Locals often say Texas is like a whole other country—one that offers everything from beautiful beaches to forest getaways to oases in the Southwest desert. And as the weather turns chilly in the northern 48, groups looking to escape cold should put southern Texas on their radar.
1. Marfa: A Wacky Taste of the West
Photo by Paul Joseph via Wikimedia Commons
Marfa is a tiny west Texas town with a lot of personality. Nestled far from all the major transportation hubs in the Texas desert, Marfa is known for its UFOs, tumbleweeds, and its quirky art scene; the town has become a mecca for all types of artists in recent years. Take a horseback ride to the controversial Prada store, which is considered a piece of artwork—the likeness of a real Prada store that will never open its doors for business, encased in bulletproof glass and destined to disintegrate on its own over time.
Settle in at the historic El Paisano hotel for the night. The building was originally designed to be headquarters for the legendary 500,000-acre Trost ranch. After that, take time to explore the area outdoors by day. Take in Marfa’s art scene, or spending a day hiking in Big Bend National Park. If you get lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the unexplained Marfa Lights.
2. San Antonio: Refined Texas Luxury
You can expect your bellman to wear a cowboy hat and the front-desk attendants to address your family as “y’all,” but don’t underestimate the luxury and refinement of the real San Antonio. If you’re traveling with your significant other, you’ll love the quintessentially American Riverwalk, one of America’s perfect date options. Take a stroll down America’s largest urban ecosystem, lined with Cyprus trees and offering a variety of delicious restaurants, including Tex-Mex and Southwestern spots that’ll give you a taste of Southwest culture.
While you’re in San Antone, watch history come alive at the Alamo, the first mission in the area built in 1718, that served as a way-station for travelers from Texas to Mexico. Looking for something for the whole family? Spend a day at one of the city’s amusement parks or get out and explore the area’s rich history.
3. Corpus Christi: Relaxed Coastal Style
Corpus Christi, Texas, emerges as an enchanting winter vacation destination, where mild temperatures and a plethora of attractions await.
Kick off your visit with a stroll along the pristine white sands of Padre Island National Seashore, a serene escape offering birdwatching and breathtaking Gulf of Mexico views. For a taste of history, the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay offers a fascinating journey through a retired aircraft carrier, complete with immersive exhibits and stunning waterfront vistas. Nature enthusiasts will find bliss at the South Texas Botanical Gardens, a lush oasis showcasing the region’s diverse flora.
Dive into Corpus Christi’s culinary scene, where fresh seafood steals the show. Indulge in the catch of the day at Water Street Oyster Bar, renowned for its Gulf Coast-inspired dishes and waterfront dining. For an authentic Tex-Mex experience, Hester’s Café and Coffee Bar serves up tantalizing breakfast tacos, a local favorite to kickstart your day. Complete your gastronomic adventure with a visit to the iconic Snoopy’s Pier for their famous fish tacos and panoramic views of the Laguna Madre.
Subscribe to Leisure Group Travel magazine, or our weekly newsletter for more inspiration and advice.