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
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
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
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
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
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
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.