Escape the City: Top 8 Weekend RV Trips Near San Antonio

Travel Inspiration

Honestly, San Antonio is a pretty great place to live, and we’re guessing that the majority of people who live here are pretty happy to stick around home for the weekend most of the time. That said, sometimes you really just need to escape the city and go on an adventure. Fortunately, there are plenty of weekend RV trips near San Antonio to choose from. 

If you aren’t sure how to find the best things to do outside San Antonio, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve put together a list of our absolute favorite things to do around San Antonio so you can plan your ultimate weekend escape. 

Man paddling at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Distance from San Antonio: 5.75 hours

Normally, we’d say a drive more than 5 hours long is really too long for a quick weekend getaway. That said, those extra 45 minutes of drive time are well worthwhile if it means getting to explore Big Bend National Park for a few days. 

This amazing southwest Texas park is chock-full of amazing outdoor adventures you’re sure to love. We highly recommend hiking Santa Elena Canyon, and a cruise down Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is pretty incredible as well. If you’re up for a challenge, a hike to Emory Peak is pretty awesome, and crossing the Rio Grande by row boat is pretty exciting too. 

Of course, this is just a small sampling of all the amazing things to do in Big Bend National Park, so you’re sure to find plenty of other wonderful ways to fill your weekend. 

Where to Stay

We love staying in the national parks we visit, and Big Bend National Park is no exception. For this reason, if your RV is small enough (under 24 feet), we highly recommend staying in Chisos Basin Campground, an in-park campground run by the NPS. The price to stay here is quite low, and while there are no hookups, the restrooms, potable water, and dump station are quite helpful. 

Galveston beach

Galveston Island

Distance from San Antonio: 3.75 hours

Looking for a beach getaway? You’re in luck because the adorable and quaint beach town of Galveston is just a few short hours away. 

Galveston Island is home to plenty of lovely sandy beaches, meaning you will definitely want to plan to spend most of the weekend soaking up the sun by the sea. These beaches are ideal for sunbathing, sand castle building, swimming, and boogie boarding. 

Other things to do in Galveston include Moody Gardens, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and Rainforest Cafe. We also highly recommend grabbing a coffee at the MOD Coffeehouse while you’re in town. 

Where to Stay

Wondering where to stay while on Galveston Island? We recommend Galveston Island State Park. This park allows you to escape the city of Galveston and relax in the natural beauty the island has to offer. Some sites are located right by the beach, and many include water and electric hookups. Additionally, a dump station and bathhouse are available for guest use. 

Weekend RV trips near San Antonio: Padre Island

Padre Island National Seashore

Distance from San Antonio: 3.5 hours

Another great place to go for a beach getaway, Padre Island National Seashore offers all of the ocean fun without any of the commercialism. You see, this gorgeous stretch of beach is owned and protected by the National Parks System, meaning plenty of wildlife, pristine sandy beaches, and an ideal escape into nature. 

While you’re in Padre Island National Seashore, we recommend fishing, birding, and searching for seashells (which happen to be quite plentiful). Kids can earn their Junior Ranger badges in the park, and if you visit during the summer, you might even be lucky enough to catch a baby sea turtle release. Of course, you will want to attend a ranger program or two no matter what time of year you visit. 

Want to spend some time in civilization? You can always drive up to Corpus Christi for a night on the town. 

Where to Stay

We love that there are places to camp right in the park when you visit Padre Island National Seashore. Some people choose to boondock right on the beach, but we actually prefer dry camping in the Malaquite Campground where the sites are designated and there’s no chance of getting stuck in the sand. Don’t worry, you’ll still be steps away from the beach when staying in this lovely campground!

Weekend RV trips near San Antonio: Mammoth National Monument
Image source: Larry D. Moore

Waco, TX

Distance from San Antonio: 3 hours

Waco is a wonderful place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while still having access to all the shopping, food, and attractions you might want. There is so much to do in this town that you’ll easily fill an entire weekend (or more). 

The best thing to do in Waco? Visit the Waco Mammoth National Monument. This super cool National Parks site gives visitors a chance to see actual mammoth fossils in the place where they were discovered. You’ll learn all about the process of finding and dating fossils, as well as the lives of mammoths. This is an active dig site, so you might also get the chance to see paleontology in action!

Besides the mammoth fossils, you will also want to check out Cameron Park Zoo, the Dr. Pepper Museum, and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame before finishing your weekend in Waco. 

Where to Stay

There are a few different places to stay when visiting Waco. One of our favorites is Midway Park Campground. This is an Army Corps of Engineers campground that is located just outside of town. It offers a nice taste of Texas nature, while also allowing you to stay close to the many activities provided by Waco. Water and electric hookups are available at the campsites in this park, and the camping fee is surprisingly low. 

Austin skyline

Austin, TX

Distance from San Antonio: 1.5 hours

How about trading one city for another and heading up for a weekend in Austin? Sure, it’s a short drive away, but Austin feels like a different world entirely. If you love music, barbecue, and lots of artsy fun, you’re going to adore this place! In fact, you might even rank it as one of the best weekend RV trips near San Antonio.

First, we highly recommend planning your visit during one of the city’s many music festivals. These events are truly incredible and can make your weekend an unforgettable one. 

That said, even if you can’t visit during a festival, you’ll still find plenty to do. Grab some barbecue at Black’s BBQ, get dessert at Amy’s Ice Creams, and then head to the South Congress Bridge to watch the bats head out on their nightly hunt. If you have kids, spend a day at the Thinkery, and the many other museums in the city are worth a look as well. 

Where to Stay

We will always recommend staying at McKinney Falls State Park when visiting Austin. This place is seriously beautiful, and the fact that such gorgeous hiking is found right outside of the city is nothing short of a miracle. Sites in this state park are affordable and include hookups, so you can stay in comfort. 

Magic Rocks State Recreation Area

Fredericksburg, TX

Distance from San Antonio: 1 hour

If you’ve never been to Texas Hill Country—and honestly, even if you have—a trip to Fredericksburg should be on your bucket list. This adorable Texas town is located in Hill Country and is surrounded by gorgeous natural areas while also being full of things to do in town.

While in town, check out the beautiful German-inspired architecture and head to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Historic Fort Martin Scott is also well worth visiting and is a great way to learn some history. Of course, you won’t want to miss the high number of wineries located in Fredericksburg!

Once you’re done exploring the town itself, be sure to go on a drive and see the countryside, making a point of seeing the Enchanted Rocks Natural Area and stopping for swimming in one of the many area swimming holes while you’re out. A quick trip to the nearby Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park is also worth taking!

Where to Stay

Lady Bird Johnson Municipal RV Park is a wonderful spot to park your camper while you visit Fredericksburg. This cute little city-run park features campsites with full hookups as well as opportunities to fish and play golf. Kids love the onsite playground, and the nature trail is fun to stroll as well. 

Weekend RV trips near San Antonio: Natural Bridge Caverns
Image source: Yinan Chen

New Braunfels, TX

Distance from San Antonio: 40 minutes

New Braunfels is another fantastic Texas Hill Country destination that could easily be a San Antonio day trip. This gorgeous little town was named after the German town of Braunfels and is just as charming as you might imagine.

Our favorite thing to do in New Braunfels is head to the Bavarian-themed Schlitterbahn waterpark. This is an absolutely enormous park that has something for everyone in your group. Not only that, but you could easily spend the entire weekend exploring this huge place and never once run out of things to do. 

All that said, we don’t actually recommend spending your entire weekend in the water park, because there are lots of other great things to do in the area as well. For instance, you will want to make sure to pay a visit to the beautiful Natural Bridge Caverns to see the amazing natural limestone bridge. A stop at the Gruene Historic District could also be a good way to spend some time. 

Where to Stay

You have a few options when staying in New Braunfels. One of the best options is actually located about 30 minutes outside of town, but is well worth the drive. Cranes Mill Park Campground is an Army Corps of Engineers park that is set right on a lake. Partial hookups are available at the campsites, and the price to stay is definitely fair. 

Downtown Dallas

Dallas and Fort Worth

Distance from San Antonio: 4 hours

Last on our list is the Dallas and Fort Worth area. These two big Texas cities sit side-by-side, and together they offer a whole slew of wonderful things to do and see, making them one of the best weekend RV trips near San Antonio. 

In Dallas, we recommend visiting the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas World Aquarium. The Dallas Farmers Market is pretty fun as well, and the Klyde Warren Park is a fun place to wander. 

When it comes to things to do in Fort Worth, we highly recommend SeaQuest for a half day of family fun that involves interacting with animals. The Fort Worth Stockyards are an interesting place to visit and the Fort Worth Zoo is fantastic! 

Where to Stay

As you might imagine, campgrounds are not hard to come by in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In fact, there are so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming to pick one out. Our suggestion? Loyd Park at Joe Pool Lake. This is a nice, lakefront campground set in between the two cities. The rates are great and partial hookups are available. 

More Things to Do Outside San Antonio

Clearly, there are plenty of things to do outside San Antonio, and planning weekend RV trips near San Antonio shouldn’t be a problem at all. In fact, the options listed here are really just the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, if you finish with these awesome things to do outside San Antonio and want more ideas, we recommend doing a bit of research to see what else you can find to see and do. 

Houston is one option that comes to mind, and there are several fantastic state parks that could be used for weekend getaways or San Antonio day trips. 

No matter what you decide to do, you will want to take an RV along in order to ensure you can travel in complete comfort. This is where we can help! We have tons of amazing San Antonio RV rentals available, making it easy for you and your family to hit the road on weekend RV trips near San Antonio whenever you see fit.