Weekend Getaways from Austin

Tulum, Mexico, photo © Ty Govaars

Tulum, Mexico, photo © Ty Govaars

This time of year I have one thing on my mind. When is my next vacation? It's far enough away from the holidays to make the time off seem like a distant memory. Did I really take three vacations in succession at the end of 2015?! It doesn't feel like it. For the record I did; South Africa, Mexico and Belize, and it was a pretty great way to end the year. 

While I'm itching to get away, for the foreseeable future my travel will be reserved to long weekends within a (somewhat) reasonable distance from the ATX. 

my 4 favorite ideas for weekend getaways from Austin

West bound flight © Ty Govaars on Instagram

West bound flight © Ty Govaars on Instagram

west coast: San Francisco, California

Just far enough to get you a little mixed up by the time change. For me, San Francisco is the perfect weekend getaway city. Once there, you are within the vicinity of so many natural wonders — redwoods, the ocean, national parks and of course, the city.  

Marfa, Texas  © Ty Govaars on Instagram

Marfa, Texas © Ty Govaars on Instagram

Long Weekend: Marfa, Texas

This makes for a long, long weekend. You have to mentally preapre for 6+ hours in a car driving. But nothing is quite as relaxing as the wide open expanse of west Texas. Huge skies. Starburst-hued sunsets. Crisp air. Do yourself a favor and stay an extra night (sometimes skipping work is good for your soul) and really get into the desert-groove. 

Charleston, South Carolina  © Ty Govaars on Instagram

Charleston, South Carolina © Ty Govaars on Instagram

Southern: charleston, South Carolina

This weekend getaway spot is a new favorite on my list. Since the downtown historic district is super compact, it really makes the city walkable, and doable in a weekend. Bring a camera, an appetite (there are so many fantastic restaurants in Charleston) and just let yourself get lost in the southern charm of the city.  

Tulum, Mexico © Ty Govaars

Tulum, Mexico © Ty Govaars


In all honesty, I originally listed Isla Holbox here. It looks amazing, but is harder to get to so I'm reserving that trip for a longer stay. Tulum is a great weekend pick, especially if you have been before. A simple 2.5 hour flight direct from Austin to Cancun, a short car ride later and you are sipping margaritas by the turquoise ocean. Dream (and insta-) worthy ocean vibes are found here. So what if it is a little overplayed. It is SO close. And SO beautiful. 

What to pack for weekend getaways: The 'Go bag'

One of my favorite tricks I picked up from a travel magazine is the idea of a "go bag". Often used in reference to an emergency (or a spy), this bag consists of all the things you need to get away in a hurry. Grab and go. Except my "go bag" is not filled with gadgets or bandaids. Instead, I fill mine with all the essentials for the perfect (travel) weekend getaway. Check out the graphic below to see what would be in mine if I were picking up this afternoon and heading to the beach. 

Thanks to HomeAway for my beach 'go bag' essentials list.