Texas, New Mexico Road Trip

Oct 7th, 2017, 03:31 AM
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Texas, New Mexico Road Trip


Looking to plan a road trip for summer 2018, for the family (9yo daughter). Thinking of the following places, any suggestions on alternatives? Have 16nts to use.

Houston 3nts
Austin 2nts
San Antonio 3nts
Marfa 1nt
El Paso 1nt
Albuquerque 2nts
Amarillo 1nt
Fort Worth 1nt
Dallas 2nt
mdb6687 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2017, 10:07 AM
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I would definitely head to Santa Fe and spend at least 3 nights there, visit some of the nearby Pueblo Indian pueblos, maybe catch a festival if lucky, visit Bandelier Park, drive up to Taos among other things. Terrific food and Santa Fe is in the mountains so it is a bit cooler. Think the Indian Market is on sometime in August.
I would definitely drop Amarillo and El Paso unless needed as an overnight en route between TX and NM.
Outside of Albuquerque a bit off I-40, visit Acoma Pueblo aka "Sky City", very unique.
One of the regular posters on here lives in New Mexico and hopefully will see your post and offer more detailed suggestions.
jamie99 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2017, 12:59 PM
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Just curious.. why drive to New Mexico if you're only going to Albuquerque and only for 2 nights?

Where are you coming from? If you live down there and aren't flying in, I would drop nights at the cities closest to your house and add them to New Mexico. You've dedicated half your trip to 3 cities that are relatively close to one another and forced yourself to have some long driving days after that.

It will be hot. The interstate drive across West Texas is not exciting. If you're going as far south as Marfa, you may as well visit Big Bend National Park and Fort Davis. Go to the observatory in Fort Davis.

I would also try to route yourselves so you can visit Carlsbad Caverns on the way to New Mexico or back.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Oct 7th, 2017, 10:29 PM
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We’re visiting from the UK, wanted to take in the major cities of Texas but also head out and try to take in another State if possible. Also trying to find a balance of not having to spend several hours on one journey and then have to do the same the next day.
mdb6687 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2017, 10:42 PM
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I think that your daughter will be bored to tears by this trip. New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos), southern Colorado (Mesa Verde), and SE Utah (Arches NP, Canyonlands NP) might be of greater interest.
Michael is offline  
Oct 8th, 2017, 06:19 AM
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I'm assuming you're flying into Houston since that's the first destination you list?

Your current itinerary is 30 hours of driving, not counting any side trips. That's just going from one destination to the next one listed.

If you want to visit the major cities of Texas and another state...pick a closer state.

You could visit 5 other states and still keep your driving to 30 hours. Drive from Houston to New Orleans, then head north to Memphis. Go east through Arkansas to Oklahoma City, then drive back to Dallas and hit Austin and San Antonio before going back to Houston. You'll visit Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma plus the Texas cities instead of just making a long drive across Texas to visit New Mexico. That route is still 30 hours but has a lot more variety.

It's going to be hot though, and humid everywhere except maybe Oklahoma and northern Texas. If you're willing to consider other states and aren't set on Texas, the Pacific Northwest and northern California would be great in summer.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Oct 8th, 2017, 12:31 PM
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It will be really hot and humid in Texas, especially around Houston. Is that where your flight from the UK arrives?

If so, I would plan to fly to Albuquerque or Denver, Colorado from Houston. Our weather is nicer in New Mexico (temperatures might be in the 90s during the day, depending on when you visit, but will drop at night), and you can easily find a lot to do in this area without so much driving.

What are your interests?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Oct 8th, 2017, 05:33 PM
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Visiting all the Texas cities on your list will require a LOT of driving, especially the west Texas ones like Marfa, El Paso and Amarillo. You might consider trimming it down based on interests and then flying to Albuquerque, renting a car and checking out Santa Fe. You could split the 16 days roughly in half and see quite a bit.
jayne1973 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 10:54 AM
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Was planning on flying into Houston as the flights for our dates are much cheaper than flying to elsewhere in Texas.

We’re more geared towards urban exploring I.e not big outdoor hiking fans. I’m a big sports fan and was hoping to go to a couple of ballgames too. I like the idea of doing New Orleans etc.

I’m trying to keep it to around 10 stops so we’re not on the move every day.
mdb6687 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2017, 11:36 AM
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Texan here ...

Texas, especially the southern half gets quite toasty (although this past summer was much milder than usual).

Houston, Austin, and San Antonio all have kid friendly activities, but you'll have horrible humidity in Houston (plan for indoor activities) and dry heat in San Antonio.

Do Houston, SA, and Austin, then head north instead of west. Dallas is a good urban kid friendly destination (again, that pesky humidity), then head either to Oklahoma City (lots of indoor stuff) or Little Rock. You might be able to work in New Orleans too (either at the end or in lieu of OKC; take I-30 out of DFW to LR, then head back south). This would get you three states instead of two.

Aside from major league sports, all these cities have minor league baseball teams. They'll be a bit more affordable than Rangers or Astros tickets may be ...

Marfa is kitschy, there's not a lot there honestly unless you're going to do nature stuff in the surrounding area. El Paso, not a lot there. ABQ and Santa Fe are nice, but I wouldn't group them in a long road trip with starting in the southeastern-ish region of Texas
routebliss is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2017, 11:00 AM
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Summer is the worst time to visit these places.

Houston is a swampy mess in the summer. Dallas is just randomly scorching. New Orleans is worse than both due to humidity (ever see a local weather reader call the weather "oppressive"? I have and only in New Orleans). We lucked out in 2017 because Dallas did not turn into a giant griddle - just a few days of 100 degrees (that's 38 to you if you're not a British holdout for the imperial scales). Driving across the state going west is nuts - I-10/I-20 from San Antonio to El Paso (and back to DFW) is a terrible drive and the outside is bloody hot - it'll get to 110 easily out there (or 43 in Euro-degrees).

The best way to do this trip is to go to Albuquerque from Houston or Dallas and rent a car there to check out New Mexico. After a few nights tootling around there, return the car and fly back to Texas and do the Southwest Airlines triangle of Houston/San Antonio/Dallas (Austin is thisclose to San Antonio so you can pick either). Neither El Paso nor Amarillo is particularly interesting. And there's no reason to stay in Fort Worth AND Dallas - pick one. You can drive to the other in less than an hour.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2017, 02:22 PM
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Listen to the Texan and BigRuss. If you don't want to fly across west Texas, there is an Amtrak train that goes from Houston and San Antonio to El Paso. The Sunset Limited only runs 3 days/week overnight to El Paso.
Rent a car in El Paso and drive north to Albuquerque. You might want to visit White Sands while in southern New Mexico.
tomfuller is offline  
Nov 4th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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It is over 750 miles from Houston to El Paso and frankly, not a lot to see after San Antonio. "Swampy mess" is a bit of an over statement, but depending on which month in the summer, it can be hot in Houston and New Orleans. June, early July is usually nicer than late July, August.

Houston, San Antonio or Dallas will have Baseball games that are usually easy to get into in the summer. Houston maybe not since they won the championship this year, but their are minor league games in all three places and those can often be more fun than a major league game ( and much les expensive)

If the Space Center holds attraction for you, it is just south of Houston.

New Orleans is about a 7 hour drive from Houston, San Antonio about 3 hours and Dallas about 5. A nice loop would be Houston to San Antonio to Austin to Dallas, then back to Houston ( that's sort of a triangle)

Have fun and let us know if there is anything else that interests you. There is a lot down here!
Rich is offline  
Nov 6th, 2017, 08:20 AM
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Not even close. Houston to New Orleans is < 350 miles - that's about 5.5 hours if you're going relatively slow. Houston to Dallas is 220 miles, that's 3.5 hours on a Texas highway if you make a stop or two. I can do Dallas to Houston in 3 with ease and without tempting the highway patrol too much.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 6th, 2017, 09:00 AM
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Keep in mind that "swampy mess" comes with bugs. Mosqitoes fly in flocks and they bite. Water bugs are icky, in fact they're all icky. I came from Edinburgh and lived in Houma, LA my first year in the US. How about starting in New Orleans, then driving up the Mississippi to St Louis? Lots to see and it may also be of interest to your daughter.
Barbara is offline  
Nov 6th, 2017, 11:58 AM
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If you end up doing a similar route as you proposed, I recommend adding Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Monument. There is really nothing else quite like these two places IMO. That said, you said you are more urban people, so maybe these won't float your boat. But also, I would say most of the NM portion of your trip doesn't make sense as that's most based on natural beauty.

The heat aspect is all a personal preference. There is a ton of outdoor activity all year round in Texas. If you are people that like the heat, it's not such a big deal. Worst case, hop from building to building with AC or go find water to play around in, which there is plenty of in Houston, Austin, SA, Hill Country, etc. I wouldn't be caught up north in the winter, but some people find that to be their ideal happy place. To each their own. Only you can decide if 100+F temps are the right thing for your vacation.
paulg is offline  
Nov 6th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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The times I gave are "worst case" and consistent with my travel style. The biggest variable will be traffic . . it can be very heavy on each of those routes at certain times of the day. There are times when it will take two hours just to drive across Houston
Rich is offline  
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