Texas, but especially Dallas, is a great location if you are looking to explore more of what the state (or even country) has to offer! Centrally located in the northern part of the state, there are so many cool and interesting destinations within driving distance! We have rounded up the best road trips from Dallas!
With Texas being such a large state, there are so many places within Texas to visit! Whether it’s a quick two hour trip to a new place or a more extensive drive, you can still find yourself exploring the many beautiful places Texas has to offer. From historical landmarks, to beautiful waterfalls, to the best food you can find, to amazing architecture, Texas has it all!
Since Texas is centrally located in the United States, there is a plethora of road trip destinations that are close enough to be driven, but far enough to be out of state. The United States has so much to see, and Dallas is a great jumping off point if you’re looking to drive!
Road trips are a chance to see more of the state or country, catch up on podcasts or an audiobook, and just take life a little slower! Keep reading for the road trip ideas from Dallas!
15 Best Road Trips from Dallas You Shouldn’t Miss!
Dallas to San Antonio
The drive from Dallas to San Antonio is one of the best short road trips from Dallas. At only four hours, it makes the road trip between these two great Texan cities a must!
The Natural Bridge Caverns are about 35 minutes north of San Antonio on Interstate 35. Natural Bridge Caverns is over two miles of caverns formed one drop of limestone filled water at a time. The first half mile of the caverns is developed for visitors, with the goals of cavern preservation and guest comfort!
About halfway between Dallas and San Antonio is Jacob’s Well Natural Area, 80 acres of wilderness to explore!
Once you arrive in San Antonio, there is no shortage of things to do, place to explore and food to eat! The River Walk is a must! Dallas to San Antonio is one of the great road trips from Dallas!
Dallas to Austin
One of the most driveable vacations from Dallas is definitely none other than Austin! Austin has vibe all it’s own. The State Capitol is probably the biggest historical landmark, but there are more sprinkled all of the city. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, you can always find a band or soloist performing at some concert hall or bar!
The drive from Dallas to Austin is only 3 hours! You could make it longer if you wanted to stop at any of the amazing places along the way. If you like flowers, you need to check out the Bluebonnet Trail. There you will find 40 miles of mapped driving trails through fields of bluebonnets, the Texas State Flower!
If you have interest in Czech culture, you must stop in West, Texas! Many immigrants settled there and their food and goods are still very prevalent today!
With so many things to do on the way to and in Austin, it is definitely one of the places near Dallas for a vacation!
Dallas to New Orleans
New Orleans is the perfect weekend getaway from Dallas! At seven hours, the distance is far enough to make an overnight trip a necessity, but we recommend turning it into a long weekend. After all, there is so much to do in the Big Easy.
New Orleans is one of the best driveable vacations from Dallas! One of the most historic cities in the United States, New Orleans is known for their jazz music on every corner and beautiful 18th century architecture. The perfect getaway for foodies, New Orleans is famous for their gumbo, po-boys, jambalaya, beignets, and so much more!
If you’re looking for more of the chilling side of New Orleans, there is rumored to be haunted hotels, cemeteries, and every other location you can imagine. There are a plethora of ghost tours that will take you to all the best spots! Additionally, there is a history of New Orleans Voodoo or Voodoo Catholicism, a religion connected to nature, spirits, and ancestors.
There is so much more to do! New Orleans is one of the most exciting road trips from Dallas!
The road trip from Dallas to Galveston is only four hours and it’s a must see! Galveston is a small island off the coast of Texas where many cruise ships dock. It’s sunny beaches and resorts make it a wonderful day trip (or even overnighter!) from Dallas!
Galveston restaurants are some of the best in East Texas! It’s location in the Gulf of Mexico provides some of the best seafood in all of Texas! If you’re there in the morning, their breakfast options are unparalleled!
Besides food, there is so much to do in Galveston! From beautiful white sand beaches, to historical homes, ocean piers, beautiful architecture, and state parks, there is something for everyone in this short road trips from Dallas!
Lake Conroe is the perfect spot that has a little bit of everything. For some history, you can visit The Lone Star Monument & Flag Park where they display each of the flags used during Texas’ quest for independence. If you want to do some exploring outside, there is Lake Conroe (of course!), but there is also the Sam Houston National Forest or Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm to pick your own blueberries!
Lake Conroe has the perfect blend of city and nature! Less than three hours from Dallas, Lake Conroe is a great Texas road trip from Dallas!
Big Bend National Park
An eight hour road trip from Dallas will take you to Big Bend National Park, one of the best national parks in Texas! With hiking, camping, stargazing, and scenic drives, there is something for everyone at this Texas national park.
Most popular for the Santa Elena Canyon, with its dramatic canyon walls scaling 1,500 feet. This beautiful canyon is accessed by a mile and half hike in.
There is a plethora of wildlife with over 70 species of mammals and an immense amount of plant life with wildflowers and cacti everywhere you look! 150 miles worth of hiking trails will take you all over this beautiful national park showing south Texas’ desert region! Dallas to Big Bend National Park is one of the best weekend road trips from Dallas.
A little over three hours from Dallas, Dripping Springs is one of the best road trip ideas from Dallas! With a small population of five-thousand people, Dripping Springs is known as “The Gateway to Hill Country” which is a sought after region that boasts state parks, hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, as well as plenty of history, food, and drink.
Hamilton Pool Preserve is one of the most magnificent waterfall and swimming hole locations in all of Texas. The 50 foot waterfall cascades into the clear blue pool below marking one of the most picturesque locations in Dripping Springs.
You can also explore Milton Reimer’s Ranch Park, which is filled with hiking and mountain biking trails, birdwatching, and fishing. Perhaps the most unique activity is star gazing at the observatory! With high power telescopes and very little light pollution, Milton Reimer’s Ranch Park has the best view of stars, planets, and galaxies!
There are also historical sites, olive oil, and wine tasting in the region! Dripping Springs is one of the best scenic drives near Dallas!
Colorado Bend State Park
Colorado Bend State Park is one of the best state parks in Texas. A little over three hours from Dallas, this state park has everything an outdoor enthusiast could want! Colorado Bend State Park is one of the most popular Texas road trips from Dallas!
The camping at Colorado Bend State Park is one of the best places for camping in Texas! There is camping, backpacking tent campsites, and drive-up campsites for every level of camper! You can also hike to Gorman Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Texas or swim in on of the luxurious swimming holes!
There is also hiking, fishing, caving, paddling and so much more to do! Colorado Bend State Park is one of the greatest road trips from Dallas!
Dallas to Santa Fe
When you need a long weekend getaway, look no further than Santa Fe! Only 9 hours from Dallas, the Dallas to Santa Fe road trip should not be overlooked!
The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe is known for its pueblo style architecture and for having a very artistic community. There are hundreds of galleries and art markets for you to explore!
The city was founded in 1610 and thankfully for us, there is a plethora of history everywhere you look! From state parks, to national monuments, to historic chapels, to museums, Santa Fe really has all aspects of history covered.
Santa Fe really is one of the best road trip ideas from Dallas! The weather is also pretty mild so anytime is a good time to go!
Texas Hill Country
About four hours from Dallas is perhaps Texas’ most sought after region: Texas Hill Country. Located in southern Texas, this region is filled with expansive green hills, fields of wildflowers and bluebonnets (the Texas state flower!), wineries, and so much more! Texas Hill Country is one of the best scenic drives near Dallas!
Dripping Springs is known as the Gateway to Texas Hill Country. There you can go to an olive oil or wine tasting, tour a historical farmstead, visit a memorial park, or check out Westcave Grotto! Venturing further into Texas Hill Country, there is so much more to see!
Cute small towns are scattered all over Texas Hill Country with each offering their own unique experience! Some towns have strong German or Czech influence thanks to the immigrants who settled there, bringing their culture, food, craftsmanship to the United States. Most places have antique shops and interesting places to stay. All places have delicious places to eat. Dallas to Texas Hill Country is a must on your list for places near Dallas for a vacation!
Have you ever luxuriated in the warmth of a natural hot spring? For old pros or if it’s your first time Comal Springs is the perfect road trip from Dallas!
About five hours from Dallas, Comal Springs is the largest springs in Texas! With seven main springs and several smaller springs located within Landa Park, these springs are the perfect weekend getaway!
The springs feed a large swimming hole where the water is cooler than the springs, but warm enough to be comfortable for a swim. Dallas to Comal Springs is one of the most fun road trip ideas from Dallas!
Less than two hours from Dallas you’ll find the town of Mineral Wells, one of the more kitschy short road trips from Dallas. The water in Mineral Wells was believed to have healing powers because people believed the lithium found in the waters could cure some mental health issues. For quickly, the town became a wellness destination with thousands of tourists flocking there in the early 20th century to be cured.
Nowadays, you can still relax in the “healing waters” but you can also hunt for fossils at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park where it’s possible to find rock and animal artifacts that are millions of years old and you can take the home!
Mineral Wells is fun, different little town to explore and makes for the perfect short road trip from Dallas!
Dallas to Turner Falls, Oklahoma
Two hours north of Dallas is Turner Falls in Oklahoma. Witnessing Oklahoma’s tallest waterfall is one of our best road trip ideas from Dallas!
At 77 feet, Turner Falls is a site to see! Although it alone is worth the two hour drive, the surrounding area is filled with hiking trails, swimming holes, caves to explore, and wildlife to see! If you get hungry, there are delicious restaurants one site at Davis Park. If you want to stay, there are cabins and camp grounds on site as well!
Bonus: on the drive back, swing by the WinStar World Casino and Resort, the largest casino in the United States! The road trip from Dallas to Turner Falls has it all!
Dallas to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Hidden beneath the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert, are the Carlsbad Caverns, over 100 caves. The caves are what is left behind when sulfuric acid dissolves limestone. One of the coolest caverns in the United States, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the perfect weekend road trips from Dallas!
The road trip is about seven and half hours, but the payout is incredibly worth it. These caverns are extensive and breathtaking. Unique to Carlsbad Caverns, visitors can hike in via the natural entrance or take the elevator from the visitor center to the show cave. Their limestone chamber named the Big Room is the largest cave room in North American and the thirty-first largest in the world!
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a wonderful road trip from Dallas, perfect for a weekend getaway.
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Standing as an accolade to the American Spas of the 20th century, Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas blends people’s contributions to nature with the natural wonders of the world. Hot Springs National Park is one of the great driveable vacations from Dallas!
Within the park, there are nine historic bathhouses that went through many phases of construction as their owners tried to figure out how to have a building that could withstand heat and humidity for prolonged periods of time. Now, eight bathhouses remain and they are beautiful buildings constructed with masonry and steel. Many still offer spa services!
The park offers places to explore the thermal springs, go hiking, birding, photography, and biking. Just five hours from Dallas, this is one of the coolest places near Dallas for a vacation!