Here Are Some Useful Tips For Driving From Dallas To Austin

If you’re driving from Dallas to Austin, are you looking for tips and tricks and a few things to see and do? 

Here’s where you can find it! Every type of traveler will find something to enjoy on the Dallas to Austin drive. 

Traveling from Austin to Dallas is a great choice for family vacations, business trips, lovers’ retreats, and solo adventurers alike!

There are many places to visit in Texas, from tiny towns to bustling big cities and everywhere in between. 

There are things that each big city is known for and that give it its own personality. How come Dallas is so far from Austin?

I think you’ll enjoy the drive, there are plenty of things to do within a short distance, and both are great cities to visit.

How Far is it from Dallas to Austin?

Between Dallas and Austin, which is located south of Dallas, there are about 200 miles (315 kilometers). 

It is certainly possible to take detours in order to shorten or extend the drive, depending on your route. 

The drive would be approximately 255 miles (410 kilometers) if you made every stop listed below instead of 200 miles.

There is a lot of deserts in Texas, which is what people imagine. That means towns, attractions, and things to see are usually fairly close to the interstate! 

Taking the Dallas to Austin road trip gives you plenty to see fairly close to the interstate and doesn’t add a lot of miles to the journey!

How Long Does It Take To Drive From Dallas To Austin?

If there is no traffic, the drive from Austin to Dallas only takes about three hours! 

With all the stops listed below, the driving time typically increases to four and a half hours, which is still not all that bad. 

The time spent in each location would need to be added in, but your sitting time doesn’t do much to increase!

Traveling from Dallas to Austin could also be turned into a multi-day trip if you wanted to spend a half day or even a full day in one of the cities along the way. 

The city of Waco is full of beautiful hotels and vacation rentals, and there is so much to see and do! I’ll tell you more later!

Almost everyone enjoys getting as much out of their vacation as possible, and a Dallas to Austin road trip offers the chance to do just that!

What To Expect On The Dallas To Austin Drive

There is something refreshing about driving through the Texan desert! The cities in between will be more consistent than the rest of Texas, and this drive will be greener than western Texas.

If you want to explore more of Central Texas, you can either stay on Interstate-35 (I-35) or venture off and explore the backroads. 

It doesn’t matter how you drive from Austin to Dallas, you will be entertained and you can make the trip to Dallas as enjoyable as you like.

The Best Way To Drive From Dallas To Austin

These tips and tricks will come in handy on your drive from Dallas to Austin or from Austin to Dallas. 

These tips will help you make the most of the time you have between these two cities so you don’t miss anything!

You Don’t Have To Stick To The Interstate / I-35

Although Dallas to Austin can be reached in the shortest amount of time if you use the interstate, it is not the only route available. 

The backroads will take you to the same destination as there are plenty of back roads that will take you there. 

There are many reasons why backroads are called the scenic route, including the chance to see more of Texas’ beautiful landscape.

A Farm to Market road connects with a county road that then connects to an interstate in this part of Texas. 

Take a look at Texas agriculture and ranching on the Farm to Market roads! It’s impossible to predict what you’ll see when you’re out and about!

When Driving From Dallas To Austin, Try To Avoid Rush Hour

It’s important to avoid rush hour in Dallas with its 1.3 million people and Austin with its 950,000 people, which means you should stay out of traffic during rush hour if possible! 

Take a break, grab some coffee or dinner, and explore the area while you wait for traffic to clear! Stretching your legs during these times is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors!

During rush hour, Monday through Friday, larger cities experience traffic from 7:00-9:00 in the morning and 4:00-6:00 in the evening. 

The perfect time to eat breakfast or dinner is at those times! Traffic will be reduced, making the Austin to Dallas drive much more pleasant!

Leave Time On Your Schedule For Stopping And Exploring

The two things that make a road trip successful are a place to go and a place to stop. You should plan for stops when planning your drive. A road trip can be planned in three ways.

To begin with, do not plan anything at all! Whenever you are driving, keep an eye out for anything that piques your interest. 

Taking the Dallas to Austin drive this way is the most spontaneous way to do it! Taking the Dallas to Austin route this way is an exciting way to travel since you never know what is coming up on the way.

To prepare, it’s a good idea to do a little research ahead of time and jot down some suggestions for things to do, places to visit, and activities to do.

When the time comes, choose the topic that appeals to you most from the research you’ve done.

The benefit of such a road trip is that you can decide at the last minute, rather than pre-planning and then not being as enthusiastic when the time comes.

Thirdly, what comes to mind when planning a vacation is probably the common method. If you research all the things to do between Austin and Dallas, you can select the things that interest you, plot out your route, and budget time for each location or activity.

You’re sure to have a great time on your Austin to Dallas drive no matter how you plan it!

Consider packing a lunch or stopping somewhere tasty

The opportunity to taste “new to you” foods is one of the best aspects of traveling! Discovering new food is exciting whether you pack your own lunch or choose a great restaurant nearby!

You can stay on the road and avoid lunch traffic by packing lunch at a fun deli that offers sandwiches or salads you can take with you.

If, however, you decide to stop for lunch and explore a new restaurant, you can try new food, stretch, and use the bathroom! 

There is no doubt that restroom access is one of the biggest challenges of road trips or long drives! 

The person in the car with you can research nearby restaurants if they are with you. Traveling alone doesn’t mean you have to go on a tour. Finding a cute town and going on a road trip works just as well!

If you plan to spend a long period on the road, you can definitely eat two or three meals when driving from Austin to Dallas.

Don’t Stop On Your Trip By Filling Up On Gas Before You Leave

The most practical tip we can offer for your Dallas to Austin drive is this one. A very small town will make you stop more frequently at gas stations if you are driving near empty. 

The full tank of gas will not only provide you with the security of resources in case of an emergency, but it will also prevent you from stopping on the side of the road if you get lost.

The extra stops you can make between Dallas and Austin will be unlimited if you have a full tank of gas! By taking care of the practical aspects, you can focus on what’s fun!

The Best Things To Do Between Austin And Dallas

Trail of the Bluebonnets

The Bluebonnet Trail can be found about 30 minutes north of Dallas, four miles off Interstate 75 in the town of Ennis. 

The bluebonnet is Texas’ state flower, and there are over 40 miles of driving trails through hay fields! 

It is definitely worth the detour even though it is located north of Dallas and south of Austin.

Trails are open in April in time for the blooming flowers, so don’t miss it! Despite being publicly owned, the driving trails are on private property, so all signs should be followed!

The reasons why Bluebonnets became the Texas State Flower are numerous, but the reason they got their name is undisputed. 

This flower resembles a sunbonnet worn by women in Texas to protect their faces and necks from the harsh sun. 

It is a beautiful diversion to drive up to Bluebonnet Trail as the distance between Austin and Dallas is less than a half-day drive.


With the cotton industry making Waxahachie prosperous and successful, it was settled in 1850. Waxahachie can be reached in 40 minutes by taking I-35 from Dallas. 

Another route is to take I-45 to FM 878, which takes about 45 minutes.

This historic town outside of Dallas has a variety of festivals throughout the year, so it’s well worth a visit! 

Crape Myrtle blossoms line the streets in July, so the Crape Myrtle Festival is held in April, the Gingerbread Trail in June, and the Crossroads of Texas Film Festival in April.

November features a World War II reenactment and Christmas activities culminate the year with the Texas Country Reporter Festival in October.

There is no problem if you visit when there is no festival! A number of things can be done and seen in the town. 

There are also city parks, murals, historic homes, breweries, salons and spas, and a Waxahachie Haunted History Tour!

Waxahachie is the perfect stop on the way from Dallas to Austin!

West, Texas

A small town along I-35, West, Texas is an hour and a half south of Dallas. For a slightly longer route, take US-67 to I-35 for an hour and 25 minutes.

There is plenty to do in West, another historical town near Dallas and Austin with a population of less than 3000. 

This small town was founded in the 1880s on land owned by Thomas West, who built a railway station there. 

Mr. West owned a hotel, furniture store, bank, and general store in addition to being acting postmaster and proprietor at the rail station.

Due to the influx of Czech and German immigrants in the area, the area has a strong Czech and German influence. 

It was the Czechs who continued to have large families, and by the 1920s they made up the majority of the town’s population.

These rich historical roots have led to Czech bakeries selling Kolaches, Czech gift shops, and Czech antique shops today. 

When you walk downtown, there is no doubt you will hear people speaking Czech! 

This is why West, Texas is known as the “Czech Heritage Capital of Texas” thanks to its rich Czech culture.


The drive from Austin to Dallas takes about an hour and 39 minutes, while the drive from Austin to Dallas takes about an hour and 34 minutes. 135,000 people live in Waco today, a city founded in 1849 by the Huaco people!

There is so much to see and do in Waco that you could spend several days there and still not see it all. 

Those who enjoy Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Trail will enjoy this activity. For those interested in touring a historic college in Texas, Baylor University is a great choice. 

Those who love animals should visit Cameron Park Zoo and the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. Arboretums and parks are available in the city. Breweries and distilleries. 

There are a lot of cafes and restaurants here! There are many interesting things to do in Waco, but perhaps the most interesting one is the Dr. Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute.

The drive between Austin and Dallas isn’t complete without a stop in Waco!

Chalk Ridge Falls Park

It’s a beautiful place to spend an afternoon hiking in Chalk Ridge Falls Park, an hour north of Austin. 

There are about five miles of trail in the park. There is a paved section at first, but it eventually becomes rocky.

The Chalk Ridge Falls Park features a waterfall, a boardwalk to make traversing parts of the trail easier, a cable suspension bridge across a creek, a lot of places where you can wade, breathtaking views from the bluffs, and some parts of the trail with plenty of shade and tree cover.

There is a short distance between Austin and Dallas, so getting outside in nature and strolling around might be the perfect way to begin a road trip!


The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas is in Georgetown, 30 minutes north of Austin! There is a bit of everything in this 71,000-person city!

It’s not just breweries in Georgetown you can visit, but they also have a few wineries! Daytripper World Headquarters, historic buildings, and natural swimming holes can be found in Downtown Georgetown. 

Kid-friendly activities and vibrant nightlife make this a great place for a family getaway. Throughout the city, you can find any kind of food you can imagine.

A living cave with formations that have been growing for 80,000 years is perhaps Georgetown’s most unique tour. There is no way you can miss this on the drive from Austin to Dallas!

Also Read: The 10 Best Waterfalls In Austin (And Nearby!)

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