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 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.
Whatever it is that you are wanting to do with your loved ones, the places listed here are within a 2- hour drive for day trips near me which will give you the out-of-the city adventure you’re seeking and you’ll be back home in time for dinner.
Check out these 32 Beautiful Texas State Parks and National Parks within driving distance
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 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.
What a great deal!
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 a Weekend Trip 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 trip for friends and family.
You can walk around the 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 the outdoor enthusiasts, you can enjoy walking, jogging, or cycling at Trail de Paris, a beautiful family-friendly trail just within the city limit.
Bridgeport, TX – 1 hour 30m drive
Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE)
The Center for Animal Research and Education’s mission: “To provide for a safe, permanent, and loving home to exotic animals in need.
CARE focuses on excellence in physical and emotional care, advocating animal welfare through education, and conducting minimally-invasive research that will improve living conditions for captive animal populations worldwide.”
This is a great facility that you will be able to meet the animals, lions, tigers, lemurs, bobcats, etc. and help them.
Tours are available every Saturday and Sunday at 9am and 11am. Keep in mind that children must be at least 7 years old to go on tours except during the annual Fall Festival event. Please see this tour guide.
Lake Texoma – 1hour 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.
On the Texas side of the lake, there is Eisenhower State Park, which makes it a great landing point for you and your crew.
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.
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 – Less than an hour’s drive
There is a saying round 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!
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.
Turner Falls, Davis OK – 2 hour drive
Want to get out from the ordinary routine? Head down 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 Texas summer days.
The park covers 1,500 acres (6.1 km2), which contains nature trails, caves, and geological features. One of the great features you do not want to miss here is the Collings Castle. And, there are campsites and cabin rentals available if you’re going to go for an overnight stay.
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, 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 20% 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. Ample of 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.
Kim, from My Traveling Roads also has some great ideas on short trips from DFW too!
What are yours?