If you are looking for things to do in Austin, then you are in the right place!
The capital city of Austin, Texas, is anything but boring!
Boasting the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” Austin prides itself on being a fun and energetic city that people love to visit.
As Native Texans, we have been visiting Austin for years. We love its incredible live music scene, the great nightlife, fabulous food, and awesome outdoor activities that Austin offers.
Of course, Austin is also the Texas state capitol, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore some Texas history and culture when you visit.
Let’s dive into all of the great things that Austin, Texas, has to offer!
*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost. That Texas Couple also participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Let’s Connect on Social Media!
1. Texas State Capitol
1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX
Texans pride themselves on “everything is bigger in Texas.” So, of course, we had to ensure that our capital building outdid the other capital building in the United States.
Well, we succeeded. The Texas State Capitol building is the tallest in the USA, almost 15 feet taller than the United States capital building in Washington, D.C.
Located in the heart of downtown Austin, the Texas State Capitol building offers free guided tours to help locals and visitors learn all about the building, the grounds, and some of the history of Texas.
If you prefer, you can also opt to take a self-guided tour of the premises. Both the interior and the exterior are open to the public.
Touring the Texas State Capitol building is one of the best things to do in Austin, TX, so don’t miss it!
2. Mount Bonnell
3800 Mt. Bonnell Road, Austin, TX
If you love seeing fabulous views while visiting new places, you can’t miss the view from Mount Bonnell in Austin, Texas.
Attracting visitors since the 1800s, Mount Bonnell offers gorgeous views of the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country.
You will have to work for the view, though, as you have to climb about 800 stairs to get to the top of Mount Bonnell.
After parking, you can follow the path through Covert Park to the viewpoint.
Come during sunset to see an incredible sunset view. One visit and you will quickly understand my this area has been designated as a Texas Historic Landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Add this to your list of fun stuff to do in Austin!
Read Next: Glamping in Texas: 15 Places To Go
3. Lady Bird Lake
The beautiful Lady Bird Lake is a shining star in Austin, Texas. You can’t visit Austin and not at least see Lady Bird Lake.
The shimmering waters weaver around downtown Austin, offering a natural respite from the city to locals and visitors.
Lady Bird Lake is genuinely so much fun and offers many outdoor activities for you to enjoy in Austin.
Motorized boats are not allowed on the boat, but you can hit the water differently. This lake is famous for canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more!
One of my favorite things to do in Austin takes this kayak tour on Lady Bird Lake to see the bats go on their nightly feeding from the Congress Avenue Bridge (more information below).
Other forms of outdoor recreation offered at Lady Bird Lake include a walking and bike trail that lines the shore of the lake.
This is a great place in Austin city limits to get outside and enjoy nature, so add it to your list of Austin stuff!
Check out this fabulous boat tour!
Read Next: 50 Free Things To Do In Dallas-Fort Worth
4. Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge
One of the best things to do in Austin is to see the largest urban bat colony in the world head out for their nightly feeding.
Over 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tail bats make their way to Austin from fall to spring to live under the Congress Street Bridge.
Yes, you read that correctly; the bats live right under a central bridge in downtown Austin, the Congress Bridge.
If you want to witness an excellent site, go to the Congress Bridge around sunset.
You can sit on the grassy area by the bridge, stand on the Congress Bridge to see the bats, or do one of my favorite activities and kayak at sunset on Lady Bird Lake.
No matter where you choose to view the bats from, don’t miss the opportunity! It’s one of the attractions in Austin, TX, that is so unique!
This is a super popular activity in Austin, Texas, so arrive early!
5. Downtown Austin
If you are looking for a fun place to spend the day, then you should consider checking out Downtown Austin as you are sure to find fun stuff in Austin here!
Loaded with loads of restaurants, bars, museums, and art galleries, Downtown Austin has something to offer to everyone!
Take time to explore the area’s many museums and art galleries before shopping until you drop at the boutique shops!
Of course, Downtown Austin also allows you to learn more about Texas history when you visit the Texas State Capitol or the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Read Next: 15 Romantic Getaways in Texas
6. Zilker Metropolitan Park
2207 Lou Neff Rd., Austin, Texas 78746
Austin, Texas, is home to numerous great parks and outdoor recreation areas. One of the most popular is Zilker Metropolitan Park.
Boasting over 351 acres, Zilker Park is a Lone Star State park that won’t disappoint.
Zilker Park is home to swimming holes, museums, loads of hiking and biking trails, and hosts numerous weekend events.
During your visit, check out the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum, the Zilker Botanical Garden, and the Zilker Hillside Theatre.
If you are visiting Austin during the summer months, a trip to Barton Springs Pool will help you escape the Texas heat. Barton Springs Pool is a natural spring pool that stays nice and cool year-round!
Barton Springs Pool, a popular swimming hole in Zilker Park, is very popular. If you want to avoid some crowds, try to visit early or late.
7. Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78746
Located inside Zilker Park, the Zilker Botanical Garden is the place to go if you want to see some beautiful plant life near downtown Austin.
The Zilker Botanical Garden offers themed gardens, including the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and Hartman Prehistoric Garden.
The interconnecting paths lead you through the gardens taking you past koi ponds, water features, and towering oak trees, making this a gorgeous and tranquil place to visit.
In addition to the gardens, this botanical garden also hosts several events throughout the year. Please visit their website for information on operating hours and ticket prices.
Read Next: Fun Things To Do In Kingsland, Texas
8. Sixth Street
Austin’s Sixth Street has music venues, tattoo parlors, microbreweries, bars, and dance clubs.
One visit and you will quickly understand why the locals refer to it as “Dirty Sixth.” Sixth Street has a distinct vibe; honestly, it is not for everyone.
You should check it out during your time in Austin to experience it. If Sixth Street isn’t your kind of place, remember that it is just one of the places to experience Austin nightlife.
Ok, I am going to be honest with you here, Sixth Street is not for everyone, but it is one of the options if you want to check out Austin’s nightlife.
8. Austin’s Live Music Scene
Austin, Texas, is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” so it just makes sense that people flock to this city to enjoy the many concerts and live music venues around time.
Live music here is so popular that Austin is known to have over 100 live music performances on the same night.
Whether you want to check out a honky-tonk bar or listen to a rock concert, you can find several live music venues showcasing your favorite music genre!
If you want to be a part of the local music scene, then be sure to head to the Moody Theater. The Moody Theater is where you will find the taping of the famous Austin City Limits Live.
Of course, some venues offer live country music, like the
Live music is one of the best things to do in Austin!
Read Next: 10 Awesome Port Aransas Beaches
9. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739
Another of the places that should be on your Austin City Guide is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
This beautiful botanical garden, located in Austin, Texas, is home to over 1,000 native plant species.
You can visit the wildflower center to learn about the plant species native to Texas.
Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the natural environment. There are numerous places to sit to find an area of solace.
Please visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website for more information on the center.
10. Rainey Street Historic District
What used to be a residential neighborhood in downtown Austin is not home to a trendy and vibrant area full of bars, restaurants, and fun adult hangouts.
If you want another place to explore the nightlife in Austin, then you should add the Rainey Street Historic District to your list of things to do in Austin.
The old houses that line Rainey Street have been transformed into fun and quirky bars and restaurants.
Find a place that suits your vibe, or do what we like to do, and bar hop from one to the other.
One of our favorite hangouts on Rainey Street is Banger’s. Banger’s is the perfect place to grab a delicious sausage, pretzel, and beer while you hang out in their Biergarten.
Read Next: 80 Ideas for Date Night in Fort Worth
11. Texas Governor’s Mansion
1010 Colorado St., Austin, TX 78701
Another of the historic things to do in Austin is to tour the Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Home to every Texas Governor in history, the Texas Governor’s Mansion was built in the 1800s, so it is truly a piece of Texas history.
Visitors here can take a free tour of the mansion to learn all about the home’s history and see some beautiful antiques.
12. South Congress Avenue
South Congress Avenue is another example of why the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan exists.
Austin’s fun and quirky area is a great place to explore an afternoon.
When you stroll South Congress Avenue, you notice that funky boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and fabulous hotels surround you.
I love to visit this area not only to shop but also to do some people-watching!
You can check out a current business list on South Congress here.
Read Next: 20 Fabulous Waterfalls in Texas
13. Circuit of the Americas
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, Texas 78750
If you love car racing, you must include a visit to the Circuit of the Americas in your Austin visit.
Originally built as a professional racetrack, the Circuit of the Americas has expanded and is now home to various events. The facilities include an observation tower, a theater, and a sports facility.
Hosting events such as concerts, rugby matches, Indy car racing, and more, it is easy to see why people love visiting the Circuit. There seems to be something going on all of the time!
14. Cathedral of Junk
4422-4424 Lareina Dr., Austin, TX 78745
One of the fun things to do in Austin that you can only do in Austin is to pay a visit to the Cathedral of Junk.
The Cathedral of Junk started as a small art installation by Vince Hannemann. Vince began to create the art installation in his backyard in the early 80s.
Constructed using “junk,” this artist’s endeavor contains things like ladders, pool toys, glass bottles, old televisions, and more.
Of course, the Cathedral of Junk has dramatically transformed over the years and is now a fully immersive art experience.
If you want to visit the Cathedral of Junk, be sure you are granted permission as it is on private property.
Read Next: 18 Fabulous Beaches in Texas
15. Lake Travis
A visit to Lake Travis has to be on your list of things to do in Austin.
This Texas Hill Country lake is a popular place to enjoy outdoor recreation.
People flock to Lake Travis during summer to enjoy wakeboarding, swimming, and jet skiing.
Lake Travis is the perfect place to do some fishing, camping, and boat riding during the cooler months!
One of our favorite places on Lake Travis is The Oasis on Lake Travis. The Oasis on Lake Travis is a restaurant and bar that boasts an epic view of the lake and is the perfect place to catch a Texas sunset.
No matter what, you must add Lake Travis to your list of Austin attractions.
Read Next: Gorgeous Lavender Fields in Texas
16. Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail
If you haven’t noticed by now, Austin, TX, is full of opportunities to get outside and enjoy yourself.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is a popular exercise place in Austin.
This trail winds way for more than 10 miles outside of Lady Bird Lake and is the perfect place to enjoy jogging, rollerblading, or walking your dog.
In addition to the paved trail, there are several nature trails in the area if you prefer.
17. Austin Zoo
10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, TX 78736
The Austin Zoo is one of the fabulous things to do in Austin.
This non-profit facility focuses on the health and well-being of its animals while welcoming visitors to their environment. Their primary focus is to rehabilitate the animals that call it home, so it isn’t a “showy” zoo.
Instead, visitors to the Austin Zoo find that they can view the animals here but are encouraged to only interact with them in a safe and respectful manner.
Visit the zoo’s website for more information on prices and operating hours.
18. Austin City Limits Music Festival
One of the biggest festivals in Austin, TX, is the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
This annual event spans two weekends and showcases hundreds of musical acts.
Concerts during the Austin City Limits Music Festival take place on numerous stages throughout the city and go from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Of course, the music festival also brings in numerous vendors, like most festivals. You can enjoy shopping, eating carnival-style foods, and playing games from the vendors during the festival.
Be sure to get your tickets early, as this annual event is known to sell out!
Read Next: 12 Awesome Things To Do In Marble Falls
19. Texas Memorial Museum
2400 Trinity St., Austin, Texas 78705
The Texas Memorial Museum is the perfect place to go if you want to explore the history of Lone Star State.
Located on the University of Texas at Austin campus, this museum houses exhibits showcasing things associated with Texas history.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum also hosts numerous events throughout the year. Please check their website for additional information.
20. Mayfield Park
2104 Worth St., Austin, TX 76014
To explore more Austin nature, head to Mayfield Park.
Mayfield Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is two acres of beautiful land also home to some gorgeous peacocks!
The charming cottages and gardens in Mayfield Park make it a unique and fun experience in Austin.
Read Next: 25 Fun Things To Do In Corpus Christi
21. Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken
117 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78701
Foodies will love Austin as it has a thriving food scene. We love exploring all of Austin’s great restaurants, but Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is a staple we visit every time.
Granted, Gus didn’t originate in Texas, but that doesn’t matter, as they have found their place here in the Austin community.
Now, your only meat choice here is fried chicken, but you get your pick of delicious sides to go with your fried chicken, so that is a win!
21. Pioneer Farms
10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin, Texas 78754
To truly immerse yourself in Texas history, pay a visit to Pioneer Farms.
Pioneer Farms is a living history museum that offers visitors a chance to step back.
The volunteers here don clothing from the 1800s and teach you all about what life was like in the past.
You can check out horse-drawn buggies, explore iron smithing, and listen to stories of the past on your visit.
One of the things here that we love is the ghost tours offered here. This is just one of the special events that you can experience at Pioneer Farms.
Please visit Pioneer Farms’ website for a complete list of events and more information.
22. Greetings From Austin Mural
1720 S. 1st Street, Austin, Texas
Of course, you must take a selfie with the Greeting from Austin mural.
As part of the Greetings Tour Project, this mural depicts all of the iconic things about Austin. This is a great mural showing the South Congress Bridge, the capitol building, and scenes from the Texas Hill country!
23. Lake Austin
Lake Austin is a water reservoir on the Colorado River that is the perfect place for some lake recreation.
Created by building a dam on a portion of the Colorado River, Lake Austin is a great recreational retreat for the Austin community.
Consisting of 1150 acres, Lake Austin offers up Austin nature at its finest. You can enjoy skiing, fishing, wakeboarding, swimming, and more here.
Numerous boat ramps around the lake to launch your watercraft make it quick and easy to enjoy a day out on Lake Austin.
Read Next: 20 Fun Things To Do In Galveston
24. Mexic-Arte Museum
419 Congress Avenue
The Mexic-Arte Museum is a fine arts museum in Austin that highlights the artistic achievement of contemporary Mexican and Latino artists and culture.
The museum’s focus on Latin American art includes permanent and rotating exhibits.
In addition to Latin American art, the Mexic-Arte Museum also hosts numerous events throughout the year.
Please visit their website for information on hours, events, and entry prices.
25. LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library is dedicated to educating the public on the life and service of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.
When you visit the library, you can explore the gallery of the First Lady and see all of the contributions she made to Central Texas. You can also see LBJ’s Presidential limousine and a recreation of the Oval Office during his term.
No matter your political affiliation, the LBJ Presidential Library is a great way to learn more about the President from Texas.
Read Next: 10 Awesome Lakes in Houston (& Nearby)
26. McKinney Falls State Park
One of the popular day trips from Austin is to visit the gorgeous McKinney Falls State Park.
McKinney Falls State Park is big on things to do. Boasting loads of hiking trails, over 80 campsites, and opportunities to explore the surrounding hills of the Texas Hill Country, this state park is one of the fun things to do in Austin!
Since it is located just 13 miles outside of Austin, you can easily visit this Austin hot spot for a few hours of the day or make it one of the fun weekend getaways in Texas!
Like most state parks, McKinney Falls has geocaching, hiking trails, and more. Just be cautious before swimming, as you can only swim in designated areas within the park.
McKinney Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls in Texas.
Read Next: 15 Fun Things To Do In Canyon Lake, TX
27. Museum of the Weird
Austin’s Museum of the Weird is a fun and quirky museum that houses all sorts of oddities for you to enjoy.
The museum allows you to see melted wax figures, shrunken heads, and plenty of vintage-style posters while the taxidermy animals’ watchful eyes seem to be fixated on you.
Be sure to check out the Museum of the Weird for one of the unique things to do in Austin.
Another proof of the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan.
28. Austin Nature and Science Center
The Austin Nature and Science Center is the perfect place to visit in Austin if you are traveling with kids. Honestly, even if you aren’t visiting Austin with kids, the Nature and Science Center is fun for kids of all ages.
Home to lots of wildlife, the nature and science center allows you to see animal species like bobcats and birds, both of which are native to Texas.
Kids will think one of the fun things to do here is to explore the “dino pit,” where they can dig up rocks, fossils, and gemstones.
Read Next: 15 Fun Things To Do In Glen Rose, TX
29. Waterloo Records
600 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas
Waterloo Records is the perfect place to go if you are a vinyl lover. In addition to selling records, Waterloo Records is also a great place to see live performances. They also offer concert ticket sales, making this an Austin favorite.
30. Hippie Hollow Park
Ok, so Hippie Hollow Park probably isn’t something you would want to have on your list of things to do in Austin if you visit with kids. If you’re wondering why I say that, it is because Hippie Hollow Park is a nude beach.
It isn’t a beach, though; it is more like a rocky area to sit and sunbathe in a “clothing optional” area in Austin.
31. Sculpture Falls
Sculpture Falls is a hidden gem in Austin, for sure.
Finding Sculpture Falls can be tricky in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, but I assure you it is worth the effort.
The walk through the greenbelt takes you through towering trees, trickling streams, and other little waterfalls.
You will know when you have arrived at Sculpture Falls when you see the beautiful vertical falls streaming over the rocks.
If you want a break from the Texas heat, you can cool off in the little swimming area that the falls empty into.
Some people are known even to jump off the bluffs nearby, but check the water levels before doing so.
Read Next: 15 Amazing Sunflower Fields in Texas
32. Elisabet Ney Museum
304 E. 44th Street, Austin, Texas 78751
Elisabet Ney was a world-famous sculptor who lived in Germany and Austin.
Her works consist of busts, statues, and fountains and can be found worldwide, including at the Smithsonian!
The most extensive collection of her works is housed in her former studio in Austin, Texas. In addition to the works of art, there is memorabilia from her life at the museum.
You can find more information on visiting the museum here.
Read Next: 20 Awesome Things To Do In Wimberley, TX
33. Laguna Gloria
Laguna Gloria is a magnificent Italian-style villa once the historic home of a prominent Texas philanthropist.
Today, the Laguna Gloria serves as a contemporary art museum and gallery.
Visitors can enjoy touring both the interior and exterior of the home. During the tour, you will see gorgeous sculptures and statues throughout the property.
34. Deep Eddy Pool
401 Deep Eddy Ave., Austin, TX 78703
Another historic place in Austin is the Deep Eddy Pool. As one of the oldest man-made pools in Texas, the Deep Eddy Pool should be on your list of things to do in Austin, TX.
What makes the Deep Eddy Pool so remarkable is that the pool is entirely spring-fed, meaning it stays clean and cool without using harsh chemicals.
Built-in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the pool holds a special place in the hearts of Texans.
During the summer, the pool offers events such as movie night, where you can enjoy a movie on the big screen while floating in the pool.
Read Next: Romantic Weekend in Downtown McKinney
The Drag is the place to go if you want to party like a local in Austin.
Located near the University of Texas campus, the Drag is actually on Guadalupe Street. Here, you won’t find trendy bars and clubs like in other parts of Austin.
What you will find on the Drag is a lot of college students partying and enjoying life in an odd assortment of buildings.
36. Cathedral of Saint Mary
History lovers will want to add the Cathedral of Saint Mary to their list of things to do in Austin.
The church, initially built in the 1800s, is one of the oldest churches in Austin and well worth your time on vacation.
The beautiful gothic architecture is apparent throughout the church. You can view towering spires, towers, interior domes, rose windows, and more.
Please note that the Cathedral of Saint Mary is still an active church, offering mass regularly, so please be respectful during your visit.
Read Next: 101 Ideas For Date Night In Dallas
37. Inner Space Caverns
4200 S. I-35 Frontage Road, Georgetown, TX 78626
Located just off Interstate 35, technically in Georgetown, the Inner Space Caverns should be on your list of things to do in Austin.
Inner Space Caverns is the perfect place to explore the beauty and power of nature as you venture into their underground caves.
In addition to the caves, Inner Space offers numerous other attractions. These attractions include The Saber Tooth Zip Ride, gemstone panning, and more.
Be sure to check their website for current hours and prices.
38. Austin Food Tour
Austin is a foodie’s dream, so it is the perfect place to experience a fun food tour. There are loads of tours to choose from, or make your own. Some visit fancy restaurants, while others take you to explore the Austin food trucks.
Exploring a food truck park in Austin is an easy way to create your food tour. You can get more information when you head to the Austin Visitor Center.
Read Next: 15 Fun Things To Do In Granbury, TX
39. Austin Ghost Tour
A great walking tour is always a good idea. Not only do you learn a lot about a city, but you can also see places you might not usually see.
If you want to take your walking tour to the next level, why not consider doing an Austin Ghost Tour instead? Austin is full of fun and exciting ghost tours, so why not try one out for yourself?!
40. Explore Austin Street Art
The fun, artistic vibe of Austin is apparent throughout the city.
A mural tour around the city is a fantastic way to experience the artistic vibe. For inspiration, visit sites like Hope Outdoor Gallery, the Greetings From Austin mural, and the I Love You So Much mural.
Read Next: 20 Fabulous Small Towns in Texas
41. Enjoy a Spa Day
Austin is full of fabulous day spas, so why not have a relaxing day on your vacation by booking a spa treatment or two?
The spas around Austin offer numerous treatments ranging from relaxing massages to fabulous facials.
42. Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is a great place to go if you are an art lover.
Located inside the University of Texas, the Blanton Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of over 18,000 pieces.
During your visit, you can also explore the temporary exhibits and get a coffee in the on-site cafe.
The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the great things to do in Austin!
43. Austin Trail of Lights
If you are visiting Austin during the holidays, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Austin Trail of Lights.
Austin is one of our favorite cities to celebrate Christmas in Texas. Thanks to the excellent Trail of Lights.
When you combine the miles of lights with the music and food vendors, and, of course, photos with Santa, you have the perfect holiday event.
Read Next: A Fabulous Weekend in San Antonio
44. Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is an outdoor museum that contains over 160 sculptures from the renowned artist Charles Umlauf.
Located directly across from Zilker Park, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden is also home to several annual special events.
Offering things like yoga in the garden, storytime, and block parties, this is a great place to experience some community events in Austin.
45. Take a Segway Tour
If you love taking tours of cities, but prefer not to walk, then why not take a Segway tour during your time in Austin?
A Segway tour is a great way to see Austin and learn about the city’s history.
Like This Post? Please Pin It or Share To Your Favorite Social Media
You Might Also Like:
Let’s Connect on Social Media!
About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.