Things to Do in January in Texas

Texas doesn't offer the winter wonderland sort of scenery that many other U.S. destinations do in January, but it has plenty to keep visitors occupied nonetheless. The temperatures rarely dip below the mid-30s, which is cold by Texas standards but still warm enough to partake in an array of outdoor activities. Use these quiet months to go fishing and have the lake to yourself, to go to the beach, play golf, or attend one of the festivals that take place in January.

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Run a Marathon

Runners in the Chevron Houston Marathon

Kevin Morris / Chevron Houston Marathon

There aren't too many places that could host a marathon in January, but Texas can. It's the perfect time to join in on a race anyway, considering the number of people who made fitness resolutions at the beginning of the year.

There are several marathons held in Texas during January, including the Texas Marathon in Kingwood on New Year's Day, the Houston Marathon, and the McAllen Marathon, both on January 19.

02 of 06

Fish for Rainbow Trout

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

Few folks outside of Texas realize that portions of the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country offer excellent rainbow trout fishing year-round. 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.

Summertime trout are pretty much relegated to the Canyon Tailrace, but the winter trout population in the Lone Star State grows rapidly as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department implements its 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

The beaches in Texas attract locals and visitors year-round. The most popular ones are Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island, all of which are still buzzing with tourism well into January. Lesser known ones such as Boca Chica and Baffin Bay provide a quieter, more intimate experience.

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 boating, water sports, and fishing are pretty much year-round pastimes in Texas, the first couple months of the year can be inclement. Water lovers pass the time that they can't be on their boats by holding boat shows instead. January is like a virtual carousel of boat shows and exhibitions with the major ones taking place in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and other cities across the state.

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05 of 06

Play a Round of Golf

Golf course in Austin, Texas
iShootPhotosLLC / Getty Images

All that wide open space has given way to some of the nation's top golf courses. It used to be a well-kept secret, but recent years have seen an increasing number of golfers traveling to Texas to take advantage of these world-class greens.

During the winter months, the weather is generally mild enough to allow for a pleasant round. Beware, though, that shorter daylight hours coupled with an increased number of golfers can lead to more crowds.

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

Laredo, Texas, hosts the largest (and oldest) celebration of George Washington’s birthday in the world. The celebration, which was founded in 1898, lasts an entire month and attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.

The 2020 celebration is scheduled to include parades, concerts, fireworks displays, a carnival, fun run, BBQ cookoff, and more from January 23 to February 29.

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