Considering the wide geography of the Lone Star State, there’s really no such thing as a bad time to visit Texas. While you may want to skip the soaring temperatures of the Santa Elena Canyon in summer months, winter in Amarillo is not the best time to visit the Great Plains.

Here are our tips and a seasonal guide to help you decide the best time for your visit to different places across Texas.

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Austin Texas Congress Avenue Panoramic View at Night
Austin is home to two of Texas's biggest festivals © Onfokus / Getty Images

October and March are peak times for visitors to Texas

Music lovers flock to Austin in October and March for two of the state’s biggest festivals, Austin City Limits (two weekends in October) and South by Southwest (nearly two weeks in March). Both festivals attract musicians and music lovers from all over the world, while the SXSW festival has grown to include programming in technology, politics, entertainment and entrepreneurship. In general, these are the two months that attract the most visitors to all cities in Texas with milder temps and plenty of outdoor fun

Football season is also in full swing by October: catch the Friday night lights at a local high school, cheer on a college football team, gather pumpkins at a harvest festival or brave the crowds at Austin City Limits music festival.

Winter is for hikes, galleries and holiday festivities 

Cooler temperatures are here to stay by November, making a trip out to West Texas ideal: hike Big Bend, browse the art galleries in Alpine or slow down in Marfa. Texas weather can be unpredictable over winter: one day could be 70°F (21°C) and ideal for a hike, the next could be cold and blustery and ideal for browsing museums and galleries. 

Texans also love their holiday lights, and you can find extravagant displays in neighborhoods, parks and on courthouses across the state for the whole month of December.

A horizontal view of the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, Texas, includes yellow wild flowers.
Wildflowers in bloom in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, Texas © Getty Images / iStockphoto

Choose the shoulder season for wildflowers and the great outdoors

Fewer tourists flock to Texas in April and September, but with slightly cooler temps than summer, these are both great months to make the most of outdoor activities. Regardless of your destination, it’s generally a safer bet to plan a hike outside the months of May to August. 

Though they often blossom toward the end of March, the peak season for spying Texas wildflowers is in full swing in April. 

Outdoor springs. People line up to use a diving board; others swim or lounge by the side
Join the locals by the water to cool down in the height of summer © Alizada Studios / Shutterstock

Expect summer festivals (and hotter temperatures) from May

While there’s really no such thing as a low season in Texas, tourists often avoid the hotter months (May to August) when temps across the state can range from 90°F to 113°F (32°C to 45°C) and above. That said, there are plenty of museums and galleries across the state to enjoy more air-conditioned fun, but locals cope with the heat by taking a plunge in one of the state’s many rivers, lakes and beaches.

There are plenty of festivals to build a trip around in summer, including the Texas Crab Festival in Crystal City in May, Juneteenth parades in Austin, Houston and other centres; or head to the Fredericksburg Peach Festival in July, peak peach season. 

This article was first published October 2021 and updated August 2023

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