(Family Features) There is something about the winter months that seems to awaken a sense of wanderlust in many people. Whether it’s the need for an escape from the bitter, drab conditions or a desire for a break from the hectic schedule that often accompanies the season, carving out time to head south may be the perfect pick-me-up.
In fact, because of the cluster of holidays and time off from school, the winter months can be the perfect time to get away. A destination like Texas offers mild weather in the winter, not too hot or too cold, which makes for an opportunity to spend time at the state’s beaches. Of course, the region is also home to a variety of unique activities, museums, restaurants and attractions that can be enjoyed during the colder season due to the climate. When planning your trip, consider these fun-filled vacation ideas.
Get outdoors. Many parts of the country are too chilly to enjoy much time outdoors during the winter months, but heading south to an area like the Rio Grande Valley, home of the World Birding Center and National Butterfly Center, can provide the opportunity to find some time to appreciate nature. If you’re eager to see some wildlife, warmer climates can provide a true nature encounter, whether you visit a wildlife refuge or set out on a hike of your own. Plus, the moderate temperatures are appealing to many species.
Bring along your bucket list. Crossing items off your bucket list can be especially exciting when you’re on the road. If there’s an experience you’ve always wanted to create, there’s no place like vacation to make it happen. For example, if you’ve never touched a stingray, visit an aquarium with a hands-on display. Learn to surf or go parasailing.
Experience local cuisine. One way to explore the true flavor of a new vacation destination is the culinary scene. Instead of dining at familiar chains and restaurants you can find nearly anywhere, plan your meals around unique, cultural fusion cuisine. On the Texas-Mexico border you can find hybrid cuisine featuring dishes like tacos, grilled steaks and cheese-filled tamales which serves as a nod to the unique crossover culture. If you’re in need of a recommendation, ask your hotel concierges where they like to go for a hearty breakfast or where you can find the best patio for lunch.
Seek out unique attractions. The opportunity to see and experience things you can’t find anyplace else is one of the best advantages of exploring a new place. A unique destination in South Texas like Quinta Mazatlan, is a luxurious historic mansion constructed in the 1930s that is thought to be the largest adobe structure in the state. Today, the home is open to the public as an urban sanctuary working to enrich people's lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants and environmental stewardship.
Start planning your journey toward warmer weather this winter at TravelTexas.com.