Austin is one city you have to visit in the US! When we did our road trip across America, even from tale of previous travellers alone, we just knew we’d have to visit. There are so many things to do in Austin, Texas that make it stand out – not just amongst other Texan cities but across American cities as whole.
Rather than go prattling on and on about it, let me show you with these 10 things you have to do in Austin, Texas on your first visit.
1.) Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool
Grab your sunscreen and beach towel and head to Zilker Park, where you will find the beautiful Barton Spring Pool – a pool that’s unlike any of the pools we’re all used to. (Figured we might as well start with a fun, chilled one…😉).
One of the most fun things to do in Austin, there’s a small entrance fee for access to this fresh water pool (supplied by a nearby natural spring) and it’s the perfect spot to soak up some of that famous Texan sunshine pool-side.
2.) Explore Lake Travis
Lake Travis spans across 18,000 acres (impressive, right?) and is chock-full of lots of fun outdoorsy things to do in Austin. The lake was actually originally made to reduce flooding, and today, this limestone bottomed lake provides clear, blue waters to enjoy.
There are also options to book a place to stay in by the lake so if you’re looking for a change of pace from city life, you know where to go. 😉
3.) Visit the Blanton Museum of Art
This museum is located at the University of Texas Austin campus is one of the largest university art museums in the United States. Suffice to say, it’s the perfect spot to unleash the inner culture-vulture in you when you’re in Austin.
4.) Go native at Hippie Hollow Park
“Keep Austin Weird” is a mantra you’ll see plastered shirts and bumper stickers everywhere you go. Live the mantra and check out the Hippie Hollow Park in Northwest Austin. Located on Lake Travis, it is the only “clothing optional” park in the state of Texas so feel free to enjoy the sunshine in your birthday suit!
5.) Party on 6th Street
Also lovingly referred to as the “dirty 6th”, this district is lined with bars, restaurants cheap drinks and droves of people ready to party. To be fair though, the experience is only as “dirty” as you want it to be – there are lots of great cafes, taco places, shops and live music to enjoy on 6th if hardcore partying isn’t your thing.
6.) Marvel at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden
Located near the Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden is a great way to enjoy some outdoors art. Originally the home of American Sculptor Charles Umlauf, it is now a museum open to the public. Come here to have a gander at the native plants in the outdoor garden, as well as a variety of sculptures by Umlauf and other artists.
7.) Take in Texan history at the Texas Memorial Museum
Located on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, this is a must see for anyone interested in the history of Texas. Admission is reasonably prices and it makes for an interesting spot to explore a whole host of exhibits that take you back in time.
8.) Jump into the Hamilton Pool Preserve
If you want to head outside of the city for a bit, check out the naturally occurring Hamilton Pool. The pool is located just over 20 miles west of Austin and was formed by the collapse of an ancient underground river. Kickback, relax and enjoy the scenery and the waterfall with limestone slabs surrounding the area and clear blue waters just begging you to jump in.
9.) Explore the Longhorn Caverns
Longhorns Caverns is a 90-minute drive Northwest of Austin but this geological wonder is well worth the drive. Tour the caves, learn about its unique history and stop to say hi the resident bat population. 🦇
10.) Get entertained at the Paramount Theatre
Catch a live show or movie at the historic Paramount Theatre. Built in 1915, the theatre is an iconic spot located in downtown Austin. Check their calendar for upcoming shows before you visit and treat yourself to a fun night of entertainment in Austin!
If you’re planning on visiting the US, check out this road trip to help you along your merry way (quite literally).
Oh, also – check out these quirky facts about the US worth knowing.