Are you looking to visit the iconic state of Texas, where “bigger is better?” Well, it’s time to get excited because you have much to look forward to seeing.
There’s much to do in the second-largest state in the USA, such as listening to country music, rodeos, seeing the Alamo, and trying out some sweet, savory Texas barbeque.
Of course, if you truly want an authentic Texan experience, you’re going to have to go there yourself. But it’s important to know what time of year is best to visit. After all, Texas gets hot and sees many tourists in certain cities at various points in the year.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you everything you need to know for your trip to Texas, such as the best time to visit, the least busy months, and some handy tips to keep in mind before you go.
Why Should You Visit Texas
Texas is such a large state that the culture and geography are vastly different from city to city. While there isn’t one thing that encapsulates the entirety of Texas, we’d like to point out some of the most notable.
First of all, the food is fantastic. Whether you crave slow-smoked meats, authentic Mexican cuisine, or something in between (aka Tex-Mex), Texas has something for everyone. Some of the most famous eats in the state include Black’s Barbecue, Smitty’s Market, and Franklin Barbecue!
Plus, one of the best parts is the enormous portion sizes. You’ll rarely leave a meal feeling hungry, even if you only order a few sides! Another standout aspect of this enormous state is its rich history, deeply intertwined with Mexico.
While you probably know the most famous structure, the Alamo, there are a ton of other historical sites and museums just like it. If you’re a history buff, this is the place for you.
While we can go on and on about why you should visit Texas, we’ll leave it at that. The state is so large, and you’ll find more pleasure in exploring it yourself.
Just don’t try to see it all at once, or else you’re going to be driving for a very long time. Just for some reference, the drive from Houston to El Paso is roughly 12 hours – and that’s without any stops!
Overall Best Time to Visit Texas
The overall best time to visit Texas is in late fall (October to November) and Spring (March to early June). Going during these periods not only ensures you’re going during optimal temperatures, but it’s also not as busy.
Of course, since Texas is such a large place, it changes from region to region, but this is a general rule of thumb. You want to avoid going in summer for a variety of reasons.
While summertime may be the most convenient period for you to take a vacation, it’s pretty much the same for everyone else. Tourism is at its highest during these months, and you’ll find that some of the more popular areas are overcrowded.
Flights and hotels are also more expensive, meaning it’s not really worth all of the hassle. Furthermore, Texas gets notoriously hot. The locals don’t mind it, but you might, especially if you come from a northern region.
Likewise, the winters are often cold in many parts, contrary to popular belief. It may not be as freezing as other states, but it’s enough to limit what you can do.
Still, there’s a lot you can do in winter that isn’t available at any other time of the year, such as the San Antonio Christmas decorations and the Moody Garden Festival of lights. You’ll also want to avoid going during rainy seasons, which vary by area.
Seeing how Texas is so vast, you’ll have to do additional research on where you’re going. For a basic idea, Texas rainy seasons usually occur during early spring and fall. The coasts even experience typhoons and hurricanes, so that’s another thing to look out for.
Cheapest Time to Visit Texas
According to our research, the cheapest time to visit Texas is in September, which is considered the start of the “shoulder season.” By this time, the school year has started, and many people are finished with their summer plans.
As a result, flight prices and hotels are low, making it the perfect time to book an affordable trip. September isn’t a bad time to visit, regardless of the cost. It might still be hot, but the temperatures and weather are much more manageable than in the preceding months.
Moreover, you won’t have to wait in lines to do activities or get into restaurants, as tourism tends to die down. The second cheapest month to visit Texas is January.
When holiday travel is over and all the breaks are done, many of the state’s tourist attractions will be like ghost towns. Naturally, this is the case with most places in the United States, so it’s no surprise.
If you don’t mind colder weather, then this is the time to plan your vacation. All in all, your best bet for a thrifty yet fun trip is to go in the off-season.
Not only are the prices for flights and hotels usually more budget-friendly, but the weather will be better, too. One final tip for maximum money-saving is to reserve your spot well in advance, as prices will be lower.
Least Busy Time to Visit Texas
The least busy time to go to Texas is in mid-late January. That can be attributed to the same reason that it’s one of the cheapest months to visit; it’s a bit on the colder side, and all the holiday breaks are over.
Once again, if you prefer colder temperatures, January is the best time for you to take your vacation. If you don’t want to deal with frigid weather, you can just go any time during the off-season.
The period from September to the end of March doesn’t see as much traffic as other times of the year (disregarding holidays) and is a great time to travel. You shouldn’t have trouble with overcrowding unless you go during peak season.
The peak season for Texas begins in late spring and ends in the summer. Out-of-state tourists tend to stick to the earlier parts of the summer since it isn’t as hot, while locals are present throughout.
We must reiterate that Texas is huge, so you may find some areas are actually less crowded, even during summer. The mountainous regions don’t get as hot as the desert parts, and each city has its own peak tourism season.
Worst Time to Visit Texas
Generally, the worst time to visit Texas is in the mid-summer months. From June to early September, tourism is high, and many vacationers swarm the most popular locations.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the weather could get absolutely horrific, consistently reaching over 100 degrees F. It’s a dry heat, so heat stroke and heat exhaustion can become a big problem if you’re not careful.
If you’re someone who doesn’t deal with the heat well, you might want to stick to cooler seasons. You don’t want to miss out on any outdoor festivals because it’s too hot.
Another challenge with visiting in the summer is travel. Flight fees and hotel expenses are much higher, while many attractions become pretty crowded. What’s more, you might find your tires suffer more wear and tear due to the hot Texas sun.
That could become an issue since everything in the state is usually spread out. It may not be a problem for short distances, but if you plan to travel hours in 100 degrees F weather, your car’s going to suffer for it.
If you have to drive, then a good solution is getting a rental car. It’s usually cheaper than a bus or plane fare, and you don’t have to worry about wearing your tires out.
Things to Consider
Texas is an excellent place to vacation, and everyone should visit the big state at least once in their lifetime. If you’re planning to take that leap, here are some things to keep in mind before you reserve your hotel room.
We think you should consider that:
- Texas is an enormous state, with more than 80,000 miles of highways, making cars and planes typically the best options for travel.
- The state gets particularly hot, meaning you’ll want to dress appropriately, use sunscreen, and stay hydrated at all times.
- Mosquitoes are most active during the summer months, so make sure to pack your bug spray.
- Sometimes, the small townships and local shops offer the most, with many Western-style towns hosting a variety of neat places to get souvenirs and goods.
- If you’re driving, you’re going to be on the road for a long time, but that’s an excellent opportunity to take in some of the most breathtaking sights you’ll ever see.
- There’s lots of nature to explore, but the terrain can be rugged, meaning it’s a good idea to bring along some sturdy hiking boots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions around the web about visiting Texas:
How big is Texas?
Texas is the second largest state in the country, at 268,598 square miles. That puts it only behind Alaska. In addition, the state has a population of 29 million people. In 2019, it also had the 13th biggest GDP in the world, higher than dozens of other countries!
Will I need to take multiple trips to Texas?
All the major cities are far apart from each other so it’s better to stick to a localized area when you vacation in Texas. So, if you want to explore other parts of the state, plan multiple trips.
Do different regions of Texas have different styles of barbecue?
Each city and region prepares its brisket and ribs differently, meaning if you want to taste all of them, you’ll have to travel around. Again, you’ll have to plan multiple trips for this, so strap in!
Is Buc-ees one of the most popular places to eat in Texas?
Yes, it is! When you’re traveling by car, Buc-ees is your one-way stop to everything you could possibly want. They’ll offer a quick bite to eat and some of the cleanest bathrooms you’ll ever see (yes, that’s one of their selling points!).
What is the hottest month in Texas?
The hottest month in Texas is, hands down, August. Like most places in the US, August has the highest average temperature each year, and it gets worse around the equator. It’s best to avoid traveling during this month if you suffer from ailments or hate the heat.
What is Texas known for?
Some common things Texas is known for are: Texas barbecue, chili, football, country music, oil, Tex-Mex, the Alamo, and its large size. Portion sizes are bigger, and they sell beer at every small convenience store.
What’s the coldest month in Texas?
The coldest month in Texas is January. Temperatures only average out around 40-50 degrees F, so, in reality, it doesn’t get too cold. Depending on the region, some areas may get colder while others are hotter.
Where do most people visit in Texas?
San Antonio likely sees the highest number of tourists per year for a Texan city. Known chiefly for the Riverwalk and the Alamo, it’s a tourism hotspot year-round. Other popular cities include Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
Is it hotter in Texas or Arizona?
While both states are known for their heat, Arizona sees slightly higher temperatures than Texas throughout the year. Additionally, records indicate that the highest temperature ever recorded in Arizona beats Texas’s record by eight degrees.
What is the prettiest place in Texas?
If you’re looking for natural wonders, then the Big Bend National park and Guadalupe mountain range are awe-inspiring hotspots. Downtown San Antonio, also known as the Riverwalk, is considered the prettiest city in Texas and has much to see and do.
Is stuff cheaper in Texas?
Generally, yes. The state’s cost of living is well below the national average since amenities and goods are much cheaper. However, touristy spots tend to be slightly more expensive but still better than most other states. You usually get a lot more, so you’ll probably strike up some good deals.
Is Texas worth seeing?
Absolutely! Not only are the cities and natural wonders utterly beautiful, but there’s so much more to see than just sand. It’s a geographically diverse landscape, complete with mountains, deserts, lush forests, and rushing rivers.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Texas?
The overall best time to visit Texas is in November and March. When you go during these months, you avoid the bustle of peak tourism, and flights are a lot cheaper too.
The big thing is that you’re not visiting when the temperatures are scorching, as the dry heat can make for an unsatisfying trip. While there’s no rule saying you shouldn’t go to Texas during the summer, it’s in your best interest to avoid August.
Not only is it the hottest month of the year but local tourism is at an all-time high. In the end, Texas is a spectacular experience, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on a trip to the Lone Star State.