Things to Do in January in Texas

January is the first month of the year and the first chance of the new year for visitors to Texas to have a great vacation experience. Although January is one of the coldest months in Texas, the weather is still usually mild enough to allow for a variety of outdoor activities in addition to numerous festivals, celebrations, and other events. So, visiting Texas in January is a great way to start the new year. 

01 of 06

Run a Marathon

Runners in the Chevron Houston Marathon

Kevin Morris / Chevron Houston Marathon

Every January, many Americans have vowed to get in better shape or have set goals for themselves, such as running in their first marathon. For aspiring—or experienced—marathoners, winter is the time to be in Texas.

There are several marathons held in Texas during January and February. Among the largest and best known are the Houston Marathon, the Livestrong Austin Marathon, and the Cowtown Marathon in Ft. Worth. Another popular Texas marathon, Dallas' White Rock Marathon, is held during the early winter—actually during the peak of the holiday season in December.

02 of 06

Fish for Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout in a net
Karyn R. Millet / Getty Images

Rainbow trout fishing in Texas? You better believe it. Few folks outside of Texas realize that portions of the Guadalupe River, in the Texas Hill Country, offers some excellent rainbow trout fishing on a year-round basis.

Located a short drive from Austin, the Canyon Tailrace, a stretch of the Guadalupe that extends several miles below Canyon Lake, maintains a low enough water temperature to support a good population of rainbows and a few browns as well. There are few trout fishing options available throughout the year.

Summertime trout are pretty much relegated to the Canyon Tailrace. However, the winter trout population in the Lone Star State grows rapidly as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department goes about their annual winter trout stocking program from December through February.

03 of 06

Visit the Beach

Great Blue Heron standing on the beach in Port Aransas, Texas

Olga Melhiser Photography / Getty Images

Although the weather has cooled, there are still plenty of fun opportunities on Texas beaches. Of course, when most people think of Texas beaches, they immediately think of such locations as Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island. There is a good reason for this—each of these coastal towns is a year-round destination.

Of course, each of these three popular Texas beach destinations offers plenty to see and do during the winter. But, there are dozens of other small coastal towns in Texas, each of which offer visitors year-around activities such as fishing, birding, shelling, and more. So, regardless of whether you choose a well-known Texas beach destination or a smaller, out of the way locale, you can count on making plenty of pleasant memories during your winter visit.

04 of 06

Attend a Winter Boat Show

Large hall used to display boats during the DFW boat show

 Courtesy of DFW Boat Show

Although Texas offers nearly year-round boating, water sports, and fishing opportunities, the first couple months of the year can be inclement. But, there are still plenty of things to keep boaters and water sport enthusiasts busy in the way of boat shows.

Across the state, the early portion of the year is a virtual non-stop carousel of boat shows and exhibitions, with major shows taking place in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, and numerous other areas.

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05 of 06

Play a Round of Golf

Golf course in Austin, Texas
iShootPhotosLLC / Getty Images

Texas is home to some of the nation's top golf courses. Although this has been a well-kept secret in the past, recent years have seen an increasing number of golfers traveling to Texas to take advantage of these world-class courses.

During the winter months, the weather is mild enough (on most days) to allow for a pleasant round. But, beware—shorter daylight hours coupled with an increased number of golfers in popular winter Texas areas can lead to more crowded courses, with many golfers looking for "hidden jewels" of golf courses in their area.

06 of 06

Celebrate George Washington's Birthday

Girl in extravagant pink traditional dress on a parade float during the celebration of George Washington's birthday

Robert Daemmrich Photography, Inc. / Corbis / Getty Images

Most folks probably would never guess where the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday is held. Believe it or not, it is staged each year in the border city of Laredo, Texas. True enough, Laredo is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when Americans think of their first president. However, it is Laredo that throws the largest and oldest Washington Birthday Celebration.

The celebration was founded in 1898. It is a month-long celebration that attracts over 400,000 visitors each year. Over the years, the event has grown to include a variety of entertainment and activities.

This year’s celebration is scheduled to include parades, concerts, fireworks displays, a carnival, fun run, BBQ cookoff, and more. In short, there really is something for everyone at this “international celebration of a traditionally American holiday.”

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