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15 Best Things To Do In Austin, Texas

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Things To Do In Austin, Texas

Things to do in Austin
Austin, Texas | Photo Credit – Matthew Rutledge

The capital city of Texas, tourists from all over the world find their way to Austin for the many attractions it has to offer. Austin is known by many names which are reflective of the city’s culture.

The music scene of the city is something of a prize for it, being dubbed as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ by its residents. Sure enough, the musicians of the city and PBS’s concert television series ‘Austin City Limits’ would concur. Naturally beautiful, it is also known as the ‘City of the Violet Crown’ due to the mesmerizing glow streaking the nearby hills just after sunset.

Keep reading below to know about 15 of the best things to do in Austin that will definitely help you make up your mind about taking a trip here.

1. Austin’s Famous Barbeque

Things to do in Austin
Franklin Barbecue | Photo Credit – A Vandalay

Texas is synonymous with brisket and barbeque. The delectable meats grilled and smoked here are famous throughout the world and one place that stands out among all is Franklin’s BBQ. In the time when the coronavirus wasn’t running rampant in the world, Franklin’s used to have a long queue in waiting everyday.

Now, however, Franklin’s has replaced its service with a reservation system. This means no waiting in line, but the meat is still delicious and juicy as ever. Be sure to research and adjust to restaurant times. You can even order in from your hotel room. The brisket is a must try if you find yourself in the city and therefore is on our list of the best things to do in Austin.

2.Breweries of Austin

Things to do in Austin
Brewery | Photo Credit – Patrik Kristian

Austin is well known for its breweries serving the finest seasonal liqueurs. Be sure to do your research beforehand as many of the places have not yet opened. Not much to say about the brews of Austin except to suggest a few places you can check out. Adelbert’s, Blue Owl, Independence, Zilker Brewing, Hops & Grain, The ABGB, Austin Eastciders, Lazarus and St. Elmo’s.

Most of these breweries also serve food which is delightful accompaniment to the world class drinks. Beer on tap, stouts, and ales that would make you hop around town, visiting the brews of Austin is almost compulsory for a complete trip to Austin!

3.Outdoor Camping

The scenic geography and ambient temperatures of Texas make it the perfect camping spot. The parks around and nearby Austin and the Texas Hill Country make for wonderful places to spend the night outdoors, around a campfire and roasted marshmallows. The best time to camp outdoors is October, owing to its cool temperatures.

You will have to reserve spots to camp in online, owing to the social distancing and quarantine norms being practiced currently. A few of the places that you may choose are the Inks Lake State Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park and the Enchanted Rock State Park.

These places are just a bit away from Austin but enough to escape the bustle of the city, making camping at these locations a way to really complete your trip to Austin.

4.Barton Creek and Bull Creek Greenbelts

Things to do in Austin
Bull Creek Greenbelt Park | Photo Credit – BrandonLord

Another outdoor activity to make this list, hiking at the Greenbelt trails is a wonderful way to spend your time in Austin. The trail system was closed until recently and the city just decided to reopen the hiking paradise for people in August. Be mindful that an online reservation is required to avail the hiking system so be sure to check the website and complete the due requirements such as picking a time slot.

The natural beauty of the Greenbelt is absolutely mesmerising, with a number of creeks, hills and waterfalls whose pictures will definitely make their way to your instagram. The system continues for over 12 miles so this is an activity worth reserving an entire day for. Happy hiking!

5.Mount Bonnell

Things to do in Austin
MtBonnell_Stone | Photo Credit – Akarsh Simha

Mount Bonnell is the highest point in Austin, standing over 775 feet. The peak is accessible through a trail which can be hiked or even cycled to. The mountain boasts extremely scenic views featuring Lake Travis and the gorgeous Texas Hill Country.

The path to the mountain goes through Scenic Drive and Covert Park which are beautiful sights in themselves. A great place for a picnic, Mount Bonnell is the best place to capture the ultimate sunsets!

6.Lady Bird Lake

Things to do in Austin
Lady Bird Lake | Photo Credit – notevenathing

The Lady Bird Lake is located in downtown Austin and is an outdoor haven for Austin tourists. Things to do at the lake range from sunbathing to swimming and even paddling across the lake in a kayak or canoe. What’s more, the Lady Bird Lake also features a trail around it known as the Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Walk, jog, run, cycle, or even rollerblade your way around the trail which can be accessed from multiple points in the city. All in all, the Lady Bird Lake and its surrounding trail is a great way to explore Austin’s outdoors and spend a day which would be relaxing as well as exciting.

7.Blanton Museum of Art

Things to do in Austin
Blanton Museum of Art | Photo Credit – Ethan Lundgaard

The Blanton Museum of Art remained closed during the summer amid coronavirus fears and only recently became open to the public. The museum is enormous, the largest in Austin. It covers a large number of genres, from the Renaissance to Modern art pieces.

Located within the University of Texas, the Blanton is first and foremost a place for learning. Representing Roman works to Latin American pieces, the Blanton Museum is the best place in Austin for those of us seeking a historical adventure.

8.The Barton Springs Pool

Things to do in Austin
Barton Springs Pool | Photo Credit –Randall Chancellor

Zilker Park houses the Barton Springs Pool, an enormous outdoor waterbody fed by a natural spring. Particularly attractive to tourists visiting Austin, the pool remains a constant temperature all year round. The place is always packed with locals and tourists alike, however the restrictions due to Covid 19 will certainly have some effect.

Nevertheless, you might have to walk around a bit here to find the perfect spot to sunbathe as well as spread out a picnic in the shade. Beautiful lawns and shady spots are sprinkled liberally here making Barton just the perfect place to be on a sunny Austin day.

9.Mayfield Park

Things to do in Austin
Mayfield Park | Photo Credit – Gee Jay

Mayfield Park is perhaps the perfect combination of wild nature and cultured grounds. The Mayfield reserve, which is a significant historical location for Texas since almost a century, is home to a couple dozen India Blue and Black Shoulder peacocks. The two acre site teems with well maintained gardens along with wild patches of green where nature runs its own course.

Beautiful sights are a dime a dozen here: find ponds with stone trails to navigate the park. A forest like atmosphere prevails, with trees and flowers growing at every step. While you are here, do not forget to visit the historic cottage that is an attraction on its own.

10.ACL Live’s Stream

We started this article by calling Austin the Live Music Capital of the world. However, Covid 19 has certainly caused a bump in the music scene of Austin. Or has it? While live shows remain out of the picture, the musicians of Austin have collaborated together to bring you virtual music.

Updates regarding the free to attend performances are available on the ACL Live website. Covid or not, you are not going to miss the lively music of the city in any case.

11.The Austin Murals

Austin Murals | Photo Credit – anyjazz65

Public art such as murals are everywhere in Austin. The city’s artistic creativity has no better display than its murals. Too many of them are spread out in the city to name all. Just believe us when we say that the highlights of your walks around the city will be the public art you stumble across on turning corners and avenue streets.

Since the Black Lives Matter movement escalating in the spring, you are certain to discover murals reflecting the same. Find the George Floyd mural at the Native Hostel and the “Black Artists Matter” on E. 11 Street. We are certain that you won’t miss the famous classics such as “i love you so much” down at Jo’s Coffee either way.

12.Bats at the South Congress Avenue Bridge

The South Congress Avenue Bridge | Photo Credit – Manuel Delgado Tenorio

Many of our readers who are familiar with Austin must be wondering why haven’t the famous bats of Austin haven’t made this list yet. Well, wait no more. For you all who have no idea about what we’re talking about, read on. If you find yourself at the South Congress Avenue bridge during dusk, you might witness the 1.5 million bats that live under the bridge emerge to feed.

This is an almost hour long spectacle, where you would see the sky streaked by lines of bats emerging from under the bridge. Please be aware that this ‘only in Austin’ attraction is only available during the months from May to October, with the bats migrating elsewhere in other times.

13.Rainey Street

Container Bar at Rainey Street | Photo Credit – Hunter Cash

Rainey Street is a modern historical attraction. What we mean by this is that the bungalows that lined the street from 1885 to 1937 were renovated into a stretch of bars and restaurants that are the gems of this city. Find areas to sit and chill, with a couple of food trucks nearby serving delectable fast food.

Picnic during the day and party during the night, Rainey Street is a great outdoor location capturing the ethos of outdoor Austin. Visit the Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, the Emmer & Rye, the Lustre Pearl, and the Half Step which are few of the many locations dotting the decorative Rainey Street.

14.The Contemporary Austin

Laguna Gloria | Photo Credit – Shannon

The Contemporary Austin houses the Jones Center and the Laguna Gloria. The former is building in Downtown Austin and the latter is an outdoor site close to Lake Austin with a park of sculptures and a villa built in the Italianate style. Find the ‘Museum without walls” here, a programme dedicated to bringing art to the community.

Jones Centre features artworks and for the art lover in you, make your way to the Waller Creek Conservancy. A famous attraction here is the Mystic Raven, an abstract art representing human anatomy and the free flying spirit of a bird. A trip to Austin is incomplete without visiting the Contemporary Austin.

15.Barton Hill Farms

Pumpkin Patch | Photo Credit – Jon Lebkowsky

Around 30 miles from Austin lies the Barton Hill Farms, known for hosting the Pumpkin Patch, an annual fall festival. Despite Covid 19, this year’s festival is right on schedule and your trip to Austin in October and November would be incomplete if you don’t make it here.

The place to be at is a 118 acre farm which hosts activities every weekend. Go pumpkin hunting and lose yourself in the corn maze. They have live music, fishing, games, and even activities like archery. Something to do for everyone, young and old, the Barton Hill Farms is the place to be at for the annual festival. Don’t forget to try their cider and beer while you’re there!

We hope this list of 15 of the best things to do in Austin was informative and helpful to you. Be sure to practice proper social distancing and safety measures during your trip. Let us know more about your thoughts regarding this article in the comments below. Happy traveling. And also Read things to do in Louisville. And other Texas Destination (what to do in Houston)

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