The fastest route is the one Felschurch gave, though in reverse. Only a bit longer is I10 to Beaumont, then hwy 105 over to I45 at Conroe, north to Ennis, then hwy 287 into Ft Worth. If you will arrive after 4:00 pm, probably it would be better to do the latter route as you won't have to go across the Dallas area. Do you have more than one day for the drive?
Thanks for your messages. Maybe I should have explained myself better. We have from the 13th to 28th May to drive from Nashville to Fort Worth. We are Australian visitors and intend going to Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans - then on to Fort Worth.
Our maps do not differentiate between main roads/motorways and other roads. Apart from the major cities, can you suggest what towns/route we should see so that we do not miss out on any major attractions along the way.
You can look on maps.google.com to see the differences in the roads. Anything that starts with letter I, then a number, is a limited access superhighway with speed limits between 60 and 70 MPH. You make great time on those, and there are regular stops available for gas and food. They are called our interstate highways. They are also signposted with places of interest at the various exits. Brown and blue signs mark tourist attractions along the way.
Since you have two weeks, why not try this route:
Nashville to Memphis on I-40. Spend a couple of nights in Memphis, eat some BBQ, go hear some blues music, visit Graceland if you are an Elvis fan. There is an attraction on Mud Island in the Mississippi River that I have never been to but it sounds interesting.
Then head south through the state of Mississippi on (I think) US 61. It is the more scenic route that parallels I-55. This will take you to New Orleans. Lots of great things to do there. Jackson Square, Creole food, swamp tours, Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the French Quarter, and nearby is Destrehan Plantation.
From New Orleans, take I-10 west through Baton Rouge to Lafayette. Stay there, too. It's Cajun Country and very interesting. Avery Island is a beautiful bird sanctuary nearby, and there is lots of great Cajun food and zydeco music.
From San Antonio, travel north on I-35 to Ft. Worth. There you can see the Stockyards to get a flavor of the Old West. They also have a terrific zoo and a lovely Japanese Botanical Garden.
Here's the link to my Texas Triangle Route which you can incorporate into your plans as you see fit. Just eliminate the Houston-Dallas leg. tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i21630-Texas_Tr… If you allocate at least five days for Texas, you could see quite a lot of the state though that would only scratch the surface.Edited: 07 March 2012, 13:54
Currently the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles is under construction and down to one lane in each direction. The Friday before Mardi Gras it took friends 3 hours extra traveling east.
Wednesday after Mardi Gras took us about 10 minutes extra traveling west.
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