It’s no secret that Texas is a big state, but how long does it really take to drive across it?
We’ve grown up hearing, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” And the thousands of miles of interstate highways will certainly get you across Texas more quickly. But, why not slow down and explore the dirt roads leading to expansive farms or world-class restaurants on the busy city streets?
Let’s take a look!
How Many Miles Is It to Drive Across Texas?
Driving across the state of Texas will have you putting in some serious mileage. This surely isn’t a one-tank of gas kind of adventure. As the crow flies, Texas is 801 miles long and 773 miles wide. It’s interesting to think about how far that mileage is.
For example, that’s like driving from Louisiana’s western border to the Atlantic Ocean!
What Two Cities Mark The Longest Drive Distance Across Texas?
If you want to spend as much time as possible crossing the great state of Texas, you’ll want to travel from Texarkana to El Paso – or vice versa. Texarkana is located on the upper east side of the state, whereas El Paso finds itself on the lower west side. In fact, these two cities mark the longest distance across Texas.
How Many Hours Would It Take To Drive Across Texas?
Driving from Texarkana to El Paso will take about 12 hours of drive time. You’ll want to consider how many times you’ll need to stop for gas, and don’t forget you’ll need to refuel the passengers too!
Of course, the actual time to drive across Texas will depend on your travel style. You could likely do it in less than 15 hours or extend it to over a month.
Pro Tip: Here are the best free campsites in Texas.
What Is There To See While Driving Across Texas?
It likely doesn’t come as a surprise that as you drive across Texas, you’ll see plenty of attractions and sites to keep you busy. It’s both vast in size and variety.
The state offers remote rural communities, bustling urban areas, and adventurous landscapes.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a popular park in southwest Texas. It’s filled with excellent hiking, wildlife viewing, astounding stargazing, and scenic drives. Big Bend isn’t a park you want quickly to drive through.
It has been called “Texas’s gift to the nation.” If you do only have one day, the park has a one-day itinerary suggestion. We do suggest settling in and taking a few days to explore the area, though.
Waco is home to the ever-popular Magnolia Market at the Silos. The area is where you’ll find Chip and Joanna Gaines, made famous by their HGTV show, “Fixer Upper.” It’s easy to spend an entire day walking through the shops and relaxing in the courtyard of their market.
Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at Magnolia Table or one of their onsite food trucks.
While in Waco, be sure to head on over to the Waco Mammoth National Monument. You’ll enjoy a ranger-led tour taking you into the dig site. Aside from seeing the Mammoth dig site, you’ll be able to discover many ancient fossils in the area. The junior ranger program is also available at this National Park Service location.
If you’d like to spend some time exploring exciting cities, they have plenty of those as well. As you tour the capital city of Austin, you can check out its eclectic music scene. Book a guide to take you back in time to Kennedy’s famous route through Dallas. If the Cowboys are in town, Dallas is the place to be. Space Center Houston provides an amazing up-close look at the United States space program.
It’s impossible to cover everything Texas has to offer. Chances are, regardless of your interests and activity preferences, Texas has it. If you can’t find something to do while driving through Texas, you aren’t looking hard enough.
Is a Drive Across Texas Worth It?
Texas is large in size and personality. If you choose the right route, it’s certainly worth the drive across Texas. There’s so much to see and explore, and there’s no reason to miss it.
If you need to pass through as fast as possible, sticking to interstates, it may feel neverending and uneventful. But those who have enough time to make driving across Texas an experience will surely feel it’s a worthwhile adventure.
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