- By Kristin Finan American-Statesman Staff
Can’t you just feel it? Fall is in the air. Whether you prefer to spend the day sipping a pumpkin spice latte at an outdoor cafe or crunching through the leaves on a hilly hike, there’s something for everyone this fall in Texas.
Here are five fantastic weekend or day trips to take right now.
For family-friendly fall fun, it’s hard to beat Marble Falls, located about 80 miles from Austin. Begin at Sweet Berry Farm, which is open now through Nov. 5 for the fall season, offering everything from a giant maze and scarecrow stuffing to pumpkin painting and hay rides. There are heaps and heaps of pumpkins ripe for picking, too. While you’re in Marble Falls, grab lunch and a slice of pecan pie at Blue Bonnet Cafe. Ready for a drink? If you go on Friday or Saturday, don’t miss Save the World Brewing, where all profits go to charity. They’ve got lots of fun games to keep the kids busy, too.
While much of the Texas coast is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, Galveston managed to make it through the storm with relatively minor damage. “We are fortunate to have fared well through the storm and made a quick bounce back,” said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the Galveston Island CVB. With fewer crowds and cooler breezes, fall is an ideal time to see the island. If you go, be sure to stop by a taffy-pulling demonstration at La King’s Confectionery on the Strand, go for a spin around the Pleasure Pier or a take a stroll through Moody Gardens.
There’s no better way to enjoy a crisp fall morning than by hiking up the massive granite dome that is Enchanted Rock — just be sure to arrive to the park arrive early, as it can get extremely crowded. Next, grab brunch at the Old German Bakery and Restaurant, home to a number of standout dishes including German pancakes, Opa’s sausage and eggs, and country fried steak. Once you’re fully nourished, spend your afternoon touring the wineries that put Fredericksburg on the map, such as 4.0 Cellars, Baron’s Creek and Kuhlman Cellars. Want to stay for the night? Starry’s Studio has you covered.
There are lots of reasons to visit Grapevine. There’s its quaint Main Street, just perfect for a leisurely evening shop-and-stroll. There’s its Urban Wine Trail, which includes nearly a dozen wineries. And there’s its kid-centric fun, including family-friendly spots such as Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life aquarium. If you go in October, you’ll also be treated to Great Wolf Lodge’s Howl-O-Ween festivities, which will include trick-or-treat trails, silly-scary storytime and “monster bash” dance parties.
Big on adventure but short on time? The laid-back vibe combined with spectacular Hill Country sunsets make Dripping Springs, located 35 minutes from Austin, a fantastic place to spend an afternoon this fall. Alcohol aficionados can take their pick between 15 area breweries, wineries and distilleries including Deep Eddy Vodka, Twisted X Brewing Co. and Treaty Oak Distilling Co. The food scene isn’t bad, either, featuring standouts like Crepe Crazy, Drippin Donuts and Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza. Nearby Hamilton Pool is open again, too, although you’ll need to make a reservation in advance.