What's the best time to visit Houston?
The best times to visit Houston are in the spring (March to early June) and fall (October to November), known as the city’s shoulder seasons. These periods offer pleasant weather, with average highs ranging from the high 70s to the 80s, ideal for outdoor activities and avoiding the summer crowds.
The city comes alive with famous events like the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in March and various festivals, including the Bayou City Arts Festival and WorldFest in spring, and Dia de Los Muertos and Native American Pow Wow in fall.
The great city of Houston is just like the state of Texas in which it’s located — big, brash, and bold. Many visitors to Texas start their journeys here.
The city has many great museums catering to all interests, from the Space Center Houston, crucial to the history of lunar exploration, to the Museum of Fine Arts, actually one of the largest art museums in the country.
In fact, Houston is a great city for art lovers, with many galleries and independent design shops. The city also has a great food scene, from hipster Montrose to the diverse, expansive Chinatown.
Houston is a great choice if you are looking for a city break destination within Texas. It will be an even better choice if you make sure to time your visit properly to make the most of this city. Here is your guide to the best time to visit Houston!
The Overall Best Time to Visit Houston
The best time to visit Houston is during the spring or fall, when the weather is pleasant for exploring and you can find good deals on hotels if you get lucky.
The spring (March to early June) and fall (October to November) are Houston’s shoulder seasons. Summer is the peak for travel throughout the United States, and these off-season months are usually when there aren’t as many crowds in the city.
Another main reason why spring and fall are the best times to visit Houston is the weather. According to the official Houston tourism board, average highs in the spring and fall range from the high 70s to the high 80s.
The weather is still warm enough to walk around town or even take a day trip to the nearby Gulf Coast, but it isn’t as hot as it gets during the summer.
Late fall and early spring are also some of the driest times of the year. The weather in Houston all year round is fairly humid with high chances of rain, but your chances of a sunny, dry day are the best in fall and spring.
Spring and fall are the best seasons for exploring the beautiful nature around Houston. The state of Texas is most famous for its bluebonnet fields, which are in bloom usually around mid-April.
Spring and fall are also the best times to visit Buffalo Bayou Park since you can take advantage of the longer days (most parts of the park are only open from dawn to dusk).
Houston locals take advantage of the pleasant weather during the spring and fall to spend plenty of time outdoors, both exploring nature and enjoying a meal on a restaurant terrace. The weather during summer and winter often chases many people indoors.
Local authorities also use the good weather as an excuse to put on great events. Houston’s most famous events happen during this shoulder season.
The most famous Houston event is probably the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which attracts thousands of competitors and spectators over 20 days in March, featuring events that are very typically Western from barrel racing to bull riding.
Other festivals you may want to see in Houston include:
- Bayou City Arts Festival (March)
- San Jacinto Day Battle Reenactment (April)
- WorldFest Houston (April)
- Dia de Los Muertos (October/November)
- Native American Pow Wow (November)
Cheapest Time to Visit Houston
The cheapest time to visit Houston is between January and April. Late winter and early spring usually have great deals on hotels and flights.
Although Houston isn’t famous in the United States for being a holiday destination, there are still plenty of people who visit in December. However, once the holiday rush is over, Houston falls into a bit of a lull until spring.
Airlines often offer discounts for January travelers, so that is one of your best months for booking flights. Discounts often continue into spring (just make sure that you avoid Easter).
Hotels are also discounted during January and February. Houston receives fewer visitors during this time, so there is less demand to drive the prices up. If you want to save money on your city break but still enjoy warm weather, then spring is the best time to visit.
Spring prices for hotels tend to be more affordable because the summer high season hasn’t started yet. Just make sure that you avoid booking a trip during the Houston Rodeo because prices tend to go up around that time.
Least Busy Time to Visit Houston
The least busy time to visit Houston is during the winter, after the holiday rush ends, as most people stay away from the city due to the colder weather.
The holiday season in Houston isn’t nearly as busy as summer or fall, but there are still some visitors (mostly from other parts of Texas) who arrive in town to check out Christmas-themed events such as the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend.
Shortly after New Year’s, most of these visitors go home, and you’ll have much of Houston all to yourself. Winter weather in Houston is chillier than the rest of the year.
Sometimes the nights dip below freezing, and there are freak snow or ice storms. However, daytime temperatures are usually in the high 50s or low 60s, meaning that there will still be good weather for walking around.
Winter has fewer events in the city, but those that happen in January and February are even more special because they are tailored to the local community.
For example, in February, you can check out the Texas Lunar Festival, a celebration of the Lunar New Year held in Houston’s very diverse Chinatown. Winter is a great time to explore the diverse communities that call Houston home.
Worst Time to Visit Houston
The worst time to visit Houston is arguably the summer when a combination of heat and crowds make it very difficult to enjoy the city.
During the summer, Houston’s normally pleasant, warm weather becomes unbearably hot. Temperatures are regularly in the high 90s, and during a heat wave in the summer of 2023, the city recorded temperatures of 109 degrees Fahrenheit!
Those temperatures are not just unpleasant — they are downright dangerous if you spend too much time outside. Paradoxically, although the weather is the worst in Houston in the summer, it’s also when the city is at its most crowded and expensive.
Since families are constrained by vacation times, many have to visit the city during the summer when kids are off from school. Expect long lines to popular attractions, especially kid-friendly ones, and high prices for hotels (those that don’t sell out, that is).
Summer is also the rainiest season in Houston, with plenty of humidity. Late summer is hurricane season in the Gulf Coast, which is about an hour away. Although direct hurricanes hitting Houston are very rare, the storms still cause lots of heavy rain and unpleasant humidity in the city.
You can still have a pleasant time in Houston in the summer as long as you put your health first and don’t spend too much time outdoors. Stick to indoor activities and evening outdoor plans.
Houston by Month: Climate & Activities
Still unsure about the best time to visit Houston? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:
Winter temperatures in Houston range from 8 to 18°C (46-64°F). January is an ideal time for visiting the Space Center Houston, exploring the Museum District, and attending the Houston Marathon.
Similar to January, February maintains cool temperatures between 9 to 19°C (48-66°F). Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities in Hermann Park, attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and explore the vibrant neighborhoods like Montrose.
As spring begins, temperatures range from 13 to 23°C (55-73°F). March is perfect for attending the Bayou City Art Festival, exploring the Houston Zoo, and enjoying outdoor events in Discovery Green.
Spring temperatures in Houston range from 16 to 26°C (61-79°F). It’s an ideal time for strolling through the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park, attending the Houston International Festival, and exploring the historic district of Old Town Spring.
May sees temperatures ranging from 20 to 29°C (68-84°F). It’s a great month for outdoor activities in Buffalo Bayou Park, attending the Houston Greek Fest, and exploring the city’s mural art scene.
Summer arrives with temperatures between 23 to 32°C (73-90°F). June offers opportunities for water activities at Galveston Island, exploring the Museum of Natural Science, and attending live performances at the Miller Outdoor Theatre.
July maintains hot temperatures from 24 to 33°C (75-91°F). It’s a popular month for indoor activities like visiting the Houston Museum of Natural Science, exploring the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife in areas like Midtown.
Temperatures in August range from 24 to 33°C (75-91°F). It’s an excellent time for indoor attractions such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and attending cultural events in the Theater District.
As fall begins, temperatures range from 22 to 31°C (72-88°F). September offers a pleasant transition, with opportunities for outdoor activities in Memorial Park, attending the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and exploring the city’s culinary scene.
October sees temperatures ranging from 17 to 28°C (63-82°F). It’s a great month for attending the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, exploring the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and enjoying fall festivities in the Heights.
Fall temperatures range from 12 to 23°C (54-73°F). November is perfect for outdoor activities in Hermann Park, attending the Nutcracker Market, and exploring the diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character.
Winter returns with temperatures ranging from 9 to 18°C (48-64°F). December brings opportunities for holiday celebrations in the Theater District, exploring the Christmas lights in River Oaks, and attending festive events in Market Square Park.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Houston?
The best time to visit Houston is in the spring or fall when the weather is warm but still pleasant for outdoor activities. There are the most festivals and events during this time, so you’re guaranteed to find something to do. Happy travels!