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Discussion Starter #1

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So I'm planning out a road trip for next year. Been wanting to do this for awhile and I figure with the ST it should be a ton of fun. Bing Maps - Driving Directions, Traffic and Road Conditions *Hopefully the link works :)
Baron, may I make a suggestion for an alternate route within Texas? If you have the time, you will certainly not be disappointed.

I-10 is brutally boring, and you'll have to endure it to get to El Paso no matter what after you clear Central Texas. But between Houston and Junction, you could have a LOT of fun in your car.

And I'll butt out if you're set.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My plans for texas are to stop somewhere before San Antonio for the night and then speed a couple of days in Houston where my brother lives. Any alternative route suggestions are welcome. I'm also looking for suggestions for more scenic routs through Arizona if any exist.

I'm also planning on using the go-pro to take a time-lapse video of the entire drive :)

By my calculations it should take about 9.5 days worth of driving spreed out over two weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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My plans for texas are to stop somewhere before San Antonio for the night and then speed a couple of days in Houston where my brother lives. Any alternative route suggestions are welcome. I'm also looking for suggestions for more scenic routs through Arizona if any exist.

I'm also planning on using the go-pro to take a time-lapse video of the entire drive :)

By my calculations it should take about 9.5 days worth of driving spreed out over two weeks.
Not sure of your age or what you like to see/do, but I'd suggest TX-16 northwest from I-10 and staying overnight in Fredericksburg. If you're there during/near either fall festival (Oktoberfest) or Christmas, you could have a beer, browse the shops and enjoy the scenery.

If you take 290 East from Fredericksburg and have time, you can stop off in Hye to say hi at the Garrison Bros. distillery and drink some of the best Bourbon in the country. :)

Keep following 290 East till you get to Dripping Springs, and then turn off north onto RR-12. Drive 12 north till it dead ends into Hamilton Pool Road and go west. It'll spit you out onto TX-71. Go east and turn off onto 2244 (Bee Caves Road). Follow it east until you get to Loop 360. Go north until you hit FM-2222, which is one of my favorite urban winding roads. Its worth doing once at a comfy pace for the scenery and again for the driving.

When you hit MoPac/Loop-1, go south till you hit the 5th St. exit. Peel off and putter around downtown to look at the entertainment district or go see how much excess you can get in one grocery store inside the Whole Foods world headquarters at 6th and Lamar. You can eat well there. Or drink well.

To leave downtown, take South Congress and gawk at the tourists gawking. Stop if you want. Take Congress to Ben White/HWY-71 East. Leave Austin. Take 71 until you get to Bastrop, where you'll see some badass wasteland on the east side due to the massive wildfires last year. Then take TX-21 East through the piney woods of Central Texas, and run into 290 again. Go east to Houston.

This will not disappoint from a driving perspective. If you have more time, I'm happy to give you more to do in the Hill Country, but this is a really good taste, and a good mix of two-lane madness, and fun but more sanguine winding highways.
 

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As far as Arizona is concerned, I don't know a ton, but I do know that if you want some amazing desert/saguaro cacti mountain scenery, bypass I-10 out of Phoenix and take AZ-79 to Tucson instead. Pretty awesome.

Only other place I see you might detour on the trip (again, time and circumstances willing, and if you aren't set on seeing Nashville), is to peel off in Montgomery to Atlanta and veer north to hit Greenville->Asheville->Johnson City->Blacksburg.

But I have no idea if that's the kind of thing (Smokey Mountains) you wanna do. The drive is incredible, FWIW. And so is the scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I get anywhere near Austin I'm stopping off at the Salt Lick :) I was also thinking about hitting the Shiner Bock Brewery in Shiner as well as stopping off at the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham . I'm thinking I'd do either a spring or fall trip. I don't want to hit the desert when it's 120 degress. May-June is looking like a good time frame as of right now but things can change.

If your referring to Nashville TN I've already been there and Memphis on my last drive down to Texas. :)
 

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If I get anywhere near Austin I'm stopping off at the Salt Lick :) I was also thinking about hitting the Shiner Bock Brewery in Shiner as well as stopping off at the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham . I'm thinking I'd do either a spring or fall trip. I don't want to hit the desert when it's 120 degress. May-June is looking like a good time frame as of right now but things can change.
My current suggested route will take you right by Blue Bell, for sure. Not to knock Shiner, but there are some other fun (with better beer - yikes!) breweries in both Austin (Austin Beerworks, Jester King, Independence) and Houston (St. Arnold's, Southern Star - in Conroe, technically). There are better BBQ joints than the Salt Lick, but there is nothing like it for a cultural experience...and the BBQ is still pretty darn good. :)
 

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I'll add this much...even if you don't stop in Austin, do yourself the favor of taking 290 instead of 10. Soooo much more pleasant, but a touch slower.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you want to recommend a better BBQ joint please do, I've just heard a lot about Salt Lick but I know there are a ton of great places especially around Austin. I love Shiner and not being able to get it up here in NY sucks. I've never heard of the other breweries you mentioned but like I said I'm in NY. But I'm always up for going to a Brewery :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Last time I drove to Texas I went through Memphis both down and up and ended up taking 59 from Texarkana to Houston and was bored out of my skull so anything to avoid that :)

Only problem is Shiner TX is south of I-10 and would be completely out of the way :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I could do Austin to Shiner to Brenham to Katy where my brother is but I don't know if I'd want to do that.
 

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Last time I drove to Texas I went through Memphis both down and up and ended up taking 59 from Texarkana to Houston and was bored out of my skull so anything to avoid that :)

Only problem is Shiner TX is south of I-10 and would be completely out of the way :(
Both of these are just a little bit off the RR-12 path I mentioned earlier. Only Saturday tours, though, FWIW.

Thirsty Planet Brewing

Jester King Craft Brewery: HOME

Both are very good. I consider Thirsty Planet's Thirsty Goat one of the best all 'round beers I've had in awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Discussion Starter #17
Any place with a good IPA :) I've been thinking about making a dedicated trip to Austin as well and just spend a day or two going to different places.
 

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The only danger with Franklin is that the hype is SO huge (google them and you'll see all the national coverage), I wonder how many are slightly disappointed that the experience isn't more like a good trip than a meal. But it is very good.
 

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Any place with a good IPA :) I've been thinking about making a dedicated trip to Austin as well and just spend a day or two going to different places.
Well if you decide to do that, feel free to hit me up for suggestions, as I've been here 18 year now. Would love to share my favorites.

On an unrelated note, my first boss out of my undergrad work went to school in Albany. Probably the best professional superior I've had yet. Great dude. Making documentaries now. Very good at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm up for anything, but it will depend on how much time I can budget in the area. If I do the full lap of the country then I could probably spend at least a day in Austin but I feel like there is enough for me to do there that I would need two or three.
 
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