Looking for Texas road trips? Then you are in the right place! Texas is a huge state that is best discovered by hitting the open road.
We were born and raised in the great state of Texas, and still call it home. This means you are in good hands while exploring this list of road trips in Texas.
Famous for delicious Texas barbecue, cowboy culture, and true southern hospitality, Texas will not disappoint!
Texas road trips allow you the opportunity to explore everything that the Lone Star State has to offer. From big cities to small towns, national parks, state parks, and everything in between!
Here are some of the best road trips in Texas for you to explore!
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1. Texas Road Trip to the Hill Country
- San Antonio
The beautiful Texas Hill Country draws visitors from all over the world. People come to this part of Texas to see the beautiful rolling Texas hills and to explore the Texas wine country. Some of our favorite Texas small towns are in this area also!
Begin your trip in the Texas State Capitol, Austin. Here you can explore the state capitol building, eat some great food, and enjoy the live music scene that Austin is so famous for.
Austin is full of outdoor activities as well. Hike Mount Bonnell to get a great view of the area or paddle your day away on Lady Bird Johnson Lake, one of the lakes in Austin.
Of course, visitors flock to Austin’s Congress Street Bridge to see the bat colony go out for their nightly feeding.
If you drive about 45 minutes southwest of Austin, you will find the artsy community of Wimberley.
Wimberley is home to the spring-fed Jacob’s Well and the Blue Hole Regional Park, both popular Texas swimming holes. You can also visit the popular Hamilton Pool swimming hole to swim and see one of the waterfalls in Texas as well.
During your time in the Texas small town of Wimberley, you can visit the many wineries and distilleries that call this part of the Texas Hill Country home.
Our next stop is Fredericksburg, a German settlement that today is one of the premier wine regions in Texas. While here you will definitely want to do a wine tasting (or two) at the best wineries in Fredericksburg. You should also stay in one of the charming family-owned bed and breakfast hotels in Fredericksburg.
This Texas road trip is great anytime, but it is especially beautiful in the spring when all of the Texas wildflowers are in bloom. If you are visiting in spring, add the gorgeous Willow City Loop to your Texas Hill Country itinerary.
If you have extra time in Fredericksburg, consider taking a day trip to Marble Falls. Marble Falls is a great little lakeside town containing fun, boutique shops, and an epic pie shop, Bluebonnet Cafe.
Our final stop on this epic Texas road trip is San Antonio. The most popular attraction in San Antonio is the San Antonio River Walk. The River Walk is a great place to grab a great meal, drink a margarita, and do some serious people-watching.
Of course, the River Walk isn’t the only thing to do in San Antonio. Be sure to visit the San Antonio Mission Trail which includes the famous Alamo.
2. Route 66 Road Trip in Texas
Attractions on the road trip:
- Route 66
- Cadillac Ranch
Amarillo and Route 66
The historic Route 66 cuts through a portion of the Texas panhandle from Oklahoma to New Mexico. If you make the entire Texas portion of the trip, it is only 178 miles! Granted, there aren’t a lot of towns on this Texas road trip, it is definitely one that should be on your bucket list.
Many people who stop in Amarillo while on a road trip make their way to the Big Texan Steak Ranch to try out the 72 oz steak challenge. If you can eat the steak and all of the side items within the allotted time, your meal is free and you get your picture on the wall.
Of course, along the way, you will want to visit the popular roadside attraction, Cadillac Ranch. This 1974 art exhibition is comprised of 10 cars (Cadillacs) stuck nose down in the desert landscape.
Other stops to consider along Route 66 include Dot’s Mini-Museum and the Vega motel near the border with New Mexico, Midpoint Café, a 1950s dining establishment.
3. Road Trips in Texas to the Gulf Coast
- Corpus Christi
- South Padre Island
A Texas road trip along the Gulf of Mexico will have you traveling to some of the best cities on the Texas coast. It’s hard to believe that Texas has over 3,000 miles of coastline, now that makes for an epic road trip for sure!
The first stop on this road trip is in the fun seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Galveston has played a big role in Texas history as it was once one of the wealthiest towns in the United States thanks to the bustling port.
Galveston is a great city to enjoy some time on the best beaches in Texas, do some bird watching, or play on the amusement park rides of the Historic Pleasure Pier.
After leaving Galveston, hit the road for the next stop on this Texas road trip, Corpus Christi. While in Corpus Christi, visit the Texas State Aquarium and take a tour of the USS Lexington.
South Padre Island
Our final stop on this Texas road trip is South Padre Island. South Padre Island is popular for the epic spring break parties that happen here each spring, but there is more to South Padre Island than that.
Along the way, explore the island’s 113 miles of Texas coastline before heading into town to discover what Padre Island has to offer. You can enjoy Schlitterbahn Water Park or get your adrenaline fix at Gravity Park.
Of course, taking a fishing or sailing charter from Padre is always a good idea also. Many are offered year-round thanks to the tropical climate found here.
4. West Texas Road Trip
This road trip includes:
- Big Bend
The vast land that is found in west Texas will help visitors to understand why we always say ‘everything is bigger in Texas.’
The sprawling landscape of this area is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. You definitely don’t want to miss it!
Road trips in Texas that include Big Bend should also include stops in Marfa and Terlingua along the way.
The small town of Marfa will have you trying to decide if the Marfa lights are one of the natural wonders of the area or are from aliens. It will also have you exploring Texas history museums and eating some really great food.
Terlingua and Big Bend
Terlingua is an eccentric Texas town that is known as a Texas ghost town. This tiny town is home to some quirky places to stay, some interesting roadside attractions, and a population of 50 people!
This is one of the best Texas road trips for outdoor lovers as it ends up in Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend National Park encompasses over 1,200 acres of land just waiting to be explored. Take not though, this national park is known for its harsh environment, so be careful out there!
While in the area, don’t forget to visit Big Bend Ranch State Park also. The largest state park in Texas, Big Bend Ranch has incredible views of the night sky, numerous hiking trails, and some incredible canyon views.
5. El Paso Loop Road Trip
This road trip includes:
- El Paso
- Guadalupe Mountains State Park
- Fort Davis
The El Paso Loop road trip is probably one of those road trips that many people don’t really know about, but I am here to tell you it should be on your Lone Star State road trip list for sure.
This road trip will have you exploring the remote area of far west Texas, taking in some amazing views, and exploring the west Texas landscape.
Start out exploring Franklin Mountain State Park before visiting the attractions in town like the El Paso Museum of Art. There are some great restaurants and lots of pretty murals around El Paso also.
You can leave the city and visit the Hueco Tanks State Park and see the unusual granite features that draw loads of rock climbers to this area.
Guadalupe Mountain State Park
About 1.5 hours from the Hueco Tanks State Park is the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, home to the world’s largest fossil reef!
The small town of Fort Davis is on this Texas road trip also. Here you can explore Davis Mountain State Park, the Fort Davis Historic Site, and the historic downtown area.
6. Piney Woods of East Texas Road Trip
A road trip through the Piney Wood of East Texas is one of the best Texas road trips for nature lovers.
Drive a couple of hours east of Dallas-Fort Worth, and you will feel like you are in a totally different area of Texas.
The first stop here is the small town of Canton, Texas. This little town is known for the world’s largest flea market that takes place here the first Monday weekend every month. When they say the world’s largest flea market, they mean it. The population of the town skyrockets during these weekends!
After exploring Canton, head to Tyler, Texas. Tyler has so many great restaurants, great shopping, and a fabulous lake. They are also famous for their Tyler roses and are home to the largest rose garden in the United States.
Your final stop on the Piney Woods road trip is Longview. Longview is a great place to visit in the fall as when the fall foliage takes over and covers this area.
Longview is also home to some great museums, restaurants, and cute shops. This is also one of the best road trips for festival lovers as Longview is known to host several festivals throughout the year.
You can also do the Piney Woods Wine trail while in this area. This wine trail has you visiting some of the great Texas wineries that call this region of Texas home.
7. International Cities of Texas Road Trip
You don’t have to leave Texas to feel like you have traveled internationally thanks to the road trips in Texas that include the cities formed by international immigrants.
These towns are evidence of the diversity and culture of the people of Texas.
About 1.5 hours southwest of Fort Worth, you will find the small central Texas town of Dublin. Dublin is a small Texas city that is big on personality and fully embraces its Irish culture.
While visiting, you can make your own soda at Dublin Bottling Works before you eat one of their delicious hamburgers at Doc’s Soda Shop which is located on-site.
Be sure to take your picture with the 4 leaf clover sign and the other murals you will find around town. You can also shop for Irish souvenirs at Things Celtic. This fun store has everything from kilts to keychains.
While in Dublin, you have to visit Veldhuizen Cheese and taste some of the delicious homemade cheeses that are made.
The town of West is a small city about on hour south of Dallas. West is best known for their amazing kolaches. That is thanks to the Czech heritage that shaped this town.
The best time to experience all things Czech is during their annual Westfest. Westfest celebrates all things Czech! Visitors to West during this festival get to enjoy dancing the polka to a live band, shop the many great vendors, and eat their heart’s fill of Czech food!
Immersing yourself in the German heritage of Fredericksburg is easy. The German influence is everywhere in this city.
Start out by visiting Fredericksburg’s Pioneer Museum to see how the first German settlers lived. Here you can tour homes and see the artifacts from this era.
While here you can also drink some German beer and wine and eat some delicious German food.
A visit to Castroville, Texas will have you thinking you have been transported to a small town in the French countryside.
The half-timbered Steinbach Haus is the perfect place to start your journey. This house was built in the early 1600s and was imported to Castroville! This isn’t the only house though, there are examples of Alsatian architecture all over town.
Visit the boutique shops in town to find the perfect ‘French’ souvenir before grabbing a tasty treat from Haby’s Alsatian Bakery.
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.