10 quick road trips from Houston

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Houston is conveniently located by many fun places that are so close your kids could probably only ask, "Are we there yet?" five times tops. (Shutterstock)

Summer is coming. As schools let out, there are many activities for families in Houston, but nothing says summer like a family road trip.

Houston is conveniently located by many fun places that are so close your kids could probably only ask, "Are we there yet?" five times tops.

Whether you're looking for something trendy, educational or just something in the great outdoors, you can find it in Texas.

  1. Magnolia Market (Waco, Texas) - About 3 hour drive
  2. HGTV's hit show "Fixer Upper" has been a game changer for Waco. Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines, this has become a tourist hot spot.

    Magnolia MArket is an entire experience, especially for families. In addition to the shopping, there is a huge lawn with games, lawn chairs, swings, a bakery and more activities.

  3. Hamilton Pool Preserve (Austin, Texas) - About 3 hour drive
  4. Hamilton Pool is a naturally formed pool with amazing turquoise green water. The cliffs that surrounds the pool were formed naturally over the years.

    The pool houses a river inside it which provides fresh water to the nearby flora. It also has a 50 foot drop from the cliff which will lead you directly in the middle of the pool.

  5. The Comal or Guadalupe River (New Braunfels, Texas) - About 2.5 hour drive
  6. In New Braunfels you can tube down the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers. The Comal is an urban stream winds through the city of New Braunfels, so you're covered if you need lunch or last-minute provisions. Not only is it a short trip (the Comal River is the shortest river in the country), but it's broad and leisurely, making it another great option for families. The only fast part is the single-person, man-made chute that diverts tubers around the dam.

    Simply put, the Guadalupe River is the party river. Alcohol, music, and co-eds are in abundance. Scenic limestone cliffs and lush views accompany this float, which includes intense and rapid waters in some areas.


  7. The Alamo/ Riverwalk (San Antonio, Texas) - About 3 hour drive
  8. San Antonio can be a wonderful multicultural experience that's fun and educational. Of course there is the Alamo, but there are also several historic missions across the city and the beautiful San Fernando Cathedral.

    The centerpiece of the city is the Riverwalk, a two-and-a-half-mile cobblestone path that borders the San Antonio River and meanders just below street level through the popular downtown district.

  9. Corpus Christi, Texas - About 3 hour drive
  10. Corpus Christi possesses all of the main ingredients of an ideal weekend getaway: the sun, the sea, the sights, plus exhilarating and engaging activities the whole family can enjoy.

    Spend the day on the beach soaking up the sun or wind surfing, the breezy city's favorite pastime. Visit the massive Texas State Aquarium with its new Dolphin Bay, a protected habitat for dolphins unable to survive in open water. Take a tour of The USS Lexington, one of the most famous aircraft carriers in U.S. naval history. Stroll through fabulous flora and fauna at the Botanical Gardens. At the Museum of Science and History, check out the recreated Pinta and Santa Maria, two of the ships Columbus used to sail to the new world.

  11. Marfa, Texas - About 8 hour drive
  12. If somewhere is good enough for Beyonce to charter a plane there, then it must be fun. This trip is a bit longer, but still in the Lone Star State. For those new to Marfa: it is a beautiful, odd, art-filled place at the western edge of Texas.

    Snuggled in a vast expanse of desert, after the late minimalist artist Donald Judd acquired dozens of its buildings, filling them with everything from Rembrandts to light sculptures, art-world pioneers and pilgrims made it their playground.

  13. Pedernales Falls State Park (Johnson City, Texas) - About 3 hours drive
  14. This is one of the most special state parks in Texas. You can choose from a variety of trails, whether you want to climb along the limestone rocks on the Pedernales River, or ascend Wolf Mountain on a six mile trail.

  15. Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Canyon, Texas) - About 9.5 hour drive
  16. 12 miles east of the small town of Canyon lies the second largest canyon in the U.S. Known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, the park has 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

  17. Hill Country (Wimberley/ Fredricksberg, Texas) - About 3 hour drive
  18. The Texas Hill Country is arguably the most beautiful region of Texas. Its green hills and rolling rivers are a stark contrast to most of the state's flat and arid landscapes.

    For the adults, there are plenty of places to wine down. With 51 unique and visually stunning wineries scattered throughout the Hill Country, there's someplace new to explore around every bend.

  19. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (Fredericksburg, Texas) - About 4 hour drive
  20. This mysterious, magical, and massive pink granite rock in Central Texas attracts thousands of tourists each year. The grueling 1800 ft hike to the summit is totally worth it for the 360 degree views of the hill country below. Plus, there's a cave at the back of the rock just waiting to be explored.

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