Welcome to our guide on the best things to do and see in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas. Bursting with live music, mouthwatering food, and a bustling nightlife, Austin has quickly become one of the trendiest cities in the United States. Whether you’re a longtime resident, a first-time visitor, or just passing through, this guide will take you on a journey through the city’s top attractions and hidden gems. From iconic landmarks and cultural destinations to outdoor spaces and family-friendly activities, Austin has something for everyone. So buckle up and get ready to discover the best that Austin has to offer!
The 6 Best Things to Do in Austin
- From Austin Guided San Antonio Tour W Alamo Boat Cruise
- Scenic Austin Night Tour
- Double Decker Austin Hop on Hop Off Sightseeing Tour All Day Ticket
- Double Decker Austin Single Loop Sightseeing Tour
- Austin Secret Food Tour
- San Antonio Explorer Pass
The 6 Best Things to Do in Austin
1. From Austin Guided San Antonio Tour W Alamo Boat Cruise
Discover the best of San Antonio on a 7-hour tour from Austin. With a local guide, visit the most famous landmarks and attractions of the city, including the Alamo, the Riverwalk, the San Antonio Missions, and climb the Tower of Americas for panoramic views. You’ll learn about the area’s history and fascinating stories from your guide in this immersive Texan experience. Skip-the-line with entrance to the top attractions and enjoy a 35-40 minute River Walk Boat Cruise. This small-group tour offers luxury transportation in a fully air-conditioned Mercedes Metris van and includes complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off in downtown Austin. All attraction admission fees are included for a hassle-free experience.
2. Scenic Austin Night Tour
Experience the beauty of Austin by night on this scenic tour. Our local tour guide will provide full narrated commentary as we explore the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail and Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching. This small group tour is limited to a maximum of seven guests and includes complimentary hotel pick up and drop off in downtown Austin. Please note, food and beverages are not included but optional gratuities are accepted. Wheelchair and stroller accessibility are available, and confirmation will be received at the time of booking. Join us and discover the best of Austin at night.
3. Double Decker Austin Hop on Hop Off Sightseeing Tour All Day Ticket
Take the stress out of planning your trip to Austin and explore the city’s top attractions at your own pace with this hop-on hop-off bus tour. With a climate-controlled lower deck and an open-top roof to choose from, you’ll enjoy commentary from an onboard guide as you travel to the 21 points of interest on the 6-stop tour route. Stop off at popular destinations like museums, art spots, and shopping areas with your all-day ticket, and enjoy complimentary water and sunscreen throughout your trip. The tour runs from Thursday to Sunday between 10:00 AM and 5:30 PM, and is an ideal way to see Austin’s highlights without any hassle.
4. Double Decker Austin Single Loop Sightseeing Tour
Discover Austin’s top landmarks and attractions with the Double Decker Austin Single Loop Sightseeing Tour – a hassle-free way to see the city in a short amount of time. This flexible tour offers seating options on both the open-air top deck and climate-controlled lower deck. Listen to informative commentary from the guide while taking in the sights and snapping photos. Highlights include 6th Street, The Museum of the Weird, The Driskill hotel, the Texas State Capitol, and the Texas Governor’s Mansion. Cold water and sunscreen are provided for your comfort. The tour starts at the Austin Visitor Center and ends at the same location. Don’t miss the chance to get your bearings of Austin and learn about its history on this fascinating sightseeing tour.
5. Austin Secret Food Tour
Take your taste buds on a journey with the Austin Secret Food Tour. This 3-hour guided tour offers a unique insight into Austin’s food culture by taking you to six different stops in the historic city center. You will sample a diverse range of delicious dishes, including traditional Aztec cuisine and contemporary Austin dishes influenced by flavors from around the world. Plus, learn about Austin’s food history from a knowledgeable and passionate local guide. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for your convenience. Don’t settle for the tourist traps – experience the real Austin foodie scene on this unforgettable tour.
6. San Antonio Explorer Pass
The San Antonio Explorer Pass offers a flexible and affordable way to explore top attractions, tours, and activities in the city. With the pass, you have the freedom to choose two, three, four or five tours or activities over a 60-day period at incredible savings of up to 45 percent. You can create your own itinerary as you go and sightsee at your own pace. Plus, there’s no need to redeem vouchers as the pass is saved on your mobile device for direct entry to attractions. Choose from popular sites such as the Texas Ranger Museum, San Antonio River Cruise, or Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Please note that all passes are valid for two years from the purchase date and become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation, the pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased. Enjoy the ultimate sightseeing experience with the San Antonio Explorer Pass.
Frequently Asked Questions about Austin, TexasAustin, the capital of Texas, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US. With its vibrant music, food, and cultural scenes, many tourists visit Austin every year. However, if you’re planning a trip to Austin, you might have a few questions about what to do, where to stay, and how to get around. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Austin, Texas.
What is the best time of year to visit Austin?Austin has beautiful weather almost all year round, but the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the biggest events and festivals, the spring (March to May) is a great time to visit. This is when the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festivals happen in Austin. The fall (September to November) is also a popular time to visit, with cooler temperatures and lots of outdoor festivals.
What are some must-see attractions in Austin?Austin has plenty of attractions that are worth checking out. Here are some of the top picks:
- Texas State Capitol
- Lady Bird Lake
- Zilker Park
- Barton Springs Pool
- Sixth Street
- University of Texas at Austin
- The Bullock Texas State History Museum
- Museum of the Weird
How do I get around Austin?Austin is a relatively small city, so it’s easy to get around. You can get around by car, bike, or public transportation. The Capital Metro bus system is affordable and provides extensive coverage within the city. There’s also a bike share program called B-Cycle, which has many stations throughout Austin, making it easy to rent and return bikes as needed.
What are some fun outdoor activities to do in Austin?Austin has plenty of outdoor activities to offer visitors. Here are some to consider:
- Kayaking or paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake
- Hiking at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
- Biking along the 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake
- Swimming at the Barton Springs Pool
- Exploring the Zilker Botanical Garden
Where should I stay in Austin?Austin has many great neighborhoods to stay in, depending on your interests. Here are a few options:
Downtown AustinDowntown Austin is a great location if you want to be close to the action. You’ll be close to some of the city’s top attractions and restaurants, and you’ll have easy access to public transportation.
South CongressThe South Congress neighborhood offers a more laid-back vibe than downtown Austin. You’ll be close to many vintage shops, art galleries, and some of the city’s best restaurants.
East AustinEast Austin is a rapidly gentrifying area that has become popular with young professionals and millennials. You’ll find lots of trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars, as well as a thriving music scene.
What is the food scene like in Austin?Austin is known for its food scene, which features a mix of BBQ, Tex-Mex, and modern cuisine. Some of the city’s must-try dishes include brisket from Franklin Barbecue, breakfast tacos from Veracruz All Natural, and queso from Torchy’s Tacos. You’ll also find plenty of food trucks and farmer’s markets throughout the city.
How can I experience the local music scene in Austin?Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” so it’s not hard to find a great show. Some of the best places to see live music in Austin include:
- The Continental Club
- The Mohawk
- The Elephant Room
- Antone’s Nightclub
- The Cactus Cafe
What’s the weather like in Austin?Austin has a subtropical climate, which means it’s hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter. Temperatures can reach the high 90s or even 100s in the summer, so be prepared if you’re visiting during that time.
Wrapping UpAustin is a great destination for anyone looking for great food, music, and culture. With its warm climate and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s also a fantastic place to explore nature. Make sure to check out some of the city’s top attractions, indulge in the delicious food scene, and catch some live music while you’re here.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in AustinIf you’re planning a trip to Austin, Texas, you’re in for a real treat. From the live music scene to the thriving food and drink culture, this city has something for everyone. Here’s a guide on how to spend your time as a tourist in Austin, with all the must-see and must-do activities that will leave you wanting more.
1. Visit the Texas State CapitolThe Texas State Capitol is a must-visit attraction in Austin. Completed in 1888, it’s the largest capitol building in the United States, standing at 308 feet tall. Take a free guided tour of the building and its grounds to learn about the history of Texas and the workings of its government. The Capitol also has a beautiful park-like setting, great for strolling and picnicking.
2. Explore the Live Music SceneAustin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and for good reason. There are over 250 music venues in the city, catering to all tastes and styles. Catch a show at the legendary Moody Theater, home of the Austin City Limits television show, or check out a smaller venue like the Continental Club or the Saxon Pub. During South by Southwest (SXSW) in March, the city is buzzing with music, film, and interactive media events.
3. Take a Dip in Barton Springs PoolBarton Springs Pool is a natural spring-fed swimming pool located in Zilker Park. The water is a refreshing 68 degrees year-round, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. There are also plenty of grassy areas for sunbathing and picnicking, as well as nearby trails for walking and jogging.
4. Visit the Blanton Museum of ArtThe Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest university art museums in the country. Its collection spans over 17,000 works from across the globe, including Renaissance and Baroque paintings, modern and contemporary art, and Latin American art. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see.
5. Indulge in the Food and Drink SceneNo visit to Austin would be complete without exploring the city’s food and drink scene. From Texas barbecue to upscale modern cuisine, there’s something for every palate. Eat your way through the city’s food trucks at the South Congress Food Truck Park, or sample some of the best Tex-Mex around at places like Tamale House or El Chile. Wash it down with a beer at one of Austin’s many craft breweries, such as Austin Beerworks or Hops & Grain.
6. Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterThe Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a botanical garden and research center located southwest of downtown Austin. The center’s mission is to conserve and sustain native plants and landscapes, while educating visitors about the natural beauty of Texas. The gardens feature over 900 species of native plants, as well as walking trails and educational exhibits.
7. Check Out the Street ArtAustin is home to some incredible street art, with murals and installations throughout the city. Take a walking tour of the best street art spots with Austin Mural Tours, or explore on your own with a map from the Austin Street Art Project. Some must-see murals include “Hi, How Are You” by Daniel Johnston, “Greetings from Austin” by Todd Sanders, and “You’re My Butter Half” by Creative Action.
8. Experience the Nightlife on Sixth StreetSixth Street is the heart of Austin’s nightlife scene, with bars, clubs, and music venues lining the historic street. The area is particularly lively on weekends, with live music spilling out onto the sidewalks and plenty of people-watching opportunities. Check out classic Austin spots like the Driskill Bar, Maggie Mae’s, and Esther’s Follies for a taste of the city’s after-dark scene.
9. Take a Hike at McKinney Falls State ParkMcKinney Falls State Park is a natural oasis just a short drive from downtown Austin. The park features hiking trails, swimming holes, and beautiful waterfalls, as well as camping and picnic areas. It’s a great place to escape the city for a few hours and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Texas.
10. Tour the LBJ Presidential LibraryThe Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The library contains over 45 million pages of historical documents and artifacts related to the life and presidency of LBJ. Take a self-guided or guided tour to learn about the history of the country during the 1960s and 70s, and the impact that LBJ had on American politics.
Book Your Tour NowSpend your time as a tourist in Austin experiencing everything this lively city has to offer. From the Texas State Capitol to the live music scene, from the food and drink culture to the street art, and from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to the LBJ Presidential Library, there’s something for everyone. Explore, create unforgettable memories, and come back for more.
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