When it comes time to travel through the Great Plains, there’s only one way to do it: road trip!! Even for longer drives – like the drive between Dallas and Kansas City – traveling by car is a great way to see our country and stop at some fascinating sights and sites along the way.
Below you’ll find everything you need to know if you’re planning to drive between Kansas City and Dallas for work or vacation. I’ve shared the distance between these two cities and time estimates for how long you can expect your road trip to take. I’ve also got cool stops you should make along the way if you have additional time, and other road trip tips to make it a comfortable experience.
Ready to hit the open road and explore the southern part of the Great Plains by driving between Dallas and Kansas City (or vice versa)? Read on and you’ll soon be ready to go.
How long is the drive between Kansas City and Dallas? The driving distance between Dallas and Kansas City is 556 miles (895 km) and the Dallas to Kansas City driving time is 8 hours, 15 minutes in normal traffic.
Distance Between Dallas & Kansas City
As the crow flies, it’s about 453 miles one way between Dallas and Kansas City. Since you’re reading this article, you’re probably thinking of driving instead of flying to these cities.
The route between these cities isn’t straight; hence, the drive between Dallas and Kansas City will take longer. On paper, it’s roughly 556 miles via I-35N between these cities, which usually takes around 8 hours.
However, there’s a high chance it will be even longer. Like most road trips, the distance you cover will vary depending on the detours. It also varies depending on your start and end points within each city.
Drive Time Between Kansas City & Dallas
Traveling by car, you can cover the 556 miles in approximately 8 hours and 15 minutes. Once again, take this number as an estimate. It’s impossible to be precise as your driving time will vary depending on your start and endpoints and how many detours or gas stops you make along the way.
Realistically, doing the drive between Kansas City and Dallas nonstop is quite challenging. Most people will take breaks unless you have a deadline to arrive or have a companion to take driving turns.
Allocate at least ten hours for your Dallas and Kansas city drive for logistic purposes only.
7 Stops to Make on Your Drive Between Dallas & Kansas City
If you get the chance to make a road trip out of your Kansas City and Dallas drive, here are a few stops I recommend along I-35 N.
1. Chickasaw Cultural Center
While driving through Oklahoma, you’ll want to stop and visit The Chickasaw Cultural Center. It is a historical museum and a wonderful place to find out about the Chickasaw Nation. The building features comprehensive exhibits (many hands-on) and artifacts on Chickasaw tribal history, traditional dancing, and Chickasaw language.
Don’t pass up the chance to walk outside. The museum encompasses stunning scenery, lush greenery, tons of native plants, and wildlife. The museum has a café serving excellent food at affordable prices if you’re feeling hungry.
2. The Museum of Osteology
Check out The Museum of Osteology to learn about the living creatures that once inhabited the Great Plains. In most places, animals who die eventually fade into the landscape, leaving no trace of their existence to the bare eye. But not in OKC.
The Museum of Osteology has specialists making sure dead animals don’t fade away. They collect the carcasses of creatures and assemble them to put on display. The Museum of Osteology is the only skeleton museum in the United States and has over 350 real skeletons of animals that once roamed the earth.
Kids will love it. The museum is hands-on, and the staff encourages visitors to touch and hold the skeletons displayed in the museum.
3. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum commemorates the victims, survivors, and rescuers of the terrorist attack on April 19, 1995. A 3-acre site, the memorial has numerous segments with different meanings. Here are a couple of areas you can visit:
- The Survivor Tree symbolizes the resilience one needs to overcome a tragedy and heal.
- The Field of Empty Chairs represents the lives lost on that day. There are one hundred and sixty-eight empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone, and each has a name in the glass base.
4. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Whether you have any interest or not in the Wild West, make sure to stop and check out the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in OKC. It is fascinating. The museum’s collection gives a fantastic overview of the western United States’ history and culture.
Each exhibition covers specific periods of the old Western days and its protagonists. Be sure to stroll through the outside venue to view various Indigenous Peoples living spaces and western heritage towns.
As a heads up, it takes three hours to explore the museum. Still, I highly recommend visiting it on the drive between Kansas City and Dallas.
5. Pioneer Woman Museum
The Pioneer Woman Museum, dedicated to the women who made Oklahoma, is a little jewel worth exploring on your drive between Dallas and Kansas City. The museum curator has designed each exhibition through the lens of women who helped shape the local, state, and federal social and political landscape.
It also features collections in diverse fields. So you can see the roles of women in journalism, in their fight for suffrage and civil rights, on prairie life, and much more.
6. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House
Make a stop in Wichita to visit the Allen House, a Prairie Style home Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1915 for former Kansas Governor Henry Justin Allen and his wife, Elsie. On your visit, you’ll learn about America’s most famous architect, his brilliant conception of design and function, and the history behind the house.
While the Allen House is one of Wichita’s must-sees, however, they have a limited schedule. Check their website to know availability and whether you can include it on your drive from Kansas City and Dallas.
7. Combat Air Museum
The Combat Air Museum is the last suggestion for your drive between Kansas City and Dallas. A hidden gem, the museum is an excellent alternative if traveling with children. It covers the Air Force and features a great selection of planes. It has two hangars full of aircraft from WWI to the Modern day.
They also have aircraft engines, guns, shells, and missiles in their collection. The highlight of the museum is the flight simulator. You can sit in the cockpit with an instructor and learn how to fly!
Other Tips for Your Drive Between Omaha and Kansas City
Here are some final tips to help you plan your drive between Kansas City and Dallas.
- There isn’t a great option for a halfway stop on this road trip, but Wichita is about 200 miles from Kansas City, and Oklahoma City is about 200 miles from Dallas; on a 555-mile drive between Dallas and Kansas City, either or both of these cities are good for stopping and refueling.
- There are a number of rest stops along the route, including four between Kansas City and Wichita, four between Wichita and Oklahoma City, and a number of gas stations between Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth.
- There are plenty of gas stations and truck stops along I-35 if you need fuel, toilets, snacks, or other services.
Should You Fly Between Kansas City & Dallas Instead?
It’s always tricky to answer whether you should fly or drive between Dallas and Kansas City.
The right answer depends on two variables: cost and time.
As I detailed in the first section, the drive from Dallas and Kansas City takes approximately eight and a half hours and covers 556 miles. When flying, the distance reduces to 453 miles, and it takes one hour and 35 minutes to cover that distance. Add to that the time you spend getting to the airport and then arriving at your destination in Kansas City, and you get four hours.
Time-wise, flying is the best alternative, but driving is the best cost-wise. It isn’t such a big difference, though. Traveling by car, you’ll spend $155 for a round trip, while the cheapest airfare costs around $200.
Ultimately, what mode of transport you go for depends on your priorities and needs.
If you’re continuing on your road trip, be sure to check my guides for driving from Dallas to San Antonio or from Kansas City to Denver, or to Omaha. Have any other questions about the drive between Dallas and Kansas City? Let me know in the comments.