There’s no denying the appeal of Austin’s vibrant nightlife, but sometimes we all crave the easygoing lifestyle that can only be found in a small town. Austin is surrounded by tranquil communities and quaint city streets. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through hill country meadows or browse the selection at an antiquated general store. You’ll fall head over heels for these 11 small towns around Austin. Here, everyone knows your name.
1. Red Rock
Red Rock sits about 40 miles south of Central Austin in Bastrop County. If you blink as you drive along FM812, you could miss it! This tiny town has about 38 people per square mile.
Known as the sausage capital of Texas, Elgin bursts with delicious eats and charming streets. To reach this charming city, drive about 25 miles east on US-290.
Take a journey through the shimmering Texas Hill Country. Driftwood is home to serene winding roads, luxurious wineries, and scrumptious barbecue. What else could you possibly need?
4. Round Top
Round Top is best known for its epic antique fair. Every Spring and Fall, this tiny town becomes a treasure trove for unique finds. It's also home to Shakespeare at Winedale, a classical theatre program hosted by The University of Texas. While many people flock to Round Top for its exciting events, not many people actually live there. In 2010, they had a population of only 90 people.
Blanco State Park's blue, blissful oasis is calling your name. You can reach this stunning scenery in about an hour from Austin. Sometimes, a day trip to Blanco is just what the doctor ordered.
Hungry Texans flock to Lockhart to taste the best barbecue in the world. This town is home to three of the most mouthwatering BBQ joints you've ever experienced: Kreuz Market, Black's, and Smitty's. These legendary meals are worth the drive.
7. Marble Falls
Craving an escape from Austin's busy hustle? Drive 58 miles northwest and surround yourself with life's simple pleasures. Marble Falls is home to Sweet Berry Farm, and this is the perfect place to relax and unwind. You can pick strawberries in the Spring and carve pumpkins in the Fall. Sometimes, a little quality time with nature is all you need.
8. Johnson City
A little over 2,000 people live in Johnson City, but loads more come for day trips. Explore Lyndon B. Johnson's childhood home and gape at the animals at the Exotic Resort Zoo. No matter what you do, you'll love the simple, slow-paced feel.
Whether you're there to listen to folk music or walk the lush trails, Kerrville always leaves an impression. Go ahead and take the two hour drive. It's absolutely worth it.
As you wander through Texas' country music playground, you may see signs that read "Luckenbach, Texas: Population 3." This is no joke. Few people actually live in this iconic town, but people swarm here for concerts and a taste of the simple life. Luckenbach, Texas is about 73 miles west of Austin.
11. Liberty Hill
About 1,600 people live in Liberty Hill, so it's easy to get to know your neighbors. This small community sits about 35 miles north of Austin.