If you’re looking to explore a unique and exciting city, Austin, Texas should be at the top of your list. With its vibrant music scene, delicious food, and a variety of outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re in the mood for a live show, a day at the lake, or a stroll through some of the city’s many museums, Austin has something for you.
Here’s an insider’s guide to the top ten things to do in Austin, Texas. From the iconic Sixth Street and South Congress Avenue to the hidden gems tucked away in the city’s many neighborhoods, you won’t be disappointed in the experiences Austin has to offer.
So grab your shades, a hat, and some good walking shoes, and get ready to explore the best things in Austin.
Explore the Historic Sixth Street and South Congress Avenue
Austin is known for its many music venues and as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and Sixth Street is the city’s music mecca and home to many of Austin’s most famous live music clubs. Dating back to the late 1800s, this street has played host to a variety of famous musicians, including Bob Wills and Billie Holiday. You can enjoy a wide selection of Tex-Mex food, live music, and margaritas at one of the many bars and restaurants along the street.
If you’re in the mood for a margarita, I highly recommend the frozen margaritas at the Rio Texas Cantina. The authentic Mexican food, live music, and lively atmosphere are sure to make your visit a memorable experience.
If you’re up for an adventure, grab a drink and explore the many walkways and tunnels underneath the street. The pathways will lead you to a variety of historic buildings, such If you’re in the mood for some shopping, head to South Congress Avenue, also known as SoCo, where you’ll find unique boutiques, local art galleries, and an eclectic mix of restaurants serving everything from Southern-inspired cuisine to Asian fusion food.
You’ll also find some of the city’s best art galleries here, including the Blanton Museum of Art and the Contemporary Austin, where you can enjoy a wide variety of exhibits by some of the world’s most famous artists.
If you’re in the mood for some coffee, be sure to stop by Armadillo Coffee, where you’ll find some of the best coffee in the city and an atmosphere that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
Get Lost in the Beauty of Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is one of the city’s most scenic attractions and a must-see for anyone visiting Austin. The 51-mile-long lake stretches from downtown Austin to the city of Austin, forming a unique and beautiful backdrop for the city’s skyline. It’s also the most used recreational lake in Texas and a popular spot for kayakers and canoeists.
The best way to enjoy the lake’s beauty is to take a cruise in a paddle boat, kayak, or canoe. You can easily rent these boats at the various Lady Bird Lake docks located around the city.
You can also enjoy the natural beauty of the lake by hiking and exploring the many trails and pathways that run along the edge of the lake. If you want to enjoy the view from above, take a scenic overlook tour or a hot air balloon ride.
Make sure to visit during the spring and summer months when the lake is at its fullest. You won’t believe the beauty of this lake until you see it for yourself.
Take in the Views from Mount Bonnell
Located on the edge of Austin’s famous Barton Creek Greenbelt, Mount Bonnell is one of the most popular and scenic attractions in Austin.
The limestone formation towers more than 300 feet above the greenbelt, offering a spectacular view of the city skyline. You can enjoy the view while hiking the trail that runs along the formation or by enjoying a picnic along the greenbelt.
The best time to visit Mount Bonnell is during the spring and fall months when the temperatures are mild and the wildflowers are in bloom. You’ll discover why this formation is also known as “the Wedding Cake.”
Enjoy a Live Music Show at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
If you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned Texas barbecue, then you have to eat at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. You can enjoy a delicious meal while listening to some live music at this famous Austin venue, which has hosted some of the biggest country music stars.
You can also grab a beer and join the fun by visiting the outdoor beer garden. If you’re in the mood for some Texas-style barbecue but don’t feel like going out, check out Whole Foods Market’s Bar-B-Que Sauce.
It’s a delicious, homemade barbecue sauce that’s a great alternative when you want to make barbecue at home but doesn’t feel like going out.
Barton Springs Pool
A trip to Austin wouldn’t be complete without a dip in Barton Springs Pool. Located in Zilker Metropolitan Park, the pool is fed by natural springs and is the perfect place to cool off on a hot Texas day.
The water is refreshingly cool and clear, making it a great place to relax and socialize with friends and family. If you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to get there early, as it can get pretty crowded.
There are outdoor showers and changing facilities nearby, as well as a concession stand. If you’re looking for a place to spend a day away from the city, Zilker Metropolitan Park is worth a visit.
Visit the Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is a world-class art museum that showcases a wide variety of world-renowned artists, including American art and modern art.
The museum also contains one of the most extensive Asian art collections in the Southwest. It’s located in the heart of Austin in the Modern Art District, where you’ll also find the Contemporary Austin, another world-class art museum.
You can enjoy a day of art appreciation at these museums and other art galleries located in the district, or make it a weekend trip and enjoy the many other things Austin has to offer. You won’t be disappointed with the experience.
Spend a Day on Lake Travis
If you’re interested in some water sports, you can’t miss spending a day on Lake Travis. Located about 30 miles outside of Austin, Lake Travis is a freshwater lake that’s known for its excellent bass fishing, crystal-clear water, and breathtaking views.
You can enjoy the lake by enjoying a variety of water sports, including wakeboarding, water skiing, and jet skiing. You can also enjoy the lake by taking out a paddle boat or a canoe. If you like fishing, you’ll want to visit the Lake Travis State Park, which is located on the shores of the lake and offers guided fishing trips.
You can also take a scenic tour along the lake’s shores in a pontoon boat. Lake Travis is also home to the Austin Steamboat Festival, which is a fun and exciting event held every April.
Wander Through the Zilker Botanical Garden
If you’re in the mood for some tranquillity and beauty, you can’t miss visiting the Zilker Botanical Garden. Located in the charming Hyde Park neighborhood, this green space features a wide variety of flowers and plants, including a Japanese garden with koi ponds, rose gardens, and an English garden.
You can also enjoy a tranquil walk along the adjacent creek and a Japanese teahouse, making this a great place for families and couples to spend time together. Admission is free, and the garden is open seven days a week, including holidays. It’s also a great place to visit during spring to see the beautiful flowers in bloom.
Sample Delicious Food at the Austin Food Trucks
If you like to try new and unique foods, then you have to visit Austin’s famous food trucks. Austin has the most food trucks per capita in the United States. You can find these food trucks scattered throughout the city, most often at outdoor events, festivals, and in parking lots. You’ll find an eclectic mix of cuisines, including Mexican, Asian, Southern, and Southern-style barbecue. Some of the most popular food trucks include the Austin Hot Dog Company, Tacos de Mexicano, and BBQ Revolution.
You can find a list of the most popular food trucks on the City of Austin’s website.
Hidden Gems in Austin’s Neighborhoods
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Austin, here are a few interesting and unique neighborhoods in Austin worth exploring.
– East Side – The East Side is home to the University of Texas and is a great place for a day of exploring. You can visit the campus or head to the Drag, a strip of bars and restaurants that are popular with students and locals alike.
– South Congress Avenue – This unique and eclectic neighborhood, also called SoCo, is a great place for shopping and exploring. SoCo is home to eclectic shops and interesting art and culture.
– Hyde Park – This historic neighborhood is home to the LBJ Presidential Library and Gardens. It’s also close to the University of Texas. Hyde Park is a great place to explore Austin’s history and culture.
Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World. From its live music venues to the festivals that take place throughout the year, Austin is a city where music is a way of life.
From the moment you step foot in Austin, you’ll experience the many vibrant nightlife and the many ways to get involved in music. While visiting Austin, be sure to check out a live music show, or visit one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year.
If you’re an avid fan of music or want to make some new friends who share your passion, then you should make a visit to Austin, Texas. You’re sure to have a blast.