Here in the heart of Texas, the stars at night may be big and bright, but so is the sun during the day. Big, bright, and blazing hot. A lot of out-of-state folks wonder how Texans deal with the incredible heat, and there is no one single answer. Beating the heat is more like a lifestyle than it is a daily task. Those of us who have to work or spend time outside during the day travel like nomads from AC to AC, seeking water and opportunities to hang out in the shade whenever possible, but Texans can also be seen inexplicably flocking in droves to our favorite summer outdoor activities like Six Flags and the Schlitterbahn.
How do we do it? Here are some of the best tricks Texans to beat the heat, making it look easy and confounding outsiders that immediately melt under the blazing heat.
1. Seek solace in shopping malls
If you’ve got a few hours to kill and want a constant supply of life-giving AC, shopping malls are an amazing place to hang out. They are basically indoor theme parks: there are interesting things to buy, entertaining displays, and there’s pretty much always burgers, pizza, Chinese food and a Cinnabon in the food court. Some malls even have rides like the carousel in the Houston Memorial City Mall or Ice-Skating in the Dallas Galleria or North Cross Mall in Austin.
2. Splash into water activities
Sure, it’s hot, but who wants to spend all summer cooped up inside? Water parks are a great way stay soaked all day long, keeping yourself and your kids entertained without giving into that sweaty summer sluggishness. Texans adore huge water parks and relaxing floats down the river. We make them big, splashy, and they sometimes stay open past sundown for the teen and young adult crowds. Lakes, rivers, and pools are in abundance in Central Texas. With many different water activities to enjoy, these are a sure way to stay cool.
Some of our favorites include the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Schlitterbahn. Additionally, there are some great options to float the river with your friends in the San Marcos and New Braunfels areas or visit summer hot spots such as Barton Springs Pool.
3. Browse stores with air conditioning
Stuck outside in an urban area? Even if your shopping budget is low, many find comfort in perusing down a shopping or retail strip and will slip into a store to ‘browse’ for a little while, soaking up the AC and preparing for the next round of facing down blazing white sidewalks. Even if you’re just browsing, you can enjoy the luxurious blanket of cold air that greets you as you walk in the doorway. One of the best places to enjoy the luxurious air conditioning is visiting the upscale retail stores in The Domain in Austin.
4. Texans wear shorts and cotton clothing
When you visit or live in Texas, you’ll be hard-pressed to find locals walking around in long jeans or pants during the summer. Summer in Texas is basically the equivalent of shorts and cotton t-shirts season. One of the biggest mistakes northerners make when visiting Texas is not updating their wardrobes. Synthetic clothes are all well and good when you’re trying to insulate, but in Texas, you need something breathable and breezy. If you find your clothes suddenly sticky and intolerable, swing by somewhere local and pick up a little cotton-everything. From your undershirt to your socks, it will make huge a difference.
5. Fans, fans, and more fans
Fans are a glorious and magical tool to Texans love to use during the unbearably hot summer months in Texas. Carrying around a personal fan can do wonders when you’re stuck outside for hours at a time with no shade or air conditioning in site. It works even better to beat the heat if there’s a mister attached. The great thing about most restaurants and bars operating during the hot months is that they understand the necessity of fans. Most of these places with an outdoor seating area have industrial fans or misting fans to help alleviate the headache caused by the fiery ball of fire in the Texas sky.
6. Hats aren’t just to make a fashion statement
While the media has made it a fashion statement, the straw Stetson is actually one of the most practical ways to keep your head cool and keep the sun out of your eyes. Breezy, shade creating (and totally stylish), the white straw Stetson is for hard working daytime activities, and the black felt Stetson is for formal evening occasions.
Whether you’re a visiting northerner or a fellow Texan looking for a few extra tips, here’s one final and very important reminder: stay hydrated! Drink water, iced tea, or whatever fits your fancy all-day-long to keep cool and replace those vital fluids. Whatever you’re doing in Texas, we wish you AC-cooled lunches and convenient shady places wherever you go. If the Texas heat has you doing some insightful soul-searching this summer, don’t forget to get a shiny new headshot everyone (including you) will love! Contact us today to book your session!