Things to Do

3 Ideas for a Memorable Last-Minute Summer Road Trip

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Tony Maples Photography


School is just around the corner and, before you know it, it will be back to the grindstone for students and parents alike. However, the good news is there is still plenty of time to squeeze in one last summer road trip. Here are three awesome destinations just a short drive from Hill Country!

1. Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge water slide

Photo: Facebook/Great Wolf Lodge

Located in Grapevine, Texas, Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect getaway for everyone! Feed your inner adrenaline junkie with a ride down one of the lodge’s water slides, or play a quick game of water basketball in Raccoon Lagoon, an outdoor activity area. If rest and relaxation are more your style, head over to Elements Spa Salon, where pampering is the order of the day. However, the fun does not end there. The resort also boasts a 4-D Movie Theatre experience, a laser maze, arcade, and so much more.

For grown-ups, the lodge offers a “wine-down” service. Guests can enjoy their favorite wine and snack pairing in the comfort of their suite while their little ones snooze away. Refreshments for the whole family are also available at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, The Loose Moose Cottage, and Hungry as a Wolf. For a sweet treat, Bear Paw Sweets and Eats has you covered.

Reservations can be made online or by calling (800) 693-9653.

2. Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend National Park

An escape to nature can be the best way to reset your mind before the beginning of the school year. If wide open skies and rugged mountains are calling your name, then travel out west the ancient wonders of Big Bend National Park. From hiking and river trips to scenic drives, there are a number of ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Big Bend area. The park offers over 150 miles trails, and is home to the “largest expanse of roadless public lands in Texas,” making it a hotspot destination for hikers throughout the state. Three road types offer a variety of scenic driving experiences within the park. If your time is limited, cruising down the park’s paved roads is a great way to take in the scenery, however, if more in-depth exploration is your style, improved and primitive dirt roads are accessible depending on weather conditions. It is important to note that vehicles traveling on primitive roads must be equipped with four-wheel drive.

For more adventurous explorers, floating down the Rio Grande is the perfect opportunity to experience the hidden wonders of the park’s canyons, which reach up to 1,500 feet deep at some points. Additionally, the open areas of the river provide explorers the chance to take in the sites on both sides of the Mexican-American border.

Before Planning your visit, take a look at the park’s website, or call (432) 477-2251 for more information.

3. The San Antonio River Walk


Photo: Flickr/Roy Luck

From fine dining to Segway tours, there is a myriad of things to experience on the River Walk in San Antonio. There are 37 different restaurants to choose from, with food selections ranging from Italian and Mexican to steak houses and Texas bar-b-que. Shop for a whole new wardrobe at the River Center Mall or enjoy a ride and guided tour on a river boat. Famous tourist attractions such as the Alamo and Ripley’s Believe It or Not are also within walking distance of the river walk. It is almost impossible to experience all this jewel of the Alamo City has to offer in a single day, so make a reservation to stay at one of the many hotels scattered throughout the area.

Just because summer vacation is coming to an end does not mean you have to stop making memories. From the largest indoor water park in North America to the furthest recesses of the state, to a hub of fine dining, shopping, and culture, each destination on this list will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Big Bend National Park 

River Walk Guide