It takes about four hours to get from Austin to Dallas, but it takes longer than that depending on the endless, no-good stream of construction along Interstate 35. Basically, there are few things in the state of Texas more frustrating than the construction along that highway, particularly between Salado and Temple. 

So are there some quick alternative routes, and are there any good stops on the way? Yes. And yes. 

U.S. Route 281 offers a nice alternate route to the Dallas Metroplex (about 4.5 hours from Austin to Dallas), and it goes through Hico, which as the Dallas Morning News reports, is more than just the town known for possibly having Billy the Kid as a resident. 

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Hico is starting to become a hotbed for quaint Texas vacations: Think Fredricksburg but (we’re guessing) less schnitzel. With a world-renowned chocolatier, Kevin Wenzel, and Koffee Kup Family Restaurant churning out about 100 pies a day, there are food options that will make you forget about Czech Stop in West. 

And if you go this weekend, you can possibly stake a claim in the Texas history books. 

Every third Saturday in May (that’s this Saturday, May 19), Hico hosts the Texas Steak Cookoff. 

Like Cuero’s Turkeyfest or Fulton’s Oysterfest, the Texas Steak Cookoff is a downtown festival that raises money for the community. The event started 15 years ago and now gets about 5,000 visitors and more than a 100 teams cooking up steaks. 

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OK, so did you tune out after "possibly having Billy the Kid as a resident"? 

Well, Brushy Bill, a former Hico resident, claimed he was Billy the Kid and for years people have been trying to verify if he actually was the famous outlaw. 

So next time you’re stuck in stand-still traffic and thinking of committing a crime, do what Brushy Bill "Maybe Billy the Kid" Roberts did and run off to Hico. And make sure you bring steaks.