Boating in Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend.

Discovering the best Texas snowbird spots for your winter travels.

Texans take pride in doing things their own way, and that attitude applies to snowbirds. Here, cold-weather travelers go by the moniker, “Winter Texans,” and if you choose to make the Lone Star State your roost, the locals will make you feel right at home. So feel the Texas spirit and have fun on the coasts, prairies and hills that make this such a popular snowbird destination.

View of the three illuminated pyramids of Galveston's Moody Gardens.

Galveston Island

Once known as the “Playground of the South,” Galveston Island just off the state’s south coast has been a prime destination for beachgoers for over 100 years. These days, it’s the combination of Victorian mansions, museums, amusement parks and miles of soft-sand beaches that keep visitors returning year after year to this classic Gulf Coast retreat.

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Biking along the shore in Port Aransas

Port Aransas

Ask a Texan for a favorite in-state beach destination, and the answer will most likely be “Port Aransas.” Situated on the north end of Mustang Island off the Gulf Coast, Port Aransas is a small, easygoing beach town that’s big on coastal recreation. From plush beaches and excellent fishing to scintillating seafood restaurants to boating, Port Aransas offers everything you need for the ultimate beach vacation.

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Dancers celebrate a Mexican festival in San Antonio.

San Antonio

No Texas snowbird trip is complete without a visit to San Antonio, home of the Alamo. The 18th-century mission was the site of a famous siege as well as a flashpoint in the infamous battle for independence from Mexico. A stroll on the San Antonio River Walk is a must, with tons of restaurants and cafes lining the banks. For a little history mixed with nature, head on over to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park for a ranger-led guided tour.

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A canopy walk stretches across a Subtropical Forest in the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge.

South Texas Tropics

The sultry Texas Tropics comprise the land on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande River on the southernmost tip of Texas. Life in this southern region is greener and lusher than in the rest of Texas, and the world here moves to the rhythms of a distinctively Mexican-American cultural flair.

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Barton Springs Picnic is Austin is a food truck park with a wide selection of tasty choices

Texas Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country is where the Southeast meets the American West. Toss in a hefty helping of German, Spanish and Mexican influences, and the result is a vibrant culture that somehow melds together into something unique. The remarkable landscape comprises rolling hills, craggy ridges, crystal-clear rivers and vast fields of colorful wildflowers. Travelers flock to this sizable swath of Texas to explore big cities, small towns and everything in between.

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Bonus Snowbird SpotBig Bend National Park, located on the Rio Grande in West Texas, across from Mexico. Known for its rugged vistas and scenic trails, this park is a favorite of hikers and watchers of wildlife. The International Dark-Sky Association recognized the park for its dazzling nighttime views of the firmament.

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4 comments

  1. Anonymous

    I thought snowbirds went to where it is warm. Only one of these places can claim that – The Rio Grande Valley. It is cold in San Antonio, the Hill Country, Galveston, and Port Arthur now.

  2. Good Sam Camping

    We don’t mention Port Arthur. Do you mean Port Aransas?

  3. Anonymous

    I guess that all depends on what you would consider “warm”. We’re from Wisconsin and even 34 degrees in the winter is warm to us! It’s All about your personal perspective.

  4. Anonymous

    Sad to say that the picture identified as the Mission Reach on the San Antonio River is actually not in San Antonio the picture is most probably the Santa Elana canyon in Big Bend.