Best Spring Break Road Trips in Texas

Spring break is just around the corner for Texas high school students — at last! Some of you may already be planning what you want to do on your week off, whether that means hanging out with friends, spending time outdoors or just relaxing at home. If you have your driver license, however, your possibilities for spring-break fun extend even further, since you’ll be able to go wherever you want. (Well, within mom and dad’s rules.) For those of you with the key to drive, why not go on an adventure this spring break to some of Texas’ best vacation spots? Below, we’ve listed our top picks for spring break road trips in Texas based on region. Pack your bags, stock your console with snacks and ready your playlists: It’s road trip time.

North Texas: Lake Texoma

From Dallas: 1 hour, 37 minutes

From Fort Worth: 1 hour, 49 minutes

From Tyler: 2 hours, 56 minutes

lake-texoma
photo credit: Reed George/Flickr.com

Named after the two states on which it rests, Lake Texoma has lots to offer, from recreational water activities to stunning sunset views. You can rent pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes and water-skis by the hour and enjoy cruising along one of the largest reservoirs in the United States. If you like to fish, Lake Texoma is known as the”Striper Capital of World,” so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch a big one.

South Texas: Port Aransas

From Corpus Christi: 44 minutes

From Laredo: 3 hours, 1 minute

From Brownsville: 3 hours, 5 minutes

port-aransas
photo credit: jdeeringdavis/Flickr.com

Get away from the South Texas heat and step onto the breezy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico in Port Aransas. If you want nothing more this Spring Break than to soak up the sun and feel the sand between your toes, this is the destination for you. Don’t forget to stop by local greasy spoon Iries Island Food for Panko-fried shrimp po’ boys and spicy crawfish tacos. 

Central Texas: Austin

From San Antonio: 1 hour, 26 minutes

From Waco: 1 hour, 54 minutes

photo credit: Lars Plougmann/Flickr.com
photo credit: Lars Plougmann/Flickr.com

The capital of Texas offers an abundance of outdoor activities for teens and adults, like swimming in Barton Springs, paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake,  picnicking in Zilker Park or grabbing a bite on South Congress. Start the morning with breakfast tacos from a local food trailer, like Veracruz All Natural or El Primo, then end the evening on the Pedestrian Bridge in time to watch the sunset. 

East Texas: Galveston

From Houston: 58 minutes

From Nacogdoches: 3 hours, 12 minutes

photo credit: Ron Wooten/Flickr.com
photo credit: Ron Wooten/Flickr.com

Though known for its beach, Galveston is more than a resort town. Home to over 60 buildings on the list of National Historic Places, including a Victorian-style mansion and 19th-century basilica, Galveston is the perfect vacation spot for architecture aficionados and history buffs. Besides relaxing on the sand, tourists can also visit local attraction Moody Gardens, which houses an aquarium, miniature rainforest and ropes course. 

West Texas: Big Bend National Park

From Midland: 3 hours, 8 minutes

From El Paso: 4 hours, 49 minutes

big-bend

Want to escape from civilization and find yourself in the Chihuahua desert? Sounds like Big Bend National Park is calling your name. The 800,000-acre nature reserve is home to more than 1,200 species of plants and hundreds of species of animals.  Explore canyons, bike through beautiful backroads or raft the Rio Grande with a professional guide.

The Panhandle: Palo Duro Canyon State Park

From Amarillo: 50 minutes

From Lubbock: 1 hour, 56 minutes

From Abilene: 4 hours, 30 minutes

photo credit: John Fowler/Flickr.com
photo credit: John Fowler/Flickr.com

The stars at night are big and bright … deep in Palo Duro Canyon. As the second largest canyon in the United States, stretching 120 miles long, this state park is the ideal getaway for outdoor adventurers. Bring binoculars for bird-watching, ride horseback through the canyon or hike up to 30 miles of trails. You’re better off going now before temperatures climb up to 100 degrees.