I'll be driving from Austin to El-Paso next week.
Is there anything worth stopping by? What's the best town to spend the night?
double check a map.... did you mean Houston to EP ? that is I-10. From Austin it would first be I-35 south and then catching I-10 in San Antonio.
(either way, I might suggest a quick visit to SA if you haven't visited before)
In general, not a whole lot.unless you want to spend the time in the area.
Any thoughts to driving the whole route to EP?...parts of the highway are 80mph nowadays.
Not much along that drive. If it is Houston to El Paso, you could look at a short stop in Fredericksburg if San Antonio as tejashombre has suggested has no interest for you. You could also stop in Fredericksburg even if you come from Austin; it's just not as far from your starting point. If it is Austin, you can go across 290 and pick up I-10 near Junction, depending on your starting point in Austin, if that makes more sense than I-35 to I-10.
As far as where to spend the night, your two best choices are Fort Stockton and Van Horn. Both are small towns with a few hotels and places to eat. Not a lot of choice and the room prices may be higher than you expect--since they are the two main way stations along 10 they have a captive market, so to speak.Edited: 04 June 2013, 13:15
When we're heading west, we leave around 3 or 4 pm and drive to El Paso. Gets us well on our way. Usually make it about midnight.
Fort Stockton is our choice if we're stopping for the night.
Thank you All!
So yes, I'll be Starting from Austin. I think I will make a stop in Frdericksburg, the I'll take I-10 near Junction.
Sonora Caverns sounds good, Balmorhea too.
I'm thinking about making a detour and visit Davis Mountain State Park, the observatory, and Marfa. and spend the night in the area. Let me know if it's a good choice!
Great choice. If you can work it out, try to get to the Observatory of a "star party"
Driving from Austin to El Paso, definitely take 290 west through Dripping Springs and on to 281. From there, go north to Johnson City, then pick up 290 again west to Fredericksburg, then continue west on 290 and pick up I-10 SE of Junction.
There is a nice WWII museum in Fredericksburg.
If you are interested in the McDonald Observatory, overnighting in Fort Davis is a good idea. For star party info check:
Lodging options are limited. I like this place:
If you stay there, you can drive down to Marfa to check out the Marfa lights.
Your route on the Interstate all the way to close to El Paso has an 80 mph posted speed limit. It's wise to abide by the speed limit as the Interstate is heavily patrolled. There's also the infamous "Willie Nelson" check point close to Sierra Blanca.
Austin to El Paso is about 8-9 hours to drive.Edited: 04 June 2013, 21:02
Van Horn is not so expensive. We stayed in Super 8 Van Horn in the beginning of May for 60$ + taxes. Many motels seem to be about the same price in this town. However, I gave only 3/5 to Super 8 Van Horn. You can check my review on Trip Advisor if you want to know why. Morever, many people told me Sonora Caverns were really worth it but we didn't have time. The lodge in Fort Davis State Park is very beautiful. Davis Mountains are worth it, I've been there twice even though I live in Canada. I slept in Balmorhea state park in May (we were camping). The special swimming pool is extremely large and beautiful. There are stones and lots of fishes in it. But when we saw a snake, we didn't want to swim in it anymore, too scary! There are a lot of people swimming there on week-ends.
Definitely take some time to get off of the Interstate and visit the Big Bend region. If you have extra time, drive down in to Big Bend National Park itself. It's really breathtaking. If you don't have time for the park, I second the recommendation of a "star party" at the observatory in Ft. Davis, as well as visiting Marfa. The Chinati Foundation is great for fans of modern art.
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