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The major cities in Texas have a lot to offer, but there is so much to discover outside the big smoke. However, considering Texas is the second largest state in America, figuring out what to do with limited time is challenging. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible though. With only a day on the road, we planned a route from Houston to Dallas that would allow us to see as much as possible between sunrise and sunset.

1 Day Road Trip Houston to Dallas





Our road trip started at the William P Hobby Airport in Houston. We picked up our rental car (details at the bottom of this article), drove back to Montrose to pick up our suitcases and headed out of Houston on State Highway 290.

The first stop is approximately 45 minutes into the drive, located in Waller, just off the 290. Buc-ee’s is a chain gas and convenience store, that first opened in Texas in 1982. Since then, Buc-ee’s has expanded, with multiple locations in Texas as well as places in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. They boast the world record for World’s Largest Convenience Store and World’s Longest Car Wash. At Buc-ee's you can not only fill up the tank but also grab lunch and snacks for the road, restock travel essentials you may have forgotten and shop for souvenirs, clothes and homewares.

Continuing 10 minutes up the road from Buc-ee’s, take a right onto State Highway 6. Drive north for 2 hours to the city of Waco. Waco is home to the Mammoth National Monument, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, the infamous Waco Siege and three major colleges, including Baylor University, Texas State Technical College and McLennan Community College. There is plenty to explore depending on your interests, but for us, the main reason for stopping in Waco was to visit the Magnolia Markets and Silos. This site is owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. On the grounds, there is the market, a bakery, a coffee shop, boutiques, food trucks and more.

Magnolia Market is open Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm.

From Waco, drive for 1 hour east on State Highway 84 to Cooper Farms Country Store on Interstate 45. Here you can fill up the car and then fill up your shopping bag with tinned fruit, dried fruit, fruit pies and other delicious road trip snacks. You also cannot walk out without a cone of their famous peach ice cream.

Places To Visit in Texas - Corsicana

Continue north up the I-45 for 30 minutes to reach Corsicana. This charming town has a lot to see, including historical buildings, the second-largest planetarium in Texas, interesting museums, cute boutiques, great wineries, good fishing and bakeries full of delicious pastries, cakes and bread, like the popular Collins Street Bakery.

It takes approximately an hour to drive the final stretch up the I-45, from Corsicana to Dallas.


We hired our car from Budget Car Rentals at William P Hobby Airport in Houston. We dropped the car off at the Dallas Love Field Airport. At both locations, we had a smooth and friendly experience and were able to utilise shuttles and public transport to access the depots. As first-time customers, we were also offered a discount when booking online just by signing up for their mailing list. We reserved a “Toyota Corolla or similar” and ended up with a minivan, which was not an issue for us. The car was clean, had plenty of room and ran perfectly for the two days we had it. We found the cheapest option was to pick up and drop off at an airport rather than a downtown location.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use as well.

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