Road Trips

Ultimate New York to Austin Road Trip Itinerary!

New York to Austin Texas
Written by Town & Tourist

New York City is one of the greatest & most iconic cities in the world, filled with skyscrapers such Empire State Building, one world trade center and the Rockefeller centre!

In addition, to it being a melting pot for culture, from Chinatown to Little Italy. As the hub of the east coast its the ideal launching pad for some epic road trips! Especially an Epic Road trip to Austin, Texas!

Austin offers the perfect balance between “small town and Big city”.

Austin was recently named the best place to live in the USA, the survey compares quality of life and job markets across the country!

Austin, Texas is famous for its nightlife & awesome live music venues! In addition to its epic food scene (special recommendations at the bottom 😉  and outdoor street art.

A road trip between New York and Austin will take you past some of the greatest attractions in the USA.

From Philadelphia, to Atlanta, Memphis, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans and much more!

The roads you will encounter range from the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to the historic Blues Highway! For our full Itinerary and Guide, start your engines and “let the good times roll!”

austin texas 2

New york to austin texas road trip

How long is the drive from New York City to Austin, Texas?

Very long! The driving distance between New York City & Austin, Texas is approximately 1,742.4 miles!  This would take you a whopping 26 hours without any stop offs! 

I recommended taking this road trip over at least 3 – 4 weeks +! 

For example, covering an average of 100 miles per day would take you approximately 18 days. However, some days you may want to relax in some of the great cities enroute such as Memphis, Charlotte, NC and Philadelphia!

For Help planning a longer road trip, check out this post: How to Plan a 6 month Road Trip: USA

Should you fly half way?

This is entirely applicable to you and your route! I suggest viewing the map below and writing down which stops you definitely wish to visit and which are optional.

For your information, Atlanta has the busiest airport in the USA! This is approximately half way and is a great jumping of point for many fly drive road trip!

For more info see: 6 Epic RV Road Trips from Atlanta

Atlanta road trip

Atlanta road trip. Source: bcdtravel.com

Should you take the Bus?

If your on a budget the bus is an option! A direct bus to from New York City to Atlanta actually travels directly through Route 1 via Philadelphia on our map.

The price of this is very reasonable at between $50-$70  and it runs every 4 hours. The operator is greyhound. However, be ware this is a direct service.

If you would like to stop off at many cities enroute I suggest you book split tickets for each leg, this is likely to cost more.

For the best booking deals check out: Best Public Transport Booking Tools? Trains, Buses, Ferries!

Interactive map (New York to Austin Road Trip):

Dive into our Interactive map below!

In the map below i have outlined three driving Routes:

  • Route 1 Via Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans
  • Route 2 via Savannah, Charleston
  • Route 3: Via Blue Ridge, Nashville, Memphis (Blues Highway)

(The Routes are very similar for the first leg to Charleston, NC. Full Itinerary below)

User guide: Use the +/- buttons to zoom in and out of the attractions.

Top Tip: Many visitors choose to share the post on Facebook to inspire friends and help plan their road trip.

Hit the link below to share!

Road Trip Itinerary (New York to Austin):

In the map above I have outlined three driving routes for this epic road trip:

(I have highlighted the common part of the routes in orange)

Route 1 Via Philadelphia: 

  1. New York City 
  2. Atlantic City – Optional 
  3. Philadelphia 
  4. Baltimore 
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Charlotte, SC
  8. Blue Ridge Parkway 
  9. Atlanta, GA
  10. Mississippi
  11. New Orleans, LA
  12. Houston, TX
  13. Austin, TX

Road Trip Highlights:

Charlotte, SC

Charlotte, is a beautiful city known as “the Queen City”. It perfectly marries the vibrancy of a large city with the charm of small town!

It’s the birthplace of NASCAR and home to the NASCAR Hall of fame Museum.  Charlotte is also a city known for documenting post civil war history in the south, at the popular, Levine Museum of the New South. Whereas, Uptown Charlotte has a modern Commercial hub.

Charlotte Travel Guide 1 day Itinerary

Charlotte Travel Guide 1 day Itinerary

For our full guide check out: Charlotte, North Carolina in 24 Hours: 1 Day Itinerary!

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is famous for its southern hospitality, musical heritage and also the birth place of the civil rights movement. Atlanta is also home to many other record breaking icons such as the worlds largest Aquarium (home to whale sharks!), the worlds largest Drive in Restaurant and many more.

Atlanta has the busiest passenger airport in the United States of America the Harts-field Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which draws over 50 million people annually!

This makes it a popular starting point for many great US fly drive road trips!

Coca Cola Vault Secret places

Coca Cola Vault which houses the secret formula of Coca Cola. (Secret Places). Photo by: Documentary Tube.

For more on Atlanta road trips check out; 6 Epic RV Road Trips from Atlanta

Where to stay in Atlanta?

For our list of recommend places to stay in Atlanta follow the link HERE

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is a city with soul, history and great locals who really go out of there way to make sure your have a fantastic time. Expect that famous “Southern Hospitality” to not disappoint!

With “Let the Good times Roll” as New Orleans Unofficial motto this is a true symbol of the vibes expected. From the Garden District and Jazz clubs to the bustling  Bourbon Street.

Mardi Gras New Orleans

Mardi Gras New Orleans

The Mardi Gras, was included in our; 12 Epic Parades in the U.S.A

In addition, one of the Town & Tourist community wrote about the “free love” and “boot knocking” aspect in this post: 7 Erotic Festivals USA: Why I dragged my Boyfriend!?

For more on New Orleans road trips check out: Atlanta to New Orleans Road Trip

Route 2: Via Savannah, Charleston: 

  1. New York City 
  2. Atlantic City – Optional 
  3. Philadelphia 
  4. Baltimore 
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Charleston, SC
  8. Savannah, GA 
  9. Jacksonville, FL
  10. New Orleans, LA
  11. Houston, TX
  12. Austin, TX

Road Trip Highlights:

Charleston, SC

Charleston, South Carolina has been a vibrant seaport and trading hub since the 1700s. T

hese days it looks much the same as it did back then with Narrow cobblestoned streets, high spired churches and historic landmarks such as Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang out!

Charleston, South Carolina 

Charleston, South Carolina. Source: www.moneycrashers.com

You will also find antebellum (“Pre War”)  houses in the beautiful French Quarter & Battery Districts.

While the Battery promenade and Waterfront park overlook Charleston Harbor. Boutiques, gift shops and antique stores can be found along King Street. Whereas Broad, Queen and Church streets are home to many art galleries.

Savannah, GA

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and one of the original 13 colonies. This quaint city is filled with cobblestoned streets, manicured parks and horse drawn carriages.

Due to its age, Savannah is a history buffs dream with a variety of Civil war & Revolutionary sites making it a popular place to visit.

In the centre of Savannah you will find the stunning Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.  My favourite thing to do here was to drive through Oak tree lane,breath taking Instagrammable road! It actually made our list: 25 Most Epic Driving Roads in the U.S.A: Road Trip Ideas!

Road Trip Savannah Georgia from New York )

A Road Trip Savannah Georgia from New York has some memorable drives through oak tree tunnels! Source: getty

For more on Savannah and Charleston check out: Atlanta to Charleston Road Trip: Via Savannah

Route 3: Via Blue Ridge, Nashville, Memphis (Blues Highway)

  1. New York City 
  2. Atlantic City – Optional 
  3. Philadelphia 
  4. Baltimore 
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Charlotte, SC
  8. Blue Ridge Parkway 
  9. Nashville, TN
  10. Memphis, TN
  11. Blues Highway
  12. Dallas, TX
  13. Austin, TX

Road Trip Highlights:

Blue Ridge Parkway:

Blue Ridge Parkway which is the longest linear park in the U.S, around 469-miles in length through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties.

Expect smooth roads, sweeping curves and exquisite natural beauty as a backdrop! It is advised to spend at least two days to enjoy every part of this drive.

This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, 4×4, or mean motorcycle! If your in a RV, take the road trip but take more stop off’s and enjoy the scenery that little bit more!

Top Tip: There are no gas stations on the actual parkway, but just outside you can find some.

The Wonderful Blue Ridge Parkway, Photo by the Great SmokeyMountainRider.com

For more info check out: 25 Most Epic Driving Roads in the U.S.A: Road Trip Ideas!

Blue Ridge Parkway also passing by “Blowing Rock, NC”a quaint village which offers many quirky shops, tasty eateries and of course the famous Blowing Rock!

For our weekend Itinerary there check out: Blowing Rock, North Carolina: Weekend Itinerary

Nashville, TN

The drive is scenic as you head through Natchez Trace Parkway, which offers sweeping roads & breath taking views. There is also highway 61, which is the famous blues highway!

Nashville, is the capital of Tennessee, lies on the Cumberland River. It was founded in 1779, is known as the capital of country music! With popular attractions such as Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Johnny Cash Museum.

nashville country music

nashville country music

Memphis, TN

This is the ultimate place to learn about the history of Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Check out the famous Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley, B.B King and Johnny Cash all recorded albums.

Memphis, Tennessee 

Memphis, Tennessee

Other popular attractions include Graceland Mansion, Elvis Home and final resting place. See Celebrity Graves Road Trip: U.S.A. 

In addition, to Rock ‘n’ Soul MuseumBlues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. 

For the full Itinerary on Nashville, Memphis and Blues highway check out Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip: Blues Highway 61

and this post Jazz, Blues & Rock n Roll Rail Vacation

Austin, Texas:

Austin, Texas is famous for its nightlife & awesome live music venues! It was even dubbed “the drunkest city in the US”! But is there more to Austin?

Yes definitely, check out the vibrant food scene, the outdoor graffiti art gallery and soak up the unique and friendly atmosphere!

Austin offers the perfect balance between “small town and Big city”.

Austin was recently named the best place to live in the USA, the survey compares quality of life and job markets across the country!

Austinites take immense pride in being “different” from larger cities like Dallas or Houston.

The city’s unofficial slogan, ‘Keep Austin Weird,’ which was dubbed in a campaign in 2000 to protect local businesses against larger, national chains!

Austin Texas

Austin Texas Road Trip Itinerary, Source: www.austintexas.org

Best Things to do in Austin, Texas:

1. Visit the Texas Capitol

The locals say “everything is bigger in Texas” and they are not lying! Visit the gigantic Texas State Capitol which is over 20 feet taller than the Capitol building in Washington DC!

It was built in 1885 and is the centrepiece of a 22 acre park which contains many other statues and historic monuments.

Insider Tip:

Be sure to take the FREE 30 minute guided tour of the Capitol, which will give you real insight into the history of the lone star state.

  • Location: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, USA
  • Open: Monday – Friday from 7am to 10pm, Saturday – Sunday from 9am to 8pm
  • Phone: +1 512-463-4630
texas-state-capitol-austin

texas-state-capitol-austin-texas

2. Photograph the Outdoor Graffiti Galley! 

Austin is a hub of street art! Around the city you will find many variations from incredible murals to inspirational messages!

Be sure to visit HOPE Outdoor Gallery which is located just west of downtown Austin. This is where you will find the best of the best!

Location: 1101 Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703, USA

(Currently moving to near the airport)

Fun fact: A full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope was built  in Austin Texas.

The model is constructed mainly of aluminum and steel, weighs 12,000 lb., and is approximately 80 feet long, 40 feet wide and 40 feet tal

space-telescope-austin texas art

space-telescope-austin texas art

3. Check out the Mexican Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge! 

I did say Austin was unique! Over 1.5 million Mexican free tailed bats fly under Ann W. Richards Congress avenue Bridge every evening!

Fun Fact: They roost under the bridge which makes it one of the largest urban bat colonies in the world! Batman would be proud!

Insider Tip:

Your best bet is to stand on the bridge or river banks to spot the bats! There is also evening boat tours.

Location: Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA

Bats congress bridge austin texas road trip

Bats congress bridge austin texas road trip. Source: www.austintexas.org

4. Immerse yourself at the Interactive Bullock Texas State History Museum

What better place to learn about the “Story of Texas” , spread across 3 floors you will find a range of interactive exhibits.

With each floor offering a different theme for Texas. The highlight is the 400 seat IMAX theatre which shows many new & classic movies.

Insider Tip:

There is even an original NASA mission control console and authentic oil field drill parts!

Hungry? Head to the Story of Texas Café for some local comfort food.

Texas State History Museum

Texas State History Museum. Source: Agephotostock.com

  • Location: 1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, USA
  • Open: Monday – Saturday from 9am to 5pm, Sunday from noon to 5pm
  • Phone: +1 512-936-8746
5. Visiting Austin during the summer?

Head down to Zilker Park. This is a 351 acre metropolitan park which lies just south of the Colorado River. Here you will discover a pleathora of great things to do!

From scenic pinic sites to volleyball courts, Family play areas, an outdoor theatre, nature center and even a Botanical gardens!

barton-springs-pool-austin-texas

barton-springs-pool-austin-texas Source: lostinaustin.org/

Insider Tip:

Take a dip & relax in the Barton Springs Pool. Which is  formed by underground natural springs which span 3-acres. The water here is always at a comfortable 20°C anytime of the year.

  • Location: 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
  • Open: Daily from 5am to 10pm
  • Phone: +1 512-974-6700
6. Enjoy some live music at the Continental Club

As evening comes head to the iconic Continental Club for some great live music. This historic club first opened its doors in 1955 and is since welcomed many legends from Wanda Jackson to Robert Plant.

The stage is small but the reputation is vast! Music types here include, Rock, Swing, Blues, Jazz and more.

  • Location: 1315 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
  • Open: Monday from 6pm to 2am, Tuesday – Friday from 4pm to 2am, Saturday – Sunday from 3pm to 2am
  • Phone: +1 512-441-2444
The Continental Club on South Congress in Austin

The Continental Club on South Congress in Austin. Source: Great shot by  Trey Ratcliff (Flickr)

7. Go Bar hopping on “Dirty” Sixth

The “dirty” sixth street is half a mile of bars, clubs and many regrets the morning after! It ones of those things you must do while in Austin.

 Coyote Ugly is a popular venue with many local students, so expect some wild parties!

For a more sophisticated evening head to, Midnight Cowboy a reservation-only lounge.  There is also Esther’s Follies a surperb comedy club.

6th Street Austin Texas

6th Street Austin Texas. Source: getty

Where to Eat in Austin?

Breakfast? 

Head to the Latino area of “Holly”, a trendy neighbourhood with some amazing food trucks, restaurants and coffee shops!

It is located along the northern part along East 7th street.

Highlight: 

Visit Juan in a Million, a restaurant on East Cesar Chavez Street. The breakfast tacos there are legendary.

Address2300 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, United States

Lunch?

Visit Franklin Barbecue, this is one of the most famous places to central east Austin.

This place offers, the juiciest smoked brisket in Texas, but there is a catch! Due to its popularity the ques can be massive and hours long!

A fast alternative is La Barbecue in Holly or Freedmen’s in West Campus.

  • Location: 900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 11am to 3pm (closed on Mondays)
  • Phone: +1 512-653-1187
Franklin Barbecue, austin

Franklin Barbecue, austin

Dinner?

Check out Contigo, which is a little out the way but worth it! The Steaks and burgers are unreal and the cocktails are spectacular.

This place is popular with the local Austinites and offers family style tables which are perfect for groups.

  • Address2027 Anchor Ln, Austin, TX 78723, United States
  • Phone: +1 512-614-2260

Best Tours in Austin Texas?

Can’t be bothered having to plan each route or want something special all organised for you! Check out our list of recommended Tours HERE.

Two of my favourites are the Small Group Guided Tour of Austin and the Austin Live Music Crawl!

Austin small group guided tour

Austin small group guided tour

Where to Stay in Austin?

For a list of our recommended Hotels and the best deals for Austin, check out this link HERE

Essential Road Trip Tips:

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

How to get the best car rental Deals?

Check out: Ultimate Car Rental Travel Hacks!

For RV Rentals we always use: RV Share

RV motoring show, Auto show USA

Bring your RV to Tiden Park.

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