Here are Texas Travel Talk’s favorite Texas roadside stops.
Texas is a vast state, and thank goodness we have plenty of rest areas in Texas. We are lucky because that means we can travel all around the state, exploring for days, with tons to see and do, and still be in Texas! With so many major highways and larger cities full of fun and history, sometimes the trip can take hours or even days. Below, I’ve listed several Texas roadside stops along highways throughout the state and my favorite rest stops on I-35.
Texas Roadside Stops Worth Stopping
Besides Braum’s, Dairy Queen, or Sonic for yummy ice cream cravings, below are a few you may not have thought about or known about. Okay, maybe not Buc-ee’s, but the others. Take a break from that long road trip and stop at one of these roadside attractions and get something to munch on or to stretch your legs.
Texas Travel Information Centers
Speaking of great roadside stops. The Texas Travel Information Centers are the best. They have a beautiful facility, clean bathrooms, a movie about Texas, and all the Texas brochures you could ever want or need. Also, look for professional travel counselors inside to answer any questions. Just know that there are only 12 of these centers, most located on the borders of Texas and adjacent states. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mexico.
Buc-ee’s Are Everywhere Now!
Buc-ee’s has become Texas’ treasured one-stop-shop destination. You can get gas (usually cheaper than anywhere else), use the clean restrooms, shop for home decor and Texas memorabilia, get snacks, or even eat a whole meal here. There are several all over the state. Travelers will drive further and farther to stop at Buc-ee’s.
I remember stopping at Buc-ee’s on our way home from Houston to Dallas. It was a must-stop to see all the Buc-ee’s items. Since having Brody, we would stop and buy him anything Buc-ee’s. Fast-forward a couple of years, and there’s now a Buc-ee’s 5 minutes from where we live off I-35 & Hwy 114–we never go …but Buc-ee’s is still my favorite.
Central Texas Roadside Stops
• Czech Stop – West, TX
Czech Stop on I-35 in West, Texas, is a personal family favorite for Courtney’s family! During the fall months, they even have pumpkin-flavored kolaches!
• The Texas Bucket List – College Station
Okay, this is probably not considered a roadside stop, but it’s a stop you may want to know about. Have you heard of The Texas Bucket List TV show every Sunday morning with Shane McAuliffe? Did you know he has a store in College Station? So, if you’re in the area or visiting Texas A&M, stop by and pick up a few Texas treasures. I’ve been by twice now—The Texas Bucket List.
• Slovacek’s West, TX
This is the one that Shane talks about on his show, The Texas Bucket List. It’s in West, TX, just off I-35. If going south, it’s on the right-hand side before entering Waco. There is a dog park, bakery, meat market, lots of gifts, Christmas store, snacks, etc.
• Natty Flat Smokehouse – Mineral Wells
Natty Flat Smokehouse is an excellent Texas barbeque restaurant in Mineral Wells and in Lipan on Hwy 281. If you pass up one, you can catch the other. The restaurant in Lipan has a big, huge rocking chair out front that makes for great photos. I’m unsure if the one in Mineral Wells has the rocking chairs.
• Hico – Ranglers Gas Station
On your way to the Texas Hill Country from DFW on HWY 67, take HWY 220 toward Hico. There, you’ll find Ranglers on Walnut and HWY 281. The restrooms are beautiful, very clean, and have a seating area. There’s also a nice gift shop for cute gifts and decor. Oh, and gas was cheaper than most I saw.
• Dutchman’s Hidden Valley – Hamilton
Heading back to DFW or north on Hwy 281 is Dutchman’s Hidden Valley on the right. You might miss the speed limit if you’re going fast or even the speed limit, so watch for signs. My favorite is their sandwiches, but I ordered ice cream last trip. They have a restaurant, a large gift store, nice restrooms, and many Texas souvenirs.
A Fun Rest Stop On Highway 30
East of Dallas
There’s nothing better than finding a nice rest stop with clean restrooms while on a road trip. This rest stop is on Highway 30, eastbound of Cumby, about 75 miles east of Dallas. It has a playground, vending machines, walking trails, and air-conditioned bathrooms –everything families want …need.
Look for this and other Texas rest stops on the Texas Department Of Transportation website.
• Cooper Farms – Fairfield
From Dallas to Houston or vice versa, off I45 is a must-stop for clean restrooms, peach ice cream, and everything else like pecans and other nuts, jams, and jelly. We stopped only for ice cream …and to get this photo (above)!
• Woody’s Smokehouse – Interstate I45
Woody’s Smokehouse is off I45 between Dallas and Houston. The barbeque is excellent, and you can get all kinds of beef jerky here.
• Texas Best Smokehouse – Texarkana
Off I30 (North East Texas) is this wonderful place to stop for just about everything, plus clean restrooms. Next time you’re on your way to Arkansas, make a stop here. A Dunkin Donuts is inside the Shell Gas Station and a Steak-n-Shake is next door.
South Texas Roadside Stops
• Hruska’s Bakery – Between Austin & Houston on Hwy 71
You’re in luck if you travel on Highway 71 between Austin and Houston. Look for small-town Ellinger. That’s where you’ll find Hruska’s Bakery – a convenience store known for its kolaches and cheeseburgers.
• Giant Dalmation Hydrant – Beaumont
Beaumont has quite a few of them – all great for photo taking. The Giant Dalmatian Hydrant is one that comes to mind – a working fire hydrant.
South Western Texas Roadside Stops
• Another Fun Rest Stop – Monahans
Fun Rest Stop on Highway I-20 in Monahans with playground, picnic tables, and air-conditioned bathrooms.
Western Texas Roadside Attractions
• Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo
Cadillac Ranch near (about 10 miles on Route 66) Amarillo is an iconic Texas roadside stop that many partake in, as it’s a fun place to stop and take photos.
10 Spray-painted Cadillacs in a row and a souvenir shop down the road. Bring your own spay can to make your mark!
• Buddy Holly Center – Lubbock
Buddy Holly Center is a must-stop if you are near Lubbock. It’s a great stop to take a photo by the giant glasses.
I know there are plenty more Texas roadside stops because there are plenty of rest areas on I-35 in Texas. I’m keeping an eye out for more when I travel. You can always check out (affiliate link) TripAdvisor. I use them sometimes for a lot of things.
Rest Stops In Texas On I-20
Canton, TX, has a nice rest area on both sides of I-20 on the outskirts of Dallas.
Texas Travel Information Center in Waskom, TX, right before the Louisiana border.
Eastland County in Ranger, TX, has a nice rest stop westbound and eastbound.
There is a picnic area in Cisco, TX, on I-20. (no facilities)
Look for a rest stop in Clyde, TX, on I-20 Frontage Rd (Eastbound).