Nashville – San Antonio Travel Data

The first time I drove to Nashville upon starting my degree at Belmont, it took more than 16 hours of interstate cruising from San Antonio. Having grown up partaking in long family road trips, the drive wasn’t particularly painful, just tedious. I vowed to never let this trip take that long again. I began keeping tabs on improving travel time. Here are the results.

Trip Facts:

Current land record: 11hrs 9minutes 

Current Air record: 5hrs 24min

  • Average Driving Speed: 84.72 mph
  • Driving Distance: 936-998 miles (depends on route variables such as: TX-Toll 130 or Austin I-35, and Texas start/finish point being either Bulverde or Spring Branch)
  • Standard driving route: San Antonio – Austin – Temple – Waco – Dallas – Texarkana – Little Rock – Memphis – Nashville
  • Drive-able in 2 gas stops. Typically in Carlisle, AR (20 miles before Little Rock) and somewhere within 30 miles around Dallas.
  • Fly-able in 1 gas stop. Typically 3/4 the distance to final destination airport.
  • A note to radar detector users: AR-DOT uses K-band traffic counters every 1 to 2 miles.
  • For bigger vehicles (Tahoes), maintaining an average speed/minimizing stops is more profitable & safe than driving fast & aggressive.
    • (ie; Averaging 83mph, the trip takes 12hrs. Averaging 71mph, trip takes 14 hrs.)

Average drive times:

  • Nashville to Memphis 2:30
  • Nashville to Dallas 8:00
  • Dallas to Austin 2:30
  • San Antonio to Austin 1:20

Record times with notes:

  • March 2017: 15hrs 36min 51.33 seconds
    • (Circle K to John’s home/4 gas stops/2 food stops) (Tahoe)
  • May 2017: 14hrs 35min 15.62 seconds
    • (Circle K to William’s home/3 gas stops including 1 food stop) (Tahoe)
  • August 2017: 13hrs 29min 23.00 seconds
    • (William’s Home to Circle K/3 gas stops including 1 food stop) (Tahoe)
  • March 2018: 12hrs 53min 13.61 seconds 
    • (Circle K to William’s home/2 gas stops/0 food stops) (Tahoe)
  • May 2018: 12hrs 47min 9.11 seconds 
    • (Circle K to William’s home/2 gas stops/1 food stop) (Tahoe)
  • November 2018: 12hrs 20min 
    • (Daniel in Yukon/unknown # of stops)
  • May 2018: 11hrs 9min 49.02 seconds 
    • (Circle K to William’s home/2 gas stops including 1 food stop) (Lexus GS450h)
  • May 2021: 5hrs 18min
    • (1T8-KASL-KXNX) (Piper Twin Comanche)
  • June 2021: 6hrs 6min
    • (KXNX-3F3-1T8) (Piper Twin Comanche)
  • July 2021: 5hrs 24min
    • (1T8-5A4-KXNX) (Piper Twin Comanche)

As of 2022, the results have entered a period of little or no apparent progress marked by an inability to increase speed, reduce number of errors, etc. Frankly, the availability of much faster private transportation (N17MB) has put an abrupt end to the era of record setting road trips for the time being.

Honorable Mentions:

Change log:
  • August 2016: created road trip map to mark key locations such as TX-Toll 130/I-35 interchange
  • March 2017: added quick-stop restaurants along route
  • December 2017: combined gas/food into common locations to reduce stops
  • March 2018: removed unnecessary gas & food stops/optimized remaining 2 stops to be immediately on/off an interstate on-ramp
  • May 2018: inter-city-interstate routes optimized to bypass Little Rock and Dallas rush hours
  • April 2022: un-archived this page from pre-2020 Removed driving map to protect proprietary routing. Updated time data to include travel by private aircraft.