It is no secret that Dallas, Texas is a popular tourist destination. Dallas boasts incredible food, world-class museums, and a great nightlife scene. All of this is probably why so many people also call Dallas home.
Let’s face it though, there are times when you want to get out of the city and explore other areas. I mean, there is so much to do in the Lone Star State. From exploring historic downtown areas of the small towns to hiking in state parks!
Many of these day trips are about 1 hour and 2 hours away from Dallas, making them fun and easy! You know you spend more than 2 hours just hanging out.
Lucky for you, most of these suggestions consistently make the list of the best places to visit in Texas also!
So grab your road trip essentials and head out to explore this list of day trips from Dallas.
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Day Trips Less Than 1 Hour From Dallas
About 1 hour west of Dallas, Texas, you will find the historic North Texas town of Weatherford, Texas.
Visitors can spend the day exploring the Museum of the Americas, which serves to educate on the American Indian population that was found throughout North America.
You can also explore Chandor Gardens and Chandor mansion, and the first Monday flea market if you happen to be in town that weekend. The first Monday flea market has been taking place the weekend before the first Monday of the month.
Don’t miss your opportunity to grab some homemade ice cream from the Malt Shop while in Weatherford!
Head about 1 hour west (less than 50 miles) of Dallas, Texas to Fort Worth. Now, locals (like us) will tell you that there is a definitive difference between Dallas and Fort Worth. We consider Fort Worth to be the more laid-back North Texas town. LOL!
There are so many things to do in Fort Worth that you could stay busy for weeks. Fort Worth offers great food, awesome museums, an amazing cowboy culture, and fun nightlife.
Head to Fort Worth’s Sundance Square to enjoy great food, museums, shops, and live entertainment. Sundance Square is brimming with things to do. Grab a coffee and sit by the fountains in Sundance Square to do some people-watching before having dinner.
Foodies will love visiting the West 7th Street area of the city and history lovers will enjoy exploring the Fort Worth Stockyards.
While in the Fort Worth Stockyards, you can’t miss visiting ‘The World’s Largest Honky-Tonk’, Billy Bob’s.
Billy Bob’s is a Fort Worth legend and the perfect place for live music and to go dancing for the evening. Now that’s the honky-tonk life! Really, there are lots of honky-tonk bars in the Fort Worth Stockyards, so if Billy Bob’s isn’t for you, then check out another one.
Outdoor lovers will love visiting the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Trinity Trails, the Fort Worth Zoo, or the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. Also, don’t miss the Kimbell Art Museum and the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum.
Fort Worth is one of the easy day trips from Dallas.
Arlington-One of the Easy Day Trips
Located less than 1 hour (really about 30 minutes) from both Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas the city of Arlington is the entertainment mecca of this area. Arlington is home to sports teams, theme parks, and wonderful outdoor spaces.
Adrenaline junkies will love visiting Six Flags Over Texas theme park and Hurricane Harbor Waterpark and sports fanatics will be right at home here since both the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys call Arlington home.
Canton and Canton Trade Days
Canton is located just about 1 hour (about 50 miles) east of Dallas.
Canton is best known for its monthly first Monday Trade Days, the largest flea market in the United States. The trade days come to town the weekend before the first Monday of each month.
If you love flea markets, then Canton is the place to visit. The Canton Trade Days flea market brings thousands of visitors to Canton each month.
Don’t worry if you miss the Trade Days, Canton has other attractions as well. You can visit Zip the USA and take part in one of the longest zip lines in Texas, or get wet at Splash Kingdom Water Park.
With Canton being just over 30 minutes from Dallas, it is one of the easy trips from Dallas!
Ennis-The Official Bluebonnet Trail of Texas
Head about 35 miles south of Dallas into Ellis County and in just under 1 hour (really, about 30 minutes), you will find the small town of Ennis, Texas.
We especially love to visit Ennis during the annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival that takes place every April. Here you can drive over 40-miles of trails that are riddled with the flower of the Lone Star State, the bluebonnet.
It is truly a sight to behold, so bring your camera as it is a great place to see bluebonnets in Texas and one of the unique day trips from Dallas.
Located in Durant Oklahoma, Chocktaw Casino Resort is a quick 30 minutes getaway from Dallas.
Chocktaw not only offers all of the casino games that you would expect but they are also a AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel! Of course, they also offer live events and great food.
A short drive north from Dallas up I-35E and in just over 30 minutes, will land you in the college town of Denton, Texas. Thanks to the colleges that call this area home, Denton boasts a good live music scene, a state park, museums, and more.
The Denton Courthouse houses a museum, which rotates its exhibits frequently Denton square has some fun nostalgic shops, including a homemade ice cream shop!
Denton is also home to a thriving art scene and some great outdoor activities, including museums, art galleries, Clear Creek National Heritage Center, and Ray Roberts Lake State Park.
This is another one of the easy trips from Dallas.
Dallas Day Trips That Are a 2 to 3 Hour Drive
Davy Crockett National Forest
Head just over 2 hours east of Dallas, Texas and you will be deep in the heart of East Texas. While East Texas has lots to offer, one of the highlights is Davy Crockett National Forest. Yes, we have a National Forest in Texas!
Davy Crockett National Forest is comprised of more than 160,000 acres of East Texas woodlands. This is a huge area of piney woods, and one of the reasons that East Texas is referred to as ‘The Piney Woods’.
Davy Crockett National Forest allows you to spend the day enjoying miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, and designated horseback riding trails, making this one of the best day trips from Dallas.
Broken Bow and Beavers Bend State Park Oklahoma-One of the Best Day Trips
About 3 hours from Dallas sits Broken Bow and Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma. Nature lovers flock to the town of Broken Bow as it is home to Beavers Bend State Park, one of Oklahoma’s top state parks.
You can stay in a cozy cabin in Broken Bow to call your home base while you explore the Gardner Mansion and Museum, check out the historic downtown, and sip some wine at a local winery.
Of course, as we mentioned above, Beavers Bend State Park is the biggest draw to the Broken Bow area. Beavers Bend State Park is a piney woods forest area with miles of hiking trails, biking, boating, fishing, horseback riding, river floating trips, and more.
Honestly, Broken Bow and Beavers Bend State Park are one of the great trips from Dallas!
Lake Texoma is located in North Texas just under 2 hours from the Dallas metroplex. You will find Lake Texoma situated on the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma. Covering more than 74,000 acres, Lake Texoma is one of the largest lake reservoirs in the United States.
Lake Texoma is a water paradise. While visiting Lake Texoma, you can enjoy all of the water activities like fishing, swimming, and canoeing. In addition, the Lake Texoma area offers shopping, spa treatments, restaurants, and nightlife you can enjoy.
All of this makes Lake Texoma one of the best day trips from Dallas.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is a gorgeous state park located about 3 hours from Dallas. Visitors flock to Pedernales Falls State Park in the summer to escape the Texas heat by enjoying the Pedernales River.
In Pedernales Falls State Park, the Pedernales River flows over large outcroppings of limestone, creating the perfect environment to enjoy the falls. Just be careful, the water levels vary according to rain and can get very swift. Be sure and check conditions before getting into the river.
Pedernales Falls State Park is a great place to camp, ride horses, do some geocaching, or just spend the day relaxing! This is one of the great day trips from Dallas!
Austin-Music Capital of U.S.
Known as the Live Music Capital of the U.S., Austin is the place to be if you love live music. Austin also has a hip food and art scene, making it one of the best day trips since it is just 3 hours from Dallas to Austin!
There are so many free things to do in Austin that you could visit the city and spend very little money if you wanted. You can spend the day touring the Capital Building, visiting an art museum, or enjoying nature without spending a penny!
If you decide to turn this day trip from Dallas into a weekend trip, then be sure to check out the best places to stay in Austin as well. Austin is always one of the fun trips from Dallas.
Davis Oklahoma and Turner Falls Oklahoma
Turner Falls is located in Davis, Oklahoma not far from the Texas border, making it one of the best day trips. Head about 2 hours north of Dallas to find the city of Davis and Turner Falls.
Turner Falls offers a gorgeous waterfall, multiple swimming areas, and even trails to explore. A visit to Turner Falls is fun for all ages. Spend your day enjoying the water slides or just lounging on the sandy beach at Turner Falls.
Turner Falls also offers cabins and camping if you want to spend the night. Just take note, Turner Falls gets extremely busy on holiday weekends, so we always avoid visiting then!
Located just over 2 hours from Dallas, Jefferson is well known for its historic homes that can be found throughout the city. Combine that with the museums, the Big Cypress Bayou, and the Texas charm of the city and you have the making it one of the great day trips from Dallas.
While visiting, you can tour some of the historic homes in the area, or ride the Jefferson Historic Railway.
A major draw to this area is the Big Cypress Bayou, a series of wetlands at the edge of Caddo Lake. The Big Cypress Bayou is said to have the largest variety of fish in any river in Texas. People love to spend the day here fishing and kayaking.
The lovely little lake town known as Granbury, Texas is just under 2 (really about 1 hour and 30 minutes) from Dallas.
With a great little town square and a wonderful recreational lake, Granbury is the perfect place to head for a day trip in Texas. I mean, there are so many things to do in Granbury, TX that you could stay busy for days!
Granbury has a great lake to enjoy. In addition, do some shopping around all of the cute boutique, shops, and restaurants the Granbury square.
Arbuckle Wilderness Park is located in the beautiful Arbuckle Mountains in Davis, Oklahoma, about 2 hours outside of Dallas. This drive-thru safari park is definitely one of the best day trips from Dallas.
Located about 2 hours away from Dallas, Arbuckle Wilderness is a treat for sure. At Arbuckle Wilderness, you can enjoy feeding and interacting with their collection of exotic animals from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Located on more than 200 acres, and being open year-round makes a trip to Arbuckle Wilderness a fun time, anytime!
Glen Rose and Dinosaur Valley State Park
Glen Rose is a great little town to visit for a day trip, especially since it is located about 2 hours away from Dallas. Glen Rose boasts a unique history and an awesome Texas state park that is fun for explorers of all ages.
The biggest draw to this area is Dinosaur Valley State Park. At Dinosaur Valley State Park, you can enjoy swimming in the cool waters of the Paluxy River, hike over 20 miles of trails, and see some of the finest examples of dinosaur tracks in Texas.
Dinosaur Valley State Park is also home to miles of trails and you can find horseback riding in the area. Dinosaur Valley State Park is physical proof that dinosaurs once roamed in the Lone Star State years ago.
Of course, there are lots of other things to do in Glen Rose, TX as well, making it one of the best day trips from Dallas.
A visit to Hico, Texas is like taking a day trip back into Texas’ past. This charming little town is a fun and easy day trip from Dallas as it is under 2 hours (really its about 1 hour and 30 minutes) away.
Hit up Hico’s downtown area to explore the many boutique shops and restaurants that line the street.
You can check out Siloville. Here visitors can climb the inside of the silo walls, and participate in a zip-line and ropes course. There is also a great golf course and some fun outdoor recreation in the area also.
You can get from Dallas to Salado in just about 2 hours. Situated on the banks of Salado Creek, Salado is a great escape for those that love art, antiques, and small-town charm.
Make your first stop at the 1.5 mile stretch of Main Street in Salado. Here you will find numerous shops housing antiques, clothing, home goods, and works from local artists. You can also check out the Salado Sculpture Garden, the historic Stagecoach Inn, and watch a glass blowing demonstration!
Lake Murray State Park
Head about 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Dallas and you will find the gorgeous Lake Murray State Park. This 12,500-acre park is more than half covered with Lake Murray.
This state park is the perfect spot to enjoy some great outdoor activities. You can enjoy cooling off in the refreshingly clear waters of the lake, or hike and bike on the many trails that you will find on the state parklands.
Waco-Magnolia Market and Dr. Pepper Museum
Waco has quickly gained popularity thanks to the popular HGTV couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines thanks to their show Fixer Upper. While Fixer Upper has certainly drawn many visitors to this Texas town, Waco was been popular far before that.
Located just over 1 hour from Dallas, Texas, Waco is an easy day trip!
Of course, you will want to visit Magnolia Market and get a cupcake from the Silos Baking Co. Once you have your fill of Magnolia Market, check out Waco’s craft breweries, wineries, and even a distillery.
While here, you can also explore the Dr. Pepper Museum and see the remains of a mammoth! The Dr. Pepper Museum is a Lone Star State original (because Dr. Pepper was invented here), so don’t miss it!
Head about 2 hours west of Dallas to find the fun town of Dublin, Texas.
One of our favorite places in Dublin is Dublin Bottling Works and the Dr. Pepper Museum.
When you visit, you can grab lunch at their 50’s themed soda fountain before taking a tour of the bottling factory before heading over to the Dr. Pepper Museum.
While you are here, shop the fun and quirky shops in downtown Dublin, like Things Celtic. This store took us back to our time in Ireland.
Marshall is located about 2 hours outside of Dallas, so why not give it a try? I mean, you know you are in for a treat if you are visiting a town that has an annual Fire Ant Festival. LOL!
Visitors to Marshall can enjoy shopping at the many boutiques and specialty shops that you will find around the downtown area. While in this area, be sure to take in the historic 1901 Harris County Courthouse.
Day Trips That Are a 3-4 Hour Drive
Known for its Mexican heritage and awesome Riverwalk area, San Antonio is another one of the best day trips from Dallas.
Like Austin, there are so many free things to do in San Antonio that you can spend as much or little as you like when visiting this Texas gem.
Of course, the San Antonio Riverwalk is a must-do. Here you can enjoy strolling along the river or taking one of the river boat tours.
Of course, you can’t miss the national historic landmark in San Antonio, The Alamo. After touring the Alamo, we recommend you following the San Antonio Mission Trail and visiting the other national historic missions also, all of which are within 30 minutes of the Riverwalk.
In addition, try visiting the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Pearl Brewery area.
Head about 3 hours and 30 minutes south of Dallas and you will hit Houston, Texas.
Houston is one of the best day trips if you want to experience the incredible museums, great food, sports, and music.
Make sure that you visit the awesome Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, the world-famous Space Center Houston, the Downtown Aquarium, and catch a sports game at Minute Maid Park or NRG Stadium.
Of course, there are countless outdoor parks and green spaces to enjoy some time outside while visiting Houston as well.
Colorado Bend State Park-A Texas Jewel
Head about 3 hours southwest of Dallas and you will find Colorado Bend State Park. A trip to this Texas state park makes you feel like you have been transported to another world.
Colorado Bend State Park is home to Gorman Falls, one of the most beautiful falls in Texas. Standing under Gorman Falls makes you feel like you are in Costa Rica, not Colorado Bend State Park in Texas!
In addition to Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park is also home to Spicewood Springs, miles of hiking trails, and even caves! All of this makes Colorado Bend State Park one of the best day trips from Dallas.
Boerne is one of the fun small towns located just outside of San Antonio. Visit the historic downtown and tour the shops before heading out into nature to enjoy the state park and caves.
Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Texas Hill Country at the Guadalupe River State Park or the Cibolo Nature Center. One of the most popular things to do in the summer is to enjoy tubing the Guadalupe River at the Guadalupe River State Park.
Boerne also hosts two caverns, the Cave without a Name and Cascade Caverns.
Wimberley-A Great Art Community
Wimberley, TX is about 3 hours and 30 minutes southwest of Dallas. Located not far from Austin, this artsy community packs a big punch for such a small Texas town.
There are so many things to do in Wimberley, TX it will be hard for you to decide how to spend your day!
Wimberly is home to several swimming holes, including the famous Jacob’s Well, Cypress Creek, and the Blue Hole. You can do a wine tasting at Wimberley Valley Winery, or olive oil tasting at Bella Vista Ranch while visiting as well.
Shoppers and art lovers will love the many art galleries and boutique stores throughout the town and will definitely think this is one of the best day trips.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is located about 3 hours north of Dallas, and is packed full of things to do. Oklahoma City has a fun entertainment area, many museums, and a great food scene.
Oklahoma’s Bricktown area is full of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. If you are into street art, be sure and stop by the Plaza District and visit the Plaza Walls.
Oklahoma City is also full of museums. There is a State Firefighters Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum , and, one of our favorite museums in this area, the Oklahoma Railway Museum.
Fredericksburg-One of Our Favorite Day Trips
We love the small town feel, German heritage, and the plethora of things to do in Fredericksburg.
There are so many wineries in Fredericksburg, TX that you could easily spend a week or more just tasting wine.
While in the area, you should definitely check out Enchanted Rock State Park. This giant pink granite boulder is perfect for a day hike and a picnic. Take note though, this is one popular state park, so make reservations.
Visit the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Pioneer Museum before shopping the many shops on Main Street.
Final Thoughts on Day Trips from Dallas
There are so many day trips from Dallas that are within a 1 hour or 2 hours drive from Dallas! We hope that we have inspired you to explore the great areas that are located within a short drive of the city!
Comment below and let us know what to add to our trips from Dallas list.
I know that we still have lots of exploring to do in the great Lone Star State.
Happy Travel, friends!!
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.