Thousands of tourists take over the Lone Star State for Spring Break, transforming beach towns and bustling cities alike into their paradise. With the weather warming up and the heat index low, spring is the perfect season to visit, and Texas has no shortage of riveting destinations to explore. Whether you want to soak up the rays or party till the wee hours, these top picks offer something for every style of traveler.
It's called "The Live Music Capital of the World" for a good reason, and Spring Break is one of them. Austin's party scene is unlike any other in Texas, pairing big city vibes with Southern charm. Sixth Street is the city's go-to for nightlife, offering an assortment of affordable bars with live music, dancing, and around-the-clock parties. On Rainey Street, you'll experience a more laid-back scene complete with craft beer and food trucks, while South Congress features its own brand of late-night excitement.
Step away from the mainland onto Galveston Island, which offers 32 miles of pristine shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. The historic Strand district features charming antique shops and art galleries to explore during the day, while vibrant entertainment options abound at night, including bustling nightclubs and bars with special events for the Spring Break crowd.
Each beach on the island has a distinct personality, so every sunseeker can find their personal haven. At Stewart Beach, join the Galveston Family Beach Challenge for days filled with massive bean bags, giant Jenga, battleships, sack races, sandcastle building, and limbo showdowns. Top-notch cuisine features everything from authentic Mexican to fresh seafood, and amusement parks, historic mansions, and museums fill itineraries to the brim.
Wild and untamed, Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge is an oasis for those who want to connect with nature during their travels. One of the most biologically diverse areas in North America, discover up to 1,200 species of native plants and 700 vertebrates spread out over 90,000+ acres. Forty thousand are open to the public for wildlife watching, photography, and hiking along six scenic nature trails. Nearby Brownsville features ample museums, restaurants, and shops, so you can experience the best of both worlds in a single trip.
Craving a break from civilization? Look no further than Boca Chica State Park, a rejuvenating retreat just north of the Mexican border. Miles of untouched beach lend an untouched ambiance to the area, and aquatic activities abound, including surfing, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and sailing. The area's biodiversity is unbeatable, so don't be surprised to find sea turtles, green jays, and chachalacas amid verdant scenery. Camping and hiking opportunities are countless, and if you're feeling extra adventurous, bring your passport and head south of the border.
With over 100 miles of beaches, it's no wonder that Corpus Christi is a Spring Breaker's paradise. Soak in the rays along the shoreline, or get active with jet skiing, wakeboarding, and surfing until sunset. Once nightfall hits, the city comes alive at top spots like Texas Nugget Nightclub, Cove Club, and Whiskey River. Bowlero is the destination for bowling, laser tag, and patio games, and minigolf is a local favorite. At Hurricane Alley Waterpark, you'll find all the rides and slides you need to get that adrenaline pumping.
If a distant tropical destination is out of the question, then South Padre Island is the next big thing. This barrier island features 34 miles of white sandy shoreline and clear emerald waters, with Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico both in full view. Live it up with swimming, snorkeling, and water sports, get up close and personal with dolphins during a boat tour, take a sandcastle lesson, or go horseback riding along the water's edge. When night hits, catch the sunset at Longboard Bar and Grill, dance to live music performances, or drink up at Tequila Sunset, Coral Reef, or Clayton's Beach Bar and Grill.
This lively community floods with visitors every spring, and it's easy to see why. Blending old-world charm with vibrant art and culture, you'll find dozens of galleries, concerts, plays, quaint cafes, and one-of-a-kind shops. Wineries and breweries give the city a unique twist; discover local flavors with tastings at every turn, or explore the Texas Hill Country further with a tour through the region's top spots.
Live music and nightlife venues brim with crowds all season, but you can also experience a more laid-back getaway along the striking Comal and Guadalupe rivers. Not only does party life prevail downtown, but you'll find tubing, swimming, and boating galore.
Lake Texoma is an expansive lake shared between Texas and Oklahoma, providing mile after mile of marine fun. Get in on the action with fishing, parasailing, or renting a boat at the local marina. Cruises include everything from the romantic dinner variety to historic riverboats that evoke the heart of the Old South. De Happy Cajun, a local landmark, features some of the region's best seafood, while Pelican's Landing serves meals with a view. Rent a cabin, go camping at Lake Texoma State Park, or hike along the 15-mile Cross Timbers Trail.
Spring Break gets busy at Port Aransas, which is brimming with bars, restaurants, and water activities all season. The beaches get crowded, with spring breakers bonding over volleyball games, swimming, parasailing, and dolphin watching; many savvy travelers rent a golf cart to make exploring the shoreline simple. Stop by Fins Grill and Icehouse for eye-catching views of the marina and the Red Dragon pirate ship. Visit the shops, restaurants, and bars along the water, or get away from it all with a boat ride to secluded San José Island.
This coastal community has a small-town ambiance that packs a big punch. Spend the day laying out on the town's Blue Wave beach — the only one of its kind in Texas. Incredibly clean with a focus on environmental protection, you'll find aquatic amenities galore, including a water ski loop, boat, and windsurfing launches, volleyball courts, fishing piers, and walking trails. Want more? Stop by Fulton Mansion State Historic Site, The Big Tree, or Winery on the Bay.