Discovering The Best RV Road Trips From Dallas, Texas

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Embark on the best RV road trips from Dallas, Texas, and immerse yourself in the Texan charm, surrounded by a vibrant arts scene and top-notch sports. Recognized for its excellent connectivity, Dallas isn’t just a transit hub but a captivating destination in its own right. Whether you choose Dallas as your starting point, numerous options await to take the road and explore both the heart of Texas and beyond.

Dallas is fantastic, but sometimes you need to venture out and discover more of the Lone Star State. If you’re thinking about your next RV road trip, you’re in the right spot. Starting from Dallas, you can head to the Gulf Coast for some beach relaxation or take a drive up to Oklahoma for hiking and camping adventures. There’s a plethora of state and national parks waiting to be explored in Texas. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite RV road trips from Dallas.

Whether you’re after a laid-back weekend or a thrilling adventure, we’ve got something for everyone. From short day trips to extensive road trip itineraries, we’ve got your plans covered. Explore incredible natural wonders like Big Bend National Park or immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene of Austin. Tailor your journey for adventure, culture, or relaxation as you choose from the diverse options listed below.

If you find yourself in Beaumont, TX, immerse yourself in the city’s charm by exploring its vibrant cultural scene, delicious local cuisine, and scenic outdoor attractions. Check out our travel guide on the best things to do in Beaumont, and make the most of your visit.

Here are the best RV road trips from Dallas, Texas:

1. Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma

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Nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains, Turner Falls stands as Oklahoma’s oldest park, beckoning visitors with its breathtaking scenery and family-friendly adventure offerings. Immerse yourself in nature with an array of hiking trails and the impressive 77-foot waterfall.

For those craving more natural wonders, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a short 20-minute drive away, boasting additional trails and opportunities for fishing in the encompassing Lake of the Arbuckles. Consider staying in one of the park’s cabins, priced at $250 per night, which may seem steep but includes admission for four, providing a relatively better value.

Alternatively, explore other cabin options surrounding the park for potentially more budget-friendly choices. Remember to secure tickets for the duration of your stay—$14 for adults, $7 for children and seniors per day, while children under 5 enter for free. Additionally, a vehicle fee of $12.50, plus taxes and fees, is required.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 260 miles

Driving time: 4 hours

2. Fort Worth, Texas

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While Fort Worth and Dallas are often seen as inseparable, forming part of the expansive Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, the 13th largest city in the United States has its own distinct charm. The journey from Dallas to Fort Worth is straightforward, taking just over an hour along the I-30.

For a day visit, don’t miss the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, offering a glimpse into traditional Texas life with cowboys, cattle, and the excitement of a rodeo. Explore various museums, the Botanic Garden, or the Fort Worth Zoo before indulging in dinner at one of Sundance Square’s 30-plus trendy restaurants. Fort Worth has much to offer beyond its connection with Dallas.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 65 miles

Driving time: 1 hour 20 minutes

3. Grapevine, Texas

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Nestled between Dallas and Fort Worth, right by Grapevine Lake and adjacent to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, lies the often overlooked city of Grapevine. Despite being overshadowed by its larger neighbors, Grapevine is an ideal destination for a day road trip from Dallas, merely an hour away from downtown. 

As the name suggests, Grapevine is a haven for wine enthusiasts, boasting numerous wineries and various spots throughout the city where you can savor locally crafted wines. Explore the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, offering a ride in 1920s train coaches. 

For those staying overnight, the Jazz Wine Train in the evening promises a delightful experience. The downtown area is adorned with meticulously restored 19th and early 20th-century buildings, lending the city an elegant and romantic ambiance.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 50 miles

Driving time: 1 hour

4. Terrell, Texas

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Discover one of the best RV road trips from Dallas, Texas by exploring Terrell—a serene town not far from Dallas, renowned for its ghost stories and relaxed atmosphere. Terrell serves as both a laid-back getaway from Dallas and a haunt for spectral tales. 

During the fall, Thrillvania Haunted House Park hosts spooky events on Friday and Saturday nights within expansive haunted mansions. If you’re intrigued by aviation history, Terrell boasts a flying school that trained British military pilots in World War II, complete with a museum open Wednesday to Saturday.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 65 miles

Driving time: 1 hour 15 minutes

5. Waco, Texas

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A day trip to Waco, just about one and a half hours each way, is feasible. Waco is famed as the hometown of Chip & Joanna Gaines, hosts of the globally broadcast HGTV show Fixer Upper, showcasing house renovations. The Magnolia Trail tour, highlighting spots from the show, is a popular attraction. 

The centerpiece is the Instagram-worthy Magnolia Market by iconic silos. Waco is also recognized for its antique shops like the Findery and Junque in the Trunk, perfect for enthusiasts of vintage furniture.

Explore Spice Village’s shops and restaurants or visit the Farmers Market on Saturdays for fresh local produce and live music. For soft drink enthusiasts, the Dr Pepper Museum offers three floors of exhibits on the oldest major soft drink in the U.S., originating in Waco, featuring memorabilia spanning decades.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 190 miles

Driving time: 3 hours

Explore the vibrant cultural scene, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and discover the hidden gems of art and history with our comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Odessa, Texas, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every traveler.

6. Marshall, Texas

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Discover the small-town charm of Marshall, Texas, often hailed as the Cultural Capital of East Texas, making it one of the best RV road trips from Dallas. Uncover its 19th and early 20th-century rail history at the Texas and Pacific Railway Museum. 

While Marshall may not boast numerous museums, it hosts one of the largest light festivals in the United States – the Wonderland of Lights in late November and December. Experience the enchantment as the town transforms into a massive Christmas display, featuring lights, an ice rink, and horse-drawn carriages.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 300 miles

Driving time: 4 hours 30 minutes

7. Austin, Texas

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Embark on a 3-hour road trip from Dallas to the Texan capital, Austin, for an ideal weekend getaway. Austin, home to the state capitol, stands out from other major Texas cities. As the fastest-growing city in the United States, it consistently earns acclaim as the best place to live in various prominent publications.

Austin’s liberal atmosphere, a contrast in the traditionally conservative state, is influenced by its sizable student population, contributing to a lively nightlife scene with music bars, unique restaurants, and numerous local craft beer breweries. Cool off at Barton Springs Pool, a crystal-clear spring water-filled natural pool in Zilker Park, but beware of its cold temperatures and depths of up to 20 feet.

Explore Austin’s culinary scene by indulging in the cultural phenomenon of over 1,000 food trucks scattered throughout the city. For a family dining experience, venture out to Salt Lick BBQ, where copious amounts of meat are cooked on a colossal barbecue, leaving you content but possibly struggling to stand up.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 390 miles

Driving time: 6 hours

8. Bandera, Texas Via Texas Hill Country

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Discover the renowned Texas Hill Country, celebrated for its wine and cowboy culture. While a weekend trip might be a stretch, covering over 600 miles with high-speed limits in Texas, the two towns worth exploring are Bandera and Fredericksburg. 

Bandera, situated in the hills near San Antonio, is the self-proclaimed Cowboy Capital of the World, exuding a genuine Wild West vibe with locals sporting jeans and shirts, and buildings echoing that frontier aesthetic. Extend your journey to create an incredible week-long road trip by combining Austin, San Antonio, and the Hill Country. 

Don’t miss the Bandera rodeo for a memorable experience, even if you end up becoming part of the entertainment! Fredericksburg and its picturesque surroundings offer charming streets with enticing shops and delectable food influenced by the town’s German settlers, who bestowed it with its name.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 610 miles

Driving time: 10 hours

9. San Antonio, Texas

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Explore the rich history of San Antonio, one of Texas’s most renowned historic cities, offering a diverse and fascinating weekend getaway from Dallas. The approximately 4-hour journey down I-35 through Waco and Austin is worth it for the incredible history, delectable food, and vibrant nightlife awaiting you.

While the iconic Alamo requires little introduction, make sure to visit this famous building steeped in American history. Venture further to Mission San Jose within its eponymous National Park, a 1720 Spanish mission that still functions as a church today.

Don’t miss the enchanting Riverwalk, lined with restaurants stretching as far as the eye can see, providing a perfect setting for a leisurely stroll along the river, with the breeze offering respite from San Antonio’s heat. Amidst various dining options, savor the local Tex-Mex, available from breakfast to dinner. The infamous tacos and the delightful chilaquiles verdes make for a perfect breakfast alternative.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 550 miles

Driving time: 8 hours 20 minutes

10. Texas Wine Country

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Embark on one of the best RV road trips from Dallas, Texas, as you explore the Texas Wine Country. This unique road trip showcases some familiar sights from the drive to Bandera but takes on a distinct purpose, earning its dedicated spot on this list. While Texas may not be as renowned as California, Oregon, and Washington for wine production, the Texas Hill Country, centered around Fredericksburg, yields exceptional wines. 

The region’s climate, akin to Lebanon and Sicily, along with its rocky hillsides, creates wines with natural ingredients that rival the finest worldwide. Discover over 50 wineries in the area, crafting notable Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault-based wines, well-suited for the heat and reminiscent of those in the Middle East and North Africa.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 650 miles

Driving time: 11 hours

Discover the vibrant charm of Richardson, Texas, where a blend of cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, and outdoor adventures awaits you. Check out our detailed guide on the top things to do in Richardson, Texas.

11. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Oklahoma City, the largest city and capital of the state, is just a 3-hour drive from Dallas. Nestled on the great plains, it’s often linked to oil and cowboy culture, yet this thriving city offers much more. Explore the vibrant Bricktown neighborhood, a revitalized area that once housed warehouses and heavy industry. 

Now, it features picturesque riverside walks, diverse restaurants, unique shops, and concert venues. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the memorial for the 1995 bombing, honoring the 168 lives lost with a poignant display.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 415 miles

Driving time: 6 hours 15 minutes

12. Caddo Lake

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Explore the best RV road trips from Dallas, Texas, with Caddo Lake standing out as a unique gem on the Texas-Louisiana border. This vast swamp boasts towering cypress trees emerging from the water, creating a maze of channels and bayous. 

Engage in various water activities, from boating and canoeing to fishing and hiking along scenic paths. Caddo Lake’s allure draws nature enthusiasts from major cities like Dallas and Louisiana, providing a serene escape into the wilderness.

Embark on a steamboat tour, discovering charming local towns, and for the adventurous, consider camping in the wild. With an affordable $4 per day fee for adults (children 12 and under free), Caddo Lake State Park offers excellent value compared to other parks accessible from Dallas. To uncover more about captivating lakes near Dallas, click here.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 400 miles

Driving time: 6 hours 20 minutes

13. Houston, Texas

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As the largest city in Texas by population and boasting the claim of being the most diverse city in the United States, Houston offers an abundance of attractions for a weekend road trip from Dallas. Renowned for its pivotal role in the U.S. space program, the Space Center stands as the most visited attraction to the southeast of the city.

Discover the Houston Museum District, a compilation of 19 popular museums and sights, including the zoo. Many of these destinations offer weekly hours with free admission, so it’s advisable to check beforehand. 

Keep in mind the warm climate, especially during the summer, and take advantage of the underground tunnels that traverse the city, providing a cooler alternative for exploration. Many office buildings have publicly accessible entrances leading to the relative coolness of the tunnel network.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 480 miles

Driving time: 7 hours

14. Beavers Bend, Oklahoma

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Situated just across the state line in Oklahoma and embracing Broken Bow Lake, Beavers Bend State Park is a sprawling pine forest offering an array of activities. Explore walking trails, indulge in trout fishing, camp out, paddle in canoes or kayaks, and even experience horseback riding. 

The park provides various camping and RV options, along with several cabins available for rent. Be mindful of the complex pricing structure, with tent pitches charged individually, additional costs for electricity, and some amenities incurring extra fees. 

While the park offers diverse camping experiences, it is best explored on foot, with a network of walking paths and trails, ranging from short strolls to extensive 16-mile offroad trails (non-looped, requiring a return journey). Don’t miss the Forest Heritage Center, featuring a museum narrating the local forest history and development through engaging interactive displays.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 385 miles

Driving time: 7 hours 15 minutes

15. Denver, Colorado

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Known as the Mile High City, Denver blends outdoor adventure with vibrant arts, music, and culinary scenes, along with exceptional cultural attractions. Despite the lengthy drive from Dallas, the road trip to Denver promises to be truly worthwhile. 

En route, passing through Amarillo and Colorado Springs offers an opportunity to extend your journey, dedicating a few days to explore these colorful cities. Consider Colorado Springs as an ideal overnight stop, where a visit to the Garden of the Gods becomes almost essential for nature enthusiasts. 

This National Natural Landmark features stunning hiking trails, along with options for vehicle, segway, and bike tours, and even opportunities for adventurous rock climbing. In Denver, don’t miss the Denver Botanic Gardens, showcasing an impressive collection of stone statues amid picturesque gardens. 

These serene surroundings provide a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. If your visit aligns with winter and you’re eager for skiing, the easily accessible Breckenridge and Aspen from Denver boast some of the nation’s premier ski centers.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 780 miles

Driving time: 12 hours

Nestled in the charming town of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, food lovers can embark on a culinary journey to discover the best restaurants that blend local flavors with exquisite dining experiences. For a detailed guide, check out our guide on the best restaurants in Wellsboro Pennsylvania.

16. Big Bend National Park

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Explore the best RV road trips from Dallas, Texas with a journey to the remarkable Big Bend National Park. Renowned for its striking landscapes and soaring temperatures, this vast wilderness along the Mexican border is worth the 9-hour drive from Dallas. 

Optimal routes include the I-20 followed by a southward turn after passing Odessa, and breaking up the drive is advisable. As one of the largest and most untamed parks in the U.S., its remote location ensures a tranquil escape from the urban hustle. 

Featuring extensive hiking trails suitable for long walks and backpacking excursions, the park’s breathtaking views and the meandering Rio Grande, weaving through canyons, enhance the experience. While the park’s seclusion limits visitors, creating a unique retreat, activities along the river require a passport due to Homeland Security regulations. 

Consider an overnight stop in the artsy town of Marfa, known for its historical charm and popularity with filmmakers, with iconic movies like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood set against its backdrop.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 1,230 miles

Driving time: 19 hours 30 minutes

17. Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo-Texas

Situated in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo lies in the northern part of the state, boasting the iconic Route 66 passing through its heart. While the city itself offers quirky attractions, such as the peculiar RV Museum and the American Quarter Horse Museum, the true highlights await beyond its limits.

Venture outside to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a rocky desert showcasing unique formations like the Lighthouse rock, ideal for scenic drives and invigorating hikes. Additionally, an intriguing art installation just beyond the city features classic Cadillacs partially buried in the ground, inviting visitors to contribute their own graffiti to the layers accumulated over decades.

For those exploring Amarillo during the summer, brace yourself for high temperatures as the city resides between a desert and the southern plains. Ensure you’re well-prepared with ample water to make the most of your experience.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 785 miles

Driving time: 12 hours 15 minutes

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18. Alpine, Texas

Alpine-Texas

Embark on a journey to Alpine and delve into the Chihuahuan desert, traversing the same western Texas region as the Big Bend road trip. If time permits, consider combining both for a seamless adventure. Alpine, a quaint town exuding a bygone era’s cinematic charm, beckons exploration on foot due to its manageable size.

Despite Alpine’s small footprint, the surrounding area is notably sparse, with a mere 12,000 residents spanning three counties. Embrace the solitude as you immerse yourself in this serene landscape. Ensure Fort Davis graces your itinerary, offering the Fort Davis National Historic Site—an accessible relic of an old U.S. Army Fort. 

Admission, priced at $20 per car, covers all occupants, granting access to 24 meticulously restored buildings dating back to 1854, alongside remnants of the fort. Extend your drive through the arid Chihuahuan desert, where Cathedral Mountain in the Glass Mountains, a few miles east of Alpine, awaits exploration. 

Unveil countless trails and scenic drives meandering through rugged terrain, promising days of adventure. Pack your picnics and be prepared for a signal-free zone as you immerse yourself in this captivating landscape.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 1,050 miles

Driving time: 15 hours 45 minutes

19. Guadalupe Mountain National Park

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Embark on RV road trips from Dallas, Texas, and delve deeper into western Texas to explore Guadalupe Mountain National Park and the border city of El Paso, nestled on the New Mexico and Mexico border. Despite being part of the Chihuahuan desert, the park boasts diverse landscapes, including forests and varied terrain. 

Witness the impressive El Capitan, a vertical cliff that graces the park’s horizon. While not as towering or renowned as its Yosemite counterpart, it remains a captivating sight. Explore lengthy hiking trails and offroad driving routes within the park, and don’t miss the towering Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 2,667m above sea level.

In El Paso, further your nature exploration at Franklin Mountains State Park. Within the city, indulge in cultural experiences at art museums and savor delectable street food in Mexican markets, providing a taste of the proximity to the Mexican border.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 1,280 miles

Driving time: 19 hours

20. Padre Island and Port Isabel, Texas

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Experience the breathtaking landscapes and charming historic towns along the southern stretch of the Texas Gulf coast, offering a perfect blend of coastal relaxation and the chance to swim with dolphins. The entire coastline features extensive barrier islands, with Mustang Island and Padre Island, located just off Corpus Christi, serving as excellent starting points.

Explore the vast Padre Island National Seashore, a sprawling national park boasting miles of pristine beaches, where you can revel in the views with minimal crowds. Journeying southward, near the Mexico border, you’ll encounter the picturesque town of Port Isabel. Renowned as one of the Lone Star State’s most beautiful towns, it is frequented by dolphins in its surrounding bays, and the town square showcases a captivating lighthouse.

Port Isabel serves as a gateway to numerous nature reserves, making it an ideal destination for sea-breeze camping, bird watching, and fishing enthusiasts. If you seek an unparalleled Texas coastal experience, this might just be the perfect spot for you. Discover more about the drive to Padre Island by clicking here.

Road trip distance from Dallas: 1,220 miles

Driving time: 19 hours 30 minutes

Discover the charming southern hospitality of Flowood, MS, where vibrant attractions and delightful experiences await at every corner. Whether you’re exploring scenic parks, indulging in local cuisine, or shopping in quaint boutiques, there’s something for everyone in this hidden gem. Check out our guide on the best things to do in Flowood MS for insider tips and recommendations.

Final Thoughts

As you prepare to hit the road from Dallas, Texas, on your RV adventure, remember that the Lone Star State holds a treasure trove of experiences beyond its bustling cityscape. From the sun-soaked Gulf Coast to the rugged beauty of Big Bend National Park, each destination offers a unique slice of Texan charm.

Whether you’re drawn to the soothing waves of the beach, the thrill of hiking in Oklahoma, or the vibrant culture of Austin, your RV road trips from Dallas, Texas promises to be a journey filled with memories. Dallas may be the starting point, but the true magic lies in the diverse landscapes and rich experiences that unfold as you explore the highways.

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