Sunday, May 19, 2024

Road Trips in Texas: Exploring the Lone Star State on 4 Wheels

Texas is a massive state with so much to explore. From lively cities to breathtaking natural wonders, the Lone Star State has something for every type of traveler. One of the best ways to experience everything Road Trips in Texas has to offer is by taking a road trip. Packing up the car and hitting the open road allows you to set your own schedule, take detours, and really immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, here are some of the best road trips in Texas.

Best Road Trips in Texas

Road Trips in Texas

If you only have time for one road trip in Texas, make it the “Legendary Route 66”. From Amarillo to El Paso, this slice of the iconic Mother Road takes you through old-school Americana, with retro diners, roadside motels, and charming small towns. The natural beauty of the Texas Panhandle and the mountains of West Texas make for a scenic backdrop along the way.

The Texas Gulf Coast offers beach lovers over 300 miles of coastline to explore. A road trip down the coast lets you beach hop, visit fishing villages, check out birding trails, kayak through estuaries, and sample fresh local seafood. Popular stops include South Padre Island, Galveston, Mustang Island, and Padre Island National Seashore. Don’t miss the sea turtle nesting grounds!

In Central Texas, the “Texas Wine Country route” winds through rolling hills blanketed with vineyards. The climate here is perfect for growing grapes and winemaking. As you motor through Fredericksburg, Stonewall, and Hye, stop for tastings, vineyard tours, and lavish meals. In the spring, the countryside comes alive with wildflowers.

Fun Road Trips in Texas


One of the most fun road trips in Texas follows the “Texas BBQ Trail” through Central Texas. This meaty pilgrimage hits up legendary barbecue joints like Franklin BBQ, Kreuz Market, Louie Mueller, and Snow’s BBQ.

Load up on smokey brisket, ribs, sausage, and more as you journey between Austin, Lockhart, Taylor, and Elgin. Don’t forget the wet naps!

For a family-friendly getaway, the road trip from San Antonio to Big Bend National Park is hard to top. Stop to explore historic sites in San Antonio, then continue west through the hill country. You’ll travel through wide open rangeland and the mountains before reaching the awe-inspiring “Big Bend”. Kids will love camping, hiking, rafting, and spotting wildlife in the park.

The “Texas Hill Country” is quintessential wine and cowboy country. Base yourself in Fredericksburg or Kerrville, then set out each day to explore charming small towns like Bandera, Boerne, Wimberley, and Luckenbach. Visit wineries, check out the LBJ Ranch, and enjoy swimming holes, state parks, and endless backroads begging to be driven.

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Family Road Trips in Texas


When it comes to family road trips in Texas, it’s hard to compete with a drive through the “Texas Panhandle”. Kids will love getting a taste of the old west in towns like Amarillo and Lubbock.

Stop at Cadillac Ranch for colorful photo ops and make a day of exploring Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Grab a room at the historic Hotel Turkey in Turkey, TX, and don’t miss the Prestidge Buffalo Ranch to see the bison up close.

Along the “Texas Coast”, families can enjoy beaches and coastal adventures. Take a dolphin-watching boat tour in Galveston, visit SeaWorld in San Antonio, go fishing in Port Aransas, ride horses on South Padre Island, and indulge in all the fresh seafood. Don’t forget to bring swimsuits and sand toys!

In North Texas, the “Dallas/Fort Worth area” offers families museums, sports, and endless entertainment. From the big cats at the Dallas Zoo to the new Pixar Putt mini golf in Grapevine, kids will stay busy. Catch a baseball game, splash in water parks, go geocaching, and check out the free museums like the National Videogame Museum and Perot Museum of Nature of Science.

Road Trips in Texas for Couples

For couples looking for romantic getaways, Texas wine country provides the perfect intimate setting. Bed & breakfasts dot the landscape, allowing for cozy overnight stays as you visit wineries and tiny towns along backroads made for meandering. “Fredericksburg” is an especially charming home base with its German heritage, restaurants, and traditional Sunday night polka dances.

Outdoor couples will love a Hill Country road trip with stops in “state parks” and small towns. Hike to swimming holes, take scenic drives to Luckenbach and Bandera, and stay in rustic cabins. End your days with barbecue, beers, and sunsets from Enchanted Rock.
South Padre Island offers beachside romance with gulf views right outside your door. Stay at a coastal cottage rental and spend your days beachcombing, kayaking, and watching the spectacular colors at sunrise and sunset together. Make time for candlelit dinners on the sand.

Short Road Trips from Texas

You don’t need weeks to take an epic Texas road trip thanks to these short getaways that can be done over a long weekend. Moreover, if you are looking for Texas road trips for families, then these places will suit you to enjoy your trip in a short time.

  • Lost Maples State Natural Area
  • Palo Duro Canyon
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Padre Island National Seashore
  • Guadalupe River State Park
  • Choke Canyon State Park

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