There is no better time than fall to explore the Lone Star State. With a wide variety of foliage and wide open vistas, taking to the open road in the cooler days of autumn makes for some of the best Texas fall road trips. Which direction should you choose and how should you prepare for a comfortable and safe road trip you will remember? Grab your gear and let’s get going!
Explore the Best Road Trips in Texas This Fall
Every amazing road trip starts out with a great destination. Just pick one and let it guide you out onto the beautiful fall landscape in Texas state.
Rio Grande Valley (South Texas)
Visit the World Birding Centers from Roma Bluffs to South Padre Island for natural beauty even if you are not (yet) a birder. Take an organized field trip or explore on your own. Be sure to grab some Barbacoa tacos at Vera’s backyard Bar-B-Q in Brownsville or the enchiladas at Julia’s Restaurant in Los Fresnos.
Texas Hill Country (Central Texas)
Cruise cities, towns, and countryside when you take a road trip through the Texas hill country. You can hike in the Enchanted Rock State Park and enjoy colorful rock formations or stop and see the world’s largest pair of cowboy boots along the way. Grab a drink at the Buckhorn Saloon or visit the Texas Ranger Museum.
Big Bend National Park (West Texas)
With the cooler weather in the fall, the Big Bend region is one of the best Texas fall road trips. On the way to the national park that borders on Mexico in West Texas, you can stop at many roadside parks and diners. This beautiful desert environment on the Rio Grande River is famous for scenic drives, ranger-led programs, and nighttime stargazing. Fossils, dinosaur bones, and archaeological sites abound here.
Angelina National Forest (East Texas)
Take a trip to East Texas for a long hike or drive under fall-colored shade trees and shortleaf pines. Explore the old Aldridge Sawmill or catch some bass on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Consider staying in a log cabin bed and breakfast on the Angelina River and try some fried catfish at Timbers on the Green.
Flower Fields and the Margarita Mile (North Texas)
Cruise across North Texas and take in the vibrant sunflower fields and smell the roses in Tyler, the Rose Capital of America. Head out to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for the day, for a scenic destination out of Fort Worth. Enjoy some day hiking, rock climbing, or water fun, and then return to Dallas for the famous Margarita Mile. No driving after your drinking, please, so spend the night in one of the landmark hotels nearby and sample gourmet dining before you head home again.
Port Aransas Beach (Texas Coast)
Another one of the best road trips for fall in Texas is making a beeline for the Texas Coast. Most of the tourists are gone and the temperatures are perfect for walks along the quiet shorelines. Take the Jetty Boat to San Jose Island, search for whooping cranes, or enjoy luxurious beach front resorts at off-season prices. Try the Mayan Princess with three pools, get some lasagna at Venetian Hot Plate, or enjoy the freshest catches at the Phoenix.
How to Prepare for a Texas Fall Road Trip
Preparing for a road trip in Texas means being ready for long miles of open road and bringing all the comforts and necessities along for the ride. Let’s start with the things that bring the fun and make the ride comfortable. Be sure to pack up these items for your Texas fall road trip!
- Wear comfortable clothes and pack layers for changing weather conditions along the way.
- Bring extra pairs of shoes for a spontaneous hike or a nice restaurant.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses and bring along some sunscreen and bug repellent.
- Bring road trip snacks that can stand up to time in the car like granola and dried fruit or a cooler with cut veggies and sandwiches.
- Carry cold drinks, hot coffee or tea, and extra bottles of drinking water for emergencies.
- Plan for pets with leashes, bedding, food, water bowls, and accommodations that will keep them cool and comfortable.
- Have some reusable drink containers, cups, napkins, and plastic utensils stashed away.
- Bring some pillows, a blanket, ear plugs, and an eye mask for napping and travel comfort.
- Pack cameras, navigation devices, books, games and entertainment, as well as chargers, adapters, and batteries for your devices.
- Make a road trip playlist or line up some audio books or audio travel guides to learn more as you go.
Safely Preparing for Texas Road Trip Driving
Of course, staying safe on the road is essential to all awesome road trips, and bringing along the right safety items and preparing yourself and your vehicle for a road trip will keep your adventures memorable for all the right reasons.
- Prepare your vehicle by taking care of scheduled maintenance like an overdue oil change or brake job. Check all the fluids before you head out, including windshield washer, coolant, and brake and power steering fluid. Give your tires a hard look and check your wiper blades to be ready for the unexpected.
- Plan a route by checking for traffic delays, construction, or closures of your chosen destinations. Leave some room and time for spontaneity, but plan ahead where you will stay and reasonable timelines of how long it will take to get there.
- Stay alert by getting plenty of rest before you leave on a long road trip and take frequent stops for rest along the way. Switch out drivers and be aware of feelings of drowsiness or fatigue. Be ready to change up your plans with flexible options along the way.
- Bring necessary medications for longer than you plan to be gone and any health care devices you or your fellow travelers might need if you are unexpectedly delayed on the road.
- Watch the weather and be aware of incoming storms, high heat, or air quality warnings that might be good reasons to delay your trip for another day when the weather is on your side.
- Carry your vehicle’s owner’s manual and a car emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, a car jack, and a spare tire.
- Always carry your drivers license, proof of insurance, and your vehicle registration with you in case you are pulled over for a traffic stop or violation on a Texas roadway.
How to Prepare for Road Trips in Texas
Another great way to prepare for your next Texas road trip is to sharpen your skills and knowledge of Texas traffic laws. You can take a state-approved Texas defensive driving course online with Ticket School for only $25. Learn about common road hazards, safer driving habits, and the expectations of Texas law enforcement in this informative class you can complete anywhere on any internet-enabled device.
If you do get a traffic ticket on your next Texas road trip, you may have the option through the court to have the ticket dismissed by completing an approved course from Ticket School. Contact us today to learn more or enroll today to enjoy your driving privileges in Texas for the long road ahead.