Discover the vibrant city of Austin, Texas, where excitement awaits both locals and visitors. Known for its lively music scene, unique culture, delectable food, and breathtaking natural beauty, Austin offers a diverse array of activities for everyone. In this blog, we’ll unveil 20 top things to do in Austin that promise a memorable and enjoyable trip. From historical landmarks to modern art, serene parks to thrilling adventures, comedy shows to bingo games, Austin has it all.
So, whether you’re into exploring historical sites or craving some thrilling fun, Austin has something special for you. Pack your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and dive into the fantastic things to do in Austin, Texas. Let the adventure begin!
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Best Time to Visit Austin, Texas
Discover the best time to explore Austin, Texas, and make the most of the diverse and exciting things to do in Austin.
- Spring and fall are popular for mild weather and festivals (South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Formula One).
- Winter offers cooler temperatures and fewer crowds for outdoor activities and indoor entertainment.
- Summer brings energy and excitement, with options to cool off in pools and enjoy the vibrant nightlife and food scene.
How to Get There
Here are different transportation options to get to Austin, Texas:
- By Air: Fly into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), which is the primary airport serving the city. It is located about 5 miles southeast of downtown Austin.
- By Car: If you’re driving, Austin is well-connected by major highways. Interstate 35 runs north-south through the city, while highways like US-183 and TX-71 provide additional access.
- By Bus: Several bus services operate to and from Austin, including Greyhound and Megabus. The Greyhound station is located in downtown Austin.
- By Train: Amtrak’s Texas Eagle route serves Austin. The Austin Amtrak station is located downtown.
- Rideshare and Taxis: Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available in Austin. Traditional taxi services also operate in the city.
- Biking and Walking: Austin is a bike-friendly and walkable city. If you’re in the downtown area, consider exploring on foot or renting a bike.
- Public Transportation: Capital Metro operates buses and a commuter rail service called MetroRail in Austin. This is a convenient option for getting around the city and its suburbs.
- Shuttle Services: There are shuttle services that offer transportation between the airport and various locations in the city.
Here is the List of Things to Do in Austin
Now that you know how to get to Austin, let’s check out the list of things to do in this amazing city. Here are 20 top things to do in Austin, Texas, that will make your trip unforgettable and enjoyable.
1. Ignite Your Imagination at Wonderspaces
Touching down in Austin? Dive into Wonderspaces, a mind-blowing playground of art sprawled across 28,000 square feet. It’s not your typical art museum; it’s more like a whimsical wonderland where Hoshi by NONOTAK Studio (cue the picture-perfect magic) is just the tip of the art iceberg.
It’s a funky fusion of lights, mirrors, and tech, basically a carnival for your brain. Hurry on those tickets; it’s like the hottest concert in town but for your mind. And, trust us, socially distanced fun here is the new cool. So, why settle for ordinary when you can add a splash of Wonderspaces to your things to Do in Austin?
2. Lady Bird Lake
Looking for an outdoor adventure in Austin? Meet Lady Bird Lake, the MVP of H2O fun! Named after Lady Bird Johnson, this lake is so beautiful, even swans envy it. Swap Netflix for kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding – it’s exercise with a view! The 10-mile trail around the lake is like a scenic runway for joggers and bikers.
It’s like a nature fashion show. Wildlife, skyline, and bridges? Lady Bird Lake has it all, darling! So, if you’re not here, your list of things to do in Austin is missing out. Dive in; Lady Bird said so!
3. Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)
Ready for Austin’s bat-tastic show? Head to the Congress Avenue Bridge, aka the Bat HQ! It’s not your average bridge; it’s Batman’s summer home. Picture this: 1.5 million bats doing the nightly fly-out fiesta. Forget Broadway; this is the real theater of the night.
Grab a front-row seat on the bridge, by the river, or in the park. It’s like having VIP tickets to the coolest creature feature in town. Trust us; your Austin adventure isn’t complete without this batty experience. So, add it to your things to do in Austin list before the bats decide to take over as travel influencers!
4. Texas State Capitol
Y’all, buckle up for a Texan treat at the Texas State Capitol,! This ain’t just a building; it’s the Beyoncé of state capitols – big, bold, and full of history. Built in 1888, it’s like a time-traveling masterpiece made of fancy pink granite. Take the free guided tour and peek into the VIP spots – the dome, governor’s office, and the legislative chambers.
It’s like a backstage pass to Texas politics! And the outside? It’s like a 22-acre garden party, minus the tiny sandwiches. So, slap on your explorer hat and make this grand capitol the star of your things to do in Austin!
5. Swim at Barton Springs Pool
Ready to tackle the sizzling Austin heat? Dive into Barton Springs Pool, this natural oasis in Zilker Park is like the city’s own chill pill, boasting a constant 68-degree coolness. It’s not just a pool; it’s Austin’s superstar escape. Hit the diving board for some adulting fun, sprawl out on the grassy knolls, and snack away at the poolside bar.
With panoramic skyline views, it’s the ultimate combo of nature and city vibes. Beat the heat, Austin style—make Barton Springs Pool the numero uno on your things to do in Austin adventure!
6. Bullock Texas State History Museum
Time for a Texan history lesson at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, , a top pick for things to do in Austin. It’s not your run-of-the-mill museum; think of it as a giant time-traveling Texan adventure. Picture three floors packed with stories about land, identity, and opportunity – the Texan trifecta. From dino days to today, it’s history with a Lone Star flair.
Beyond artifacts, there’s an IMAX theater for movie buffs, live tunes at the Texas Spirit Theater, and a museum store for those who want to take a piece of Texas history home. So, if your Austin agenda lacks a historical kick, consider Bullock your cowboy-approved remedy!
7. Museum of the Weird
Get ready to dive into the wild side of Austin at the Museum of the Weird – a true ode to the city’s “Keep Austin Weird” motto and a must-add to your things to do in Austin checklist. Tucked on Sixth Street in the Lucky Lizard Curios and Gifts shop, this place is a treasure trove of oddities, curiosities, and downright freaky stuff.
Shrunken heads, mummies, two-headed animals – it’s like a zoo in a funky dimension. And wait for it – live performances with sword swallowing, fire breathing, and magic tricks. Austin, take a bow for your eccentric masterpiece! Don’t miss this dose of quirky on your Austin adventure!
8. Seek out the street art
Hey art aficionados, buckle up for a wild ride in Austin! It’s not just BBQ and live music; the city’s street art is the real rockstar. It’s like a massive outdoor gallery, where walls, buildings, and fences are the canvas. Local and global artists throw an art party, and you’re invited.
Hunt down classics like the “Greetings from Austin” mural or the “You’re my butter half” masterpiece. It’s like an artsy scavenger hunt with a side of Texan charm. So, for a hip and happening things to do in Austin, let the streets be your canvas, and the art, your guide!
9. LBJ Presidential Library
Ever wondered what made LBJ Presidential Library tick? Time to decode the 36th president at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin! It’s not your average library; think of it as a historical treasure chest on steroids. With over 45 million pages of history, it’s like the Netflix of presidential sagas.
Walk through a replica Oval Office, check out gifts that even Santa would envy, and dive into interactive displays that’ll make your textbooks jealous. Forget snoozefest – this is history with a Texan twist. So, for a “things to do in Austin” that’s both educational and entertaining, LBJ’s got your back!
10. See Esther’s Follies
Ready for a giggle fiesta in Austin? Esther’s Follies on Sixth Street is your ticket to laughs, sketches, and magic that’ll make you question reality—in a good way. This historic theater isn’t just a show; it’s a comedy carnival where the audience and passersby join forces for a hilarious rendezvous.
Get ready for sketches that roast everything from local politics to Hollywood, all served with a side of magic by Ray Anderson, the resident wizard. Esther’s Follies isn’t just a comedy show; it’s a one-way ticket to Snortsville. Don’t just visit Austin; make it laugh-out-loud memorable!
11. See sunset at The Oasis on Lake Travis
Ready to turn your date night into a romance novel? Head to The Oasis on Lake Travis, aka the Sunset Capital of Texas. It’s not just a restaurant; it’s like a love letter to the sun as it kisses the lake goodnight. Picture this: a meal with a view, live music serenading your hearts, and decks and patios for days. It’s so romantic, even your dessert will blush.
Plus, boutiques and galleries for the post-sunset stroll. The Oasis on Lake Travis isn’t just a spot; it’s a date night upgrade. So, if you’re after a sunset-soaked romance, add this to your things to do in Austin love story!
12. Play a round at Peter Pan Mini-Golf
Ready for a hole-in-fun family time in Austin? Swing by Peter Pan Mini-Golf, the OG of whimsy since 1948. It’s not just mini-golf; it’s like a fairy tale explosion with Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and a giant pirate ship cheering you on. It’s so colorful; even the golf balls wear sunglasses. And, because mini-golf is a sport for champions, they have snacks and drinks at the concession stand.
Bonus: If you’re over 21, bring your own adult juice! Peter Pan Mini-Golf isn’t just a course; it’s a hole lotta laughter. So, add this to your things to do in Austin family fun list – you won’t regret it!
13. Texas Governor’s Mansion
For a glimpse into the history and architecture of Texas, consider visiting the Texas Governor’s Mansion, the official residence of the governor and the oldest continuously occupied executive residence in the country. Built-in 1856, the mansion boasts a Greek Revival style with a white limestone exterior and a red roof.
Enjoy free guided tours showcasing elegant rooms, antique furniture, an art collection, and historical artifacts. Don’t miss exploring the beautiful gardens and statues surrounding the mansion. It’s a fascinating and educational addition to your list of things to do in Austin.
14. Mayfield Park and Preserve
Looking for things to do in Austin? If you’re a nature and animal lover, consider a visit to Mayfield Park and Preserve. Once the estate of politician and businessman Allison Mayfield and his daughter Mary, this tranquil park features a charming cottage, pond, gazebo, and rose garden where a delightful flock of peacocks roams freely, showcasing their vibrant feathers.
Explore the 21-acre preserve with its trails, woodlands, and abundant wildlife, making Mayfield Park and Preserve an ideal destination for those seeking nature-centric and animal-friendly activities in Austin
15. Chicken Shit Bingo
If you are feeling lucky and adventurous, you might want to play Chicken Shit Bingo, which is one of the most unique and weird things to do in Austin. Chicken Shit Bingo is a game that involves a live chicken, a cage with numbered squares, and a lot of poop.
The game is hosted by the Little Longhorn Saloon, a legendary honky-tonk bar that features live country music and a friendly atmosphere. The game is simple: you buy a ticket with a number, and if the chicken poops on your number, you win a cash prize.
16. Umlauf Sculpture Garden
Explore the world of art and beauty at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Austin. This unique museum and garden showcase the masterpieces of Charles Umlauf, a distinguished sculptor and former University of Texas at Austin professor. Wander through the garden adorned with over 50 sculptures crafted from bronze, stone, and wood, illustrating themes like family, religion, mythology, and nature.
Enjoy the serene ambiance created by a pond, waterfall, and a charming bridge. Additionally, discover more of Umlauf’s works, including sculptures, drawings, and photographs, at the museum. Immerse yourself in this artistic haven, adding a touch of creativity to your Austin experience. Don’t miss out on the delightful things to do in Austin!
17. Austin Paramount Theatre
Things to do in Austin are abundant, and one captivating experience awaits you at the Austin Paramount Theatre. This historic and elegant venue, constructed in 1915, boasts Beaux-Arts style with features like a red velvet curtain, gold leaf ceiling, and a grand staircase.
Dive into a diverse program offering films, concerts, musicals, comedies, and festivals, including the renowned Moontower Comedy Festival and the Austin Film Festival. For an extra layer of intrigue, take a backstage tour to uncover the rich history and legends that make this venue a cornerstone of Austin’s cultural scene.
18. Texas State Cemetery
Explore the rich history and legends of Texas at the Texas State Cemetery, the final resting place of influential figures. Established in 1851, this 22-acre cemetery holds over 3,000 graves, monuments, and statues.
Discover the resting places of governors, senators, generals, heroes, and celebrities like Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Barbara Jordan, Chris Kyle, and Janis Joplin. Enjoy scenic views of the Capitol and skyline from this historically significant site, adding a poignant touch to your exploration of things to do in Austin.
19. 2nd Street District
Indulge in the best of shopping, dining, and entertainment by exploring the trendy and upscale 2nd Street District, One of the finest things to do in Austin With over 50 shops, restaurants, and venues, this vibrant area offers a diverse range of local and national brands. Discover unique treasures in fashion, jewelry, art, home decor, and more.
Treat your palate to an array of cuisines, from Mexican to Italian, Asian to American, ensuring a delightful culinary experience. Additionally, immerse yourself in live music and entertainment at the Moody Theater, home to Austin City Limits Live
20. 6th Street
Explore Austin’s vibrant nightlife and music scene on the renowned 6th Street, a bustling thoroughfare filled with bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops. This lively street is a hub of entertainment, offering diverse options for a memorable evening.
Immerse yourself in live music spanning various genres like rock, blues, country, and hip-hop, creating an unforgettable experience. Enjoy delicious food and drinks, forge connections with new acquaintances, and dance the night away. With a particularly lively atmosphere during weekends and holidays like Halloween and Mardi Gras, 6th Street is a standout destination for those seeking vibrant things to do in Austin.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful and informative. If you did, please share it with your friends and family, and let them know about the wonderful things to do in Austin, Texas. Thank you for reading, and have a great time in Austin!