If you’re planning to travel any of the 284 miles of I-45, that spans from Dallas all the way down to Galveston, you must check out these 20 + terrific stops, from places to stretch your legs to overnight adventures!
Bluebonnet Trails, Ennis
Each April the roads around Ennis are covered in bluebonnets, and the famed Bluebonnet Trails bring onlookers out for a Sunday drive from all over the state, with a huge Bluebonnet Festival one weekend each year!
Galaxy Drive In Theater, Ennis
If you’re driving along I-45 south of Dallas after dark, you’re likely to see the bright lights and big screens of the Galaxy Drive In Theater in Ennis! Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, they play all new releases, and you get 2 movies for the low price of $7/adults and $3/children. They also have a little miniature golf course. Click HERE to read more.
Across the Street Diner in Historic Downtown Corsicana
You could spend all day just roaming this historic little downtown, filled with cute shops and don’t miss the photo opp at the Dr. Pepper mural! Across the Street Diner is the perfect little town diner to put a cherry on a great little stop! Click HERE to visit their facebook page to see today’s specials!
Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana
During December, one of our favorite stops along I-45 is the Collin Street Bakery, which is filled with the delicious scents of the season, and even Kris Kringle makes an appearance for pictures and wish list, which of course are going to include some of their yummy cookies!
For a more authentic experience, make the short trip into Corsicana to visit their original bakery at 401 W 7th Ave, which has been open since 1896. Click HERE to visit their website.
Cooper Farm Peaches, Fairfield
While I can easily remember Cooper Farms just being a little peach stand in the back of a pickup truck on I-45, the farm now has stands all over the area, sells to major grocery stores and has a brick and mortar storefront along I-45 in Fairfield. Stop for some fresh-made peach ice cream, browse their extensive, hard to find soda-pop selection, and fresh produce. Click HERE to read more.
Dairy Queen, Buffalo
Yes, every Texas town has a Dairy Queen, but the one in Buffalo deserves honorable mention because it has a fenced off doggy area for our furr-babies!
If you love jerky, then Woody’s in Centerville is your stop! They have all types, including many exotic meats! They also have a little cafe, with all you can eat free beans! Click HERE to read more!
Crave a little more leg-stretching time? Head just down the road to Fort Boggy State Park, which has hiking trails and a fishing lake with a loaner-tackle. Kids will love completing the junior ranger program, too! Click HERE to visit their website.
It’s almost impossible not to see a deer, or 20, eating the soft grass near the interstate around Centerville. I don’t know why this area is such a haven for dusk to dawn foragers, but keep an eye out for them!
Leona General Store
Take the short jog over to SH 75 at Leona for one of our favorite restaurants, Leona General Store! The steaks at the Leona General Store are amazing, and worth the drive! They only serve steaks on Friday and Saturday night, starting at 5:30pm but get there early because there is always a line! Click HERE to visit their facebook page. If you’re traveling when the General Store isn’t open, check out Pecan Grove Café, another reliable winner!
Buc-ee’s in Madisonville
One of our very favorite stops along I-45 is Buc-ee’s in Madisonville! My kids love their creamy root beer, beaver nuggets and fudge samples! I love the abundance of really CLEAN restrooms! Keep in mind that so does EVERYONE else driving on I-45, even causing traffic delays because so many people are exiting! For more information, click HERE.
Sam Houston Statue, Huntsville
Huntsville is certainly more than just a stop on the road, but one of it’s biggest attractions is the statue of the first President of Texas, Sam Houston! While many cars stop along the highway, a quick exit will lead you to safer parking, clean restrooms, picnic tables and great photo ops with the 67′ statue by Texas native, David Adickes. Click HERE to read more.
Huntsville State Park
Spend an hours or a weekend at this nice state park right off the highway! Explore the pineywoods from the back of a horse at 2E Stables, located in the park. Other activities include hiking and fishing or other water activities on Lake Raven. Huntsville State Park is also where backpackers begin their 100 mile trek through the Sam Houston National Forest on the Lone Star Trail. Click HERE to read more.
North Lake Conroe Paddling Company, Willis
Stop to enjoy the sun, and explore Lake Conroe from a sit-upon kayak! Click HERE to visit their website.
7 Acre Wood, Conroe
The kids will love this fun little petting zoo, located just 3 miles off the interstate! Click HERE to visit their website.
The Woodlands Children’s Museum
Let the kids play, build and imagine at this fun and friendly museum, located just 6 miles off the interstate! Click HERE to visit their website.
The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center
One of our favorite resorts in Texas, kick back and relax under tall pines trees while the kids splash and play in their waterpark! Click HERE to read more!
James Coney Island, all around Houston
You’ll pass a few of these Houston hot dog institutions, although the original at 1011 Walker in Downtown Houston closed over 2 decades ago. Click HERE for locations, prices and more.
Old Town Spring
Shop, dine and explore this fun little historic area! Click HERE to visit their website.
Wet ‘n Wild, Splashtown, Spring
Your kids are sure to see the colorful waterslides before you do! Click HERE to visit their website.
Downtown Aquarium, Houston
Feed a stingray, ride the ferris wheel and other amusement park rides and watch all the amazing fish while dining! Click HERE to read more!
Waugh Drive Bat Colony, Downtown Houston
It’s not Congress Ave.in Austin, but it’s still a great sight to see when thousands of Mexican freetail bats emerge at dusk to eat all those pesky mosquitos! Click HERE for more information.
Marriott Marquis, Houston
This Downtown Hotel boast a rooftop Texas-shaped pool and lazy river, and that’s enough for me. Click HERE for more information.
University of Houston Campus
Maybe it’s just that I now have a high school junior, and we have a lot of college talk at our house, but I think the U of H Campus is beautiful, and worth of stop and walk around the grounds, especially the College of Architecture. Click HERE for more information.
Space Center Houston
Go to infinity, and beyond at Space Center Houston, the official Visitors Center of NASA and the Johnson Space Center. Just 7 miles from the interstate, there is plenty of fun all with an educational and historical emphasis! Click HERE to visit their website.
Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake
Houston’s only waterfront hotel is within minutes from NASA and I-45, not to mention the Kemah Boardwalk! Click HERE to read more.
So much more than just a driving range, park yourselves in a hitting bay, and catch a family friendly flick on your bay TV while you play Topgolf and enjoy dinner. Click HERE to read more.
Space City Rock Climbing, League City
Forget just stretching your legs, a few hours on the climbing wall with give you a great workout! Click HERE for more information!
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