11 Surprisingly Varied Road Trips In Texas

An American road trip is the stuff of bucket lists and dreams, and no state suits the road trip better than Texas, where everything is larger than life.

A road trip can be a solo excursion where a man can really find his soul, between the wheels and the road, or it can be a romantic getaway for a couple, or a memorable holiday for a family abroad.

Surprisingly Varied Road Trips in Texas

Whether you are an American yourself, or a visitor looking for their own slice of the AMerican dream, there are plenty of road trips in Texas itself that are totally worth looking at.

Texas is a great state itself, but is also very well known for its road trips.

Here’s our list of the best road trips you can take in the Lone Star State. Keep reading to find out.

1. Big Bend National Park

This national park has often been labeled ‘Texas’ GIft To The Nation’ by its locals, and it is certainly one of God’s many gifts in this country.

Even before the founders landed on the shores of the US Big Bend had been inhabited by Native Americans for years and as a result there is a wealth of history here from Native Americans and more modern American history.

Whether you want the history, or simply want some scenic views, there really is no better place in the state to go.

There are plenty of drives within the park, with natural stopping places, such as the Comanche Trail, or the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, as well as others.

It’s the ideal area if you want to spend a long time in the state, with many suggesting the latter mentioned drive is worth taking if you only plan to spend a day in the area, with plenty of places to camp!

2. Mineral Wells To Marble Falls Route

This is a really fun route if you fancy a bit more of small town Texas life. If you want quirky locations, interesting small towns to explore, and the sites of residential Texas, this is another great route.

Moreover, if you are looking for a weekend break, then this route can be fit for purpose.

This is a lesser taken route to some others in the state but follows the scenic US Highway 281 that has lots of people to meet and places to go on it, as well as views to soak in.

Mineral Wells, unsurprisingly, has actual mineral springs there which can fulfill all your nature requirements.

In Mineral Wells you can also visit Baker Hotel, an apparently haunted hotel which also served as a training ground for top baseball teams in the US – great for both ghost hunters and baseball fanatics who need somewhere to stay.

For small town living, the sparsely populated town of Hico is pretty interesting and has some real home country comforts, as well as a taste of rural American life.

There’s plenty of nature on the way to Marble Falls too, you can stop at Hancock Springs Park if you want to drag this trip out for longer.

Once you hit Marble Falls, the small city is full of natural wonders, forests, vineyards, and plenty of places to explore for those who want to live the Big Country life.

3. Texas Hill Country Road Trip

For wine lovers and nature lovers alike, as well as those who want something near Austin, this route is a great option for couples who want a romantic get-a-way.

The landscapes here are picturesque and green, typical are fields of bluebonnets, depending on the time of year you go, we recommend wine season, but still remain close to Austin if you want to use this as your base.

Many of the areas on this trip can look a lot like the bordering country of Mexico, such as Hamilton Pool, where you start your journey, an oasis similar to Mexican cenotes.

Another classic Texas site is the rivers that run from Landa Falls, another great nature stop. But not until you have stopped at Fredericksburg, potentially one of the most romantic cities in the US, according to locals at least.

This trip is great for couples who want something chill but full of beauty and romance.

4. Georgetown To San Antonio Route

This is a road trip of around two hours driving time, but takes you off the beaten path to areas that are less frequented by tourists but remain really beautiful and worth visiting. If you want to see the sites others won’t have, this is a great option.

While it isn;t necessarily a super scenic route for out the window gazing, you may want to take it slow and catch some of the great swimming spots in the area that make the trip worthwhile.

This can be a great way to spend a day in the sun without sitting around – Barton Springs is a particular highlight in terms of swimming, or Comal Springs the largest system of freshwater springs in Texas.

In any case, you will end the trip in San Antonio, if you are going here anyway then its worth taking the road trip.

San Antonio is a great place for EUropeans to get a slice of home and remains an enclave for the Latino-Americans who come from both Europe and Mexico, and broader South American areas.

5. Dallas To Galveston Route

If you are a little sick of the city and want to drive to the water’s edge for some beach town fun, then this is the road trip for you.

It remains an ideal road trip for party-goers, couples, and families alike – who doesn’t like a trip to the beach.

In any case, you drive towards the Gulf of Mexico from Dallas itself and the drive is actually pretty beautiful in its own right, a trip taken by many Dallas locals who want their own beach getaway.

Yet, while there aren’t many stops worth making you wait for the beach, as a non-American, it might be worth checking out the Texan Institution of Buc-ee’s in Madisonville, for some truly American gas station memorabilia and snacks.

Once you get to Galverston, you will have all the seafood, boardwalk vibes, and Gulf temperature seas, to fill your days with. Ideal for a day trip, or a weekend of sauntering in the sun.

6. Route 66 Road Trip

Of course, this list would be worthless if it didn’t mention Route 66. This is the archetypal US road trip, likely the one you think of immediately when considering a US Road Trip.

The trip is historic for being a solo trip, but is also great to take with family too, whether by motorbike or people carrier.

You start in Shamrock and finish at the Santa Monica pier, the trip is taken by thousands each year and is a good choice if you don’t necessarily want to do much map reading but just enjoy the ride.

This route has been covered head to toe by travel people, but our two highlights are Amarillo and Adrian.

Amarillo is home to Cadillac Ranch, one for the arty people, and is really worth seeing on the route, as well as the Sixth Street Historic District, basically a shopping area for all things Route 66 and Southern America.

Adrian is the halfway point of the trip and where most route takers choose to stop for some classic American cuisine at the diner named Midpoint Café.

7. Piney Woods Road Trip

For the nature lovers, this is another trip that demonstrates the geographical biodiversity of the state.

If you want green rolling hills and vast lakes, this is the place to go. Equally, if you want a wine route that isn’t so touristy or well traveled, there are many vineyards here that are less frequented due to the travel.

The route covers East Texas and is a welcome change in scenery for those who want to get out of the large city.

A solid two hour drive gets you to Daingerfield State Park, a great sight and one that is pretty swell during the fall period.

Through Jefferson to Caddo Lake you get some really great sights, with the chance to spend a night in Jefferson along the way, should you want to.

Once at Caddo Lake you get the only natural lake in the state, with both beautiful cypress trees as well as a few gators to remind you were in the US.

8. Waco To Longview Route

There are many ways to get between Waco and Longview but if you want a perfect American road trip drive, with less stops and more driving focussed, then State Highway 31 is worth a go.

What we mean is that the route is beautiful and ideal for sitting in the car with some music and feeling like Steve McQueen.

The route takes you through tiny American towns, some desert patches, but also some water sport hotspots, so you can stop whether you feel suitable for your motives.

If you are with family, or just want some fun, Waco is home to the BSR Cable Park, one of the best waterparks in the US.

Although, once you reach Longview there are also many sights such as waterfalls and rivers, ideal for the aquatic minded.

For American History buffs, stop in Corsicana, the original oil boomtown in Texas, notable for Petroleum park and Pioneer Village.

9. West Columbia To Corpus Christi Route

If you want to really appreciate the coasts that Texas boasts, then this trip is ideal for some ocean views.

State Highway 35 is locally known as Hug the Coast Highway for a reason, and while only really a weekend trip, even taken slow, you will certainly want to take the winding roads through the marshes and the swamps and other unique water based areas.

Palacios is a highlight on the trip for those who like a unique Mexican and Vietnamese culture that has some unsurprisingly good food.

Moreover, Rockport is potentially the best area that can also lead to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for those who want to observe aquatic creatures and birds in their natural habitat, all while walking around.

It’s a three hour drive if you go direct, so it;s worth being a wanderer and taking your time on this interesting and unique route.

10. El Paso Road Trip

The El Paso trail is ideal for those who want to experience those classic scenes we recognize from cowboy films, albeit in a car.

El Paso shares borders with both Mexico and New Mexico, so is classic desert and sand territory.

There is a 281 mile loop around El Paso should you want to take a full on dessert adventure, that can take a long weekend or as long as you want.

You will pass through both Hueco Tanks and Guadalupe Mountains State Parks, both are known for their beautiful red rock landscapes as well as aborginnie rock art.

The latter state park is home to the four tallest mountains in Texas, as well as a huge fossil reef, so this route can be ideal for those who want to do some outback adventuring, climbing, and enjoy life in the sticks.

11. Austin To San Antonio Route

This is the best if you want a straight up classic Texas experience. You can enjoy all the sights and scenes of Austin and then take a drive down to the next liveliest city in the state San Antonio.

If you want a classic US experience of the Lone Star state, this is it, beyond Route 66 of course. Ideal for those who want to see the metropolitan sights the state has to offer: restaurants, clubs, street parties and more.

There’s no better route for big buckle Texas comforts, and city revelling.

Final Thoughts

What should be clear is that Texas is not a simple aris desert. There is so much to see in this state, from the metropolitan to the completely remote, from desert to the sea.

Alex Kallen
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