36 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas You’ll Love

Experience the true Austin lifestyle by visiting quirky shops, listening to live music, and indulging in outdoor living! This up-and-coming city has a diverse array of attractions and culture to be understood and lived in. From its gorgeous winters to its hot summers, Austin can be enjoyed 24/7, 365 days a year!

Austin, Texas, is getting trendier by the day, and its music and food scenes are blooming. From amazing food choices like BBQ and tacos, to its hip bars and outdoor music venues, be prepared to dance, eat and love life! 

Here are 36 things to do in Austin that will make you fall in love with this amazing Texas capital city.


36 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas You’ll Love
Courtesy of Mohawk Austin

Austin, Texas, has had a thriving and vibrant music scene for awhile now, but in recent years it has become the “Live Music Capital of the World.” From massive live music venues, festivals or small open mic nights, Austin is constantly moving and controlling the beat.


Get ready to jam, dance and party all day long at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. For the last 47 years, Austin has been embracing all things music and arts and has been providing entertainment for all its community. 

See some of the best artists and performers over two fun-filled weekends in October, and get to know new, unheard-of artists. With a diverse line up, 8 stages, food trucks and much more exploring to be had, book your tickets and head to Austin!


Quirky, charming, and exciting are words that come to mind when thinking of Rainey Street. Visit former homes that have transformed into cool bungalow bars. Day or night stroll from bar to bar, sipping on cold drinks and eating delicious food along the way! 

With live performances and a fantastic outdoor scene, stop by one of the many rustic, hip and vibey bars on your Austin vacation. The drinks will be flowing, and the tunes will be catchy.


With bright streets, a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of people, Sixth Street has a mind of its own and is completely one of a kind. From people watching, great dining and lots of entertainment, Sixth Street is the place to be. 

I highly suggest stopping off at Esther’s Follies, for a comedy show that will have you laughing for days. With outdoor patios and great views of the city skyline, Sixth Street has a bar, restaurant, or live music spot for everyone! 


This Austin establishment is more than just an old school music record store, Waterloo Records is a cultural spot for all music lovers, especially live music lovers. With classic records, books, and other music memorabilia, find original copies and buy a piece of history. 

Waterloo is a treasure to Texas and stands alone as one of the coolest independent music stores. Walk in, have a wander, and listen to some of the coolest music around. Who knows maybe you’ll see a celeb — it’s not uncommon! 


Known as the “grandaddy” to the local music scene, The Continental Club has been around for over 60 years and is a high-quality spot for music lovers. Whether you like rock, country, jazz, blues, or anything in between, this club is a must stop Austin club.

With an intimate atmosphere and close quarters, feel the beat and enjoy the evening with locals and travelers alike. With vintage décor and loads of history, this must be checked off your list.


Known as “the little club that won’t quit,” Hole in the Wall is a quirky, eclectic bar looking to bring joy and fun! This simple, yet compelling bar offers regular live music and some of the best karaoke in town. 

With indoor and outdoor options, discover new artists and be a part of a cultural institution that loves Austin, arts and music. With good vibes, a laid back atmosphere and cool community, stop by for a drink and singalong.


This multi-level facility offers a good time no matter the time of year! With a few different stages and a great bar, Mohawk is a fun place to have a personal live music experience. Stop in for a quick set or stay all evening jamming to some sweet sessions!

Check online to see upcoming shows and purchase tickets ahead of time as this is a great venue and sells out quickly. Get ready for loud music, great dancing, and good feelings.


36 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas You’ll Love
Courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art


With a huge collection of art, discover why Blanton Museum of Art is loved so much by this community and tourists from afar. Showcasing art from all centuries, the Blanton Museum is great for all ages and all art lovers. 

Sitting within the University of Texas, this hidden gem draws upon the world for inspiration, art, and culture. From Greek pottery and sculptures to abstract pieces, find art that speaks to you.


Take an afternoon to explore this small, yet intriguing museum. Mexic-Arte Museum is a fine arts museum that honors traditional and contemporary Mexican and Latino art and culture, by engaging with the community and educating all who walk through its doors.

Showcasing many local artists and offering many cultural programs, it continues to enrich the lives of so many in Downtown Austin. 


The Contemporary Laguna Gloria is not only beautiful from the outside, but offers a glimpse into the world of contemporary art at the former home of Clara Driscoll. With work from around the world, unbelievable sculptures, and grounds that are truly spectacular, you won’t want to leave. 

Its peaceful demeanor will have you question your own creativity, and you’ll ponder on what could be. This is a great museum to bring children to, as it has a nice outdoor sculpture garden and gives you a chance to get out of the hustle and bustle of Austin. 


Be at one with the fishes and come see thousands of species during a fun and exciting day at the Austin Aquarium! With interactive exhibits and interesting educational programs, guests can see ocean creatures in the comfort of this engaging aquarium. 

The Austin Aquarium has more than just its typical species, it also includes a Lemurs exhibit, where guests can pet and hold them! Have your children always wanted to meet a mermaid? At select times, the magical mermaid will appear for a show and pictures. Spend the day and create memories that last a lifetime. 


36 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas You’ll Love


Soar the skies at high speeds at Lake Travis Zip Line Adventures! Test your adrenaline and seek adventure through canyons and over water. Lake Travis offers three of the fastest and longest ziplines in all of Texas, and you must try them.

With 5 zip lines to choose from, begin your descent from 2800 feet for a fun filled activity. If you want to zip from a different view, try zipping at night and soar through stars and the night sky for an unforgettable experience.

Tip: Check out Waterloo Adventures to have some fun on the lake! 


Apply some sunblock, get your best hat on and get ready for a day of tubing! Float along the San Marcos River and enjoy a day of relaxing, peace and possibly a nice cold drink. This spot is ranked high among locals and when it’s a hot Texas day the best place to be is in the cool river.

If you don’t already have a tube, there are many options when it comes to renting a tube for the river. Simply pull up to the river and start your journey down. I highly suggest bringing a little cooler with drinks and sandwiches, for a midafternoon snack. 


Looking for a bit of exercise? Or looking for a leisurely bike ride? Then head to gorgeous Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake. Enjoy nature, see native species, and interact with the local community. Walk along the water, cross bridges and enjoy being outside in sunny Austin, Texas.

This urban park is great to view the city from another view and take some time to reflect on what a great city Austin is. Fall in love with the natural environment and enjoy this outdoor recreation space.


Are you looking for a great recreational area with lots of green space? Zilker Park is the park to be! Zilker is home to many great activities, like Austin City Limits Music Festival and Barton Spring Pools. This Downtown Austin park is great to get out of the busyness of life and have a moment in nature.

On a hot summer’s day, go for a refreshing dip in the swimming holes or lay out on the grass with a cold drink and snack. I highly suggest going to Zilker Botanical Garden if you have the time, the bright and vibrant colors are gorgeous, and its serene atmosphere gives you a much-needed break.


Meander through effervescent paths and gaze into the colors of cultivated gardens and wild beauty! With a mission to preserve and conserve native Texan species and plants, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center landscape is a source of sustainability and joy.

Tour the central complex, roam the central gardens, and bring children to the family garden to explore interactive exhibits and new ecosystems. Learn about land management and how sustainability can be introduced into your daily life. 


Climb to the top of Mount Bonnell and see the most spectacular views of the city and Lake Austin. The limestone hike sits 775 feet high and is the highest peak within Austin limits. This easy uphill hike is great for most ages and it’s a fabulous way to get outside and see the city from new heights.

Sit, relax and stare at Austin in a relaxing and peaceful setting before your journey down. If you want to make the trip more picturesque, look at going for sunrise or sunset. 

Tip: Leave your valuables at home! 


Head over to a natural pool with impressive rock formations at Hamilton Pool Preserve. This fun pool and hike are within the Travis County Parks system, and offer joy for all ages and visitors. Wander around the pool and look at this remarkable formation in the heart of Texas. 

This magical oasis is a wonder to be seen by all and definitely will take your breath away.


This is the place to be if you’re visiting Austin with families and children. With great grounds, a play area, and gorgeous walking paths, you can search for native wildlife and learn about rescued animals at Austin Nature and Science Center.

With hands-on exhibits, educational programs, and limitless recreational activities, learn about nature and the beauty of preservation.  


This great state park is a hidden gem when it comes to its winding rivers and rock formations. Its rugged terrain and crystal-clear water make this park even more special. The hiking trails are well kept and with a ranger on duty, feel safe and secure on your hiking journey.

With stunning waterfalls that overflow into pristine pools, McKinney Falls State Park is the place to be. From fishing, biking, and swimming, the options are endless and you are guaranteed a good time! 


Have you ever seen a peacock in person? Well at Mayfield Park, you can roam the grounds and see brightly colored peacocks, gorgeous gardens, and walk fantastic trails, all overlooking Lake Austin. 

This public park is the perfect reason to escape hectic life and enjoy some fresh air in nature. Take a moment to appreciate the water lilies, as they are truly striking and something you wouldn’t typically expect to see in Austin!


36 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas You’ll Love

Make sure to stop by the Austin Visitor Center to learn more about this fun and exciting city!


Hang with the locals in the lively and exhilarating neighborhood of South Congress Avenue and get a taste of Austin living. With delicious eateries, fun boutique shops and captivating galleries, stop off for a shop or treat yourself to a tasty treat at Amy’s Ice Cream.

With cool murals and a vibey setting this is the happening area to be seen. If you want to hear some more live music, think about going to SOCO for some cool jams and smooth rhythm. 


This may seem like quite a peculiar activity to partake in, but honestly this is an incredible experience. At sunset, watch as thousands upon thousands (some even say as many as 1.5 million!) Mexican Free-Tailed bats awake and soar from under the Congress Avenue Bridge

The bridge turned bat cave is a spectacular show to witness from the park below the bridge, the water, or standing upon the bridge itself. These beloved Austin creatures keep the bugs at bay and offer endless entertainment to tourists and locals. 


Austin is filled with some of the coolest, creative, and vivacious murals around and you must check them out. From Small quotes to massive artistic designs, a tour in Austin of these impressive and intricate pieces of art is a must. To see them all would be remarkable, but the three listed below are key.

Start off at Greetings from Austin, 1720 S 1st St, where this vintage-looking postcard is ready to be photographed. This might be one of the most popular murals in Austin, and it needs to be checked off by you!

It’s time to pay a tribute to two Texas icons, Willie Nelson and Janis Joplin on E. 7th St. With so much detail to be seen, this mural looks more like a photograph with all the striking features. 

End your mural tour by stopping off at Love from Austin, at 1920 S Congress Ave. This simple yet compelling mural in SOCO has become a local favorite, and should be featured on your socials.


Looking for all things scary and haunted? Then hop in a hearse limo tour and report to haunted locations throughout Austin. Stop off at Littlefield House and many more paranormal activity destinations in style! 

This is great to do with bigger groups and especially those who love all things spooky! Learn about the area and see if any spots jump out to you on the ghostly scale! 


If there’s one thing you must try in Austin, it’s BBQ — especially Franklin BBQ! Actually, forget about Austin, this might be the best BBQ in the whole world. The lines form early, and the experience of waiting is what makes this truly special.

From its award-winning brisket to other smoked meats, Franklin is the best. Start planning what day you’re going, the anticipation is well worth it. Once you try Franklin, you’ll never go back!


It’s time to cowboy up and get the best boots of your life! From classic styles to a little more dazzled footwear, Allen’s Boots is the premium destination for all things Western. 

Whether you’re in the market for something special or just window shopping, Allen’s is certainly entertaining. Browse the aisles looking for that perfect fit and leave decked out in head-to-toe cowboy attire. 


Get your pallets ready to taste sotol, the first alcoholic beverage ever consumed in Texas! Take a quick trip to the desert and try craft cocktails that will blow you away at Desert Door Distillery. This isn’t like anything you have tried or experienced before, so head to the distillery and start drinking!

Learn from the experts and head to the tasting room and get to the root of sotol. With outdoor patios, an indoor fireplace, live music and a delicious food truck, all are welcome and encouraged to something new.


See murals be made in action at the Hope Outdoor Gallery. This quirky and colorful community park not only showcases fun art, but is about spreading positivity and change.

From local artists to bigger names, walk the graffiti walls and find a true testament of art in the form of creativity and imagination. 


See beauty in junk and marvel at how art can be made from absolutely anything. Sitting on private property and created solely by one man, look at his collection of junk and see how the Cathedral of Junk has come to be! 

Keep your eyes peeled and look at everything as this is quite spectacular. With bright colors, odd bits and strange items, see how one man’s junk can be a cathedral of treasure! 

Tip: Call ahead. To see the Cathedral of Junk you most call ahead to make an appointment, which in my eyes, makes this even more intriguing.


Get to El Alma Restaurant Bar for an authentic experience with all the flavor of Mexican cuisine in a trendy and chic setting! From its rooftop dining option to its hip and fun indoor decor, try new things and eat fresh food!

With intriguing flavors combos, like the ghost pepper margarita, get sipping first before trying some famous tacos. Snap some pictures of the good city view, yummy meal and refreshing cocktails.


36 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas You’ll Love
Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel


Take a tour of the Lone Star State’s capitol building and learn some new and old information on this great state. Walk the remarkable grounds and marvel at the extraordinary Goddess of Liberty sitting atop the dome of the capitol building. 

With its pretty red coloring and big demeanor, a guided tour will easily allow you to see how grand this building is. From the governor’s office to the ceiling of the rotunda dome, the Texas State Capitol deserves an exploration. 


Do you want to brush up on your Texas facts? The Bullock Texas State History Museum is calling your name! Explore the enriching history of Texas from Native Americans to present day, and learn about what once was. 

Search for mystery and share stories of Texas through generations. Discover the untold story through cultures, innovation, and community.


Have you booked your accommodation for your Texas getaway? Because, The Driskill Hotel should be top of your list. With its prime location, completely breathtaking interior, and amazing staff, this is, and will always be, a National Historic Landmark. 

Book a table at the Driskill Bar, to experience, taste and view the famous Texas-shaped waffle. From start to finish, you will be blown away by this hospitality phenomenon. 


Learn about President Lyndon Baines Johnson and see what he achieved as the 36th president of the United States at the LBJ Presidential Library. From his early life to his presidency, see the remarkable change he made to American life and culture. 

With great displays, key artifacts, and even an Oval Office replica, this Presidential Library explores the challenges LBJ faced and his iconic legacy. If you’re interested in learning about his life, I highly recommend paying this museum a visit. 


This iconic tower sits at the center of the University of Texas campus and offers a glimpse into the victories, progress and challenges the university continues to make. With various light configurations to symbolize different things, keep your eyes peeled for the next big show.

Get to the top of the tower for a fantastic view, and feel some of that Longhorn Pride with all the accomplishments they make each day.

Things To Do in Austin FAQ

What is Austin best known for?

Austin, Texas, is best known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” In addition to great music, you’ll also find plenty of awesome restaurants and bars, outdoor activities, family-friendly adventures, and unique and fun things to do.

How many days do you need to explore Austin?

To hit the main points of interest in Austin, you’ll need at least three days in this fun city. Of course, the longer you can stay…the better!

Where is the most walkable part of Austin?

Downtown Austin is the most walkable part of the city. You’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants, along with some great things to do an explore.



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