Summer is when most folks think about taking a vacations. However, there is something to see and do in Texas throughout the year. Fall, with it's cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, is an ideal time to take a visit to Texas. And, there are a number of great fall vacation destinations in Texas for those who wish to take an "off-season" visit to the Lone Star State. From football games to the changing of the leaves, outdoor activities are at the heart of most vacation activities during fall. A good number of visitors also visit Texas to celebrate one of the "fall holidays" -- Halloween and Thanksgiving. Regardless of the reason for your visit, here are some of the very best fall vacation destinations in Texas.
Dallas is Texas' second-largest city and is bustling 12 months a year. However, fall is when the Big D truly shines. The State Fair of Texas kicks off the fall season in fine fashion, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to Dallas during September and October. The State Fair includes a carnival, midway, auto show, livestock show, football and soccer games, live music and plenty of what the Fair is famous for -- fried foods. Football fans can't get enough of Dallas during fall, with SMU and TCU playing college football on Saturdays in the DFW metroplex and the Dallas Cowboys taking the field on Sundays. That doesn't even count the annual Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma which is held during the Texas State Fair each year.
Not only is Austin the State Capital of Texas, it is also one of the most scenic cities in the Lone Star State. During autumn that scenery is enhanced as the leaves begin to turn and the surrounding hillsides become a prism of color. Thousands also flock to Austin to watch the University of Texas football and volleyball teams each fall. But, more than anywhere else in Texas, Austin takes advantage of its pleasant fall weather to stage a number of great festivals. Fantastic Fest, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin Film Festival, Texas Book Festival, and Chuy's Christmas Parade are just a few of the top festivals and events held in Austin from September through November.
Located just outside Vanderpool in the Texas Hill Country, Lost Maples State Park is known for a sensational "turning of the leaves" each fall. Lost Maples' dramatic fall foliage is attributed to the high concentration of maple trees within the area. While maples can be found in a variety of areas in Texas, few dense concentrations exist, hence the name – Lost Maples. The changing of the leaves typically lasts from three to four weeks. The leaves are most often at their peak from late October through mid-November. The park is typically full during this period so those wishing to view the changing of the leaves at Lost Maples should make plans to do so early.
Home to the mysterious "Marfa Lights," the tiny West Texas town of Marfa plays host to thousands of visitors annually, who come to watch this unexplained nightly light show. Although the lights have been viewed practically every night since 1883, no one has yet been able to explain why they occur. The pleasant weather and typically clear skies makes fall a perfect time to spend a weekend in Marfa viewing the mysterious Marfa Lights.
Salado was a thriving community throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, when the railroads bypassed Salado, the town began to decline. Then, in the 1940s, the village began a revitalization effort, transforming itself into a tourist-driven community. Today, Salado is a quaint town located in the scenic Texas Prairies and Lakes Region, featuring more than 60 artisan shops and restaurants along its Main Street, as well as an outdoor theatre, carriage rides through town and more -- everything necessary for a relaxing weekend getaway.