Whether you’re enjoying live music in Austin, visiting the Science Center in Houston, or taking the kids to Six Flags in Dallas, Texas has no shortage of amazing locations to explore. That said, sometimes, you and the family want to get out of state and check out new and exciting destinations. The good news is, you don’t need to fly to the Caribbean to find quality vacation options the whole family will enjoy. There are world-renowned cities and fun activities just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Here are five vacation destinations not too far outside of Texas.

Walt Disney World

swimming with the manatees

Known as “The Happiest Place on Earth”, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is one of the best vacation destinations on the planet. Even better, it’s only about 13 hours by car or 2 hours by plane to get there.

Bring your childhood fantasies to life by meeting all your favorite Disney characters in the Magic Kingdom or check out one of the three other theme parks. You’re never too young or old to have fun at Walt Disney World.

In addition to Walt Disney World, Orlando is loaded with lots of other fun things to see and do. You’ll find everything from airplane rides or riding an Indy Race Car at 140 miles hour to swimming with manatees plus lots of golf courses, great restaurants, plenty of attractions, and more. Read about our Orlando Vacation to find some fun things to see and do.

The best part is, there are some fantastic resorts to stay at on-site. Some of them offer an out-of-this-world experience, such as Solterra Resort. It is only 20 minutes away and has villas available with themed bedrooms, arcades, a home theater, and private pools!

Nashville, Tennessee

Grand Ole Opry

For music lovers, Nashville, Tennessee makes one of the most perfect vacation destinations. It is only a 10-hour drive from Dallas and takes less than 2 hours by plane. Check out the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, or see a show at one of Nashville’s famous music venues, such as the Grand Ole Opry House.

Nashville isn’t known only for its music scene. People travel across the country to indulge in some mouth-watering foods. Don’t miss the spicy hot chicken and the classic meat & three vegs from iconic eateries like Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Finish it off with some biscuits and cornbread.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans

Historic New Orleans has so much to see and do. It makes an incredible destination for those who want to pack their vacation with as much as possible. It takes less than 6 hours to drive there from Houston. From early morning to late night, the city is always full of life. Bourbon Street is a must-visit area to take in the parades, party, and grab a pair or two of beads.

Mardi Gras never stops here! If you really want some fun, try New Orleans during Mardi Gras!

New Orleans has the name “Big Easy” for its ties to jazz music. See a live show while you’re here, or head to the Garden District to wander between the lush gardens and beautiful mansions.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Lake Hamilton

If your idea of the perfect vacation is spending time in the great outdoors, then you need to visit Hot Springs, Arkansas. From Dallas, it’s just over 4 hours to drive there. Named for its, you guessed it, natural hot springs, this city is peaceful and features incredible vistas. Hike up the Hot Springs Mountain for views of the area or enjoy fishing and kayaking down the Ouachita River. Or, you can rent a boat, try parasailing, or fishing on the 7,200-acre 18-mile Lake Hamilton, which runs through Hot Springs.

Hot Springs is one of our favorite vacation destinations.

Biloxi, Mississippi

shell landing golf course mississippi

Situated along the Gulf of Mexico, Biloxi, Mississippi is a vacation destination for those who love a balance of relaxation and entertainment. It takes about 6 hours to drive there from Houston. It’s worth it for the beautiful beaches. Since it’s on the coast, you know they have fresh, delicious seafood, and the islands offshore are home to loggerhead turtles and pelicans.

When you’ve had enough the beach, you can try your luck at one of the eight casinos in town, go shopping, or enjoy live shows. And Mississippi is home to some fantastic golf courses. Read our review of the Old Waverly Golf Club in Mississippi.

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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