Do you catch yourself dreaming of warmer weather once winter rolls around? Do you picture yourself basking beneath the sun on a beach somewhere, as the temperature drops and the days grow shorter? Chances are, you’re a snowbird—someone who escapes for warmer climates once winter rolls around. More specifically, the term refers to northerners who move down south in the winter. Here are the most affordable snowbird destinations in the great state of Texas, ranked from least to most expensive, for those trying to get away from the cold.
Top 24 Affordable Snowbird Destinations In Texas
1. San Antonio
Snowbirds return to San Antonio year after year because of the reasonable prices, friendly people and gorgeous subtropical climate - not to mention the charming homes that you can stay in. San Antonio is known for its beautiful River Walk and The Alamo - two of our favorite places on our Texas road trip checklist.
Dallas is a cultural hub with plenty of arts and attractions close to your home away from home. Hopping from museums to parks to other venues will have you working up a sweat in no time. You might even end up missing the cooler northern weather. Head to some of the best lakes in Texas for a relaxing day trip, only an hour or less from Dallas.
Montgomery is perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors. There are plenty of sites and opportunities for recreation under the sun. Lakeside activities such as fishing, swimming and hiking are a must, with additional recreational activities such as playing tennis, golfing or horseback riding. Stay at a lakefront home within walking distance to all the best cafes and restaurants in the area.
NASA, Houston Grand Opera, and the Historic District—all reasons to visit this large metropolis. Houston might seem more like a place where people go to work or school, but its revitalized downtown area overflows with things to do. You’ll find shopping and attractions to fit all visitors of all budgets and interests, and can hang out poolside at a vacation rental like this one. You can also head out of town to visit Independence, one of the ghost towns in Texas.
Boerne is a unique little getaway surrounded by oak forests, sloping hills, limestone cliffs and pristine rivers. The town has a rich German history, being one of the first areas founded by German settlers in the 19th century. German influence can still be seen throughout this hamlet today, as can award-winning architecture in homes downtown.
The name itself brings to mind a welcomed season or a crystalline body of water. In fact, Big Spring gets its name from the nearby “big spring” in Sulphur Draw, which used to be a watering hole for coyotes, antelope, mustangs and buffalo. Now, the area is a great camping ground for visitors, a rugged place to embrace the great outdoors while having an oasis to call home.
7. Lago Vista
This gorgeous city is abundant with wildlife, wineries, marinas and the performing arts - and is also on the shores of scenic Lake Travis. It’s a smaller city, with five private lakeside parks that offer amenities and activities reminiscent of a country club or resort. Lago Vista will feel like a high-end escape, especially when you stay at a vacation rental with water views.
This city on the Gulf of Mexico is tucked into a bay area that is home to migratory birds and endangered sea turtles. There’s much to see in Corpus Christi if you’re into nature and wildlife. The city is also home to a World War II aircraft carrier and naval museum for those days that you don't want to spend on the beach. Enjoy ocean views every morning when you wake up when you stay at a vacation rental on the water.
Bryan College Station is the home of Texas A&M University, as well as a community rich in tradition and history. It has the modern perks of a big city while retaining its small-town charm, especially in beautiful historic homes. Head for College Station if friendly people, cowboys at a rodeo or darn good barbecue strike your fancy.
Rockport is a stop along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. It’s a relaxing town on the eastern coast of Texas, but has a good range of attractions as well. The Fulton Mansion, Texas Maritime Museum and Rockport Center for the Arts are noteworthy destinations in the city. Stay in a waterfront home to make the most of your time in this warm and beautiful climate!
11. Jamaica Beach
Jamaica Beach has a population of less than one thousand people. You won’t have to share the beachfront with crowds of people, and you’ll feel like you’re at a very exclusive destination of your own. Stay close to the beach so you can start the day with a walk on the shore and end it with a full and expansive view of the sunset.
Galveston can keep visiting snowbirds busy for months, even if it’s a small island tucked deep in the heart of south Texas. There are over 32 miles of relaxing beaches, galleries, resort hotels, restaurants and more to explore this island city that rests on the Gulf Coast of Texas. This reasonably-priced penthouse is one of the best places that you can stay - close to the beach, close to great restaurants, and a stellar view of the ocean.
You can go to Fredericksburg and feel traces of German history. This city was named after Prince Frederick of Prussia in 1846, and retains a lot of its unique German flavor in the businesses and Main Street in town. You can stay in town close to the action, or slightly out of town for a peaceful and relaxing getaway.
There’s always a special event or two for snowbirds going on in South Padre Island. It’s a popular destination for some of the finest fishing in the country, as well as the white, sandy beaches off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Stay in a rental right on the beach and every colorful sunrise and sunset will be yours to appreciate!
Wimberley is as quirky as its name. The city has fun features and natural wonders, and has been a retreat for artists, musicians and writers for several years. You’ll find numerous venues that showcase local talent all year round. You will also be close to Canyon Lake, which is a lovely place to spend the day hiking, kayaking, or fishing. Stay on a property like this historic cabin, or closer to the center of town to be close to the action. You'll also be close to one of the best swimming holes in the state.
16. Canyon Lake
Head for Canyon Lake to check out the Water Recreation Capital of Texas. Canyon Lake is surrounded by 80 miles of shoreline and the gentle waters of the Guadalupe River. It’s an ideal destination for camping, hiking, boating and fishing, even with the cooler weather of winter. Stay on the shores of the river or the lake for ideal access to all your favorite activities.
Marfa is an arts hub with numerous exhibitions, films, concerts held in town. Thanks to minimalist artist Donald Judd, who moved to Marfa in the 1970s and created the Chinati Foundation, there are creative works all around this small desert city, including in the vacation rentals there.
18. Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay is right in the heart of Texas. It’s a resort destination with great views of the hills and water in the surrounding area. There are activities for people of all ages, but the relaxing atmosphere supersedes all. Stay in a lake house where you can spend time basking in the sun.
The capital of Texas is so much more than just the home of the University of Texas flagship campus. Austin also rocks out the live music scene with its eclectic selections of country and blues. That’s not all—Austin also has tons of parks and lakes that are ideal for hiking and boating, especially if you stay in a centrally-located vacation rental. Don't miss out on the best coffee shops in the city while you're there.
20. Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach takes up seven miles along the Bolivar Peninsula, and is an immensely popular destination for camping and fishing. Imagine camping in its purest, most unadulterated form with the most basic necessities - before returning to your beautiful house on the beach.
21. Port Aransas
This seaside village is known as the “Best kept secret on the Gulf Coast.” It’s a fisherman’s paradise, and even novices will get in to the spirit of fishing from the challenges and rewards Port Aransas offer. It’s a peaceful kind of town, the perfect place to cast a line and enjoy your quiet surroundings.
22. New Braunfels
New Braunfels is another town with German influences. It was founded by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and a group of German locals in 1845. Antiquing is big here, and so are cultural events such as Wurstfest, one of the largest German festivals in America. We recommend staying somewhere like this riverfront condo.
Spicewood is small, but it packs a punch. There’s Kause Springs, a swimming hole with waterfalls and natural caves. There are canopy tours where you can zip line through the trees. The parks have swimming coves and ample camping ground. For added flavor, there’s barbecue and live music unique to Spicewood, and gorgeous views of the lake.
24. Fort Worth
Fort Worth is great for all things cowboy, honky tonk and Tex-Mex. This modern city claims to have one of the cleanest, safest and most walkable urban areas you’ll find anywhere. From the Cultural District, where you can see priceless masterpieces, to the Stockyards National Historic District, where you can explore the true American West, Fort Worth’s city space is varied and eclectic. Finish the day with a barbecue by the pool at your house.
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This article was written by Hanna Choi.