Travel back in time on this slow-rolling, laid-back, completely relaxing trek on a historic train through the scenic Hill Country  northwest of Austin  (trains depart from 401 E. Whitestone Blvd. in Cedar Park, 512/477-8468, www.austinsteamtrain.org , $28–43).
Spring is the best time to go for the added bonus of colorful wildflowers and ideal weather beckoning from the open windows of the surprisingly comfortable 1920s coach cars; otherwise, it’s worth forking over the extra $15 for a fancy air-conditioned 1950s lounge car in the brutally hot summer months.
The gentle clickety-clack of the rails and occasional anecdotes from the seasoned volunteers make for a calming getaway on this peaceful train. After a nearly two-hour ride, the train stops in the sleepy Hill Country  community of Burnet (pronounced BUR-nit), where you can grab lunch at the unfortunately named Tea-Licious restaurant, offering surprisingly hearty and tasty cheeseburgers for a tea room. You’ll be back on the train by 2 p.m. and in Cedar Park by 4.