Best Small Towns to Visit Near Dallas


Bluebonnet Trail Barn Near Ennis, Texas | Image by JA Coulter, Shutterstock

While the Dallas-Fort Worth region is one of the largest city communities in the country, there are also plenty of nearby small towns offering a quiet escape. Travel Awaits compiled the top seven small towns near Dallas, all within just a three-hour drive of the city. 

These towns include Canton, Waxahachie, Ennis, Granbury, Jefferson, Glen Rose, and Salado. 

Canton is found just an hour from Dallas, according to Travel Awaits. Despite being a small town, thousands of people visit Canton’s First Monday Trade Days flea market each month. Held on the first Monday of every month, this flea market is one of the largest in the country. 

“As the seat of Van Zandt County and host of the original world-famous First Monday Trade Days, Canton is the center of activity not only for a thriving county, but also for much of East Texas,” the city’s official website shares. “First Monday has attracted restaurants, shops and businesses not usually found in other small towns.”

The small town of Waxahachie is just 30 minutes away from Dallas, Travel Awaits reported. It was founded in 1850 and is still home to many historical Victorian homes. 

Ennis is also 30 minutes from the City of Dallas and is known for bluebonnets that bloom each spring. The town holds the annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails and Festival, according to Travel Awaits. Those who visit this small town can drive more than 40 miles of bluebonnet trails when the flowers are in bloom. 

Granbury is an hour and a half away from Dallas, according to Travel Awaits, and was the 2021 USA Today Best Historic Small Town in America. Historic buildings around the town have been turned into boutiques, breweries, restaurants, and more. 

Found two and a half hours from Dallas is the small town of Jefferson. In addition to historical homes, rustic bed and breakfast getaways, and museums, Jefferson is also home to the Big Cypress Bayou. 

The Big Cypress Bayou is a series of wetlands, Travel Awaits shares, and home to a system of rivers. 

“No one knows for certain exactly when Jefferson was founded,” the Jefferson town website states. “Many descriptions place the town’s birth date in 1836, however, further research points to the early 1840s as the first time Jefferson was mentioned as a new settlement. Named in honor of the third President of the United States, the town appeared on an 1844 map of Bowie County. Recognized as the fifth oldest town in Texas, it is now the seat of Marion County.”

Glen Rose is an hour and a half drive from Dallas and is known for the unique Dinosaur Valley State Park. Visitors also enjoy the boutiques and drive-thru safari found in the town, according to Travel Awaits. 

Located two hours from Texas is the small town of Salado. The community is home to just over two thousand people, according to the town website

“Tourists visit the Village to enjoy Salado Creek, Salado’s Cultural Arts District, unique boutiques, and 2,000 acres of surrounding beauty, with opportunities for picnicking, hiking, and fishing, along with desirable employment and educational opportunities,” the website shares. 

Travel Awaits describes Salado as a great place for artists or art lovers to visit. 

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