Here are 15 winter trip ideas in Texas to start planning!
Are you looking for ways to make this winter more exciting? After the holiday season and everyone has settled down, and the new year has begun – it’s time to plan a winter adventure. Thanks to Texas’s somewhat mild climate, locals and visitors can enjoy many activities and attractions in the winter. Please check out these 15 winter trip ideas in Texas and add them to your Texas winter bucket list.
Some parts of Texas can get downright cold in the winter. We may not see snow, but you’ll need a coat somewhere in the state in the months of December, January, and February – and sometimes in March. Bundling up may be needed depending on where you visit, especially in the Panhandle.
15 Winter Trip Ideas In Texas
The winter climate in Texas is comfortable to many, but it does get down to freezing on some days. When it does, it rarely stays that way. The further you travel south, the warmer it can get. Don’t let anything destroy your winter adventures, though. From North Texas, East Texas, the West, and the South, and let’s not forget Central Texas, the Lone Star State has plenty of places to visit in winter that will suit everyone.
1. Follow The Texas Antique Trail
(must like antiques!)
Choose a region in Texas and follow the trail to unique antique shops. See all seven regions on the Texas Antique Trail to get an idea of the area you want to visit. Also, if you’re heading out before Christmas, several Top Antique Shows in Texas are going on in November and December. If not, they start all over January 2023.
2. Rent An RV And Head To The Hill Country
Traveling in an RV gives you more freedom to see the world, bring the things you want, and do something different. It also allows you to enjoy nature and travel to several different places. I suggest heading to the Texas Hill Country on a scenic drive on Hwy 281 and making Marble Falls your first stop, where you’ll find at least five RV Parks for overnights. Many lakes surround Marble Falls (take your pick) and a few golf courses, and it has a lovely walkable downtown with a winery.
Great Reasons To Rent An RV This Winter
- Explore the outdoors and more nature trails than you could otherwise.
- Take the grandkids along, or perhaps your parents.
- More flexibility to move around.
- Bring all your favorite toys – watercraft, bikes, golf clubs, etc.
- Pack as much food as you can (or want) and cook outdoors.
- No extra cost for your fur babies to travel with you.
- Get in your car and take a day trip somewhere else (if you’re renting a 5th wheel).
- If you are considering buying an RV, renting one first is a great way to see if it’s right for you.
3. Backpack In Big Bend National Park
If you long to explore the great outdoors, consider a backpacking trip. Pack your bag with the winter essentials and embark on an unforgettable adventure through Big Bend National Park, and don’t forget to snap photos of breathtaking views and keep an eye out for wildlife. It said that the Big Bend area is a hidden gem and that though it’s on practically every list I have on this site, it’s not visited enough.
Backpacking in national parks is also a great way to see the world for what it is. Plus, winter months are typically cheaper than summer rates. If there is a time during your visit, spend the day at the natural hot springs nearby.
4. Winter Camp In The Texas Panhandle
What about winter camping? Have you ever tried combining the two? Winter camping is another extreme yet satisfying outdoor adventure. Plus, winter turns the great outdoors into a new world, making the experience unlike any other. Nature lovers enjoy spending time at Palo Duro Canyon zip lining across the canyon. I did this once but in the summer. It was my first zip line experience, and I was hooked on the outdoor activity.
5. Plan A Girls’ Trip To Dallas
When you can take a trip with some of the best women in your life, that experience becomes even better. A girls’ trip is a great way to reconnect and make more memories. The Dallas area is spread out, so find a great place to start, Deep Ellum for the best place to party, or if you all like art, the Dallas Museum of Art downtown could be nice. And, while you’re in the area, stop by the Dallas Farmers Market. It’s one of the best outdoor markets I’ve been to in North Texas.
6. Visit Houston On A CityPASS
A CityPASS is a simple vacation method in popular destinations like Houston; Dallas has one too. CityPASS tickets contain admission to the most famous and popular attractions in each city and are priced up to 50% less than the combined regular price of admissions. The Johnson Space Center and the Space Center Houston are included in the Houston CityPass.
7. Stroll Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin is great for listening to live music and seeing special events. Grab a hot cocoa and enjoy your time while walking around. It’s also a great time to take your kids to the Texas State Capitol.
Zilker Park and the Zilker Botanical Garden are wonderful places to visit in Austin.
8. Take A Day Trip To A State Park
All you need is a day at one of our state parks to fall in love with Texas again. I hear Colorado Bend State Park and McKinney Falls State Park are gorgeous. One day soon, I’ll make it to Colorado Bend SP – it’s on my winter bucket list. UPDATE: I made it …BUT we didn’t have reservations, and the park was full! Learned a lesson the hard way. Make reservations online at any Texas State Park.
9. Plan a Girl’s Getaway To San Antonio
Winters in San Antonio are very mild and rarely get under 60 degrees. Once in February, my son and I went to San Antonio for an event, and the weather was so nice and warm that the swimming pool at the hotel was open. Not knowing and not even thinking he could swim in February, I did not pack his swimsuit – so I made a mad dash to Target for one.
The San Antonio River Walk restaurants are booming in the winter, and the guided boat tours are operating. The Natural Bridge Caverns is always open, and The Spanish Missions would be a great Texas History lesson to learn more about. One of our writers took a girl’s getaway to San Antonio with two of her besties, where they visited some luxurious places.
10. Explore West Texas
Trip ideas in Texas have to include West Texas. Do you have a subscription to the Texas Highways magazine? I do, and in each magazine I received in 2022, there was an ad/article about taking a West Texas Road Trip.
Towns included are Fort Stockton, Midland, Odessa, Alpine, Fort Davis, and Marfa. It briefly discusses each town and what’s happening at the publication time. Texas Highways is my favorite Texas travel magazine, and many trip ideas in Texas too.
This is a trip I would like to take in 2023, so I can write an exclusive article about it. What do you think? Would you consider this road trip in your winter travels or any time of year?
11. Trek Down To South Padre Island
South Padre Island is a popular, well-known Texan Gulf Coast destination for Texans. It’s a tropical island paradise and the perfect place to escape cold temperatures. See what all you can do on South Padre Island in the winter.
12. Wine Lover’s Celebration Wine Tour
February – Texas Hill Country
The Texas Wine Trail hosts four self-guided wine tours yearly in the hill country, the first being in February. Small towns of the hill country will participate in the first Texas wine tour of 2023. Don’t let the name fool you, I went with a girlfriend (not a lover) last year, and we had a blast. Well, before the ice storm came through. That’s not a usual thing to happen in that area, either.
Double your fun and visit a few wineries (that are participating) in Dripping Springs, so you can also visit Hamilton Pool Preserve. Then you can also eat at Salt Lick BBQ – an awesome place to hand and enjoy the company and eat good barbecue.
Tickets go on sale next month (December 2022).
Mid to late February is when to start looking for tulips field in Texas.
13. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
I haven’t been to the Texas Gulf Coast in the winter months, but we did go in October one year. And would you know, it was warm enough for my son to play in the water? And so he did – clothes in all!
Not only is Galveston Pleasure Pier open year-round, but it’s also open on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. You may want to know where to eat in Galveston because there are so many places on the Island it can get overwhelming.
14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Make it a week-long road trip and trek further to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas. Located 110 miles east of El Paso and 56 miles southwest of Carlsbad, you could even visit Carlsbad Caverns. This is a trip of a lifetime.
15. El Paso
Go for a scenic drive and explore Franklin Mountains State Park – the most western point of Texas. Smell the roses in the Municipal Rose Garden. These are just a few things to do.
And one to grow on …
16. The Fifth Annual Epic Waters’ Epic Plunge
Saturday, January 2024, at Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie.
This wintry event allows everyone to take a chilly plunge into Epic Waves, the waterpark’s 10,000-square-foot outdoor wave pool! Take the “Polar Plunge” (if you dare) into anticipated water temperatures in the 50s. Afterward, thaw off with a complimentary cup of hot chocolate while enjoying all the family fun inside the waterpark at a perfect 85 degrees.
Tickets: $49 per person, and family 4-pack $149
All participants receive an “I Conquered the Epic Plunge” long-sleeved t-shirt, hot chocolate after they take the plunge, full-day admission of Splash-tastic indoor family fun, as well as a “bonus” admission ticket to return to enjoy everything Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark has to offer before December 31, 2023. WOW! Are you brave? I am not!!
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