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Houston to Fort Worth route?

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Lloydminster, Canada
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Houston to Fort Worth route?

We are arriving at the Houston International airport at noon the end of February, renting a car to travel around Texas. I wonder about the route from the airport to Fort Worth and first night stop, if someone could give some suggestions?

We have 3 nights in Fort Worth booked and would like a shorter drive, maybe up to 3 hours or so the first night.

Is there a route that is preferred for scenery or interesting overnight spot?

Thank-You

ARLINGTON, TX
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1. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

I would take State HWY 6 though College Station and then spend the night in Waco. 3 hours away.

Houston
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2. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

First, I'd make the trip all the way on the Interstate highways--it's only about 3.75 hours altogether total driving time, so you could easily make it all the way in one day by driving an extra 45 minutes or so.

The route I'd take would be to take Beltway 8 west (from the car rental agency) to I-45, then head north to exit 247, which heads you northwest onto US 287 N and eventually onto I-20 W into Fort Worth. It's a very easy drive requiring literally no stops. If you wanted to stop along the way, Corsicana would be a decent place to stop, and would only be about 2.5 hours out of IAH. The route provided by Dale takes you through several small towns, so if you're looking to see some, that could be a more interesting route, but the one I've provided is a faster and easier drive. (Try google maps and see for yourself.)

Grapevine, Texas
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3. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

While Gene, a Houston resident, may be quite versed in routes around Houston, he's unaware that Hwy 287, just south of Dallas-Fort Worth is a rural route with traffic lights and numerous cross-streets which would slow things down. It would be best to remain on I-45 to I-20 west. Depending on your final destination, there are a number of "feeder" highways off I-20.

Given your arrival time in Houston, it will be the middle of rush hour by the time you near Dallas and all highways will very congested. Given your long flight,

I'd suggest you remain with your original plan to break the trip in half.

Edited: 20 January 2014, 03:07
Georgetown, Texas
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4. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

Actually 287 is a very good route from Corsicana, on I-45, to Fort Worth. It is the route I take fairly frequently. There are a few odd stop lights along the way- mainly Ennis and Midlothian- but for the most part it is an easy drive and gets you into downtown FW without too much large tractor trailer truck/interstate traffic.

Texas
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5. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

Poodleone is correct, Buisness 287 has all the stop lights, not four lane Hwy 287

Edited: 20 January 2014, 04:31
Fort Worth
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6. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

I live in Fort Worth and have a son in Kingwood about 15 minutes from Bush and only travel the 45-287-20 route. Depending on the time of day, 20 through Arlington is probably the most crowded road in the southern part of the DFW Metroplex and I think the areas around south Dallas/Duncanville/DeSoto are also pretty heavy. There are bypasses completely around Midlothian and Waxahachie. I think you may hit a couple of lights near Ennis but you don't go through town. For drivers unfamiliar with the area, I think 287 is less crowded, safer and faster.

Grapevine, Texas
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7. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

Guess the Day Trip gods have not been in my car during 287 drives (between 360 & Wax)!!

Fort Worth
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8. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

Karin - Coming from Grapevine, I guess coming down 360 to Waxahachie would be your most direct route, but ouch! I avoid 360 pretty much in any direction in any situation.

And coming from Houston, there's no need to get on it. As Gene said, I would take the exit for 287 near Ennis. After you leave Ennis, there are literally no stop signs or lights all the way to downtown Fort Worth. I also agree that it's an easy drive and in most conditions takes under 4 hours.

Georgetown, Texas
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9. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

There are actually a couple of stoplights on 287 in Midlothian and one past there, closer to Mansfield but, for the most part, it is pretty clear sailing and MUCH better than it used to be.

Fort Worth, Texas
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10. Re: Houston to Fort Worth route?

I dislike the I-45/287 drive because there's not a lot to break it up, particularly from Madisonville to Ennis. It just seems to drag on and on and on. And every time I'd take it, the last time admittedly being several years ago, I found traffic north almost to the Woodlands to be a real pain.

I'll admit to having a geographic bias to what follows, because my sister and mother live in northwest Houston. But IAH is only 15 minutes from my sister's house, which in turn is 258 miles from my home in Benbrook, which in turn is just southwest of Fort Worth.

All that being said, I'd suggest Beltway 8 to US 290, then west on 290. Take Texas 6 north out of Hempstead, then I-35 out of Waco, then I-35W where 35 splits just north of Hillsboro.

If you want directions on some backroads that'll take you from 290 to near Navasota, where you can pick up Texas 6 again, let me know. It's a rural route along two-land paved country roads that won't affect your time much but provides a nice diversion (lots of trees) from standard highway scenery.

Along the way, I'd recommend stops at:

1) the Buc-ee's at FM362 in Waller. Bucc-e's is a growing southeast Texas convenience store chain that's remarkable for its exceedinglt large, exceedingly clean restrooms. I've seen smaller Wal-marts than this store. The beavers at the corner entrances make good photo ops.

2) West. The little town that suffered an ammonium nitrate explosion last summer is famous among I-35 regulars for its Czech bakeries and the kolaches and other pastries that they produce. The most famous is the Czech stop, on the east-side frontage road. But it's become tremendously crowded in the last few years. As a result, we ventured a block east into town and found Gerik's, whose kolaches are as good, which has a better selection of meat pastries, and has apple streudel rolls to die for.

As others have noted, if you want to break the drive up at the three-hour mark, Waco is your steop. There's also the Best Western Czech Inn in West, on the west-side frontage road, that gets rood marks on TA.