We all love Texas because everything is bigger. Geographically, it’s the largest state in the continental U.S. and is home to a vast landscape and diverse people.
With so much to see, there are a few great ways to explore the state. With Spring Break on its way, Patten Title has your go-to guide for planning and prepping your Texas Road Trips. Whether you’re planning fun for the whole family or taking to the road with your college crew, follow our guide to planning a great drive.
Step 1: Set a Route
Because Texas is such a large state, it’s easy to eat up vacation time traversing from place to place. As difficult as it might be to pick just one part of the state to explore, you’ll want to plan a route that lets you make the most of your trip without spending all of it driving (the trip from San Antonio to Dallas alone can take over four hours).
To get the most out of your journey, choose a primary endpoint for your trip, preferably a major destination, and use that to find interesting stops along the way. There are lots of great resources online to find the best destinations. Roadtrippers, for instance, is a website designed to help plan a “Classic American road trip.” Add your start and end points, and get ready to hit the road!
Step 2: Find a Destination
No matter what you look for in a trip, Texas has something for you. From the lively music scene in Austin to the wilderness of the many state parks, there are endless ways to make a Texas road trip your own. Connect with your crew about what they think is most significant for them to see and use that list to help determine your destination.
Texas has festivals to enjoy all year long that are worth a drive across the state. Here are some great road trips to try every month of the year:
January: Washington’s Birthday Celebrations in Laredo
February: Prison City Film Festival in Huntsville
March: Tejas Storytelling Festival in Denton
April: Texas Sand Fest in Port Aransas
May: Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville
June: Children’s Art and Literacy Festival in Abilene
July: Float Fest in Gonzales
August: Pearl Bluegrass Jam in Pearl
September: Fort Worth Oktoberfest in Fort Worth
October: Texas Rose Festival in Tyler
November: Spinach Festival in Crystal City
December: Lights All Night in Dallas
Enjoy Nature to the Fullest
Texas is home to an abundance of beautiful state parks, all of which make perfect vacation destinations. Whether you’re looking to hit the trail or spend your day on the river, you’re covered in a Texas State Park. For a quick pitstop, Colorado Bend State Park rents kayaks for as little as $10 per hour.
Vacationing on a budget? Many state parks are less than an hour away from major cities. If you’re in the Austin area, booking a campsite at Pedernales Falls is a great way to explore the area just outside your backyard and save money on gas.
Explore Cities or Hit the Rodeo
There are many small towns and large cities to explore in Texas, whether you prefer a relaxing boat tour or singing the night away at a karaoke bar. Wherever you’re going, a visitor center is an especially great resource if you have any questions about the best things to do and see.
In San Antonio, you can visit the Alamo, a landmark of Texas state history that you can never forget. Meanwhile, Houston is home to many prominent museums and other attractions, from Geronimo Adventure Park to the National Museum of Funeral History. You can also set your destination for Rodeo Austin, which runs from March 10-25.
Eat Your Way Across the State
Whether it’s a barbecue or “Tex-Mex,” road trips allow you to try all sorts of new food. Some regional highlights include brisket, chicken-fried steak, queso dip, the puffy taco, and pecan pie.
Every region of Texas has a flair for food. For instance, there are many styles of Texas barbecue, each with its own take on smoking and grilling methods, dry rubs, and sauces. Locals are frequently happy to talk about the best nearby restaurants; start at your hotel lobby or the nearest visitor center.
An excellent way to try out some of the best in local fare is to plan your trip around food or beer festivals or other culinary events.
Step 3: Be Prepared
Once you know your destination and have planned the route, then you’ll have a good idea of what to pack for the journey. If you’re planning to visit any of Texas’ beautiful state parks, it’s especially important to prepare for the weather and come with the right supplies for a comfortable stay.
If you’re traveling with younger passengers, stock your vehicle full of the right supplies. Be sure to have lots of road snacks in a place where you can easily reach them, know where the best rest stops are along your route, have ideas for games to play in the car, and plan for a few more stops on the way.
Before setting out, make sure you plan your stops and know that you will have enough gas and a place to sleep at every point along the journey. Choose your hotels ahead of time and read reviews on TripAdvisor. This extra step will keep your road trip as safe and enjoyable as possible.
Step 4: Have fun!
No matter where you’re going in Texas, a