With a busy schedule, it’s easy to convince yourself you don’t have time to get away from it all. But with so many destinations within an easy road trip’s distance from Dallas, you can venture out for fun and relaxation. Below are just a few examples of day trips, each less than 100 miles from the city.
Explore Fort Worth – 32 miles
If you’re not from around here, you may have gotten the impression from the shared airport that Forth Worth and Dallas are essentially one in the same. (They’re not.) Fort Worth grew into a thriving town thanks to its location along the famous Chisholm Trail, where cowboys drove herds of cattle up north. Today, you can check out the museums in the city’s Cultural District: several art museums, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and the National Cowgirl Museum. Also plan to spend time at Sundance Square in Downtown, a 35-block development filled with upscale boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and night spots. The short drive (less than an hour without traffic) will leave you plenty of time to explore.
Lake Tawakoni State Park – 48 miles
This 376-acre park offers five miles of shoreline, with fishing, boating, and swimming in the lake. Other activities include mountain biking, hiking, and birding. A great way see the park is through geocaching (basically an ongoing treasure hunt for all ages, popular around the world). If you want to make it an overnight trip, they also offer campsites (just be sure to book ahead as they sometimes get booked up).
This non-profit sanctuary houses and rehabilitates exotic animals that have been confiscated by previous owners for abuse and neglect. Animals include bobcats, cougars, lions, tigers and bears, as well as smaller animals including coatis, a lemur, and a capybara. The sanctuary also conducts outreach to inform the public, including weekend tours (by reservation).
Ray Roberts Lake State Park – 54 miles
With multiple beach areas, the scenic Ray Roberts Lake is a great place to swim. For those who enjoy fishing, they also offer boat ramps, a fishing pier and fish cleaning stations. If you don’t have a fishing license, not a problem—you can fish from the shore or a pier in any state park without one. At the full-service marina, you can rent boats and buy bait, groceries, and snacks. The park connects to the 20-mile Greenbelt Corridor along the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River for hiking, biking, and horseback riders. If you’d like to spend longer here, they offer camping as well as the Lantana Resort on the lake.
First Monday Trade Days in Canton – 60 miles
Enjoy a shopping experience like no other at “the world’s oldest and largest flea market,” held on the weekend before the first Monday of every month. Browse antiques, unique home furnishings, and one-of-a-kind hand-crafted items. Enjoy real human interaction with the artists, craftsmen and vendors—a relationship that has been lost in our day-to-day interactions.
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens – 72 miles
By this point you’ve probably realized that Texans really, really like fishing. But even if you don’t share this passion, the Fisheries Center is worth the visit for the Aquaria and exhibits where you can watch native Texas fish in their natural environments. Also check out the hatchery that produces fish to supply Texas waterways, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame (did we mention Texans really like fishing?), and the gorgeous Interpretive Wetlands Trail that emphasizes the ecology of aquatic habitats.
Lake Whitney State Park – 77 miles
Lake Whitney State Park offers many of the activities and amenities of other nearby state parks including boating, fishing and swimming. But thanks to the nearly 1,000 of lake, you have more options compared to other parks, including water skiing and scuba diving.
At Dinosaur Valley, you can view fossilized dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy riverbed. They also have a few life-sized dinosaur models, plus river swimming, picnicking, and mountain biking. While you’re in the area, check out Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, a drive-through exotic animal park.
At this 19th-century military fort, you can take guided tours of seven restored original buildings and two replicas. There’s also all the activities you’d expect to find in a state park—wading in the creek, swimming, a 10-mile circuit hiking trail, biking, and for those who want to spend the night, camping.
Waco – 94 miles
When you pass Waco driving down I-35, it’s easy to miss the city’s many charms. But, Waco offers enough attractions to keep you busy for a whole weekend, or longer. Don’t miss the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum (dedicated to the law enforcement officers, not the baseball team), the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, five historical house museums, Hawaiian Falls Waterpark (the largest waterpark in Texas), a museum on Freemasonry, the expansive Mayborn Museum Complex covering the area’s natural environment and early settlers, and much, much more. If you have time, turn it into an overnight trip.