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At 790 miles long and 660 miles wide, Texas has quite the selection of cool places to visit. While sweltering hot in the summer, winter can be a pleasant time for both locals and those who decide to visit. Some destinations can see flurries and temperatures in the 30s, but others can bring relief to chilled travelers with milder climates from around December to March. Our favorite winter destinations in Texas may not include all the well-known stops, but with so many options, we decided to shake it up.
While Fredericksburg is widely praised for its colorful display of wildflowers in the spring, the German-themed town, with authentic eateries and 17 wineries along the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290, is the perfect place any time of year. With a relaxed atmosphere, travelers can escape the city frenzy and stay at an adorable bed and breakfast while exploring the rolling landscape. To round out a more luxurious vacation, visit a local spa for a body wrap or massage.
Wimberley is beloved for its highly festive Christmas celebration when the vibrant downtown scene is further enhanced by a blanket of greenery and lights. But well into the winter, after the decorations have been put away, streets are lined with artisan eateries, cafes, and coffee shops, along with antique and trinket stores. Guests can immerse themselves in the quaint downtown, then rest their heads at The Blair House Inn, which itself is a luxe escape with its own gourmet restaurant and spa.
Waco, Texas was made even more famous by Chip and Joanna Gaines, but before the Fixer Upper stars brought Magnolia Market to life, the central nook had a lot to offer. You can visit sites significant to the past in all shapes and forms, from museums housing historical artifacts to a monument with real mammoth fossils. Ice and snow don’t typically find their way to Waco, so one can take a winter break and enjoy shopping, distillery tastings, and great food.
Dallas offers a list of indoor activities such as educational museums or something a bit more light-hearted like the aquarium or art displays. The possibility of snow exists, as on average Dallas receives a mere one inch of snow, but it can be chilly regardless although not too brutal. Foodies can enjoy a diverse yet distinctive scene of Texas barbecue and southwestern cuisine.
Grand Prairie is a mere 13 miles from Dallas, so you can experience the best of both worlds when staying here. Aside from some solid yet typical attractions like Ripley’s, guests can shop for out-of-the-box treasures at the internationally awesome Asia Times Square and Traders Village, aka “The Worlds Largest Flea Market,” and admire brightly colored light displays at the annual Prairie Lights event. Lynn Creek and Alliance Skatepark are both a treat for year-round strolling and recreation like skating or biking. A mashup of worldwide cuisine from Hispanic, Italian, Asian to good ole American eats awaits as well. Grand Prairie is also a destination to escape ice and snow.
Jefferson is tucked in the northeastern part of the massive state, and the winters are a bit colder, but still, nothing compared to the upper portions of the US. Folks love to dive into the historic offerings, from the Gone With the Wind Museum to one all about clocks (which is actually highly rated and interesting). Ride the Historic Jefferson Railway, an old locomotive that chugs past Big Cypress Bayou, while a guide delves further into the local history of the river port area.
Amarillo is the holy grail of all Texas winter vacations—it’s along the famed and often bucket-listed Route 66 while being enveloped by classic desert terrain via many official parks. The panhandle town is historic and ever-developing all at the same time, and there is an interesting art scene like a site with half-buried graffiti-decorated Cadillacs at the appropriately named Cadillac Ranch. Expect artisan eateries, authentic Hispanic food, and big, juicy steaks. But the coolest thing is that this town gets a decent amount of snow in comparison to other Texan towns, around 15 inches on average. A winter wonderland in Texas —who would’ve thought?
Marshall is in the northeastern portion of the state and reflects a similar short, cold, wet winter season to other cities in the gigantic state. History oozes from the old buildings, many of which are adorned with a multitude of lights. However, winter in the cute town remains magical, even after the festive season. The food scene is defined by an abundance of nearly five-star rated restaurants that range from Tex-Mex and barbecue to more refined eats. Roseville Bed and Breakfast and Three Oaks Bed and Breakfast are just a preview of the charming places to lodge while in Marshall.
Spicewood just sounds like a place that would be perfect during the winter, and just a fun fact, Willie Nelson is from the naturally scenic area. A crystal clear spring, lake, caverns, and excessive foliage embed an allure into this Texas oasis. Spicewood is coated in bluebonnets and flowers come spring, but the parks and lands are differently lovely in the winter as well. Sip wine at a vineyard, as this is in the Texas Hill Country, then cozy up at a fairytale glamping site or cabin.
Marfa resides in Western Texas, having that distinctive plains look with tall grass and stretches of road that can be seen ahead for miles. People love the cinematic appeal of the Chihuahuan Desert plateau and the short burst of chill that is known as winter here—occasionally, some flurries may fall. A modern art gallery with bold structures resides on an old military base and is a pretty neat place for some striking Instagram snaps against the barren desert backdrop. And when you’ve had enough of the nippy winds, hunker down at Hotel Paisano, where Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean once stayed.
New Braunfels is relatively close to San Antonio, so from here, you can visit the famed River Walk without lodging in the populous area. Beautiful rivers wind through the town, which can be enjoyed from waterside parks with native foliage. Natural wonders like underground caverns enhance the diversity of the landscape, along with expansive lakes. But in the winter, traversing the impressive microbrewery trail is a must, with honey ale being a long-time tradition. Take a look at our list of things to do in New Braunfels year-round!