Best Things To Do In Austin

Discover all the best things to do in austin, from parks, music, festivals, bars, musuems and more. Many ways to spend a day in austin.

Best Things To Do In Austin – Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Austin is a vibrant city famous for its incredible music scene, delicious food from restaurants and food trucks, top-notch university, and thriving tech industry. People who love the outdoors, warm weather, and mouth-watering BBQ are drawn to this dynamic city. With its constant stream of conferences, music festivals, and sports events, Austin attracts visitors from all over the globe. Here are the 12 best things to do in Austin, Texas, that showcase the dynamic and diverse offerings of this exciting city.

1. Unwind at Barton Springs

Barton Springs is a must-visit spot and one of the best things to do in Austin with kids. Located in Zilker Park, this natural spring-fed pool stays cool year-round, making it perfect for swimming anytime. Surrounded by lush greenery, it’s a peaceful escape where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the water. Whether you want to cool off on a hot day or unwind in nature, Barton Springs is a serene retreat right in the heart of Austin, perfect for family fun and relaxation. Book tickets here

2. Visit the Cathedral of Junk

The Cathedral of Junk is one of Austin’s coolest and quirkiest attractions, and it’s one of the best things to do in Austin in May. Hidden in a suburban backyard, this amazing structure is made entirely from discarded items and found objects. Created by local artist Vince Hannemann, it’s a fun and ever-changing masterpiece that you can explore. As you walk through its tall walls and winding paths, you’ll find a treasure trove of creativity and imagination. It’s a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the unique, artistic vibe that makes Austin so special.

3. Dine at Franklin Barbecue

A standout in Austin’s famous barbecue scene, Franklin Barbecue is known for its legendary brisket and equally legendary lines. Here’s a tip from the locals: arrive early, come hungry, and bring a collapsible chair—you’ll be waiting for three or four hours, and standing the whole time isn’t fun. The good news? You can now preorder up to six weeks in advance if you’re ready to commit to at least three pounds of their delicious meats. Visiting Franklin Barbecue is one of the best things to do in Austin this weekend, offering an unforgettable taste of the city’s renowned barbecue culture.

4. Enjoy in the Rainey Street

Rainey Street might look like a quiet suburban neighborhood at first glance, with its wooden verandas and picket fences. But once night falls, it comes alive. The charming bungalow homes, many from the late 19th century, have been transformed into trendy bars and restaurants.By night, it’s one of the best things to do in Austin for couples, offering a vibrant scene for partying and a romantic evening with your significant other.

5. Head to the Congress Avenue Bridge

Watching the bats take flight from Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset is one of the best things to do in the Austin area. From May to October, about 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under the bridge over Lady Bird Lake, creating a stunning 45-minute show. You can catch the essence of it in just a few minutes. Afterward, explore downtown Austin. The area is lively with many options for dining, entertainment, and strolling along the lake, making it a perfect evening out.

6. Step into The Continental Club

The Continental Club is one of the best things to do in Austin for a bachelor party. With its red front doors and dark exterior, this iconic music venue has a rich history. It’s famous for launching the careers of legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and hosting a mix of blues, jazz, rock, and country musicians. The crowd varies depending on the night’s lineup, so check cover charges in advance. Everyone comes here for the live music and cold bottled beers. Located on South Congress Avenue (SoCo), The Continental Club is perfect for a lively bar-hopping adventure. Don’t miss ‘First Thursdays,’ when the whole street turns into a huge block party with late-night openings, special deals, and live music everywhere.

7. Go to the Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art, located at The University of Texas, is one of the best things to do in Austin in April. The museum offers a diverse and impressive collection, including early Renaissance paintings, Roman-era pottery, modern works in the contemporary gallery, and an extensive print collection. Art enthusiasts can also enjoy Native American and Latin American artworks. A standout piece is Teresita Fernández’s “Stacked Waters,” which covers the atrium walls and staircase with acrylic panels in mesmerizing shades of blue, creating an immersive experience that feels like being submerged in water. Book tickets here 

8. Explore Waterloo Records

Waterloo Records is a must-visit spot for music lovers in Austin and is often recommended on the best things to do in Austin Reddit threads. Situated on North Lamar Boulevard, it’s renowned for its relaxed vibe and extensive selection. You can lose yourself for hours exploring their diverse range of genres, from rock to hip-hop to jazz. With both new releases and old favorites on vinyl, there’s something for everyone.

9. Meanwhile Brewing

One of the best things to do in Austin, Texas, is visit a sleek dark gray warehouse offering more than just 20 rotating beers in a vintage-industrial taproom. The expansive 3.7-acre property features a dog and kid-friendly patio with a live music stage, picnic seating under oak trees, and a wooden playground. You can rent a turf soccer field, enjoy top-notch food trucks serving Austin favorites like barbecue, ice creams, street tacos, wood-fired pizza, and sandwiches, or join free events ranging from workouts to art experiences.

10. Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater

Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater offers an intimate setting for live performances by musicians of all genres, as part of the iconic PBS concert series. If you’re fortunate enough to secure a ticket through the lottery system, start your evening with a drink at the bar on the outdoor patio, boasting scenic views of downtown Austin. Once inside the cozy venue, soak in the charged atmosphere as renowned artists take the stage. They often deliver stripped-down or acoustic sets, allowing their raw talent to truly shine

11. Visit Uncommon Objects

Uncommon Objects is like no other flea market you’ve ever seen. Imagine a vast emporium filled to the brim with the most intriguing and eclectic items imaginable. From vintage jewelry and retro toys to eye-catching neon signs, it’s a treasure trove of American hipster culture. With 24 professional antique sellers permanently stationed here, you can tap into their expertise to find that perfect piece for your home or collection. But fair warning: once you step inside, be prepared to lose track of time—this place has a way of captivating you for hours on end.

12. Enjoy in Firehouse Lounge

One of the best things to do in Austin at night is visit the Firehouse Lounge. Hidden behind a secret bookshelf door in Austin’s oldest fire station, this lounge has a historic charm. It features antique tables, an oxygen tank on the spirits shelf, and red damask wallpaper lit by candles. The 1920s speakeasy vibe, black leather benches, and wooden stools around a colorful bar add to the unique atmosphere. Live jazz, blues, or rock music fills the air, attracting a mix of travelers and locals.

Final Verdict

In Austin, you’ll find endless opportunities to immerse yourself in vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and unforgettable experiences. Among the best things to do in Austin are catching the mesmerizing sight of bats taking flight at sunset and discovering live music at every turn, as the city pulsates with energy and excitement. Indulge your taste buds with the city’s renowned barbecue scene or spend hours exploring eclectic shops and hidden gems. Whatever your interests, Austin offers a rich tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavors waiting to be discovered.

Common Questions Best Things To Do In Austin

Austin’s famed as the live music capital of the world, and at the heart of it is The Continental Club. Since 1955, this iconic venue on South Congress Avenue has hosted legends like Robert Plant and Wanda Jackson, making it a must-visit for music enthusiasts.

Downtown Austin is the epitome of cool and comfort, with highrise residential buildings, top-notch local restaurants, and lively bars. Explore popular entertainment districts like 6th Street, Rainey Street, Seaholm District, and Warehouse District for an unforgettable experience in the heart of the city.

Austin is a must-visit city for travelers. Its vibrant live music scene, diverse food culture, and laid-back atmosphere create a memorable destination for everyone.

Austin’s cost of living is shaped by factors like housing, transportation, food, and entertainment, with housing as the largest expense. High demand has driven up both home prices and rents, making it a more favorable market for renters than buyers.

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