Texas has plenty to offer travelers this weekend, whether you intend to join the SXSW circus taking over Austin, or you plan to wander far away from the hubbub and dive into events of a slower pace across the state this weekend—like the Llano Earth Art Fest, Houston’s River Oaks Garden Club Azalea Trail, and The Best Little Cowboy Gathering in Texas.
Houston: March 7-26
Dust off those cowboy boots. The Houston tradition kicked off this past week, and in addition to the main attraction—the rodeo shows, of course—prepare yourself for a stellar live-music lineup this weekend: Alicia Keys on Friday, Alan Jackson on Saturday, and The Chainsmokers on Sunday.
Irving: Mar. 9-12
This annual music festival celebrates the soulful wail of the steel guitar. The weekend is filled with live music, seminars for both beginner and advanced players, and fun—including a midnight Western swing dance to close out Saturday night.
La Grange: Mar. 9-12
The event lives up to its name with a weekend chock-full of cowboy-approved entertainment—including cowboy poetry, cooking classes, dancing day and night, and John Wayne impersonator J.R. Edmonson. This year the live music is split between two stages and includes Jody Nix, Billy Mata, and Jason Roberts.
Houston: Mar. 10-12
Spring is in the air at this annual celebration of Houston’s showy pink bloom. The club’s roots go back to 1927, when women living in the River Oaks neighborhood came together to help others learn about azaleas and how to grow them. Eight years later, the seeds for this three-mile, walkable trail were planted. Now thousands come to experience this historic tradition every year, which weaves around seven homes and historic properties.
Austin: Mar. 10-19
If you plan to brave the streets of Austin’s most popular festival—a celebration of tech, film, music, and everything in between—keep your eyes peeled for a star-studded roster: Buzz Aldrin, Pierce Brosnan, former Vice President Joe Biden, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Jon Hamm, Garth Brooks, and the cast of Song to Song, a modern love story set in Austin (Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, and more are expected to join director Terrence Malick for the premiere). And check out our SXSW survival guide.
Llano: Mar. 10-13
There’s a champion in every sport, and in Llano, that sport is—believe it or not—rock stacking. As the host of the World Rock Stacking Competition, competitors vie for honors in achieving the tallest stack, the best arch, the most artistic, and the best balance. It’s a lively, family-friendly weekend event that also offers art installations, workshops, live music, fire dancing, and other performances. Read more about the art and fun of stacking rocks.
Fredericksburg: Mar. 11-18
If 600 to 860 miles of bicycle riding through hilly Gillespie County doesn’t sound like a personal hell to you, this may be the bike tour you’ve been looking for. This annual eight-day challenge, cleverly nicknamed “The Rides of March,” includes a variety of 200K and 300K brevets for those who want to add on some extra distance and ride through the night.
Wichita Falls: Mar. 11
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t for another week or so, but the celebration starts early in Wichita Falls. The annual street festival offers traditional Irish music, food trucks, dancing, and more, but it makes our weekend to-do list with a headlining act that’ll be a blast from the past: Bowling for Soup, the Grammy-nominated rock band that formed in Wichita Falls a little more than 20 years ago.
Dallas: Mar. 12-Jul. 16
Making its first and only U.S. stop, this major exhibition makes its long-awaited debut at the Dallas Museum of Art, an exploration of half a century of modern Mexican art. At the center of this collection is the visionary work of Frida Kahlo and her husband, artist Diego Rivera.