First, "Cibolo Creek" will help you with GPS routing.
In July, I drove from Houston to Big Bend National Park. This was pure sight-seeing, and the duration didn't matter a whole bunch, meaning I decided to take one route to destination, and a second route on the return. If you are not super-pressed for time, and you'd like to mix-up the scenery a bit, then you can do this:
- IH-10 westbound from Houston to San Antonio. Pretty much the best way, both directions.
- At San Antonio, take US 90 westbound toward Uvalde. Not much to see here, so keep going...
- Plan for your evening stop in Del Rio. You'll have driven a full day by now. If you stay at a hotel on the north side of town (i.e. Hampton Inn,) it will be easy to have a good steak dinner at Cripple Creek Restaurant. (U.S. 90 @ Loop 79.
- In the morning, continue on US-90. There are a few photo-favorable spots along Amistad National Recreation Area where you can pull over and take pics of your car with glistening blue water in the background of dry rock formations.
- Note that you'll hit at least ONE and maybe TWO U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints shortly after Del Rio, where you'll have to stop and get your car sniffed by dogs looking for illegals, narcotics, and/or firearms.
- If you decide to detour on US 349 into Mexico, remember "No guns or ammunition!"
- When you reach the town of Marathon (US-90 at US 385,) you have a choice: continue west until US-67 goes southbound toward Cibolo Creek, or go south now on US-385 and visit Big Bend National Park.
- If you go to Bend Bend, you'll see amazing views that 99.999% of the U.S. population have zero idea about. I'd really recommend it if you have the time because, really, how often do you actually get out that way? I stayed at Chisos Mountains Lodge (http://chisosmountainslodge.com) which was pretty good; quality food; ranger station; hiking tours, etc. Again, breathtaking views. Real mountains...in Texas, seriously.
- After Big Bend, drive west on US-118 and go to Terlingua. Now...there is the Terlingua Ghost Town, but I really thought it was a trashy touristy-sort of place and I spent less than five minutes there (including time to reverse the car and get out of the pot-hole-moon-landscaped-parking-lot). It was a major waste of effort and fuel to go the extra ten miles that way. From Terlingua, you catch FM-170. It's 86 miles to Cibolo Creek; you are hugging the border, so watch for pedestrians. You'll see U.S. Border Patrol vehicles frequently.
- After Cibolo Creek, then you might be ready to get home. In that case, shoot up north on US-67 to IH-10, getting on the highway just west of Fort Stockton. Then you can enjoy the multi-lane 80 mph posted speed limit all the way to Boerne (just west of San Antonio). If you are still in the sight-seeing mode, stop in Kerrville, TX for a while and look around at the folk-art and folk-music sites.
One cautionary note: keep a good tank of gasoline in your car if you're doing the Big Bend trip. Petrol stations are few and we don't get the best mpg in these M3's!
Hope this helps....