Spring break in Texas has been done the same way for eons it seems. The old standbys are getting played out, and it is time for some fresh, best spring break destinations in Texas for active travelers! Look no further, here are 15 new and improved places across the state to live out your active travel adventures over your spring break in Texas!
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15 Best Spring Break in Texas Destinations
From the best mountain ranges and the top canyons of west Texas, to the the beaches of south Texas, to the forests and swamps of East Texas, and much more – here are your 15 new and improved spring break in Texas destinations! Each of these recommendations is based on at least one characteristic that is unique to Texas, whether that is its myriad of exciting trails, or its unique wildlife encounters, or its vast diversity of environments, each of these recommendations is appreciative of the uniqueness of the Lone Star State!
- #1: Hike Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- #2: Hike to Waterfalls in Big Bend National Park
- #3: Kayak the Rio Grande River
- #4: Visit a Ghost Town in Terlingua
- #5: Go Canyoning in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
- #6: Runcation Through Wildflowers in Texas Hill Country
- #7: Go Underground in Texas Caves
- #8: Get Sandy in Galveston
- #9: Staycation in DFW’s Best State Parks
- #10: Hike to Abandoned Mines and Plane Crashes in El Paso
- #11: Get Swampy at Caddo Lakes State Park
- #12: Go Rock Climbing at Hueco Tanks State Park
- #13: Immerse Yourself in Forests in East Texas
- #14: Go Sand Sledding at Monahans Sandhills State Park
- #15: Hike with Bison at Caprock Canyon State Park
Map of the Best Spring Break in Texas Destinations
Use this map below to view all 15 of the best spring break in Texas destinations, and start planning your spring break trip!
Map of 15 best spring break destinations in Texas for the active traveler
#1: Hike to the State High Point in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
What better way to kick off spring break, than to hike to the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak! There’s something indescribable in knowing that at that exact moment, there is nothing taller than you in your whole state! Plus, spring is the BEST time to hike this high altitude trail!
From this towering vantage point at the peak of the Guadalupe Mountains range, you can see all the wondrous beauty and adventure of this grand state, including the surrounding namesake National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park! Not only that, but making it to the top of Texas also completely shatters the common misconception that Texas is all just flat and boring!
This trail contains many dimensions, from a trailhead that originates in the high desert, then proceeds through ponderosa tunnels, to emerge at a barren summit enclosed by rocky ledges and cliffs.
This 8 mile hike that gains over 2,000 feet in elevation is a day hike, but you can choose to primitive camp beneath the summit if you want to extend your hike, or, after completing your hike of Guadalupe Peak, you can top off the experience by sampling the rest of the best of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, a region overflowing with desert, forest, and canyon hikes that highlight all the unique ecosystems in Texas!
#2: Hike to Waterfalls in Big Bend National Park
For a National Park enclosed by the starch Chihuahuan desert, there are a surprising amount of waterfalls to be discovered here! And who doesn’t appreciate a good waterfall on their spring break in Texas? What makes these waterfalls all the more impressive and beautiful to behold is their stark contrast to their surroundings, proving that even deserts can produce vibrant life! For your waterfall appreciating pleasure, here are your top Big Bend waterfalls:
- Cattail Falls
- The Boot Spring Trail
- The Window Trail
- Pine Canyon waterfall
And don’t forget to check out the 10 BEST hikes in Big Bend National Park!
#3: Kayak the Rio Grande River
A majority of those who visit the Rio Grande River do so from its shorelines, or from trails such as the Santa Elena Trail in Big Bend National Park. But a way to amp up this experience is to kayak the Rio Grande River in Santa Elena Canyon on your spring break in Texas! The best place for a day, or multi-day, kayaking adventure on the Rio Grande River is in the Santa Elena Canyon!
#4: Visit a Ghost Town in Terlingua
Terlingua embodies the meaning of funkiness, and it is also a ideal jumping off spot for spring break adventures in southern Texas! So whether you choose to call this town home base for some of your other local explorations, such as waterfall hiking in Big Bend or kayaking canyon rivers on the Rio Grande, or simply want to wander around a genuine, old western, ghost town of Texas, this is the most eclectic town in which you can spend a spring break in Texas!
The Terlingua ghost town is one of the best southern spring break in Texas destinations!
#5: Go Canyoning in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Did you know that the 2nd largest canyon in the United States is in West Texas? The Texas state park known as Palo Duro Canyon State Park houses the immense “Grand Canyon in Texas”, making it an ideal spring break in Texas location for those who crave red rock hiking and camping under unfiltered, solitary night skies! My recommendation for the best hike in Palo Duro? That title would have to go to the iconic Lighthouse Trail hike!
#6: Runcation through Wildflowers in Hill Country
Hill Country in Texas puts on a true show in the spring with its native wildflower blooms! The best way to experience these never-ending fields of nature’s artistic display is to lace up a pair of shoes and go for a run on a rural Hill Country road or trail. There are a couple superb half marathons in Texas that highlight springtime in Hill Country, or you can just go for an impromptu run through serene Hill Country towns like Fredericksburg, Luckenbach, Johnson City, or Burnet. If you feel up for a little add on side trip, check out the hiking at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, including the iconic granite dome of the Enchanted Rock Trail, outside Fredericksburg!
#7: Go Underground in Texas Caves
Surprisingly, there are many options for spending a spring break in Texas underground! Most of the grandest caves are in the central region of Texas, hewn from the hilly terrain characteristic of this region.
- Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio
- Longhorn Cavern in Burnet
- Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown
- Cascade Caverns in Boerne
#8: Get Sandy in Galveston
Beaches can get a little stereotypical and dicey when it comes to finding a unique, uncrowded, off the beaten path, destination in which to spend spring break in Texas, but Galveston is a solid option for those who need to get sandy over their spring break! This beach town has a down home feel to it, with a whimsical boardwalk found at Pleasure Pier. The boardwalk and the adjacent beach are a great option for taking a jog too!
#9: Staycation in DFW’s Best State Parks
A large chunk of the state’s population resides in the metropolis of Dallas Fort Worth, and sometimes a staycation is what is needed for a spring break in Texas! Not to fear, you can still experience the great outdoors, even in the heart of the city. These state parks are full of hiking and camping opportunities, and bonus, they are all within close reach of Dallas Fort Worth!
These state parks include:
- Cedar Hill State Park
- Dinosaur Valley State Park
- Lake Mineral Wells State Park
- Possum Kingdom State Park
- Palo Pinto Mountains State Park
- Cleburne State Park
- Fort Richardson State Park
- Ray Roberts Lake State Park
You can find out more about all of these best state parks near DFW here!
#10: Visit Abandoned Mines and Plane Crashes in El Paso
For those that maybe want a hint of eerie in their active travel spring break plans, there are two places in El Paso where this can be achieved! The only tin mines to ever exist in the United States lie abandoned underground, at the base of the rugged Franklin Mountains in Franklin Mountains State Park. Bring your flashlight, because once you reach the tin mines, you can actually go underground and explore the depths.
If above ground is more your thing, then take on the challenging uphill climb to the B-36 Plane Crash site, located off trail along the Thousand Steps Trail in El Paso. This hike is more or less boulder climbing and rock navigating in the ridges between the Franklin Mountains, with a chance to see the scattered remnants of a B-36 crash.
After you make it to both of these sights, there are plenty of other outdoor highlights to keep you occupied in El Paso, including biking, rock climbing, and additional hiking trails, for the remaining days of your spring break in Texas!
#11: Get Swampy at Caddo Lake State Park
One of the truly unique finds in Texas are its swamps, and the best one is Caddo Lake, located in far east Texas. Enjoy a spring break in Texas full of navigating moss laden swamps by foot or boat, in Caddo Lake State Park!
#12: Go Rock Climbing at Hueco Tanks State Park
Not only is Hueco Tanks State Park renowned across the state of Texas for its climbing opportunities, but it is also well loved across the United States as a premier destination for rock climbers. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at this adventurous active travel opportunity, or if you are already well versed in rock climbing and looking for an engaging destination, Hueco Tanks is an ideal place to get in touch with your inner rock climber over spring break in Texas!
#13: Immerse Yourself in Forests in East Texas
The great state of Texas is home to every kind of ecosystem, and that includes forests. Three National Forests grace its eastern fronts, so if you are looking for a place to do some forest hiking or shady camping over spring break, look no further than these 3 National Forests, plus the foliaged trails and campgrounds they respectively call home:
READ MORE: What’s the difference between National Forests vs. National Parks anyways?
#14: Go Sand Sledding at Monahans Sandhills State Park
This is where you go to get in touch with your inner child over spring break in Texas, and it is one of my personal favorites that I keep going back to! It is impossible not to enjoy sand sledding, or simply to appreciate the majesty and grandeur of these extensive sand dunes, found right in the middle of barren west Texas, miles and miles from the nearest beach!
There are several ways to appreciate Monahans Sandhills State Park. First, and highly recommended, you can rent a disc from the Visitor’s Center and slide down them (or bring your own disc). Secondly, you can hike them. And thirdly, you can camp among them, and fully appreciate the stunning panoramas that sunrises and sunsets put on here over a blanket of ivory hills. The imaginative whimsical-ness of Monahans is one of the reason it easily lands on the list of best spring break destinations in Texas!
#15: Hike with Bison at Caprock Canyon State Park
Another great option for those who appreciate red rock canyon tapestries! The humble Caprock Canyon State Park is home to another beautiful Texas canyon, as well as the only resident bison herd in the state. Just imagine, climbing the trails of Caprock Canyon over spring break, with the chance to intermingle with Texas bison!
So there you have it, 15 chances to see a new, FRESH, side of Texas with these best spring break destinations in Texas! So enjoy one, or enjoy all, across the great Lone Star State!
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