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South Texas Road Trip

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693.6 miles: 12 hours, 17 minutes
Highlighting the range of the Rio Grande Valley, this trip travels along eight-lane interstates and charming highways through the plains, borderlands and valleys of South Texas. Blue skies dotted by billowy clouds seem to go on forever, the climate varies from semi-arid to humid subtropical, and friendly greetings from natives tend to fluctuate between “hola” and “howdy.”
1
San Antonio to Corpus Christi
150.0 miles: 2 hours, 25 minutes
The route is mostly straight highway driving through both rural and residential parts of South Texas; roads vary between four and eight lanes. I-37 has “Evaculanes,” wide shoulders marked with the hurricane symbol. Designated for emergency use only, they are meant to facilitate evacuations during hurricanes and other disasters.
2
Corpus Christi to Brownsville
173.2 miles: 2 hours, 54 minutes
Cutting through scrub-rich Kenedy County, US 77 passes through sparsely populated ranchland. The road is long and straight, the sky is big and the amenities are few. US 77 is the future I-69; currently, the entire project lacks funding but some local portions have already been redesignated.
3
Brownsville to Laredo
211.9 miles: 4 hours, 21 minutes
US 83 hugs the U.S.-Mexico border, where language, customs and food intermingle. Described as “the longest main street in the world,” the artery is lined by mesquite trees, fruit stands and custom bootmakers. About halfway between Brownsville and Laredo, Roma was once a terminus for steamboats as well as the setting for the 1952 film “Viva Zapata!” starring Marlon Brando.
4
Laredo to San Antonio
I-35 is one of the busiest interstates in Texas. It’s also undergoing an extensive renovation and expansion project scheduled for completion in 2017. With all the roadwork, it can at times be a chaotic mix of asphalt and metal. When you’re not trudging through traffic, the speed limit is 75 mph at certain points as you hightail it to San Antonio across South Texas plains.