The Travis County Exposition Center in Austin, Texas, is located in a serene part of the city bordered by the Decker Tallgrass Prairie Reserve and Lake Walter E. Long. At any time of the year, this venue on the way to Daffan and Manor is filled with people taking advantage of the dining halls, banquet halls, arena, and barn, but there’s one event that’s more popular than most.
Every March, Rodeo Austin comes to town. Also called the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, it is a long-standing event that has brought the nation’s best rodeo athletes to the area since the late 1930s. Mutton bustin’ mania, pig races, a wild west show, and even the famous Texas Longhorn make an appearance in the name of an authentic rodeo attraction.
It’s not out of the question, then, for this event to attract thousands of visitors over its two weeks in the city. Attendees can enjoy all the very best in PRCA rodeo riding, not to mention entertainers, exhibitors, a carnival, food, shopping opportunities, live auctions, a petting zoo, and much, much more.
RV travelers who are looking for an excuse to dust off their motorhome for an adventure will likely see the value in penciling Rodeo Austin on their calendar. Don’t be afraid to put spring cleaning on the back burner and plan a spring vacation instead.
Tickets for Rodeo Austin go on sale in the two months before the event kicks off. That gives you plenty of time to head online, buy your passes, and wait for them to arrive in the mail.
When you get to the Star of Texas Rodeo, you can then swap your tickets for a Magic Money wristband. This wristband will be your form of payment for carnival rides, food sales, and many of the inside attractions. You can top up your wristband on site and use it for each year you attend. In past years, adults have been about $10 to enter, and children around $5, with wristbands available for $35 for games, rides, food, etc.
The Travis County city of Austin, also the capital city of Texas, is a fabulous place to visit while on an RV adventure. It’s packed full of attractions and is also a convenient driving distance from San Antonio and Houston.
Driving to Austin from any direction can be made simpler with a resource like Drive Texas. The many state highways from the direction of Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio are congested during peak hours, especially as you head toward tourist attractions, such as Sam Houston National Forest, Davy Crockett National Forest, and similar.
The main route into Austin is I-35, which brings you through the heart of the city. You can then veer off the Manor Expressway Toll Road or US-183 to be in the vicinity of the Travis County Exposition Center. Allow extra travel time, as parking your motorhome at this venue may prove troublesome at certain times of the day.
A spacious grass and dirt parking lot encompasses the Rodeo Austin venue, and this will prove convenient for travelers who have booked their RV accommodation close to the city center. However, parking spaces do fill up fast, and those large enough to hold Class A motorhomes and Airstreams, or even some Sprinters, may be in short supply. Consider purchasing a premium parking pass for 15 days of guaranteed parking at the same time you buy your admission tickets.
If you can’t find an RV campground near the Star of Texas Rodeo, then you might decide to park a little further into Austin. Public transportation options are plentiful here. Jump aboard a bus that brings you to a bus stop near the event venue, or make use of taxis and rideshare services if your schedule requires it. You may like to plan your modes of transport before you arrive so that you can ensure something is available for the times and days you hope to attend the fair and rodeo.
The Travis County Exposition Center spans a large dirt lot that borders onto a prairie preserve. Even though there is plenty of room, it’s generally taken up by Rodeo Austin's many attractions. Never fear, for if you book with time to spare, you will find somewhere to stay with an RV in Austin with everything you need to remain comfortable during your visit.
While you can’t camp at the rodeo event itself, that doesn’t mean you can’t be within walking distance. There are a few different RV campgrounds that are accessible with a large RV within a few short miles of the Travis County Exposition Center. Stick with quality and book your site at the Austin East KOA Holiday, or venture into Austin to be within a short driving distance. You will never be far from standout accommodation as the camping season in Austin kicks off.
The site of the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo might be sizeable, but you will find the best way to get around it is on foot. The sheer volume of people who attend will mean that bicycles, skateboards, and similar, will not be necessary or convenient. The grass and dirt terrain, with the right pair of sturdy footwear, are reasonably straightforward to navigate.
Rodeo Austin falls right in the center of the state’s peak travel time. The weather is not too cold and not too hot, and you’ll hear many people say it’s “just right.” Travelers can get away with shorts and t-shirts for the duration of the stay, but bring a sweater or two for those lower nighttime temperatures.
Travelers who plan on doing some exploring while in Austin, such as with trips to the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve, or the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, may like to pack outdoor clothing suitable for the occasion, such as hiking shoes and weatherproof jackets.
Any RV road trip can see the need for some serious camping prep. You’ll need something to cook on, your camping gear, and creature comforts from home. But you will also need a few things for the Star of Texas Rodeo as well. If you have attended in previous years, then don’t forget to bring your wristband. It’s also paramount to bring your tickets, ID if you intend on purchasing alcohol, and credit cards for vendors who accept them.
Even though the Star of Texas Rodeo isn’t held at the hottest part of the year, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pack your sunscreen. Sun safety supplies will be necessary, such as a sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Due to the proximity to bodies of water, bug spray may even provide much-needed relief as well. Before you set off in your RV bound for Texas, don’t forget to pack a first aid kit, toiletries, and at least two weeks’ worth of prescription medication that you might not be able to access at an Austin pharmacy.
Camping prep can be a sure-fire way to make your crew is ready to relax in Austin. You can buy supplies from the supermarket across the road from the rodeo venue, or you can purchase a few things before you leave home. Whether you’re camping at a resort or a campground, make sure you check with your host before you light a campfire. Often, the best way of feeding the troops is with your onboard kitchen appliances.
While Rodeo Austin pulls out all the stops to feed the masses, a break away from the Travis County Exposition Center can put you in the proximity of some of Texas’s finest eating establishments. Once you pass the Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt park area, you can enjoy a sit-down meal at a local restaurant or café, or grab something to go. There’s something to suit all palates.
If you’ve loaded your wristband and want to make the most of it, then you are spoiled for choice at the Star of Texas Rodeo. Guests will find a beer and wine garden (for those over the legal drinking age), and the Chow Town food area welcomes all. Enjoy your fill of corndogs, turkey legs, cotton candy, and more. There are also food vendors in the rodeo arena and fairgrounds. You can pay with a credit card or your Magic Money wristband.
Vendors here offer more than food. Treat yourself to a new pair of cowboy boots and a hat, furniture, and kids’ toys. Buy a surprise for someone special in your life.
The beauty of being able to park your motorhome in the fair and rodeo parking lot for the day is that you can travel light into the event. Leave many of your possessions inside your RV, lock it, then enjoy having free hands for purchases once you’re inside.
Once you attend the rodeo, there is limited space in the arena. Security officials will be at the gates on the day to check tickets and bags. You may approach these officials if you have any questions.
In your travels around Austin, you can pop into the local City of Austin Police Department within ten miles of the rodeo if you have any concerns.
The best time of year to travel in Austin, Texas, is around March. Temperatures average between 50 and 70 degrees-Fahrenheit, which means you’re bound to be comfortable visiting indoor and outdoor attractions. To be on the safe side, have a weather app preloaded on your phone to remain up to date with weather changes. You can then travel from Austin to surrounding cities like Round Rock and Georgetown, with few surprises along the way.
Most travelers know how important it is to carry a first-aid kit in their motorhome. But if you find yourself ill or injured at the Star of Texas Rodeo, help is on-hand there, as well. Approach an official to lead the way to trained EMS staff. You can also access help and support at a hospital and pharmacy within 13 miles of the rodeo venue.