10 Best Things to Do in Austin

Austin, Texas, is a city where Southern charm intertwines seamlessly with a vibrant, cutting-edge culture. This capital city radiates a unique vibe that perfectly captures the Texan spirit. Known as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, it is a hotbed of creativity, rich with historical tales, quirky traditions, and culinary delights. Whether you’re seeking the electrifying thrills of SXSW or a quiet day exploring Lady Bird Lake, Austin has something for every adventurer. Let’s plunge into the top 10 must-visit spots that encapsulate Austin’s rich tapestry of experiences.

The Austin Bucket List

1. The Texas State Capitol

The Texas State Capitol, a stunning architectural marvel, reigns supreme as an enduring symbol of the Lone Star State’s history and pride. The granite and marble edifice, with its fascinating displays and legislative chambers, offers an intriguing glimpse into Texas’s political past. The surrounding 22 acres of lush grounds and monuments invite you for a serene stroll.

2. South by Southwest (SXSW)

SXSW is the epitome of Austin’s thriving music, film, and interactive media scene. This internationally acclaimed festival transforms the city into a creative cauldron of performances, premieres, and panels. Plan to attend in March and get ready to immerse yourself in Austin’s exhilarating artistic spirit.

3. Lady Bird Lake

Named after former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, Lady Bird Lake is a tranquil oasis nestled in Austin’s heart. Whether you choose to paddleboard, hike the trails, or simply enjoy a picnic by the shore, the lake offers a refreshing break from the city’s bustling pace. Don’t miss the stunning sunset views from the Boardwalk.

4. Franklin Barbecue

What’s a trip to Texas without barbecue? Franklin Barbecue, touted as the best in America, offers a divine culinary experience that is quintessentially Austin. The mouth-watering brisket and ribs are worth every minute of the early-morning queue. Insider’s tip: Get there early, as they sell out quickly!

5. The Driskill

The Driskill, an iconic Texas landmark, captures the timeless elegance and grandeur of Austin’s heritage. Beyond its luxurious rooms, the historic hotel’s ornate lobby, and the decadent Driskill Bar offer a slice of Texan history mingled with a refined experience.

6. Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool

Zilker Park, a 351-acre haven, is a favorite local spot for outdoor fun, from hiking and biking to picnics and concerts. Within the park, the Barton Springs Pool, a three-acre natural spring pool, promises a refreshing dip even on the hottest summer day. Remember to check the pool’s schedule as it closes for a few hours on Thursdays for cleaning!

7. The University of Texas at Austin

Home to the Texas Longhorns, The University of Texas at Austin boasts a stunning campus worth exploring. Visit the Blanton Museum of Art, watch a football game, or climb the UT Tower for a panoramic view of Austin. A fun fact: The university’s motto, “What starts here changes the world,” truly embodies the city’s innovative spirit.

8. 6th Street

6th Street, the heart of Austin’s live music scene, is a buzzing boulevard lined with bars, clubs, and music venues. From jazz and blues to country and rock, it offers a rich taste of Austin’s eclectic soundscape. Plan your visit during the weekend when the street transforms into a lively pedestrian-only music festival.

9. Mount Bonnell

For breathtaking views of Austin and the Colorado River, a trek up Mount Bonnell is a must. The highest point within Austin’s city limits, it provides a serene spot to enjoy a sunrise or sunset. It’s an off-the-beaten-path choice that’s particularly popular among local adventurers.

10. The Cathedral of Junk

For a quirky Austin experience, visit the Cathedral of Junk, a towering structure assembled from over 60 tons of discarded items. It’s a testament to the city’s mantra, “Keep Austin Weird,” and an intriguing expression of creativity and recycling.

Austin, Texas, with its mix of cosmopolitan flair and small-town warmth, offers an unforgettable adventure. From its rich cultural scene to delightful culinary traditions and natural beauty, the city promises to keep you enthralled. There’s never been a better time to experience Austin’s unique charm. So come on down, y’all – let Austin’s enchanting rhythm draw you in, and you might just find it hard to leave.