The state of Texas is an iconic symbol of the Wild West. As you drive through Central Texas, you will be close to several large urban metropolises like the Dallas/Fort Worth area. You will have ample opportunities to learn about the history of Texas by visiting sites like the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. There are also many parks that preserve natural treasures, such as Dinosaur Valley State Park and the Natural Bridge Caverns. You can pack a lot of adventure into your Dallas to San Antonio RV road trip by including side excursions into your itinerary.
Your road trip from Dallas to San Antonio includes several large urban areas along the way and two national historical parks. Both of these parks celebrate two different periods of American history: the Spanish missionary outreach to the Native Americans in the Southwest during the 1700s and the civil and political upheavals that took place in the 1960s.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is located at the former home of Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th president, and is west of Austin, TX. President Johnson was most well-known as the designer of the "Great Society," a range of legislative acts in the 1960s that attempted to alleviate many issues of poverty, civil rights, hunger, and other societal problems. On leaving public office, President Johnson retired to this homestead, which is now a museum and also a working ranch. While at the park, visitors can tour the library and other exhibits and displays, and there are walking trails outside.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio is comprised of four original Spanish missions that are connected by roads, nature trails, and urban streets. These missions were instituted in order to protect and sustain the local inhabitants and to convert them to Christianity. Each mission was fortified and possessed stores, irrigated water, and farms. These four missions are Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission Espada, and Mission San Juan. Visitors can tour the missions, which are still active parishes, and also visit other historical buildings on the sites.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park is located just southwest of Dallas and is a unique park to visit at the beginning of your trip. While inside the park, you will step alongside the footprints that ancient dinosaurs left by the Paluxy River. Visitors can paddle, swim, and fish in the river as well.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is a natural paradise for water lovers and is close to Austin and San Antonio. The Pedernales River runs over limestone slabs throughout the park and has a waterfall. There are several streams and creeks that form step pools. Visitors can watch for birds from the bird blind and enjoy watching the butterflies in the butterfly garden. To see the falls, you can hike Wolf Mountain Trail through the Tobacco and Wolf mountains and canyons. Another popular trail is the 10-mile Juniper Trail mountain bike trail, which features technical obstacles.
Guadalupe River State Park
Guadalupe River State Park lies between Austin and San Antonio. It runs along the Guadalupe River for 4 miles, and you can swim, fish, and paddle on the river. When water levels are good, it's fun to take the recently added 5-mile Guadalupe River State Park Paddling Trail. There are also 13 miles of hiking trails that include the River Overlook Trail and the Painted Bunting Trail. Some of the trails are available for horseback riding. The Bauer Unit day-use area has many good trails that traverse through prairie grasses and wooded areas, but the Bauer Unit does not have restrooms or potable water sources. During your visit, take time to stop at the Discovery Center and explore the hands-on exhibits and discovery boxes.
This Dallas to San Antonio road trip will take you past several sites that are informative and entertaining at the same time, such as museums, city parks, and natural wonders.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a recent addition in the city of Dallas and features 11 exhibit halls housed on five floors. The museum is uniquely designed as a large cube that is imposed over a water garden, with a façade that is evocative of the grasslands of North Texas. You will enjoy the interactive experiences of making robots, feeling the effects of an earthquake, testing your skills against virtual athletes, and other fun events.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
You will appreciate the peacefulness of Zilker Metropolitan Park in Austin. Barton Creek feeds into the Colorado River here, and there is much to explore and experience inside the 350-acre park. Besides the creek and river, there is also the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Science and Nature Center that you can tour. If you have kids, they will love the miniature train and the playground.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
More prehistorical exhibits await you at the Waco Mammoth National Monument in Waco, TX. This dig site has six Columbian-era mammoths, which averaged around 14 feet in height when alive. Visitors can take guided tours on elevated paths above the digs and hear an informative discourse about the mammoths and the park.
The Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio are the largest known natural caves in the U.S. The park is named for a natural limestone slab bridge that is 60 feet in length and spans the amphitheater's entrance in the cavern. The whole family will enjoy panning for precious metals and gems in the mining town replica and getting lost in the fun maze.
There are several opportunities to add fun side trips to your road trip itinerary from Dallas to San Antonio. These breaks from the road serve to entertain and educate and also let you enjoy getting a bite to eat or allow you to pick up some great bargains while shopping. You can also use one of the several available dump stations in the area.
Waco is one of the first major cities you will pass through on your way to San Antonio. There are many things to see and do while in Waco, such as visiting the Cameron Park Zoo, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, and the Dr. Pepper Museum. During your visit, you can also visit Midway Park I campground, which offers plenty of natural beauty during your stay.
The Downtown Historic District contains several historic buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s, and the Williamson Museum presents much information on past local events. There is a lagoon on the San Gabriel River that you can visit, and the Inner Space Cavern has hundreds of stalactites inside an underground cave. The Rio Bonito Cabin and RV Park is next to the San Gabriel River, and it’s located in Texas Hill Country. This RV park features activities that include tubing, hiking, biking, swimming, and boating, and you can fish in the river for sunfish, crappie, and largemouth bass.
This charming town is a mixture of German traditions and Texas culture. The Historic District of Gruene includes the original Gristmill and other interesting buildings. You can hear live music at Gruene Hall, Texas' oldest operating dance hall, while you're in the historic sections of the city. For exciting thrills, you can spend time at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark or explore the Natural Bridge Caverns, which are nearby. There are several German-themed festivals that take place throughout the year, such as the WurstFest, Wassailfest, and the New Braunfels Folkfest. If you are going to be staying overnight, the Lazy L&L Campground offers lots of great amenities, such as tube rentals for tubing down the Guadalupe River.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Dallas to San Antonio, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Dallas or San Antonio.