Marcus Connolly, The Paisano
I have been attending UTSA for almost two years and one of my biggest problems has not been schoolwork, but finding ways to entertain myself on the weekends. Going to parties and binge watching Netflix can only entertain you to a certain degree. Not to mention Six Flags and Seaworld are beyond financially ideal. It’s hard to find enjoyable things to do during the weekend on a college student’s budget.
There’s good news, though. San Antonio is a decent distance between some awesome places take weekend road trips without wasting a lot of gas and time — essentials for any college student trip. The following guide includes great weekend road trip destinations that won’t break bank.
Want to experience the classic joy of a small town? Do we have a place for you. Fredericksburg, Texas is chalk full of charm — basically oozing it in fact. You can find main street bustling during the day and by evening it’s transformed into a calm oasis of bliss. Any season at any time, it’s a perfect fix.
Attraction 1. Enchanted Rock
Go take a hike! No really, for a small payment of $7, climb your way up to one of Texas’s most famous views. At first glance, Enchanted Rock may not seem like much to get excited about, but the 12,000+ old rock — or granite, really — is so much more. Take the hike during the day early in the morning is great, but the best way to appreciate it is at night. Pack some goodies and blankets; take the hike near the afternoon before sunset; and then plant yourself at the top. Enjoy the sunset and then stick around for the galaxy of stars as the night approaches — you won’t be sorry. If you don’t want to choose when to take the hike, go ahead and rent some camping gear from the Rec and enjoy Enchanted Rock’s campsites. For additional information visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock
Attraction 2. Main Street
It’s the definition of a small town: Main Street. With a group of friends, family, or that special someone, you can stroll up and down the site that is Main Street. During the day it’s bustling with people going in and out of the many shops and restaurants the street has at your convenience. With stores specializing in antiques, trendy clothing, and even fossils and other earthly treasures, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget about the art galleries, wine tasting centers, and candy shops (yes, candy shops) that Main Street has to offer. Or if you prefer less hustle and bustle, take a quite stroll at night. The lights and window-shopping will make you feel like you’re in a movie. Whichever choice you make, Main Street will leave you mystified. For a full list of stores and restaurants and other places on Main Street visit http://www.fredericksburgtexas-online.com/
New Braunfels is only about a 40-minute drive from San Antonio. It’s one of the closest and easiest drives you’ll ever take. Though it’s best to take a weekend road trip to New Braunfels during warmer weather, due to the mostly summer-based activities to do there (Which is usually no problem for Texas).
Attraction 1: Schlitterbahn
Schlitterbahn is one of the most popular waterparks in Texas and the largest in the country. It’s an obvious attraction that every Texan should experience at least one (or numerous times) in their life. A mass of water rides, water playgrounds, hot tubs, and pools, it’s safe to say there is something for everyone. It’s a crowd pleaser you can’t go wrong with. So go ahead and take the splurge. For all pricing information go to http://www.schlitterbahn.com/
Attraction 2: Guadalupe River
Amusement parks not your style? Rather lay back, cruise, raise some cane or simply be one with nature? The Guadalupe River is the place for you. The perfect cure to a hot day is jumping into nature’s swimming pool. Grab your tubes and camping gear and head on over to the Guadalupe. Stay for the day or for the weekend — time will fly either way. With canoeing, tubing, rafting, kayaking, and more, you get a great workout (and tan) all while having a blast. Some of your best memories can be made here (just remember no littering). For more information on the Guadalupe River go to http://guadaluperiver.com/.
A much shorter 25 minute drive from UTSA’s Main Campus, the Boerne area is another small Texas town. It’s not so much as Boerne though, but the surrounding area that has some more adventure to offer.
Attraction 1: Stricker Trail Rides
Really want to get away from the feel of a city and go for an authentic country adventure? 10 miles East of Boerne you can experience a horse trail ride at Stricker Trail Rides. Perhaps you’ve never ridden a horse or maybe you own a horse of your own, either way it’s a great, active way to take in the sights of the Texas Hill Country—especially if you’ve never ridden a horse. It is a bit of a splurge at $45 per person for an hour of trail ride, but is worth it to experience at least once in your life. For more information visit strickertrailrides.com
Attraction 2: The Cave Without a Name
The Cave Without a Name is a natural cavern located about 10 miles Northeast of Boerne. The national landmark features crazy rock formations like stalagmites, soda straws, and more. Though it may just sound like cave with a bunch of boring rocks, the designs in the cavern are exquisitely detailed and utterly beautiful. It’s also a great escape from the blazing heat since temperatures inside the cavern or about 66 degrees year-round. For $18 per person, you can go explore an hour-long tour that visits six different rooms within the cavern. For more information visit cavewithoutaname.com