Keep Summer Alive in Texas

While half the country readies for fall, enjoying changing leaves and seasonal décor, Texas keeps summer alive. Some of the Lone Star State’s lesser-known, mountainous regions make for the perfect summer-meets-fall family vacation atmospheres. Enjoy the warm weather for daily swims and cooler nights for sitting outside, enjoying a campfire. One such destination: New Braunfels, Texas.

Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, New Braunfelsis boasts 90-degree heat and sunshine through September; 80s in October; and mild 70s in November, leaving warm-weather lovers with an extended stay option, riding out the Indian Summer in style.

While you may not be overly familiar with New Braunfels, you should be. Begin with this lineup of easy fall fun without completely turning your back on summer sunshine.

Start with the great outdoors and enjoy a plethora of river swimming, paddleboarding and cave diving. Suit up for a warm-weather hike, including a bathing suit and plenty of water, and head to Comal River and Guadalupe River. Rent a fishing boat, grab a canoe or get out on the water tubing, splashing around and enjoying the peace and quiet of the local retreat.

Open lake in Hill Country, Texas

Open lake in Hill Country, Texas © Richard Mcmillin |

Explore the natural caves with an adventure tour. Operated by Natural Bridge Caverns, adventure options include zip lining, obstacle courses and a mixed tour of hidden caverns and more.

Adventurers and water babies, check out Texas Ski Ranch. The active destination offers water sports from standup paddleboarding and water skiing to wakeboarding, skateboarding and even winter sports.

Are you even in Texas if you don’t attend a county fair? If you’re going to hit one, it might as well be the biggest in Central Texas: Comal County Fair and Parade. Held Sept. 25–30, the trip may be last-minute, but definitely worth it for home brew contests, BBQ cook-offs, rodeo fun and the classic carnival rides, tractor show and games.

Now, for some music. Gruene Music & Wine Festival offers Texas Hill Country wines paired with live tunes. For the crafty types, Texas Clay Festival showcases top local artists and potters with plenty of hands-on lessons for the kids.

A little later in the season, celebrate local culture and international influences during the annual Día De Los Muertos Festival. Watch cultural rituals to honor lost loved ones while kids head off to their own slew of activities, including face painting, crafts and entertainment. Guests of all ages dance along with live music, head to the food trucks and shop local goods.

Conveniently located halfway between vacation hubs San Antonio and Austin, families can easily rent a car and make a mini road trip, visiting nearby attractions and bustling cities. For those flying in, opt for Austin (AUS) or San Antonio (SAT) and make your way there, only an hour drive in each direction.