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15+ Amazing Stops on the Dallas to San Antonio Drive

Planning Dallas to San Antonio road trip?

While Dallas has many attractions including the JFK Memorial Plaza, Dallas Cowboys Football team and the West End Historic District, sometimes you just need to get out of the city!

San Antonio, aka the Alamo City, makes a fun road trip destination from Dallas or even a great weekend getaway from the Big D.

JFK Memorial Plaza Dallas
JFK Memorial Plaza Dallas

Here is everything you need to know to plan the Dallas San Antonio road trip including fun things to do along the way and quirky roadside stops.

Also Read: 19 Best Road Trips from Dallas

Dallas to San Antonio Driving Distance

Just how far is San Antonio from Dallas?

The distance between Dallas and San Antonio via I-35 or the main route is 24 miles.

The other route between the two cities goes through the rolling hills, historic sites, and hidden gems of Central Texas.

This scenic drive is 288 miles long and primarily via US-67 and US-287.

Historic Alamo Mission Walkway in San Antonio
Historic Alamo Mission Walkway in San Antonio

Dallas to San Antonio Drive Time

During normal traffic, you will need a little under 5 hours for the I-35 drive.

However, the rush hour traffic on I-35 is really bad!

The other road will take you about 5 hrs 15 mins.

The drive may be just extra half-hour long but the amazing stops here are perfect if you have more time.

Especially, if you want to save on gas and explore local, then this is a great option.

Also Read: Romantic weekend getaways near San Antonio, Texas

Dallas to San Antonio Drive via I-35

Here are our favorite stops on the direct drive.

Planning to see Houston as well? Read our post on Dallas to Houston Road Trip.

Waxahachie

This is one of the most beautiful small towns in Texas and it is only a half-hour drive from Dallas.

Here you can see the Victorian-era homes, go antiquing, or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants.

The iconic silos at Magnolia Market in Waco
The iconic silos at Magnolia Market in Waco

Hillsboro

Hillsboro is the county seat of Hill County and it has a lot of rich history.

The Hill County Courthouse is one of the most beautiful in Texas and it is worth a quick stop.

The town is also known for its museums including the Roadside America Museum and the Texas Heritage Museum.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat, then try the charming Lone Star Cafe.

West

Ah, the famous kolache stop!

This small town is home to the Czech Stop & Little Czech Bakery, a must-stop on any road trip.

The bakeries here are known for their kolaches – a pastry that is popular in Czech and German cuisine.

Downtown Waco Suspension Bridge is popular with pedestrians
Downtown Waco Suspension Bridge is popular with pedestrians

Waco

Waco is one of our favorite destinations in Central Texas.

There is so much to do here including visiting the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Waco Mammoth National Monument.

You can also take a tour of the Baylor University campus or go shopping at Magnolia Market at the Silos.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat, then try one of the many food trucks in town or the famous Waco restaurants.

Cameron Park Zoo is also a great option if you are traveling with kids.

Temple

Temple is the perfect stop for a quick break.

This town is home to the beautiful downtown and the Temple Railroad Museum.

You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants or go shopping.

Chalk Ridge Falls Trail near Belton Texas
Chalk Ridge Falls Trail near Belton Texas

Belton

Heading south, Belton is another great stop for a quick break.

This town is home to the Bell County Museum, Belton Lake, and the Summer Fun Waterpark.

Chalk Ridge Falls Park is home to a beautiful waterfall, one of the best waterfalls in Texas!

You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants or go shopping.

Salado

Salado, Texas is a beautiful historic town located just north of Austin.

The town is home to a variety of attractions, including the Stagecoach Inn Museum, the Salado Sculpture Garden, and the Mill Creek Golf Course.

Salado is also known for its annual Art Walk, which features local artists and musicians.

Bat at the Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown Texas
Bat at the Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown Texas

Georgetown

One of the last stops on our I-35 road trip is Georgetown, Texas.

This town is home to a variety of attractions, including the Georgetown Inner Space Caverns.

It is also one of the best places to see bats in Texas.

The Georgetown Palace Theatre is another popular stop, as it is one of the oldest continuously operating theatres in Texas.

Last but not least, be sure to check out the Williamson County Museum, which chronicles the history of this region of Texas.

Round Rock

Next stop, Round Rock!

This town is home to the Round Rock Donuts, which are some of the best in Texas.

The Old Settlers Park is also a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors.

For something a little different, be sure to check out the Rock’n River Family Aquatic Center, where you can go swimming, tubing, and more.

Independence Day fireworks in Austin Texas
Independence Day fireworks in Austin Texas

Austin

Austin is an essential stop on the San Antonio Dallas road trip.

There is so much to do in Austin, including visiting the Texas State Capitol building, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.

The Bullock Museum chronicles several years of Texas history and is fascinating to visit.

The Texas Capitol building can be seen on self-guided tours during weekdays.

Also Read: Dallas to Austin Road Trip Itinerary

Texas State Capitol building in Austin
Texas State Capitol building in Austin

Be sure to check the artwork and exhibits inside, the dome, the stained glass ceiling, as well as the monuments on the grounds while you are here.

Outdoor lovers will enjoy the city’s many parks including the Zilker Metropolitan Park, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

If you are looking for a place to eat, then try one of Austin’s many food trucks or the famous Franklin Barbecue.

Austin Texas skyline view from the trails at Zilker Park
Austin Texas skyline view from the trails at Zilker Park

If you have some time – spend the night or even a weekend in Austin!

Austin is the live music capital of the world and there are always concerts going on.

There are also a ton of bars and clubs to check out if you are looking for a nightlife scene.

San Marcos

San Marcos, Texas is home to the Wonder World Cave and Park, which is a great place to explore with the family.

The Aquarena Springs are also a popular stop, as you can go swimming with the fish in the crystal-clear waters.

Historic Hays County Courthouse in Downtown San Marcos Texas
Historic Hays County Courthouse in Downtown San Marcos Texas

For something a little more unique, be sure to check out the glass-bottom boats that offer tours of the springs.

The San Marcos River is popular for floating and kayaking.

Not interested in all the outdoor activities?

Visit the San Marcos Premium Outlets and indulge in some shopping.

San Marcos River near Austin is popular for floating
San Marcos River near Austin is popular for floating

New Braunfels

The last stop on our I-35 road trip is New Braunfels, Texas.

This town is home to a variety of attractions, including Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Natural Bridge Caverns, and the New Braunfels Zoo.

You can also take a stroll down Main Street, where you will find a variety of shops and restaurants.

The famous Beaver nuggets are most famous food at Bucees
The famous Beaver nuggets are most famous food at Bucees

Buc-ee’s Gas Station

If you are driving on I-35, then you will definitely want to make a stop at Buc-ee’s.

This quintessential Texan icon is a gas station chain that is known for its clean bathrooms and a huge selection of snacks.

Try beaver nuggets, jerky, or the brisket sandwich here.

Buc ees has clothes for the whole family
Buc ees has clothes for the whole family

Going healthy? Buc-ee’s also has fruit cups, granola, and nuts!

Don’t want any food? Check out their huge selection of Texan decor and souvenirs!

Seriously, you can’t not visit a Buc-ee’s while in Texas!

San Antonio

Last but not least, you have arrived in San Antonio!

There are so many great things to do in San Antonio including visiting the Alamo, taking a river boat ride, and exploring the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

Street access to the San Antonio River Walk in front of Casa Rio Restaurant
Street access to the San Antonio River Walk in front of Casa Rio Restaurant

You can also go shopping at the San Antonio River Walk or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants.

There are also a ton of great museums in San Antonio, including the Witte Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the McNay Art Museum.

Other attractions include the San Antonio Zoo and SeaWorld San Antonio.

Grotto sculpture near Pearl Brewery on the San Antonio Riverwalk in Texas
Grotto sculpture near Pearl Brewery on the San Antonio Riverwalk in Texas

Dallas to San Antonio Drive via US-67 and US-287

Take the road less traveled from Dallas to San Antonio!

This route via the Texas Hill Country is just stunning in spring.

Here is a detailed road trip itinerary via the scenic route

Cleburne

Start your road trip in Cleburne, Texas which is just a short drive from Dallas.

This charming town is home to the Chisholm Trail Museum, Cleburne State Park, and the Railroad Museum.

Birds eye view of Paluxy River at Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas
Birds eye view of Paluxy River at Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas

If you are looking for something to eat, then be sure to try one of Cleburne’s many BBQ joints.

Glen Rose

One of the most fun road trip stop for families!

This is the dinosaur capital of Texas.

Dinosaur Valley State Park is a great spot to explore with the kids.

Here you can see real dinosaur tracks, go hiking and mountain biking, and even go swimming in the Paluxy River.

You can also check out Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where you can take a drive-through safari ride and see animals from all over the world.

Also Read: Best dinosaur museums in Texas

Life-size dinosaur sculptures at the Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country
Life-size dinosaur sculptures at the Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country

Dinosaur World is another great spot for kids, as they can dig for fossils in the dig pit and see over 150 life-size dinosaur replicas.

There are also many great restaurants in Glen Rose if you need to refuel.

Hico

Hico is a small town that is full of charm.

The main street is lined with cute shops and restaurants.

Some of the popular spots include the Billy the Kid Museum, Historic Hico downtown, and the Silver Spun Winery.

Texas Hill Country is famous for its wineries
Texas Hill Country is famous for its wineries

Hamilton

Hamilton, Texas is a charming small town.

It is home to a variety of attractions, including the Hamilton County Courthouse and the historic downtown.

Visitors can also enjoy hiking and biking trails, picnicking in one of the town’s parks, or shopping at one of the many local boutiques.

Lampasas

Lampasas is a small town in the Texas Hill Country.

It is home to many historical buildings, including the downtown buildings, Hanna Springs Sculpture Graden, murals, and the famous spring-fed pool.

The city also has a variety of parks and recreation areas, perfect for a picnic or a day of hiking.

Falkenstein Castle near Burnet Texas
Falkenstein Castle near Burnet Texas

Burnet

Burnet is a beautiful city in the Texas Hill Country.

It is home to many historical landmarks and scenic views.

It is known as the bluebonnet capital of Texas and home to the bluebonnet festival in spring.

Some of the popular area attractions include the Bluebonnet Trail, Inks Lake State Park, and the Longhorn Caverns.

Also Read: Best Places to see bluebonnets in Texas

Beautiful rock formations and textures in Longhorn Caverns State Park Burnet
Beautiful rock formations and textures in Longhorn Caverns State Park Burnet

Marble Falls

Marble Falls is a city in the Texas Hill Country.

It is home to many beautiful lakes and rivers.

The city is also home to the Marble Falls Dam, which provides hydroelectric power to the area.

Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking in one of the city’s parks.

Johnson City

Johnson City is a quaint city in the Texas Hill Country.

It is home to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, which commemorates the 36th President’s life and legacy.

The city is also home to many art galleries, shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Covered wagon and historic building at Lyndon B Johnson Historic Site
Covered wagon and historic building at Lyndon B Johnson Historic Site

Blanco

Blanco is a small town in the Texas Hill Country.

It is home to the Blanco State Park, which offers hiking, biking, and picnicking.

The city is also home to the Blanco County Courthouse, which is a National Historic Landmark.

San Antonio

Finally, you have arrived in San Antonio!

There are so many things to do here including visiting the Alamo and other historic missions, taking a riverboat or paddling down the San Antonio River, or exploring the Historic Market Square.

You can also enjoy the city’s nightlife by checking out some of the local bars and clubs.

Also Read: Best Restaurants on the San Antonio Riverwalk

Historic Alamo Mission in San Antonio Texas
Historic Alamo Mission in San Antonio Texas

So there you have it, our Dallas San Antonio road trip itinerary!

We hope you enjoy your travels and make some great memories along the way.