Fall is a wonderful time to visit the Lone Star State. With fewer visitors than summer, Texas is much less crowded during fall. However, some of the year's most pleasant weather occurs during autumn, making both indoor and outdoor activities extremely pleasant. From football to the State Fair, birding to viewing leaves at Lost Maples there are plenty of things to do during fall in Texas.
Running for 24 days through late-September and early-October, the State Fair of Texas is the largest fair and stock show in the state. During the nearly month long event, everything from live music to carnival rides and good eats to art shows are offered. Of course, the highlight of the Fair is the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game. Many of the State Fair's most anticipated events, such as the Red River Rivalry, take place during the October portino of the Fair.
Fall is the quintessential "football season" in Texas. By October, the season is old enough that most teams have worked out the kinks, yet still early enough that the vast majority of high school, college and pro teams still have a shot at post season play. As a result, October and November see some of the most spirited football games of the year, with both teams often having plenty to play for. Every weekend in the fall, from Thursday through Sunday, there are high school, college and professional football games taking place across the Lone Star State. These games are popular for both Texas residents and visitors alike. If you are in the mood for some pigskin action while visiting the Lone Star State, head to one of these famous football stadiums.
Texas has a rich German heritage, which explains the numerous Oktoberfest events across the Lone Star State. Anyone who enjoys German food, drink and music will certainly want to make plans to attend one of these events. Many of the state's best Oktoberfests take place in the heavily German influenced Texas Hill Country, although every corner of the Lone Star State have great Oktoberfests at some point this month.
The East Texas town of Tyler has long been one of the nation's leading producers of roses and rose bushes. Each October, Tyler celebrates this iconic flower. Started in 1933, the Texas Rose Festival has become part of the fabric of life in Tyler. The Rose Parade is just part of the fun, that includes the Coronation Ball and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra’s “Concert in the Park.” Don’t forget to visit the Rose Museum while visiting the “Rose Capital of the Nation.”
A six-week trip back to the 16th century, the Texas Renaissance Festival features over 200 daily performances, 300 arts and crafts shops, 60 food and beverage shops, nightly fireworks and more than 3,000 costumed characters strolling the grounds. Although it is not technically an "Oktoberfest," the opening weekend of the Renaissance festival is themed as Oktoberfest and the event covers the entire month.
There are always plenty of 'spooky' events held across the Lone Star State on Oct. 31. And, even when Halloween falls during the middle of the week - as it does this year - these events are very well attended. So, as Halloween draws near, Texans and Texas visitors are making plans to spend the day at one or more of these top Halloween festivals and events.
A “Ten Day Salute to Sausage,” Wurstfest has been drawing visitors to the German-influenced Hill Country town of New Braunfels for over four decades. In the early days, when it was still known as Sausage Festival, the event drew a few thousand. Today, well over 100,000 people attend the event annually. In many ways, Wurstfest is a "bonus" Oktoberfest, giving visitors one more opportunity to celebrate German heritage and culture.
Most people relate fall foliage and the “changing of the leaves” to the eastern portion of the United States. However, portions of Texas actually see dramatic changes in foliage coloration. Lost Maples State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country has the most vivid fall leaf coloration in the state. Although the "peak" season is from mid-October through mid-November, area accommodations fill up fast so those hoping to tour the area this fall are advised to make plans early.
The first Saturday of November each year sees the small town of George West host its annual Storyfest, which features a variety of storytellers offering renditions of folklore, cowboy tales, fables, legend and lore. Storyfest, however, is much more than a few folks sitting around spinning yarns. In addition to performances by the storytellers, the event also features live music, a car show, street dance, “Little Red Wagon” parade, quilt show and more.
As the first few cool fronts of the year enter into Texas, birding is once again on the mind of many visitors to the Lone Star State. Many species of birds ride the northerly winds into Texas, where they will spend the winter months. Among the vast variety of bird species visiting Texas is a variety of waterfowl not seen at other times of year. Much of the waterfowl is on display along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, which stretches from Brownsville to Port Arthur. Also along the Texas Coast, birders will have an opportunity to view the endangered whooping crane around the Coastal Bend. Additionally, a number of birding festivals are held across Texas during the autumn months.