Last Updated on July 24, 2022 by Caitlin
While many travelers head to Dallas for the shopping, sports and cultural attractions, Big D is also a popular launchpad for road trips that explore the natural surroundings and smaller cities in the South Central region of the U.S.
Fabulous Road Trips from Dallas
235 miles / 4 hrs.
Take US Highway 67 south to Texas highway 220, to Texas highway 16 which will lead you to the base of Enchanted Rock, a pink granite mountain that rises out of the plains. Explore more than 11 miles of hiking trails, go birdwatching, camping, rock climbing, or simply picnic among the rock formations. Consider joining a guided evening tour for some stargazing in this designated International Dark Sky Park.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
305 miles / 5 hrs. 30 mins
Sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the United States. Follow US Highway 287 north into the panhandle, and Texas Highway 256 will take you west towards the state park. You can hike, bike, drive, or horseback ride on the 30-plus miles of canyon trails. The most popular trail zigzags across the canyon floor toward the famous Lighthouse hoodoo formation.
95 miles / 1 hr. 45 mins.
Fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ “Fixer Upper” series flock to Waco to visit their Magnolia Market at the Silos, and even can stay in homes that have been fixed up on the show. Take Interstate 35 east and south straight to the heart of Waco, and visit Magnolia Market for farm-chic decor and souvenirs. At lunchtime, food trucks surround the courtyard while families play corn hole. Be warned that lines at the Market, Bakery, and Magnolia Table (their restaurant venture) can get long on weekends, so visit weekdays or off-hours to beat the crowds.
Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma
180 miles / 3 hrs. 30 mins.
Take Interstate 30 east to Texas Highway 224 toward Paris, Texas, where TX-286 skirts around the city. Oklahoma highway 37 leads you over the Texas-Oklahoma border at Red River and on to Broken Bow. Broken Bow offers just about everything outdoors lovers could want, including ATV adventures, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, golfing, fishing, and canoeing. Nearby Beavers Bend State Park is home to black bears, bald eagles, and pine forest trails.
Little Rock, Arkansas
319 miles / 5 hrs.
Interstate 30 takes you all the way east to Arkansas and directly to Little Rock. Visit the Clinton Library or one of several museums downtown if you’re ready for some sightseeing. Families with kids will love the Museum of Discovery and its interactive science exhibits. Nature lovers can find fresh air at Two Rivers Park or Riverfront Park, or along the Arkansas River Trail. You can walk or bike across the “Big Dam Bridge,” the longest pedestrian and bike bridge in the US, spanning over 4,000 feet across the Arkansas River.