If you're thinking of traveling from Houston to Dallas, you can always head straight north on Interstate 45. Alternatively, you can choose to get off the interstate and embark on a few adventures. Consider taking a Houston to Dallas RV road trip, allowing you to stop when you want to explore interesting sites.
Step into the pages of history by stopping at two national historical parks in Texas. With a little extra driving, you can add an awesome outdoor national park to your road trip itinerary from Houston to Dallas.
Big Bend National Park
Although it requires driving about 400 miles off the direct path, you can visit Big Bend National Park on your Houston to Dallas road trip. Wake up in the morning to watch the sun kiss the mountains at this location before spending a fun day hiking and canoeing on the Rio Grande River. You can also spend hours exploring trails, including many that lead to high vistas where you can see for miles.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Start your visit to the San Antonio Missions by visiting the Alamo, where you can learn about the brave men who held the Mexican army at bay for 13 days against all odds. Then, bike, hike or drive to see the other three missions located on an 8-mile trail at this national historical park.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Start your visit to this national historical park at the LBJ Ranch, located 14 miles west of Stonewall. Take the Texas White House tour to see where Lyndon B. Johnson worked when he often visited the ranch during his presidency. Drive across the ranch and see the fields where he raised cattle and crops. Then, head to Johnson City, where you can visit his grandparent’s home in the neighborhood of Johnson Settlement along with the place that the president was born.
State parks along the path of your road trip from Houston to Dallas offer a range of unique opportunities, such as floating in a river, seeing a waterfall, hiking under tall trees, and biking around lakes.
Stephen F. Austin State Park
Five miles of hiking and biking trails run under old-growth hardwood groves and through the upland swamp at Stephen F. Austin State Park in San Felipe. Located right on the park’s boundaries is the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site with its museum that allows you to learn about the Mexicans who lived in this area and how they burned their property during the Runaway Scrape of 1836. You'll love the camping facilities as the sites are located under tall shade trees.
Palmetto State Park
You may feel like you've left Texas and gone to the tropics when you visit Palmetto State Park in Gonzales because of the miniature palmetto trees growing everywhere. If you love to stand-up paddleboard, you may want to rent one to play on Oxbow Lake. The calm waters in the lake are also a great place to go canoeing or kayaking. Plan on camping in the campground for the night so that you can spend as long as possible fishing from the pier using equipment borrowed from the park’s headquarters.
Guadalupe River State Park
Rent a canoe and paddle along the Guadalupe River State Park Paddling Trail near Spring Branch. Once you're back on land, ride a horse or a mountain bike along over 13 miles of trails. Camp in riverbank camping spots. While there are many reasons to come to Guadalupe River State Park, the main reason is to float the river on an inner tube.
McKinney Falls State Park
Feel the water’s power as it crashes over the limestone ledge at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin. Step back in time by hiking to see the old rock shelter and an early Texas farmstead. Feel the cool water of Onion Creek against your skin as you take a swim or plop down on the river’s shores with your favorite fishing rod.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
The 640-acre Lake Mineral Wells offers fishing, swimming, and boating fun, so be sure to pause on your Houston to Dallas RV road trip at Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway before making the final leg's journey. The 20-mile trailway is a great path to explore on bikes or while riding a horse. If you love rock climbing, then be sure to try your skills at Penitentiary Hollow at this park in Mineral Wells.
Attwater Prairie Chicken National Refuge
Start your visit to this national refuge near Eagle Lake at the visitors center, where you can see over 100 mounted birds. Then, go on the 5-mile auto tour or hike on the two hiking trails to explore this refuge that is home to the Attwater prairie chicken and is located on the Mexico-Canada flyway. Many special events happen throughout the year, so be sure to check the special events’ calendar.
Schlitterbahn Water Park New Braunfels
Tube on the Torrent Wave River, fly high on the Sky Coaster and get rocketed uphill on the Master Blaster Water Coaster at this water park in New Braunfels. The 70-acre theme park on the banks of the Comal River is home to many water-based activities.
San Antonio River Walk
The downtown San Antonio River Walk that lies within easy walking distance of the Alamo offers museums like the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum and the Guinness World Records Museum. You can also find many attractions, including Louis Tussaud's Waxworks and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. There are also great places to dine and take a boat ride on this urban waterway.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Follow the course of history on the land known today as Texas over 16,000 years at this museum. View exhibits on the different Native American tribes who have lived or traveled through the state. Be amazed at the history of ranching in Texas at this museum in Austin.
Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum
See various exhibits about railroads that operated in Texas. These are designed to help you tie the development of railroads across the state into the state’s general history. This museum in Temple, Texas, also features two floors of temporary exhibits that further explore topics in railroad history.
When driving in this part of Texas, you'll pass through many sleepy farming communities, but you'll also cruise through some major cities. Visiting both will help keep your Houston to Dallas road trip interesting.
Stop and see the largest oak tree in the state in Columbus, Texas. Stroll down the historic business district or schedule a tour of the many historic homes. Consider staying at Columbus RV Park & Campground or Colorado River RV Campground. Columbus RV Park & Campground offers a dump station.
You can find plenty to do in San Antonio. The city is home to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the San Antonio Zoo. There are many outstanding campgrounds, including at San Antonio/Alamo KOA, which has a dump station and at Lost Resort RV Ranch.
The longest dam waterslide in the world is located in New Braunfels, and many come here to float on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. You'll want to explore this community’s German heritage. Consider staying at River Ranch RV Resort or Lazy L&L Campground. Dump stations are available at the Lazy L&L Campground or Cranes Mill Park.
The state capital of Texas, Austin has a lot to offer visitors. Consider touring the capital, the history museum and other attractions within walking distance of the capital. Head to Sixth Street, which offers many venues with live entertainment. You can even stop for the night at Pecan Grove Campground or at Midtown RV Park. Use the dump stations at McKinney Falls State Park.
Visit Clark Gardens Botanical Park, take a dip in the hot springs and drink some of this city’s iconic mineral water. Go fossil digging at Mineral Wells Fossil Park. This city also has great hiking and biking paths, including the trailway. Consider staying at Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway or Country Living Retreat. You can find dump stations at the state park.
You can fly up the interstate on your road trip from Houston to Dallas or take the back roads and make it an adventure. It's very easy to spend a week visiting national historical parks like San Antonio Missions and state parks like Guadalupe River State Park and seeing points of interest like Schlitterbahn. Trading in your cowboy boots for flip-flops and hiking boots has many advantages when you take the time to explore this area. Start your adventure today by renting an RV in Houston or Dallas on RVshare.