Best Day Trips from Plano on less than a tank of gasoline
Plano, TX has had so much development in the past years, so much to see and do, and so many restaurants to try out.
Despite the seemingly endless new things to do in our city, the desire to get out of town for Weekend trips is always popular and Day Trips from Dallas are ideal.
Drive somewhere within 2 hours for a Road Trip in Texas can be the perfect way to escape.
More: Choose from one of 45 Lakes and Beaches you can drive to from DFW
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And yes, there are some charming small towns, a few historical sites, and beautiful recreational parks outside of Plano and Dallas but yet perfect for a day trip in Texas.
Want to go for day Trips from Dallas, within a 2-hour drive for day trips nearby which will give you the out-of-the-city adventure you’re seeking and you’ll be back home in time for dinner? Yes? Perfect.
Here are our Best 10 Day Trips in Texas & Road Trips from Dallas
Check out these 32 Beautiful Texas State Parks and National Parks within driving distance too that you can also visit as one of your many Day Trips!
Glen Rose, Texas – 1 hour 45m drive
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, a 1,800-acre ranch is home to over 1,000 animals from almost 50 different species.
It offers visitors a chance to see these exotic, threatened, and endangered animals in a free-range setting.
It also has the largest cheetah breeding facility in the world, they support the health and future of cheetahs in human care and in the wild.
You can get a membership plan, and if you have out-of-town visitors, take them here for one of a few Day Trips – it’s guaranteed that everyone, young and old will have a blast. There is also lodging available if you want to have an overnight. The price includes breakfast and a morning safari guided tour.
More: Here are 6 great spots to go on a visit to Glen Rose, Texas
Dinosaur Valley State Park
YES, it’s for real! Today, you can walk in dinosaur tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. And there are other things to do here including going for a hike, picnic, camp, swim, fish, ride your horse, bike, watch for wildlife and visit the interpretive center.
Please be aware that the Dinosaur tracks are in the riverbed and are not always visible. Contact the park before arrival for current trail status and dinosaur track visibility.
Make this one of many day trips for a full weekend, by heading down to Glen Rose, where you can enjoy the Dinosaur State Park and Fossil Rim and much more!
Paris, Texas – 1 hour 30m drive
Just an hour and a half away, you can get your “Parisian” adventure, Texas-style by visiting the town’s Eiffel Tower, a 65-foot-tall replica topped with a big red cowboy hat. Sorry, this is one time where “Everything is bigger in Texas” isn’t true.
This is a perfect day or road trip for friends and family.
You can walk around Historic Downtown Paris and the town square where you see the Culbertson Fountain and take a tour of the historic Sam Bell Maxey House.
For outdoor enthusiasts, you can enjoy walking, jogging, or cycling at Trail de Paris, a beautiful family-friendly trail just within the city limit. Perfect to add to your list of Day Trips!
Lake Texoma – 1 hour 20m drive
Located between Texas and Oklahoma is Lake Texoma, where you can have a relaxing or an energy-pumping adventure.
You pick your experience, and Lake Texoma will give you what you want especially if you are a nature lover and want to escape on one of many day trips from Dallas.
On the Texas side of the lake, there is Eisenhower State Park, which makes it a great landing point for you and your crew. If you want to stay in the State of Texas, this is a great option for a day trip in Texas.
This park has everything you need for a day full of fun, for example, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and all the water sports that you can think of for a day trip.
And, don’t forget to check their Junior Ranger Program so your kids can complete a Junior Ranger Badge.
We found some great places to stay at Lake Texoma too!
Fort Worth – About an hour from Dallas
Read more: How to spend a Family Fun day in Fort Worth
There is a saying around these parts that goes like “This ain’t my first rodeo!” but many of us haven’t actually been to a rodeo!
A day trip to Fort Worth is a must for your street-cred when next you bring “out of towner visitors” here.
The historic Fort Worth Stockyards has earned Fort Worth, Texas its nickname, Cowtown, and if you come to Texas for a taste of the Old West, this is your perfect place!
You may want to come back time and time again – be sure to add this to your list of Day Trips in Texas.
We have some great ideas and offers for Tours and Experiences here, our favorite Museums and we have some family friendly ideas too!
There are so many things to do in Fort Worth for the whole family but a favorite to mention is the Fort Worth Zoo – which has been named as a top zoo in the nation by Family Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.
You can get a 50% discount on the Pogo Pass membership which gets you admission free to the Zoo!
Turner Falls in Davis, Oklahoma – 2 hour drive
Head North to Turner Falls Park, known for excellent hiking with beautiful scenery and as the home to Oklahoma’s largest waterfall.
It is open all year long, but in summer this is especially a great spot to cool off from hot summer days.
The park covers 1,500 acres (6.1 km2), which contains miles of trails, caves, and geological features. One of the great features you do not want to miss here is Collings Castle. And, there are campsites and cabin rentals available if you’re going to go for an overnight stay. There are great campsites at Arbuckle Mountains which is very close by.
If you’re planning to visit this area, we recommend that you also go to the drive-thru safari at the Arbuckle Wilderness Park.
Waco, TX – 2 hour drive
Waco, Texas is the home of Dr. Pepper, and Baylor University, and Magnolia Market has a lot to offer for a day trip.
This small city has become a popular day-trip destination since Chip, and Joanna Gaines started appearing on HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
If you a fan of the show, then that would be one good reason to visit this place. However, there are a lot of other things to do other than visiting the Magnolia Market, and Magnolia Table.
Here are 32 of the absolute best places to eat, shop and things to do in Waco, Texas!
There is the Dr. Pepper Museum, Texas Ranger Museum, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and Cameron Park Zoo, to name a few.
It’s also a great place for a Weekend getaway.
We highly recommend you purchase a Pogo Pass for every family member (over the age of 2), to get free access to all 5 of these attractions in Waco!
You can redeem your pass anytime over the course of a year.
We have an affiliate (exclusive) link to get you 50% off your Annual Pass.
Canton, TX – 1 hour drive
Love to shop antique pieces? Well then head to Canton, Texas!
Known as the home of one of the largest flea-markets in the country. The “First Monday Trade Days market” is an event which is held on one weekend per month from Thursday to Sunday before the first Monday of the month. However, you can come here in any days to visit and check out the shops around the square downtown.
If you are tired of shopping or not shopping, this small town offers a lot more!
There are other things to do like a water park, a golf course, museums, lakes golf-course, a zip-line course, and many other local area attractions.
Check out some of these lists
Tyler, TX – 1 hour 45m drive
The Rose Capital of America and home of the Annual Rose Festival because it has the nation’s most extensive municipal rose garden. Tyler Rose Garden is a 14-acre park filled with the beauty of hundreds of different varieties of roses.
It is worth visiting, and every October is a celebration of its beauty, the annual Rose Festival.
You can also check out the Tyler State Park, a beautiful park for you and your family to enjoy.
There are ample activities for the kids and adults to enjoy like swimming, boating, hiking, camping, etc.
Jacksonville, TX – 2 hour drive
Jacksonville, Texas, was once known as the Tomato Capital of the World and the town still celebrates its tomato history with a Tomato Fest every second Saturday each June.
So many fun activities, including a tomato eating contest, tomato peeling contest, tomato packing contest, best homegrown tomato contest, salsa contest, etc. All things tomato!
Before you get into town, remember to stop by at Loves Lookout off Highway 69, you can take in the view of East Texas. With an elevation of 713 feet, it has long been known for its spectacular views to the east. It is also a perfect place for a picnic or to take a walk with the whole family.
And, Jacksonville is where the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari & Wild Animal Park is located.
You can see a beautiful variety of wildlife and exotic animal at your own pace from the comfort of your own vehicle.
These are our favorite 10 places that are easily reachable within 2 hours of DFW, perfect for a Day Trip.
We also love these great ideas and if you’d like to go a little further you can head to 45 Lakes and Beaches you can drive to from DFW
Kim, from My Traveling Roads also has some great ideas on short trips from DFW too!
What are yours?
Wednesday 15th of September 2021
Thank you for including my quick getaways from DFW in this wonderful post here. I love all the destinations listed here!!