When to Go
Texans like to joke about their two distinct seasons: hot and less hot. Summertime can indeed be brutal, with long stretches of 100-plus degree temperatures, and the humidity is usually a factor, too. Austin and San Antonio are mildly comfortable in the summer, but the arid regions of West Texas offer a “cool” respite thanks to the low humidity.
Though seasoned Texans will take summer vacations to the Gulf Coast, most travelers prefer spring in Texas. One of the state’s venerable springtime attractions are the abundant wildflowers throughout the entire mid-section of the state. Bluebonnets, daisies, and Indian paintbrushes turn pastures and highway medians into colossal canvases of vivid color with Mother Nature’s vibrant brush strokes offering a compelling counterpart to northern states’ fall colors.
Spring is also an optimal time to visit Texas parks. Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, and the Rio Grande Valley come alive in March and April, with migrating birds and butterflies dotting the landscape as they feed on fresh foliage. This is also a good time of the year to explore the East Texas Piney Woods—humidity isn’t nearly as oppressive as the summer months, and lakes and creeks are brimming with cool, clear water.
Fall can be dicey—it often reaches 90 degrees as late as November—and winters are surprisingly chilly, with ice storms and snow in the Panhandle and northern plains. That being said, the tropical environs of the Rio Grande Valley are a major draw for Winter Texans from the chilly Midwest, who revel in the comparatively balmy 70-degree temperatures while golfing or birding.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition