There is no doubt that California is one of the most beautiful states in the country. Los Angeles is known for the bright lights, glitz, and glamor that comes with being the home of Hollywood. It is one of the warmest places, without being sticky and humid. Californians enjoy sunshine nearly every day of the year! Prices in Los Angeles for hotels can be high, and everyone knows that traffic on The Five is less than thrilling.
Because of this, having an RV is a great way to get around the city, especially if you’re visiting for more than a few days. You can park the RV outside of Griffith Park to get a stunning view of the city or bring it through the In-and-Out drive through to get an iconic fast food burger in the Golden State. Driving from LA to Dallas is a scenic and entertaining trip.
The entire trip is just under 21 hours if you were to drive non-stop. To see cool national parks and entertaining water parks along the 1,500-mile journey, check out these points of interest that the entire family will enjoy.
The last stop before you make it to your destination is Lake Arrowhead State Park. This is right in between Canyon Aqua Waterpark and Dallas, Texas. Lake Arrowhead State Park is a beautiful place to explore. There are plenty of trails for your family to enjoy a relaxing afternoon immersed in nature. If hiking isn’t your thing, there are areas where you can go swimming, boating, or even fishing. This is a must-see when your road trip is during the warmer months.
You can relax and enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic tables available. Travelers of any age will love to view all of the wildlife in the area as well. There are also 50 primitive camping sites available at this state park. Each of them has a fire ring and other amenities for your camping needs. Park the van and set up a tent to experience an evening under the Texas stars.
If you head out from New Mexico in the morning or early afternoon, you’ll make it to the panhandle of Texas just in time to spend a few hours at Canyon Aqua Waterpark. Near Canyon, Texas, this waterpark is the perfect place for kids to play and get out their energy, making the rest of the road trip much more peaceful. There are two large water slides that older kids and adults will love!
The lazy river at Canyon Aqua Waterpark is the best way to sit back and float away your troubles. Your road trip to Dallas is almost over, so enjoy what’s left of it! There are also smaller areas that are great for younger kids to play in shallow water. If you need to rest your head one last time, consider staying at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It’s not far from the water park and won’t take you too far off the route to Dallas.
Another option for you and your family to enjoy in Albuquerque is Explora. This is an interactive museum that is fun for both adults and kids. You’ll be able to enjoy 200 hands-on exhibits when visiting here. There are exhibits based around science, math, and art. It is located in Old Town Albuquerque and is named after the Spanish word for “explore”.
Another great thing about stopping at Explora during your trip is because it’s affordable. You won’t have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars to be entertained for an entire afternoon. As a result, this is a great place to stop for a few hours. While there are plenty of RV camping spots in the area, it’s a quick stop that can get the kids worn out for your next leg of the road trip.
Less than 350 miles later, you’ll find yourself in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy while driving through this area of the country. ABQ BioPark is a beautiful and fun zoo and museum that the entire family will enjoy. It has been open for nearly 100 years and offers plenty to see. There is a 250,000-gallon oceanic tank that has water from the Gulf of Mexico in it, along with some critters from the area as well.
In addition to the aquarium, there is also a botanical garden, beach, and zoo to explore. After a fun day at the Albuquerque Bio Park, you’ll probably be worn out and ready to park the van to get some rest before another long day on the road. While there are plenty of places to do just that, the Albuquerque KOA Journey is a solid option. There you’ll be able to shower, swim, and relax before you continue on to Dallas.
After a day or two at Disney and Joshua Tree, you’ve likely had your fair share of large crowds and loud environments. While you’re on your way to Texas, you can visit Coconino National Forest. It’s around 200 miles from Joshua Tree National Park, making it a perfect place to stop and stretch your legs. If you’re traveling with children, you'll know that they’ll have plenty of pent up energy to burn off. Coconino National Forest is a beautiful area for just that! There are over two million acres of land that make up this forest.
You’ll see rolling hills, towering trees, and stunning landscapes. If you love to watch the sunset or rise, this is a great spot to do just that. The scenery makes the perfect backdrop for a family photo as well. After you’re done exploring the beautiful forest, you won’t be too far away for a quick bite to eat!
With over 1,200 animals, the Phoenix Zoo is a great place to stop whether you’re traveling with kids or you’re going solo. This zoo is located in the heart of Phoenix and is a great pit stop between Joshua Tree National Park and your next destination. The Phoenix Zoo has African lions, giraffes, Mexican grey wolves, zebras, and more. There are themed exhibit trails to make it as easy as possible to see your favorite animals first!
You’ll also find a specific area for children that has farm animals such as cows and pigs. You can fuel up at the zoo food court and swing by the gift shop to get something to remember the trip by!
There are plenty of different spots to camp around Phoenix. It’s a large city that has a lot of options that are right off the interstate. This is perfect if you just want somewhere to park overnight. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to another amazing spot!
A little over 100 miles from Disneyland is Joshua Tree National Park. This place is a stunning location that the whole family will enjoy. This national park is a protected area that is full of different types of landscapes and a variety of unique vegetation. Many people travel from all over the country to visit Joshua Tree National Park. There is plenty of room to take a nice, relaxing hike to shake off the crowds of Disneyland.
You may want to bring a pair of binoculars with you to be able to spot all of the different species of birds flying around the sky. It’s also an amazing place to dust off the camera and take some amazing photographs. If you do plan on stopping at Joshua Tree, you may want to spend the night there. The park is best known for the stargazing opportunities that are available there. Don’t forget a blanket; even California gets cold in the evening.
Whether you’re just headed out on a road trip to Dallas with the kids or the whole family is moving to Texas, you can’t leave Los Angeles without stopping at one of the most popular theme parks in the world: Disneyland. When you arrive, you’ll be transported into a fairytale! There are over 20 different rides, including The Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. After taking on a few roller coasters, you’ll likely be pretty hungry.
The food at Disneyland is another great reason to visit the park. You can enjoy a refreshing cup of Dole Whip or snack on a corn dog. Luckily, you won’t have to shell out a ton of money to sleep in the area if you’re staying for a weekend. There are plenty of campsites nearby where you can park the van or even set up a tent for the night. Lake Perris Campground is a bit out of the way, but it is on the route to Dallas!
Congratulations, you’ve made it! You and your family just drove half-way across the entire country! After the long hours of driving and fun afternoons of exploring all of those points of interest, you’ve reached your final destination. Dallas has a small, yet beautiful skyline that holds businesses, trendy apartments, amazing restaurants, art museums, and more.
If you enjoy nature and plants, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a must-see. There are 66-acres of stunning landscapes to look at there. The Dallas Museum of Art is also an amazing place to visit during your stay. Don’t forget to park the van at a local camping area like the Good Luck RV Park.