Summer is the time for road trips but with Austin’s abundance of sun, you can hop in your car and go for a drive all year long. Residents at Sun City are lucky to be in a great spot for traveling that doesn’t require spending all day on the road. Here are some unique Texas towns that are located under two hours from Sun City to help you get out there and explore.

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Salado (about 25 minutes)

This town is an art lovers getaway (without going too far). Visitors can try their hands at creating their own works of art at a “Blow Your Own” event at Salado Glassworks, make your own stoneware at Ro Shaw Clay Studio, or paint (and sip) at the Sirril Art Gallery. Those who just want to admire the art (and maybe take some home) can visit the town’s many art galleries and studios like the Salado Sculpture Garden, Mud Pies Pottery (where you can also buy homemade fudge), and Griffith Fine Art Gallery.

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If you plan your trip carefully, you might be able to watch a staged performance of Salado Legends at the Tablerock Ampitheatre. Twice in late July and once in early August the theatre tells tales featuring Tonkowa Indians, Spanish explorers, and Scottish immigrants. They also perform other shows during the year. And if you don’t want to drive home at night, stay at the historic Stagecoach Inn. Enjoy their luxurious rooms and a delicious breakfast before heading back home.

Dripping Springs

Dripping Springs (one hour drive)

This small town is perfect for people who love to soak up the sun while sipping their favorite adult beverage. Dripping Springs is home to many unique breweries, wineries and distilleries including Argus Cidery (one of Texas’ first hard cider producers).

Nature lovers can enjoy visiting the state parks and nature preserves like Hamilton Pool, a swimming hole created by a collapsing underground river. Entry requires a reservation but once you are in you can swim (if conditions allow) or hike through the preserve to try and spot the protected Gold-Cheeked Warbler. History buffs can take a stroll down Historic Mercer Street (built between 1870 and 1940) to see the original businesses and the namesake of Dripping Springs. And if you decide to stay overnight, take a walk and look up, Dripping Springs is an International Dark City so the stars aren’t blocked out by outside light pollution.

West (Hour and a half drive)

For those looking for unique shopping experiences and don’t mind a longer drive, head over to West. This town is the “Czech Heritage Capital of Texas” and home to many shops and bakeries showcasing Czech culture. One of the most popular spots is the Little Czech Bakery at the Czech Stop. The bakery serves up tasty lunch items and the very popular kolaches (puffy pastries surrounding fruit filling).

Going on a road trip is a great way to see the unique sights of your area, and just because you are retired doesn’t mean you need to stop adventuring. Grab some friends, your sunblock and go out and see what Texas has to offer.

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Images by By Billy Hathorn - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, | Dripping Springs by Ruben Garcia Photography