Austin is known for being a very welcoming and friendly city, which makes it great for visitors. There’s always something going on in Austin, so you’ll never be bored! Whether you’re looking to explore the outdoors, check out some live music or soak up some history and culture, Austin has something for you. And of course, no trip to Austin would be complete without trying some of the delicious food on offer! So if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing vacation destination, be sure to add Austin, Texas to your list!
Of course, this quick guide is meant to provide a nice overview. With quick highlights of some of the top things to do in Austin, Texas. In addition to being a great starting point for visiting Austin, it will hopefully help you map out the perfect trip for you!
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Top Things to Do in Austin
Visit the State Capital
The Texas State Capitol building is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Austin, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Not only is it beautiful, it’s also surrounded by gardens and sculptures. Inside, you can learn about the history of Texas, see artifacts from the state’s past, and even take a tour of the governor’s office. If you’re interested in politics or history, or if you just want to see a beautiful building, the Texas State Capitol is definitely worth a visit.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
If you love the outdoors, then you’ll definitely want to check out Zilker Metropolitan Park. With over 350 acres of land, it’s one of the largest parks in Austin. There are hiking and biking trails, a playground, a swimming pool, and even a botanical garden. Also, Zilker Park is a great place to spend a day if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some time in nature.
Visit the LBJ Presidential Library
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Austin. It’s home to over 45 million documents, artifacts, and photographs from President Johnson’s time in office. Additionally you can watch a film about his life, view exhibits on the Vietnam War, and see a replica of the Oval Office.
Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is a man-made swimming pool that’s fed by underground springs. Of course it’s one of the most popular places to swim in Austin. But It’s also a great place to relax, soak up some sun and people watch. Another key point is the water is always refreshing, and there are plenty of chairs and umbrellas to help you stay comfortable.
Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake
Another great option is the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is a 10-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake. Not only is it a great place to go for a run, walk, or bike ride, but you’ll get some amazing views of the city along the way. The trail is also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your fur babies!
Indeed Sixth Street is one of the most popular nightlife destinations in Austin. It’s full of bars, clubs, and live music venues, and it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking to party. Be sure to dress to impress, as many of the bars have strict dress codes. And if you’re looking for a more laid-back evening, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes along Sixth Street as well.
Mount Bonnell is one of the best places to get a view of Austin. It’s the highest point in the city, and from the top, you can see for miles. The views are especially beautiful at sunset, so be sure to bring your camera! While it’s a great place to see, please be aware that cars have been broken into as it gets closer to night fall.
Austin Nature & Science Center
Certainly the Austin Nature & Science Center is a great place to take the kids. It has hands-on exhibits about nature and science, live animals, and even a planetarium. The center also offers a variety of programs and classes for kids, so it’s a great place to spend a day if you’re looking for something educational and fun.
Quirky Things to Do in Austin
Check out the Museum of the Weird
Of course Austin is happy to be weird! The Museum of the Weird is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the quirkier side of Austin. It’s full of oddities, such as two-headed animals, shrunken heads, and mummies. It’s definitely not your typical museum, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
Get your picture taken with the “Greetings from Austin” mural
Also, let’s not forget the selfies! The “Greetings from Austin” mural is one of the most iconic landmarks in Austin. Not to mention it’s a popular spot for tourists to take photos. While the official address of the “Greetings from Austin” mural is on 1st Street, the mural itself is actually on Annie Street.
If you like to check out fun shows, then you may like Esther’s Follies. In fact, Esther’s Follies, a comedy and magic show, has been running for over 40 years. It’s a great place to go for a night of laughs, and it’s one of the most popular shows in Austin.
Did you know that Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America? If you want to see these fascinating creatures up close, head to the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk. You’ll be able to watch as the bats fly out from under the bridge in search of food.
Places to Eat
Obviously Austin is known for its food trucks, and there are over 1,000 to choose from. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re sure to find something to your liking. And if you can’t decide on just one truck, there are plenty of food truck parks where you can try a little bit of everything.
Terry Black’s Barbecue Patio Bar & Grill
Another terrific option is Terry Black’s, one of the most popular barbecue joints in Austin. It’s open for lunch and dinner, and it has a patio where you can enjoy your meal.
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
Moonshine is a great place for dinner and drinks. It has a patio with views of the Austin skyline, and it’s known for its Southern-style cooking. Definitely one of my favorites and it ranks high with reviewers.
Desano’s is a popular pizzeria that’s been serving up delicious Napoli style pies for over 20 years. It’s located in downtown Austin, and you will love the cozy atmosphere. Plus you gotta love their t-shits that say “No Ranch, No Chicken, No Pineapple”!
Gourdough’s Public House
Gourdough’s is known for its over-the-top doughnuts. But it also serves burgers, sandwiches, and salads. It’s located in downtown Austin, and it has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy your meal.
Cool Austin Hotels
The Driskill is a historic hotel that’s located in downtown Austin. It’s known for its fine dining, and it has a number of restaurants that are perfect for a special occasion.
Hotel Ella is another great option for those looking for a stylish hotel. It’s located in downtown Austin, and it has a restaurant and bar that are perfect for a night out.
Archer Hotel Austin is a luxury hotel that’s located in downtown Austin. It has a rooftop bar with views of the city, and it’s close to all of the best shopping and dining.
Hotel ZaZa is a luxury hotel that’s located in Uptown. It has a rooftop pool and bar with views of the city, and it’s close to all of the best nightlife.
If you have any other suggestions for the best things to do in this area, please share a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
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