The Lone Star State

“Winter Texans” get a big welcome in cowboy country

In the Lone Star state, they call vacationing Canadians “winter Texans,” the bulk of whom you’ll find along the 1,000-kilometre Gulf Coast running from Galveston to South Padre Island. Lately, snowbirds are also getting a hearty welcome in Hill Country, anchored by San Antonio – home of the Alamo – as well as the capital city of Austin and charming Fredericksburg. Active snowbirds with a taste for the piquant flavour of the Old West are heading for arroyos and canyons of Big Bend National Park. Bordered on the south by the Rio Grande, it’s popular with those who want to border-hop into old Mexico. Texas hospitality is justifiably famous and is often cited as the reason vacationers return, year after year after year.

Places you’ll love
â–  Brownsville
“On the border, by the sea,” Brownsville, with its stately bougainvillea, palm trees and meandering waterways is popular with those travelling to Matamoros, Mexico. Snowbirds enjoy the Charro Days Festival in February with its parades, musical performances and dance exhibitions celebrating Mexican-American culture.
Average prices House (single family): $125,000; condo: $60,000

â–  Harlingen
Harlingen is a perfect place for nature lovers. This city’s streets are lined with palm trees and red-topped parrots squawk at passersby. Outside city limits is a tropical paradise of aloe vera plantations and citrus groves.
Average prices House (single family): $124,000; condo: NA

â–  South Padre Island
South Padre Island is for the active set: horseback riding on the beach, watersports, fishing and general lollygagging on the vast stretches of sandy Gulf coastline. Accommodation options range from luxury condos to charming seaside cottages.
Average prices House (single family):  $380,000; condo: $249,000