If you live in Fort Worth or just visit Kautown, there are many places you can visit on a day trip out of town.
We offer day trips to natural parks, waterfalls, lakes and rivers, historical sites and buildings, markets, flower gardens, beautiful cities and much more!
Day trips are booked from the nearest city to Fort Worth. Most take 2 hours or less, but we have a few extra options if you feel adventurous!
1. Wine tasting in the vineyard
30 minutes from Fort Worth (23 miles)
The historic town of Grapavine is a center for local winemakers near Fort Worth.
The city of Grafewin is the closest city to Fort Worth on our list of 30 cities, so this list opens. Only half an hour drive from the centre of Fort Worth and close to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, you will feel much further away when you arrive.
On the outskirts of the town there are several vineyards that you can visit or go to one of the tasting rooms of the vineyard itself. Even if it’s only half an hour, you can stay to avoid having to hire a private driver or take a taxi.
This wine region may not be as famous as California and Oregon, or even Texas, a more southerly wine country, but don’t denigrate it until you’ve tasted it and stay for dinner to make the best of your day.
If you want to add a little more fun and kitsch to your dinner, the Jazz Wine Train, which runs along the old Grapevine Vintage Railroad from 1920, offers the same wine and the same dinner combined with a little extra.
Don’t miss a walk through Grapavine itself. There are shops and things to see besides wine!
2. Driving on the road for a day in Dallas
35 minutes from Fort Worth (32 miles)
There are a number of interesting buildings in the centre of Dallas, including the unusual Chase Tower in the background.
The older brother of Fort Worth is only a few minutes away and we couldn’t help adding him to our list, because even if you’ve been to Dallas several times, he’s worth more than a visit.
There is so much to do in Dallas that you can make day trips for a few weeks and not cover everything. If you want to spend more time, a long weekend will give you many more opportunities to discover the city.
The museum on the sixth floor and the Dealey Plaza are a good starting point. Although they belong to a dark part of the local history, the piercing museum is really interesting, and from the window where the picture was taken you can look outside with a white X marking the place.
If you like art, the Meadows Museum and the Dallas Art Museum should be on your list. There are also large parks and a walk with cattle statues to Pioneer Plaza and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge on the Trinity River.
For the best views of Dallas you can stay the night and make a reservation at Five Sixty… They estimate 560 feet in the air at the top of the Reunion Tower. The table by the window offers you a 360 degree view, while the restaurant rotates slowly as you eat.
3. Visit to the historic city of Denton, Texas
40 minutes from Fort Worth (37 miles)
The Old Denton Bridge from 1884 is one of Denton’s main attractions.
Denton is a few miles from Fort Worth on the I-35W, where two branches of the Interstate Highway merge into one and the I-35 then heads north to Oklahoma and Kansas.
The I-35W can be very busy in the morning rush hour, so don’t waste 20 to 30 minutes on the highway to have breakfast in Fort Worth first. If you take to the streets around 9.30 am, you have almost the whole day to explore Denton.
In the middle of Denton is the courthouse on the square. It dates from 1896 and is literally a large courthouse on the Place Denton.
Inside you will find a museum about the history and culture of Denton, which goes back to the early settlers and pays a lot of attention to the different groups of immigrants who made Denton their home.
After a stroll through the small town centre and lunch at one of the restaurants on Hickory Street, opt for the Clear Creek Heritage Centre (closer by) and Ray Roberts Lake State Park (further on) for an afternoon walk in the wilderness.
Both have good footpaths, but Ray Roberts complements the forest with beautiful bays and lakeside beaches and wild deer if you don’t mind a little more driving.
4. Watch the classic airplane in the Kavanaugh Flight Museum
50 minutes from Fort Worth (40 miles)
A unique collection of classic airplanes and cars at the Cavanaugh Museum of Flight.
Photo by Neuwieser – Link
If you or your children love airplanes, the Cavanaugh Flight Museum is located north of Dallas at Addison Airport.
The main collection here consists of warplanes from the First World War to all the other major conflicts of the 20th century. For centuries. Some of the exhibits are located in the hangar, others are visible from the outside.
For people with the geek gene you can see a number of unique aircraft engines in the exhibition, where you can see how their design has changed and improved over time.
Strangely enough, in addition to the aircraft, the museum also has a small collection of vintage cars from the 1930s and 1940s, inexplicably in the middle of the aircraft collection. Not that it bothers me, because I like classic bikes, but it seems unusual!
If you book the museum grounds in advance, you can take advantage of its location near the runway and take a flight in one of the classic fighter planes or bombers. This will definitely sweeten your day, and there’s nothing better than getting into an almost 80 year old bomber plane!
5. Walking in a windmill on the Tolar
55 minutes from Fort Worth (44 miles)
On the Tolar Park wind farm 30 Revised wind turbines
An hour’s drive from Fort Worth, the 377 offers one of the most unusual day trips: a windmill near Tolar.
Access to the farm is free near the highway, but I really recommend that you make a donation for maintenance as soon as you enter the farm. Bring a brochure as soon as you have paid the amount and follow the path through the park.
There are about 30 classically restored windmills from various local farms and ranches. Each of them has its own history, carefully reconstructed to function exactly as it did when it was brand new.
The farm is generally open daily. Most windmills can be seen from the street, but you will have a much better experience if you park and walk around the park to see them up close.
6. Go to the historic town of McKinney.
1 hour from Fort Worth (57 miles)
The quiet, peaceful McKinney Center in Texas.
If you don’t know much about McKinney, you’re not alone. Located near the metro, the city is small and not very visible at first sight, but if you look closely, you will find exactly what you need.
Money magazine called it the best residential neighborhood in America in 2014, and it often appears in the top 10 of other publications. What for? The city is known for its large local population, dynamic vitality and emphasis on work-life balance.
These rewards have not gone unnoticed and McKinney has become a popular moving destination for those who want to enjoy life more. In 2019, the American Census Bureau McKinney ranked 6th.
Start your visit by walking along the main road. In buildings from the end of the 19th century you will find picturesque local shops and places where you can stop for coffee or lunch.
Go to the Historical Centre and you will discover even more charm and history. A few blocks south is the historic village of Chestnut Square, where 10 restored historic buildings from 1854 are open to the public and costumed actors can help explain what life was like in McKinney 150 years ago.
7. See prehistoric remains at Dinosaur Valley State Park
1 hour from Fort Worth (58 miles)
Dinosaur Valley State Park is clearly marked to make sure you are in the right place.
W. Scott McGill/Shutterstock.com
Dinosaur Valley State Park is located one hour southwest of Fort Worth – if you leave during the morning rush hour, it can take up to 15-20 minutes longer than your driving time.
The park is not one of the largest, but it has a beautiful wooded area with small streams that flow into the Paluxy River and several well-maintained paths that run through the park.
The walk is already very good, but to reinforce this impression, Dinosaur Valley State Park has some of the best preserved dinosaur footprints in the world – some can be found in the rocks around the river, while others follow the riverbed, although they can be seen through the water.
The thick clay through which the dinosaurs walked has turned to stone over millions of years, and today you can walk, look and even touch these tracks.
Don’t miss the stop at Glen Rose, the nearest town to the park. It is a charming town in Texas, with a courthouse in the center, on the historic Justice Square, built in 1893.
8. Exploring Terrell’s Historic Houses
1 hour 5 minutes from Fort Worth (68 miles)
Р. L. Warren House is an 18-room historic mansion located in Terrell, Texas.
Terrell is a town east of Dallas, and to get there you have to go around the Big D. The quickest way is the I-20, which will take you to the edge of Terrell.
This small town is mainly known for two things: the historical buildings, which are decorated with sunken panels that describe their meaning, and ghosts.
Most of the historic buildings are located in the historic centre and are interspersed with frescoes painted on the walls of the buildings and some very strange neighbourhood shops.
If you come on Saturday, there will be an official tour that will tell you the story of the ghosts that live in the city. If you are interested, you can sign up for a haunted house weekend in Thrillvania’s Haunted House Park, where you can see ghosts in haunted houses.
The town is also home to the first British flying school. This museum is the place where the British RAF (Air Force) pilots trained during the Second World War before they went to war. There are some really interesting things that give an impression of what life was like in the camp during the war.
9. Relaxing on the water near Lake Whitney
1 hour 10 minutes from Fort Worth (72 miles)
Lake Whitney is a wide stretch of the Brazos River between Fort Worth and Waco.
Just over an hour south of Fort Worth is Lake Whitney, a reservoir that formed along the River Brazos behind the Whitney Dam, built in the 1950s.
The large artificial lake is a great place to spend time on and around the water, having more fun than you can do in a day.
On the lake you can do anything from perch and catfish fishing (with permit) to boat trips, water skiing and even diving.
There are many parks around the lake – McCown Valley Park, Cedar Creek Park, Steele Creek Park, Steiner Valley Park, Old Fort Park and Lake Whitney State Park.
The national park is most popular with visitors – it has two short official hiking trails of about one kilometre each, and at weekends it becomes popular with overnight tourists.
In fact, the pristine nature around the lake has become so popular that Texas lawmakers officially declared Lake Whitney the capital of the state of Texas in 2005. I don’t know what kind of legal privileges it offers, but it’s a cool name!
10. Take a history lesson at Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site
1 hour 10 minutes from Fort Worth (60 miles)
The renovated hospital is one of the historic buildings you can visit in Fort Richardson Park.
The photo of Nicolas Henderson is a link.
Learn more about 19th century Texan history. To know the history of the 20th century, you have to travel from one fortress to another. From Fort Worth, take Route 199 (which starts in the city centre) and stay on this road for only 60 miles until you see a sign that Fort Richardson is on your left.
Fort Richardson, built in 1867, was a border post when settlers occupied more territory in northern Texas and displaced the Comanche and Kiowa tribes.
The fort served its purpose because in 1878 the Texas Hilt and part of what is now Oklahoma were placed under the protection of the U.S. Army, and the post was abandoned for nearly 100 years.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the abandoned ruins were partially restored as part of the national heritage and reopened as Richardson State Historic Park.
The fortress stretching over the park and 55 buildings have been restored and opened to the public. Very popular are the hospital and morgue buildings, which offer everything from the spare building to the officer’s house, as well as 2 replicas of the military barracks buildings to complete the restoration.
If you arrive early, the first tour starts at 10 a.m. on weekdays. The other one’s not till 2:00 in the morning, so he’s paying to leave Fort Worth in the morning.
The park around the historic site is perfect for an afternoon walk after seeing the fortress itself. There are a number of great hiking trails that are relatively easy to get – a $3 entry fee covers both the fort and the park, which is an incredible value for a day trip from Fort Worth.
11. Try your luck at the world’s largest casino
1 hour 10 minutes from Fort Worth (75 miles)
WinStar World Casino and Resort offers themed entries based on world famous locations.
WinStar World Casino is located just across the border in Oklahoma, north of Fort Worth. If you’ve never heard of it and think a local casino in the southern state of Chicasola Oklahoma won’t control it, think again.
With an area of approximately 600,000 square meters, WinStar Casino is the largest casino in the world. It beats everything you can find along the Las Vegas Strip, in Atlantic City and even in the huge casinos in places like Macau.
Texas is a fairly conservative state, so the casinos aren’t coming to Fort Worth in the near future. That’s why there’s WinStar – more than 90% of visitors would be residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, which sits at tables all day.
No matter what game you play at the casino, you have an incredible number of options. The poker room alone has 55 tables, and from time to time huge multi-table tournaments are held.
If you want to stay for the evening, the hotel has many good restaurants, and for those who like to gamble all night long, the hotel on top of the casino has almost 1500 rooms!
12. Buying antiques on the Magnolia market from Silos to Waco
1 hour 20 minutes from Fort Worth (89 miles)
Since the establishment of the Magnolia Market, Waco silos have become an industrial milestone with cult status.
Capture and compilation/Shutterstock.com
Whether you love antique furniture, design in general or just want to spend a fun day strolling through picturesque stalls and shops, Waco is less than 90 minutes south of Fort Worth.
Take the I-35W directly from the center of Fort Worth and follow the I-35 all the way to the end after connecting to the I-35E from Dallas. You’ll get to the heart of Waco without having to turn once!
The Magnolia market has become Waco’s main attraction. It’s easy to find – two huge old silos to look forward to. The market was created and is owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines of the famous television show Fixer Upper TV.
They didn’t settle for the generally interesting selection of antiques and furniture, but left Waco and made it a place where people came to buy classical things. They stopped filming the show to focus on the family and their business, so you can only see it your own way.
Don’t miss the three-storey pepper museum, also in Waco. The museum is housed in the first purpose-built factory building where Dr. Pepper was produced for more than 50 years, until 1960. From cool billboards to classic bottle designs, there’s a lot to see and it’s a great way to keep an eye on the industry over time.
13. That this little town of Greenville, Texas, feels
1 hour 25 minutes from Fort Worth (83 miles)
Greenville is a charming town that seems far away from Fort Worth.
If you want to visit a small, relaxed town, a little off the beaten track, and spend the day strolling the streets, visiting a number of historic houses and learning the history of the town, Greenville, Texas, is the place to be.
The fastest route from Fort Worth to Greenville is the I-30, which runs through Dallas. Even during the morning rush you will probably need 10 to 15 minutes to reach the centre of Dallas and head north.
Greenville’s historic center is not as picturesque as McKinney’s (#6 above), but the National Historic Register has several buildings with exterior designations that tell you what they mean. The city was founded in 1852 and some buildings date from the 19th century. For centuries.
It’s worth checking out the Audie Murphy Cotton Museum – an unusual museum that combines an exhibition about Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier in World War II, with an exhibition on the history of the local cotton industry.
The combination of medals, uniforms and memorabilia from the Second World War and the piercing section about the lives of settlers and slaves on a classic cotton plantation in Texas may seem strange, but in a way it is about work.
14. Doing business at the world’s largest flea market in Canton
1 hour 25 minutes from Fort Worth (94 miles)
The Canton Flea Market on the first Monday is an excellent day trip from Fort Worth.
If you randomly buy jewelry, super rare first editions of vinyl or car parts that the manufacturer stopped producing 20 years ago, that makes a very special day, the first Monday of the flea market days of Canton will be a treat.
The market is held once a month, on the weekend before the first Monday of the month – which sometimes means that it takes place at the end or beginning of the month, depending on how that Monday turns out.
From Thursday to Sunday stands, semi-permanent shops and entire pavilions can be found on the 100-hectare site. More than 6,000 dealers come to sell you everything from handicrafts to TVs from the 1960s.
It’s the place where one man’s garbage from his attic becomes another man’s treasure all the time!
First Monday Trade Days is officially the largest flea market in the United States and (by definition) in the world. So if you want to buy something, no matter how rare, you’ll probably find someone who can sell it here.
15. Take a nice walk around Lake Murray in Oklahoma.
1 hour 30 minutes from Fort Worth (97 miles)
Tucker Tower is a mandatory stop on the way to Lake Murray.
Liberty Drone Imaging LLC/Shutterstock.com
The other very easy route, the Murray Lake route from Fort Worth is almost identical to the Waco route, except that you should continue north on the I-35 instead of south to Marietta. Murray Lake is only a few miles from the highway.
For those who like to spend a day on the water, there are all kinds of possibilities, from paddling to kayaking and fishing. Off the water there are trails for mountain bikes, horseback riding, a full-size golf course and mini golf if you don’t want to spend 4 hours at stake.
The best reason to go to Murray Lake is the road around Murray Lake – Highway 77S. It is 25 miles long and has several small roads to explore the state park and several bays and forests along the lakeshore.
In any case, it is worth making a complete tour in the afternoon before returning home to see the lake from all sides.
Given my obsession with perfect roads and road travel, I may be a little biased, but you can stop along the way – there’s Murray Beach Lake, a marina, the Tucker Tower (you have to climb to the top to get a good view) and there are lots of parking lots and small campsites.
16. Enjoying architecture in Salphour Springs, Texas
1 hour 45 minutes from Fort Worth (111 miles)
Hopkins County Court in Celebration Square is worth the trip to Surfour Springs.
If you jump east on the I-30 and stay just under 2 hours, you will reach Salfour Springs about 20 miles past Greenville (#13 above). If you leave early, you can even combine them for a great trip every day!
In the middle of Salfour Springs is the Hopkins County Court Building. He sits in the Celebration Plaza and has an unusual combination of materials and design that brings him into conflict with everything that happens in Sulphur Springs and even Texas.
They are granite in different shades of pink, small towers at the top and classic arches.
The courthouse is a functional building – it houses court hearings and various public services, such as the issuing of passports. You can go inside and see what this great building looks like from the inside.
Outside, at the fair, you’ll see two glass latrines. Glass is reflective on the outside but transparent on the inside, which gives a very strange feeling when you accidentally use it and see all the people around you.
17. Exploring the bays of Possum State Park
1 hour 45 minutes from Fort Worth (103 miles)
Possum Kingdom Lake is a spacious bay and a rocky spur west of Fort Worth.
Like many lakes in Texas, the Kingdom of Possums is not really a lake, but a reservoir created by blocking the river Brazos with a dam to regulate water flow and irrigation.
Like many lakes in Texas, it is the perfect place to spend a day – the way the dammed up rivers flow through the various valleys creates an amazing number of cosy little bays, rocky beaches and coves, ideal for spending the day relaxing from everyday life.
The best way to enjoy and explore the lake is to reach it. Choose a kayak, canoe, funboard or boat and explore the area from top to bottom. Adventurers can enjoy scuba diving and water skiing, although the Kingdom of Possums is not exactly a barrier reef.
With over 300 miles of coastline, the Kingdom of Possum Lake is very extensive and the national park covers only a small area on the southwestern side.
There’s not much to do here, but you can rest by the trees or camp and spend the night. There’s not even two miles between them. Technically there are three official routes, but the third is only a short route of 1.4 miles long.
18. Catch of perch and striped catfish in Lake Texo
1 hour 50 minutes from Fort Worth (109 miles)
View of Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texo.
While we’re talking about lakes, which are actually dammed up rivers, you go into Lake Texo.
This huge lake lies on the border of Texas-Oklahoma and was created in 1944 when the Red River flooded its banks downstream. It’s a place where people from both states come to rest today.
The best reason to go to Lake Texas is fishing. The large lake seems to be home to 70 different species of fish and is unusual for inland rivers, the water is salty, so the catch of the day is salty fish.
The place where the river was submerged and flooded was the bed of a small sea a few thousand years ago, and the salt that remained when the sea disappeared was absorbed into the lake.
The result is that you can catch things like the striped perch, which is normally only caught in the seas and oceans in the middle of Texas!
Around the lake there are dozens of campsites, parks, resorts and golf courses. Some are worth a visit, but some are not as well maintained as other parks in Texas. If you want to camp for the night, you should do some research and maybe choose another place.
19. Watch Exotic Animals in the Arbuckle Animal Park
1 hour 50 minutes from Fort Worth (123 miles)
Passing great animals in Arbuckle Wild Park
We have already mentioned several locations that can be found along the I-35 in the north. Denton (#3), Murray Lake (#15) and the WinStar Casino (#11) are on their way, but if you drive a little further in Oklahoma, you’ll arrive at Arbuckle Wilderness Park.
Arbuckle Wilderness and Turner Falls are just a short drive on both sides of the highway. So if you go all the way, you can enjoy yourself and visit both.
A wildlife park is a car safari. Many animals come from Africa and you see giraffes and rhinos. The other residents are llamas, deer, buffaloes and curious donkeys.
Roads through the park can be bumpy, with caving and some are unpaved. So make sure you are happy with the effect this can have on your car (and also on the animals that love your mirrors). Don’t get in a sports car with low ground clearance!
20. Crossing the border to Oklahoma to see Turner Falls
1 hour 55 minutes from Fort Worth (122 miles)
Turner Falls is the highest waterfall in Oklahoma.
Turner Falls is just a short drive from Arbuckle Wilderness Park, two hours north on Fort Worth’s I-35.
At 77 feet, Turner Falls is the highest waterfall in Oklahoma and one of the highest in Falls State Nature Park, and the area around the falls is a popular weekend destination.
There are many activities in and around the water – there is a creek that runs through the park, but you have to take care of your water shoes, and life jackets are mandatory for children.
Be careful if you decide to take a short walk to the viewing platform or into deeper water. Hiking trails can be a bit treacherous and go down a steep slope to the side, while the water is known to be very cold and deep.
If you plan to stay, I strongly advise you to choose another park for the campsite. Despite the fact that the waterfall is worth seeing and you can spend the whole day there, in a few months many reports have been published about bad maintenance, garbage in the area and bad management of the park with loud music and tents set up next to each other.
Lake Murray is on the way back to Fort Worth and is a much better camping option if you want to camp this weekend.
21. See Roses and Azaleas in Tyler, Texas
2 hours from Fort Worth (142 miles)
The Azalia Trail is one of Tyler’s most amazing flowering spots.
Tyler may only be two hours drive from Fort Worth, but if you’re planning a day trip in spring or early summer, this could be the place for you!
The best way to get there is to take the I-20 from Fort Worth to the outskirts of Tyler. Navigation systems can steer you around Dallas on the I-30, but you’re playing road roulette while making a loop in the centre of Dallas.
The small and humble town of Tyler has not one but two beautiful places to see flowers and if you want to spend a day with a family in all shades of pink, purple and red, you’re in luck.
The main attraction is the municipal rose garden – with 14 hectares and 40,000 roses it is the largest in the United States and houses rose varieties from the 1860s and experimental rose varieties that are not open to the public.
Although the Pink Garden gave Tyler the nickname of the Pink Capital of America, you should definitely visit the paths of the Azalia. In full bloom the azaleas are astonishing and are often neglected in favour of a more famous garden 15 km away.
22. Conventional rail service of the State of Texas Palestinian Railways, Texas
2 hours 15 minutes from Fort Worth (141 miles)
The Texas State Railway uses amazing conventional steam and diesel locomotives for a single train journey.
The Texas State Railroad is a 25 mile line connecting the cities of Palestine and Rask, Texas. A freight train company worked on the line until 1921, and decades after it was abandoned the line became a tourist attraction.
You can take the train at any station, but Palestine is closer to Fort Worth, and as the train goes around the world, it makes sense to come here first.
To get there you have to go west, through Dallas, and then find the train station just behind the city of Palestine on American Highway 84 – the journey takes just over 2 hours.
The trail doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to history. The depot buildings have been restored to their original state and the trains themselves are masterpieces of the 19th century.
Depending on your planning and your luck, you will be pulled by a conventional diesel or steam engine. The 4 hour journey can be made in different classes, from transport on a Spartan wooden bench in the open air to the presidential car.
If you drive alone, you can buy a seat in the engine for $250, but you must reserve a front seat and the seat is limited to 1. So don’t do it if you’re leaving with your family and you want them to like you afterwards!
23. Trip to Marshalon the occasion of Culture Day
2 hours 45 minutes from Fort Worth (185 miles)
The Harrison County Circuit Court building is located in downtown Marshall, Texas.
Nearly 3 hours is a long drive, and although Marshall is a great city for a day trip from Fort Worth, you can extend your weekend or longer trip and add the Jeffersonian (#25 below) and Caddo Lake (#26) nearby.
Some of the other entries on our list, including Tyler (#21) and Terrell (#8), are already on their way, so you can interrupt the trip.
Marshall has declared itself the cultural capital of East Texas, and there are several attractions where you can discover this culture, starting with the Harrison County Historical Museum in the courthouse (see photo above).
The Texas and Pacific Railway Museum shows you the history of Marshall as an important railway junction in the 19th century. The Mickelson Museum of Art and the Starr Family State Historical Monument will help complete your cultural awakening.
If you plan to come from the end of November until Christmas, Wonderland is the biggest light festival in the United States, so come have fun on your Christmas trip!
24. Visit to the Texas Capitol Building in Austin
2 hours 50 minutes from Fort Worth (189 miles)
Austin is the capital of Texas and you have many reasons to take a day trip.
It is best to drive 3 hours from Fort Worth to Austin, which seems like a long way from a day trip. I drove to the airport of Fort Worth and, although it took a while, it’s not so bad that the I-35 travelled all the way.
There’s a lot to see if you keep passing Texas – the Texas Hills region has great cowboy towns and a famous wine region, and San Antonio also deserves a trip, but it’s all a bit too far for a day trip, so Austin is as far away as I’ve allowed on the southern route.
Austin, the capital of Texas, is the capital of the state and is worth a short stop in many parts of the city. If you are particularly interested, find time for a guided tour and join one of these visits.
Near the Capitol is the Bullock Texas State History Museum, which has many interesting exhibits about the history of Texas and Austin in particular.
If you want to relax and enjoy stunning views of Austin, visit Zilker Park on the south bank of the Colorado River. There is a natural swimming pool with spring water, whose water is completely transparent (and fresh!) when you want to swim.
25. Living in the slow lane at Jefferson
3 hours from Fort Worth (201 miles)
The historic Jefferson General Store is hard to miss with a classic blue Chevrolet parked outside.
Jefferson can be reached in 3 hours – it’s a long journey and you might want to extend it to get the most out of it. Lake Caddo is on the road (see no. 26 below), as is the town of Marshall (no. 23), so you can spend the weekend there.
Known as the capital of the United States for its bed and breakfast style, you will also find great places to sleep throughout the city.
The best way to see Jefferson is to get out of the car and walk through the historic city centre. There are small local shops to visit, and the Great Gulf of Cyprus runs through the town – you can take a short boat trip there!
Jefferson’s most famous attraction is the Jefferson General Store – you won’t miss it with a classic bright blue Chevrolet pickup parked outside, while inside is a classic Americana store with a soda fountain and Blue Bell ice cream.
There are several other interesting museums in the city – the local Museum of Measurement and Time has a collection of clocks and other interesting devices to measure almost anything that can be measured. The Jeffersonian Historical Museum tells the story of the city, and the Jeffersonian Historical Railway behind it is a hit with kids.
26. Go to the current southern wetland near Lake Caddo.
3 hours from Fort Worth (203 miles)
Lake Caddo is a real southern swamp with bare cypresses and numerous waterways.
You might think that the real swamps of the south are reserved for Louisiana, Florida, and choose other places along the Gulf Coast that are too far away to visit Fort Worth.
But Lake Caddo, on the border between Texas and Louisiana, is only 200 miles away, and although it’s a fairly long walk, you can easily cover it in a day if you leave early and see for yourself.
The Great Gulf of Cyprus flows into the lake, and all the essential elements of a real southern marshland are present here. Is it difficult to move through the undergrowth, the high grass and the surface of the streams? Take a look. Long, bald cypresses growing out of the water? Mark him too. Want to see the alligators? There’s a big check mark here too!
The entrance to Caddo Lake National Park is only $4 and there is much to see. There are also steamboat excursions around the lake and stops in some of the towns that provide a good opportunity to visit the different parts of the lake.
The cities of Jefferson (#25 above) and Marshall (#23) are nice stops, and there are many other cities along the I-20 where you can take a break in your journey with Tyler, Terrell and Canton, all on our list.
27. Lost in the pine forests of Davy Crockett National Forest
3 hours and 5 minutes from Fort Worth (203 miles)
The lush pine forests of the Davy Crockett National Forest offer something different from the typical Texan landscape.
Nature of Palestine / Shutterstock.com
Davy Crockett National Forest, part of the great Piney Forest in eastern Texas, is a million miles from Fort Worth. The track is not that long, although it should take more than 3 hours in the morning.
The state forest is full of pine trees, streams and small roads rather than the rather dry landscape around Fort Worth.
The most popular part is the Rutcliffe Lake Recreation Area. The path is easy to walk on footpaths with beautiful wooden benches and picnic areas, which is very handy if you take your children or if you want to take a break more often.
Parking is also decent and the distance between the major cities of Texas is just long enough so you don’t have to exaggerate, even on weekends.
If you’re looking for a place where you can really escape the hustle and bustle of Dallas-Fort Worth underground and listen to the bustle of the pine trees, get in your car and go to Davy Crockett National Forest.
28. Day in Oklahoma City
3 hours from Fort Worth (200 miles)
At night the restored Bricktown area is filled with restaurants and bars.
With cities like Dallas and even Austin within easy reach of Fort Worth, Oklahoma City may not be the focus, but if you’ve visited the major centres of Texas, OKC is a great alternative.
The I-35 goes straight from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City. Once there, you can park anywhere in Brick Town or in the business district – the areas you want to see are within walking distance, and a 3 hour drive is all you need!
The Oklahoma City National Memorial is located a few blocks northwest of Bricktown, and you should definitely visit it. The ubiquitous garden and swimming pool pay tribute to the victims of the 1995 explosion.
On the way back to Bricktown you can stop at the Oklahoma City Art Museum or the American Banjo Museum if you like more trendy museums.
Brick Town is a revitalized area with a canal and streets with beautiful converted warehouses with bars and restaurants. Get an early dinner here before you go back to Fort Worth!
29. Angelina National Forest
3 hours 20 minutes from Fort Worth (202 miles)
Boykin Springs is an ideal area for hiking in the Angelina National Forest.
The Angelina National Forest is a large protected area along the banks of the Angelina River, the Sam Rayburn Reservoir and the Neches River. The forest consists mainly of pine trees and offers many opportunities to spend the day in the coolness.
The Sam Rayburn Reservoir area is the place to go and the forest covers both sides, so save 20 minutes and drive to the west coast.
There are hiking trails through the forest and along streams, and if you have a bike, there are some very good routes in the area.
If you go a little further south, you’ll see Boykin Springs, where the natural spring water flows out of the ground and into the rocks.
The park’s most popular trail is in Boykin Springs – the Sawmill Trail, which is over 8 km long, but a relatively easy walk through a mix of woods, fields and water.
30. Same place as nature in Beavers Bend State Park, Oklahoma
3 hours 30 minutes from Fort Worth (209 miles)
The trees along the Mountain Fork River in Beavers Bend National Park are amazing in autumn.
Beavers Bend is the furthest from Fort Worth on our list, and you can see how long it takes to get here and choose instead of the many parks and lakes that are higher up on the list.
But if you want to make a real daytrip, Beavers Bend is located in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, near the border with Arkansas.
At least 3 hours away from all major metro areas it is relatively quiet in the beaver curve, even in high season when the weather is nice.
On Broken Onion Lake you can enjoy all kinds of water sports: kayaking and paddling, fishing and water skiing.
Away from the water there are several excellent access roads to the National Park, in addition to hiking, cycling and bridle paths – most of which lead from the nearby highway to the lake.