Now that the winter holidays are over, can we talk about spring break ideas? Yaaaaaaas!
The past few years I’ve written about spring break ideas within the state of Texas (see Top 10 Texas Spring Break Ideas for Families). But what if you’ve already been to most of those places and you’re craving adventure outside of the great state of Texas?
Below are some spring break-worthy destinations that are still within a day’s drive of North Texas. No flights required!
Turner Falls, Oklahoma
You only need to drive about 2 hours up I35 from Dallas to arrive at Turner Falls Park in Davis, Oklahoma. The park boasts a 77-foot waterfall, hiking trails and hidden caves in the middle of the Arbuckle Mountains. Nearby the park there are zip lines, a safari park, a chocolate factory and the Chickasaw Cultural Center. Set up your campsite, or stay in a cabin or traditional hotel.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Less than an 8-hour drive from North Texas, New Orleans is a great spring break destination. The temperatures aren’t yet sweltering like in the summer, and the bustle from Mardi Gras is over. Eat beignets, shop in the French Market, take a swamp tour and just enjoy the beautiful architecture. See my post on 48 Hours in NOLA.
Missouri sounds like it’s far from Texas, but Branson is only a 6.5-hour drive from the Dallas area. Some say that Branson is like a family-friendly version of Las Vegas. Stay at a water park hotel, visit the National Tiger Sanctuary, watch a show, explore Talking Rocks Cavern..there is so much to do! The amusement park Silver Dollar City opens for the season just in time for spring beak visitors.
If you stretch your drive to 12 hours, you can take in all that Denver has to offer. Spring break is still prime time for skiing and snow tubing. Or, just stay in town and tour the Denver Mint or check out the Downtown Aquarium.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs is only a 4.5 hour drive from Dallas. Explore the geothermal wonders at Hot Springs National Park and the historical Bathhouse Row. Visit the science museum and botanical gardens, and leave time to walk around the quaint downtown.
Beaver’s Bend/Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Just three hours from North Texas is Beaver’s Bend State Park near Broken Bow. The park itself has camping, hiking, a small train, paddle boats and water sports. The area is most well-known for its luxury cabin rentals. Most cabins have hot tubs, game rooms and outdoor fire pits. Wildlife abounds in the area, and you might see bears, mountain lions and deer.
Check out this video of the area:
Red River, New Mexico
If the drive to Colorado is just too far, you only have to drive 10 hours to get to the mountain ski town of Red River, New Mexico. Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and snow tubing…this is the place to be. If your kids are too young for all of the recreation, they can have fun at Buckaroo Day Care while you hit the slopes. Enjoy dinner together in a heated snow coach as you ascend the mountain.
Orange Beach, Alabama
Driving 10 hours east from the Dallas area gets you to Orange Beach, Alabama. Many Dallasites prefer the beaches in this area over Galveston and other Texas beaches due to the clarity of the ocean. Take a ride on a pirate ship to see dolphins, or ride the Ferris Wheel at the Wharf.
Memphis is just a 6.5-hour drive from North Texas. Visit Graceland and the Pink Palace Family of Museums. Eat the city’s famous Memphis BBQ, stroll the famous Beale Street Entertainment District and learn about history at the Underground Railroad Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum. For some outdoor recreation, visit Shelby Farms Park, where you can ride a horse or soar down a zip line. Plus, the Memphis Zoo is only one of four zoos in the U.S. with pandas!
So, are you ready to hit the road this year for spring break? What are your plans? What other spring break ideas do you have? Don’t forget, you can use the benefits of a card like the Capital One Savor to offset the cost of your spring break road trip!
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.