Interesting Route through Texas

Old Jan 8th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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Interesting Route through Texas

In May my husband and I will be driving through Texas enroute to the Grand Canyon from South Carolina. To say that we are not looking forward to this portion of our trip is an understatement! I have visions of long stretches of nothing. We sure would appreciate any route ideas or sight-seeing suggestions to make our drive more interesting.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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Are you interested in cities with cultural (DFW) and historic (San Antonio and Austin) areas or more unique stuff like the B&Bs of Jefferson in East Texas, the Hill Country, The Gage Hotel in Marathon, Big Bend National Park (a bit warm in May), the Davis Mountains, etc.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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mikemo:
We will avoid the big cities on this trip due to time limitations. Had rather look for scenic areas, gardens and interesting "local culture." Thanks!
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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The Palo Duro Canyon area is pretty spectacular, and it is on your route to the Grand Canyon. From Dallas, you go northwest to Amarillo on highway 287.

The route to Dallas itself contains many lakes and forestlands...

If you think Texas is just long stretches of nothing, you may have watched too many California movies containing too many stereotypes...
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 07:10 AM
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If you are crunched for time, the Interstates will honestly be the best route, even though it does go through the big cities. The 70 mph speed limit will be very handy!! Still, plan to stop for the night somewhere in the middle of the state, as it is indeed a big place.

Surprisingly, there are few "long stretches of nothing" until you get into far West Texas (East of El Paso). There aren't too many scenic gardens, but there are TONS of interesting historic sites and antique malls along the major highways. Each small town along the way has something worth seeing in it!

Which route would you be taking? I-20, I-10?
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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Somewhere (Abilene?) there are half buried Cadillacs. Odessa has a new replica of Stonehenge and its sister city Midland has a good oil and gas museum.
One thing I have always wanted to do is to go by Houston (Katy) and check out the replica of the Forbidden City. I just saw the Dallas Museum of Art's fantastic exhibit on the Emporer, and the two trips together would be a great adventure.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=1849178
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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It really depends on whether you plan to stop and do a little sightseeing of if you just want to make good time. If you are intimidated by the size of Texas and just want to get where you are going, you could take Interstate 40 and just drive across the upper panhandle, passing through Amarillo. That's where the Cadillac Ranch is located. It's a quick stop on the side of the road but something to see and photograph. Interstate 40 takes you along some of the old Route 66, if you are interested. I don't know what the drive across Oklahoma would be like, though. The eastern portion is pretty wooded.
 
Old Jan 8th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful replies. Maybe I need to become more enlightened in my attitude toward Texas! You certainly make it sound better than I had imagined.

I'm using Rand McNalley's Route Planner and at this point our route follows US 82 from Texarkana to Wichita Falls,where we would stop for the night, then 287 to Amarillo where we would pick up I-40. We would be covering around 350 miles each day so should be able to make leisurely stops along the way. We always get an early start around 7:00 A.M.and stop by 4:00 P.M.

Our current plan is to return home via Kansas, but looking at my map, I'm wondering about coming down I-25 from Colorado Springs and hitting I-10 for a southern route through San Antonio. My husband sees this as the LONG way home, but it sure looks interesting to me! And we have never traveled in this area before.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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I just ran two options thru my Microsoft Travel Planner. Your quickest route is not along US 82... that takes 5 hours and 34 minutes. And that is an idealized route, that assumes you can make a given speed (50 MPH) along a non-freeway country road. In reality, you will be slowed down by many possible obstructions.

If you travel from Texarkana thru the north Dallas suburbs to Wichita Falls, however, that takes about 5 hours. That is because the route from Dallas to Texarkana is along a Federal freeway, I-30.

If you do take the suburban Dallas route, however, I suggest you travel along the toll road known as the George Bush Turnpike, rather than I-635, which can be rather busy during rush hours.

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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Taking the Texarkana-Dallas-Amarillo route, if you depart Texarkana at 7AM, you would be in Amarillo at 12:30PM, without stopping.

If you go thru Dallas, however, there are many must-sees that would fill the 3-4 hours you've devoted to sightseeing. In Dallas, many people stop off at the Kennedy museum and historic site, and of course there are many other things to see, such as the Dallas World Aquarium and Zoo downtown, museums, etc... or even Pioneer Park, an entire herd of lifesize bronze steers and mounted cowboys, in bronze. For gardens, you have the Dallas Arboretum at White Rock Lake, or Dallas' Fair Park, or the gardens and paths on Dallas' Turtle Creek. In Fort Worth, you have the Japanese Gardens, but also the Stockyards area, and of course, Sundance Square.

For quaint smalltown downtowns in the north Dallas suburbs, you have downtown McKinney, downtown Plano, and of course Christie's home town, downtown Grapevine. Downtown Carrollton has a nice public square filled with many antique shops with western memorabilia.

Your plan has some possibilities... travel thru East Texas, Dallas and the Texas Panhandle on the way over, and along southern Texas (Hill Country, San Antonio, Houston-Galveston, on the way back.

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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Lots of great advice from posters. Make sure you include parts of the Texas Hill Country in central Texas.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Returning home through Kansas will certainly be long and boring, lol!
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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mikemo, Ohhh I really don't agree with you. I found cental Kansas (I-35 area) to be an increadible example of huge rolling hills covered with virgin prairie grass. You can see the orginal rolling prairies as they have been for thousands of years.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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I guess boring is in the eye of the beholder. A couple of years ago we took US 2 across North Dakota and Montana and loved it.

I have received such wonderful advice on Texas, maybe I ought to post something on the Kansas board next week! Thanks to all of you for your help. Now I'm going to pull out the maps and put a little more thought into our route.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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I-30 would be MUCH better than US 82. (I've lived in Texas all my life, and I don't think I have ever used that road...) 2-lane highways in East Texas are not a good way to travel if you are trying to make good time. You will get stuck behind slow drivers, farm implements, etc. It is a pain...
Off I-30, you could pick up US 287 and head up to Amarillo. You'll come right close to my hometown of Grapevine, which is a cool place (as xbt said!)
Personally, I wouldn't even attempt to drive form Texarkana to Amarillo in one day. I would try and make a stop for the night after about 6-7 hours of driving. Wichita Falls or Childress would be a good stopping place, IMHO.
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 01:29 AM
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That's a very strange route you're planning. Coming through Texarkana means you're taking I-30 from Little Rock. Why not just stay on I-40 west through Oklahoma? Faster, straighter. [And you still get to go through Texas!]

Or are you taking US82 all the way across Alabama, Mississippi and Arkanasas? If so, then please toss that software in the trash, and you'll be taking so much time you'll never get to Grand Canyon.
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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True, 82 is going to be slower, but the little towns might be interesting. As a compromise, you could take I-30 from Texarkana and cut off at Greenville to 380, which could take to 287. That would avoid the Dallas traffic altogether and take you through a good sample of small Texas towns and some non-boring countryside.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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Rkkwan, yes, we really are going to drive on US 82 across Ala., Miss., and Ark! We definitely do not want to get on I-40 all the way to Flagstaff. We have been on most of the interstates in the East and Midwest, and I-40 is our LEAST FAVORITE!

We are interested in picking up I-30 toward Dallas as several people have suggested. We have had very good luck on US highways on our most recent trips, and unless someone knows something particularly horrible about US 82, that's what we currently plan to follow. We figure that if we get away about 8:00 each morning and stop between 4:00 and 5:00, we should be able to cover 350 miles a day with time for stopovers that interest us.

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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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It's definitely okay to take your time and stay away from the Interstates. It's a fine way to travel. Unfortunately, there really isn't that many exciting sight-seeing opportunities on US82 across North Texas. You'll go through many small and medium-sized towns, but I really can't think of any that's worth visiting.

If you take I-30, at least you get to see Dallas and Fort Worth.
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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US82 goes through Paris, Bonham, Sherman and Gainesville. Personally, if you want to see some interesting places in Texas, these wouldn't be my choice cities. Other than some antique malls in Gainesville, and the cattle sale in Bonham, there's not much to see along that route. Please take 1-30...
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