FALL 2022 #TexasToDos
As the season turns to autumn, gorgeous scenes of orange, red and yellow dot Texas’ diverse landscape. Texas’ destinations follow suit with offerings as vibrant as the season’s fall colors. With engaging festivals and cultural events, fine items from Texas artisans and affordable fun, autumn visitors can plan a trip to the Lone Star State that is all their own. Below, please see seasonal highlights and happenings that make great additions to a fall trip itinerary.
DÍA DE MUERTOS DESTINATIONS
Día de Muertos celebrations across Texas honor the state’s rich cultural ties to Mexico. The fall holiday, also known as “Day of the Dead,” honors loved ones who have passed with traditional processions and parades, commemorative altars and colorful celebrations of remembrance.
San Antonio: Home to the largest Día de Muertos celebration in the United States, San Antonio’s multi-day festivities include more than ten unique events in October and November. Among the highlights, the SpiritLandia River Parade scheduled for Oct. 27 will feature the city’s famous river barges elaborately decorated with altars, catrinas and costumed riders celebrating life and loved ones. Muertos Fest, one of the city’s most beloved traditions, will celebrate its 10-year anniversary Oct. 29 and 30. The nationally televised festival will offer guests free music, activities, dancing and processions.
Garland: Día de Los Muertos Garland is a small town affair full of heart. The free festival planned for Nov. 1 honors passed loved ones with free performances by Los Matachines, local students and several mariachi and ballet folklórico groups, plus a cultural art show and food and craft vendors. The celebration also includes an altar competition featuring beautiful altars created by local students.
Corpus Christi: On Oct. 29, Corpus Christi’s 15th annual Día de los Muertos Street Festival takes place in the heart of downtown where participants commemorate deceased loved ones with colorful customs and pageantry. This solemn yet joyous event includes live music, dance performances, educational talks, workshops and intricate face paintings. The Hecho-A-Mano Arts & Crafts Expo will showcase more than 85 local vendors, while the Walk of Remembrance features ofrendas decorated with personal items, sugar skulls and photographs, a key tradition of the celebration.
Denton: Combining elements of Día de Muertos and Halloween, Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival on Oct. 28 and 29 offers two days of multicultural family fun. One of the most popular events, the annual coffin races are an All Hallow’s Eve take on the classic boxcar derby. The festival’s Cirque Du Horror performance is a macabre collection of bone-chilling poetry, spring-tingling short stories and surprisingly catchy spooky songs. Rounding out the celebration, a lantern-lit parade spotlights costumed performers, catrinas, DIY craft activities and music.
TEXAS MAKERS AND ARTISANS
Moon Rivers Naturals (Tyler) — Centrally located in Northeast Texas, Tyler, or the "Rose Capital of America," boasts charming brick streets, picturesque lakes, rich outdoor life, a mouthwatering cuisine scene and unique shops. It's fitting that the Rose Capital of America would be home to Moon Rivers Naturals, a top independent beauty brand situated in downtown Tyler. Moon Rivers Naturals offers natural skincare products made from Texas-native organic ingredients and infused with enriching essential oils and moisturizers.
Miranda Bennett Studio (Austin) — This Austin-based sustainable apparel and accessories brand designs, cuts, dyes and sews their collections in-house. The team’s versatile designs are unrestricted by seasons and comfort-forward, promoting long-term wear and sustainable fashion. They are committed to using non-toxic color, minimizing waste and textile and garment recycling, an enriching addition to Austin’s renowned creative community.
No Limit Arts & Crafts (Dallas) — A fitting fixture in Dallas’ vibrant arts scene, local paper mache artist Alfonso Hernandez has been recognized by Texas Monthly and several local news stations for his intricate and lifelike piñatas. What started as a favor for a family member in 2016 has turned into a full-blown business for Hernandez. Hernandez recently created piñatas for the Texas Rangers baseball team’s opening day.
M.L. Leddy’s (San Angelo) — Head west to the fourth-generation artisan bootmakers at M.L. Leddy to pick up a pair of handmade boots. Peruse its wide selection of custom-made products, joining over 2250,000 other customers, including presidents and rock stars.
FREE OFFERINGS AND ATTRACTIONS
Houston — Travelers on the hunt for exciting and memorable free activities should look no further than Houston. Visitors can catch a show at Miller Outdoor Theatre, take a stroll through Houston’s idyllic Arboretum & Nature Center and explore Houston’s 12-acre park located in the heart of downtown, Discovery Green. With stops at Buffalo Bayou Park, the popular Water Wall and the Menil Collection’s historically vast collection of art, Houston is chock-full of free attractions the whole family will enjoy.
San Marcos — Fill an entire day in San Marcos with free activities. Visitors can start their day in nature, taking a dip in the comfortably cool San Marcos River or participating in the infamous Mermaid March, the self-guided experience that tours San Marcos’ unique collection of seven-foot tall painted mermaid statues. Later, travelers can dry off and take a step inside Wimberley Glassworks where skilled artisans work on hand-blown glass art or Texas State University’s Wittliff Collections where the Southwest’s creative legacy thrives.
Galveston — Visitors can spend a whole weekend enjoying Galveston’s free experiences. Relish in the cool fall breeze and keep an eye out for dolphins aboard the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry or wander through the Historic Strand District and play a game of larger-than-life chess at Saengerfest Park. For those looking to get their steps in, Galveston’s self-guided tours of beautiful tree sculptures and 50 colorful sea turtle art installations are great options, as well as taking in the sights of Galveston’s downtown neighborhoods, including the Strand Historic District, Downtown Cultural Arts District and Historic Strand Seaport.
El Paso — Cruise along the edge of the mountains on El Paso’ gorgeous Scenic Drive to appreciate the beauty of the Franklin Mountains and the El Paso and Juarez cityscapes. With many stop-offs and overlooks, visitors can take in the breathtaking views at every turn. Interested in enriching your time in El Paso? Learn something new and be inspired with free admission to the El Paso Museum of History and the El Paso Museum of Art.
In Texas, cooling temperatures signal good times ahead with a bevy of seasonal events, festivals and celebrations across the state. From mermaids to culinary delights, Texas’ fall lineup offers a bit of something for travelers of all interests.
Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest (Sept. 24) in San Marcos: Keep things quirky in San Marcos with the annual Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest, an eclectic celebration of the city’s arts, culture and love of mermaids. San Marcos’ association to these mythical creatures is linked to its abundant natural springs and the scenic beauty of the San Marcos River. The town is also home to a collection of larger-than-life mermaid sculptures placed throughout the community.
State Fair of Texas (Sept. 30 - Oct. 23) in Dallas: The celebration of all things Texan, the State Fair of Texas® combines entertainment, art, agriculture, history and cuisine to offer experiences of every aspect of the state’s culture. Attracting more than 2.2 million annual attendees, the fair offers more than one hundred daily activities, more than 80 food and beverage concessionaires, plus rides, exhibits, livestock and agricultural events and a rodeo. In 2021, approximately 525,000 Fletcher’s Corny Dogs were sold during the 24-day run of the fair.
Fiesta de Palmas (Oct. 22 - 24) in McAllen: What began as a one-time festival in 2004 to commemorate the City of McAllen’s centennial celebration has become an annual shindig to celebrate the unique cultures and vibrant history of McAllen and the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Attendees will be treated to an array of sights, sounds and flavors, courtesy of live music, dancers and vendors across the event layout.
Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival (Oct. 27 - 30) in San Antonio: New for 2022, the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival will be the first statewide culinary festival held in partnership with the renowned James Beard Foundation. Top culinary stars and up-and-coming chefs from across the United States and Mexico will showcase their talents in events ranging from walk-around tastings, intimate dinners, outdoor lunches, hands-on workshops, educational panels and more.
The historic Crazy Water Hotel has reopened in Mineral Wells. Following a complete remodel, the reimagined hotel offers 54 suites with a modern aesthetic and all the amenities of home. The first floor is home to a salon and spa, craft brewery, Crazy Coffee and Water Bar, and several retail shops. With a stunning ballroom, a rooftop patio and multiple conference and hospitality suites, the Crazy Water Hotel is this North Texas town’s newest (old) hot spot.
Now open in Tyler, The Thomas Hotel is a new independent property from local residents, the Cryer Family, whose dream of investing in the city began with a few AirBnB properties. The 7,400 square foot hotel is rooted in history, heart, heritage and hospitality.
Opening in the spring of 2023, the new Omni PGA Frisco Resort will be the new home of modern American golf, just steps from the recently opened PGA of America headquarters. In addition to unique simulation and coaching experiences, the resort will be home to two 18-hole championship golf courses, collectively known as Fields Ranch – Fields Ranch East designed by Gil Hanse and Fields Ranch West designed by Beau Welling – a two-acre putting course and entertainment area, The Dance Floor, and a par-3, 10-hole short course, The Swing.
Noteworthy arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf has announced that it will be expanding to Texas with permanent exhibitions opening in Grapevine (2023) and Houston (2024).
Norwegian Cruise Line, the third largest cruise line in the world, announced it will homeport their new liner, the Prima, in Galveston in 2023.