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There’s a lot of ground to cover in Texas, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lifetime behind the wheel before finding what you’re looking for. Whether you’re set on cowboy history, lazy lake days or culturally rich cities, this 90-mile journey is a fantastic introduction to the Lone Star State. Between each stop is wide-open country and towns off the beaten path.

 

1. Pilot Point

Starting point

Tucked away in Denton County, Pilot Point gives you easy access to the eastern shores of Lake Ray Roberts. Launch your boat, make a splash at one of the beach areas or head inland for more than 20 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The Sharkosa Wildlife Ranch is the star attraction in town and houses over a hundred exotic animals ranging from lemurs and zebras to kangaroos and sloths. Pop in the petting zoo to meet alpacas and catch an educational presentation to learn more about the ranch’s endangered residents.

 

2. Aubrey

Drive 7 miles • 10 minutes

When it’s hot out, do as the locals do and cool off at Lewisville Lake. Located just south of Aubrey, this reservoir covers 29,000 acres so there’s plenty of room for swimming, fishing and boating. One of the most popular spots on the lake is Party Cove, where people tie up to other boats and let the music play loud on the weekends. If you’re traveling with a big group, consider renting a party barge and crashing Party Cove in style. For a horse-drawn carriage tour of the surrounding countryside, check out Whitehaven Carriages.

 

Texas Longhorn Cattle

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3. Fort Worth

Drive 51 miles • 55 minutes

You’re in for a wild trip back to the Old West at the Stockyards National Historic District. Start your day by watching rodeos and the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive. Afterward, tour the National Cowgirl Museum and Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame to honor the great men and women of the American West. Conclude your visit with live country music at Billy Bob’s Texas and cold pints in an authentic saloon.

 

4. Dallas

Drive 32 miles • 34 minutes

There’s never a dull moment in the “Big D” thanks to countless museums, eclectic dining options and diverse neighborhoods. Savor the skyline from the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck, an observation deck 470 feet in the sky. For a different view of the city, stroll through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. You can also put your thinking cap on and venture into the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The educational center takes a different approach to learning by using life-like simulations, 3D animations and interactive games.