With its big cities, beaches, BBQ, and expansive landscapes, Texas is a popular vacation destination for road trippers across North America. If you’re wondering how practical it is to drive to Texas, here’s a quick overview: Yes, you can absolutely drive to Texas! Driving allows you to see more of the country, gives you maximum flexibility once in Texas, and is often cheaper than flying.
This road trip guide covers everything you need to know about driving to Texas. You’ll learn optimal routes from various starting points, how long the drive takes, tips for saving money on gas and lodging, top roadside attractions, and risks like car trouble in remote areas. Whether you’re driving from a neighboring state or across the entire US, you’ll be fully prepared to embark on an epic Texas road trip adventure.
Best Routes to Drive to Texas
From East Coast
When planning a road trip from the East Coast to Texas, there are several scenic and efficient routes to consider. One popular option is to take Interstate 10, which stretches across the southern part of the United States.
This route will take you through states like Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and finally into Texas. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see beautiful coastal landscapes, vibrant cities, and iconic landmarks.
Another option is to take Interstate 20, which runs from South Carolina all the way to Texas. This route will take you through states like Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana before reaching the Lone Star State.
Along the way, you can explore charming small towns, enjoy southern cuisine, and experience the unique culture of the Deep South.
From West Coast
If you’re starting your road trip from the West Coast, there are a few different routes that will lead you to Texas. One popular option is to take Interstate 40, which stretches from California all the way to North Carolina. From there, you can connect to Interstate 30 and head south into Texas.
This route will take you through states like Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and finally into the Lone Star State. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see breathtaking desert landscapes, visit national parks, and experience the rich Native American culture of the Southwest.
Another option is to take Interstate 80, which runs from California to New Jersey. From there, you can connect to Interstate 35 and head south into Texas. This route will take you through states like Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma before reaching Texas.
Along the way, you can explore stunning mountain ranges, visit national parks, and experience the beauty of the Great Plains.
If you’re starting your road trip from the Midwest, there are a few routes that will lead you to Texas. One popular option is to take Interstate 35, which runs from Minnesota all the way to Texas. This route will take you through states like Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma before reaching the Lone Star State.
Along the way, you can explore charming small towns, visit historic landmarks, and experience the Midwest’s warm hospitality.
Another option is to take Interstate 55, which runs from Illinois to Louisiana. From there, you can connect to Interstate 20 and head west into Texas. This route will take you through states like Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana before reaching Texas.
Along the way, you can enjoy scenic drives, visit iconic music landmarks, and experience the vibrant culture of the South.
How Long Does It Take to Drive to Texas?
If you are considering embarking on a road trip to Texas, one of the first questions that may come to mind is how long it will take to reach your destination. The answer to this question depends on various factors such as your starting point, driving speed, and the route you choose to take.
However, we can provide you with an estimate of the drive times from major cities, factors that can add time to your journey, and some scheduling tips to help you plan your ultimate road trip to Texas.
Drive Times from Major Cities
The drive times to Texas can vary depending on where you are starting from. Here are some approximate drive times from major cities:
- From Los Angeles, California: The drive to Houston, Texas takes approximately 21 hours.
- From New York City, New York: The drive to Dallas, Texas takes approximately 22 hours.
- From Chicago, Illinois: The drive to Austin, Texas takes approximately 17 hours.
- From Miami, Florida: The drive to San Antonio, Texas takes approximately 16 hours.
Please note that these drive times are rough estimates and can vary depending on traffic conditions, road closures, and other unforeseen circumstances. It is always a good idea to check the current road conditions and plan your trip accordingly.
Factors that Add Time
While the drive times mentioned above provide a general idea of how long it takes to drive to Texas, there are several factors that can add time to your journey. These factors include:
- Traffic: Heavy traffic in urban areas or during peak travel times can significantly increase your travel time.
- Rest Stops: Frequent rest stops for meals, bathroom breaks, or simply stretching your legs can add time to your overall journey.
- Scenic Routes: If you choose to take scenic routes or detours along the way, it may add extra time to your trip, but can also make your road trip more enjoyable.
- Weather Conditions: Inclement weather such as rain, snow, or strong winds can slow down your travel time and make driving conditions more challenging.
It is important to factor in these additional elements when planning your road trip to Texas to ensure a more accurate estimation of your travel time.
When planning your road trip to Texas, here are some scheduling tips to consider:
- Allow for Extra Time: It is always better to overestimate your travel time and have some extra hours to spare rather than rushing to reach your destination.
- Plan Breaks: Schedule regular breaks along your route to rest, eat, and refuel. This will help you stay refreshed and focused on the road.
- Check Road Conditions: Before setting off, check for any road closures, construction zones, or traffic updates that may impact your travel time.
- Consider Overnight Stops: If your journey is particularly long, consider breaking it up into multiple days and planning overnight stays in different cities along the way.
By following these scheduling tips, you can make your road trip to Texas a more enjoyable and stress-free experience.
For more information on road trip planning and travel resources, you can visit websites such as TripAdvisor or Roadtrippers to find helpful tips, itineraries, and recommendations from fellow travelers.
Saving Money on a Texas Road Trip
Planning a road trip to Texas? Don’t let the expenses discourage you! With a little bit of savvy planning and some insider tips, you can save money and make the most of your adventure. Here are some ways to keep your budget in check while exploring the great state of Texas.
Gas & Mileage Tips
One of the biggest expenses on a road trip is fuel. To save money on gas, consider these tips:
- Research gas prices along your route and plan your stops accordingly. Websites like GasBuddy.com can help you find the cheapest gas stations in the area.
- Drive at a steady speed and avoid sudden accelerations or stops. These driving habits can improve your mileage and save you money at the pump.
- Consider carpooling with friends or family to split the cost of fuel. Sharing expenses can significantly reduce your overall expenses.
When it comes to finding affordable accommodations on your Texas road trip, here are some options to consider:
- Look for budget-friendly hotels and motels along your route. Websites like Booking.com or Hotels.com offer a wide range of options to suit every budget.
- Consider camping if you enjoy the outdoors. Texas has numerous state parks and campgrounds where you can pitch a tent or rent a cabin at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
- Explore the option of staying with friends or family along the way. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get the chance to catch up and create lasting memories.
Discounts & Deals
Make the most of your Texas road trip by taking advantage of discounts and deals:
- Check out tourist information centers along your route. They often have brochures and coupons for local attractions and restaurants.
- Look for online deals and discount codes before booking activities or attractions. Websites like Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com often offer discounted tickets for popular tourist destinations.
- If you’re a student, senior citizen, or a member of any professional organizations, inquire about discounts at hotels, museums, and other attractions. Many places offer reduced rates for certain groups.
By following these money-saving tips, you can enjoy your Texas road trip without breaking the bank. Remember to plan ahead, do your research, and look for ways to cut costs along the way. Happy travels!
Top Roadside Attractions to See
One of the top roadside attractions to see on your road trip to Texas is the iconic Cadillac Ranch. Located just west of Amarillo, this unique art installation features a row of ten vintage Cadillacs half-buried nose-first in the ground.
Created in 1974 by a group of artists known as the Ant Farm, this colorful and interactive exhibit has become a must-see for travelers passing through the area.
World’s Largest Cross
Another fascinating roadside attraction to visit is the World’s Largest Cross, located in Groom, Texas. Standing at an impressive 190 feet tall, this towering cross is not only a religious symbol but also a remarkable feat of engineering.
Visitors can marvel at its grandeur and take in the breathtaking views from the observation deck at the top. It serves as a popular pilgrimage site and a testament to faith for many.
Palo Duro Canyon
If natural wonders are more your style, a visit to Palo Duro Canyon is a must. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” this stunning canyon spans over 120 miles long and reaches depths of up to 800 feet.
With its vibrant red and orange rock formations, hiking trails, and opportunities for camping and wildlife watching, Palo Duro Canyon offers a memorable experience for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.
Whether you’re a fan of art, religious landmarks, or natural beauty, these top roadside attractions in Texas have something for everyone. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and make sure to include these must-see destinations on your ultimate road trip to Texas!
Driving Safety Tips and Precautions
When embarking on a road trip to Texas, it is crucial to prioritize driving safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here are some essential tips and precautions to keep in mind:
Preparing Your Vehicle
Before setting off on your road trip, it is essential to make sure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Regular maintenance checks, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections, are crucial to ensure your vehicle’s safety and performance.
Additionally, check that all lights, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals, are functioning correctly.
If you are unsure about your vehicle’s condition, consider taking it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection. They can identify any potential issues that may impact your journey and address them promptly.
Handling Remote Areas
During your road trip to Texas, you may encounter remote areas with limited services and amenities. It is important to be prepared for such situations to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
First and foremost, make sure to have a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. This kit should include essentials like a first aid kit, flashlight, spare tire, jumper cables, and a toolset. Additionally, carry ample water and non-perishable food items in case of unexpected delays or breakdowns.
When driving through remote areas, it is also advisable to have a reliable GPS system or maps available to navigate unfamiliar roads. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting lost.
Roadside Assistance Options
Even with proper vehicle maintenance and preparation, unexpected incidents can still occur during a road trip. In such situations, having access to roadside assistance can be a lifesaver.
Before your trip, research and enroll in a reputable roadside assistance program. These programs typically offer services such as towing, fuel delivery, battery jump-starts, and lockout assistance. Knowing that help is just a phone call away can provide peace of mind and ensure a smoother journey.
Some popular roadside assistance options include AAA (American Automobile Association) and Allstate Motor Club. These programs offer various membership levels and benefits, so it is advisable to compare their offerings and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Remember, driving safety should always be a top priority during your road trip to Texas. By preparing your vehicle, handling remote areas with caution, and having access to roadside assistance, you can enjoy a worry-free journey and make unforgettable memories along the way.
Texas’ wide-open spaces, southern hospitality, and menagerie of roadside oddities make it a treasured destination for cross-country road trippers. With strategic planning, you can drive to Texas comfortably, safely, and while discovering fascinating stops along your route. By following optimized routes, budgeting wisely, and preparing for the long haul, you’ll be ready for an epic, only-by-road adventure to the Lone Star State.
The open road beckons. Your Texas road trip awaits. Just gas up the car, cue up the honky tonk tunes, and enjoy the ride to those big Texas skies!