Texas is the perfect choice for a road trip with friends or family. With its broad geographical territory and variety of routes, Texas will deliver plenty of memories and fun as you drive across the state. But how long would a drive across the Lone Star State take?
How long does it take to drive across Texas? Driving across Texas will take approximately 10 to 13 hours. Picking the fastest route without congestion will take about 10 hours, with an average speed of 65 miles an hour. If you choose more scenic routes, it will take you 11 to 13 hours of travel time.
Some people always think about the ambiance of the wild west when going on an adventure across Texas. Maybe you have visions of cowboys and horses roaming around some desert plains. The Lone Star State delivers these classic scenes plus much more.
Taking a cross-country adventure in Texas is not easy. Due to its vast landmass, it is quite impossible to cross without getting obstacles in your path. At approximately 268,581 square miles, Texas is the second-biggest territory in the United States. The state of Texas covers an estimated length of 790 miles and nearly 773 miles in width.
Depending on the reason for having a trip across Texas, you need to plan your routes correctly. If you are having a vacation with your family, then pick courses where you would pass by excellent stops or tourist spots for the kids. If you are a foodie, for example, then you want to stop at the top restaurants along the way. For the fastest drive across Texas, you want to travel the shortest and easiest route.
Read on to learn more about how long it will take to drive across Texas, including important tips to be aware of,
How Long Does It Take to Drive Across Texas?
As mentioned earlier, a rough estimate of the time it takes to drive across Texas is 10 to 13 hours. It will take closer to 10 hours if you follow the shortest route – along Highway 1-10. It will take around 13 hours or longer if you choose to take more scenic routes such as Route 66 or the Blue Water Highway.
The fastest route across Texas would be Highway 1-10, connecting El Paso and Houston. These two big cities have a lot of tourist destinations and cultural heritages that you might want to visit. It would take you around 10 hours and 48 minutes of travel time at a constant speed limit of 65 miles per hour. At approximately 746.5 miles, this trip might be the shortest route to drive across Texas.
746.5 miles is still an enormous number to drive across, but when taking a trip across the Lone Star State, this number is the fastest you can go through.
Some ways are also lengthy but still worth it depending on the sites that you will visit. For example, if you live in Amarillo, and you want to take your family on a vacation to South Padre Island, you have to take the routes 27, 84, 20, 10, 37, and 77 with an estimated travel distance of 12 hours and 8 minutes. It is quite a long journey but definitely worth it.
Texas Driving Routes with Incredible Stopovers and Scenery
When you ask random people about Texas, many will think of bull riding, cowboys, horses, and deserts. But Texas has much more to give.
Tourists and travelers love the feeling of a particular ambiance that is usually felt only in Texas. Some say the road trip experience here is one of a kind and will give you genuinely unforgettable memories.
Route 66 is probably the best route that many tourists and travelers pick. The city of Amarillo is the first place on Route 66, with numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, and night views. It can take about 3 hours to drive across the Texas portion of Route 66.
Another good thing about going through Route 66 is passing by Glenrio, a ghost town on the Texas-New Mexico border. It’s almost like strolling through a setting in an apocalypse movie.
The Cadillac Ranch is also a must-visit place for travelers when taking Route 66. This historical art piece is a fantastic spot where 10 Cadillacs are half-buried with nose first on the ground. If you’re planning to go there, you might want to bring cans of spray paint with you.
From the original color to yellow and a rusty color drawn by time, native people and other tourists are allowed to repaint them to revive and give life to the aging Cadillac Ranch.
Are you fond of driving along with an ocean view? Try taking the routes from San Antonio to Corpus Cristi, and Corpus Cristi to Galveston. Also, make sure to take the Blue Water Highway. With an elongated road and the Texas gold at the side, your long ride will be worth it upon reaching Galveston Island. The Blue Water Highway scenic drive only takes about 30 minutes, but I recommend making stops along the way as it is so beautiful.
If you are an extremist who loves to hike in landscapes, perhaps you should take Route 27 to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Then take Interstate 86 to stop by Caprock Canyons State Park and Trail.
Some travelers do not hit the road for stopovers but are after the topography and mood-lifting sceneries. Some would even spend 1/4 of their lives traveling, highlighting mountainside roads and desert highways. Well, Route 66 might be the way to take if you are a hippie riding a hippie van with good old hippie friends.
Guides and Tips on Driving Across Texas
Having a holiday spent in Texas will be both challenging and fun at the same time, so I have prepared this must-read article for those planning on a Texan holiday fantasy. The weather in Texas is so diverse. Some regions can be extremely cold during the winter months while aggressively hot during summer.
Texas is a vast landmass that has a wide variety of climates ranging from dry to semi-arid regions. The northern plains receive only a small amount of precipitation annually, while the eastern part, which is the subtropical area, gets a significant amount of rain yearly.
If you want to spend the holiday with your family in Texas, be mindful of the months in which climates are stable. Avoid the months of April, May, and June as the suburban areas will be rainiest during these times. Heavy rain can increase traffic congestion in some of the more urban areas. This congestion will make the time it takes to drive across the state of Texas longer.
Consider renting a car with a good air conditioning system when planning on a trip across the Lone Star during summer. The climate in some regions in Texas, especially the northern plains, is intensely hot during summer. Having an average of 64.83 degrees, the heat in Texas can be as scary as hell.
Stock up on some hydrating fluids and snacks as some of the roads in Texas can be very long that it could take many miles before you reach the next cafe.
Be sure to bring a first aid kit just in case an emergency occurs. Spare wheels to prevent delays along the road trip.
And lastly, a gallon of gas is not that much required but could be useful, especially if you plan to go camping or if there aren’t many gas stations around.
Here is another tip when driving across Texas: if you have a car, check your vehicle’s condition before you start the drive. If you don’t have one, be sure to make car rental reservations early on to complete your itinerary. Complete your rental papers and check them properly to make sure there are no hidden fees.
A Map Should Come in Handy
If you want to get to your stops and final destination easier, you should consider taking an actual map and road guide with you. GPS can be helpful, too, but just in case you get technical problems during your travel, navigating the old-fashioned way will be able to get you to where you want to go without having to worry about charging a dead phone or looking for a signal.
The Speed Limit in Texas
When it comes to speed limits, the Texan authorities are quite strict about implementing their rules. You also have to avoid parking fines in many parts of the state.
Speed limits in Texas have different variations depending on which region or road you are taking. All routes and ways in Texas have their default limits called “Prima Facie.” Don’t speed just to shorten the time it takes to drive across Texas.
The Prima Facie limit depends on what kind of road you are taking. For major highways and interstates, a 70 mile-per-hour limit is implemented, and exceeding this can cost you a hefty fine.
The street laws don’t only apply to major highways but to residential streets and alleys, as well. Speeding near schools and hospitals are considered to be the biggest sin for the highway patrols, and they become merciless when some outlaws disobey their rules.
Breaking speed limits in Texas will cost you $101, even if it is just the first warning. I guess no one wants to pay that ticket for good hard-earned cash. Breaking this law for the second time will cost you up to $1,200, and failure to pay will get you behind bars.
Conclusion – How Long Does It Take to Drive Across Texas?
So to revisit our initial question, how long does it take to drive across Texas? To drive across Texas, it will take you approximately 10 to 13 hours from East to West or North to South. The time it takes depends on the vacation or adventure that you plan to take.
Your journey also depends on the congestion of the roads on some major highways in the state. Two weeks is enough to make the most out of your vacation. One week is very doable, but I recommend setting aside two weeks to really take in the sights and scenery while driving.
Taking the long routes with maximum speed limits can also affect your travel time around Texas. Be sure to obey the strictly implemented speed limit laws, or else paying the hefty fines is inevitable.
There are plenty of cultural heritage and tourist spots in Texas, which are the most significant factors affecting your travel time if you want to take the time to see them all. Magnificent hotels to spend numerous nights and days in are also present in the big state, especially in Galveston, which has a beautiful beach and awesome theme parks for the kids.
It’s up to you how you will spend your time driving across Texas. Just don’t go too fast as there is so much to see, and it is best to take it all in while you can.