The 5 best road trips from Dallas
Start the car and drive
Barbeque. Art. Swimming. Golf. Whatever your interests, Texas has it. And, hey, who doesn’t love a road trip? (Cue: Free Fallin’.) Here, our picks for the best getaways within four-hours of your beloved Dallas home-base.
Best for Barbecue Lovers
Travel just one hour up I-35 and you’ll hit Denton, home to Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q. There you’ll find what is possibly the best smoked brisket in the state. It’s slathered in Rudy’s famous sauce, a spicy vinegar-and-red-pepper concoction that is so delicious you’ll want to take home four bottles and slather it on everything from eggs to green beans.
After you’re done, sleep off your meat coma at the Old Irish in town.
Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q, 520 I-35 Frontage Rd., Denton; rudysbbq.com
Best for Getting Back to Nature
Looking for an idyllic getaway? Hamilton Pool is an historic swimming hole in Dripping Springs--224 miles from Dallas (a little over three hours to drive), just outside of Austin. The public is allowed to swim there from April through October, though the best time to go is definitely now. (During the heat of the summer, you can expect to wait an hour or longer.)
Reserve this quaint cottage just two miles from Hamilton Pool.
Hamilton Pool, 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Springs; traviscountytx.gov
Best For Golf Enthusiasts
If you’re going to hit the green, please do it right. The courses at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in the dramatic Texas Hill Country are only four hours from Dallas and well worth the trek. Highlights include rolling hills, wild game roaming among the foliage and challenging courses that are well maintained and tremendous to play at any skill level.
Rooms start at $229 a night. But you can save time and money by booking the golf package ($507 per night)--it includes a round of golf, the room and breakfast.
Omni Barton Creek Golf Resort & Spa, 8212 Barton Club Dr., Austin; omnihotels.com
Best for the Whole Family
It’s a known fact: Kids love dinosaurs. And good news: Glen Rose is the dinosaur capital of Texas! There are four parks dedicated to them in this small town that’s only 90 minutes from Dallas, but our favorite is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where you can actually feed the game out of your car.
Reserve a cabin at Rough Creek Lodge and have a totally kid-friendly experience with horseback riding, zip-lining and archery. (Rates start at $325 a night.)
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, 1789 County Road 2009, Glen Rose; fossilrim.org
Best For Adults Only
The tiny town of Spicewood is nestled between Marble Falls and Austin (220 miles south of Dallas) and is basically an adults’ playground. During your day or weekend trip, you can take a dip in Krause Springs, sample exceptional wines at Spicewood Vineyards, zip-line though the trees with Cypress Valley Canopy Tours and stay in a tree house that would put many bed-and-breakfasts to shame (tree houses start at $400 per night).
Spicewood Vineyards, 1419 Burnet County Road 409; Spicewood; spicewoodvineyards.com