Giddy up and get ready for an unforgettable vacation to the Lone Star State! Listen to great music, watch great movies, eat until you're stuffed, and go back in time at Texas' very best festivals.

Texas Festivals Wurstfest


Where: New Braunfels
When: October 31 – November 9, 2008

Discover your inner German as you sample bratwurst, dance to live polka music, and “boo” a villain at an old-time melodrama.

Texas Renaissance Festival

Where: Plantersville
When: October 11 – November 30, 2009

The 16th Century is alive and well in Texas, at least for six weeks out of the year. Bring your sword, shield, horse, sense of humor, and appetite to one of the country’s biggest and sometimes bawdiest Renaissance Festivals. A Houston vacation rental is only an hour drive to Plantersville.

Dickens on the Strand

Where: Galveston
When: December 6 – 7, 2008

Even though Galveston beach rentals are popular in the summer, the city morphs into the Victorian Era of London the first weekend of December. Eat, drink, and shop like a 19th century character in a Charles Dickens novel, listen to the occasional caroler group or set of bagpipers, sip some wassail, and set your eyes on Queen Victoria in the Saturday parade!

Martin Luther King Jr. March and Rally

Where: San Antonio
When: January 19, 2009

MLK Day is more than just a holiday in San Antonio, where thousands of people march for three miles in honor of the late civil rights leader. The procession is the largest of its kind but is only one of many local events and activities that commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.

Texas Festivals South by Southwest

South by Southwest

Where: Austin
When: March 13 – 17, 2009

What do music lovers, film buffs, and technology junkies have in common? They gather in Austin every spring to see the most promising up-and-coming bands perform, watch indie flicks, play with the latest and greatest gadgets, and meet celebrities at South by Southwest! Join in on the fun with an Austin rental home.

Rattlesnake Roundup

Where: Sweetwater
When: Second weekend of March

If you suffer from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), this festival’s not for you. If, on the other hand, the slithery critters fascinate you or sound tasty, you’ll love the Rattlesnake Roundup, which features demonstrations of the provocative reptile, the Miss Snake Charmer Pageant, and a menu with everything from deep-friend rattlesnake to chili on it.

Austin City Limits

Where: Austin
When: TBD

Over 100 acts take over Austin each year at ACL. Past headliners include Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Bob Dylan, and Muse, so 2009’s lineup is bound to impress.

State Fair of Texas

Where: Dallas
When: September 25 – October 18, 2009

This year, Jessica Simpson sang, pigs raced, daredevil bikers showed off their chops at the BMX Bike Show, horses and floats marched to the beat of the Starlight Parade’s drum, and little kids learned to farm. Who knows what’s in store for the next fair? One sure thing is 52-foot Big Tex will be there to welcome you.

Texas Festivals Strawberry

Strawberry Festival

Where: Poteet
When: April 3 – 5, 2009

Where can you find great Tejano music, a rodeo, and a strawberry juggling contest? At the Strawberry Festival, of course! The Taste of Texas Food Show is the highlight of the Poteet festival and is just another reason you should join its 100,000 annual visitors in the sweet festivity.

Cowboy Breakfast

Where: San Antonio
When: February 2009

In 2001, nearly 19,000 wannabe cowboys feasted on a free breakfast of tacos, biscuits and gravy, eating their way into the Guinness Book of World Records. Today, the Cowboy Breakfast is almost too big for its britches – with 50,000 or so hungry people, performances by favorite country western crooners, and a dance hall.

Kerrville Folk Festival

Where: Kerrville
When: May 21 – June 7, 2009

If 50 acres of folk singers and their enthusiastic fans seem like too many acres, then you haven’t been to the Kerrville Folk Festival. From the late-night song circles to the music competitions, this festival's a hit with all kinds of music lovers.

Austin Film Festival

Where: Austin
When: October 22 – 29, 2009

See the works of budding and world-renowned filmmakers before anyone else! Unlike many film festivals, Austin’s focuses on screenwriters.

Texas Festivals Dia De Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos

Where: San Antonio
When: November 2 – 3, 2008

Not many Dia de Los Muertos festvials top San Antonio's. Browse the mesmerizing alters scattered throughout the city (or learn to build one yourself), get your face painted, chow down on quality Mexican food, and watch the annual parade.

Texas Book Festival

Where: Austin
When: November 2009

Founded by First Lady Laura Bush, the Lone Star State’s celebration of literature has become a consistently entertaining and invaluable festival for all who attend. The Texas Book Festival not only spotlights great Texas authors (old and new), but reminds people of why it’s so important and fun to read.

Houston Hot Sauce Festival

Where: Houston
When: TBD

2008’s Hot Sauce Festival was unfortunately canceled due to Hurricane Ike, but next year’s will heat things up once again. Taste test the hot, hotter, and hottest sauces of the festival and vote on your favorite!  


If Wurstfest and the Strawberry Festival whet your appetite, you might also like Vacation's 7 Savory Fall Food Festivals!

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