Dallas To Austin Drive: Best Places to Stop, Useful Tips and Things To Do

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Have you been thinking about taking a drive from Dallas to Austin and need some tips? Then you’ve landed at the ideal location! The Dallas to Austin drive will appeal to all types of visitors. The drive from Austin to Dallas has something for everyone, from family vacations to business trips, romantic getaways, and solo travelers.

Texas offers something for everyone, from beautiful little towns to thriving metropolitan cities and all in between. Every large city has its own particular character and reputation. So, why would you drive from Dallas to Austin? It’s an incredible tour with enough to see and do in a short amount of time, and both cities are not to be missed!

See more: THE 20 BEST Restaurants in Abilene, TX

How far is it from Dallas to Austin?

The shortest distance between Dallas and Austin is approximately 200 miles (315 kilometers), with Austin being located to the south of Dallas. The trip might, of course, take longer depending on the detours you take to see sights or cities. Instead of 200 miles, the journey will be around 255 miles if you make every stop mentioned below (410 kilometers).

A lot of Texas is desert, as people assume. Fortunately for tourists, this means that cities, attractions, and places to explore are frequently near to the highway! The Dallas to Austin hours becomes jam-packed with things to see while staying relatively near to the freeway and not covering a lot of ground!

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How long does it take to drive from Dallas to Austin?

If there is no traffic, the travel from Austin to Dallas takes only around three hours! If you include all of the stops below, your travel duration will increase from three to four and a half hours, which isn’t terrible! You’d have to include in the time spent at each site, but your time spent in the car doesn’t increase significantly!

If you chose to spend a half day or perhaps a full day at one of the cities along the way, you could make the Dallas to Austin road trip into a multi-day journey. Waco is located halfway between Dallas and Austin and boasts a diverse population. There are several wonderful hotels and vacation rentals to choose from, as well as much to do and see! That will be covered later.

When it comes to vacations, most people want to see as much as possible, and a Dallas to Austin road trip is a terrific way to explore more of the state in a short amount of time!

Tips for driving from Dallas to Austin

Below are some driving tips and methods that can help you go from Dallas to Austin or Austin to Dallas. Because there isn’t much distance between these two cities, these suggestions will help you make the most of your time and ensure you don’t miss anything!

Don’t have to stick to the interstate

Although the highway will be the shortest drive from Dallas to Austin, it is far from the only option. There are several backroads that will get you to the same place. Some people refer to the backroads as the scenic route since they allow you to view more of the lovely state of Texas, and you never know what you could find!

Farm to Market routes link to county highways, which connect to interstates, all across this part of Texas. The Farm to Market routes will provide you with an insight into Texas agriculture and ranching. You never know when you’ll come across a farm stand or some animals!

Try to avoid rush hour

With a population of 1.3 million people, Dallas is a rather huge city, and Austin isn’t far behind with 950,000 people, which means rush hour is a time you should avoid traveling during if at all possible! Pull over to the side of the road, have some coffee or dinner, look around, and wait for traffic to clear! These time periods are ideal for getting out and stretching your legs!

Monday through Friday, rush hour in major cities is generally between 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Thankfully, such periods are ideal for a breakfast or supper break from driving! It will make the travel from Austin to Dallas much more pleasurable by avoiding traffic!

Leave time on your schedule for stopping and exploring

A location to go and places to halt are required for all successful roadtrips. It’s critical to factor in pauses while planning your journey. A road trip can be planned in three ways.

The first method is to plan nothing at all! Put in your final destination and then see what catches your eye as you drive. By far the most spontaneous method to go from Dallas to Austin! The advantage of this method is that you never know what can happen on the road, making for an entertaining Dallas to Austin road trip.

The second option is to perform some preliminary research and identify a few items, places, or activities that you could enjoy. Make your decision on which of your pre-researched items appeal to you that day when the time comes or while you’re traveling!

The benefit of this style of travel is that you have a general understanding of your possibilities and can make a firm decision in the moment, rather than preparing ahead of time and then being less enthusiastic when the time comes.

The third option is perhaps the most popular and is what we consider when arranging a vacation. You may choose the activities that appeal to you, allot time for each destination or activity, and plan your trip exactly by researching all of the things to do between Austin and Dallas. Your Austin to Dallas road trip will be a success no matter which route you choose!

See more: 30 Free Things to do in San Antonio You Will Love

Pack a lunch or plan to stop somewhere tasty

One of the best things about traveling is getting to experience “new to you” meals! Whether you bring your own lunch or go to a terrific neighborhood restaurant, the chance to try new foods is thrilling!

Finding a trendy deli with sandwiches or to-go salads might be a fantastic option to remain on the road and escape the lunch crowd at popular sites if you decide to pack a lunch.

If, on the other hand, you opt to stop for lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to taste different foods, stretch your legs, and use the restroom! Access to bathrooms is one of the everlasting challenges of roadtrips or lengthy drives!

If you have someone with you in the car, they can look for nearby restaurants. Finding a nice town and driving till you discover something intriguing works just as well if you’re traveling alone!

You can easily squeeze two or three meals into a drive from Austin to Dallas, depending on the route and how long you anticipate to be on the road.

Fill up on gas at the beginning of your trip

This is perhaps the most useful advice we have for your journey from Dallas to Austin. If you start your journey with a full tank of petrol, you will avoid unnecessary stops at gas stations and increased pricing if you are nearing the end of your journey in a small town. A full tank of gas will also ensure that you don’t wind yourself on the side of the road if you become disoriented.

With a full tank of petrol, you’ll be able to make additional stops if you find something else interesting to do between Dallas and Austin! When the practicalities are taken care of, you can concentrate more on the enjoyable aspects!

See more: 22 Best Breakfast Restaurants in San Antonio, TX

Best places to visit on road

Fuel city tacos

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Fuel City Tacos serves breakfast. Breakfast is at Fuel City, a gas station. Fuel City Tacos, dubbed the “drunk stop” by Dallas residents, is well-known for servicing college students seeking to sober up on their way back to school after a night of drinking and partying. Naturally, the gas station’s reputation does not attract the best clientele (though the dodgy location doesn’t help either).

To be honest, I was nervous about eating their tacos.

The site is a greasy, cash-only, hole-in-the-wall establishment. The tacos are skin-on with a generous helping of green salsa. And, to be honest, they’re sort of okay. Fuel City’s mild style may turn some people off, but the taste develops on me as I order more and more.

Furthermore, if you’re preparing for a 200-mile journey from Dallas to Austin, Fuel City is a terrific breakfast stop. Order the Al Pastor if you’re traveling. Slice the lime and rub it all over the meat. Request more green sauce and request that the onions be kept to a minimum.

See: 20 Fantastic Places To Eat In New Braunfels, Texas

Waco, Texas

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Austin is about a three-hour trip from Dallas, and Waco is the halfway point between the two cities. Waco appeals to me. Is that strange? Aren’t I Texan enough?

You chuckle, “Yes, Anshula.” “You’re odd on a whole other level.”

Most Texans believe Waco is a huge stretch of nothing, but in actuality, Waco is a viscous soup simmering in the large city and seasoned with tiny town.

See more: THE 23 BEST Places To Eat In Waco, TX


Buc-has ee’s all of your picnic snacks.

“Anshula, are you all right?” you inquire as you massage my shoulder. “I believe you are slightly hyperventilating.” I’m all right. I was just babbling about Buc-because, ee’s like any good little Texan, I’m a huge fan of this big convenience shop.

Any journey to Texas should include a stop at Buc- ee’s. We pull off for gas and a brief bathroom break (I’d preach their restrooms’ praises, but you would think I’m crazy).

We discover a bag of Beaver Nuggets to take on the road among the t-shirts, rural furniture, unreasonably charming plush animals, dog merch, candy, beverages, and snacks.

Sweet, crunchy, and addictive. The Beaver Nuggets from Buc-are ee’s the ideal snack for the last leg of our Dallas to Austin road journey.

Arrive at austin & enjoy the night

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Arrive in Austin and have a good time

We’ve finally arrived in Austin after five hours on and off the road. Our little suburban automobile has now become indistinguishable from the numerous cars attempting to locate parking along South Congress Avenue. We’re thrilled to visit some boutique boutiques, have a relaxed coffee at an oh-so Instagrammable café, and, of course (the part I’m most looking forward to for tonight), crash in a funky, hipster hotel (this is Austin, after all). Please forgive me while I go out and shamelessly eat 50 tacos.

Bonus list of 3 more dallas to austin road trip stops

If you wish to extend your journey, here are three more Dallas to Austin road trip places that I enjoy visiting and returning to:

Glen Rose: is a little town with a huge name, and it’s a gorgeous diversion. Glen Rose, known for his ancient prints, is a must-see for any Jurassic Park fan planning a hike in Dinosaur Valley State Park. Take a stroll on one of the shorter paths. Immerse yourself in the Paluxy River. Return to the road after that.

Little Czech Bakery: Every doughnut shop in Texas serves kolaches, but the legend – Little Czech Bakery – is located in West, Texas. The Little Czech Bakery is a mom-and-pop bakery that has become a tourist attraction.

Grab a couple klobasneks to go, meat eaters. Who doesn’t enjoy steaming, sausage-filled Eastern European pastries?

West Slovacek: Buc-with ee’s a touch of Czech flavor? Please, yes. Slovacek West is a one-stop shop for foodies and fillers. Their cream cheese kolaches are always a winner. Seriously. Slovacek is famous for attracting large audiences. There is also a dog park if you have a dog (or are simply in the mood for some dog-watching – like me). I appreciate that the owners recognize that dogs, too, require pit stops.

See more: 22 Epic Day Trips from Austin

However, that’s all the tips we ca give you to have a perfect trip with your family in Austin. Glad that we can share with you guys about this trips. See you soon! Enjoy your Dallas to Austin drive. Thank you for reading!

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