Driving the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is a twisty pretzel of interstate highways, tangled and salty with people in a hurry. Getting out of town can be the best way to spend a day, and past those highways, it’s all scenery. Try out these off-the-beaten path options for some of the best scenic drives near Dallas-Fort Worth.
I 45 S to Ennis
Bluebonnet Trails Festival
Ennis Visitor Information Center
2 E. Ennis Ave.
Ennis, TX 75119
A photographer’s dream, April is ideal for the schlep from south Dallas down the Texas Bluebonnet Trail, but I45 and nearby country roads offer beautiful scenery and access to sparkling reservoirs year round. Take a driving tour of more than 40 miles of blue-blanketed trails during the Bluebonnet Trails Festival April 21 and 22. The official celebration dedicated to the beauty and symbolism of the bluebonnet brings live music, bluebonnet art and souvenirs.
FM 1382/Beltline from I 20 to Hwy 67
Cedar Hill State Park
1570 F.M. 1382
Cedar Hill TX 75104
Distance: 17 miles from downtown Dallas
Price: $5 per day, per person 13 and older
Hours: Sun to Mon – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This stint of 1382 winds and flows all the way to Cedar Hill State Park, where the trees are thick and the hikes are refreshing. Outdoorsy types will enjoy the foliage, walking trails, camping and even water sports as much as the postcard snapshots along the way. Although this stretch of 1382 is only about 10 miles in distance, it is filled with Texas terrain including winding roads, green grassy knolls and trees spotting the landscape. At the intersection with I-20 going east, a large Texas is nestled on a hill, giving the bluebonnet fields a little competition for seasonal photo opportunities.
US 377 S to Granbury, TX
Granbury Historic Square
Granbury, TX 76048
Distance: 38 miles from Fort Worth
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Driving through downtown Granbury’s historic square is a scenic road trip in itself. The route is filled with historical markers, boutiques and shops, and eye candy from the past. Cruising speed is the best way to take in the sights from a rolled down window. Down U.S. 377S, enjoy the view of the plains, green fields and Americana on the path to the countryside. Make this scenic trip for a taste of old town Texas. The Historic Granbury Gunslingers bring the wild West back to the streets when they reenact western-style gun battles in the town square, so bring the cowboy hats and the cameras and be ready for a fight.
US 377 Through Denton’s Horse Country
Denton Historical Park (point of departure)
317 W. Mulberry
Denton, TX 76201
Distance: 39 miles from downtown Dallas
Price: $40 in advance, or self-guided driving tour is free
Hours: Sat – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Denton, known for live music and Texas Women’s University, is home to an equine community as well. Denton County pastures feed several farms full of majestic horses of various breeds. Denton County horse tours will take guests to these farms to learn more about the horses and how they are raised. White picket fences, barbed wire and ranch houses with magazine-beautiful lawns stretch across the country roads. Spring is usually the best time to make this drive because the foals will be out and in view, romping about near their mothers. Self-guided driving tours are also an option here around horse country on U.S. 377. From car to horseback to car, this scenic option brings drivers full circle.
Swiss Avenue, Dallas
Wilson Block Driving Tour
Dallas, TX 75204
Distance: 2 miles from downtown Dallas
Although most scenic drives are found outside city limits, Swiss Avenue is the exception. Enjoyable as both a walking tour or a driving self-tour, either way voyeurs and those who appreciate architecture and Victorian style will find plenty to gaze upon. Green grass on manicured lawns, vintage roofs and colorful, festive decor make this a great city drive. The properties along these Swiss Avenue and Wilson blocks date back to the earlier days of Dallas from 1880 to about 1910. Most of these homes have now been adopted by the Preservation Society and are serving as elegant offices to local businesses. A friendly and fun area, this is the best city drive within Dallas.
Related: Best Wildlife Areas Around Dallas
Kena Sosa is a freelance writer in Dallas. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.