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Things to Do in January in Texas

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January is the first month of the year and the first chance of the new year for visitors to Texas to have a great vacation experience. Although January is one of the coldest months in Texas, the weather is still usually mild enough to allow for a variety of outdoor activities in addition to numerous festivals, celebrations and other events.

1. Run a Marathon

Every January, many Americans have vowed to get in better shape or have set goals for themselves, such as running in their first marathon. For aspiring -- or experienced -- marathoners, winter is the time to be in Texas. There are several marathons held in Texas during January and February. Among the largest and best known are the Houston Marathon, the Livestrong Austin Marathon, and the Cowtown Marathon in Ft Worth. Another popular Texas marathon, Dallas' White Rock Marathon, is held during the early winter -- actually during the peak of the holiday season in December.

2. Fish for Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout fishing in Texas? You better believe it. Few folks outside of Texas realize that portions of the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country offers some excellent rainbow trout fishing on a year around basis. Located a short drive from Austin, the Canyon Tailrace, a stretch of the Guadalupe that extends several miles below Canyon Lake, maintains a low enough water temperature to support a good population of rainbows and a few browns as well. True, there is not a wide variety of trout fishing options available throughout the year. Summertime trout are pretty much relegated to the Canyon Tailrace. However, the winter trout population in the Lone Star State grows rapidly as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department goes about their annual winter trout stocking program from December through February.

3. Visit the Beach

Although the weather has cooled, there are still plenty of fun opportunities on Texas beaches. Of course, when most people think of Texas beaches, the immediately think of such locations as Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island. There is a good reason for this – each of these coastal towns is a year around destination. Of course, each of these three popular Texas beach destinations offer plenty to see and do during the winter. But, there are dozens of other small coastal towns in Texas, each of which offer visitors year around activities such as fishing, birding, shelling, and more. So, regardless of whether you choose a well-known Texas beach destination or a smaller, out of the way locale, you can count on making plenty of pleasant memories during you winter visit.

4. Attend a Winter Boat Show

Although Texas offers near year around boating, water sports and fishing opportunities, the first couple months of the year can be inclement. But, there are still plenty of things to keep boaters and water sport enthusiasts busy in the way of boat shows. Across the state, the early portion of the year is a virtual non-stop carousel of boat shows and exhibitions, with major shows taking place in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and numerous other areas.

5. Play a Round of Golf

Texas is home to some of the nation's top golf courses. Although this has been a well-kept secret in the past, recent years have seen an increasing number of golfers traveling to Texas to take advantage of these world-class courses. During the winter months, the weather is mild enough (on most days) to allow for a pleasant round. But, beware -- shorter daylight hours coupled with an increased number of golfers in popular Winter Texan areas can lead to more crowded courses, leading many golfers to look for "hidden jewels" of golf courses in their area.

6. Celebrate George Washington's Birthday

Most folks probably could never guess where the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday is held. Believe it or not, it is staged each year in the border city of Laredo, Texas. True enough, Laredo is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when Americans think of their first president. However, it is Laredo that throws the largest and oldest Washington Birthday Celebration. Founded in 1898, this month-long celebration attracts over 400,000 visitors each year. Over the years, the event has grown to include a variety of entertainment and activities. This year’s celebration is scheduled to include parades, concerts, fireworks displays, a carnival, fun run, BBQ cookoff and more. In short, there really is something for everyone at this “international celebration of a traditionally American holiday.”
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