There was a time when I was in high school when my Dad had to commute to Dallas from Oklahoma City, so we would take turns and spend some weekends in Dallas so he wouldn’t have to make the drive from OKC to Dallas every single week. This, plus all my trips to Texas, means I’ve done the drive from Oklahoma City to Dallas, Texas, hundreds of times.
It may not be the most exciting part of your road trip, but there are ways to make the drive more fun! Here are what to see and the best things to do between Oklahoma City and Dallas, plus tips for making the drive more fun.
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Do You Love Oklahoma Photography?
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Essential Travel Resources
When we travel, these are the companies I use the most often and trust myself. These are particularly great for booking things in this little corner of the world.
Hotels and Accommodations: Booking.com
Tours and Skip-the-Line Tickets: Get Your Guide
Rental Cars: Discover Cars
Luggage and Packing Needs: Amazon
Travel Insurance: World Nomads
How to Get from Oklahoma City to Dallas, TX
The easiest and most popular way to get from OKC to Dallas is to hop on I-35 South and just keep going. You’ll see exits for Dallas after about three hours, and voila, you’re there. See below for tips on renting a car if you don’t have your own.
The technical instructions are to get on I-35 South:
Follow I-35 S and I-35E S to E R L Thornton Fwy in Dallas. Take exit 428A from I-35E S
Of course, you’ll need to know how to get to your specific Dallas hotel or accommodations.
The truth is that most Oklahomans driving to Dallas will try to get there as quickly as possible. It’s common to try to not even stop, just get there as fast as you can. People pride themselves in trying to make the drive in under three hours, though I prefer to go the speed limit.
What people who don’t live in this part of the country fail to understand about us is that three hours in a car is basically nothing to us, and a three-hour drive to get to Dallas would never stop us from going down for a day trip from OKC. We can be found heading south to go to the Outlets, a concert, or even just a nice day out in a bigger city.
However, if you want to make the drive more exciting, there are lots of places you can choose to stop along the way!
Oklahoma City to Dallas Car Rental Options
It’s awfully hard to get around Texas without a car. Whenever I don’t drive my own car over from Oklahoma, I will pick up a rental car at whichever airport I fly into when I get to Texas.
If you’re also looking to rent a car, I use Discover Cars when I rent cars on my travels. You’ll be able to pick up a car at any airport or in your hometown.
For this trip, you can rent a car in OKC and drive to Dallas, or you can pick up a rental car after taking a flight, bus ride, or train ride into the DFW area. Tips for these alternate transportation options toward the end of the post.
Check availability and get a quote for a rental car for your trip here.
How Long Does it Take to Get from Oklahoma City to Dallas/Fort Worth by Car?
The official drive time from OKC to Dallas is three hours and fifteen minutes. Many people can make it under three hours, but I don’t advise speeding. My cousin drove from OKC to see the OU/Texas game once got clocked going too fast. The speeding ticket showed up in the mail a few weeks later.
The drive from OKC to Fort Worth is technically a bit quicker, at three hours and four minutes.
There are alternate routes that add about forty-five minutes if you find that I-35 S is closed.
If you’re driving to Dallas/Fort Worth to catch a flight, the drive time from OKC to DFW is just three hours and it’s three hours and six minutes from OKC to Love Field.
The Driving Distance from OKC to Dallas
Point-to-point, the drive from Oklahoma City to Dallas is about 230 miles. Your individual driving distance will vary based on your true stop and endpoints. Will Rogers World Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth Intl is slightly less at 210 miles. The OKC airport to Love Field is just 201 miles.
How Much Does it Cost to Drive from Oklahoma City to Dallas, Texas?
While there are toll roads in both Oklahoma and Texas, this stretch of I-35 has no tolls on it. Besides general wear and tear on your car, the only cost to drive is the fuel. Gas prices in Oklahoma are blessedly low compared to other parts of the country, so fueling up in Oklahoma will typically save you money overall.
The cost for gas one-way is about $24, though this can go up based on your mpg and the type of gasoline you get. The cost for a round-trip trip from OKC to DAL and back is about $47.
What’s the Drive from OKC to Dallas/Fort Worth like?
Um, it’s flat? It’s not the most exciting drive in Oklahoma (it doesn’t rank on my list of favorite scenic drives. In fact, there are no scenic drives from Dallas to Oklahoma City or vice versa). But it is an easy drive. It’s a simple, almost entirely flat drive. You have great visibility all the way to Dallas/Fort Worth.
One thing to keep in mind is that while you might think of Dallas/Fort Worth as a single area, you’ll need to make sure you follow signs to Dallas, as the signs to Fort Worth will obviously take you to a different city.
If you’re driving to Dallas and then continuing to San Antonio, Houston, or Austin, you might want to drive through Fort Worth instead of through Dallas. Check Google Maps for up-to-date traffic conditions, since these cities have gnarly traffic and varying construction schedules.
On our most recent trip from Texas up to OKC, we got stuck in traffic in Fort Worth for quite a while. My dad in the other car drove through Dallas and got there significantly earlier. So you should always check on your actual trip day for construction and traffic conditions because traffic in either Dallas or Fort Worth can add a lot of drive time to your road trip.
What are the Road Conditions Between Oklahoma City and Dallas Like?
While the drive is usually very pleasant, there are patches of construction that change from year to year. On our last trip, there was construction in Fort Worth, rather than Dallas, that slowed us down. There was also major construction in Oklahoma City heading north to Edmond that was not fun to hit at 1:30 am.
As with other drive time information like traffic jams and congestion, information about construction-related traffic can be found on Google Maps if the construction is actually affecting drive time or route information.
If you’re looking for road conditions related to weather, these are typically good. Unless there’s a major thunderstorm, snowstorm, or hailstorm. In these cases, I would steer clear until the roads are safe to drive.
I actually canceled a trip this year from OKC to San Antonio because there was a snowstorm predicted. I am so glad I canceled, as parts of Texas were left without power in freezing conditions. I love Texas, but sometimes it can feel like traveling to a foreign country.
Things to Do Between Oklahoma City and Dallas
If you’re looking to turn this into a real Oklahoma City to Dallas road trip, complete with fun stops on the way, here are the best things to do between OKC and Dallas. I’m listing them from north to south, but if you want to make the drive from Dallas to OKC, just remember to look at them from bottom to top.
Stop in Norman, Oklahoma to Visit the University of Oklahoma
Located right outside of Oklahoma City in Norman, a suburb directly to OKC’s south. If you’re from Oklahoma City, you might not find this a super appealing stop, after all, it’s right in your own backyard! However, if you’re not from around here, you should definitely stop and see Norman!
Address: 660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019
Snap a Pic at the Spider Bug
One of the more famous roadside attractions in Oklahoma, the Spider Bug (seen here) is a vintage VW Bug that’s been turned into a giant sculpture of a spider. Located just ten minutes off the highway, it’s great for anyone who loves a kitschy road stop! Note that it’s not lit up at night, so it’s a better stop during the day.
It’s currently sinking, and there are efforts to save it.
Address: 5400 Hwy 77Lexington, Oklahoma73051 USA
Drive Through Wynnewood, Oklahoma
As of 2020, the park was passed over in ownership to THE Carol Baskin, who sold the property on the condition that it can never be used as a home for exotic animals.
Address: 25803 N County Rd 3250, Wynnewood, OK 73098
Snack on Fried Pies in Davis, Oklahoma
Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies are famous for a reason! Here you can find all kinds of flavors, including seasonal goodies. I love these pies so much that I listed them as one of my favorite Oklahoma foods!
Located inside a service station, you can take the opportunity here for a quick bathroom break and fill up on gas, if you need to!
The pies are great as takeaway, so grab a couple for the road!
Address: 4145 US-77, Davis, OK 73030
Enjoy Oklahoma’s Largest Waterfall (Also in Davis, Oklahoma)
Turner Falls is the largest of Oklahoma’s waterfalls, and it has several different viewpoints from which to see it. All are located in Turner Falls Park, a privately-owned park that includes camping areas and swimming areas along with the waterfall. Tickets range from $6 per person in winter to $20 per person on a summer weekend.
If you have time and the weather is nice, you can enjoy time swimming in the Blue Hole, the Creek, or the pool that surrounds Turner Falls. (Swimming right under the waterfall is prohibited).
If you don’t want to swim, I still love visiting Turner Falls during the autumn and winter! There’s also a castle located within the park that you can visit year-round, plus tickets are considerably cheaper this time of year.
Address: I-35 &, US-77, Davis, OK 73030
Photograph Fields of Wildflowers
If you will be driving in April or May, you should encounter fields of wildflowers along the highway, especially in southern Oklahoma. If you love photography, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to capture these natural beauties.
Just remember that snakes sometimes hang out in flowers. If you ever have a run-in with a snake while enjoying Oklahoma outdoors, join this Facebook Group to help you identify what you’ve seen if you have a pic of it.
Address: Along I-35 South
Visit Tucker Tower, the Most Iconic Spot on Lake Murray
One of the most famous points in Oklahoma, Tucker Tower is located on Lake Murray in Ardmore. If you don’t want to have a full lake day, you can visit just the Lake Murray Nature Center inside Lake Murray State Park and see the tower for yourself, complete with gorgeous lake views.
It’s free to enter the Nature Center (donations welcome), and the state park is free as long as you won’t be camping.
Address: 13528 Scenic Highway 77 Ardmore, OK 73401
Shop at Robertson’s Ham Sandwiches in Marietta, Oklahoma
Whether you need beef jerky or an entire smoked ham, Robertson’s Ham Sandwiches in Marietta is a famous stop between Dallas and OKC. They also sell dog treats!
Address: Robertson’s Hams, 110 Wanda St, Marietta, OK 73448
Snack til You Drop at Buc-ee’s in Denton, Texas
If you’ve never been to a Buc-ee’s before, I cannot emotionally prepare you for the experience, but here’s my guide to Buc-ee’s to help you plan your own trip. Buy enough snacks here to ensure you don’t run out for a long time.
Address: 2800 S Interstate 35 E, Denton, TX 76210
Arrive in Dallas Ready to Go!
Congratulations! You’ve made it to Dallas and had some fun adventures along the way.
Tips for Driving to Dallas from OKC
Fuel up in OKC before your trip, and you won’t need to get gas again until you get to Dallas. Of course, you can refuel if you want to!
If you will be going past Dallas and using any of the turnpikes in Texas, bring your Oklahoma Pike Pass if you have one. This system will work in Texas as well!
If you only have time for one fun stop, Turner Falls is my favorite. However, it’s not free, so if you’re on a budget I would pick Lake Murray.
3 Alternate Ways to Get to Dallas from Oklahoma City
If you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive, here are three more ways to get to Dallas from OKC.
Oklahoma City to Dallas Flights
I haven’t always made the trip by driving. Sometimes it will be quicker to fly to Dallas, and you can sometimes get cheap flights on Southwest Airlines.
If you choose to fly, note that the flight distance is 175 miles and the flight time is just a little over an hour (technically 75 minutes). This means that when you add in parking at the airport and getting to the airport early, it will probably take you just as long to fly as to drive.
Sometimes the flights can be longer though, as there’s not always a direct available. I’ve seen routes that have stops in Denver or Houston or even New York. Seriously. Make sure you get a direct flight, otherwise you will be going wildly out of your way.
If you do fly, your origin airport is Will Rogers World Airport in OKC, and you will fly into DFW or Love Field. Yes, there are two destination airports in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Southwest Airlines flies into Love Field, whereas American Airlines flies into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Make sure that your ground transportation, whether a car rental or Uber, is heading to the right airport to get you!
Round trip airfare tickets on a Dallas flight can be anywhere from $175 to $500 for economy class depending on the fare types, availability, and how far out your travel dates are. Ticket prices can vary wildly, especially if you’re looking to book at the last minute.
One-way flights are less expensive than round-trip tickets, but not by as much as you might think. I usually see fares for a one-way nonstop flight start around $100. Of course, you can always look for flight deals if you need to get the lowest price possible.
If you’re trying to find flights at a budget and Skyscanner isn’t coming up with anything, check budget airlines like Southwest or Alaska Airlines directly.
Make sure to check the cancellations policy if you do decide to book a flight because you might be tempted at the last minute to cancel and drive instead. Or you may find that the travel restrictions associated with flying aren’t worth it, and you’d rather load up the car than pack a carry-on.
Note that if you’re looking for a good deal, the cheapest day to fly is usually a Tuesday when flight prices are historically at their lowest.
If you’re looking to get upgraded to first class, I have been upgraded on a direct flight from Dallas to OKC, but it wasn’t really worth it since the flight is so short from take-off to landing and there are no real amenities on such a short flight time.
Oklahoma City to Dallas Train
If you’re an Amtrak fan, you’ll be happy to know that you can make the trip from OKC to Dallas by train…sort of. The Heartland Flyer leaves Oklahoma City and ends in Fort Worth. This is a popular way for travelers looking for scenic routes to go since it’s a much prettier trip than driving on I35.
You can get a train ticket from Oklahoma City to Dallas, Texas starting at around $31 (though prices vary widely). Keep in mind that it actually ends in Fort Worth and you’ll need to take other ground transportation like Uber to get to Dallas proper.
Oklahoma City to Dallas Bus
You can take a Greyhound bus from OKC to Dallas. I’ve never gone this route, but I have taken a Greyhound from Tulsa to OKC, and I can say it’s not my favorite way to travel. It does get the job done though!
Tickets start at about $21 per person. However, it ends up being more expensive than driving if you end up having to add a lot of taxi and Uber rides once you’re in town since these can add up really quickly.
The trip is also a long one, and it can be up to eleven hours depending on bus schedules.
Texas Travel Resources
What to Pack for Texas
Lonely Planet Texas so you have a guidebook with you on your trip. It’s not easy to find guidebooks once you’re on the ground, so I suggest picking one up ahead of time. They also have Kindle editions available.
A camera so you can take photos of the special moments from your trip. Whether you bring a point-and-shoot like my Sony ZV-1 or rely on your cell phone like my iPhone 12 Pro, make sure you have at least one camera (though I always travel with two)!
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Heading out on the road?
Before you leave for your trip make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I have used World Nomads when I travel since 2016, and I happily recommend them.
Getting coverage is important whenever you’re more than a hundred miles from home in case of an accident, sickness, theft, etc.
Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.
Pin this Guide for Driving from OKC to Dallas for Your Texas Adventures!
Stephanie is a born-and-bred Oklahoma mom and travel expert who has been to over fifty countries. After living in Eastern Europe for four years, she has moved with her family back to Oklahoma to write about her favorite places growing up: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, & Route 66!