July Vacation Activities in Texas

Bob Hall Pier
Danno Wise

July is the ultimate summer month across the United States. Texas is no different. For many families, July is the final full month of summer, as school children generally return to class at some point during August. Thanks to consistently hot weather, all the traditional summer activities are at their peak in July. And, of course, you have Independence Day and all the celebrations that go along with it. In short, July is an ideal time to schedule a summer vacation. If you do happen to be going on vacation in July, you'll find there is plenty to see and do in Texas throughout the entire month.

As is the case across the country, Fourth of July sets the tone for mid-summer in Texas. There are a variety of Fourth of July events in Texas each year. All of Texas' major cities -- Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio -- hold Fourth of July celebrations with impressive fireworks displays. The "Fireworks Capital of Texas," South Padre Island, also hosts a tremendous Fourth of July fireworks show. Probably the most unique -- and famous -- Fourth of July tradition in Texas is the annual Fourth of July Family Picnic in Luckenbach.

Originally staged by Willie Nelson and cohorts, the tradition of live music, good food and family-friendly fun every year on the Fourth has continued in Luckenbach.

Beyond celebrations and fireworks displays, many visitors head to the beach, not just for Independence Day, but throughout the month of July. Texas is home to a number of great beaches and thanks to July's usually stable weather, a wide variety of activities are available for beachgoers. Swimming, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, sunbathing, fishing and more are all prime activities for those heading to the beach in Texas. The only real concern for those hoping to have a coastal vacation in Texas during July is the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane.

July, after all, is in the middle of hurricane season. However, while visitors do need to be aware of the possibility of a storm while visiting Texas during hurricane season, such events are relatively rare and July is generally one of the most stable weather months in Texas.

Of course, not all summer outdoor activities are contained to the beach. Texas has a number of rivers and lakes, which offer great water sport opportunities as well. Swimming, skiing, boating and fishing are popular activities throughout the summer. On many rivers, especially in the Texas Hill Country, "tubing" -- or drifting down river on an inflated innertube -- is a popular summer pastime. Texas is also home to a number of great "swimming holes,", such as Barton Springs, Perdernales Falls, Hamilton Pool Preserve and Krause Springs.

Throughout the Hill Country and West Texas regions, rock climbing is also popular this time of year. And, each region of the state offers opportunities for hiking, camping, mountain biking, birding and more during July. Those looking for outdoor recreation, should make plans to visit one of Texas' many state parks during July. Parks such as Garner State Park in Concan offer a variety of outdoor activities for both day visitors and overnight campers.

While everyone knows about the numerous Fourth of July celebrations staged throughout Texas during July, there are plenty of other annual festivals this month as well. In fact, there is quite a bit of diversity on the Texas events calendar for July -- athletic events, fishing tournaments and a number of unique festivals fill the July weekends in Texas. In Clute, the annual Great Mosquito Festival is always popular, as is the Parker County Peach Festival. On the mid-coast, Port Aransas' annual Deep Sea Roundup always draws a crowd.

Those looking for athletic events will be interested in the TAAF Summer Games, an Olympic-style competition for amateur athletes in Texas, or Cleburne's Goatneck 100k Bike Race, which draws more than 1,500 cyclists each year.