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Dallas to Austin Road Trip

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248.4 miles: 4 hours, 58 minutes
The Old West lives on in Texan towns founded on the sweat of dusty cattle wranglers and hammer-wielding railroad men. Other stops recall more recent moments in history—some painful, others playful. Lingering yesterdays mingle with modern indulgences on this journey through a land of malls and coiling freeways, Western stomping grounds still tread by boots and horseshoes.
1
Dallas to Fort Worth
39.0 miles: 0 hours, 57 minutes
Dallas has grown from a small trading post to part of a sprawling metroplex that also encompasses nearby Fort Worth, an important cattle center befitting the nickname “Cowtown.” With some of the richest Texans residing in this area, high-end stores (including the original Neiman Marcus) are as numerous here as the wildflowers along North Texas’ oft-congested highways.
2
Fort Worth to Waco
98.7 miles: 1 hours, 48 minutes
Heading south from Fort Worth, you’ll travel part of the legendary cattle driving route along which longhorns were herded north from South Texas to Kansas railheads in the late 19th century. Waco, once just another dot on the Texas section of the Chisholm Trail, today offers a varied assortment of attractions, several of which are conveniently huddled right off of I-35.
3
Waco to Austin
110.7 miles: 2 hours, 11 minutes
After a quick pit stop in Temple, founded by the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway in 1881, it’s on to Austin, the state capital and “the Live Music Capital of the World.” A rapidly growing urban center bisected by the sinuous Colorado River, the city is home to the University of Texas at Austin and countless high-profile corporations, including Whole Foods and Dell.