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Dallas, Texas, offers a big dose of southern charm with first-rate art and cultural scenes plus some of the most exciting major league sports in the country. From world-class museums to fantastic food and entertainment options, it is most understandable that the city’s appeal is growing by leaps and bounds. For residents of Dallas and visitors to the city, its well-connected transit system makes for a compelling argument for staying within the city limits to see what it has to offer. That is a great convenience for those looking to make Dallas a base, but for those looking to road trip outside the city, the greater Dallas region has some fantastic stopping places to check out as well.
From simple day trips to multi-leg excursions, it’s really up to you to create an adventure to your liking. Below are six must-see places during an epic road trip across Texas.
#1 Fort Brewery & Pizza, Fort Worth
- Distance from Dallas: 33 miles
- Driving time: 35 minutes
Beer and pizza are, like the classic advertising slogan goes, two great tastes that go great together. No one offers better craft-brewed beer and artisan pizza like Fort Brewery & Pizza. At Fort, great beer and delicious pizza are served in an inviting place for the whole community – including visitors. Their master brewer has crafted some of the most original and flavorful beers in the region, and their pizza is prepared using recipes handed down generation to generation.
In addition to great food and drink, Fort also features a diverse schedule of entertainment featuring live music and other fun events. $3 Tuesdays feature the best deal in the area — you can enjoy your favorite year-round brews or a personal cheese pizza for just three bucks. You can also test your knowledge at Trivia Thursdays, where you can win great prizes for putting your brain to work!
No matter what you have a hankering for, definitely add Fort Brewery & Pizza to your itinerary – it’s worth every bite! Plus, you can also get their beer to go and share some with your friends at home.
#2 Turner Falls Park, Oklahoma
- Distance from Dallas: 128 miles
- Driving time: 2 hours
Turner Falls holds two titles of distinction: it’s both the oldest park in Oklahoma, and it contains the highest waterfall in the state at 77 feet. The park is located in the Arbuckle Mountains and offers stunning scenery in a family-friendly setting. In addition to the falls, there are numerous hiking trails for those looking to spend time in nature—the exploring continues with caves, camping sites, great food, and so much more. Additionally, wildlife animals can often be spotted around the park, and the streams have some of the best trout offerings in the state.
If this interests you, it is important to note that tickets are required for the entire stay within the park. Cabins are also available for overnight stays and include admission to the park for four.
#3 Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle
- Distance from Dallas: 365 miles
- Driving time: 5.5 hours
Located along the historic Route 66, the town of Amarillo is situated in the Texas Panhandle in the northern portion of the state. While the city itself has lots to offer, like the old RV museum and unique artistic quirks, some of the best adventures can be found outside its limits.
One of the most interesting attractions is the Cadillac Ranch. This art installation, just outside the city of Amarillo, features a row of classic Cadillacs half-buried in the desert soil. Visitors are encouraged to leave graffiti on the cars, that have decades of previous markings, to contribute to this ever-evolving piece of art.
Another great destination is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, also known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” because it’s the second-largest canyon in the United States. Its size and dramatic geological features, including the multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls, mimic those in the actual Grand Canyon.
Whether you are looking for geological features or artistic freedom, you can be sure to find it in or around the city of Amarillo – don’t forget your camera!
#4 Texas Wine Country, Fredericksburg
- Distance from Dallas: 250 miles
- Driving time: 4.5 hours
When you think of fine wines, the more popular west coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington will probably come to mind over Texas. In total, those three states produce over 90% of the total wine made in the United States. But fear not wine lovers, the Texas Wine Country, centered around Fredericksburg, produces some of the finest wines you’ve probably never heard of, making this region one of the states best-kept secrets.
Since these vintages aren’t widely known, you’ll likely find them at much lower prices compared to their more broadly-distributed counterparts. With rocky hillsides and a temperate climate similar to Lebanon or Sicily, the wines being produced here are on par with some of the best in the world. Even better, only all-natural ingredients are used.
Connoisseurs of fine wines not only have a variety of products to choose from but also a variety of wineries as well, each with their own distinct character. With some 50+ wineries in the region, you can mix and match destinations to your tastes.
#5 Big Bend National Park, Texas
- Distance from Dallas: 533 miles
- Driving time: 8 hours
Located along the border with Mexico, Big Bend National Park boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in not just Texas but the entire United States with dramatic landscapes and the vast expanse of wilderness. The long drive from Dallas is well worth it to experience this stunning scenery in person. Big Bend’s remote location often results in fewer visitors, which translates to a more peaceful backcountry experience.
Artists and photographers will appreciate the beautiful, unique landscapes which will be sure to provide inspiration, especially in the early morning and late day hours. For the outdoorsy types, a network of hiking trails offer options for anything from simple walks to multi-day backpacking excursions.
The best way to experience the park is on foot to fully appreciate the stunning views. Although, more than 100 miles of roads showcase not only gorgeous vistas, but also allow for marveling at the geological wonder, learn about the lives of early settlers to the region and observe the incredible diversity of plants and animals that call this home, all from the comfort of your vehicle.
#6 Austin, Texas
- Distance from Dallas: 195 miles
- Driving time: 3 hours
The capital of the state is just a 3-hour road trip away from Dallas, making it perfect for a weekend getaway. Austin is home to the state’s government and has a much different feel than many of Texas’ other major cities. It’s the fastest-growing city in the United States and has frequently been voted the best place to live in the country. Unlike other areas of Texas, which are mainly conservative, Austin is also known more as a liberal city, in part to its large student population. This population equates to a vibrant nightlife full of diverse music, bars, funky restaurants, and independent craft breweries.
One feature that puts Austin on the map is the food truck culture – reportedly, there are over 1,000 of them spread across the city, serving up local and traditional meals hot from the grill. What started in the early 90s as a fad has now exploded into a city-wide movement. All over town, chefs compete with sit-down establishments by serving inexpensive and unpretentious cuisine prepared in the back of refurbished Airstream trailers.
Throughout Dallas and the surrounding area, there are many adventures to choose from. The six listed here for you are some of the most significant choices. On that note, go forth and have fun!