Road Trips from Dallas: A Northern Texas Guide

Learn about these road trip destinations from Dallas that will excite travelers. pictured: a view of Dallas, Texas' bridge and overlook near sunset
Learn about these road trip destinations from Dallas that will excite travelers. pictured: a view of Dallas, Texas' bridge and overlook near sunset

Road trips are a great American pastime. Car rides to explore the open road were one of the most popular means of transportation before air travel became popularized, and they are making a comeback. Travelers have begun to empower themselves with travel autonomy and curiosity for the world around them. Van life, tiny mobile homes, rental cars or personal vehicles have become the ideal way to embark on a road trip.

The best part of road trips is the journey, not necessarily the destination– but there are some pretty impressive places that make a road trip that much better. A popular destination is Texas, the Lone Star State. The state is the largest in the United States and is also home to the largest highway system. The expansive state can take hours to drive through and has many popular cities, which makes it the perfect place to go on a road trip. Dallas, a northern city, is a great place to start because it is central to so many popular areas of Texas. The city has an array of distinct neighborhoods and is considered a well-developed metropolitan area, so it is accessible and safe for travelers.

Texas also has over 79,000 miles of scenic roads and plenty of roadside attractions. A road trip from Dallas (one of the largest cities in Texas) would be the perfect way to explore the spectacular state. Check out some of the top places that travelers can explore on the ultimate northern Texas road trip.

Where To Stop on a Road Trip From Dallas, Texas

Check out the top destination for a road trip from Dallas. 
pictured: the cityscape of Dallas, Texas on a bright cloudy day
Check out the top destination for a road trip from Dallas. pictured: the cityscape of Dallas, Texas on a bright cloudy day

Dallas is a northern city and Texas is extremely large, so travelers will most likely want to divide and conquer. Especially because driving through Texas (without stops) can take between 11 and 13 hours. There is so much to see in Texas that travelers may be overwhelmed by all the options. So we have compiled a short list of the top attractions that travelers can see on a road trip from Dallas. These stops around Dallas, Texas will take travelers on a southern adventure like no other. From wildflower heaven to historic downtowns, travelers that are taking a road trip around Texas should be sure to check out these iconic cities and their popular sites.

Travelers leaving Dallas on I-35E will arrive in Denton in nearly an hour. Denton is a vibrant city with a great art culture. The city is a historic destination with some of the best music, historic attractions and culinary offerings around. Travelers can explore the area by shopping, visiting some of the top restaurants or even popular breweries. Barley & Board, Hannah’s Off the Square and Cartwright’s Ranch House are some of the most popular places to eat in Denton. There are even historic sites that will excite history buffs. Like the Bayless-Selby House Museum, The Denton County African American Museum and The Denton County Courthouse-on-the Square Museum. The Denton Firefighters Museum, Denton Arts and Jazz Festival and North Texas State Fair are some of the most popular attractions in the area.

Fort Worth
From Denton, travelers can get to Fort Worth in about 45 minutes on I-35W S. It is west of Dallas, but south of Denton. Fort Worth is the 12th largest city in the United States. It is located in North Central Texas and is known for its prominence in the Texas Longhorn cattle trade. Some of its top tourism attractions include Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the historic district of Fort Worth. The city is rich with culture and has plenty for travelers to do. From restaurants, theaters and museums, Fort Worth is full of engaging activities for tourists. The city is well known for its southern hospitality, so it’s welcoming. Its downtown area is very walkable, so travelers stopping off in the city can stretch their legs for a bit.

Glen Rose is the farthest destination from Dallas. It is located southwest of Fort Worth and travelers can take US-67 S for an hour to arrive in this city. It has a small town charm and has impressive natural attractions. Surprisingly, Glen Rose is the dinosaur capital of Texas. It has an array of tracks and fossils imprinted into the soil. Millions of years after the dinosaurs, travelers can observe the legacy of the magnificent creatures. Dinosaur World is an interactive museum that is family friendly.

Nature enthusiasts can also visit the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Through self guided exploration or guided excursions, travelers can spot gazelles, zebras, giraffes and cheetahs throughout the scenic area. Travelers that prefer less time consuming excursions can visit the Glen Rose historic downtown area, Big Rocks Park or local food spots like the Loco Coyote Grill.

Just around an hour and thirty minutes east of Glen Rose, travelers can stop off at Ennis. Ennis is the Official Bluebonnet City and Trail of Texas, so it is an incredible viewing area. Travelers can observe wildflowers and the state flower of Texas in full bloom. The best time to observe the full splendor of the Bluebonnet flowers is March through April.

This small town is notably very peaceful, so travelers can visit for a day trip or even a laid back weekend. For fun, road trip visitors can visit the Big O Speedway, Ennis All Star Bowl or Galaxy Drive-in. The speedway offers track car racing adventures that are sure to thrill. While the All Star Bowl has bowling, laser tag, video games and a sports bar. And the drive-in provides a nostalgic and unique movie experience which would be very convenient for drivers. After exploring Ennis, travelers can drive back North to Dallas (with a short 40 minute drive) for the conclusion of their road trip.