Between gas prices, limited vacation days, and chaotic air travel, taking a local road trip is more appealing than ever this summer. These five destinations are all within 300 miles (round-trip) of Dallas, Texas, making them ideal for quick getaways. Spend less time at the pump and more time enjoying the road.
If you’re in an electric vehicle, we’ve noted whether you can expect to find chargers along each route as well.
1. Fort Worth, Texas
Total mileage: 102 miles
With the nickname “Cowtown,” Fort Worth is a great place to spend the day exploring museums, sampling everything from Tex-Mex to barbecue to Southern staples, taking in local history, and cooling off at a watering hole. Settled in 1849, Fort Worth was part of the legendary Chisholm Trail—the cattle drive that took millions of longhorns from South Texas all the way to Wichita, Kansas, to market. And while the cattle drive is no more (except for the daily cattle drives down Exchange Avenue in the Fort Worth Stockyards), Fort Worth holds on to its Western heritage through art, music, food, and fun.
Stop by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (free admission) to see pieces from prominent American artists. If you have kids in tow, visit the Fort Worth Zoo, one of the best in the country. Gastronomes should plan to be in town for the annual Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival for a taste of the best from area chefs. For a moment of zen, center yourself at the 120-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
Don’t miss: Head to the stockyards for a taste of Western culture. Dine at Provender Hall for upscale comfort food and check out the filming spots for popular TV shows and movies like 1883, Pure Country, Prison Break, and Walker, Texas Ranger. For great barbecue, head to Brix Barbecue, or go for great vegan fare at Spiral Diner. Just up the street from Brix, The Holly specializes in natural wines (a great pre- or post-dinner stop), and a Fort Worth Tex-Mex tradition/rite of passage is dining at Joe T. Garcia’s, a staple since 1935 with legendary margaritas.
Stay: Tuck in at Hotel Drover, where rustic meets luxury in the stockyards. Pets are welcome, and there’s a heated pool with private cabanas and on-site dining options.
Charge: There are numerous charging stations across the city, including along I-30, I-20, I-35, and I-820.
2. Granbury, Texas
Total mileage: 140 miles
The small postcard town of Granbury is located about 70 miles southwest of Dallas. The adorable town square is full of eateries, wine bars, boutiques, and fun events. Plus, there’s Lake Granbury, where you can relax at the beach or cruise the water by boat.
Don’t miss: Sip a wine flight at Barons Creek Vineyards’ tasting room on the square or see a movie at the historic Brazos Drive-In theater. The Granbury Trolley offers free rides around town on weekends, and the Silver Saddle Saloon is a must-visit ice cream parlor where kids can enjoy the classics, and adults can pick from boozy treats like a Jack and Coke float. For lunch or dinner, check out Christina’s American Table for a lobster roll, crab cakes, and a French dip with prime rib.
Stay: Not far from the square, Hotel Lucy on Lake Granbury offers modern rooms all with different themes. Relax by the resort-style pool or outdoor fire pits with a cocktail from the Big Lucy lounge.
Charge: Granbury has four public charging station ports, all off U.S. 377.
3. Tyler, Texas
Total mileage: 198 miles
Another East Texas gem near Dallas is Tyler, also known as the Rose Capital of America for its plentiful rose gardens. Tyler was founded in 1846 and named for President John Tyler, in honor of his support for making Texas a state. The town was home to more than 1 million fruit trees (mostly peach) by 1900, but a peach disease destroyed most of the trees, which led farmers to turn to roses. By the 1940s, more than half of the U.S. supply of rose bushes were grown in Tyler, and today the town honors its rose history in many ways, including the annual Texas Rose Festival.
Don’t miss: Smell the roses (literally) at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, where 14 acres offer more than 200 rose varieties and thousands of rose bushes. Admission is free. Kids can enjoy Discovery Science Place’s exhibits and galleries, while adults can spend the afternoon at Kiepersol Vineyard & Winery. For a taste of local history, tour the Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, where the mid-1800s come to life through memorabilia and furnishings. The Tyler Art Museum has more than 800 works in its impressive collection from Texas, national, and international artists.
Stay: The Kiepersol B&B, located at Kiepersol Vineyard & Winery, offers king beds, private bathrooms and showers, and complimentary breakfast in the restaurant.
Charge: There are 11 public charging stations around Tyler, including on State Highway 323, U.S. 69, and State Highway 110.
4. Salado, Texas
Total mileage: 288 miles
Two hours south of Dallas, Salado is a Hill Country town centered around art; it’s a great place to slow down and take a breather from big-city living. Stroll through the historic district and shop at boutiques or peruse the art galleries for inspiration. Salado is designated as a Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts, so be sure to check out the studios and watch as glassblowers, potters, painters, and jewelers create their works.
Don’t miss: Walk through the Salado Sculpture Garden to see works of art plus native plants. Grab a craft beer (IPAs, lagers, stouts, blondes, seasonals, and more) from Barrow Brewing, or do a Texas wine tasting at Salado Winery. Shop for local olive oils from the Salado Olive Oil Company, and of course, see what local artists are creating at Sirril Art Gallery, Prellop Fine Art Gallery, and B. Herd Gallery.
Stay: Hang your hat at the Shady Villa Hotel, where Sam Houston once stayed. Guests can enjoy the heated pool and on-site restaurant and bar, which has served hungry travelers since 1861.
Charge: There is one car charging station at Barrow Brewing.
5. Davy Crockett National Forest
Total mileage: 284 miles
Named for the storied pioneer and Alamo defender, Davy Crockett National Forest includes more than 160,000 acres of woodlands, recreation spaces, and wildlife habitats in the Neches and Trinity River basins in East Texas, about 2.5 hours southeast of Dallas.
Don’t miss: Spend the day on the water at the 45-acre Ratcliff Lake or hike the 20-mile Four C National Recreation Trail through upland forests, towering pine trees, and bottomland hardwoods. The Neches Bluff Overlook at the north end of the trail has a sweeping view of the forest plus picnic and camping facilities. You can also ride through more than 50 miles of horse trails on the Piney Creek Horse Trail. At the north end of the Forest, you’ll find Mission Tejas State Park, where more hiking, camping, fishing, and outdoor pursuits abound.
Stay: The Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area offers camping spots. Around the lake there are showers, bathrooms, and picnic spots. Dispersed camping is also permitted in most parts of the Forest. You can also camp at Mission Tejas State Park.
Charge: In nearby Lufkin, Texas, there is a public charging station on State Highway 103.