Texas, the Lone Star State, is often associated with scorching summers, barbecues, and rodeos. However, as the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, Texas transforms into a fall paradise with its own set of unique attractions.
Here are eight must-visit places in Texas that come alive during the fall season of 2023. Instead of limiting your visit to Texas to the obvious tourist destinations, try these overlooked best places to visit in the fall.
Marfa is more than just a tiny desert town; it’s an eccentric travel destination that has gained fame for its art installations and unique glamping spots like El Cosmico. Fall is the perfect season to explore Marfa’s mysteries, as the cooler temperatures make it comfortable to explore outdoor art installations and the town’s quirky shops and cafes. This is a place to linger and relax your spirit.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a sprawling natural reserve that offers a plethora of activities. A trip here in the fall is a surefire way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether it’s hiking through rugged terrains, camping under star-filled skies, or simply enjoying the breathtaking vistas, Big Bend offers a fall experience like no other.
Enchanted Rock is not just another hill in Texas; it’s a massive pink granite dome that has been a subject of awe and wonder for centuries. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, this geological marvel offers a steep but manageable hike that is best undertaken in the fall when the weather is cooler. The absence of shade makes it a challenging trek during the summer, but in the fall, the cooler temperatures make it an enjoyable experience. Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with panoramic views that are especially stunning with the fall foliage. Be sure to bring some picnic supplies so you can linger and enjoy your surroundings.
Garner State Park
Nestled just a short drive from Lost Maples, Garner State Park is a haven for nature lovers. Famous for its vibrant fall foliage, the park offers an array of outdoor activities. With 16 miles of scenic trails, water sports rentals, and options for camping and cabins, it’s a versatile destination. Horseback riding trips add an extra layer of adventure, making it a perfect spot for an action-packed fall getaway. This is a great spot to make photo memories, so be sure to take lots of pictures.
Devil’s Backbone Scenic Drive
The Devil’s Backbone Scenic Drive is a journey through the picturesque landscapes between Wimberley and Blanco. During the autumn months, the route transforms into a canvas of changing tones and fall colors, making it a photographer’s paradise. Adding to the experience, you can attend an Observatory Program at Reimers Observatory, where the clear fall skies offer excellent stargazing opportunities. Evenings get chilly in Texas, so bring some warm outer garments as well as comfortable chairs.
Colorado Bend State Park
Colorado Bend State Park is a nature enthusiast’s dream come true. Located about 188 miles from Dallas, the park features over 15 miles of walking trails that take you through diverse terrains—rocky mountains, lush forests, and open prairies. Highlights include the cascades along Narrows Trail and Post Oak Falls, which are particularly stunning when surrounded by fall colors. Some of these trails may not be easy for older folks or for those with physical challenges. Be sure to check ahead.
San Antonio takes on a festive air as fall rolls in, making it the perfect destination to kick off the holiday season. The city is known for its Thanksgiving celebrations, which are unlike anything else in Texas. The River Walk, adorned with fall decorations, offers a romantic backdrop for evening strolls, adding to the city’s charm.
Woodlands Pumpkin Patch
Woodland’s Pumpkin Patch events are a beloved tradition in the local community. Every autumn, families and friends gather at Woodland to celebrate the season and choose their perfect pumpkins for carving and decorating. The patch offers a delightful array of activities, from hayrides through the scenic countryside to corn mazes that challenge visitors of all ages. With festive games, delicious treats, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, Woodland’s Pumpkin Patch events provide a wonderful opportunity for fall fun and creating lasting memories.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Although not located in Texas, Hot Springs is just a four-hour drive from Dallas and offers a unique fall experience. Known for its natural thermal baths, the town provides a tranquil setting for relaxation. The fall season adds a layer of beauty to the town, making it an ideal destination for a rejuvenating weekend getaway.
Texas in the fall is a season of transformation, offering a diverse range of experiences that go beyond the state’s summer stereotypes. From the natural wonders of Enchanted Rock and Garner State Park to the cultural eccentricities of Marfa and the festive atmosphere of San Antonio, these eight destinations offer something for everyone. Whether you’re a native Texan or planning a visit, these places are sure to make your fall season in 2023 unforgettable.