Get Outta Town

3 easy spring break getaways near Austin for the whole family

3 easy spring break getaways near Austin for the whole family

Cinnamon Shore Port Aransas travel beach
The beach isn't too far for a last-minute getaway. Cinnamon Shore/Facebook

Spring break. What was a time of beach parties and college-level leisure has now taken a dramatic shift if you're a parent. Unless you had the foresight to get your kids into the myriad camps around the city, you are the official entertainment director, travel agent, and personal chef during this mid-semester break.

But if you can get away, if only for a weekend, there is no denying the value of traveling with your kids, exploring new experiences, and cultivating a sense of curiosity about the unknown. Here are three quick getaways for spring break that won't break the bank and side step the airport altogether.

Garner State Park
If camping is your family’s jam, take that extra three-hour drive out of the city to hit Garner State Park. Its beauty is breathtaking, and the cabins and camping shelters are affordable and family-friendly. One of the main draws of Garner, especially after a long, cranky car ride, is the spring-fed pool that sits underneath the majesty of a limestone cliff. Take a swim in the Frio River, play on the play structures, hike to the creek beds, and then call it a day with a campfire supper under the stars.

Cinnamon Shores, Mustang Island State Park
A cozy, decidedly family-friendly community nestled on the edges of Mustang Island State Park, Cinnamon Shores is part resort and part residential planned area. It features beachside homes that can be rented by single families or groups. Sand castle-building lessons, movie nights al fresco, and live music on the town square are just a few of the activities that make Cinnamon Shores unique.

Tonkawaya Ranch, Fredericksburg
Tonkawaya Ranch is an eclectic and funky getaway perfect for families. Colorful cabins stud the hillsides overlooking the expansive ranch. Kids can play horseshoes or washers on the lawn or take a dip in the cowboy hot tub (no jets here — just a large rancher’s tub with well water warmed from the afternoon sun). The town of Fredericksburg is a short drive away with all the small-town elegance parents need: wine tasting, unique restaurants, and the historic five-and-dime where kids can purchase small treasures.

LBJ State Park is only a short drive away, offering a glimpse into life as it was in 1918. Kids are sure to spot many a longhorn, as LBJ State Park is now home to a portion of the Official Longhorn Herd.