The state parks in Texas are known for their picturesque beauty, which you'll find along many of Texas' thoroughfares.

Best scenic drives in Texas

Summer may mean a lot of things to many different people, but the one constant is that it’s the season for vacationing. Schools are out, the sun is up, and workers are off from their 9-to-5 schedules so they can rest, relax, and recuperate from life’s daily stresses.

Though some will go by air, others by sea, most will go by car, as gas prices are a lot lower than they were at this time last year.

While the main goal may be to get to your destination as quickly as possible, there’s something to be said for a picturesque landscape that makes the trip more enjoyable. If you’re a native Texan or are visiting the Lone Star State, consider using the following travel routes to get to your intended destination with some great sights along the way.

U.S. Route 67

Though the song may call for you to get your kicks on Route 66, the view and scenery is heaven on Route 67. Running west to east from the Mexico border to the neighboring state of Arkansas, Route 67 is one of the longest highways in the state, with plenty of sights and sounds to enjoy that will make you wish your trip was a bit longer. You’ll drive through the Chinati Mountains and be close to several lush parks, like Cedar Hill State Park as well as Big Bend. Grassy knolls, lush greenery, and rolling hills will most definitely call for taking a few pictures along the way.

The River Road

Speaking of Big Bend, in order to get to the park, you have to take a road that’s locally known as “The River Road.” The 51-mile stretch enters two counties, where you’ll find lots of opportunities to go for a hike or maybe even do some rafting along the Rio Grande River. TexasOutside.com goes so far as to call this neck of the woods a bucket list destination.

El Camino Real

Texas is paved with history, which you can learn about in area museums, but you can get a feel for the Old West by taking a trip down El Camino Real, which translates to the Old Spanish Trail. Also known as Texas 21 – and The King’s Highway – it’s widely considered to be one of the most scenic roadways not just in Texas, but in the country overall. It’s history traces back to Native American and Spanish missionaries roaming the land way back in the late 18th century.

Wilson Block Driving Tour

As someone who’s interested in a scenic road trip, a Dallas-area driving tour will serve as a feast for the eyes. Just two miles from downtown is the Wilson Block Driving Tour. If you’re an architectural aficionado or appreciate finely crafted landscaping, the drive along Swiss Avenue will leave you breathless.

These are just a few of the aesthetically pleasing trails to more fully experience Texas’ inherent beauty from the driver’s seat.