The capital of Texas, Austin is understood for its dwell music, barbecue, tacos, and beer. That is exactly why I used to be in love with this metropolis earlier than I even traveled there! On this information, we’ll dive into these and several other extra of the sights and finest issues to do in Austin, Texas.
Austin is a metropolis that prides itself on being just a bit completely different.
Certainly, the state capital feels worlds other than the remainder of Texas. Folks right here embrace that, although. An unofficial slogan of town is “Preserve Austin Bizarre,” and I’d say they’re doing a fantastic job.
In all seriousness, although, the Texas capital packs a severe punch as a journey vacation spot and Austin is on our checklist of the very best locations to go to within the US. Along with the wonderful meals, music, and beer, Austin is surrounded by rivers, lakes, and parks. I loved my journey to Austin and may’t wait to return.
Greatest Issues To Do in Austin
You’ve got loads of choices for having fun with the nice outside in Austin. Go mountaineering, kayaking, mountain biking, and way more, it’s laborious to be bored on this metropolis.
In the event you’re able to plan an superior journey to ATX, learn on for an in depth have a look at the highest sights and what to do in Austin for each kind of traveler.
1. Attempt an Escape Room
Escape rooms are all the fad today! Not solely are they a number of enjoyable for workforce constructing and teams, however it’s top-of-the-line issues to do in Austin for associates and households.
The Escape Recreation Austin presents 7 completely different rooms so that you can attempt to escape from – every surrounding a distinct theme, and for numerous talent ranges. A number of of the rooms that sound probably the most fascinating to me are escaping from jail, finishing a profitable artwork heist, discovering a bunch of gold, or stopping a serious worldwide menace.
Probably the most difficult room is the Jail Break, whereas the Categorised room (stopping the worldwide menace), is one in all solely two discovered across the USA. You’ve got only one hour to flee! Guide your tickets right here.
2. Tour the Texas Capitol
Topping my checklist of issues to do in Austin is occurring a tour of the Texas State Capitol. This stunning Italian Renaissance Revival constructing is the seat of presidency for the state of Texas. It’s additionally a must-see for guests to Austin.
They are saying every thing’s greater in Texas, and that’s definitely true of the state capitol. It’s truly greater than the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Its well-known “sundown” colour comes from the crimson granite that was utilized in its building.
You’ll positively need to spend a while exploring the capitol grounds to take all of it in.
Head inside to admire the central rotunda, which is flanked by footage of previous governors. Search for on the spectacular dome, the place you’ll see an enormous star surrounded by the phrase “TEXAS” – a nod to its nickname of the Lone Star State.
The Texas Capitol is open Monday to Friday from 7 AM-10 PM, nonetheless, excursions solely run from 8:30-4:30 pm. On the weekend it’s open from 9 AM-8 PM, with excursions going down between 9:30-3:30 on Saturday and noon-3:30 on Sunday. These excursions are completely free and depart each 30-45 minutes from the South Lobby.
No worries in the event you don’t make it on a tour, as they’ve received some nice sources for making your personal self-guided tour. Simply head to their web site to obtain free brochures, or drop into the Customer Heart in the beginning of your go to. For one thing a bit of extra enjoyable, go to the Capito by segway with this tour.
Bonus: Governor’s Mansion
Whilst you’re over right here, you would possibly as properly take a look at the Texas Governor’s Mansion as properly. You want to join excursions a minimum of every week upfront, although, so click on right here to try this earlier than your journey.
In the event you’re visiting Austin for the primary time, you’ll in all probability need to guide lodging within the downtown space (which is the place the State Capitol is situated). Take a look at this checklist of locations to remain in Austin for some nice suggestions.
3. Go to Zilker Metropolitan Park
One of many prime Austin sights to go to is Zilker Metropolitan Park. This huge inexperienced area on the juncture of the Colorado River and Barton Creek is the proper place to return get pleasure from a day full of outside actions.
The park covers round 350 acres and is stuffed with trails, gardens, pure springs, sports activities fields and courts, and way more.
Right here you’ll discover the Zilker Botanical Backyard, which is named the “jewel within the coronary heart of Austin.” It’s house to many pretty theme gardens, together with rose, herb, and Japanese. It solely prices $3 for adults and $1 for youths, so it’s properly price a go to!
One other in style place to go to within the park is the Umlauf Sculpture Backyard and Museum. It’s devoted to the work of Charles Umlauf and is house to over 150 of his sculptures and works.
This one can also be an important discount at $3.50 for adults and $1 for youngsters. It’s open Tuesday-Friday from 10 AM-4 PM and on the weekend from 12-4.
I haven’t even scratched the floor of all of the enjoyable issues to do in or round Zilker Park. As a matter of reality, a number of of the opposite actions on supply right here deserve its personal spot on the checklist!
4. Enjoyable On The River (top-of-the-line issues to do in Austin in the summertime)
On a scorching day in Austin (there are many them!), there’s nothing higher than cooling off within the river. At Zilker Park, you could have loads of choices for enjoyable within the water. SUPing, kayaking, and canoeing are all on faucet right here.
Zilker Park Boat Leases has been in enterprise since 1969 serving to folks benefit from the river in an environmentally-friendly approach.
They cost $18 an hour or $54 for the entire day and solely take money. They’re open each day from 9 AM till nightfall, so you may positively get your cash’s price in the event you go for the total day. Another choice is to be part of this enjoyable kayaking tour which takes you thru downtown to Barton Springs. Discover out extra right here.
In the event you’re searching for a extra laid-back affair, then you may benefit from the Homer Simpson of water sports activities as an alternative — tubing!
You possibly can enroll with ATXcursions for a carefree day of floating down the river, ice-cold beer in hand. They supply all of the gear and also you carry your personal drinks. Oh yeah, don’t overlook sunscreen and shades, both.
They run tubing journeys on the weekends and on some holidays. Costs vary from $59 to $79 relying on the day of the week. Head to their web site to take a look at all of the choices.
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5. Hike Barton Creek Path (Barton Springs Pool)
Subsequent up on our checklist of issues to do in Austin truly begins south of the park, however it will definitely finally ends up there. The Barton Creek Greenbelt Path stretches for over 12 miles and is taken into account top-of-the-line mountaineering trails within the state.
For a comparatively straightforward hike, begin out on the trailhead on Spyglass Drive (click on right here for instructions). In the event you want some gasoline for the street, drop into Tacodeli for some scrumptious brekky tacos earlier than heading out on the path. Click on right here to learn a full information to the Greenbelt and all its entry factors.
Head north on the path and earlier than lengthy you’ll arrive at Campbell’s Gap — an important spot to take a dip and funky off.
Preserve mountaineering for about 20 minutes and also you’ll attain the Barton Springs Municipal Pool again within the park. The water right here is fed by a pure spring and it’s often a pleasant cool 68 °F (20 °C). This makes for the proper technique to cool off in that usually intense Texas warmth.
The pool is open from daybreak to nightfall each day, however it closes from 9 AM-7 PM on Thursday for rigorous cleansing. You’ll want to purchase a ticket to entry the pool between late April and late September. It prices $9 for adults and $4 for youths to enter.
6. Go Mountain Biking
Climbing a brief a part of the path to the pool is a straightforward technique to benefit from the nice outside in Austin. In the event you’re up for extra of a problem, you too can attempt some mountain biking alongside the path and several other different locations across the metropolis.
Along with the Greenbelt, different trails within the metropolis embrace Slaughter Creek and McKinney Falls Park. You possibly can examine the MTB Venture for a map of mountain biking trails in Austin to get began.
In the event you’re actually severe about mountain biking, you could need to think about a day journey out to Spider Mountain Bike Park. It’s the one year-round chairlift-served mountain bike park within the nation and is house to a number of completely different trails.
Positioned 60 miles northwest of town on Buchanan Lake, it’s a ravishing place so as to add to your checklist of issues to do in Austin.
A full-day move for the carry and path entry prices $50 for adults and $45 for youth. They even hire bikes, helmets, and pads, so that you don’t even want any gear.
For a extra chilled-out day of biking, take a look at the Austin in a Nutshell Bike Tour, which takes you across the metropolis. The tour contains the bike gear, information and park charges. You’ll study concerning the historical past of town and see the native landmarks. Or, add craft beer to your bike tour with Austin’s Gem Bike Tour!
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7. See The Bats
Keep in mind how I mentioned town’s unofficial slogan is “Preserve Austin Bizarre?” Nicely, one of many prime issues to do in Austin is watching bats. Sure, these bats. The nocturnal flying mammals. There’s even a “Bat Fest” right here yearly in August!
Between March and November, practically one and a half million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge simply earlier than sundown.
They arrive out of crevices within the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge (click on right here for instructions) about 20-Half-hour earlier than sundown. It’s a highly regarded factor to do right here, so make sure to get there a bit early to assert an honest spot.
The walkway on the east aspect of the bridge gives the very best vantage level, however the hill under the bridge can also be good since you may lay out a blanket.
In the event you go that route, simply make sure to carry one thing to cowl your head from potential falling guano (bat droppings).
One other enjoyable approach to absorb the spectacle is on the water. You possibly can take a rented SUP or kayak out to see the bats, and a few native companies even have particular excursions. Take a look at this enjoyable, 2-hour, sundown kayak tour and luxuriate in an superior view of the bats flying above. Be taught extra right here.
8. Photograph Ops
You wouldn’t need to journey all the way in which to Austin and never have some superior photographs for the ‘gram! That’s why I’m together with some in style photograph ops on this checklist of the very best issues to do in Austin Texas. Fortunately, there are a number of strong choices inside a brief stroll of one another.
First up is the Greetings From Austin mural. This colourful mural seems to be like a retro postcard and makes for an superior backdrop for a photograph.
One other go-to spot for pics is the I Love You So A lot Wall at Jo’s Espresso. It’s easy and to the purpose and permits you to write a gushing publish about how a lot you’re keen on (insert identify right here).
It may very well be your vital different, it may very well be town of Austin itself, or it might simply be tacos. Mmmm… tacos. Extra on them later.
Maybe my favourite is the Willie for President mural, which is only a block south. It depicts legendary singer-songwriter and native Texan Willie Nelson, who I feel would make a fantastic president!
Stroll a block east, and also you’ll discover the Earlier than I Die Wall. Seize a chunk of chalk and write one thing that’s in your bucket checklist, then get to work crossing it off.
9. See Reside Music
In a metropolis that likes to name itself the Reside Music Capital of the World, you understand I’m becoming some tunes into this checklist. Whether or not you’re into rocking out in a cramped dive or classing it up in a jazz membership, yow will discover it right here.
There are such a lot of decisions for dwell music in Austin that it may be overwhelming. Apparently, there are over 250 completely different dwell music venues right here.
It doesn’t matter what evening of the week it’s, there are many choices for reveals on this metropolis.
Critically. I visited throughout the week in January when there was a freakish chilly spell, and the city was nonetheless rocking. Click on right here to take a look at a full checklist of upcoming live shows and add some dwell music to your checklist of issues to do in Austin.
For a singular tour concept, take the “Austin Reside Music Crawl” the place you’ll take a look at 3 iconic music venues, some up-and-coming ones, and hearken to native, dwell music. This highly-rated tour features a native information, transport, and funky vibes. Plus, your information is a musician in Austin. Discover out extra particulars right here.
10. Expertise Native Festivals
Whilst you can catch some wonderful dwell music nearly any evening of the 12 months in Austin, you simply can’t beat experiencing a competition right here.
Town hosts a number of main festivals all year long, highlighted by SXSW (South By Southwest) and Austin Metropolis Limits.
The previous takes place in March and lasts for ten days. It’s a conglomeration of music, interactive media, movie, and conferences and it’s a extremely thrilling occasion to expertise. Verify their web site for all the small print.
One other behemoth of a competition, ACL (Austin Metropolis Limits) is such an enormous deal that it now occupies two weekends. This world-famous music competition takes place in Zilker Park and all the time brings in a ridiculously good lineup.
You might be questioning if this metropolis that prides itself on being bizarre has any bizarre festivals.
In fact it does!
Along with the aforementioned Bat Fest, Austin additionally has a Scorching Sauce Competition, Comedian-Con Wizard World, and even a competition for Eeyore’s birthday. That’s proper, Eeyore, the unhappy donkey from Winnie the Pooh. I instructed you this metropolis was bizarre…
11. Go Museum Hopping
There are many museums you may add to your checklist of issues to do in Austin Texas. Whether or not you’re taken with historical past, artwork, or simply some good previous Austin quirkiness, there’s a museum for you right here.
First up, there’s the Bullock Texas State Historical past Museum.
Via interactive reveals, audio recordings, movies, and extra, you’ll get an in-depth have a look at the state from prehistoric occasions up till right this moment. As well as, the museum hosts a number of completely different occasions all year long and there’s an superior IMAX theater right here as properly.
The historical past museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM-5 PM and from noon-5 on Sunday. Admission prices $13 for adults and $9 for youngsters, and you’ll click on right here to guide your tickets on-line.
Proper throughout the road, you’ll discover the Blanton Museum of Artwork on the campus of the College of Texas.
It’s house to a powerful assortment of practically 20,000 completely different artworks from throughout the ages. A serious spotlight is seeing the constructing titled Austin by famend artist Ellsworth Kelly. Well-known for its rainbow of coloured home windows, that is the one constructing he ever designed.
Tickets are often $12 for adults and $5 for youths, and it’s completely free to go to on Thursday. It’s open from 10 AM-5 PM Tuesday to Friday, 11-5 on Saturday, and 1-5 on Sunday.
That’s not all, although. It’s also possible to take a look at the Mexic-Arte Museum, South Austin Museum of Pop Tradition, and even the Museum of the Bizarre.
The latter options issues like shrunken heads, fits of armor, and different random stuff. It’s situated at the back of the Fortunate Lizard Curios & Items store (click on right here for instructions) and is open from 10 AM-midnight every single day.
12. Go to The College of Texas
After visiting the historical past and artwork museums, it’s positively price it to discover the campus of the college. It’s a ravishing school campus that’s stuffed with public artwork and historic landmarks, and it makes for a pleasant leisurely stroll.
One factor you received’t need to miss on UT’s campus is The Shade Inside, a captivating Skyspace by artist James Turrell.
The perfect time to actually expertise it’s round sundown, however you’ll want to order your spot properly upfront. Head to their web site to search out the subsequent obtainable time.
One other must-see whereas exploring campus is the UT Tower. You possibly can join a self-guided tour of the tower the place you’ll go as much as the commentary deck to absorb the views. Excursions final 45 minutes and value $6 per particular person. Click on right here to examine the occasions and reserve your spot.
In the event you’re visiting throughout soccer season, you must positively attempt to get tickets for a recreation.
Be part of the group of over 100,000 to cheer the Longhorns on to victory. Dwelling video games happen on Saturdays from late August to late November, and you’ll head to their web site to search for tickets. Even in the event you’re not on the town on a recreation day, you may nonetheless take a tour of the stadium.
13. Go to The LBJ Presidential Library
One of many prime Austin sights to go to is the LBJ Presidential Library. Native Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson grew to become the thirty sixth President of the US after the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy.
This presidential library and museum is devoted to LBJ and the impression he had on the nation.
It’s house to over 50,000 objects donated by the previous president and his spouse, from the clothes he wore at his inauguration to the desk he used to signal the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
There’s lots to see and do right here to maintain you busy for a number of hours.
You possibly can step into a reproduction of LBJ’s Oval Workplace, hearken to precise cellphone calls he had throughout his time as president, and even take a look at his stretch limousine.
The library and museum are open each day from 9 AM-5 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for youngsters and you’ll click on right here to purchase them on-line upfront.
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14. Get pleasure from Woman Chicken Lake
Subsequent up on our checklist is a spot that was truly named after the previous First Woman.
LBJ’s spouse was generally known as Woman Chicken and was a beloved public determine for her work in beautifying the nation’s cities, together with Austin. Town named Woman Chicken Lake after her, and it’s an important place to return get pleasure from some mountaineering or biking.
One of the best ways to expertise it’s on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Path, which makes a 10-mile loop. It’s a really scenic approach to absorb the sights of Austin whereas getting some train on the similar time! Click on right here to obtain a map of the path.
Even in the event you’re not up for a protracted hike or trip on the path, you must nonetheless come right here to take a look at the boardwalk part. It’s just one mile lengthy and is the proper place to spend a while on a pleasant day.
Be certain you take a look at the Belting It Out artwork set up when you’re right here. This can be a assortment of bronze belts with track lyrics from well-known Texas musicians engraved on them.
In fact, you too can expertise Woman Chicken Lake out on the water. No motorized boats are allowed, so it’s fairly peaceable. As with different factors within the metropolis, it’s potential to hire kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddle boards right here.
15. Grasp Out at SoCo (South Congress)
One of many coolest locations to hang around in Austin is the realm generally known as SoCo (South Congress). This purchasing and cultural district is house to loads of eclectic boutiques, cafes, music and artwork venues, and way more.
For a touch of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia, you may drop into the quirky Monkey See Monkey Do store. Right here you’ll discover classic motion figures and different random collector’s objects.
When you’re performed in right here, head subsequent door to Large High — a circus-themed sweet retailer with an old-school soda fountain.
One other enjoyable place price testing is Lucy in Disguise With Diamonds. Initially, that must be the good store identify ever. Second, this has received to be one in all, if not the very best, costume retailers within the land.
It’s far more than simply pre-assembled costumes, although. They’ve all types of clothes, jewellery, masks, equipment, and extra, so you will get actually inventive right here.
Nowadays, SoCo can also be identified for its abundance of meals vehicles. This began with the arrival of Hey Cupcake! again in 2007. You possibly can nonetheless get your cupcake repair right here, however in the event you want lunch earlier than dessert make sure to take a look at Burro Cheese Kitchen for connoisseur grilled cheese sandwiches.
BONUS! Devour Tacos and BBQ
Rounding out our checklist of issues to do in Austin is sampling town’s well-known tacos and BBQ. In spite of everything that mountaineering, swimming, biking, and dancing you’ve been doing, you’re positive to have fairly the urge for food.
Some think about Austin to be the taco capital of the US, and so they positively have a robust case. Town has genuine tacos from south of the border, traditional Tex-Mex, Asian fusion, breakfast tacos — you identify it, you’ll discover it in Austin!
Talking of BBQ, that final advice is the proper place to mix two of the tastiest issues in Austin.
Placing Texas BBQ classics like pulled pork and beef brisket in a taco is an absolute genius concept! I’ve already talked about Stubb’s as a dwell music venue, however it’s price repeating only for its well-known BBQ. Different in style decisions embrace Franklin, La Barbecue, and Stiles Change.
In the event you want one thing tasty to clean down all these tacos and BBQ, there are many wonderful native craft beers in Austin. Click on right here for a strong checklist of breweries in Austin which might be price visiting.
Now You Know What to Do in Austin
I don’t learn about you, however I’m able to drop every thing and head again to Austin after getting by means of this checklist.
It’s simply such an thrilling metropolis with a lot occurring. I particularly love all of the choices for having fun with the nice outside and dwell music there, plus the truth that Austinites are proud to be bizarre!
After listening to rave opinions about Austin for a few years, I lastly made it there throughout our bus journey all the way down to Mexico. Regardless of there being a freakish chilly entrance that got here by means of town, we nonetheless had a blast there.
I’m hoping to make it again for SXSW or Austin Metropolis Limits someday quickly, or perhaps simply swing by means of on a random weekend to skip the crowds. Everytime you journey to the Texas capital, one factor’s for positive, you’ll have a good time.
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