You don’t need to travel to Paris or Rome to experience romance. You can create the thrills of romance in your own backyard here in Hill Country with a romantic drive this Valentine’s Day. With so many beautiful sights, long winding roads, and hidden gems around to catch your interest, you can wow your Valentine by taking any number of scenic drives in Texas. Road trips are most enjoyed together with your sweetheart by your side with hours spent talking, singing along with the radio, and appreciating a change in scenery. This Valentine’s Day, spend time with your love with our list of romantic drives that lead you to memorable destinations.
Waterfall In Love
For a drive that’s not too far from home, hop on the 290 and travel West to Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs. If you have a little more time to spend on the road, opt to take the more scenic route by taking Fitzhugh Road. By taking this route, you’ll drive right toward the Pedernales Falls National Park. Enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, or just play in the river’s flowing water. Take the Twin Falls Nature Trail for a sweet surprise. Just a 30-minute hike round trip, and you’ll be treated to a beautiful hidden waterfall tucked between lush vegetation. Sit along the water’s edge and enjoy a nice, quiet picnic with the sights and sounds of nature. Between the roar of the waterfall and the secluded greenery, you’ll feel as if you and your Valentine are the only souls around. Continue your journey from Pedernales with just a twenty-five-minute drive south down Ranch Road 3232 and East Highway 290 to Hays County to Creek Road, you’ll find Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs. The stay here offers exquisite accommodations with comforts that feel like home. Choose to stay in a comfortable and stately guest room or stay in one of the two adorable cottages. All accommodations include stone bathtubs, luxury bedding, and communal firepits perfect for chilly nights and feeding each other s’mores.
Romance in the Hills
Living in this part of Texas, you know how beautiful Hill Country is throughout the year, but this time of year makes this a favorite of all Texas Hill Country scenic drives. Instead of bringing flowers to your Valentine, take your Valentine to the flowers. In the spring, vivid hues of yellow, orange, and purples adorn the hills blanketed with wildflowers. A drive to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park is usually just an hour and a half away but for a real scenic view, take the long way. Begin in Austin, take Interstate 35 and TX-29 West, traveling through Burnet, Johnson City, Utopia, and around San Antonio, where you’ll arrive to New Braunfels and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Park. Along the ride look for native species of white-tailed deer, American bison, and the Texas Longhorn. This ranch turned National Park is rich with President Johnson’s heritage, life, and legacy. Spend as little as thirty minutes touring the area or nearly all day exploring the grounds. From there, travel just two miles East to the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm where you’ll step back into the 19th century where park staff dress in period attire and perform tasks including milking the animals, churning butter, knitting, and working the blacksmith shop. Take a free self-guided (donation welcome) tour and take a peek with your special someone into yesteryear.
A Love for the Ages
Three hours north of Austin is a little town called Glen Rose where you can literally trace the steps of dinosaurs. While the destination is awe-inspiring, it’s the drive through the winding roads and rolling hills dotted with springtime flowers bringing a sea of color and sights of pecan, juniper, and sycamore trees that bring much interest to the ride. Once you arrive to Dinosaur Valley State Park, you and your sweetie can enjoy an easy hike, a picnic near the riverbed, or a visit to the park store to shop for souvenirs to remember your trip. On Saturdays, don’t miss Track Talk with park rangers to discuss the history behind the dinosaur tracks at the Main Track Site. Be sure to download the Dinosaur Track Maps to your GPS-enabled smart device before your trip so that you can easily find the routes once roamed by Sauropods and Theropods. When your reach Paluxy riverbed, step into the very first discovered dinosaur tracks and marvel at what the Earth must have been like millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed. Before heading home for the day, stop into Pie Peddlers in downtown Glen Rose to share a slice of Chocolate Cream or their famous sweet and tart Strawberry Rhubarb pies.
Draw Hearts in the Sand
If you’re craving salty sea air and a good sea breeze while you travel down the road, this trip, while a good distance from the Austin area, is worth the wait for the scenery. You’ll begin by driving Southeast via the TX-71, passing through La Grange, cross over the Colorado River twice, travel through Eagle Lake, Needville, Angleton, and down to Surfside Beach. From here, enjoy this seaside town nestled on the Gulf of Mexico with its laid back energy while taking a nice walk on the beach and drawing hearts in the sand. For some adventure opt to go surfing as the name suggests or relax at one of the many nearby restaurants. Enjoy your stay for the night and continue your journey onto Galveston the following day. The ride from Surfside Beach will take your breath away with every mile, spying the sights and sounds of the ocean as you go. When you arrive to Galveston, relax, you’re on Island Time! Take in some thrills at the Pleasure Pier by taking a ride on the carousel or for more adventure, brave the Iron Shark rollercoaster. Plenty of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and live music, will be sure to keep you and your favorite Valentine busy and entertained.