Texas or Florida: Which State Should You Choose?

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Texas or Florida? It is a good question. Florida is known for its hot weathermountains, beaches, and thrilling wildlife like alligators. In contrast, Texas has more of a cowboy reputation, with ranches, rodeos, and country music.

Both states make great tourist destinations, providing visitors with plenty of cultural and natural experiences. Texas and Florida both have a strong character, making deciding between them a lot more difficult. The weather is also vastly similar, and both states experience extremely hot summers.

Luckily, we’ve created a comparative guide to help you choose the best state for you. We’ll weigh up the states based on seven different destination factors, including weather, nightlife, and attractions. After reading, you’ll have a clear winner chosen.

Texas or Florida: Weather

A person and the sun.
A person with the sun by Unsplash.

When deciding between Texas or Florida based on weather, there is more to consider than “they are both hot states”. While you can expect both to have summer days consistently reaching 30 degrees, there are some key differences between the two states.

From October until May, Florida is hotter than Texas – so keep it in mind as a warm destination outside of the summer season. From June until September, Texas is hotter than Florida, so it is a better choice if you are chasing summer heat. The table below shows the average temperatures of both states across the year:

 JanuaryMarchMayJulySeptemberNovember
Texas (Celsius)152229352922
Florida (Celsius)242529312827
Difference (Celsius)Florida hotter by 9Florida hotter by 3Florida and Texas equalTexas hotter by 4Texas hotter by 1Florida hotter by 5

Another reason to choose Texas for a summer holiday is that it has fewer days with rainfall. Florida experiences its wettest season over summer, which could sabotage your beach days. For example, in August, Florida has an average of eighteen days with rainfall, compared to just five in Texas.

The Winner: Our Winner here in Texas, as its summers, have less rain and are hotter – perfect for summer holidays.

Texas or Florida: Nature

A coyote.
A coyote by Unsplash.

Nature in Florida and Texas are competitively matched.

Texas has many state parks, including the Fort Richardson State Park – a natural reserve around an 1860s army barracks. Most of the Texan countryside is low hills with desert shrubs and cacti. However, you will also find the Sam Houston National Forest and Canyon Lake, which are a break from the desert environment.

Florida’s state parks are mostly coastal or wooded, not in desert environments like Texas. The Dade Battlefield Historic State Park is a similar opportunity for history meets nature – covering 80 acres of trails and performed re-enactments.

If you like wildlife spotting, you can spot prairie dogs, coyotes, and wolves in Texas. While in Florida, you can spot alligators, manatees, and turtles.

Florida and Texas have surprisingly different wildlife species, so we’d advise researching ahead of time if you desperately want to see a certain animal. In general, Florida is best for marine animal spotting, while Texas is better for desert animal spotting.

The Winner: This round is a draw. Florida is best for marine animal spotting and coastal nature, while Texas is best for desert nature and animal spotting.

Texas or Florida: Beaches

Beach.
A beach by Unsplash.

The obvious answer to this debate is Florida – a state known for its many beach choices and culture. However, to avoid stereotyping, we’ll delve a little deeper.

Texas does have a stretch of coast on its Eastern border. In particular, aptly named Surfside Beach is well-respected as a surfing destination. While, for those staying in Corpus Christi, there are plenty of nearby swimming-friendly beaches to enjoy, including McGee and North Beach.

If beaches are a strong consideration for your Texas trip, do consider basing yourself in an Eastern town or city. Corpus Christi, Beaumont, and Houston are all good Texan cities for beach lovers.

Despite Texas giving it a run for its money, Florida really overpowers it with beautiful beaches.

Apart from its Northern border, Florida’s borders are entirely coastline – giving the state a definite advantage with beaches. Of course, Florida is particularly famous for Miami Beach, which is split into four beach sections and revered as a celebrity hotspot. However, there are also quieter spots like Sanibel Island, which is more popular amongst shellers and snorkelers.

The Winner: Florida is a clear winner for this round.

Texas or Florida: Nightlife

A mask in a cocktail glass.
A mask in a cocktail glass by Unsplash.

Okay, nightlife is a tricky comparison point.

Texas has a strong clubbing scene in its main cities, including Austin, Houston, and Dallas. The capital of Austin has a particularly diverse nightlife, with clubs, lounges, bars, pubs, and after-dark entertainment.

Austin has a number of famous venues – Elephant Room being one of them. Elephant Room is an underground jazz bar that has been hosting nightly live music since 1991. If you want a cool, swanky night out, Elephant Room is the venue, and Austin is the city.

Florida also has a very strong clubbing scene and, as a whole, a more energized nightlife than Texas. Texas nightlife can be limited to pubs and bars in its remote areas, so Florida might be best if you want nightlife but not a city break.

That being said, Orlando is a nightlife hotspot in Florida. You’ll find plenty of Latin party influence, a thriving LGBT party community, and a fiercely flamboyant annual Mardi Gras. IF you want an outgoing nightlife experience, we’d suggest choosing Florida and Orlando.

The Winner: Our winner is Florida, as its nightlife is more evenly spread across the state, and its cities have more energized nightlife scenes.

Texas or Florida: Attractions

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter World by Unsplash.

Like in our beach debate, Florida has the advantage of more attractions – including Disney Hollywood Studios and Harry Potter World. The popularity and number of Florida’s attractions do skew this round a little. But, as always, we’ll try to take a balanced approach.

Texas is fantastic for those wanting to visit natural and historical attractions. In Dallas, you can visit The Sixth Floor Museum, the vantage point where John F. Kennedy was assassinated from in the Texas School Book Depository. While, just outside of San Antonio, visitors can explore the Natural Bridge Caverns. The underground network is the largest in the US and contains over 10,000 different stalactites!

If sightseeing is important to you when traveling in Texas, you should research the attractions that appeal to you across the whole state first. Then, you can choose a Texan destination that will keep you the most entertained during your stay.

Of course, in Florida, Orlando is home to a condensed assortment of attractions. Apart from appealing to Disney and Harry Potter fans, the city has more historical attractions like the Titanic Exhibition Museum. The museum houses original artifacts and also re-created ship areas to help visitors immerse themselves in the history.

The Winner: While Texas is a good destination for ticking off specific bucket list attractions, Florida is our winner for this round.

Texas or Florida: Price

A pile of dollars.
Dollars by Unsplash.

Luckily, price is relatively easy to compare. Texas is overall cheaper to visit than Florida, and you can expect up to 8.3% less on restaurants, 15.3% less on groceries, and 9.9% less on transportation. So, if you want a more budget-friendly holiday, consider choosing Texas over Florida.

We’ve compiled a comparative table below with common travel costs to break things down into more detail.

 Monthly public transport pass8km taxi tripLiter of gasolineLiter of milkMeal at inexpensive restaurant
Texas ($)45.9214.260.570.7412.27
Florida ($)54.9915.480.630.9514.35

The price difference is clear-cut between Texas and Florida. However, Texas’ attractions are further apart than Florida’s, which are relatively condensed. So, you should factor in extra petrol costs if attractions you’d like to visit are further apart.

The Winner: Our winner for this round is Texas, as it is much cheaper than Florida.

Texas or Florida: Accommodation

A campervan with a BBQ.
A campervan and BBQ by Unsplash.

Texas and Florida are fairly evenly matched in terms of accommodation pricing. Similarly, both states offer budget, mid-range, and ultra-luxury accommodation options.

There is a trend of low-cost camping options in Texas, while in Florida, you’ll find budget hostels instead. If you are an outdoorsy traveler and enjoy camping, road tripping Texas can be a budget-friendly option with a car and tent or campervan. For example, Booking.com lists this campsite in Waller, Texas, at only $24 per night. In Florida, cheap hostels range from $20-30 per night – like this hostel in Miami that even features a hot tub!

Got a more luxurious taste? No problem. Texas and Florida both have many five-star properties, although Florida has a few extras to consider.

In Texas, the Fairmont Austin Gold Experience lists their one-bedroom suite at $1,036 per night. While in Florida, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers their cheapest Golden Oak View Suite at $4,832 per night – situated right in the center of Walt Disney World. Of course, there are plenty of mid-range accommodation choices in both states as well, ranging from $150-400 per night.

The Winner: Texas and Florida are neck and neck in this round. However, Texas is our winner, as the camping opportunities are much better than in Florida.

Texas or Florida: The Conclusion

Overall, we’d recommend visiting Florida when choosing between Texas or Florida.

Texas is an amazing destination if you want to experience the desert, remote American living, or specific attractions. However, Texas is much less ‘one size fits all’ than nearby Florida.

Florida’s amount of attractions, exciting nightlife, and excellent beach culture make it an ideal candidate for a holiday in the United States.

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Eibhlis Gale – Coleman is a freelance writer from the UK who is driven by a fierce love of adventure, unique cultural experiences, native animals, and good coffee. She is a passionate traveller and has explored Europe, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and Australia.