March—the first official month of spring—makes everyone anxious to get outside. But if you live in northern latitudes, March weather can be fickle, forcing you indoors. Luckily, temperatures in Texas—the Lone Star State—make it the perfect travel destination for those itching to get a little sun on their skin. From outstanding festivals and events to rodeos and spring break on the Gulf Coast, March in Texas is chock full of things to do.
In typical Texas style, Houston hosts a livestock show and rodeo during the first few weeks of March. And, this one-of-a-kind event is actually the second largest agricultural fair in North America. Enjoy professional rodeo competitions, a horse show, calf scrambles, and other traditional country fair events. You can also see country music's biggest names perform daily over a three-week stretch.
Since its inception in 1958, the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup has attracted both serious snake hunters and curious onlookers. The festivities—held the second week in March—involve demonstrations with captured rattlesnakes, hands-on activities, and a carnival. A "Miss Snake Charmer" pageant, guided rattlesnake hunts, and a country-style barbecue round off the exciting event.
Around the end of March, the city of Tyler, Texas hosts the Azalea and Spring Flower Trail, which includes a 10-mile tour of gardens and historic homes. Enjoy festivities like a war re-enactment, a 10k run, crafts, and square dancing. This particular event—one of the oldest and largest flower trails in Texas—provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Texas history, while rubbing shoulders with the locals.
It's never too early to start planning a break from your college studies. And Texas, with a number of excellent spring break destinations, provides an economical way to get your fix. Hit up the Gulf Coast for warm beaches, sun, and sand, or visit Hill Country where you can hang out on the river or party in the hipster college town of Austin. Both regions offer a host of activities with a fun focus on water time.
In Texas, it's easy to avoid the annual college-student debauchery during a subdued spring break with the family. But that doesn't mean family trips need to be boring! From the aquariums and pyramids at Moody Gardens (think Vegas, but smaller scale) to underground caverns and wildlife centers, adventure opportunities in Texas exist no matter your destination.
Birdwatching is a favorite pastime for animal lovers. And Texas—with its numerous options for hiking and camping—provides outdoor opportunities to do so. With a vast number of native species and the annual avian migration, birding in Texas attracts both local and out-of-area visitors each spring. Plus, Texas' varying geographic terrain encompasses almost every ecosystem found in North America.
Texans love celebrating St. Patrick's Day (or anything else for that matter), making the holiday and the time surrounding it full of parades and festivals. Statewide, traditional Irish pubs offer drink and food specials, art shows, and live music. Head to Houston for their annual St. Patrick's Day parade to watch over 100 floats, dance performers, and marching bands walk by. Festival lovers can also visit Austin for a more traditional celebration of historic Irish culture.
South by Southwest (SXSW) is a film and media festival, and conference, held in the city of Austin around the beginning of March. This annual event started back in 1987 as a music event, and then the film portion was added later in 1994. Interactive media followed suit, creating one of the country's biggest conferences with over 20,000 registrants each year. Exhibitions are open to the public (particularly attractive to those in the industry) so that they can participate in a celebration of innovation in music and media.