The mass migration of spring breakers is just around the corner. They’ll be headed to the hundreds of miles of Texas beaches, to the hill country rivers and hiking trails, to city parks and festivals.
We have a line up of some of the more highly-trafficked hot spots, and some of the most sought after activities and events.
This year spring break has shifted back a little later in March for a lot of Texas schools, including UT and A&M so the crowds may come in waves.
Of course, the beaches are a big spring break destination for everyone from families to college students to fisherpeople. Here’s what’s happening at the most visited spring break spots.
South Padre Island
One of the most southern beaches South Padre has long been a Texas mecca for spring breakers, especially for college students with 34 miles of usually warm and sunny gulf coast beach. Many hotels offer spring break packages and if your has one be sure and keep your promotions visible.
The beaches are a constant party with live music and big crowds. This might not be the time for a quiet family getaway or a peaceful fishing trip. (Also, take a look at our article on renting rooms to minors and underage drinking).
Or take a break from the parties and visit Sea Turtle Inc., or the South Padre Birding and Nature Center.
Another gulf coast destination with a slightly more subdued spring break vibe, Galveston Island stretches 27 miles with plenty of beaches and activities to explore.
Visit Galveston’s Historic Pleasure Pier with a roller coaster, 15 rides, plus carnival games restaurants and souvenir shops. Or ride the water at Schlitterbahn Water Park.
Galveston offers great seafood restaurants like those at Pier 21, and others including Fisherman’s Wharf, Willie G’s Seafood and Steaks, and Olympia Grill.
Known as ‘Port A’ by the regulars, Port Aransas also offers wide open walkable and bikable beaches and great local restaurants like Roosevelts and the Tarpon Inn, Shells Pasta and Seafood, or Rollin’ Tide Boil who will set up your own beach boil and bonfire. There’s also perfect pier fishing and several fishing charters, golfing, birdwatching and kayaking opportunities.
Port A doesn’t get quite as crazy as Padre on spring break. It’s a little more chill with a variety of nature watching opportunities including the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center — a boardwalk that crosses wetlands full birds and alligators.
Corpus Christi offers over 100 miles of beaches for fishing, surfing or relaxing with scenic views. Must-sees include Ball Hall Pier, extending 1250 feet into the gulf, and attracting anglers of all stripes. (And if you forget your gear you can rent it here).
Also visit attractions like the USS Lexington, Selena Museum, and Texas State Aquarium. Other activities include the Hurricane Alley Waterpark, and horseback riding on the beach.
The live music capital entices many spring breakers from all over the country, and many school breaks overlap with SXSW, drawing huge national and international crowds to the festival.
In addition to SXSW visitors can enjoy nightlife spots like Sixth Street, Rainey Street, the Warehouse District, South Congress and East Austin.
Austin also offers many outdoor activities including Lady Bird Lake with hike and bike trails, and boat rentals, Butler Hike and Bike Trail, Barton Springs Pool, and hiking The Greenbelt.
Just an hour away from Austin, San Marcos is home to Texas State University. During the spring, the San Marcos River is one of the most popular spots to cool off.
Tubing down the river in the 72-degree water with a group of friends and your beverage of choice is a right of passage in central Texas.
San Marcos is well known for its outdoorsy spots, so, suggest to readers to visit other locations like Rio Vista Park, Five Mile Dam Park, and Purgatory Creek Natural.
Just down the road from San Marcos, another beautiful hill country spot with water activities on both the Comal River and the Guadalupe River, New Braunfels offers bountiful tubing, kayaking and fishing activities.
Also the home to authentic Texas dance hall Gruene Hall and historic downtown with great restaurants and antiquing.
Also consider activities in Landa Park, Schlitterbahn, Canyon Lake, and Natural Bridge Caverns, or tour central Texas breweries on the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail.
Consider a cultural getaway with fine dining, great museums and attractions including the Space Center and NASA’s astronaut training and flight control complex. Also visit the Downtown Aquarium, and the family-friendly Discovery Green or the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
Or sit courtside at a basketball game at the Toyota Center, and baseball fans can catch a game at Minute Maid Park.
Remember the Alamo! The growth of the river city has brought many things to explore.
Of course, there are the historic sites of the Alamo and Mission San Jose, but also take a stroll along the famous river walk and listen to the music of the mariachis, enjoy the restaurants and shopping.
Stroll the Pearl Farmer’s Market, or take the kids to Six Flags, SeaWorld, and Yanakuna Garden, or kayaking in Confluence Park.
Get off the grid in Amarillo starting with a drive down the famous Route 66 that put Amarillo on the map.
Stop off for horseback riding through Palo Duro Canyon State Park, then visit the Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West or the Cadillac Ranch.
Or plan a night at the Amarillo Little Theatre or the Amarillo Opera.