Best Day Trips from the Dallas Fort Worth Area

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Discover the top day trips from Dallas-Fort Worth as we help you escape the busy cityscape and set out on a trip of exploration and discovery. The surrounding area calls with its rich history, natural wonders, cultural riches, and exhilarating adventures beyond the soaring buildings and busy streets. These day trips are guaranteed to engage your senses, expand your perspectives, and forge priceless memories whether you’re a native looking for a change of scenery or a visitor wanting to learn more about the DFW area.

The DFW Metroplex, sometimes known as the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is well-known for its vibrant energy, diversified cultures, and thriving arts and culinary scenes. However, if you go outside the city limits, you’ll find a wide area of territory that’s just waiting to be discovered. The area offers a wide range of possibilities to suit every taste and interest, from fascinating historical sites to magnificent natural settings.

As you explore the area, you’ll come across places that take you back in time, envelop you in peaceful nature, and provide access to new cultural experiences. Explore the Old West’s rich history, take in the aesthetic and cultural attractions of renowned institutions and neighborhoods, and get back in touch with nature in beautiful settings.

You’ll discover yourself immersed in a different area of adventure with each day trip, discovering undiscovered gems and experiencing the lively energy of Texas. The greatest day trips from the Dallas-Fort Worth region are guaranteed to spark a sense of wonder and create priceless memories, whether you’re going alone, taking the family on an adventure, or looking for a romantic getaway.

Come along on this fascinating journey as we explore the most alluring day trip spots in the area and invite you to venture outside the city and experience unique adventures. The options are as varied as the horizon of Texas, from cultural enclaves and natural wonders to historical sites and historic getaways.

1. Shopping and Surfing in Waco

Shopping and Surfing in Waco

Waco is the ideal day trip destination from Dallas for those who enjoy DIY projects. Waco is a picturesque community that, thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, has grown to be a well-known retail destination in the past ten years. Their Magnolia Market has grown into a must-visit vacation destination in and of itself, in addition to being a reliable source for the modern farmhouse décor you crave. The complex, which spans a 2-block radius, is made up of two famous silos from the 1950s. Magnolia Market may not have anything you can afford, but it is still enjoyable to browse.

Waco’s reputation was enhanced by Fixer Upper, but it has always been a Mecca for vintage and antique shopping. You should bring an empty vehicle because Waco is a great place to load up on treasure. 

The great Dr. Pepper, the world’s sweetest elixir, is also produced there. The Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Co. building, where Dr. Pepper was initially made, is home to the Dr. Pepper Museum. From 1906 through 1960, the factory was in operation. The museum features displays on the production process, antique mementos, and an archive of previous Dr. Pepper advertising campaigns. 

Extreme watersports enthusiasts can also find a truly unexpected adventure complex in Waco. For surfers who live on land, BSR Cable Park features a wave-generator pool that can create waves the magnitude of those in Hawaii. They also feature a whole cable park with a variety of water and high-speed experiences. There is also a waterslide and lazy river for those who are less insane. 

2. Beavers Bend State Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Near Broken Bow, in southeast Oklahoma, is where you’ll find Beavers Bend State Park. Even though Beaver’s Bend is a very lengthy day excursion, there are times when you just need a peaceful day in the woods. You’ll have plenty of space in the park to stretch your legs after a long drive. The park has a wide selection of cabins and hotel rooms for guests to choose from. There are miles of pathways that cross waterfalls and lakefronts, and there are many opportunities for watersports. 

Along with the Red River, which you may paddle or river raft on, the area also has the Mountain Fork River and Broken Bow Lake. The lake is a popular area for swimming and water sports, and Mountain Fork River is a fantastic place for trout fishing. Just keep in mind that you require a trout stamp and an Oklahoma fishing license. Find a sandy beach near the lake if you want a more leisurely day and just take in the scenery. Make the excursion last the entire weekend and reserve a lovely cabin for one or two nights for an even better experience!

3. Safari in the “Wilderness”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Families can consider taking a day trip to Arbuckle Wilderness Park. In Davis, Oklahoma, there is a drive-through safari with up-close encounters with llamas, giraffes, emus, zebras, and rhinos. Be aware that the park’s gravel roads can be a little bumpy. You will go across more than 200 acres of land, so if you have a truck or SUV, you might want to bring it. You may interact directly with some of the exotic animals through special feeding programs, which is undoubtedly a hit with children. The park is always accessible and is encircled by the stunning Arbuckle Mountains.

It would be excellent to couple this with the nearby Turner Falls Park!

4. Take a Train Ride

 

 
 
 
 
 
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About 25 miles of the Texas State Railroad go from Palestine to Rush, and it is such a fantastic ride. The shipping train, which dates to the 1800s, leaves the historic Palestine depot. Review the historical facts in the depot regarding Palestine and Rusk, the final destination, for a little while. The depots feature fantastic gift shops where you can find some period-specific souvenirs as well as unique storyboards. 

The trip takes four hours total. It moves slowly through the Piney Woods and provides breathtaking scenery all the while. From open-air bench seats to full dining, the train provides a variety of carriage types. Even a trip to the conductor’s cab is included in the total package. Although the firm offers numerous special events and even some late trips, the daily rides start at 11. The Texas State Railroad journey is enjoyable and enjoyablely nostalgic. For history aficionados, young lads, and train fans, it makes for the ideal day excursion from Dallas. You will love it!

5. Fort Richardson State Historical Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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One of the top day outings for historians is to Fort Richardson. Fort Richardson, constructed in 1867 on the eastern bank of Lost Creek, served the ugly purpose of enslaving Native American tribes of the Plains and relegating them to reserves north of the Red River. No thanks. To prevent Native American tribes from controlling the area, the US Army was in charge of colonizing North Texas and enlarging the region. The US soldiers and angry Native forces engaged in numerous confrontations at the fort. The Battle of Palo Duro, which was the largest battle, occurred in 1874.

The complex now consists of more than 50 carefully preserved historic structures. Visits to the mortuary, officer’s quarters, bakery, magazine, and hospital are just a few of the places you can see during tours. There are guided tours offered, typically twice daily. 

Once you’ve had your fill of tragic history, take to the hiking trails and woodland walkways of Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway to explore the area the way the Native Americans did. 

6. Check Out The Culture Capital of East Texas

Okay, so it is the so-called capital of culture, but it doesn’t matter; Marshall is great in any case. Texas charm abounds in this tiny hamlet. In the 1800s, Marshal was a significant transportation hub. The Texas and Pacific Railway Museum now resides there. Near the operational Amtrak tunnel, inside the Marshall Depot, is where you may find the collection. It is jam-packed with items that illustrate the railroad’s significance throughout history, especially the Marshall Depot’s participation in both World Wars. 

The Harrison County Historical Museum is one of a few other cultural attractions in Marshal. It is located inside the magnificent courthouse. It’s right in the centre of town, so it’s hard to miss. Visit the Michelson Museum of Art as well. Surprisingly significant collections of paintings, sketches, and lithographs may be found in this tiny museum of art.

The Wonderland of Lights transforms Marshall from late November to early January. Unexpectedly, this festival is one of the biggest light shows in the USA! It’s a genuinely heartwarming tale. Marshall was experiencing the worst economic downturn it had ever known in 1897, and morale was poor. George S. Smith, the editor of a newspaper, had an idea. He imagined how magnificent the town square, stunning courthouse, and every establishment draped with small lights would be. After discovering the piece, a former French resident wrote Smith a check for $25,000 and instructed him to make it happen. A train ride, vintage carousel, ice skating rink, and a recreation of Santa’s Village are now part of the festival. Although Marshal is always charming, Christmas is unquestionably the greatest time to go!

7. Lake Texoma

 

 
 
 
 
 
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One of the biggest artificial reservoirs in the country, Lake Texoma is located less than two hours’ drive north of Dallas and was created by the Red River Dam. With a limitless variety of campgrounds, golf courses, and resorts, it is located on the border of Oklahoma and Texas, hence the name. 

Everything you might want from a lake resort may be found here. Scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, and canoeing. Due to the high salt content of the water, striper fishing is highly well-liked in this area. When you’ve had your fill of the water, visit one of the many stores, spas, or restaurants in the neighborhood. Cross Timbers Tail, a 15-mile hike from Juniper Point Recreation Center that follows the shore of Lake Texoma, is popular among hikers nearby. It is moderately rated and provides a welcome escape from the crowded beaches and stores. Even though you could have a good time for just one day, think about planning a weekend getaway instead. You can check out our article, Discover the Beauty of Lake Texoma, for more information on this amazing lake.

8. Arlington, Texas

For sports enthusiasts, a fast trip to Arlington, which is located just west of Dallas, is a fantastic day trip! Arlington, which is located directly between the two cities and is a component of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys both call it home. Football is king in Texas, if you know anything about that state. So for any sports fan, attending a Dallas Cowboys game in the magnificent AT&T Stadium is a thrill. When football season is not in session, the location also hosts large-scale concerts. Check out our article, AT&T Stadium – The Home of the Dallas Cowboys, to know more about this popular sports and music venue.

Spend the day biking or hiking in the 1,300 acres of lush hardwood forest that make up River Legacy Park. Spend the day shopping in Arlington Highlands and the evening in Lincoln Square, Arlington’s entertainment and nightlife district. 

Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor Waterpark are both located near Arlington, making it a fantastic destination for a family day excursion. 

9. Hico, Texas

Southwest of Dallas, the charming small hamlet of Hico makes for a pleasant day excursion. The Bosque River offers lovely bicycle trails, and the historic city is strewn with stores. It’s a tranquil setting for a quiet day of shopping and a special meal away from the city. 

Hico also boasts numerous amusing tourist attractions and fascinating historical landmarks. One of those intriguing pieces is the Billy the Kid Museum. Those who are familiar with the official narrative might be perplexed as to why Hico has a Billy the Kid museum. He was New York-born and may have been killed in a gunfight with a sheriff in New Mexico. The boy was slain and buried in 1881 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, according to the official version, although there is no body in that cemetery. According to legend, “The Kid” continued to live and eventually made his way to Hico as “Brushy Bill” Roberts. It’s a cute small museum that just might convert you to the beliefs!

Climbers might find a creative area in Hico! A climbing park called Siloville offers rock walls and rope climbs inside and outside of three enormous grain silos. The park has a zipline, a low ropes course, a bouldering gym, and even a Ninja Warrior course.

What more could you ask for on a Texas day trip than a cute downtown, delicious eateries, cowboy conspiracies, and climbing adventures?

10. Dinosaur Valley State Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The ideal day trip for family adventures is to Dinosaur Valley State Park, the home of the dinosaurs. It is located in the community of Glen Rose, less than two hours drive southwest of Dallas. The Paluxy River bed’s railways serve as the center of the park. We don’t know many young children who don’t go through a phase of infatuation with dinosaurs. Real dinosaur footprint searching is the best thing ever. 

The major activity at the park is dinosaur hunting, however there are also many outdoor activities available. Popularity of riding horses. You can either bring your own horse—how very Texan!—or embark on a guided trail ride or wagon trip with Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company. These professionals will accompany young or novice cyclists the entire journey. 

Over 20 kilometers of trails classified easy and moderate are available for exploration. When the waters are high, kayaking the Paluxy is also enjoyable, but this rarely occurs unless there has recently been a lot of rain. After all that activity, swimming at The Blue Hole is a welcome way to cool off. 

11. Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When traveling from Dallas proper to Fort Worth, you won’t even realize you’ve left the city, but you will feel the tempo alter. Dallas people refer to Fort Worth as “Cowtown,” and with good cause. The “World’s Largest Honky-Tonk” Billy’s is located in Fort Worth, which has a flourishing cowboy culture. Billy’s is a stand-alone attraction. After a long day of exploration, it’s a terrific spot to people watch and dance the night away due to the large parties, amazing food from a complete southern kitchen, live bull riding, and lots of two-stepping.

The area’s main draw is the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. As longhorn cows are brought charging down the center of town twice daily, you’ll be taken back to the Wild West. They pass by the heart of storied saloons and contemporary boutiques with storied exterior as they make their way down original brick sidewalks. While the neighborhood is undoubtedly touristy, it offers you a fair sense of what life might have been like in a true wild west town. Even Santa makes an appearance in cowboy boots here, and special events like shootouts frequently take place in the streets. The name “Cowtown” seems quite ideal.

After spending the morning herding cattle, explore some of Fort Worth’s top museums at Sundance Square. Get an ice cream or coffee, and enjoy people-watching by the magnificent fountains. At the Fort Worth Water Gardens, stroll by the amazing contemporary art. They are captivating. Also noteworthy are the botanical garden and zoo in Fort Worth. The entire clan will have a great time on this journey. Fort Worth is a fantastic day trip, but you’ll definitely want to go again. Make several trips back to take in everything that this lovely city has to offer. 

12. Cavanaugh Flight Museum

Cavanaugh Flight Museum December 2019 52 (Douglas A-26C Invader)

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum, located just north of Dallas, is the ideal escape for aviation or military enthusiasts. Although there can be aggravating traffic, it is normally a simple ride to the museum, which is in the town of Addison. Huge military artifacts from World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and commercial aircraft are all part of the Cavanaugh collection. Self-guided tours are available, and each aircraft is labeled with significant facts and captivating stories. 

The real enjoyment in this museum takes place in the cockpit, though it is amusing to stroll among the old airplanes and take in their beauty. Visitors have the opportunity to take to the skies in a vintage fighter Warbird at Cavanaugh. You’ll need a ticket in advance, but wow, it is worth it!

Nearly all of Cavanaugh’s collection has a practical purpose. Most aircraft are maintained in flying condition, and many of them participate in frequent flights during scheduled airshows and other occasions. From Dallas, it is undoubtedly worth the quick journey.

13. Grapevine Jazz Wine Train

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Northwest of Dallas Downtown is Grapevine. In actuality, Grapevine is where you will land if you are flying into DFW Airport. The wine area in North Texas is called Grapevine, as the name suggests. Although there are several nearby wineries to visit or indulge in a sample at, the Jazz Wine Train is the genuine standout. 

You and your partner are on board a 1920s Victorian coach train with soft saxophone music playing in the background and the aroma of freshly made hors d’oeuvres. Two hours of delicious cuisine, lovely live music, and a taste of wine from each Grapevine tasting location are included in the journey! The best way to sample all the regional specialties is to do so without wandering between tasting rooms. You receive everything in one luxurious location. 

The train operates daytime and evening trips, and reservations are required in advance. Arrive early since boarding is strictly enforced and you won’t be permitted to board the train after it ends. You and your group can choose from a variety of packages with varied pricing depending on the meal and seating you like. 

We believe the Grapevine Jazz Wine Train is the ideal day excursion for a romantic retreat because of its proximity to Dallas, its uniqueness, and its pure romance.

14. Greenville, Texas

Greenville August 2015 14 (Washington Street)

Although Greenville is only one hour northeast of Dallas, it seems like a another planet. For anyone interested in the history of the US wars or the South’s cotton economy, a day trip to Greenville is entertaining. The charming downtown is worth exploring because it boasts a number of structures that are included on the National Register of Historic Places. For fascinating historical information about the buildings, pay attention to the small plaques on their exteriors.

The Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum is the main attraction of Greenville, notwithstanding how adorable the town is. This unusual museum has two sections. The first part is devoted to Audie Murphy’s life and legacy. A small-town teenager named Audie voluntarily signed up for the war effort at the Greenville post office in 1942. In the following three years, Audie succeeded in becoming the WWII war hero with the most awards, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. The display covers not only Audie’s life and achievements but also a number of other war heroes and a broad overview of WWII history. 

The museum’s second half is devoted to regional history and the significant legacy of Texas’ cotton industry. The cotton industry was centered in Greenville and larger Hunt County. Even the largest inland cotton press in the world, which is now on display at the museum, was one of its many achievements.

15. Tolar Windmill Farm

 

 
 
 
 
 
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An eccentric day trip from Dallas is to the Windmill Farm in Tolar. The property is located halfway between Granbury and Tolar, two nearby small villages. The farm is made up of a collection of 30 old windmills that have been gathered from nearby farms in the area. All of the windmills have been meticulously refurbished and are operational. They constantly amass more windmills, and several are currently being restored. Feel free to explore and park at the location. A brochure with specifics about each windmill is available on the spot. Usually, there are lots of them running. Self-guided tours of the location are available every day during daylight hours. 

Although the website is free, donations to support repairs and maintenance are encouraged. Their bed & breakfast is a lovely spot to stay a night if you chance to fall in love with the farm, which is extremely probable!

Conclusion

The Dallas-Fort Worth region provides a wealth of fascinating day adventures that invite discovery and adventure. A variety of experiences are just waiting to be found, from exploring the Old West’s rich history to savoring the area’s natural beauty. These day trips provide you the chance to get away from the bustle of the city and explore new places, whether you’re looking for cultural enrichment, outdoor experiences, or peaceful getaways.

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