If you are planning on driving from Dallas to San Antonio, you are in for a great road trip! Perhaps this is a planned vacation road trip, or maybe you just need to get from point A to point B.
Either way, we have driven this route many times and are happy to share all the necessary information for not only a smooth, but also an enjoyable, drive!
For those looking to take a road trip from Dallas to San Antonio, there are so many great stops along the way! From scenic drives through vast countryside to unique historic sites and delicious local eateries, this route is full of incredible experiences. Here are some of the best places to stop on your drive between these two Texas cities!
Drive time from Dallas to San Antonio
The drive time from Dallas to San Antonio is about 4.5 hours with regular traffic patterns and no stops or delays. This route covers about 275 miles almost completely on I-35.
As you leave Dallas behind and hit the open road towards San Antonio, most of your drive will be highway and flatlands. The landscape is simple and construction and traffic isn’t uncommon. But there is so much to appreciate along this drive with beautiful spots to explore and stretch your legs.
If you prefer the scenic route along Route 281, your drive will be about 30-45 minutes longer but with many miles of beautiful views. Check out the stops below to choose the route best for you.
And one of the most important aspects of any road trip is food, of course! On either route, you’ll have plenty of options for food stops on your way from Dallas to San Antonio from BBQ to kolaches to apple pie.
Distance from Dallas to San Antonio
The distance from San Antonio to Dallas is 275 miles taking a straight route on I-35. Travelers wishing for a more scenic route will love taking Route 281 instead which is 290 miles.
Best Stops on a Drive from Dallas to San Antonio (or on a San Antonio to Dallas drive)
- Depart Dallas
- Drive 75 miles to West: Czech Pastries + Farm Fun
- Drive 20 miles to Waco: Mammoth National Monument, Dr. Pepper Museum + Magnolia at the Silos
- Drive 35 miles to Temple: Buc-ees
- Drive 40 miles to Georgetown’s Prettiest Town Square
- Drive 30 miles to Austin: Zilker Park, Street Art + BBQ
- Drive 48 miles to New Braunfels: Comal River
- Drive 33 miles to San Antonio
If you’re looking for something more traditional along with a side of history lesson, then head over to West where Czech pastries await at Little Czech Bakery. This place has been serving up delicious baked goods since 1956!
West is also home to Western Belle Farm. If you are traveling with children during their spring or fall festivals especially, be sure to add this stop into your Dallas to San Antonio road trip itinerary. Their fun farm activities, beautiful sunflower fields and pumpkin patches, and rustically beautiful décor makes for an incredible afternoon of seasonal fun.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Located in Waco, Texas, the Waco Mammoth National Monument is one of the most unique attractions along your drive between Dallas and San Antonio. It is also one of the best things to do in Waco with kids. It features a collection of fossils from 24 Columbian mammoths that were discovered in 1978. The site offers guided tours and immersive experiences to explore these ancient creatures and their environment.
As you continue your journey towards San Antonio don’t forget about Waco – home to Magnolia Market at the Silos and Chip & Joanna Gaines’ empire. It’s definitely worth a pit stop if you’re into Fixer Upper fame!
The Magnolia Silos are located on 2.5 acres of land and feature two large silos that were once used for grain storage. Today, they serve as a backdrop for photo ops and provide shade for visitors to relax under.
One of the main appeals of the Magnolia Silos is its market, which spans over 20,000 square feet and showcases unique home décor items, clothing, accessories, books, and more. The market also features products from local artisans and vendors.
Grab a cupcake from the bakery food truck to take along your way – sooo delicious!
Another must-visit spot is Buc-ee’s in either Temple or New Braunfels, depending on when you would like to stop. This convenience store chain is extremely popular among Texans thanks to its clean restrooms and massive selection of snacks and souvenirs. Many local will literally plan their road trip route and stops based on Buc-ees locations.
Pick up anything from burritos to brisket sandwiches and definitely don’t miss the wall of jerky. There are souvenirs galore and a whole section of home goods. Most local Texan kiddos own some type of Buc-ees apparel from swimsuits to T-shirts to socks. If you aren’t too hungry, just grab a bag of Beaver Nuggets to munch on later. The original is best for those with a sweet tooth, but our family is most fond of the Cinnamon variety!
Visit Texas’ Prettiest Town Square
The Georgetown Town Square is home to a variety of unique shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants for a variety of tastes and interests. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts or souvenirs to take home with you, or simply want to grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes or restaurants, you are sure to find plenty to do in Georgetown.
The iconic courthouse building was constructed in 1911 and is a beautiful centerpiece to this prettiest town square in Texas. Visitors can take guided tours inside the courthouse to learn about its history and significance.
Throughout the year, the town square hosts numerous events such as farmers markets, concerts on the lawn, festivals celebrating local culture and traditions like Red Poppy Festival and annual Christmas parade. This charming town offers something new every time you visit!
If you are wondering what to do in Austin TX on a road trip, have no fear! The options are endless! You could spend a whole weekend in Austin or just stop by for an afternoon and hit up couple of highlights.
Zilker Park is beautiful with it’s botanical garden, walking paths along Ladybird Lake, kayaking and paddle boarding rentals, and iconic Barton Springs for a chilly swim in the natural water springs in Texas.
Take a tour of the State Capitol, enjoy a street art tour, pick up some BBQ from Franklin’s or ice cream from Amy’s. Walk across Congress Bridge for a quintessential Austin view of the skyline or consider taking a bat tour for a real Austin must-do experience!
The Comal River is a beautiful, crystal-clear waterway that flows through the heart of New Braunfels. It’s the perfect spot for tubing for all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing float down the river or an exciting adventure, you’ll find it here.
For those who want to take it easy, there are plenty of gentle stretches of river where you can kick back and enjoy the scenery. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, there are also rapids and chutes that will get your heart racing.
Tubing down the Comal River is one of Hill Country’s best activities, but feel free to just stroll along the banks or picnic in Landa Park if getting wet isn’t part of your road trip plans!
San Antonio is a vibrant city that offers endless possibilities for things to do. Whether you’re looking to explore historic landmarks or indulge in some delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, San Antonio has plenty to offer!
- Visit The Alamo – One of the most popular attractions in San Antonio, The Alamo is a historical monument where the famous Battle of the Alamo took place. Visitors can tour the mission and learn about its significance in Texas history.
- Take a stroll along Riverwalk – The Riverwalk is a beautiful pedestrian path that winds through downtown San Antonio along the banks of the river. You’ll find shops, restaurants, and bars to enjoy.
- Visit The Pearl District – This revitalized area used to be an old brewery but has now become a trendy spot for shopping and dining with plenty of shops and restaurants offering local dishes.
- Explore Natural Bridge Caverns – Head over to Natural Bridge Caverns where you can discover underground caves filled with stunning rock formations created over millions of years.
- Buy some treats at Market Square – Known as “El Mercado,” Market Square is a large Mexican markets with plenty of vendors selling handmade crafts and souvenirs alongside traditional foods like tacos and margaritas.
Take the Scenic Route from Dallas to San Antonio
To really enjoy the landscape and beauty of Texas, taking Route 281 (instead of I-35) is the perfect choice. This western scenic route is about 15 miles further and adds a 30-45 minutes to the total drive time.
This route takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the state, including rolling hills, lush forests, and vibrant wildflowers. The drive also passes many Hill Country attractions, making it perfect for a weekend getaway in itself.
If it is spring, please promise me you’ll at least consider it?! The bluebonnets in March and April are STUNNING.
Best Scenic Route Stops on your Dallas to San Antonio Road Trip
Dinosaur Valley State Park
One of the highlights along Take 281 from Dallas to San Antonio is Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas. Here you can explore over 1,500 acres of rugged terrain with dinosaur tracks dating back millions of years ago. If you need a break from driving then this park offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming in nearby lakes, and exploring nature trails.
Cleburne State Park
Other stops that are worth visiting include Cleburne State Park where you can take part in fishing, camping or even rock wall climbing.
The World’s Largest Spur
The World’s Largest Spur is located in Lampasas, Texas and is a quick and fun road trip stop on the drive between San Antonio and Dallas. 35 feet tall and 10,000 pounds of metal, this structure sits on the side of Highway 281 inviting travelers to snap a photo.
After checking out the Spur, you’ll find that charming Lampasas has several other quick and enjoyable things to do, such as grabbing a burger from Elvis’ favorite spot or seeing the historic Hancock Natural Springs. Take a stroll around historic downtown before heading on your way – there is plenty to make it worth your stop!
Inks Lake State Park
Inks Lake is a true gem in Burnet, Texas and a beautiful place for a quick stop or an overnight stay in one of their lake cabins. Rent a kayak or pedal boat or take a short hike to Devil’s Watering Hole and take in the scenery.
Longhorn Cavern State Park
Just down the road from Inks Lake is Longhorn Cavern State Park. This underground world is pretty magical and a filled with stunning geological formations, ancient fossils, and an abundance of historical stories – one cave room used to be a speakeasy! Take a short guided tour or just explore the trails above ground for a great adventure.
Grab a Slice of Pie at the Blue Bonnet Café
If you’re in the mood for some small-town charm and delicious pie, make sure to check out Blue Bonnet Café in Marble Falls. With classics like apple and peach to specialties like German chocolate cream, you are sure to find a slice to love (no judgement if you pick up a whole pie!).
Taste some Hill Country BBQ
If you’re craving some good old-fashioned Texan BBQ, make sure to stop in Lockhart. From slow-smoked brisket to juicy pork ribs, this town is all about mouth-watering barbecue.
Lockhart is home to some of the most famous barbecue joints in the state, including Kreuz Market and Smitty’s Market. These legendary spots have been serving up delicious meats for years and continue to draw crowds. Black’s BBQ is another local favorite and sure to satisfy your appetite!
If it is summer in Texas, then that just means one thing -well, its HOT – but it seems something else too – it is peach picking season!
The Stonewall and Fredericksburg area are packed full of peach orchards allowing you to pick your own peaches and adorable road side stands where you can pick up a box already picked by the experts. A bonus to driving from Dallas to San Antonio, instead of flying, is that you have space for things like a box of fresh peaches!
Blanco State Park
This beautiful park is located on the banks of the Blanco River and offers travelers a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy. The river has crystal clear water that’s perfect for cooling off during hot Texas summers. There are also several shallow areas for kids to splash around in.
There are also plenty of hiking trails available. The park has several well-marked paths that wind through scenic wooded areas and along the riverbank. The Caswell Nature Trail is the perfect distance for a short hike at just .7 miles, but with plenty of beautiful scenery.
Blanco Lavender Fields
Blanco is known for its lavender fields they make for the perfect spot to stretch your legs on a long drive. Lavender Fields bloom in early summer, but many spots sell fragrant lotions, infused honey, and plants year round. Hill Country Lavender Farm in Blanco allows visitors to pick their own lavender too!
FAQs for Driving from Dallas to San Antonio
How far is San Antonio to Dallas?
The drive from San Antonio to Dallas is 275 and takes about 4.5 hours in regular traffic.
How far is Dallas from San Antonio?
Dallas is 275 miles from San Antonio and takes about 4.5 hours to drive with normal traffic patterns.
How many miles from Dallas to San Antonio?
It is 275 miles from Dallas to San Antonio. This drive takes about 4. 5 hours to complete.
Ready for your Road Trip from Dallas to San Antonio?
Overall, driving from San Antonio to Dallas is a great way to explore the beauty of Texas. With options for both scenic routes and the quickest path, you can take your time and enjoy all the sights along the way. Whether you’re looking for adventure or just want to get there fast, this road trip has something for everyone!