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Thread: Austin Bound

  1. Default Austin Bound

    Hi all! I am new to this site, and am hoping your experience can help give me some direction. My family and I are moving from San Diego to Austin, and could use some planning advice. We will need to get there in 3 days, but the catch is that we have a 1.5 year old. I would love for this to be a fun trip that creates memories, and sets us up to have a great new life in TX. I have researched the routes, but I run into trouble east of Tuscon with places to stay. It is about 6 hours to Tuscon, and I would like to keep the driving to about 6 hours a day to meet our 3 day timeline. Any thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated as this is the first time doing a trip with this much driving. Places that are must see, food that is must have, any fun to be had.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just Take It Easy

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    San Diego to Austin can easily be done in three days. Simply take I-8 to I-10 at Casa Grande AZ, follow I-10 to Exit 477 in Texas, and then US-290 the rest of the way. US-290 is good road with a relatively high speed limit and won't slow you down too much. You'll need to do about 6-7 hours of driving each day, but you can break that up into easily manageable 1½-2 hour segments with a meal or rest stop at each break. Overnight stopping points should be kept as evenly spaced (in time) as possible to make each day as easy as possible. Good overnight points would be Tucson AZ and Balmorhea TX. There are only two motels that I see in Balmorhea and neither is part of a chain, so you might want to look at larger cities nearby, but don't end up too far from Balmorhea or one of your days could be quite a bit longer than 6 hours.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are going to spend the first night in Tucson, stay the second night in Van Horn. It has a few chain motels and isn't a bad overnight. I've stayed in the Super 8 there and it's pretty decent. You will make it to Austin pretty quick from there because the speed limit is 80 most of the way. If you choose to drive past Van Horn don't count on anything decent till Fort Stockton, which is another 120 miles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We've stayed in both Van Horn and Fort Stockton on two separate trips. Van Horn was a bit better for us -- we stayed at the Ramada Inn there, which had just had some rooms renovated. The pool won't be open, though, as they close it between Labor Day and Memorial Day (or thereabouts). At Fort Stockton, the prices are considerably higher everywhere including at the Motel 6 there.

    As glc said, above, Fort Stockton is 120 miles from Van Horn, and almost 2 hours further from Tucson. There are no motels right near I-10 between Van Horn and Fort Stockton; you need to get off the freeway to go into Balmorhea -- only a mile or two, and they're not chains.

    BTW, you might be surprised at your little one. If you get off the highway and let the child move a little, about every 2 hours or so, s/he might be okay with 8 hours on the road. BTW, that's about the length of the trip from San Diego to Tucson: right around 8 hours.

    In Yuma, you could get off at exit 1, Giss Parkway, and follow the signs to the Yuma Territorial Prison. There is a park there near the river where there is some running space. If you're interested, the prison park has some history and you can do a lot of walking around there. Another place would be Picacho Peak State Park, on I-10 at exit 219. The next day: My personal favorite is the rest area at mile marker 320, between Benson and Willcox.


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