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UNITED STATES Arrow

A Scenic Drive along El Camino Real de los Tejas in the Lexus ES 350

Venture back in time as we drive this forward-thinking luxury sedan along a centuries-old travel and trade route.

The national historic trail known as El Camino Real de los Tejas has played host to Native American tribes, Spanish conquistadors, French explorers, and early Texan empresarios who enticed American colonists with generous land grants that offered a sustainable new way of life on a burgeoning frontier. Little by little, these unique adventurers from various geographical regions and diverse facets of life have made up the fabric of Texas society and thereby paved its way with rich heritage, cultural artifacts, captivating innovations, and intriguing clues to previous thriving communities.


Established in the 1680's when the Spanish set out on a determined quest for gold, geography, God, and glory, the trail originates in Old Mexico before crossing into Texas and heading over to Louisiana. Follow along the adventurous trek in the footsteps of early Texas inhabitants with this step-by-step itinerary of significant landmarks, missions, presidios, and historic locales interspersed with local businesses, quaint restaurants, sightseeing destinations, and entertainment venues.



Come along and ride with us as we take this century's 2017 Lexus ES 350 for a drive along the easternmost portion of this royal road by following what is now Highway 21 out of Nacogdoches (Nack-a-doe-chis), the oldest town in Texas, and journeying down Highway 6 to the trail's endpoint at Natchitoches (Nack-a-tish), the oldest town in modern-day Louisiana. Not only is the ES a strikingly-attractive luxury sedan with cutting-edge technology, but it also offers class-leading legroom in the back seats so that rear passengers can sit back and enjoy the scenic countryside views.


Lexus ES 350 | Armrest
Downtown Nacogdoches

First Stop: Nacogdoches

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Originally a Caddo Indian settlement and later established as a mission town, Nacogdoches was deemed a pueblo in 1779 when governed by prominent Spanish trader Antonio Gil Y’Barbo whose stone house has been recreated as the Stone Fort Museum on the campus of the local Stephen F. Austin State University. Looking at the past as a launching pad to the future, guests of the Garden Capital of Texas can explore this charming town by strolling along quaint shops that line the red brick streets of downtown, participating in activities such as biking along one of two creek-side trails, or enjoying a cool breeze from the front porch of a bed and breakfast.


Offering navigational assistance to help drivers along their way, the ES can be outfitted with an optional voice-activated system that displays map directions, current speed limit, traffic situations, 3-D city views, millions of points of interest, and other high-resolution information in three different languages. The available Lexus Enform App Suite also allows access to downloaded apps on compatible smartphones via the car's center-console infotainment screen.


Lexus ES 350 | Armrest
Lexus ES 350 | Exterior

Next Up: Sabine County

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Located on the Texas-Louisiana border on either side of Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sabine County and Sabine Parish have been connected since 1796 by a ferry that previously transported horses, wagons, and pioneering families across the river. Today, a three-mile bridge across what is now the largest man-made body of water in the South provides two-way access to the adjacent communities which are rife with historical landmarks, travel routes, centennial monuments, restored homes, newsworthy artifacts, and more.


Adding an extra boost of fuel efficiency and/or vehicle responsiveness when needed, three selectable drive modes of the aerodynamic new ES include sport mode for quick throttle response when perhaps passing on the highway, ECO mode for better gas mileage on extended excursions, and normal mode for the best balance of performance. Keeping us in line on the straight and narrow, Lexus now offers standard the most comprehensive safety system ever offered on the ES which includes stability and traction controls, parking assist, back-up camera, and a pre-collision system that monitors the road for obstacles, pedestrians, or lane departures ... just in case, you know, you gaze a little too long while sightseeing along the way.


Lexus ES 350 | The Gateway
Lexus ES 350 | Navigation

Final Destination: Natchitoches

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Developing from an exotic wilderness to become a thriving blend of culture and architecture over the past 300 years, Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Established in 1714 and known for its National Historic Landmark District, this original French settlement features Creole architecture, bed and breakfasts, a 35-mile long Cane River National Heritage Area, and historic homes such as the Oakland, Magnolia, and Melrose plantations. Natchitoches is recognized as one of the South's most charming small towns and is a great destination for a romantic weekend or fun girls' getaway.


From the eye-catching front fascia to the LED rear combination tail lamps, the Lexus ES 350 is meticulously appointed with standard and optional comfort features like push-button start/stop, beautifully-crafted wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and expansive panorama glass roof which gives over 800 square inches of skylight. So just crank up the available 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound Audio System, sit right back, and enjoy the ride ... wherever the road might take you.


Lexus ES 350 | Moonroof
Excavated Arrowheads

See additional information below or visit:

Lexus ES 350

Los Caminos Reales in Texas This slideshow provides a historical overview of the Los Caminos Reales in Texas, and was produced for our heritage travel app, Texas Time Travel Tours. Los Caminos Reales in Texas
Ladies' Tour of the Deep South featuring the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited The Deep South region of the United States beckons travelers with its rich history, opulent grandeur, down-home cooking, and warm hospitality. Ladies' Tour of the Deep South featuring the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited
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