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Old 02-09-2012, 11:20 PM   #1
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Texas Highway 290

Anybody drive Hwy 290 from I 10 to Austin? We're in a 39 ft motorhome towing Honda Element. I heard it called scenic hill country and was curious, 2 or 4 lanes and is it any faster than going thru San Antonio? Thanks, Jerry

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:49 AM   #2
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We live about 5 miles off of 290 just NW of Houston. US290 is 4-lane all the way from Houston to Austin, and the Houston to Hempstead section is all limited access freeway (NW Freeway). Once past Hempstead, it's a 4 lane all the way into Austin. You'll go through some smaller towns and encounter some traffic lights, but it's not a bad drive if you don't try it at rush hours in either Houston or Austin. The real Hill Country starts at Austin, and 290 west of Austin is much more scenic (to me) than east of Austin.

Unless I'm going to the north side of Austin, I'll drop off of 290 just past Paige and take Tx21 south to Bastrop, then catch Tx71 north where it rejoins US290 in Austin.

If you're on I-10, this is MUCH shorter and faster than going all the way to San Antonio and fighting I-35 north to Austin. In fact, the shortest alternate route from I-10 would be to catch Tx-71 north just west of Columbus and take it into Austin. This is a good road as well.


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Old 02-10-2012, 04:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JPMaly View Post
Anybody drive Hwy 290 from I 10 to Austin? We're in a 39 ft motorhome towing Honda Element. I heard it called scenic hill country and was curious, 2 or 4 lanes and is it any faster than going thru San Antonio? Thanks, Jerry
I believe JPMaly is talking about the western stretch of Hwy 290 from where it intersects IH10 near Kerrville to Austin? It is scenic. Sometimes 2 lanes, and sometimes 4 lanes. Fredericksburg, TX can be crowded on weekends when the wx is nice.

It would be faster staying on IH10 and going thru San Antonio if your headed east to say Houston or points beyond.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JPMaly View Post
Anybody drive Hwy 290 from I 10 to Austin? We're in a 39 ft motorhome towing Honda Element. I heard it called scenic hill country and was curious, 2 or 4 lanes and is it any faster than going thru San Antonio? Thanks, Jerry
Just a minor addition/correction. There is an area called the Hill Country and it is a beautiful area within central Texas. As the post above me indicates, it is located roughly from Austin to Kerrville (east to west) and Georgetown to north of San Antonio (north to south). If you have a couple of days it would be worth it to stay in a place like, say, Fredricksberg and visit the LBJ Ranch, the Wildseed store just east of Fred., and other places in the area. Devil's Backbone is also interesting. The early spring wildflowers are supposed to be spectacular in Texas this year so early March is a good time.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:18 AM   #5
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As has been said, the 290 from I10 at Junction to Austin is a good road and scenic. At Junction (on I10 just before the turn for Hwy 290) there is a nice state park South Llano River State Park. The river thru that area is a good example of a Texas Hill Country river, very pretty. Enjoy.

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Old 02-10-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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Just did it last week coming back from "Q".
Primarily 4 lane with some 2.... F'berg is crowded on saturday but only a mile. Cheapest diesel was Johnson City on the 290/281 southbound portion. Honk nearing Austin. We're 1 mile north of 290 off Fitzhugh Rd.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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290 is a great alternate to I-10 to get to Austin. Nice road and scenic. It's our preferred route, and we've traveled it many times.

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