Austin is one o the best cities in the US that you have to visit if you’re in Texas. It’s the kind of places that’s totally great for a weekend or longer trip whilst exploring Texas. Plus, it’s got a heap of the best things to do in Austin that are dotted all across (and around) the city.
Now, if you’ve ever been to Texas you’ll know it has a culture and identity all to its own! It’s no wallflower and a state that’s massive. Honestly, I didn’t even fathom the size until we started driving across and it actually took me nearly 10-hours to cross the state. Ginormous is an understatement!
Around a 100-miles, or so, from San Antonio, it’s really easy to visit if you’re in a car and touring some of the bigger cities down south. Plus, you can tag on a trip to Houston, too.
Anyway, I don’t wanna keep rambling on about all the other places you can visit. After all, you’re gonna have your hands full when exploring all the best things to do in Austin. Just make sure to pack some sunblock! It was roasting when we explored this area of Texas.
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Austin. Have the best trip.
1.) Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool
For a lazy day, grab your sunscreen and beach towel and head to Zilker Park. Here, you’ll find the lovely Barton Spring Pool that’s totally lovely on a hot day. Plus, it’s one of the best things to do in Austin to cool down.
There’s a small entrance fee for access to the freshwater pool (supplied by a nearby natural spring) and it’s the perfect spot to soak up some of that famous Texan sunshine.
Honestly, for me, I’d say to save this after a few days on your feet exploring; you’ll really savour it then!
2.) Explore Lake Travis
Now, Lake Travis spans across 18,000 acres (impressive, right?) and is chock-full of lots of fun outdoorsy stuff, too.
Once here, you can actually 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.
It’s one of the best things to do in Austin if you fancy leaving the city limits for a little while.
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. It really is one of the best things to do in Austin for art-lovers.
Suffice to say, it’s the perfect spot to unleash the inner culture-vulture. That being said, if you’re not into your art, you might wanna give this stop a side-step!
4.) Explore 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! Now, it’s certainly not for everyone but it’s something totally different if you fancy it?
5.) Party around 6th Street
Lovingly referred to as the dirty 6th (not sure why), this district is lined with bars, restaurants and droves of people ready to party. Honestly, it’s pretty busy on the weekends and is a hive of activity.
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.
It’s an all-rounder type of area and one of the best things to do in Austin in day or evening.
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 outdoor 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.
There is an admission cost but it won’t break the bank! Plus, it makes for an interesting spot to explore a whole host of exhibits that take you back in time.
Afterwards, take a look at the Texas State Capitol Building, too.
It’s one of the best things to do in Austin if you really want to explore more of the cities heritage, history and stunning buildings.
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.
Just make sure to pack some dry clothes for the drive back to Austin itself. No one likes soggy car seats!
9.) Explore the Longhorn Caverns
Longhorns Caverns is a 90-minute drive Northwest of Austin but this geological wonder and well worth the drive if you want to see something a little different.
Tour the caves, learn about its unique history and stop to say hi the resident bat population. Again, it’s one of the best things to do in Austin if you fancy leaving the city limits.
10.) See the Paramount Theatre
Catch a live show or movie at the historic Paramount Theatre.
Built back in 1915, the theatre is an iconic spot located in downtown Austin and really easy to see whilst strolling the city.
Check their calendar for upcoming shows before you visit and treat yourself to a fun night of entertainment in Austin.