What to Expect on Your Road Trip from Dallas
Dallas is a booming metropolis with plenty to see and do, so it’s no wonder that so many people love living here. Yet, when you live in a city with a population of over 1.2 million, sometimes you need to get away.
Thankfully, the city’s location lends itself to unique road trip ideas in various parts of the country. Below, we’re sharing twenty of our favorites to have you packing your bags in no time!
Top Destinations for a Road Trip from Dallas
Centrally located in the Southern United States, Dallas is a unique hub for road trips. Head to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, have a western adventure, explore some of our nation’s best national parks, or get lost in a big city — the choice is yours!
The destinations below range from day trips to lengthy journeys, so keep reading to find the itinerary you’re looking for.
Possum Kingdom Lake, TX
A little more than an hour from the Fort Worth area, this state park is the perfect getaway for the weekend. Water activities like fishing, swimming, and kayaking will keep the whole family entertained.
The park has air-conditioned cabins and traditional campsites, so you don’t have to worry about finding lodging elsewhere.
Austin is known as The Live Music Capital of the World, and it has dozens of live music venues. You can dine at boutique restaurants, visit breweries, go ziplining at Lake Travis, and see the State Capitol Building. The best part is that Austin is only about a three-hour drive from Dallas!
Oklahoma City, OK
About 3.5 hours north of Dallas, Oklahoma City is known for its cowboy culture. Visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum to see performers and interactive exhibits bring life in the old west to life. Keep the western theme alive by staying overnight in Teepees at the Orr Family Farm.
If you’re traveling with your pup, head to Myriad Botanical Gardens, a tropical conservatory with a dog park!
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
If you’re up for a more extended voyage, go to the Grand Canyon and stop at some excellent sites along the way. Once there, hike to the bottom, take a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view, or stand on the Skywalk. There are plenty of campsites in the area and natural wonders all over the park.
Drive 3.5 hours south to reach this Texas metropolis, home to the Houston Space Center and some of the best museums in the country.
Once you arrive, you can park your car or airport van rental and get around on easily accessible metro trains or walk from place to place. Relax in Hermann Park, watch a rodeo, or catch a baseball game at Minute Maid Park.
New Orleans, LA
If you’re willing to make the eight-hour drive to New Orleans, you’ll be rewarded with a great time. The Louisiana city is famous for its vibrant nightlife, from jazz lounges to nightclubs and dive bars. Take a river cruise, ride a streetcar, or walk around The French Quarter.
No matter what you do, be sure to come hungry so that you can sample the Cajun cuisine, such as gumbo, Po-Boys, and fresh seafood.
Bend State Park, TX
Colorado Bend State Park is in the heart of Texas and home to Gorman Falls, which are an impressive 70 feet! Make reservations for a tour of the underground caves or take a dip in the springs. The drive from Dallas is only a little over three hours, making it a great place to spend the day or a weekend.
Hot Springs, AR
The city of Hot Springs is appropriately named, and people have been bathing in the healing waters for hundreds of years. Most hot springs are in the national park, so your best bet is to head there for the ultimate spa getaway.
In the park, you’ll find bathhouses that still follow traditional healing rituals, in which guests soak in the mineral waters. After your soak, you’ll feel relaxed and ready to make the 4.5-hour trip back to Dallas.
Las Vegas, NV
The trip from Dallas to Las Vegas is about 18 hours, but it has some great stops along the way, including Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and the Hoover Dam.
While not traditionally considered a family-friendly destination, there is so much to do in Las Vegas with children. Ride the High Roller, catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, or visit Red Rock Canyon.
Around a six-hour trip from Dallas, Lafayette has been called one of the best food cities in America. Sample Cajun favorites like crawfish, boudin, BBQ, and fried chicken. Then, take a swamp tour of the Bayou Vermilion or visit the Arcadian Cultural Center to learn about the migrants who gave Lafayette its rich culture and traditions.
Just under seven hours from Dallas, Memphis is the birthplace of rock and roll. Sites like Graceland, Sun Studio, and the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum take you on a historical journey of music.
Memphis is also home to the National Civil Rights Museum and Slave Haven, an underground railroad site. Check out both to better understand this critical part of American history.
Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge is another excellent destination in Lousiana and is just about seven hours from Dallas. Check out the Old State Capital and Mike the Tiger, the mascot for LSU, at his habitat. Then, head to the LSU Rural Life Museum and the Magnolia Mound Plantation to learn more about traditional life in this southern state.
Galveston is another destination that proves you don’t have to leave the Lone Star State to have a good time! The trip from Dallas is about five hours but presents the opportunity to explore east Texas along the way.
Most people like to relax on the beach, catch a concert or festival, or dine at some of the island’s seafood restaurants. Of course, no trip would be complete without a walk on Pleasure Pier and a drive through the historic neighborhoods on Galveston Island with Victorian mansions.
Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Journey seven hours across west Texas and into southern New Mexico, where you’ll find this magnificent national park. Located in the Chihuahua desert, visitors can get to know the flora and fauna of the area, such as blooming cactus, over 350 species of birds, and 67 mammals. However, most people come to Carlsbad Caverns to see the caves, of which there are more than 119!
This charming small town in Texas hill country is about a four-hour drive from Dallas and well worth the trip.
The area is famous for its wineries which date back hundreds of years to the Germans settlers who used the native Mustang grape. But that’s not the only evidence of German influence you’ll find in Fredericksburg!
The town has several German restaurants, a replica of a 19th-century German church that was once here, and a Pioneer Museum dedicated to artifacts passed on over the years.
Turner Falls, OK
Turner Falls is the home of the state’s largest waterfall and the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Only about two hours from Dallas, the park is a great place to take a dip in swimming holes, explore hiking trails, go biking, and go camping. There are also caves in the park, and, if you get a permit, you can fish for trout.
Little Rock, AR
The five-hour drive to Arkansas is full of incredible sights, like Caddo National Grasslands and Ouachita National Forest.
Once you arrive, explore the River Market District — a popular place for live music, art, shopping, and dining. Ride a streetcar through the town or rent a bicycle and ride along the river walk trail. Before going, don’t miss the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City is another favorite destination for foodies, thanks to the city’s reputation for great barbecue. Besides great grub, the eight-hour drive to Kansas City will reward you with an abundance of jazz clubs, more fountains than any other city in the USA, and incredible street art.
One of the best weekend trips from Dallas, Waco, is just under two hours away. Visitors can go on a boating tour on the Brazos River or horseback riding outside town. Waco Mammoth National Monument is also nearby, a paleontological site where dozens of mammoths have been uncovered.
Bay St. Louis, MS
Bay St. Louis is one of the areas of Mississippi that was affected by Hurricane Katrina, but it still has a lot to offer travelers who make the eight-hour drive from Dallas. Walk along the coast, explore the downtown shops, and indulge in fresh seafood, including oysters. Don’t leave without visiting Infinity Science Center, a NASA visitor center where guests can tour the rocket testing facilities.
Explore Southern USA with Airport Van Rental
Living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area means never being too far from a great destination. No matter how much time you have to plan your getaway, save this travel guide as a reference.
Are you looking for the best deals on car rentals for your Texas road trip? Check out Airport Van Rental’s discount codes to save big on your next vacation!