Warmer weather is fast approaching, which means it's time to plan the next family road trip! Although Texas seems like a large swath of land filled with highways and spread out metroplexes, it's not difficult to pile in the car and find a nearby destination for a weekend getaway. Here are some wonderful spring vacation spots, all within six hours or so from the Dallas area. Where will you go first?
The City of Fredericksburg
Located an hour away from San Antonio and Austin, this quaint city has established itself as a real gem over recent years. Spend a weekend meandering through impressive unique shops, touring a winery or distillery, and enjoying the area's relaxing restaurants and spas. You can also venture out of the city to take in the scenic views of the Texas Hill Country. Although this area is always beautiful, it's especially breathtaking during the spring due to the abundance of Texas wildflowers. Snap pictures, hop over to Enchanted Rock, and embrace the outdoors for a little while before returning to your accommodations in Fredericksburg.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas," this landscape is as gorgeous as it is interactive. Go horseback riding, hiking, and camping in the canyon, which is 120 miles long and up to 800 feet deep at certain points. You'll certainly want to capture the steep walls and unique rock formations, so be sure to bring your camera along. If you're interested in history, you can also learn about the people who used to herd mammoth and giant bison in the area thousands of years ago. On your way to Palo Duro, take a detour to Amarillo to stock up on supplies, then enjoy the winding roads to the canyon floor.
The City of Ennis
I've got two words for you: Bluebonnet Trails. For 67 years, Ennis has been home to these gorgeous trails and has thus been designated as the Official Bluebonnet City of Texas. From April 1 through April 30, thousands of people will make the trek to this city to take in the scenes of vivid blue and green. You can sign up for a tour of the trails with the garden club, or you can make your own way through the sites. Once you've had your fill of the state flower, take some time to shop in downtown Ennis, try some authentic Czech food, and stay in a quaint bed and breakfast. You can also visit the nearby Lake Bardwell for some fishing and camping if you're interested.
Robbers Cave State Park
This park is home to a beautiful lake that's perfect for swimming, numerous hiking trails, clean campgrounds, and memorable activities like horseback riding. Located in Oklahoma, it's only a handful of hours away from most of the DFW area, but the clusters of trees and hills will make you feel like you traveled much further. I highly recommend camping there during the spring or staying in one of the park's lodge rooms, which are comfortable and clean. Plan plenty of time for hiking because there are more than enough trails to occupy your entire weekend. Fun fact: legendary fugitives like Jesse James and Belle Starr used to use the area as their hideout, thus giving it the name "Robbers Cave" and its label as a National Historic Place.
Hot Springs National Park
This is one of the few national parks within a relatively short distance from DFW. Take a break from North Texas scenery and head up to Arkansas to view forests, lakes, and mountains. The city of Hot Springs is actually located inside the national park with the same name, which is pretty unusual. Visit the thermal spas, historical sights, hiking trails, and yummy restaurants to complete your weekend vacay. There are several festive events happening in the city over the course of the following months, so be sure to check out the event calendar so you can visit at just the right time.