May is a big month in Texas. It is the final month before school lets out for summer vacation. But, thanks to warm weather and plenty of attractions and activities, May is a great vacation month in the Lone Star State itself. And, quite a few visitors try to beat the summer crowds by getting their vacation in a month early.
Due to its location along the southern US border (as well as the fact it was once a part of Mexico), the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated across Texas. From the Viva! Cinco de Mayo parade in San Marcos to Chuy's Hot to Trot 5k in Austin to San Antonio's massive weekend-long Cinco de Mayo festival, there is plenty going on the weekend of May 5 throughout the Lone Star State.
On the other side of the month, Memorial Day wraps up May and kicks off summer all in the same weekend. As one might expect, there are plenty of events and activities taking place over Memorial Day Weekend in Texas. The Kerrville Folk Festival is in full swing, Luckenbach turns 150 (again), the National Polka Festival is taking place in Ennis and throughout the state there are celebrations and festivals of all types.
Although the month of May in Texas is bookended by two major holiday weekends, there are plenty of activities, events and festivals on the weekends in between. In fact, the May events calendar is chocked full of things to do on a visit to Texas. The Pasadena Strawberry Festival, Brenham's Maifest, the RiverFest in Port Neches, the Dallas Art Festival and the San Antonio Charreada are just a few of the events on tap in Texas during May in addition to the events mentioned above that are being held during Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day weekends.
In addition to the many planned festivals and events, there are a number of great outdoor recreational opportunities available in May as well. Essentially, it is possible to do everything that can be done during summer without the oppressively hot summer heat. Swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, boating, water skiing, and rock climbing are just some of the many outdoor adventures that await those wishing to spend their vacation outside in the Lone Star State during May. And, although many Texas residents will be utilizing private land for their outdoor pursuits, there is an amazing number of great state parks and national wildlife refuges within the Lone Star State that give public wonderful access to outdoor activities.
Of course, there are other great ways to play outside while on vacation in Texas during the month of May. Another great option is to spend a day (or days) at one of the many great theme parks found across the state. In Arlington, thrill seekers will be flocking to the original Six Flags Theme Park. San Antonio's Six Flags Fiesta Texas will also be open and ready to entertain the masses this month. Those wanting to cool off a bit should try heading to Texas' many cool water parks. The Schlitterbahn franchise is the dominant water park in Texas. The original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is still one of the top rated water parks in the nation. And, it's one of the most unique as it actually uses stretch of the Comal River for part of its park. Other Schlitterbahn locations can be found in South Padre Island and Galveston. This summer (2012) a fourth Texas Schlitterbahn water park is set to open in Cedar Park. Although Schlitterbahn is the largest and best known water park chain in Texas, there are numerous smaller water parks located in towns and cities across the state.
So, if you are looking for a great way to get a jump on your summer vacation (and summer crowds), head to Texas in May. You can basically have your summer vacation in spring.