Most scenic route from Houston to Austin

Austin and Houston are two popular Texas cities that are only a few hours apart by car. The travel from Houston to Austin is quick, taking less than three hours, depending on traffic. To put things in perspective, you can drive for 12 hours in one direction in Texas and still be in Texas, so getting from Houston to Austin is a breeze regardless of which of the two primary roads you use. 

One option is to take Highway 290 all the way west. The other option is to take I-10 to Highway 71. Both are straight shots that take nearly the same amount of time, a little more than 2.5 hours, from one city’s downtown to the other. Don’t be deceived by the short travel time; there’s much to see and do from Houston to Austin. I-10/Texas 71 is favored since it is easier and more scenic than 290. Here’s what to expect on your I-10 ride from Houston to Austin.


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The well-known Texas petrol station and convenience store is a must-see! Grab souvenirs and road trip food on your vacation, and browse the expansive aisles at Buc-ee’s. Long stretches of the open road are every traveler’s fantasy. That is until their petrol tank runs out or they need to use the restroom. The majority of people then stop at a convenience shop. But Buc-pit ee’s stations are unlike anything else you’ll see on the road. These massive roadside convenience stores and gas stations are reportedly the world’s most extensive must-stops for anybody driving.

A visit to Buc-is ee’s worthwhile even if you aren’t on a road trip. People flock into their cars to visit the Buc-as ee’s; it opened in Adairsville, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. Atlantans are still making the trip a year later to “enjoy” this massive supermarket loaded with unlimited snacks, made-to-order meals, a gift shop, and clean restrooms. Yes, the bathrooms are appealing.


Columbus, located between Houston and Austin, is another historic town. You can go to the unique Santa Claus Museum. Scene75 Columbus has something for everyone; Scene75 Columbus is the spot to have fun! Scene75 has something for everyone, with 16 indoor attractions, 200+ arcade games, three bars, and a magic restaurant. Scene75 is not only the largest indoor entertainment center in the country. Still, it has also been named the number one performance center in the world by the International Association of Amusement Parks and picturesque in 2016 and 2021. We’re not kidding when we say we’re the ideal place for a party or fun day. So come view for yourself what the fuss is all about.

La Grange

The county seat of Fayette County is La Grange. The town has numerous clubs and dance halls, which are well-known for their live music culture. The Texas Hill Country’s foothills are where La Grange, Texas, is located. Friendly locals call this small city home, making it an excellent tourist destination. The picturesque small village is representative of Texas’s center. A day trip to La Grange is feasible because it is only a couple of hours from important cities like Houston and Austin.

Every month, the city plans special activities to appeal to all enthusiasts. La Grange is an excellent destination for an outing, offering everything from quilt displays to wassail sampling.

 For those looking to retire, the proximity to Austin and Houston offers enormous city advantages while allowing you to experience small-town life. Surround yourself with individuals you know to live a quieter, slower existence. When you need them, the major cities are there. La Grange is a beautiful alternative for a weekend getaway. It’s around 100 miles from Houston and only 62 miles from Austin on Texas State Highway 71.

The Colorado River flows through and surrounds the city, adding to the beautiful beauty of the area. The rolling slopes do as well. Moore’s Fort, named for John Henry Moore, was the forerunner of La Grange. Moore constructed a blockhouse to protect local settlers against Indian raids.


Bastrop, located around 30 miles southeast of Austin, is a historic tiny town that offers an authentic Texas experience without the masses. You’ll enjoy an authentic Texas experience without the crowds as you wander the welcoming downtown streets of Old Town Bastrop. You can find incredible outdoor adventures, shopping, a river walk, family-owned restaurants, a winery, a brewery, a moonshine distillery, and renovated historic homes here. Bastrop always has something special going on, whether it’s a music festival, rodeo, Independence Day fireworks, a fall festival, a pumpkin patch, or Lost Pines Christmas.

Bastrop State Park is so close that you’d assume it’s in town. The park was first established in 1938, surrounded by spectacular loblolly pines, post oaks, and junipers. The park includes attractive RV camping areas and rock cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. A devastating wildfire destroyed the National Historic Landmark Park in 2011, but it reopened amid new pine tree growth and underbrush. Nature is taking its course among the charcoal remains of burned trees.

Quirky Country Market

It will be best to go on a tour of this strange place. The aerial view provides a comprehensive overview, but the ground-level vision is more of a mix of assortment. The region is littered with solar panels and weird gadgets.

If you’re lucky, owner Dan Brectch will take you on a tour of his off-the-grid home. There are no utility expenses in the 1,400-square-foot, comfortable home space behind the commercial retail section. Everything developed on this property is off-grid. Solar power provides all of the energy. Dan collects rainwater in a water barn large enough to contain two 5,000-gallon swimming pools. Dan and his wife purchased the site in 2005, started building in 2007 and launched in 2011. He is constantly expanding his business. Saturday and Sunday are summer hours. Here is the place to go if you’re looking for a unique present, yard art, or just plain old eccentric fun.

Schobels Restaurant

Before traveling up TX-71, eat a nice supper at Schobels Restaurant. This restaurant has been in business since 1979 for a reason: the meal is exactly what hungry Texans prefer. Schobels restaurant, located at the intersection of I-10 and 71, delivers delicious home-cooked foods such as cheeseburgers and country-fried steak. Schobels has a breakfast buffet with country favorites like grits, bacon, and pancakes, so stop by for breakfast.


Finally, in Austin, you enjoy the highlights of your journey. Check into a hotel and explore the Texas Capital’s significant attractions. Weekend activities in Austin include exploring the Texas State Capitol, visiting Zilker Park, witnessing the bats at Congress Avenue Bridge, and more. Have a great time in Austin!


Houston to Austin drive time

The drive time from Houston to Austin is 3 hours if you take the US-290 W and US-290 W. Via TX-36 N/State Hwy 36 N and US-290 W, it is a 3 hours and 28 minutes journey. There is a toll on this route.

Houston to Austin bus

The bus from Houston to Austin takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. The Greyhound USA operates a bus from Houston, TX to Austin, TX once daily. Tickets cost $23 – $35 and the journey takes 3h 30m. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Houston Hobby Apt Airport to Austin Bergstrom Airport, take the bus to Austin, TX – Greyhound Bus Station, then take the bus to Austin.

The best route Houston to Austin

The best route from Houston to Austin is the one that is the most scenic and has the most interesting attractions along the way. The US-290 W and US-290 W routes are the most scenic, as they take you through Bastrop State Park and past the Quirky Country Market.

Small towns between Houston and Austin

The small towns between Houston and Austin include Bellville, Brenham, Giddings, La Grange, and Schulenburg. All of these towns have a population of less than 10,000 people. Bellville is the largest of these towns, with a population of 4,097.

Houston to Austin train

The train from Houston to Austin is not currently in operation. The last train ran in August of 2005. Amtrak operated the Sunset Limited train, which ran from Los Angeles to Orlando , with a stop in Houston. The train was discontinued due to Hurricane Katrina.

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