Getting away for a weekend is a great way to relax, unwind, and reset after a busy week at work. However, you don’t have to wait until you get to your destination to start your adventure and your fun.
This is particularly great if you are only able to get away for a weekend or a few days at a time.
This is particularly true when you are driving from Dallas to San Antonio. The drive from Dallas to San Antonio is littered with interesting places to stop, things to see, and places to explore. You can turn the entire journey into part of the fun.
In this article, we will look at the best places to stop on the journey and some top tips to help you make the most of it.
What’s It Like To Drive From Dallas To San Antonio?
The drive from Dallas to San Antonio isn’t flush with natural beauty. No one would refer to this route as a scenic route. There can also be a lot of traffic on this journey which can really zap the fun out of it. There are also a lot of cityscapes that you will encounter.
With that being said, There are plenty of places that you can stop along the way to get some sightseeing done and explore new places to get your weekend getaway started early.
Dallas To San Antonio Drive Distance
The road trip that takes you between Dallas and San Antonio covers around 275 miles from point A to point B. the exact length of the journey will vary slightly depending on your exact start point and your ultimate destination.
The distance can also increase if you have to take a small detour off the main road to get to certain sites and landmarks.
Dallas To San Antonio Drive Time
If you are driving the full 275 miles straight from A to B with no turn-offs and no slight detours, you can complete the journey in as little as 4 – 4.5 hours if you don’t hit traffic.
However, this is the most boring way to complete your trip and won’t get your adventure started as soon as possible.
If you are having to leave around rush hour after work, you can assume that the straight journey will take at least 1.5 – 2 hours longer than the basic time from A to B.
If you are going to make stops along the way to visit landmarks and do some sightseeing, you can expect the journey to be extended much longer than this.
For the most enjoyable and interesting route for your journey, it is best to set aside an entire day to complete the journey. Alternatively, you could set aside half a day each way and stop at some places on the way and then some places on the way back.
Best Stops When Driving From Dallas To San Antonio
Now that we have covered the admin surrounding the duration and length of the journey, it is time to look at the fun and interesting things that you can see and do on your journey from Dallas to San Antonio.
The Silos Or The Mammoth
Almost regardless of the specific route that you choose to take from Dallas, you will pass a city called Waco.This is a really fun place to stop on your journey and has a lot to offer.
Because this is a road trip and not the final destination, we will focus on two of the most fun things you can do during your stop.
The mammoth in Waco is a unique archeological site in Texas. The site was discovered by two archaeologists in 1978 when they uncovered bones from a Columbian mammoth.The site is a national park that sits on the roadside making it incredibly accessible.
You can also visit the grain silos that were put on the map thanks to an HGTV series, Fixer Upper.If you haven’t seen the show, the owners have created an incredible shopping and dining area all around the base of the giant silos.
You can pick up some snacks or souvenirs, stop for something to eat, and take in the stunning hipster vibes.
There is also a Dr. Pepper museum in Waco that is worth exploring if you want to spend a little bit more time in the city.
Dubbed the oldest tourist attraction in Austin, Mount Bonnell is one of the highlights of the entire state. This is the perfect place to stop on your road trip if you want to take the chance to stretch your legs.
To get to the top of Mount Bonnell you will need to climb a total of 800 steps.However, the view from the top of the mountain is completely worth it.There are stunning panoramic views of lake Austin that will take your breath away.
If you are taking your trip during the summertime, this can be a great place to have a picnic and take in the beautiful Texan weather. There isn’t a lot of space in the parking lot, but there is also street parking available if all spaces have been taken.
Inner Space Cavern
If you aren’t one for spending a lot of time out in the full sunshine, then a visit to the Inner Space Cavern is in order. This is another tourist attraction that is conveniently located right off the highway so it won’t add too much distance to your trip.
The caverns are filled with incredible stalagmites and stalactites that create stunning patterns to decorate the inside of the cavern.This is a great place to stretch your legs and get some fun photographs to memorialize your trip.
There are multiple levels of tours that are offered depending on your experience and what you want to get out of your visit.You can complete the basic, beginners tour or even do a zip line through the cavern.
Texas State Capitol Building
If you want to take in a little bit of history and culture, a stop at the Texas State Capitol Building is a must. If you have always wanted proof of the truth behind the motto “everything’s bigger in Texas”, this is the place to go.
The State Capitol Building in Texas is significantly bigger than the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
You can complete a free tour of the building in which you can get some incredible insight into the work that goes on in the building and why it is so important to the state and the country.
Another great place to stop on your trip is the college town of San Marcos.One of the most beautiful things about this town is the stunning San Marcos town square. It is lined with adorable boutique stores and coffee shops.
If you are passing through during the summer, you can take a break from driving and indulge in a bit of paddle boarding and tubing on the San Marcos river.
If you are passing through during the colder months, you can stretch your legs by taking a stroll around the local park.In the springtime, you can see the stunning Texas bluebonnets.
One of the most interesting stops along the way to San Antonio is Bucc-ee’s. It really isn’t a Texan road trip if you don’t make a stop at a Bucc-ee’s.
If you have been living under a rock and don’t know what Bucc-ee’s is, it is essentially a giant gas station that boasts plenty of pumps and one of the biggest convenience stores that you could only expect to find in Texas.
This is the perfect place to stop to properly stock up on your road trip snacks to make the rest of your journey as epic as possible. Beyond that, there are also some incredible home decor items that you can purchase from the store.
Another important thing to note about Bucc-ee’s is that it is renowned for its clean and welcoming restrooms. An important thing to note when planning your trip.
World’s Largest Pecan
This is a bit of a quirky and unusual stop to make on your trip, but it makes for a great memory and a brilliant photo opp.In the town of Seguin, you can take a photo with the world’s largest pecan.
Seguin is known as the pecan capital of the world, although it is up to you to decide which came first, the title or the pecan.
Just down the road from Bucc-ee’s and just north of San Antonio, you will find New Braunfels. This is a stunning little city that is home to the beautiful Guadalupe River State park.
There are plenty of areas with stunning views of the wondrous nature in Texas. This can be a great place to plan a picnic or other refreshment stop-off.
Natural Bridge Caverns
One of the most beautiful signs that your road trip is coming to an end is coming across the Natural Bridge Caverns. This is a classic stop that many people do if they are taking a trip from Dallas to San Antonio.
You can take guided tours of the caverns that are incredibly informative.There are also mazes, a rope course, and a cute little gift shop to allow you to burn off some energy before getting back into the car.
Bracken Cave Preserve
If you want a bit more adventure and excitement on your trip, a visit to the Bracken Cave Preserve has to make it onto your list.The caves are home to the biggest colony of bats in the world.
If you aren’t squeamish about bats, the best time to visit is between March and October when you can witness the bats leaving the caves to feed in the evenings.
Another stunning place to have a quick stop on your trip is the town of Temple.This is the hometown of Temple Railroad Museum which is perfect for anyone who is interested in railways and locomotives.
It is also a great place to grab a quick bite to eat, stretch your legs, and use the restroom.
Another interesting stop-off is Salado which is just north of Austin.There are so many different attractions that you can visit in this town. If you are short on time, you can visit one or two.
If you are on less of a strict schedule, you can spend a significant amount of time exploring this town.
You can choose from museums, parks, gardens, and even a full golf course. If you visit at the right time of year, you can explore the art walk that features plenty of local artists and musicians.This is a great way to experience all the creativity and talent that is oozing out of Texas.
Tips For Driving From Dallas To San Antonio
Now that we have covered some of the most incredible places where you can stop along the way from Dallas to San Antonio, it is time to look at some of the things you can do to make your trip more enjoyable.Below are some tips for your road trip to ensure that you have the best time.
Avoid Rush Hour
This advice might seem too obvious, but it can be easy to get caught up in the planning of your entire trip and overlook the journey that you need to take to get to your destination.This is particularly true if you are trying to squeeze your trip into a normal weekend.
Even if you aren’t planning to make any stops along the way, leaving at the wrong time and hitting rush hour traffic can add up to 2 hours to your journey time. This can be inconvenient and annoying which can sour the tone of your trip.
If you are planning to stop at a couple of places on your way to San Antonio, hitting rush hour traffic can make things more difficult. This is especially true when you have to take into consideration the closing times of some attractions.
No matter what day you choose to travel from Dallas to San Antonio, you are likely to hit traffic around certain times of the day. Below we will talk about how beneficial it can be to utilize the toll road if you are on a time limit or if the traffic is too heavy.
Plan Meal Stops
Whether you are planning on stopping at any attractions or landmarks along the way, you are probably going to want to stop for food at some point, even if it is just for snacks.
There are so many amazing places that you can stop along the way that really showcase the delicious food that is on offer in Texas. Because of the amazing variety that you can choose from, it can be easy to end up overindulging if you don’t go in with a plan.
Planning meal stops when you are planning your journey is a great way to ensure that you stay on schedule, don’t overindulge, and no one argues over where you are going to eat when you are already hungry.
Planning your meal stops can also help you to plan rest stops better. Having one rest stop scheduled into the trip can make it easier to know whether you should stop or if you can carry on to your scheduled stop when people in the car start to complain about needing the bathroom.
Don’t Discount The Toll Road
If you don’t have much of a choice about when you leave and are going to hit the rush hour traffic, or if you find yourself stuck in heavy traffic, it is important to not discount the toll road.
Although you have to pay to use the road and you might miss some of the fun attractions that we mentioned above, you will end up missing a lot of traffic. This can be a great option if you are pressed for time and want to reach San Antonio as quickly and easily as possible.
There are so many fun and interesting places that you can stop at on your way from Dallas to San Antonio.
Making the journey from point A to point B more interesting is a great way to start having fun and adventures from the very start of your trip rather than waiting until you arrive at your destination to begin to relax and unwind.
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