5 Best Road Trips In Texas – Scenic Drives In Texas

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Here’s a list of road trips in Texas or beautiful scenic drives in Texas with suggested stops, scenic overlooks, must-stay hotels, distances, and tips for first-timers:

Texas Road trip

Road trips in Texas – Scenic Drives in Texas

Texas offers wonderful road trips due to its vast and diverse landscapes, ranging from rolling Hill Country and Gulf Coast beaches to dramatic desert expanses and charming small towns, ensuring various scenic drives and unique cultural experiences. The state’s extensive network of highways and byways connects iconic landmarks, historic sites, and natural wonders, making every road trip an adventure filled with captivating sights and memorable stops.

Hill Country Adventure: Austin to San Antonio

  • Distance: Approximately 80 miles
  • Must-See Stops:
    • Hamilton Pool Preserve: A natural swimming hole with a stunning waterfall and limestone cliffs.
    • Fredericksburg: Charming town is known for its German heritage, wineries, and unique shops.

Road trips in Texas - Scenic Drives in Texas - Things to see On Texas road trip

  • Scenic Overlook: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Hike to the summit for panoramic views of the Hill Country.
  • Must-Stay Hotel: The Driskill in Austin is a historic luxury hotel.

Why – The Hill Country Adventure from Austin to San Antonio is a must-do road trip in Texas, offering a picturesque journey through quaint towns, vineyards, and the stunning Hamilton Pool Preserve, all while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Texas Hill Country, culminating in the vibrant culture and history of San Antonio, making it a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural exploration. 

Tips: Enjoy live music and vibrant nightlife in Austin, and savor the German cuisine and wine in Fredericksburg.

Gulf Coast Delight: Houston to Galveston

  • Distance: Approximately 50 miles
  • Must-See Stops:
    • Space Center Houston: Learn about NASA’s history and space exploration.
    • Kemah Boardwalk: Enjoy amusement park rides and waterfront dining.

One day road trips in Texas - Texas road trips

Why – Embarking on the Gulf Coast Delight road trip from Houston to Galveston is a delightful experience, as it takes you from the urban energy of Houston to the relaxing coastal charm of Galveston Island, allowing you to explore the rich history and enjoy the Gulf’s serene beaches along the way, making it an ideal blend of city excitement and beachside relaxation.

Tips: Explore the historic Strand District.

Big Bend Expedition: El Paso to Big Bend National Park

One day road trips in Texas - Texas road trips

  • Distance: Approximately 330 miles
  • Must-See Stops:
    • Marfa: Known for its art installations, including the Marfa Lights.
    • Terlingua: Quirky ghost town and gateway to Big Bend.
  • Scenic Overlook: Santa Elena Canyon: Spectacular views of the Rio Grande cutting through towering cliffs.
  • Must-Stay Hotel: Gage Hotel in Marathon offers a rustic luxury experience.

Why – The Big Bend Expedition from El Paso to Big Bend National Park is a captivating road trip that unveils the rugged beauty of the desert Southwest, with stops in artistic Marfa and the mystical Terlingua ghost town, leading to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Big Bend National Park, where you can hike, stargaze, and witness the grandeur of the Rio Grande’s winding canyons, creating an unforgettable journey through untamed wilderness and cultural intrigue.

Tips: Prepare for desert driving conditions, and stargaze in Big Bend’s designated dark sky areas.

Bluebonnet Trail: Dallas to Ennis

One day road trips in Texas - Texas road trips - one day road trips in Texas

  • Distance: Approximately 40 miles
  • Must-See Stops:
    • Cedar Hill State Park: Enjoy hiking and picnicking with Dallas skyline views.
    • Ennis: Famous for its springtime bluebonnet trails and festivals.
  • Scenic Overlook: Highway 287 Overlook: Offers a stunning view of the Texas countryside.
  • Must-Stay Hotel: Consider staying in Dallas and exploring Ennis as a day trip.

Why – Embarking on the Bluebonnet Trail from Dallas to Ennis is a delightful road trip that offers a short escape to the countryside, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant sea of bluebonnets during springtime and explore the charming town of Ennis, creating a picturesque and colorful Texan experience.

Tips: Visit Ennis in April for the peak of the bluebonnet bloom.

Wild West Journey: Fort Worth to Lubbock

Scenic Drives in Texas - Things to see On Texas road trip

  • Distance: Approximately 330 miles
  • Must-See Stops:
    • Fort Worth Stockyards: Experience the Old West with cattle drives and Western heritage.
    • Abilene: Visit the Frontier Texas! Museum and historic downtown.
  • Scenic Overlook: Caprock Canyons State Park: Enjoy the rugged beauty of the Texas Panhandle.
  • Must-Stay Hotel: Overton Hotel & Conference Center in Lubbock.

Why – The Wild West Journey from Fort Worth to Lubbock is a captivating road trip that delves into Texas’ rich cowboy heritage, taking you through the iconic Fort Worth Stockyards and historic Abilene before culminating in Lubbock’s mix of cultural attractions and expansive landscapes, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the state’s Western legacy while enjoying its diverse offerings.

Tips: Immerse yourself in cowboy culture in Fort Worth and explore Texas Tech University’s campus in Lubbock.

Remember to plan your road trip according to the season, as Texas weather can vary greatly. Have a reliable map or navigation app and plenty of water, and enjoy Texas’s diverse landscapes and cultures!

FAQs – Scenic Drives in Texas, Texas Road Trips

5 Most Spectacular Texas Landscapes 

  • What are some scenic road trips to consider in Texas? 

Explore the Hill Country Adventure from Austin to San Antonio, the Gulf Coast Delight from Houston to Galveston, the Big Bend Expedition from El Paso to Big Bend National Park, the Bluebonnet Trail from Dallas to Ennis, and the Wild West Journey from Fort Worth to Lubbock.

  • What makes road trips in Texas unique? 

Texas road trips offer a blend of diverse landscapes, from rolling hills to coastal beaches, desert landscapes, and historical towns, allowing you to experience different facets of the state’s culture and nature.

  • What’s the best time for the best scenic drives in Florida? 

The best time varies: spring for wildflowers, fall for milder weather, and summer for beach trips. Check the weather and local events before planning.

  • How long do these road trips typically take? 

Each trip’s duration varies, but most can be done within a few days. Consider your pace and how much time you want to spend at each stop. Some of them are one day road trips in Texas.

  • What are some must-see stops on these road trips? 

Highlights include Hamilton Pool Preserve, Galveston’s beaches, Big Bend National Park, Ennis’ bluebonnet trails, and the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Road Trips In Texas - Scenic Drives in Texas - Things to see On Texas road trip

  • Are any recommended scenic overlooks on one day road trips in Texas? 

Enjoy breathtaking views from Enchanted Rock, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Santa Elena Canyon, Highway 287 Overlook, and Caprock Canyons State Park.

  • Where can I find accommodations for Texas road trips? 

Major cities along these routes have various accommodations, from luxury hotels like The Driskill in Austin and Gage Hotel in Marathon to beachfront options like Hotel Galvez & Spa in Galveston.

  • How do I plan for the weather during these trips? 

Check the weather forecast for each destination and pack accordingly. Texas weather can vary greatly, so prepare for various conditions.

  • Are there any unique local foods to try during these trips?

Absolutely! Texas is known for its barbecue, Tex-Mex cuisine, and German-inspired fare in towns like Fredericksburg.

  • What should I keep in mind for a successful road trip? 

Plan, have a reliable navigation system, stay hydrated, take breaks, and make reservations for accommodations if possible. Embrace the journey and be open to unexpected discoveries along the way!

Now you know the best things to see in Texas road trip, and these are some of the scenic drives in Texas.

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