5 Epic Texas Road Trips!
Wether you are a millennial strapped for cash or someone who just wants to start traveling for the first time, you can't beat a road trip through your home state! If you're not from Texas, you can use this page as a guide to get a feel of everything our great state has to offer! My top recommendation for travelers wanting to road trip in Texas is to get a Texas State Park Pass! With the pass you and your passengers can enter any of our State Parks for free all year! Check out these awesome Texas road trips
1. West Texas
Depending where you live, this is probably going to be a long drive but it is absolutely worth it. The number one must see attraction in this area is Big Bend National Park, and I have dedicated an entire guide to navigating this park here. I would recommend spending at least 2 full days inside the park to see everything it has to offer.
Just under two hours northwest of Big Bend you will find the Mcdonald Observatory, where you can look through various telescopes at the beautiful night sky. If you are lucky, you can book a guided tour on one of the large research telescopes and see some spectacular objects in the observable universe. In this same area you will find the Davis Mountains (great half day stop) and the historic town of Marfa to explore.
Further north, go to Balmorhea State Park and swim in the world's largest spring fed pool. The water here is some of the clearest you'll ever see in Texas. Bring a snorkel! Lastly, as a quick stop check out Monahans Sand Hills State Park and "surf" down some of the amazing sand dunes there!
Santa Elena Canyon - Big Bend
Chisos Mountains - Big Bend
2. Fredericksburg/Central TX -
Number 2 on our list of Texas road trips is Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg is a small town in central Texas that started off as one of the first German settlements in the state. Fredericksburg is a great base point for a few activities in the area. Today the town still boasts its German heritage and you can try some German cuisine, tour one of the many local vineyards and wineries, and check out some of the town's historic buildings.
A little over an hour drive south-west of Fredricksburg you can check out Devils Sinkhole, where you can watch millions of Mexican free-tailed bats come out of the cave at sunset every night from April through October. A 20 minute drive north of Fredricksburg will take you to Enchanted Rock, where you can check out the large pink granite dome rising from the earth and enjoy some nice camping, hiking, or climbing.
3. Austin/Central Texas
No Texas road trip can be complete without a visit to Austin! The city hosts many notable attractions such as the State Capitol, Zilker Park, and Barton Springs pool. Plus there are dozens of cool things nearby to keep you entertained. A must-see attraction is Hamilton Pools which is located about 45 minutes west of downtown Austin. Entrance to Hamilton Pools is now by reservation only. Make your reservation here. There is an incredible 45 foot waterfall cascading into the natural pool. See pic below! Great area to go for a swim and cool off from the Texas heat and you can find plenty of shade to escape the sun too. Be sure to check out the couple of nature trails here also!
Another great spot is Mckinney Falls, which is only 30 minutes south of Austin. This area is similar to Hamilton Pools in the fact that it has a few waterfalls and a great swimming hole. This would definitely be the cheaper option of the two! Keep in mind that the conditions at the falls varies greatly depending on recent weather patterns. Lastly, take a trip north of Austin to the Inner Space Caverns to tour some of the best preserved caves in Texas.
While in Austin, don't forget to try some of the amazing restaurants and pick up one of the best burgers in America.
4. Glen Rose
This area is perfect day trip from Dallas/Fort Worth as its only about 1.5 hours south of downtown. This is one of our favorite places to unwind, celebrate a birthday, or just hang with friends. First check out Dinosaur Valley State Park, where you can can find ancient dinosaur tracks left in the Paluxy River. You can literally walk in the dinosaur footprints! You can also camp, fish, and swim in the beautiful river waters.
Next, take a safari through Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. See up close over 1000 animals from over 50 species as you drive your vehicle through the 1600 acre park. Plan at least 2-3 hours for this activity. Finish out your day with a relaxing float down the Brazos River with all your friends and a cooler full of drinks! There are several companies that offer river float services and floating down the river usually takes 2-3 hours.
5. Texas Coast
Last but not least on our list of Texas road trips is the Texas Coast! Almost everyone loves the beach, so why not take a trip down our coast line? Start in the quaint town of Rockport and work your way south. Be sure to spend some time in Port Aransas and take a deep sea fishing charter or dolphin watch tour. Take a jetty boat to the uninhabited San Jose Island for excellent shelling. Check out my Texas Beach Guide to find out my favorite Texas beaches and details on getting to San Jose Island. Look for sea turtles around the jetties! Keep going south and camp on the beach at Mustang Island State Park.
See all the many things Corpus Christi has to offer such as the wonderful Texas State Aquarium and tour the USS Lexington battleship. Further south, go for a swim in Laguna Madre, one of the worlds largest and highest salinity lagoons with an average depth of only 3.6 feet. Lastly, make a stop at South Padre Island and ride a horse on the beach or simply sit back and enjoy the great view.
I hope you enjoyed learning about these awesome Texas road trips!