Taking an Oklahoma City to Dallas RV road trip for a vacation is one of the most eventful and historically significant journeys your family can enjoy. Oklahoma City and Dallas are located in the area of the country known as the Great Plains. The land is as ideal today for migratory adventures in RVs as it was in the 18th and 19th centuries when the horse was the principal transportation method before the railroads came. The trip moves swiftly along Interstate 35 South with several opportunities to veer off the interstate to visit national parks, historic parks, state parks, and small or large communities.
Adding side trips to your road trip itinerary from Oklahoma City to Dallas lets your family experience America's abundance. One national park and two national historical parks are easily reached to start and end your family vacation. Visiting them creates memories that last a lifetime.
Hot Springs National Park
Before you leave Oklahoma City for Dallas, take a side trip to Arkansas to visit one of the nation's smallest national parks. Hot Springs National Park is a day’s drive to the east from Oklahoma City. The detour takes about six hours and is well worth the extra 356 miles. The area was discovered by the Dunbar and Hunter expedition in 1804, one of four such explorations sent out by Thomas Jefferson to reconnoiter the Louisiana Purchase area. Since the discovery, the “Valley of Vapors” has attracted visitors from around the world. As a national park, the surrounding 5,550-acre area is protected from exploitation. The forest is an excellent example of the diverse old growth that originally covered the country. Trails wander among the trees and around the 47 hot springs that feed the famous “vapors” from thousands of cubic gallons of water hidden beneath rock formations. You can reach the park by traveling east from Oklahoma City on Interstate 30 to Little Rock, Arkansas. From there, take U.S. Highway 70 West to Hot Springs.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park lies 250 miles beyond the finish of your Oklahoma City to Dallas road trip. To reach the park, continue on I-35 S until you reach Austin. From Austin, take the East Highway 290 Exit and follow the signs. The Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch sits in the middle of the Texas Hill Country. The area consists of fertile valleys and slow, tumbling hills, which ranchers found ideal for cattle. Three houses, including the original homestead cabin, the Johnson family home where the president lived in his youth, and the ranch house built by Lyndon Johnson dubbed “the Texas White House,” are included in the park. Family members serve as guides on many of the bike tours along the park's roads and paths.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
To finish your road trip from Oklahoma City to Dallas, visit the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The park is 273 miles south of Dallas in San Antonio. Visiting this park informs you and your family of the importance of religion during the early years of exploration. The park consists of four old Spanish missions, some of which are still in operation. Each mission displays the conventional architecture prevalent at the time. The missions cover 8 acres, which are easily walked. A shuttle service between the missions is also available.
Roman Nose State Park
Before traveling south along I-35 S, take the time to visit one of the seven original state parks created by Oklahoma in 1937. Roman Nose State Park is a brief 66-mile trip to the northwest of Oklahoma City. Visitors to the park enjoy various activities, including fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, biking, golfing, and wildlife watching. Archeological evidence shows that the deep gypsum canyon was a favorite wintering hole of the Southern Cheyenne people.
Lake Murray State Park
Located in southcentral Oklahoma lies Lake Murray State Park. Visiting this park during your Oklahoma City to Dallas road trip requires only a 7-mile detour from I-35 S. The park covers 12,500 acres along the edge of Lake Murray, making it the largest park in Oklahoma. Located 102 miles into your trip, this park is an ideal spot to stop and enjoy the swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and biking opportunities that a lake area provides.
Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park is located on the Texas side of the Oklahoma-Texas border. The park covers 423 acres along the shore of Lake Texoma. Activities include swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and water skiing. For nighttime fun, the fishing pier is fully lighted. At this park, there is a 10-acre area designated for all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. Since the park is only 80 miles from your final destination on your road trip from Oklahoma City to Dallas, it is a great place to stop, enjoy the facilities, and rest for the upcoming finish of your journey.
Along this road trip from Oklahoma City to Dallas, you have several opportunities to stop and enjoy the local attractions. Ranging from cultural to physical attractions, these stops add interest to your journey. Including these opportunities in your itinerary gives a whole new feel to the family outing.
American Banjo Museum
Before you leave Oklahoma City to travel south on your road trip, take a moment to visit the American Banjo Museum. The site is dedicated to the preservation of a uniquely American musical instrument. The attraction holds ornate and plain banjos once owned and used by the great banjo players of the past and present.
Chickasaw Cultural Center
Making a stop at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Oklahoma is much more than a stretch of the legs 88 miles into your road trip. There are two interesting sections to this stop—the Chickasaw Cultural Museum and the reconstructed Chickasaw Village. Between the artifacts, films on Chickasaw history, and the opportunity for your family to become actively involved in a Chickasaw Stomp Dance, you stand to gain a unique cultural experience from this stop.
Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park
The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park sits on the shoulder of downtown Dallas. Visiting the aquarium is fun for adults and children alike. One of the favorite attractions is the outdoor Stingray Bay, where you can feed and touch cownose rays.
When making up your road trip itinerary for Oklahoma City to Dallas, consider stopping in these cities. A safe RV road trip includes finding places to clean your waste tanks as well as finding great food and interesting sights. Though these cities are near the end of your road trip, making a planned stop adds substance to what otherwise could go unnoticed.
Denton, TX, lies on the I-35 corridor about 40 miles north of Dallas. The city is an excellent place to stop and eat, visit attractions, and camp. Finding a dump station in Denton is simple. There are several RV campgrounds in and around Denton that showcase the down-home scenery and friendly hospitality that Texas is known for.
Lewisville is even closer to the end of your road trip from Oklahoma City to Dallas. The city lies only 29 miles north of Dallas on the I-35 corridor. Lewisville sits close to two nature preserves, both of which deserve a visit. The town offers many dump stations where you can clean your tanks. The numerous campgrounds in the Lewisville area provide ample camping opportunities for families on vacation.
Plano, TX, lies 20 miles northeast of Dallas. The city has a population of over 284,000. Despite the large population, Plano is considered one of the safest places to live and work in the nation. An interesting point about the town is that it is the headquarters for many of the top corporations in the United States. The downtown area is rich with diverse restaurants to satisfy any taste. In the surrounding area, parks, nature preserves, and intriguing historical sites draw visitors from around the world. With a location so close to Dallas and all its attractions, Plano is fast becoming Texas' RV capital. As a result, dump stations are available throughout the city. RV campgrounds are abundant and offer competitive amenities to get your business.