioneers in 1846, Fredericksburg’s strong German roots permeate the city through its architecture, food, seasonal biergartens and Oktoberfest. Over 30 wineries and tasting rooms have developed in the surrounding Texas Hill Country AVA, earning the area its nickname of “Texas Wine Country.”

What to Expect: Downtown shopping includes German imported goods, antiques, gifts and sweets alongside wine tasting rooms. Nearby wineries offer tours and tasting flights with scenic views. German and Texan cuisine along with specialty cocktail bars can be found throughout town.

Visitor Information: One hour drive west of Austin and San Antonio. Free parking garages downtown. Walkable historic district has over 150 specialty shops, art galleries and restaurants. Seasonal events year-round.


Roughly 70 miles due west from San Antonio in the undulating heart of the Texas Hill Country lies the quaint German settlement of Fredericksburg. Its Main Street alone boasts over 150 specialty shops and boutiques housed inside Victorian-style buildings brimming with old world architectural details true to the town’s historic aesthetic. Beyond retail therapy, Fredericksburg offers small town living alongside world-class winemaking, pairing perfectly for picturesque day-trip diversions.

Designated as an American Viticultural Area for its notable concentration of vineyards and wineries, the Fredericksburg area claims more than 50 working wineries crafting acclaimed vinos. Taste award-winning Texas High Plains and Hill Country appellations at family-owned vineyards like Grape Creek Vineyards set amid lush gardens, orchards and oak trees ideal for picnicking. Or sample Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Souzão varietals grown sustainably at Eden Hill Vineyard & Winery’s Tuscan-style tasting room overlooking their winding estate.

In addition to a burgeoning wine scene, Fredericksburg delivers premium peaches picked at their summertime peak May through August at farms like Jenschke Orchards—perfect for cobblers or eating out of hand. Work up a bigger appetite wandering fields filled with bluebonnets and scarlet painted daisies at Wildseed Farms come spring. Then dive into schnitzel, strudel and German-Texas fusion fare at old-fashioned eateries lining Main Street like the quaintly named Auslander Restaurant housed in a former 19th-century stable. With appetites and palates pleased amid postcard-perfect vistas, Fredericksburg checks all the boxes for a satisfying day trip destination.

Johnson City – A Taste of President LBJ’s Hill Country

Name and Location: Johnson City – A Taste of President LBJ’s Hill Country

History and Significance: President Lyndon B. Johnson called Johnson City home. His boyhood farm and ranch site along with the LBJ State Park & Historic Site educate visitors on his life, presidency and the area’s ranching history. Johnson City and nearby Stonewall also offer small-town hospitality, Texas wine and scenic landscapes.

What to Expect: Walking tours of the LBJ Ranch; family homestead and cemetery at LBJ State Park; tastings along the Pedernales Wine Trail and local craft beer at Pecan Street Brewing; antique and boutique shopping in historic downtown buildings.

Visitor Information: Just west of Austin. Free downtown parking. Year-round events include live music shows, holiday festivals and cookoffs. Most shops open Wednesday-Sunday. State park site open daily.


As the boyhood home of 36th U.S. President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Johnson City provides an intimate look at LBJ’s pre-political hill country roots. Located along the Pedernales River roughly 65 miles due west from San Antonio, Johnson City charms with Main Street lined by historic limestone buildings from the late 1800s bearing nods to its most famed resident. Swing through the Johnson Settlement to discover where the former president once taught disadvantaged Mexican-American students when fresh out of college via exhibits chronicling five generations of the town’s most notable family. Then dive into LBJ’s life and times as commander in chief at the state-of-the-art Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park visitor center, chronicling everything from his Great Society reforms to the Vietnam War era.

After getting your fill of presidential history, stretch your legs traversing the LBJ Ranch located just 14 miles down Ranch Road 1. Watch Texas longhorns graze across the still-operational cattle operation managed by the National Parks Service, traversing the same verdant pastures LBJ loved. Snap selfies alongside the “Texas White House” birthplace house handed down in the family for over 150 years, or pause for a moment of serenity at the Johnson family cemetery shaded by sprawling oak trees overhead.

Before heading home, detour to family-owned wineries crafting sweet and dry wines from Texas-grown grapes in Hill Country Vineyards along US-290 outside Johnson City. Or tuck into fresh-baked kolaches bursting with fruity sweet fillings, a Czech pastry treat introduced to Texas by immigrants that became one of President Johnson’s favorite snacks. For an off-the-beaten-path opportunity to walk in the legendary former Commander in Chief’s footsteps, Johnson City delivers satisfying presidential pedigree paired with authentic Texas Hill Country hospitality.

Boerne – Historic Architecture with Hill Country Charm

Name and Location: Boerne – Historic Architecture with Hill Country Charm

History and Significance: Settled by German immigrants in 1849, Boerne’s Main Plaza remains the heartbeat of this small town that blooms with casual wine bars, European-style bakeries, antique stores and boutiques housed inside limestone buildings from the 1800s. The surrounding Texas Hill Country terrain brings scenic drives.

What to Expect: History buffs can visit 19th-century buildings on self-guided walking tours while shoppers browse home décor, art, clothing and novelty stores around the Main Plaza. Nearby attractions include Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Cascade Caverns, and Tapatio Springs resort.

Visitor Information: 30 miles north of San Antonio on I-10/Hwy 87. Free parking garages and RV/bus parking downtown. Market Days occur on the third weekend of each month March-November. Most shops and restaurants open daily.


Settled by German immigrants in the 1800s, Boerne embraces its heritage with Alpine-inspired architecture lining Main Street offering a quaint European ambiance. From intimate wine bars and old-timey soda fountains to boutique shops stocked with Texas-made products, Boerne’s thriving historic downtown provides plenty of diversions less than 30 miles due north of San Antonio. Beyond its postcard-pretty limestone storefronts, outdoorsy attractions set amid the natural splendor of the Texas Hill Country provide opportunities for adventure and beyond.

Stretch your legs along meandering trails ribboning through Cibolo Nature Center, inhabited by 300 species of birds and wildlife roaming across forests, creeks, and meadowlands. Adrenaline junkies can take on the ropes course at Gorge Zip Line Adventure Park, while kids of all ages frolic at the brand new Boerne Adventure Park tasty San Antonio-inspired Pizza at Peggy’s on the Green post-adventure before enjoying the small town vibes.

Dozens of unique boutiques like quirky Maggies or Rustlin Robs Texas Gifts stocking handcrafted wares provide plenty of temptation for shoppers. Follow scenic country roads less traveled just beyond city limits to family-run winery tasting rooms like Sisterdale Vineyards growing Mediterranean and Rhône varietals or Texas Hills Vineyard crafting Tempranillo and Sangiovese vintages. Then reward taste buds with savory authentic German fare favorites like schnitzel at local institutions such as Little Gretel Restaurant. Easy access to both urban attractions and rural landscapes cements Boerne as a can’t miss addition to Hill Country day trip itineraries.

Canyon Lake – Scenery & Serenity with Small Town Charm

Name and Location: Canyon Lake – Scenery & Serenity with Small Town Charm

History and Significance: Canyon Lake was created in 1964 when the Guadalupe River was dammed to prevent flooding downstream. Today, the lake’s miles of shoreline offer prime water recreation and stunning Hill Country vistas. Nearby, the small town of Sattler provides visitors old-fashioned hospitality with a modern twist.

What to Expect: Water sports like boating, fishing, jet skiing and sailing are all popular on Canyon Lake. Visitors can also swim, camp, hike area trails or simply relax lakeside. Sattler offers lodging, restaurants, bars with live music, cute shops and tubing outfitters on the Guadalupe River.

Visitor Information: Canyon Lake lies 40 minutes north of San Antonio on I-35 and RM 306. Day pass/boat ramp fees apply to lake. Year-round attractions but summer is peak season. Water can be very cold in winter.


Enveloped by the sculpted limestone cliffs surrounding Canyon Lake, the serene village of Canyon Lake stakes claim as “The Other Texas Hill Country.” Perched roughly 45 miles north of downtown San Antonio along the Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake’s namesake reservoir provides miles of pristine shoreline for boating, fishing, swimming and simply soaking up year-round sunshine. Neighboring small town charms like historical Gruene, wine trails in New Braunfels, or golfing across the lake at The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa elevate seemingly endless options for carefree day trip diversions.

Drift lazily across crystal waters kayaking or paddle boarding along the lake’s 80 miles of scenic coastline and coves ideal for wildlife watching. Hoist sails to catch mountain breezes as you cruise the open water onboard catamarans or crewed yachts charterable by the hour or day. Prefer quicker thrills? Skim waves at exhilarating speeds aboard powerful wakeboarding boats available to rent by the hour.

When windswept waves ignite appetites, break for New Orleans-inspired po’ boys bursting with fried Gulf shrimp at Goat Mountain Brewery & Kitchen in Fischer. Or snack on drool-worthy fusion tacos with an Asian twist at Wetz’s Kitchen tucked along a marina. As sunset paints chalky cliffs golden orange hues, cap off idyllic Canyon Lake excursions clinking glasses of full-bodied Tempranillo overlooking vineyard vistas at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards & Winery—proof heaven exists just beyond San Antonio city limits.

Kerrville-Guadalupe River State Park – Riverside Retreat with Rustic Hospitality

Name and Location: Kerrville-Guadalupe River State Park – Riverside Retreat with Rustic Hospitality

History and Significance: Kerrville charms visitors with its beautiful Guadalupe River setting surrounded by rolling Hill Country just an hour from San Antonio. Settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, today Kerrville combines small-town friendliness and eclectic hospitality for a relaxing escape in nature. Riverside state and city parks welcome outdoor enthusiasts to rocks, trails and waterfalls.

What to Expect: Campgrounds, lodges and motels for Mountain getaway. Fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking, swimming holes and tubing on the river. Stock show & rodeo plus museums and cultural sites reveal cowboy and Comanche history. Downtown shopping adds local artisans, antiques and wine tasting.

Visitor Information: I-10, 70 miles west of San Antonio. Free parking on Main Street and at Guadalupe River State Park. Park day pass required for state park river access. Outdoor gear outfitter in town for rentals/shuttles. Pet friendly options.


The aptly named city of Kerrville delivers peaceful hill country hospitality with the added allure of the Guadalupe River winding through its heart located less than 90 miles northwest of downtown San Antonio. Beyond a pleasant downtown district lined with historic buildings anchoring locally owned shops and eateries, Kerrville’s surroundings teem with opportunities to reconnect with nature never far from the Guadalupe River’s refreshing waters.

At Guadalupe River State Park, discover miles of unspoiled wilderness trails under a shady canopy of native pecans, sycamores, oaks and bald cypress trees inhabited by over 300 species of birds and wildlife. Tackle scenic cycling loops pedaling past the park’s Limestone cliffs looming over the turquoise river. Then cool off with an afternoon spent floating lazily downriver on tubes through gentle rapids until hunger pangs strike.

Stroll across the street from the park to savor chef-inspired Hill Country comfort cuisine at The Kerrville Kayak & Canoe Company’s riverfront biergarten, or dine creekside under market lights at family-owned winery Grape Juice deep in the heart of Texas wine country just 15 minutes from downtown Kerrville. For more vice varieties, explore Texas High Plains appellations via tastings along the wine trail through Fredericksburg. Or sip small batch gin, vodka and whiskey at distilleries like Buffalo Bayou right in Kerrville. From outdoor adventures surrounded by natural beauty to welcoming hospitality at every turn, Kerrville delivers all the ingredients for an easy yet eclectic escape beyond San Antonio worth repeating.

Bandera – Cowboy Capital of the World

Name and Location: Bandera – Cowboy Capital of the World

History and Significance: Dubbed the Cowboy Capital of the World, Bandera celebrates the spirit of the American Old West through seasonal rodeos, dude ranches that offer horseback rides, cowboy museums and honky-tonks with plenty of live country music on their stages. Outdoor recreation options abound in the surrounding Texas Hill Country terrain.

What to Expect: Adventures like horseback riding, river tubing, ziplining, hiking and fishing. Rustic guest ranches and lodges with cowboy themed entertainment plus modern motels and RV parks. Shopping and dining options range from barbecue joints and saloons to boutiques and sweets shops.

Visitor Information: Located one hour northwest of San Antonio. Free parking around Courthouse Square. Year-round attractions but summer weekends are peak season. Motels, guest ranches and RV parks offer range of rates. Car recommended for exploring area.


Surrounded by dude ranches spread across breathtaking hill country, the self-proclaimed Cowboy Capital of the World transports visitors to the Wild West whether they mosey down Main Street or farther into backcountry. Located about 45 miles northwest from San Antonio, Bandera provides visitors of all ages ample opportunities to unleash their inner wrangler across beautiful backdrops from sunup to sundown.

Saddle up for scenic guided trail rides on horseback through wooded hill country, catching glimpses of white-tailed deer darting through the brush. Try your hand at team cattle sorting challenges at ranches like Silver Spur where you separate specific numbered cows from the herd on horseback. Or opt for an old-fashioned hayride touring picturesque countryside vistas illuminated by golden hour at Dixie Dude Ranch.

In town, peruse Western wear boutiques and tack stores lining Main Street selling handmade leather goods, skincare products crafted from goat milk, and every country chic souvenir imaginable. Then refuel like the cowboys at iconic watering holes like the 12 Grapes Music Cafe with an expansive Hill Country wines list or the rustic O.S.T. Restaurant slinging mesquite-smoked barbecue, cold beer and live jams nightly. From riding the range to two-steppin’ the night away, Bandera offers endless entertainment embracing cowboy culture from morning to night less than an hour from San Antonio.

San Marcos – Adventure & Discovery along Spring-Fed Rivers

Name and Location: San Marcos – Discovery & Adventure along Spring-Fed Rivers

History and Significance: Located between Austin and San Antonio along the Interstate 35 corridor, San Marcos takes its name from an early 1800s ranch near the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Today, visitors enjoy this constant 72-degree spring-fed river and adjacent Texas State University campus.

What to Expect: Outdoor options include kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, river tubing, hiking, fishing. Historic downtown with boutique shops, restaurants, bars with live music. Tanger and Prime Outlet malls, Wonder World Theme Park, Meadows Center glass-bottom boat tours over Spring Lake.

Visitor Information: 30 minutes south of Austin; 50 minutes north of San Antonio. Plentiful free parking garages downtown. Pet friendly lodging. Year-round attractions but summer is peak river season. Easy I-35 access ideal for road-trippers.


Located roughly 45 miles northeast from downtown San Antonio along the banks of the San Marcos River, San Marcos charms visitors with its crystal-clear swimming holes, lush parks, and historic downtown vibes. Beyond scenic natural beauty, a bustling local arts and music scene fostered by Texas State University students helps cultivate a funky, energetic atmosphere unique to this college town.

Rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard to traverse the San Marcos River, fed by artesian springs originating from the Edwards Aquifer to remain a refreshing 72 degrees year-round—ideal for getting off-the-grid no matter the season. Stop to sunbathe on the white limestone beach lining Rio Vista Park, or venture onward through Purgatory Creek Natural Area to discover lush wetland habitats. Prefer boots to paddles? Lace up your hiking boots to conquer the steep incline leading to a rocky overlook with panoramic river views at Bicentennial Park Trails tucked just outside city limits.

Within downtown’s historic district lined by Victorian commercial buildings, culinary adventure awaits around every corner. Sip award winning wine at The Vines Courtyard Winery crafting Tempranillo and Viognier vintages grown in San Marcos soil. Then explore the exotic spices flavoring Malaysian dishes at family-owned Mamak or graze gourmet Texas fusion fare on the patio of Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar & Courtyard occupying the century-old Linda Building. Catch emerging bands or nationally touring indie rock acts riffing live sets at venues like Cheatham Street Warehouse open since 1974. Overflowing with natural beauty and an eclectic cultural scene all its own, San Marcos promises dynamic diversions for visitors seeking bold flavors, outdoor adventure, and live entertainment only 30 minutes up I-35 from San Antonio.

Hill Country State Natural Area – Where the Wild Things Wander

Name and Location: Hill Country State Natural Area – Where the Wild Things Wander

History and Significance: Encompassing over 5,300 acres in the rugged Texas Hill Country, this pristine nature preserve protects the rural landscape first explored by Spanish conquistadors in the 1700s followed by Anglo settlers in the mid-1800s. Today, its miles of multi-use trails allow visitors to reconnect with the wild spirit of the frontier.

What to Expect: Hiking, mountain biking, primitive camping, horseback riding, wildlife viewing. Skyline-sweeping vistas, meadows of wildflowers in spring, wandering deer among oak and cedar woodlands. Interpretive programs and night sky viewing events. Rustic backcountry campsites accessible only by foot or bike.

Visitor Information: West of Bandera along Ranch Road 1077. Day use fees apply; annual pass available. Pack necessities for self-guided journeys – no electric/water hookups. Front country equestrian facilities available to reserve. Call for weather-related trail closures.


Encompassing more than 46,000 acres of ruggedly wild terrain, Hill Country State Natural Area delivers one of the largest protected tracts of Edwards Plateau wilderness 60 miles northwest from downtown San Antonio. The only public access is via thirty miles of multi-use trails open exclusively to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders immersed completely in nature. While the stars shine brightly free from light pollution after sundown, dedicated primitive backpack-in campsites provide front row seats to witness incredible night skies glittering with galaxies when darkness falls across the preserve.

Navigating through limestone canyons or across tributaries fed by rainwater harvesting in scenic meadowlands, the diverse topography blankets landscapes inhabited by over 40 mammal species and 300 bird varieties to discover. Scan tree canopies and brush for glimpses of elusive wildlife like gray foxes or golden-cheeked warblers among old growth Ashe juniper trees. Descend into rocky valleys catching sight of rare black-capped vireos and golden eagles soaring over blankets of

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