4 Day Trips From Houston to Visit & Explore With Your Family!

Beautiful little girl enjoying her day trip from Houston to Galveston Pleasure Pier

Sometimes, a short trip is exactly what you need. While I’m a huge fan of fun-packed vacations, there’s something wonderful about grabbing some snacks, hitting the road, and spending a few days in a different city. Luckily, Texas has a number of perfect cities to do just this! If you’re looking at some ideas for day trips from Houston, I would love to give you a short list of some of my favorite destinations!  

Spice Up Your Summer With These Day Trips From Houston


Galveston is an island city known for its breathtaking sunsets. The day trip from Houston drive is just a little more than an hour. While it’s totally possible to make it there and back in a day, there’s so much to do that I suggest booking a hotel for a few nights! Here are a few of my favorite activities: 

The Bolivar Peninsula has over 27 miles of sandy beachfront. Along the way, you can explore Fort Travis or the Bolivar Lighthouse. You can also check out live bands during the evening. 

The Galveston Railroad Museum lets you see artifacts of the past, such as railroad calendars and porcelain. With the ability to ride on real-life trains, it’s a fantastic stop for all ages! 

Pleasure Pier is the ideal stop for thrill-seekers. The space has tons of rollercoasters ranging from gentle carousels to giant drops. You’ll also get to have carnival fare and classic arcade games. 


Austin has gained quite a reputation for its eclectic vibes. When you visit, you’ll have everything from gourmet food to live music of every variety. The drive is about 3 hours from Houston, making it a great trip for a holiday weekend. Check out these spots while you’re there:

Thinkery is an interactive children’s museum with science-based exhibits for all ages. It provides over 40,000 square feet packed with engaging activities for your family. 

McKinney Falls offers expansive nature views just 13 miles away from the state capitol. You can hike, bike, fish, swim, and camp out beneath the famous Texas skies. 

The Texas Capitol is one of the most impressive capitol buildings in the nation. You can choose to go with a guide or lead yourself on a tour of this absolutely beautiful building that’s been responsible for tons of Texas history! 

Beautiful colors in front of the carrousel in one of the easiest day trips from Houston, Texas.


In the past few years, Waco has been recognized as one of the best up-and-coming cities. Just a 3 hour trip from Houston, there are tons of exciting things to do. Here are some of my faves: 

The Cameron Park Zoo features 52 acres packed with animal exhibits. They host tons of events, including sleepovers and storytimes. And they frequently feature one-of-a-kind animals you won’t see anywhere else! 

The Mayborn Museum inside Baylor tells the story of the history of Central Texas through hands-on activities and fascinating exhibits. With over 143,000 square feet, you could easily spend the entire day learning! 

The Waco Mammoth takes you inside a dig site so you can see creatures from the past, including a mammoth fossil. While you’re there, you’ll learn about Ice Age plants and wildlife.

Magnolia Market features the famous silos from Chip and Joanna Gaines. Even those who aren’t huge fans will have something to do, from their outside markets and concerts to their delicious restaurants. 

San Antonio

San Antonio is 3.5 hours from Houston and is rich in history. It’s the perfect day trip from Houston to go and take a stroll while planning a few stops here and there. Here are just a few of the best places: 

The Alamo is a historic site that will give you something to remember! The center provides engaging exhibits and guided tours to teach you all about the battlegrounds. 

The San Antonio River Walk puts you right by the river and gives you attractions, including boat rides, restaurants, hotels, live music, festivals, and so much more. 

The San Antonio SeaWorld puts you right next to sea animals with thrilling rides as well as interactive presentations. You’ll get to meet plenty of ocean friends, including tortoises, Beluga whales, dolphins, and orcas. 

Adorable little girl in front of one of the attractions of Pleasure Pier, one of the best day trips from Houston.

Day Trips From Houston

If you’re looking for a fabulous way to get out for a long weekend, check out these day trips from Houston. With unlimited activities, I’m positive you’ll have a memorable time! 

Looking for an additional way to make some memories? Why not book some pictures? I’m a Houston-based photographer, and I absolutely love working with families to give them beautiful pictures. I specialize in dramatic photos that are warm with color. If you’ve been considering booking some portraits with your favorite people, let’s chat so you can see if we’ll be a good match.

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