The drive from Houston to Dallas takes about 3.5 to 4 hours. All on Interstate 45, it’s a straight shot between the two cities. However you’ll pass through a number of small towns, incredible restaurants and iconic roadside attractions. Just because you’re traveling on the same road for hours doesn’t mean the road trip between Dallas and Houston has to be boring. This list starts in Houston and ends in Dallas. Enjoy the drive by stopping at these 8 must stop spots between Houston and Dallas.

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Old Town Spring
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Old Town Spring (Nearby Hotels)

Spring, Texas is located just outside of Houston along I-45. The town is home to a charming shopping area referred to as Old Town Spring. Here you’ll find antique shops, cute boutiques and a number of great restaurants and art galleries. Depending on when you pass through Old Town Spring, there are a number of events and festivals that regularly occur here. Even if you aren’t interested in shopping, Old Town Spring is a great place to stop and stretch your legs.

Sam Houston Statue Sam Houston Statue
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Sam Houston Statue

Sam Houston Statue (Nearby Hotels)

If you’re heading north from Houston, you’ll come across this roadside attraction before you reach the town of Huntsville. The massive statue of Sam Houston, who was the first President of Texas, deserves your attention. Although you could just pull right off of I-45, choose to exit the highway to take advantage of the restrooms and picnic tables found here.

Buc-ee's
Credit: Buc-ee's

Buc-ee's (Nearby Hotels)

Is it even a Texas road trip if you don’t stop at Buc-ee’s? This Texas-based gas station chain has a number of locations scattered throughout the state. However stop at the one in Madisonville for some beaver nuggets and the cleanest restrooms in the state. You can also a grab a number of snack options that come from local Texas vendors. Just keep an eye out for the Buc-ee’s sign, adorned with its beaver mascot, when you approach Madisonville.

Woody's Smokehouse Woody's Smokehouse
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Woody's Smokehouse

Woody's Smokehouse (Nearby Hotels)

Jerky makes for a great road trip snack. Therefore stop at Woody’s Smokehouse, known as the Jerky Capital of the World, when you’re in Centerville, Texas. Woody’s Smokehouse specializes in cured and smoked meats. Find classic favorites like beef jerky or try something different like turkey jerky or cajun-style jerky. The shop also supplies other delicious snacks, like cheeses, fudge, pralines, preserves, sausages and pickled products.

Sam's Original Restaurant
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Sam's Original Restaurant (Nearby Hotels)

If you’ve grown an appetite after driving hours on I-45, stop at Sam’s Original Restaurant for an all-you-can-eat meal. Sam’s offers different home-cooked menu items every single day. Starting as early as 10:30 a.m., you can enjoy a big meal at this one-of-a-kind buffet. Buffet items do vary but expect southern dishes such as chicken fried steak, barbecue, chicken and dumplings and of course cobblers and pies. Take exit 197 off of I-45 to enjoy this classic Texas establishment.

Cooper Farms Peaches Cooper Farms
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Cooper Farms

Cooper Farms Peaches (Nearby Hotels)

Located in Fairfield, Cooper Farms has been providing Texas peaches and peach products to Texans and passersby for years. During the summer season, Cooper Farms has roadside locations, perfect for busy travelers. However Cooper Farms’ brick and mortar storefront location is open year round, so you can enjoy a juicy peach or peach-flavored desserts no matter what time of year you’re traveling through Fairfield.

Collin Street Bakery Collin Street Bakery
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Collin Street Bakery

Collin Street Bakery (Nearby Hotels)

Collins Street Bakery has made a name for itself among Texans. This bakery in Corsicana has grown as a must-stop spot along I-45. This family-owned bakery is known for its fruitcakes and pecan pies. The recipes used to make these desserts were the same ones used when the bakery opened in 1896. Also, Collins Street Bakery is one of the oldest mail order bakeries. Therefore you can order a cake or pie to enjoy a taste of this Texas bakery even if you aren’t in the area.

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Bluebonnets in Texas
Credit: Wade Treichler
Bluebonnets in Texas

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails (Nearby Hotels)

The last stop on this list before you reach Dallas is the town of Ennis. Ennis is home of the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail and also hosts a huge bluebonnet festival every spring. The bluebonnet is the Texas state wildflower, and it blooms every spring. Therefore if you’re traveling in the area during spring, don’t miss out on a car tour of Ennis and its colorful wildflower trails. You can even enjoy a guided tour. Visit the Ennis Visitor Center to learn more about the Bluebonnet trails and tours and other things to do in the town.

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