Things to Do in the Lone Star State During Winter

Large red ornament in the town square in Round Rock, Texas

Kimberly Brotherman/Contributor/Getty Images

Although most think of vacation during summer, winter is an outstanding time to visit the Lone Star State, as there are still plenty of things to do in Texas during the winter months. There are, of course, a variety of festivals and events, as well as indoor attractions to visit. But, the surprise to most out-of-state visitors is the array of outdoor activities available in Texas during the winter season. Thanks to a relatively mild climate, visitors to Texas will find plenty of things to do — both indoor and outdoor — during winter.

01 of 06

Celebrate Washington's Birthday

George Washington's Birthday Celebration Stars and Stripes Air Show
Texas Military Department/Flickr/CC BY 2

Most folks probably could 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.

Founded in 1898, this month-long celebration 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 traditional American holiday.”

02 of 06

Celebrate New Year's

New year's fireworks in Austin, Texas

franckreporter/Getty Images

On December's final day, there will be plenty of New Year's Eve parties and celebrations throughout Texas. Virtually every city and town in Texas will see New Year's Eve celebrations of all sizes. In the larger cities, dozens of clubs, bars, hotels, and restaurants will be throwing New Year's parties. Additionally, Texas' biggest cities also host some of the biggest New Year's celebrations like Celebrate San Antonio.

Big cities often close out the night with marvelous fireworks displays, however, not all the New Year's Eve fun is limited to the big cities. The iconic Texas towns of Gruene and Luckenbach are always popular New Year's Eve destinations as are numerous other Texas towns

03 of 06

Play a Round of Golf

Brackenridge Park Golf Course
Brackenridge Park Golf Course

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 Texan areas can lead to more crowded courses, leading many golfers to look for "hidden jewels" of golf courses in their area.

04 of 06

Visit the Beach

A Galveston beach in Winter

Kenneth Ballou/EyeEm/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, the 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 offer plenty to see and do during the winter. But, there are dozens of other small coastal towns in Texas, each of which offers visitors year-round 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.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Celebrate Valentine's Day

Red Corn Poppies in Central Texas

Dean Fikar/Getty Images

Texas has a number of towns and cities that are perfect for a romantic Valentine's Day vacation. From the Gulf Coast to the Texas Hill Country, there is a Texas town to accommodate anyone's preferences and tastes. Major cities such as Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio offer plenty of Valentine's Day, but so do more quaint locations such as Fredericksburg and Wimberley.

06 of 06

Fish for Rainbow Trout

Fly Fishing For Rainbow Trout While Man Riding Dinghy On Guadalupe River
Jacob Bodkin/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 offer 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.

True, there is not a wide variety of 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.​

Was this page helpful?