There’s nothing quite like packing up the family and hitting the open road for any of these summer family road trips! If you’re looking for some ideas on where to go, when you’ve exhausted your list of getaways in Dallas, we’ve got you covered.
Here are our favorite family road trips from North Texas. We are lucky to have a ton of ideas for travel in Texas. If you want to rent a car, instead of running up mileage on your own, there are some great options out there.
Dallas > Big Bend National Park
The first stop on our list is the beautiful Big Bend National Park. This park is full of incredible hiking trails, breathtaking views, and plenty of opportunities to spot some wildlife.
If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, Big Bend is the perfect place for your family road trip.
Timing is important: the best time of the year for this road trip is the cooler months. When Plano Mom, Mel, visited it was Thanksgiving break.
With this family road trip, wherever you are close to Plano, Frisco area, you’ll be driving from the Dallas area, and likely around the North side of Fort Worth, in Tarrant County, around 180 miles to your first stop at Abilene.
Abilene has a cute Storybook Garden and you can visit the Abilene Christian University, Abilene is a cute small historic town.
This part of Texas has lots of cotton fields and wind turbines to see while you are on a road trip toward Big Bend National Park.
On this family road trip, your next stop will be Midland, TX where you can stop and visit the butterfly garden in the historic downtown and along the I20, the Wildlife Preserve, the Petroleum Museum, as well as the childhood home of George W. Bush.
Once you’ve left Midland and headed towards Odessa, don’t miss the Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum.
Next stop is at the Monahans Sandhills State Park which is so much fun. Be sure to bring your cooler with water!
If you have sleds, bring them, or borrow them so you can ride down some of the dunes. While you’re close to Monahans, TX, you can also visit the Million Barrel Museum.
Head a little further down the I20, and you can visit the Rattlesnake bomber base in Pyote TX.
Another great stop on your way to Big Bend National Park is Balmorhea State park. The park is open year-round and it has a spring-fed swimming pool.
Your next step will be Davis Mountains State Park, if you have time to visit!
Famously, Marfa is one of the few stops remaining, a cute little artsy town. If you can, you must try and see the Marfa lights while you’re there.
Be prepared as you enter the Big Bend National Park and bring in your own food and drink for your visit.
If you stop in Alpine there is a small Target on the side of the road. Be sure to have your lodging booked and planned before you enter the park.
You’re now ready to enter the park and start your adventure!
Next up is another one of Texas’s great family Road Trips and one you might want to plan for 1 week to 2 weeks. A great time to do this is Spring or Summer Break.
Dallas > Colorado Springs
On Day 1, plan to leave the Dallas area and head west to Amarillo (around 6 hours). Mel’s family stayed at Home2Suites Hilton Amarillo East.
From there, it’s an easy walk to the Big Texan steak house (be sure to book a table online as the wait times are huge) or you can do pick up. If you can finish a 72oz steak in an hour, it’s free!
When you leave Amarillo on Day 2, be sure to stop at the art installation, the Cadillac Ranch (take your own spray cans to leave your own stamp on it!).
Continue your day 2 drive from Amarillo to Colorado Springs (less than 6 hours). One possible stop on the way is Capulin Volcano, for you to explore and hike!
When we arrived at Colorado Springs, we stayed at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
Be sure to visit the Garden of the Gods and explore the visitor center too. There is a short film to watch, lots of info and things to see and a gift shop.
We also suggest a visit to Cheyenne Zoo. Be sure to ride the chairlift and take in the hippo exhibit, which is really good. Also, explore Manitou Springs. You can take a cup and you can try the water from the springs and check out lots of cute shops to explore.
Finally, enjoy a visit to the Broadmoor Hotel and a must-do, the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center.
Dallas > Arkansas Lakes
Next up is another one of Texas’s great family Road Trips and one you might want to plan is a visit North/North East to Arkansas – to Hot Springs and/or Eureka Springs, with some great watering holes, lakes and beautiful scenery. The Dallas to Eureka Springs Road trip gives you plenty of great hills and trees to look at – a refreshing change from the DFW area.
Dallas > Beaches in Alabama and Florida
If you’re looking for a Floridian or Alabama coast beach vacation, you can road trip it to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, or a little further to the Destin area and 30a beach towns.
Dallas > New Orleans
If you’re looking for a real Louisiana experience, we also recommend a family road trip with kids to New Orleans. Believe it or not, there are some great ways to enjoy it with kids and of course great bars and eateries for adults too!
Have you ever been on a family road trip? Tell us about it in the comments!
And, if you have any other great suggestions for road trips from North Texas, please share! We’d love to hear from you. Happy travels!