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October Vacation Activities in Texas

Updated on February 21, 2013
Ride the world's largest ferris wheel at the Texas State Fair, a great October vacation activity.
Ride the world's largest ferris wheel at the Texas State Fair, a great October vacation activity. | Source

Texas Tourist Ideas for Fall

October is the perfect month in which to visit the great state of Texas on vacation--not only does the temperature fall from sweltering to a lovely crisp-cool, but there are a myriad of events and festivals for a tourist to enjoy.

No matter what you enjoy most--fried foods, fast rides, thrills in the dark, autumn leaves, German festivities--you can find it in Texas in October.

Read on for Texas's best October vacation activities, including the Texas State Fair, the Texas Renaissance Festival, and Oktoberfest.

Jousting is just one of the many entertainment choices at the Texas Renaissance Festival, a top tourist draw in October.
Jousting is just one of the many entertainment choices at the Texas Renaissance Festival, a top tourist draw in October. | Source

Visit the Texas Renaissance Festival

Everything's bigger in Texas--and the Texas Renaissance Festival is no exception. In fact, it's the largest such festival in Texas, featuring hundreds of employees, four hundred shops, a wide array of restaurants, and shows for every sort of taste, from family-friendly to ribald.

When you enter the fair, you're stepping back into 16th century England, and you may run across a king or queen, a pirate, a fairy, or a bar wench--they're all there and in character. Visitors are invited to dress up, as well, and many do.

The festival generally runs from mid-October to early December, on weekends only, and offers campgrounds for those who don't want to stay in a hotel and make the drive in (the fair is located in Todd Mission, Texas). Themed weekends include Pirate Adventure, Barbarian Invasion, and a Celtic Christmas.

Highlights include:

  • The famed Ded Bob Show
  • Jousting
  • Elephant rides
  • The Magic Garden
  • International cuisine, from Polish to Mexican (it is Texas, after all)

Big Tex at the Texas State Fair, a draw for over two million visitors in October.
Big Tex at the Texas State Fair, a draw for over two million visitors in October. | Source

Visit the State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is another larger-than-life tourist attraction for October in Texas. Presided over by its mascot, the slow-drawling figure of Big Tex, it draws over two million visitors a year. This isn't your typical small-town state farm in a field, either--it has roller coasters, a livestock show, the world's largest ferris wheel, and more.

The State Fair of Texas runs from late September to mid-October, and is open seven days a week. Highlights include:

  • Texas Star Ferris Wheel
  • Big Tex
  • Birds of the World Show
  • Fletcher's Corny Dogs
  • Cotton Bowl Classic

In addition to thrill rides and more fried food than you can imagine (in fact, there's a competition for innovative fried food every year; winners have included a fried Samoa cookie and chicken fried bacon), there are the traditional staples of a state fair as well--livestock competitions, pie competitions, and more down-home, country activities.

Attend an Oktoberfest in Texas, a great vacation idea.
Attend an Oktoberfest in Texas, a great vacation idea. | Source

Visit Oktoberfest in Texas

Though Oktoberfest originated in Munich and is the largest fair in the world, drawing more than six million visitors a year, that doesn't mean you can't get a taste of its festivities in the U.S.--more precisely, in Texas. Texans love beer and a good time, so there's no better group of people to enjoy Oktoberfest with.

Oktoberfest locations in Texas include:

  • Fredericksburg, Texas's largest German settlement
  • Addison, north of Dallas
  • San Antonio's Beethoven Hall und Garten
  • The Texas Renaissance Festival
  • New Braunsfels (Wurstfest)

As you can see, there's an Oktoberfest in driving distance from almost any location in Texas--so if you're in the Lone Star State during the month of October, head to one of the festivals for some authentic German food, entertainment, and frothy beer.

Other October Events in Texas

Of course, in the second largest state in the nation, there are many more October vacation activities than can be listed in this hub! Visitors can also enjoy hair-raising haunted houses, leaf peeping at Lost Maples State Natural Area, the Texas Rose Festival, the Harvest Moon Regatta, the Cajun Catfish Festival, the Austin Film Festival, and more.

Consider a trip to the Lone Star State--no matter which Texas destination you pick for a vacation, you're sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.


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