Take a couple of day trips outside the modern metropolis of Dallas to explore some of the best small towns in Texas. Sample delicious and authentic Texas cuisine, find unique boutiques and antique stores and take in the historic and colorful facades left over from the Pacific Railroad boom of the 1800s. Here we give you recommendations of 5 of the best small towns near Dallas that make for an excellent day trip.
Canton’s historic flea market has been in operation for more than a century and is now the largest of its kind in America. It takes place from Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. Both collectors and thrift shoppers will have enormous fun! Along with dining, shopping and a host of local history museums it’s a great town for fishing with opportunities in the Old City Lake and Mill Creek Reservoir. To reach Canton you can take I-20 east for about 1 hour.
2. Pilot Point
This quaint little ranch town is quintessential small-town Texas with its charming historic district and proliferation of horse ranches. It is a perfectly situated gateway town for recreation activities on serene Lake Ray Roberts. The lake is ideal for family trips with its access to camping, swimming, fishing, and hiking. Pilot Point is also about a one-hour drive from Dallas, and easily reachable by heading north on the Dallas Tollway.
Grapevine is another great family destination with its Vintage Railroad, Grapevine Lake and LEGOLAND offering a huge range of activities. It is also very close to Dallas so you it’s a great destination if you’re looking for a short trip out of the city. Just take Highway 114 heading west and you’ll reach Grapevine in under 30 minutes. The downtown is lined with shops, restaurants, and galleries along with many artisan studios where you can see glass blowing and a bronze foundry in action. Be sure to check out the huge number of wineries in Grapevine. They offer tastings and sell red and white wines made in the area.
4. Glen Rose
Head south from Dallas on the US-67 and you’ll reach Glen Rose, well worth visiting for the Dinosaur Valley State Park. The park’s Paluxy River is famous for the Glen Rose formation dinosaur prints that you can see in the riverbed’s rock. Hunting for the prints is great fun for children and the river and surrounding woodlands offer scenic walks.
5. Cedar Hill
This hilly area of northern Texas is great for outdoor pursuits. The downtown has a few historic buildings of interest such as Cedar Hill Barbers but most visitors come for the Cedar Hill State Park. The park is home to a huge variety of wildlife including bobcats, raccoons, armadillos, and coyotes. Mountain bike enthusiasts will be enthralled by more than 40 miles of biking trails that can also be used for hiking. Only 19 miles from Dallas, Cedar Hill is a quick city getaway. Just head south on highway US-67.