What are the best road trips you can take from Dallas?
Dallas is a lively city with tons to do. Sometimes, however, it’s good to escape for the day or for the weekend. We get it.
And who doesn’t love a good road trip? Dallas is a well-connected transit hub. So, there are plenty of cities, towns, parks, and other landmarks close by.
But with so many options what are the best road trips from Dallas? We’ve got a few ideas for you. Some of these suggestions are relatively close by and can be done in one day. Others require an overnight trip. Keep that in mind when reading. With that said, it’s time to grab some snacks, pick a playlist and a travel partner, and hit the road!
Best Road Trips From Dallas, Texas
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Fort Worth, Texas
Travel time from Dallas: 32 miles, 30 minutes
A quick jaunt outside the city, this is one of the best road trips from Dallas because of its simplicity. Requiring little to no planning, you can just show up and start exploring.
Known as the “crossroads of cowboys and culture”, Fort Worth truly is “where the West begins”.
Be sure to visit the Fort Worth National Historic Stockyards District to be immersed in traditional old West culture. Home to cowboys, a cattle drive, and a rodeo, this will be an experience like you’ve never had before.
In the evening, check out one of the local restaurants or saloons for some comfort food and square dancing. This is a very easy road trip to take from Dallas, so if you’re looking for a single day excursion it’s a great option.
- TOUR OPTION – If you’re not sure where to start, you can join this cool tour – Welcome to Fort Worth 4-Hours Small-Group.
Turner Falls Park, Oklahoma
Travel time from Dallas: 128 miles, 2 hours
Want to get wet and wild? This road trip is probably for you! Located just across the border in Davis, Oklahoma, Turner Falls Park has a lot to offer. Situated in the Arbuckle mountains, Turner Falls is the highest waterfall in the state of Oklahoma, standing 77 feet tall.
The park is also home to many hiking trails, swimming holes, natural pools, and caves for you to explore. There are also restaurants in the park so no need to worry about packing a lunch. You can easily spend a day taking advantage of the park or you can camp or rent a cabin overnight.
Caddo Lake State Park, Texas
Travel time from Dallas: 168 miles, 2.5 hours
Caddo Lake State Park is one of the best road trips in Dallas because of its gorgeous scenery. Resembling an enchanted swamp, the natural lake is covered in Spanish moss and dotted with cypress trees. Get out on the water and explore in a canoe, kayak, or boat on the trails that exceed 50 miles.
This is also a great place for hiking if you’re looking for more secluded trails to escape city life. The state park is surrounded by charming Texas and Louisiana towns that you’ll want to explore while you’re there.
Davy Crockett National Forest, Texas
Travel time from Dallas: 180 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes
Davy Crockett National Forest takes up over 160,000 acres and is full of beautiful forests and lakes. If you’re looking to disappear from city life for a while, this is the place to do it. Get some exercise on the forest’s 20-mile hiking trail, where you’ll wind through serene forests and encounter local wildlife.
Or, you can opt to spend some time on the water. The 45-acre lake offers ample boating, picnicking, and swimming opportunities.
Dripping Springs, Texas
Travel time from Dallas: 217 miles, 3.5 hours
Dripping Springs is a tiny town in Texas Hill Country will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. The most visited attraction here is the Hamilton Pool, a natural pool with crystal clear waters surrounded by picturesque cliffs.
After your day spent outdoors swimming, head to one of the many surrounding wineries or distilleries. Dripping Springs is also home to its own wine trail where you can sample local flavors and buy unique products.
Travel time from Dallas: 195 miles, 3 hours
Austin is so big and diverse that you’ll want to spend the whole weekend here to hit everything. The fastest-growing city in the country and the most liberal in Texas, Austin is home to a vibrant arts scene. With tons of live music venues, breweries, and more, there’s always something unique going on for you to check out.
Also home to the state capitol building and Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park, Austin has something for everyone. You’ll want to hit several of the city’s over 1,000 food trucks, offering every type of cuisine you could imagine.
- TOUR OPTION: If you’re not sure where to start, check out this cool tour – Austin: Best of Austin Small-Group Guided Tour.
Beavers Bend State Park, Oklahoma
Travel time from Dallas: 181 miles, 3.5 hours
Beavers Bend has so much to offer that you’ll want to make a full weekend out of it. This park offers plenty of sporting activities, including hiking, paddle boarding, golfing, and yakanoeing – a combination of kayaking and canoeing.
Ziplining, jet skiing, and scuba diving are other options for those looking for something more adrenaline-inducing. You can visit the Forest Heritage Center to learn more about the history along with some films and guided hikes.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Travel time from Dallas: 206 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes
Oklahoma City, commonly known as OKC, is famous for its museums. You’ll want to hit the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the American Banjo Museum, and the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Museum.
If you’re looking for the heart and soul of the city, check out the Bricktown district. With tons of restaurants, local shops, live music venues and more, you’ll never run out of things to do here. And finally, after your jaunt around the city, head to the Myriad Botanical Gardens for a relaxing afternoon.
Travel time from Dallas: 239 miles, 3.5 hours
Twice the size of Dallas, Houston is a whole different animal. The wide range of attractions will appeal to every type of traveler. Science geeks will want to visit the Space Center, the visitors center for NASA’s Mission Control. History buffs will love the Museum District – home to 19 different museums and attractions.
Visit Hermann Park to cool off, especially if you’re visiting during the summer. And finally, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the Texas barbecue scene here.
- TOUR OPTION: Not sure where to start? Check out this sweet tour –Houston: City Tour and NASA Space Center Admission Ticket.
Texas Wine Country aka Texas Hill Country
Travel time from Dallas: 264 miles, 4.5 hours
The state of Texas is fourth in the country for the number of wine-making facilities in-state. The Texas Wine Trail consists of more than 50 wineries for you to explore.
If you’re thinking, “Texas wine? Yuck!”. Think again! The Lone Star State produces some pretty tasty wines. We’re not just saying that either. We’ve had wines all over the world and these are quality.
In addition to wineries, this region also has lavender fields, and peach and pecan orchards.
Start in Fredericksburg and make your way along the trail at your own pace. You also won’t want to miss the oldest winery in the region: Fall Creek Vineyard. Once you arrive in Fredericksburg you can book a tour or go it alone. Just be sure you have a designated driver!
Psst – this region is also known to have the best BBQ in the world.
- TOUR OPTION: Looking for a tour? Check out Texas Hill Country and LBJ Ranch Tour with Hotel Pickup.
Travel time from Dallas: 289 miles, 4.5 hours
Looking for a beach getaway? Then Galveston is the best road trip from Dallas for you. This island city right on the Gulf of Mexico is home to some of Texas’s best attractions. It might be a bit of a drive but the trip will be well worth your time.
Galveston Island State Park is perfect for hiking and camping. The whole family will love places like Moody Gardens and the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. And of course, there’s a whole coastline of beautiful beaches to be explored.
Once you’ve had your fill of sunshine, join a Ghost-Themed Walking Tour for a different perspective of Galveston after dark. History buffs will also love taking tours of the many historic Victorian mansions sprinkled throughout the island.
San Antonio, Texas
Travel time from Dallas: 274 miles, 4.5 hours
There’s so much to do and see in both San Antonio itself and along the route there. Make this road trip a bit longer so you can stop at several points of interest along the way. These include Waco and the tiny town of West.
Once you arrive in San Antonio, visit the Alamo: the historic Spanish fortress and mission established in the 18th century. The city is also chock full of beautiful Spanish architecture everywhere you look.
Don’t miss the River Walk, a more modern attraction. The River Walk is 15 miles (5 of which are in downtown) of pedestrian-only streets, making it a hotspot for dining, shopping, and live music.
For panoramic views of the city, you’ll also want to visit the Tower of the Americas.
- TOUR OPTION: If you’re not sure where to start, check out this sweet tour – Tower of Americas, River Walk Cruise & Bus Tour.
Travel time from Dallas: 391 miles, 5.5 hours
Lafayette, Louisiana, is known as the happiest city in America and the heart of Cajun Country. This colorful town is home to incredible food and music, friendly locals, and tons of history. Take a boat tour through the swamps to see the gators or visit one of the many museums downtown.
The cultural scene here is as rich as it gets. There are tons of festivals and events taking place all year round. No matter when you decide to take this road trip, you’ll be able to find something to do. Be sure to check out the Cajun and Zydeco music at one of the many unique venues in town.
Afterward, don’t miss the opportunity to eat your fill of crawfish and sweet dough pie before heading back to Dallas.
For more on Lafayette check out our guides on things to do!
Travel time from Dallas: 452 miles, 6.5 hours
If you’re a music fanatic, this is one of the best road trips from Dallas for you. Known as the home of Elvis Presley, first on your travel bucket list will be Graceland. However, there are tons of other musical landmarks you’ll want to check out. These include Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Aretha Franklin’s childhood home, the Rock N Soul Museum, and Beale Street.
History buffs will also want to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. And finally, immerse yourself in the Memphis food culture. The barbecue and the sweet tea will have you coming back for more. Looking for a quick way to see the whole city? Check out GetYourGuide’s Memphis: City Discovery 3-Hour Bus Tour.
More Interesting Road Trips from Dallas
There you have it – some of the best road trips from Dallas to get your sense of adventure going. Dallas and the surrounding areas are beautiful, diverse, and unique, so hit the road as soon as you can. Looking for more ideas? Here are some more road trips from Dallas you can take:
- Grapevine, Texas: 23 miles, 25 minutes
- Terrell, Texas: 65 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes
- Granbury, Texas: 69 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes
- Glen Rose, Texas: 75 miles, 1.5 hours
- New Braunfels, Texas: 240 miles, 4 hours
As always, happy travels everyone, and we’ll see you on the road!