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  1. #1
    Steve_USA Guest

    Default Texas road trip !

    Hey everybody !

    We're planning a Texas road trip in late March (or early April) in 2009 and i was hoping for some advice on.. well.. just about anything and everything! All the things we've perhaps not considered or even thought about. We're ignorant to western Texas and will appreciate any help & advice ;)

    This will be our third road trip to the good 'ol USA. We love America! This all started back in 2006 when we spent almost 2 months seeing many parts of your country (Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and a couple more). Wow great times! Last year was a smaller adventure over 3 weeks, starting in Las Vegas, we did a circle that covered southern Utah/Colorado and parts of Arizona and New Mexico. This was a great vacation and we got to see some incredible places. One that stands out was R66 in northern Arizona with the Grand Canyon Caverns and lots of lovely town stops. Beats using the Interstate!!

    Anyhow, we racked up about 6,000 miles in 2006 and approx 2,000 last year. Good times! Tiring some of the time, but totally worth it.

    Being from England means that (for me) it's the atmosphere, settings, people, locations and so much more that I cannot put into words that makes it a wonderful vacation. Now we want to explore Texas, especially the south west/Big Bend area of Texas. I've recently been doing a lot of googling that's taken me to a few good websites with a raft of information on great towns to see, many ghost towns, the more scenic routes to take and more... But nothing beats talking direct with people that have actually been :)

    The start of our road trip is pretty much set in stone: we begin in Houston, heading south to Galveston, then west to Corpus Christi and finally onto San Antonio. (each place a couple night stay). From San Antonio is were the road trip will really begin for me. You see, we do love the cities of America and we've had some amazing times, buuuut we love the "real" America more. The remote places, rural sights, the everyday people and distant locations that most others would never think of doing. This is the adventure for us (are we strange? lol). Back in '06 we met a great fella in Roswell and I explained all the above to him. He seemed impressed that we wanted to visit the places a typical foreign tourist wouldn't think of doing.

    Now, we've 'only' got 4 weeks next year to see as much as possible and this is exactly what we want to do in Texas! Googling has taken me to some good information on many types of "ghost towns" along with many other places I wouldn't ever have thought about, like Del Rio. I'm a keen amateur photographer and I'm hoping to get lots a shots done in SW Texas. I'm also looking for advice on the best routes to take, ie: we don't want to hit a boring Interstate and miss out on anything! I'd also love to hear peoples opinions on cool towns to visit and things to see, such as the info I've recently read about Del Rio, Fredericksburg, Fort Stockton, Fort Davis and Fort Lancaster. (plus tons others but this posting is starting to get too big!). Not to mention ghost towns! :D

    We're both really excited about next year, if you can't tell. Looking forward to peoples replies. Thanks all !!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I think you've seen more America than some Americans

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    This discussion has some great information for you. There is some stuff there about other parts of the country as well so ignore those posts but good advice for West Texas is there, too. And this report about the Texas Hill Country. For an off-beat perspective, enjoy the tips at Texas Twisted.

    This should get you started. Keep asking questions and someone will pop in here with more personal experiences to share.

  3. #3


    If you're up north in Amarillo you should check out the work of guerrilla artist and prankster Stanley Marsh 3. The Cadillac Ranch is his most famous work (bring spray paint with you) but he's also responsible for a huge pair of legs as well as the ongoing Dynamite Museum project where he's putting hundreds of fake road signs all over Amarillo (you just need to drive around to spot them).

  4. #4
    Steve_USA Guest


    Thanks Judy/Jason for the replies.

    I have heard of the Cadilac Ranch before, sounds so cool! But i don't think we'll be heading anywhere near this part of Texas if I'm honest. We're basically starting in the SE at Houston and staying in the south, travelling west of course.

    Judy - thanks for those links :-)

    We were researching again last night and found some amazing places to stay. So called haunted hotels lol. I forget the name, but it was in San Antonio near to the Alamo. But expensive!

    Here's some more handy links I'm having a look at ; ) ghost towns | travel | haunted society

    Thanks again, Steve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Those look like good resources

    I encourage you to use the information there and here and, during your planning, keep coming back here with questions. We might be able to help you tweak your route, optimize your itinerary, and make other suggestions that will help you have a fantastic trip.

    Happy planning!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Another couple of resources

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_USA View Post
    We're basically starting in the SE at Houston and staying in the south,
    Some of our colleagues run TexasEscapes which is a great resource for finding small town gems in western Texas. Even though most of Aaron Reed's articles are focused on areas east of your starting point, you might find them compelling. In addition to the one specified by Judy above look at:

    A Road Trip to Waco, Texas.
    An Insider's Guide to Entertainment in Austin
    Padre Island National Seashore
    Fossil Hunting and Exploring!


  7. #7
    Steve_USA Guest


    hi guys

    I've recently been researching the better route to take from San Antonio / heading west onto Del Rio and deep into Big Bend Country.

    It came down to a few options that split off in to different locations but now i've pretty much picked the better (sounding) route. I feel we've got this part of the road trip sorted (at this basic level). Finally we're getting things on to paper and it's looking exciting!!!

    Okay, I've started by simply researching the towns to pass through. Ie how interesting things are, what to see and do, etc,etc. So this is how we dropped other routes in favour of the final choice listed below.

    Please note that i've not (yet) looked into everything else abot the road trip, ie places to stay, eat, fuel, etc,etc. Only the route that crosses some real interesting places (and ghost towns!!). Remeber, this is a basic / early itinerary with my own rough notes to dig deeper into ; )

    Okay, like i said, this is from SA heading west on HW90 :

    Castroville (french / history)


    Hondo (Frontier Times Museum)

    D'Hanis (looks like an awesome place)
    (stay here, hotel, bar, photos/downtown)




    Cline (zilch here !)

    Alamo Village, fort clark, anthill !


    Del Rio
    (stay here)

    Across the Amistad / National Rec Area / Eagles Nest !!

    Comstock (ghost)

    Seminole Canyon / Cross the Pecos River Bridge

    Langtry (research more. looks awesome!!!)

    Pumpville (ghost)
    (come off HW at Ranch Road 1865 / Pumpville Road)

    - loop back onto HW90 -

    Dryden (ghost)


    (Fort Davis/Stockton yet to research.)

    Gage Hotel (room 10 haunted! lol)
    stay here over night

    stay here over night
    downtown photos

    ** option time: from either Marathon or Alpine we can visit Big Bend National Park and stay here

    (between Alpine and Marfa is a view point to view the lights)

    (12 miles before Van Horn) (Ghost!)

    Van Horn

    Much work to do! But at least i feel we've got a great route planned.

    Before anything else about the road trip is decided, i really need to sit down and dig deeper into this route currently chosen. The route back isn't even being thought about yet, though we do want to see Fort Lancaster and Fredricksberg.

    This is all real exciting stuff and some of these places / areas look wonderful. I can only imagine the photos i can get around Del Rio and surrounding areas. Marfa sounds very interesting, as does Langtry... ah well, much work to do!

    So, what do ppl think about these places?

    thanks, Steve. :-)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-06-2008 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Wow, you've been doing your research!

    I wish I was more familiar with Texas. I just can't comment on the specific places you're looking into. It sounds like you've found some interesting places in the towns along that route that fit your must-see criteria. I hope someone pops in here with personal intel about the area to give you further tips. In the meantime, I just wanted to assure you that the options can be almost endless and there comes a time when you just have to be satisfied with what you've planned and enjoy it. You could drive yourself crazy after awhile. And I'm saying this as a person who likes to plan.

    So try not to overplan this. Allow yourself a bit of flexibility while on the road. I'm sure your trip is going to be great with all the effort you've put into finding things that intrigue and delight you.

  9. #9
    Steve_USA Guest


    hey no problem Judy. I appreciate your replies!

    That part of the road trip (above) is pretty much now set in stone. I need to look into each town / area more so. Find out the history, places to see, visits to make, the sights and the sounds. All good fun ; )

    Plus, not only that, i want to look into attractions that we might closely pass by without realising it. Ghost towns for example! (I'm a ghost addict, okay i admit it!)

    There's no rush with all this, having a baby is killing enough research time already! But we've got until March '09....

    I've ordered an AAA texas map from amazon yesterday. Looking forward to tying that in with the local roads and routes. As a foreigner it's sometimes hard to go beyond the highway. Indian roads, farm roads & ranch roads - there's LOTS of these grey roads showing in Google Earth and other maps. I wonder where they all lead. . . . (exploration time!)

    Also order three other books too, one on ghost towns (of course) another on west texas and another on texan road trips.
    Last edited by Steve_USA; 08-06-2008 at 02:59 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Planning is fun, isn't it?

    All your research will pay off! I'm confident you're gonna have a great trip. Keep asking questions while you're reviewing the books and map. I enjoy seeing someone doing their research. Not everybody wants to do that and they don't realize what they're missing, imho. Enjoy!

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