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The 21 Best Christmas Getaways in Texas

These 21 incredible Christmas Getaways in Texas will help you choose your perfect Christmas holiday! If you aren’t quite sure where to go or what to do, lucky for you, the saying “everything is bigger in Texas” stands just as true during the holidays. The stars at night seem to shine a bit brighter every December, or maybe it’s the MILLIONS of LED lights drenched throughout the state!


Whether you are looking for a small-town getaway or a rooftop Christmas party in the city, Texas has everything you need for this holiday!

Texas has mild winters with temperatures ranging from the 40s to the 70’s making it the perfect spot for outdoor Christmas markets, walking light trails, and even heading to the beach for a Christmas in the sun. 

So grab your Santa hat, pack your tackiest sweater and join me on the best getaways to spend Christmas in Texas: the top towns and resorts for the perfect winter holiday.

Christmas in Texas

Did you purchase your travel insurance for your Texas trip, yet? Yes? good! No? You should! Among all the multiple reasons why you should get your travel insurance, is the peace of mind it gives you! Knowing that whatever happens, from medical emergencies to lost bags, canceled flights, theft, and more, your bills are taken care of. I have been using two different ones, SafetyWing and World Nomads depending on the kind of traveling I was doing. For the more adventurous ones, which included hiking and scuba-diving, World nomads got you covered, for a more tranquil trip SafetyWing would do the job and it’s cheaper. But don’t just take my words. Make sure you read all the included coverage and policy details to find out what’s the right policy for you.

The 21 Best Christmas Getaways in Texas

Grapevine Texas

Looking to get into the holiday spirit? Look no further than The Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine Texas. This small Texas town is located right outside of Dallas and is FULL of Christmas cheer! 

Celebrating the holidays with over 40 different Christmas events for all different ages makes this the perfect town to join in on the fun.

Grapevine Texas historic district - Christmas Getaway in Texas
Photo © Wiki Common

You will find thousands of twinkling lights while riding the tram on the main street for their winter wine trail.

Explore the north pole on the Grapevine vintage railway that has been transformed into the popular polar express. This is a magical experience for adults and kids, make sure to secure your spot and wear your best Christmas pajamas for the full experience. 

Grapevine vintage  train
Photo © Wiki commons

Stop by the historic palace theatre in December to see a classic Christmas showing and live performances. Another can’t miss event is their famous parade of lights. This is the largest light display in North Texas and somehow seems to grow bigger and bigger each year. 

The most popular event in the Christmas capital is the Gaylord Texan Hotel which turns into a winter wonderland, it is so popular I have made it its own destination on this list.


College Station

College Station

This small college town is one of my favorite holiday surprises. During the year the streets are packed with students but the Christmas season feels a bit different. Once school lets out for Christmas break, this town turns into a winter wonderland and is one of the few places in Texas for a white Christmas.

Santa’s wonderland blasts snow flurries for College Station to experience a white Christmas, even if it is 70 degrees outside.

Witness Santa’s grand entrance, go tubing down the toboggan chute, and even have a snowball fight with your friends. You will find twinkling lights as far as the eye can see and smell the evergreen in the air. 

Make sure to grab some hot cocoa at Christmas in the park and take a drive through the nativity display before you leave town. 


More about Texas


Cleburne 

Cleburne Texas

A lovely small Christmas town in Texas, Cleburne needs to be on your holiday destination list. This town is located about 40 minutes from Fort Worth and has one of the most beautiful light displays in Texas.

Cleburne’s local park is transformed into a winter holiday with over 3 million lights. A Mr. and Mrs. Clause’s reveal is assisted by local carolers who serenade visitors as they stroll through the park. You will feel as if you just stepped into the North Pole, without the freezing temperatures of course! 

This is a perfect day trip for a Christmas vacation in the Lone Star State. 


Wimberley

Wimberley Park Texas

Enjoy a Texas Hill Country Christmas in Wimberley Texas. This small Texas town is fun for the whole family or a solo trip! Located about 45 minutes from Austin and San Antonio this is a great Christmas getaway from the major cities.

Join Wimberley’s Holiday Trail of Lights. A free nightly event for locals and visitors. The six-acre winter wonderland is full of Christmas displays, fire pits for roasting marshmallows, and live music. This is one of my favorite holiday parks in Texas.

Wimberley texas park

If you need to do some last-minute holiday shopping, Wimberley’s square is the perfect place to shop locally and get some gifts you won’t be able to find anywhere else. 


San Antonio

San Antonio RIverwalk texas

San Antonio is one of the best warm places in the US to visit in December. Experience a different culture this holiday season at one of the best places to visit for Christmas.

San Antonio is bursting at the brim with Spanish culture due to its huge Hispanic population.

The Christmas traditions in this city are some of my favorites! 

Join in on the long-standing tradition of La Gran Tamalade and Time Travel Saturday where you can make and flavor your own homemade tamales. Enjoy live Tejano music, plenty of food, and pop-up vendors in the market square. 

After satisfying your belly, head to the famous river walk to satisfy your eyes. The beautiful river that flows through downtown San Antonio is decorated with thousands of lights and Christmas.

San Antonio Texas riverwalk

Hop on a tour boat to float down the river under the twinkling red and green lights, the displays stay up until early January. Make sure to check out the Christmas parade on the river where decorated floats make their way down the river for the whole city to enjoy for free. 

Another place to enjoy Christmas lights in San Antonio is at Incarnate Word University. The campus hosts the incredible light the way festival with food trucks, trees wrapped in twinkling lights for you to stroll along with a hot chocolate in hand.   

You may also want to read about the 59 things to do in San Antonio Texas, to explore the city further.


Austin

Austin texas Christmas Decoration

One of my favorite Christmas getaways in Texas is in the capital! Austin has mild winters but is still booming with the holiday spirit! There is always something going on and the nightlife feels sparkly and warm.

The famous trail of Lights in Zilker Park is my favorite light display in Texas. A great place to spend a cool December night at.

Usually, this is a walking trail of lights, however, this year it will be a drive-thru light display. Prices start at $30 per car with up to 9 passengers.

Another fan favorite is watching the light show at Mozart’s coffee shop on the lake. Each year the show gets bigger and BRIGHTER. Reserve a table for $20 on the patio for the best view of the show. 

Austin Texas

Once the sun goes down and the light displays go up, Austin is the perfect place to bar hop to meet people and get in the Christmas spirit.

My favorite bar in the holidays is The Eleanor for a Miracle on 5th Street-themed bar. The bar is decked out with Christmas decor and holiday-themed drinks. Enjoy a mulled wine or a Chistmapolitan all the way through Dec. 28th.


Galveston

Galveston Texas

Galveston is the perfect Christmas destination in the US if you are looking to escape the cold dreary weather. This Texas beach town is perfect for those looking for a warm island Christmas. 

Labeled as a Winter Wonder Island, you will find yourself in the Christmas spirit all while wearing a tank top and sandals.

What could be better than a holiday tan? Sounds pretty great to me. Head to Moody Gardens for Holidays in Gardens where you find plenty of holiday attractions.

Galveston Texas

Walk their mile-long display of lights, ice skate on their outdoor rink, and explore the world at their famous around-the-world ice display! Maybe leave your sandals at home for this ;).

Make sure to bring a festive outfit for this December getaway and join Dickens on The Strand. A victorian style festival that inspires you to celebrate the sights and sounds of an authentic victorian holiday.

A whimsical parade with carolers, bagpipers, and a lot more live entertainment. 


Fredericksburg

Fredriskburg

It is not a true Christmas road trip in Texas without stopping in Fredericksburg Texas . This small town is located about an hour outside of San Antonio in Central Texas. It is home to one of my favorite holiday displays.

Crowded streets are full of Christmas shoppers, Ice skating in the park, and the main street is full of twinkling lights. This town is full of the Christmas spirit! 

Missing German Christmas markets and mulled wine? This is the perfect Christmas destination for you. Fredericksburg is known for its German heritage and German influence.

Join the city in their lighting of the 30ft tall Christmas tree and the revealing of their 26ft tall Christmas pyramid that has been handcrafted in Germany. 

Fredericksburg will put you in the Christmas spirit without even getting out of the car, now I don’t recommend this but sometimes life has us in a hurry.

Drive through their nativity scene which is known all around the state. The display tells the story of the birth of Jesus with lights, real actors, and live music. This is a must-see when visiting this holiday destination at Christmas.


Gaylord Hotel and Spa

As one of the best texas resorts, The Gaylord Hotel and Spa is a must-stop in Texas for the Holidays. Located in the Christmas capital of Texas, Grapevine. 

This resort really outdoes itself every year. The convention center transforms its acres of space into themed Christmas displays every year.

Some of the past displays included Buddy the Elf, Snoopy, and the Grinch. Other activities include Gingerbread decorating, snow tubing, and brunch with Charlie Brown and Friends. 

You can visit the resort without having a room and ticket prices will range depending on the day and time of your arrival. 


Marshall 

Marshall wonderland of lights

Wonderland of Lights is located in Marshall Texas and is one of the best places to visit in Texas at Christmas. This small town brings so much Christmas cheer with the lighting of their courthouse. 

Among the town square, they host different events every weekend. These include caroling, a wassail walk on the square, and even an ugly sweater dog walk. There is truly something for everyone in this high-spirited town!

Check out their holiday schedule here.


Fortworth

Forthwort Dallas river

Fortworth is the best place to vacation for Christmas in Texas! This small boot-scooting town is perfect for those wanting their hallmark moment! 

Explore the stockyards for some Christmas shopping and holiday cheer. The area has been transformed for the holidays and the annual Cowboy Christmas event.

You will find over 250 vendors at the stockyards selling a multitude of things from Christmas ornaments to holiday wreaths. This is the best way to enjoy yourself and support small businesses this Christmas. 

Once it gets dark, head to the historic Fairmount neighborhood for a beautifully decorated neighborhood. Drive the streets to see thousands of lights on display to get you in the holiday spirit. 


Dallas

Dallas

Christmas in Dallas is like a magical wonderland! You will find yourself among plenty of holiday displays and Christmas cheer

Stroll the Dallas Arboretum, the 66-acre garden has been transformed for life-size displays of the 12 Days of Christmas and wooden Christmas village displays.

Another fun interactive option is SNOW DAY at the Galleria where you will find yourself in Santa’s workshop and make your way through holiday installation. Perfect for those Christmas pics on the gram! 

Looking to grab a holiday-themed cocktail? Head to my favorite rooftop bar, Winterproof. Transformed into a winter wonderland, with cozy igloos to keep you warm on those chilly December nights! Make sure to make a reservation for New Year’s Eve. This place is always packed!


Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is one of the best resorts in Texas all year round but is really special during the Christmas season.

The lodge is transformed into Snowland, a magical place for kids and adults. You will find Santa’s sleigh, a life-sized gingerbread house, even your room will be turned into a snow-themed suite

Last but not least, while enjoying the snow land you can still enjoy their indoor waterpark. This just became the perfect holiday vacation for summer and winter activities. 


Johnson City

This tiny Texas town named after one of our US presidents is a beautiful bright place to visit this Christmas in Texas!

Located in the Hill Country, visitors from all over will flock to Johnson City for a magical escape from the big city.

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative headquarters puts on one of the brightest displays in Texas with 1.3 million LED lights! Can’t make it before Christmas? No problem, the lights stay shining all the way through the new year! 


San Marcos

San Marcos Texas overview

One of my favorite Christmas towns in Texas. Mostly because I went to university here and it holds such a special place in my heart. This small Texas town is located right between Austin and San Antonio making it the perfect day trip from either big city!

The San Marcos river is stunning all year round but crossing the bridge amongst thousands of lights is a special moment! The annual sights and sounds festival is fun for all ages.

San MArcos River

I went every year from 18-22 and always had a blast! The festival has carnival rides, meet and greets with Santa, and plenty of hot drinks to keep your hands warm while you stroll through the light displays!

You will find the famous San Marcos square decked out with inflatable Christmas displays. Be careful on a Sunday morning as you will see the crazy bar hoppers from Saturday night have put the displays in inappropriate positions that have to continuously be rearranged throughout the holiday season.

This has become more of a tradition than anything. HA!  


Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie is right outside of Dallas Texas and is home to the largest light display in all of Texas! This is one of my favorite Christmas destinations in Texas. 

Prairie Lights is a 2-mile long drive-through light display. The park has over 4 million lights and takes around 1 hour to get through the whole display. Show up early as the line to get in can be very long. You can skip the line by reserving a spot online. 


Houston

huston skyscrapers
Photo by Efrain Alonso from Pexels

If you are looking for something festive to do every night in December then Houston is the place for you. A big city full of art and culture has a plethora of Christmas activities for young and old! 

Mild winters in Houston make for warm days but the city comes together in many ways to make it feel like Christmas.

Grab your ice skates and twirl around Houston’s outdoor ice skating rink at Discovery Green. For the longest stretch of light in the state of Texas, the Houston Zoo holds more than 15 miles worth of lights during the holidays. After a day on your feet make sure to catch the nutcracker ballet in downtown Houston.

Huston Skyline
Photo by Nick Bee from Pexels

Make sure to head to Houston City Hall to take a picture with Houston’s iconic Christmas tree! The city lights it on December 4th to start the month-long festivities. 


New Braunfels

One of the best vacation spots in Texas is extra magical at Christmas time! Most people head to New Braunfels in the summer to float the river and spend a day at Schlitterbahn waterpark. While I love a warm sunny day in August, there is something special about walking the New Braunfels square for wassailfest every December! 

All of the local businesses head downtown and have their rendition of the German cider and all the patrons vote on which wassail was their favorite!

New Braunfels is also where Santa’s Ranch is located, one of the most popular Christmas stops in Texas.

The one-mile ranch takes approximately 20 minutes to drive through and usually has a LONG line of cars waiting down the axis road of I-35.

I recommend showing up early to make sure you get in before their last round of cars!


South Padre Island

South Padre Island is the best warm place to spend Christmas in Texas besides being one of the top beach towns in Texas. Swap out building snowmen for building sandmen on this island in the sun!

Enjoy the annual South Padre Island Christmas parade, catch Santa in swim trunks and sunshades! The island is much quieter than in the summer making this the perfect getaway in Texas for December. Enjoy some rest, relaxation, and sun this Christmas! 

If you are wanting some holiday activities head to the convention center for the island’s annual Holiday Sandcastle Village. You will find artists from all over come to create nativities, Christmas villages, and Christmas figures out of beach sand! 


Richmond

This small town located right outside of Houston is perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and dive into some history. 

Join the town at the George Ranch Historical Park for a Historic Holiday Experience. Travel through Christmas pasts starting in 1830 all the way until the 1950’s. On this hayride, you will learn how the holiday was celebrated many years ago and how it became the huge celebration it is today.

Every weekend night join those in merriment at their campfire Christmas. A night full of Christmas carols, wassail, and marshmallow roasting. 


Marble Falls

One of the coolest Christmas towns in Texas, Marble falls hosts a spectacular light extravaganza every year!

Head about an hour outside of Austin to this famous Texas town. Walk the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights right on the bank of Marble Falls Lake. One of the only free light festivals in Texas, this walkway has over 2 million glimmering lights. 

After enjoying the Christmas display stop by the famous bluebonnet cafe for some homemade pie and hot chocolate! There is no better way to end a night in Marble Falls. 

I hope this holiday season is so special to you in Texas and becomes one of your favorite Christmas destinations. While you might not get a white Christmas I am sure the most wonderful time of year will feel just as special with the magnitude of lights and Santa sightings! 

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