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While it's great to pick one destination to enjoy to the fullest, a day trip to a nearby town or attraction can be the icing on the cake of your vacation. ShermansTravel experts have rounded up the top day trips within a few hours' drive so you can experience that must-visit stretch of beach, national park, or under-the-radar city.

Day Trips from Houston

Galveston Island

Galveston, with its popular cruise port, is often overlooked by visitors, but it’s worth the drive from Houston for its sun, sand, and surf. An aquarium, shops, and nightlife provide plenty of off-beach entertainment.

50 miles southeast of Houston, TX, www.galveston.com
Tags: beach | family | historic | day trip | departure port


Yes, its home to “Old Sparky,” the state’s retired electric chair (see it at the Texas Prison Museum), but Huntsville is best known for its stunning natural setting and hike-worthy state park.

68 miles north of Houston, TX, www.huntsvilletexas.com
Tags: family | history | day trip | state park

Kemah/Kemah Boardwalk

The Kemah Boardwalk is like a mini version of New York’s Coney Island theme park, with rides, restaurants, nightclubs, and free live music (rock, oldies, reggae) on the Plaza every weekend. Families love Friday fireworks.

32 miles southeast of Houston, TX, www.kemahboardwalk.com
Tags: beach | family | day trip

Lake Conroe

Water sports (swimming, boating, jet-skiing), golf, and nature draw travelers to this 21,000-acre lake an hour north of Houston. Should you wish to extend your day-trip, there are camping facilities, hotels, and B&Bs.

30 miles north of Houston, TX, www.lakeconroe.com
Tags: family | day trip | lake


Experience part of the Texas Coastal Birding Trail in Pasadena at the Armand Bayou Nature Center, a 2,500-acre preserve with hardwood forests, native prairies, wetlands, and wildlife.

20 miles east of Houston, TX, www.pasadenatexas.com
Tags: family | history | day trip | wildlife

Texas City

Immerse yourself in history in this sleepy coastal town of gazebos, lighthouses, seafood, and antique and boutique shopping in the revitalized Sixth Street Historical District.

37 miles southeast of Houston, TX, www.texas-city-tx.org
Tags: family | history | day trip

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