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17 Cool Weekend Getaways from Dallas (Fun Road Trip Ideas!)

Planning a quick escape from the city and looking for the best weekend getaways from Dallas?

From small towns to state parks to funky cities, we’ve rounded up the best road trips from Dallas (or Fort Worth) here!

With one exception, each of these Dallas weekend getaway ideas is located between 3 and 8 hours from Dallas, making these destinations ideal for trips that last 1-3 nights away (if you’re looking for destinations a bit closer to Dallas, check out our guide to the best day trips from Dallas here).

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a weekend full of family memories, an adventure with friends, or even a solo escape, one of these weekend getaways from Dallas is no doubt right for you.

View of Lake Austin From Mount Bonnell, one of the most popular things to do in Austin TX

Best Cities for Weekend Getaways from Dallas

Austin, TX

The capital of Texas and self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World is the perfect weekend trip from Dallas for those looking to keep things just a little weird.

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Take a dip in one of Austin’s many nearby natural swimming holes, go hunting for street art on South Congress, tour the Texas State Capitol Building, watch the sunset at Mount Bonnell, escape to the Texas Hill Country for the day, and of course enjoy plenty of nightlife–with a huge variety of fun things to do, Austin is perfect for travelers looking for a great mix of city fun and outdoor adventure.

Driving Distance from Dallas

3 hours.

Skyline of Austin Texas as seen over Lady Bird Lake. Austin is one of the best weekend getaways from Dallas tx

New Orleans, LA

Featuring some of the best food, music, and culture in all of the country, having a city as incredible as NOLA reachable as a road trip from Dallas is definitely something to take advantage of!

While you’re there, be sure to enjoy Bourbon Street, but get off of it, as well: NOLA is more than just its incredible partying (though the partying does indeed live up to the legends).

Consider visiting the Garden District, taking a ghost tour, visiting the nearby bayou, taking a steamboat cruise, and of course, eating plenty of excellent food, from po’ boys to beignets, during the course of your weekend getaway.

Driving Distance from Dallas

7 hours, 45 minutes.

Bourbon Street in NOLA as seen from above at night. New Orleans is one of the best road trips from Dallas!

San Antonio, TX

As the most-visited city in all of Texas, San Antonio knows how to show visitors a good time, and it is absolutely one of the best weekend getaways from Dallas!

Be sure to visit the famous Alamo, as well as the rest of the San Antonio Missions. All five missions, including the Alamo, are recognized together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site–the only UNESCO site that exists in Texas!

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You’ll also want to sample the Riverwalk, of course, as well as visit the San Fernando Cathedral, go shopping at the Historic Market Square and in La Villita, and visit one of San Antonio’s incredible museums.

Driving Distance from Dallas

4 hours.

Exterior of Mission Concepion, one of the best photography locations in San Antonio TX

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City may not be what you immediately think of when considering getting away from Dallas for a weekend, but this smaller city to the north offers a surprising number of things to see and do!

Consider visiting the Bricktown entertainment district, checking out the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, strolling through the beautiful Myriad Botanical Gardens, and paying your respects at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Head a bit north of the city, and you’ll quickly find yourself on Route 66, with quirky roadside attractions like the Arcadia Round Barn within easy reach.

Driving Distance from Dallas

3 hours, 15 minutes.

White lettering spelling out OKC in the foreground with a Ferris wheel in the background in OKC

Houston, TX

As the 4th-largest city in the USA, Houston is positively packed with interesting things to do, starting with its most famous attraction of all: the incredible Johnson Space Center!

Once you finish up at the Space Center, though, there’s still plenty to see in Houston, including several parks to visit, an enormous number of museums and art galleries, and plenty of delicious food to eat–Houston is home to one of the best (and most diverse) food scenes in Texas!

Driving Distance from Dallas

3 hours, 30 minutes.

Houston Texas skyline on a sunny day. One of the most interesting facts about Texas is that Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the USA

Tulsa, OK

Located on the Arkansas River–and more importantly, along Route 66–Tulsa is an unexpectedly fun place to spend a weekend, complete with Art Deco architecture, plenty of interesting museums (don’t miss the stunningly beautiful Philbrook Museum of Art), and the fun Blue Dome District.

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Want to see some classic Route 66 quirkiness while you’re there? The famous Blue Whale of Catoosa is just outside the city!

Driving Distance from Dallas

4 hours, 30 minutes.

Tulsa Oklahoma skyline on a sunny day, one of the best dallas road trip ideas

Nature-Focused Road Trips from Dallas

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

The second-largest canyon in the USA is reachable as a weekend trip from Dallas–and it’s one of the coolest places in all of Texas!

While you’re there, be sure to soak in the excellent views from the top of the canyon, drive the park loop road, and hike a couple of trails. Most importantly, be sure to hike to the Lighthouse formation! It’s the most famous formation in the park for good reason.

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Driving Distance from Dallas

6 hours.

Kate Storm standing in front of the Lighthouse in Palo Duro Canyon TX

Colorado Bend State Park, TX

Want to feel like you’ve left Texas behind… without actually leaving Texas?

Staring up at 70-foot Gorman Falls can definitely have that effect: this stunning living waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Texas, and looks more like it belongs in Hawaii than in the Lone Star State!

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Come to Colorado Bend State Park for hiking, swimming, and beautiful views in the heart of Texas.

Driving Distance from Dallas

3 hours, 30 minutes.

Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park, one of the best waterfalls in Texas

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM

Located in southeastern New Mexico, Carlsbad Cavern is one of the most impressive caves in the USA–and it’s one of the most unique weekend getaways from Dallas!

While you can tour the main cavern, including the aptly-named Big Room, in a single day, with some extra time you can also add some more hiking in the Chihuahuan Desert to your trip… or you can combine your Dallas road trip to New Mexico with our next destination in this guide.

Driving Distance from Dallas

7 hours, 15 minutes.

Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, a fantastic Dallas road trip idea

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX

Set just south of the New Mexico border in west Texas–only half an hour from Carlsbad Caverns National Park–sits the beautiful Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

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Here, you can find the four highest peaks in Texas and some excellent hiking, making it another fantastic option for weekend getaways from Dallas.

Driving Distance from Dallas

7 hours, 45 minutes.

Rocky peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, one of the best couples trips in Texas

Lake Texoma, TX/OK

Located right on the Oklahoma/Texas border, Lake Texoma is a doable day trip from Dallas, but definitely deserves to be called out in any guide cataloging road trips from Dallas, as it’s absolutely one of the most popular weekend getaways for locals.

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Popular for fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking, Lake Texoma is a fun outdoor getaway for the whole family!

Driving Distance from Dallas

1 hour, 40 minutes.

Sunset over Lake Texoma, one of the best dallas weekend getaway ideas

Hot Springs National Park, AR

Aptly named Hot Springs National Park is the perfect Dallas getaway destination for those looking for a relaxing weekend away, complete with a soak in a thermal spa!

Located in an urban setting surrounded by shops, restaurants, and more, Hot Springs offers a fantastic mix of natural highlights and small-town charm.

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Nine historic bathhouses line Bathhouse Row, where visitors flocked to enjoy the local hot springs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, two of which you can still take a soak in today!

Driving Distance from Dallas

4 hours, 30 minutes.

Small waterfall in Hot Springs National Park AR, one of the best road trips from Dallas Texas

Broken Bow, OK

As the gateway to beautiful Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow is one of the best weekend getaways from Dallas for those looking for a quiet retreat into nature near a small town: go canoeing on the lake, take a hike, stay in a cozy cabin, and enjoy a relaxing trip that feels worlds away from the city.

Driving Distance from Dallas

3 hours.

flowing river in Beaver Bend State Park near Broken Bow Oklahoma surrounded by fall foliage

Best Small-Town Weekend Trips from Dallas

Fredericksburg, TX

Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is definitely one of the best weekend getaways from Dallas!

Featuring plenty of nods to its German heritage, a beautiful downtown packed with shops and restaurants, great antiquing, and–most famously of all–plenty of accessible wineries to choose from, Fredericksburg is a fantastic change of pace from Dallas.

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The town is also easily accessible to plenty of hiking (including Enchanted Rock) and other beautiful small Texas towns (like Luckenbach, Johnson City, and Wimberley).

Driving Distance from Dallas

4 hours, 15 minutes.

Wooden door opening to an antique store in Fredericksburg Texas. Antiques are some of the best souvenirs from Texas

Waco, TX

Long known as the home of Baylor University, Waco has become one of the most popular road trips from Dallas in recent years for a very different reason: the opening of Magnolia Market, owned by Chip & Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame.

Even beyond the immensely popular Silos, though, Waco has plenty to see: consider also stopping by the Dr. Pepper Museum, enjoying Baylor’s beautiful campus, or checking out the Wooly Mammoth National Monument during your visit.

Driving Distance from Dallas

1 hour, 30 minutes.

Jacob's Well in Waco TX with a wooden path leading into a wooded area.

Branson, MO

Tucked into the Ozarks, Branson is a (polarizing) regional favorite, with a distinct flair that draws in visitors from surrounding states–including people looking for fun road trips from Dallas!

Branson is known for its live entertainment and shows (typically with a country music twist), its easy access to Table Rock Lake, and for being the home of Silver Dollar City, an amusement park that’s a favorite of families visiting the area.

Driving Distance from Dallas

7 hours.

Chapel of the Ozarks in Branson Missouri as seen from above with lake visible in the background

New Braunfels, TX

For a fairly small town, New Braunfels is positively packed with things to do, from the beautiful Gruene Historic District (home to the iconic Gruene Hall), to floating the river, to visiting Schlitterbahn, to touring the incredible Natural Bridge Caverns.

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Whether your ideal weekend getaway from Dallas includes natural beauty, dancing the night away, or one of the best theme parks in Texas, you’ll find it in New Braunfels!

Driving Distance from Dallas

3 hours, 40 minutes.

one waterfall, one river, the alamo, and french quarter of new orleans featured on one photo spread. black and red text on a qhite background reads "the best road trips from dallas"

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