Visiting Texas in October

Visitors Have Plenty of Options in the Lone Star State During This Month

Aerial view from a helicopter of UT Football Stadium
••• Aerial view of University of Texas football stadium. Getty Images/dszc

October is one of the absolute best months to visit Texas. For starters, Texas's notoriously hot weather will be quite a bit more tolerable during the weeks leading up to Halloween. This change (reduction) in temperature is a catalyst for outdoor activities. From rock climbing to fishing, kayaking to wing shooting, there are plenty of outdoor activities available to visitors to the Lone Star State during the month of October.

In recent years, the popularity of birding has caused an increase in eco-tourism in Texas. And, early fall is one of the best times to be birding in Texas Fall is also a great time to visit Lost Maples State Park and view the changing of the leaves.

Festivals and Cultural Events

Another great reason to visit Texas in October is to enjoy the wide variety of festivals and events taking place across the state. Music and food festivals are at center stage in October. Popular annual events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Czhilispiel are cornerstones on the October events calendar in Texas. Other food festivals such as the Texas Rice Festival, Texas Reds Festival, Texas Mushroom Festival, Houston Italian Festival, Conroe Catfish Festival and Fredericksburg Food & Wine Festival are also noteworthy events held in October.

Though not technically a food festival, the State Fair of Texas has given birth to many of the state's most iconic food products, particularly the corn dog and funnel cakes.

Though it begins in September each year, the State Fair of Texas covers a significant portion of October as well. And, while the carnival, midway and other attractions definitely get people in the gates, the fried foods are what made the Fair famous.

Texas is also home to a variety of cultural arts festivals in October, such as the Texas Book Festival and Austin Film Festival.

And, Texas's rich Germanic heritage has resulted in a great many "Oktoberfests" across the state. WurstFest and the Fredericksburg Oktoberfest are among the best known, but there are a variety of others, ranging from one-day events to week-long festivals.

Though not technically an "Oktoberfest," the Texas Renaissance Festival is a European-inspired festival that transports visitors back to the 16th century. One of the largest Renaissance festivals in the nation, the Texas Renaissance Festival stretches over a six-week period from early October through late November. Held just north of Houston, the Texas Renaissance Festival is a must-see for any visitor to Texas during the month of October.

Football, Texas' Favorite Sport

Of course, Texas is a football state. And, another aspect of the State Fair of Texas that makes it such a popular stop is the annual Red River Shootout. This game is a spectacle to behold, whether you're a football fan or not. The annual contest between the University of Texas Longhorns and their arch-rivals, the University of Oklahoma Sooners, sees Cotton Bowl Stadium evenly split -- have burnt orange and half crimson red. The entire nation watches the game each year on television, but seeing it in person is an experience on an entirely different level.

This game alone is worth the trip to Texas in October. But, football fans have plenty of other reasons to cheer this month. High schools and colleges across the state will be in action. Additionally, Texas's two professional football teams, the Dallas Cowboys, and Houston Texans, play home games in October, guaranteeing football fans in the Lone Star State are treated to pigskin action every week, Thursday through Sunday (and sometimes Monday).

Don't Forget Halloween

If you happen to be in Texas during the final days of October, be sure to check out one of the many Halloween events staged throughout the state. From "fright trails" to safe trick-or-treating events at local zoos, there are plenty of activities and events to celebrate October's final day.