If you haven’t enjoyed a drive in Dallas, as the saying goes, you won’t. Considering this is the city that brought us “The Mix Master” (may it rest in peace in the concrete hereafter), the jokes about driving in Dallas are many, and mostly accurate. Though the Mix Master has been replaced by the $784 million Horseshoe Project, locals still make light of the long waits in hot, dusty weather with humor. “Dallas, Texas, is about an hour trip from Dallas, Texas.” “Leave early to beat the traffic so you can get stuck in even worse traffic!” “Forget the battlefield! I fought Dallas traffic!” While it might be hard to laugh when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, always in the wrong lane, making light of the situation is a common technique for frustrated Texas commuters. While it may seem that Dallas drivers are destined to travel 9.75 inches an hour for the rest of their lives, it turns out there are some local drives that are incredibly enjoyable. After finding the perfect car at a Chevy dealership in Dallas, you can roll down the windows, open up the moonroof, and enjoy the wide-open road.
Texas is, after all, one of the most scenic states in America, full of vast open spaces, rich history, and some of the prettiest spots you’d ever care to cruise past. Here are a few different drives around the state that will awaken your senses from the mind-numbing rage of traffic and remind you why Texas is such a great state after all.
Granbury Historic Square
The drive itself is only about 38 miles, heading south on US 377 from Fort Worth to Granbury, Texas. Still, in less than an hour of travel time, you’ll take in the fields and plains that carry that special Texas signature. Along the way, you’ll also get the chance to roll through some of the most historic parts of the state, with markers left to commemorate the great people and events that built the Texas we know today.
You’ll also pass through Cresson, Texas, home of MotorSport Ranch. Much like a country club, where members meet to enjoy rounds of golf or the friendly tennis match, MotorSport Ranch is a club for those who love auto racing––specifically from behind the wheel! While membership is required to race on one of the two road tracks, tours and classes are available.
If speed isn’t your thing, proceed straight on to Granbury. Though it may have a smaller population, especially when compared to Dallas, there’s plenty to do!
History buffs will be thrilled to know that much of Granbury’s history has been preserved. The old Opera House, Courthouse, and Jail are open to the public and be sure to sign up for the famous after-dark ghost tour. And if you hear a commotion, run to the square––frequent re-enactments of western gun battles are known to happen from time to time!
Cruising the FMs
If you’re less interested in checking out the scenery, and more interested in trying out your driving skills, try your hand at navigating one of Texas’s challenging FMs.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, FMs, or farm-to-market roads, were constructed and eventually paved so farmers could easily transport their products to the larger towns and cities. Naturally, it was important to these farmers that the roads not cut off their fields and acreage, so these roads tend to do some things that city streets don’t. Things like 90-degree turns, huge dips, and air-bending inclines, along with blind corners and long straight patches through wide-open farmland.
We’re not encouraging you to do anything but follow the legal speed limit and obey all traffic laws; however, a long trip down an FM is nothing like driving in Dallas. Take, for example, FM 349, dubbed “The Lonesome Highway.” Just west of Dallas, you’ll find 59 miles from Sheffield to Dryden, with asphalt in great condition. Why? Because no one drives it. At times, you might feel like the only driver on the planet. Or try FM 455, from US 75 to Texas 59, with 85 miles of challenging turns that rise and fall with the terrain, giving you something to focus on besides the fumes coming out of the tailpipe in front of you.
The Highest Highway
This particular drive is nowhere near Dallas but makes the list just for sheer coolness. Besides, if you’re out driving, why not keep driving seven hours west to Alpine, in West Texas.
Here, you’ll get to test every conditional setting on your vehicle with Texas 118. The highest point of this road is 6,791 feet, making it Texas’s highest highway. The trip there is packed with switchbacks and curves, climbing 2,000 feet in twelve miles. You’ll start in the desert, then traverse the Davis Mountains State Park forest, zipping up the mountain roads and gaining altitude until you’re amongst stars––literally! At the top of this drive is McDonald Observatory, home of the Texas Night Sky Festival.
The abundance of gorgeous natural sites as you transition from dry desert to mountain top makes this drive well worth the trip, even if testing your vehicle’s climbing and cornering prowess isn’t your main interest. This is the type of drive you take to clear your mind, just you, your car, and nature. Take a tent and camp in the State Park, or take the time to gaze upon the stars and contemplate reality. Once you’re ready to head back to the sights and sounds (and traffic) of the city, Dallas will be waiting for you with open arms!
The Red River Roadway
Between Texas and Oklahoma lies the Red River, and along the Red River, there’s much to be discovered. Travel along Highway 82 in the Chevy you just bought to take in some stunning views of the Red River, and take the time to stop in some of the small, artsy towns that line the riverbanks throughout the valley.
Along the way, you’ll encounter history, but as any hardcore auto enthusiast will tell you, Nocona is a necessary stop on this trail. While to some, Nocona is home of Justin boots, Nokona ball gloves, and the famous North Field oil site, car people flock here for the Horton Classic Car Museum. In fact, Horton Motor Co., the building featuring the Classic Car portion of the collection, was once a former Chevy Dealership, while the part of the museum housing muscle cars was a Ford lot. Today, visitors can take in over 120 perfectly restored classic, muscle, and performance cars.
Once you’ve had your fill of classic chrome, head back to the road to check out the many wineries, museums, and historical sites that call the Red River Valley home.
Go On Your Own Road Trip
Whether you’re a history buff, a garden fanatic, a daredevil, in need of some fresh air, or devoted to classic motoring, Texas is the right place for you. After you have purchased your new Chevy from a Dallas or other local dealer, you’ll never want to leave your car. When you think you’ve had more than enough of the city traffic and bumper-to-bumper view, find your way outside of the city, and hit one of the many roads that will remind you how much fun driving can be. From nearby haunts to way-out-there adventures, there’s a restorative road trip in your near future!