35 Things To Do In Austin

By Janet Benoir – April 9, 2024

Austin, located in Central Texas’ hills, is a lively city known for its creativity, culture, and love for the outdoors. Famous for its unique vibe, Austin welcomes everyone from adventurers and food enthusiasts to music fans to discover its attractions.

Here are the top 35 activities in Austin that showcase the city’s charm and have something exciting for everyone.

South Congress Avenue

Walking down South Congress Avenue is like being at a lively festival that shows off Austin’s spirit every day. You’ll find everything from unique boutique shops to the smell of fresh coffee. This famous street really brings out the city’s heart, inviting you to join in its story.

Shop, eat, and explore at South Congress Avenue

As you explore, you’ll see colorful murals on old buildings that share stories of Austin’s culture and art. Places like Jo’s Coffee with its well-known “I love you so much” mural show how friendly and welcoming the community is. South Congress isn’t just a place to see; it’s a vibrant and diverse experience that captures what Austin is all about.

Austin FC

At Q2 Stadium, the excitement is fueled by the fervent support of Austin FC’s fans, known as the Verde. Soccer here becomes a powerful force that unites diverse groups in mutual enthusiasm and joy. This lively atmosphere ensures that each match is more than just a sporting event; it’s a celebration of Austin’s vibrant and dynamic culture.

Feel the energy at Austin FC Game

The stadium also offers an impressive selection of culinary treats, from delicious gourmet tacos to refreshing craft beers. Immersed in this environment and be surrounded by fellow fans. You’ll feel a profound sense of belonging and pride in the strong community spirit and the shared passion for soccer that defines Austin.

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool, located in the heart of Austin, is a refreshing oasis with its crystal-clear waters fed by underground springs. Open year-round, its cool temperatures provide a perfect escape from the Texas heat, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors to relax and enjoy. Laughter and joy fill the air around this three-acre pool turn it into a place.

Submerge in the Barton Springs Pool

The area around the pool is just as inviting, with its green, grassy spaces perfect for lounging, reading, or enjoying a picnic with friends and family. Sheltered by tall trees, it offers a tranquil environment for soaking up Austin’s natural beauty and sunny weather. Barton Springs Pool is more than a place to swim; it’s a beloved community hub that epitomizes the city’s relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Breakfast Tacos

Austin’s breakfast taco scene offers a world of flavors waiting to be discovered. With local taco trucks and hidden spots around the city, every taco brings its own unique mix of tradition and innovation to the table. Whether it’s the rich taste of brisket tacos or the warmth of homemade tortillas, finding the perfect breakfast taco becomes a journey into the heart of Austin’s diverse food culture.

Get full at Breakfast Tacos

Valentina’s, El Primo, and similar local spots showcase Austin’s unique breakfast culture with delicious flavors that bring you closer to the city’s lively vibe. Here, breakfast tacos are a way of life, offering more than just food, but a special start to your day filled with Austin’s rich food scene.

Lady Bird Lake

Paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake offers an escape from Austin’s bustling city life, immersing you in the calming presence of nature. As you glide over the smooth water, the cityscape transforms into a stunning reflection on the lake’s surface, offering a unique view of Austin. This peaceful activity provides a moment to pause, reflect, and feel a deep connection to the city’s quieter side.

Try paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake

Surrounded by lush greenery and lively wildlife, the lake’s edges create a beautiful setting for your water journey. Lady Bird Lake is welcoming to everyone, from experienced paddlers to first-timers, ensuring a serene experience right in the city’s heart. As you move with the water’s gentle flow and listen to the calming sounds of nature, you’ll feel a strong sense of belonging to the dynamic and lively community of Austin.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

Discover the beauty of the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a green oasis amidst Austin’s city life. It’s a place where nature’s tranquility meets adventure, with its serene streams, majestic cliffs, and lush forests. Hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts alike are drawn to its trails, uncovering cool, spring-fed pools and captivating waterfalls with every visit. It’s an outdoor haven that promises new discoveries and peaceful escapes with each journey.

Explore the Barton Creek Greenbelt

Here, climbers conquer towering limestone walls, families share picnics by the serene waters, and runners tackle the challenging terrain. It’s a special spot in Austin where people of all ages come together to enjoy and appreciate the great outdoors. Barton Creek Greenbelt truly captures the city’s adventurous spirit and its residents’ deep-rooted love for nature.

Mount Bonnell

Ascending the stone steps to Mount Bonnell’s peak, you’re greeted by an unparalleled view of Austin’s essence. The city’s hustle and bustle give way to the serene Colorado River and an expansive landscape. It offers a panoramic scene of the city skyline against the backdrop of Texas Hill Country. This spot is perfect for quiet reflection or enjoying a sunset picnic, presenting a picturesque setting that captures the city’s beauty.

Climb Mount Bonnell for sunset and city views

Mount Bonnell serves as a beautiful reminder of the area’s natural charm, encouraging everyone to take a moment and enjoy a fresh perspective on Austin. For both locals and newcomers, the stunning views from this vantage point are an essential Austin experience, showcasing the city in its full, breathtaking glory.

Alamo Drafthouse

At Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, the traditional cinema experience is transformed into a blend of gastronomy and film. It offers moviegoers the luxury of enjoying their favorite films while indulging in gourmet meals right from their seats. This iconic venue caters to all movie lovers, presenting everything from the latest blockbusters to niche indie films, ensuring every screening is an event in itself.

Enjoy movies at Alamo Drafthouse

The Drafthouse is renowned for its unique themed nights and interactive events that turn movie watching into a communal celebration. Whether you’re belting out tunes during a musical, laughing along with a comedy, or getting an insider’s look with a director’s cut, Alamo Drafthouse turns each screening into a memorable occasion. It’s a place where the art of cinema is not just watched but actively experienced, making it a classic Austin entertainment experience.

Austin City Limits

Join the vibrant celebration of music and culture at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, held in Zilker Park. This iconic event stretches over two weekends, turning the park into a vast stage where over a hundred bands from various genres and backgrounds perform, reflecting Austin’s rich musical heritage. It’s a place where music lovers unite, exploring and enjoying the wide array of sounds that define this city’s soul.

Experience the Austin City Limits Music Festival

But the Austin City Limits Music Festival offers more than just music. It’s a comprehensive celebration that intertwines art, culinary delights, and a sense of community. As attendees wind from one stage to another, they’re not just spectators but active participants in a festival that celebrates Austin’s community and its universal love for music.

Moody Amphitheater

Discover the beauty of live performances at the Moody Amphitheater in Austin, where the iconic Texas State Capitol and the lush Waterloo Park serve as a breathtaking backdrop. This venue, designed to blend intimacy with magnificence, hosts an array of musical talents. It’s a place where the city’s rich musical legacy invites both music veterans and newbies to share in the vibrancy of Austin’s renowned live music scene.

Catch live music at Moody Amphitheater

With its state-of-the-art acoustics and thoughtful design, the amphitheater offers an unparalleled auditory experience, turning each performance into a lasting memory. It acts as a magnet for music lovers and serves as a cornerstone of Austin’s lively cultural landscape. The Moody Amphitheater definitely brings people together to celebrate the universal language of music in unforgettable gatherings.

Alliance Children’s Garden

Alliance Children’s Garden in Austin is a vibrant playground where kids can unleash their creativity and spirit of adventure. This expansive outdoor space is designed for fun and learning, featuring everything from towering climbing structures to refreshing water play areas. It’s the perfect spot for families to spend a day exploring, playing, and making unforgettable memories together.

Have fun at the Alliance Children's Garden

This garden embodies Austin’s dedication to fostering environments where joy and community thrive. Amid the city’s hustle and bustle, it serves as a peaceful retreat where the sound of children’s laughter echoes. Alliance Children’s Garden is more than just a park; it’s a place where families can bond and kids are encouraged to embrace the wonders of nature and imagination.

East 6th Street

For a genuine taste of Austin’s nightlife, head over to East 6th Street. This area is a favorite among locals, dotted with a diverse array of cocktail bars, craft breweries, and venues for live music. It’s a place where the city’s vibrant spirit shines through, with people coming together to enjoy the creative energy that defines Austin. The atmosphere is electric, making it the perfect setting for a fun evening.

Bar hop to East 6th Street

Here, every establishment offers something unique, from dimly lit bars serving artisanal cocktails to lively breweries and intimate music venues. It’s an invitation to immerse yourself in the local culture, share a drink with friends, and create lasting memories. This street captures the authentic essence of Austin, offering warm welcomes, cool drinks, and endless opportunities for adventure.

Austin Public Library

The Austin Public Library stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to innovation, architecture, and community. Far beyond a simple collection of books, it’s a striking eco-friendly structure that welcomes everyone for exploration, learning, and connection. With its large windows, vast resources, and interactive installations, it’s a beacon of creativity and knowledge in the heart of Austin.

Marvel inside Austin Public Library

This library is more than a place to read—it’s a community center where ideas flow freely, conversations spark, and a wide range of events and workshops bring people together. From the tranquility of its rooftop garden to its diverse collection, the library offers endless opportunities for growth and inspiration. It’s a vibrant symbol of Austin’s dedication to fostering a rich cultural and educational environment for all who visit.

Blanton Museum of Art

Discover the wonders of art at the Blanton Museum of Art, located at the University of Texas at Austin. This museum brings together a fascinating array of artworks spanning ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, inviting visitors into a world where art bridges the past and present. It serves as a vibrant center for artistic dialogue, celebrating the diverse achievements of artists from around the globe.

Step inside the Blanton Museum of Art

Here, art lovers and newcomers alike can engage with works that resonate on a deeply personal level, fostering a connection between the viewer and the broader narrative of artistic expression. With its compelling exhibitions, educational programs, and spaces for quiet reflection, the Blanton plays a crucial role in Austin’s cultural landscape. Blanton Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore art.

Mayfield Park

Mayfield Park, located in Austin’s heart, is a serene oasis that combines historical charm with natural beauty. As you stroll through the vibrant gardens and under the shade of tall palms, you’re greeted by the sight of the tranquil surroundings. This park is a perfect escape from the city’s hustle, offering a peaceful environment for visitors to explore hidden ponds and enjoy the lush landscape.

Unwind at Mayfield Park

Every visit to Mayfield Park presents a fresh opportunity to connect with nature. The presence of the peacocks enhances the park’s beauty. It is a favorite spot for families, photographers, and anyone seeking a moment of peace. Here, the noise of the city is replaced by the gentle sounds of nature, inviting all who come to lose themselves in this natural retreat.

The Broken Spoke

The Broken Spoke is a cornerstone of Texas culture, offering a glimpse into the state’s rich traditions with its vibrant atmosphere and iconic dance floor. This historic dance hall welcomes everyone to join in the timeless dance of two-stepping, blending the rustic charm of Texas with lively country music. It’s a place where both novices and experts can celebrate Texas’s heritage, creating an unforgettable experience of music, dance, and camaraderie.

Dance at The Broken Spoke

At The Broken Spoke, the rhythm of two-stepping brings people together, creating moments of joy and connection under the neon lights. With lessons available, anyone can learn to dance with confidence, accompanied by the energetic sounds of live country bands. It’s a venue where laughter and music fill the air, friendships are made, and the spirit of Austin’s lively past and present comes to life.

Congress Bridge

As the sun sets in Austin, the Congress Bridge becomes the stage for an extraordinary natural event. Over a million Mexican free-tailed bats take to the sky, transforming dusk into a dynamic display of nature in motion. Locals and visitors alike gather in awe to witness this nightly emergence, as the bats set out on their quest for food under the fading light.

Witness the Congress Bridge Bats

This spectacle is much more than a stunning visual experience; it highlights the vital role these bats play in Austin’s ecosystem. Serving as natural pest controllers, the Congress Bridge bats contribute to the environmental well-being of the city. Observing this event bridges the gap between urban life and nature’s wonders, showcasing the vibrant wildlife that thrives in the heart of Texas.

LBJ Presidential Library

The LBJ Presidential Library offers a deep dive into the transformative 1960s under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s leadership. It showcases his role in the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War through engaging exhibits and artifacts. It presents a comprehensive look at his presidency and its significant influence on America’s course.

Learn history at LBJ Presidential Library

This library is more than just a repository of historical documents. It’s a center for education and insight where visitors, scholars, and students alike can explore and reflect on Johnson’s contributions to American history. It celebrates historical events, encouraging a deeper appreciation of the pivotal moments that have defined the nation.

BookPeople

BookPeople in Austin is more than just a bookstore; it’s a haven for book lovers that offers a vast array of literary works, from hot-off-the-press bestsellers to rare indie gems. Its shelves are rich with stories waiting to be discovered, curated by a staff passionate about matching readers with their next favorite book.

Read more at BookPeople

Within its welcoming walls, BookPeople hosts a vibrant community of readers and writers. Author readings, book signings, and literary discussions animate the space, fostering a culture of creativity and dialogue. It’s a place where literature is celebrated, a haven for those who believe in the transformative power of storytelling.

Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre is a centerpiece of Austin’s vibrant cultural scene, boasting a rich history and stunning architecture. For over a hundred years, it has been the stage for a wide variety of entertainment, including movies, plays, and concerts. The experience of watching a performance here is not just about the show but also about soaking in the venue’s historic charm.

Watch live entertainment at the Paramount Theatre

When you attend an event at the Paramount, you’re treated to more than just a performance; you’re immersed in an atmosphere of elegance and tradition. The detailed interiors, reminiscent of a bygone era of luxurious entertainment, offer a unique backdrop that enhances the theatre-going experience. It’s a place where each performance is enriched by the venue’s storied past, connecting audiences with Austin’s rich artistic heritage.

Franklin’s BBQ

Franklin’s BBQ attracts barbecue enthusiasts who eagerly endure the lengthy wait for a taste of their famed brisket. The savory, smoky, tender meats have earned Franklin’s a spot on the culinary world stage. It’s more than just dining; it’s an experience that celebrates the meticulous craft and tradition of Texas barbecue.

Savor Franklin's BBQ

Every meal at Franklin’s BBQ promises a deep dive into the rich flavors of Texas, with meats smoked to perfection over Texas oak and served with genuine hospitality. Each visit leaves diners with not just the taste of expertly prepared barbecue but also warm, cherished memories of a meal shared among friends and family in the heart of Austin.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park blends the city’s dynamic energy with the tranquility of nature. This vast green space welcomes everyone with open arms for a variety of activities—from picnics and frisbee games under the wide Texas sky to enjoying music festivals and performances at its outdoor theaters. The Great Lawn is the centerpiece, perfect for those seeking leisure or active fun.

Stroll along the Zilker Metropolitan Park

The park acts as a communal hub, drawing locals and visitors alike to its annual events like the Zilker Kite Festival and tranquil spots like the botanical gardens. It provides a playground for all ages to explore, relax, and connect with the city’s natural charm. Whether you’re looking to engage in lively activities or simply soak in the serene environment, Zilker Park encapsulates the essence of Austin’s outdoor appeal.

Lady Bird Lake

The Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail serves as a bustling corridor for joggers, cyclists, and walkers. With every turn, the trail offers stunning views of the city skyline and the natural beauty surrounding it. It seamlessly merges the urban life with the tranquility of the outdoors. This beloved path is a peaceful haven right within the city’s bounds, providing both an escape and a gathering place for the community.

Hike and bike at the Lady Bird Lake

The trail around Lady Bird Lake serves as a vibrant showcase of Austin’s love for the outdoors. This path not only reflects the city’s passion for staying active but also its dedication to preserving accessible green spaces for the community. It’s a place where Austin’s energetic lifestyle and its respect for nature beautifully intersect, creating a lively atmosphere that captures the essence of the city.

Texas Capitol

The Texas Capitol, with its distinctive sunset-red granite facade and impressive dome, symbolizes Texas’s rich history and dynamic political scene. Its architectural splendor and the historic atmosphere within its walls captivate visitors. This iconic building welcomes everyone to discover its architectural and historical magnificence.

Visit the Texas Capitol

Offering guided tours, the Capitol provides insights into Texas’s governance and architectural beauty. Each part of the building has stories of historical significance, detailing the struggles and achievements that have shaped the state. Visiting the Texas Capitol allows you to immerse yourself in the enduring spirit and heritage of Texas.

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin stands as a vibrant hub of education and progress. Within its expansive grounds, the spirit of discovery is alive, blending rich traditions with modern innovation. This campus offers more than just academic pursuit. It’s a place where future leaders are molded, surrounded by historic architecture, advanced research centers, and a lively student culture.

Explore the University of Texas at Austin

A visit to the University of Texas campus is a journey through a world of academic excellence infused with Longhorn pride. Whether you’re exploring the art at the Blanton Museum, cheering at a football game in the iconic stadium, or simply meandering through the tree-lined paths, you’re immersed in an environment brimming with intellectual energy and community spirit.

Craft Breweries

Austin’s craft beer scene is a reflection of the city’s creativity and passion, offering a diverse range of flavors that embody the local spirit. A tour of the breweries is an opportunity to dive into the world of craft beer, tasting everything from bold IPAs to smooth lagers. It’s a chance to meet the dedicated brewers and hear the stories behind their creations, adding a personal touch to every sip.

Craft Brewery Crawl

This exploration goes beyond the beer itself, introducing you to the unique settings of each brewery, from trendy taprooms to cozy patios and lively beer gardens. As you journey from one spot to the next, you’ll experience the warmth and camaraderie that define Austin’s beer community.

Texas Hill Country

Explore the lush landscapes of Texas Hill Country, home to sprawling vineyards with vibrant greens and the rich hues. This region breathes life into the age-old craft of winemaking. It invites visitors on a sensory voyage where each taste unfolds unique flavors. Austin’s surrounding vineyards have quickly become a favorite destination for wine aficionados, offering a diverse array of wines that capture the essence of the area.

Visit a Vineyard

The experience transcends the act of tasting wine; it’s about immersing yourself in the tranquil beauty of the Texas countryside. Whether you’re an experienced wine lover or simply looking to enjoy a leisurely day filled with good wine and stunning views, Austin’s vineyards offer an unforgettable adventure of exploration and enjoyment.

The Contemporary Austin

At The Contemporary Austin, the fusion of art and nature crafts modern creativity. This vibrant venue showcases avant-garde exhibitions amidst Austin’s picturesque scenery, inviting visitors to dive deep into contemporary themes. Each piece, from both rising and renowned artists, serves as a motivation for conversation, pushing boundaries and expanding viewpoints. The museum uniquely integrates the city’s urban pulse with the tranquility of the natural world.

Explore The Contemporary Austin

Exploring The Contemporary Austin, whether it’s the spacious halls of the Jones Center or the verdant expanses of Laguna Gloria, offers a unique twist on the traditional museum visit. Artworks are set against nature’s canvas, engaging in a silent yet profound exchange with the environment. This serene interaction not only challenges the observer but also highlights the dynamic arts culture in Texas.

Lake Travis

Set sail on Lake Travis with a party barge for a day of unparalleled sunshine, laughter, and music. This is a celebration of friendship, freedom, and the sheer joy of being on the water. Dance, swim, and soak up the blissful moments as the barge cuts through the sparkling waters, offering a slice of Austin’s vibrant, laid-back culture. It’s an unforgettable experience of fun and camaraderie.

Rent a Party Barge on Lake Travis

The party barge on Lake Travis is your exclusive escape, a place where you can let loose and enjoy life without boundaries. Surrounded by stunning scenery, it’s the perfect backdrop for creating lasting memories and strengthening bonds with friends. Whether it’s a special celebration or just a day out, the laughter and happiness experienced here linger long after the day ends, making every moment spent on the lake truly magical.

Comedy Show

Discover the lighter side of Austin at one of its acclaimed comedy clubs, a place where vibrant humor and diverse comedic talent take center stage. From stand-up comedians delivering sharp wit to improv troupes that find the funny in the fly, these venues showcase the best of Austin’s comedy scene. It’s an opportunity to unwind, share a laugh, and appreciate the quirky observations and hilarious anecdotes.

Attend a Comedy Show

Here, amidst the laughter of the audience, you’ll feel a sense of belonging and connection. These intimate venues create a unique space where performers and patrons come together, sharing moments of joy and creating memories. In Austin, comedy is more than entertainment—it’s a way to bond, making every chuckle a testament to the city’s inclusive and joyful spirit.

Rainey Street

Rainey Street offers a nightlife scene that captures the essence of the city. With its quaint bungalows-turned-bars and restaurants, the street marries the charm of old Austin with the dynamic energy of its present. Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxed evening or an energetic night out, Rainey Street caters to all, serving up craft cocktails, delicious food, and the ever-present hum of live music.

Dive into the Nightlife on Rainey Street

Venturing down Rainey Street is perfect for catching up with friends or making new connections. Amidst the buzz of conversation and laughter, Rainey Street stands as a vibrant reminder of Austin’s ability to evolve while staying true to its soulful roots. This place is an essential experience for anyone seeking to truly understand the city’s heart.

Stay in a Unique Austin Hotel

In Austin, staying at a hotel is much more than finding a place to sleep—it’s about immersing yourself in the city’s unique blend of culture and history. The city’s accommodations range from chic boutique hotels with walls adorned with art to historic places that echo the past. The carefully chosen decor and local art in every room reflect Austin’s rich cultural scene.

Stay in a Unique Austin Hotel

These hotels are sanctuaries in the heart of the city, providing a peaceful retreat amidst the hustle and bustle. Waking up in one of these hotels means starting your day surrounded by creativity and stepping out directly into Austin’s lively atmosphere.

Unique Boutiques

Austin’s boutique shops are like hidden gems scattered across the city. These small, often independently owned stores offer everything from vintage finds to cutting-edge fashion, each item reflecting the city’s eclectic and creative vibe. Shopping here isn’t just about what you buy—it’s about experiencing the local culture and supporting the community’s talented artisans.

Shop Local at Unique Boutiques

Wandering from one boutique to another, you’ll find yourself on a cultural treasure hunt, where each purchase connects you directly to the heart of Austin. These shops showcase passion and creativity, often run by the artisans themselves. This makes every visit an opportunity to engage with the local community, hear their stories, and bring a piece of Austin’s soul back home with you.

Rooftops

Enjoy a crafted cocktail with a view at one of Austin’s rooftop bars. The skyline stretches out beneath you, transforming each sip into an unforgettable experience. As the sun dips below the horizon, these stylish spots offer the perfect setting for relaxation and appreciation of Austin’s urban beauty.

Sip cocktails with a view on Rooftop Bars

These rooftop bars aren’t just places to grab a drink; they’re iconic destinations in themselves, combining breathtaking views with sophistication. Whether you’re after a cozy corner for sunset gazing or a vibrant atmosphere to kick off your evening, Austin’s rooftop venues provide the perfect backdrop for any occasion.

Brunch

In Austin, brunch celebrates the slow and delightful beginnings of the day. Each mouthful is a celebration of the city’s flavors, blending traditional tastes with creative flair. It makes brunch not just a meal, but an experience that captivates the senses.

Brunch in Style Across Austin

Be it through a stack of lush pancakes or the zesty adventure of a migas taco, brunch in Austin invites you to take your time, enjoy a coffee or a mimosa, and truly savor a meal that captures the heart and soul of the city.

Known for its amazing music, delicious food, exciting outdoor activities, and rich culture, Austin draws you into its lively essence. No matter what brings you here – be it the tunes, the tastes, the trails, or the art – you’re in for an adventure.

In Austin, every moment is a chance to see, learn, and fall for Texas’ vibrant heart. Go and explore the city that turns every stay into lasting memories.


The 10 Best Restaurants in Austin

Austin, Texas, is more than a city; it’s a rich blend of tastes, traditions, and creative cooking that attracts food enthusiasts worldwide. From delicious barbecue to unique vegan options, Austin’s food scene is an adventure for the taste buds.

In this article, we’re exploring ten must-visit restaurants that showcase the best of Austin’s diverse and exciting culinary offerings, making it a dream destination for anyone.

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue is a must-visit in Austin, known for its incredibly tender brisket. This barbecue hotspot is celebrated not just for its food but as a true Austin experience, showcasing the city’s passion for smoked meats. The effort put into every piece of brisket, from the spicy crust to the juicy center, makes dining here more than just eating.

At Franklin Barbecue, the smell of slow-cooked meat teases you long before you get a taste, building anticipation. Once you take that first bite, the flavors confirm that the wait was worth it.

Uchi

Uchi elevates dining to an art, mixing traditional Japanese skills with Austin’s flair for innovation. Under Chef Tyson Cole’s guidance, a variety of flavors come alive, showcasing everything from the freshest nigiri to creative foie gras dishes. The cozy atmosphere enhances the dining experience, making Uchi a key destination for an unparalleled sushi journey.

Entering Uchi feels like stepping into a world where detail and passion collide, with each dish serving as a showcase for Chef Cole’s creativity. As each course arrives, it unveils a blend of tastes and textures unique to Uchi’s offerings. This spot celebrates Japanese culinary artistry through a unique Austin perspective.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

Kemuri Tatsu-ya blends Austin’s relaxed atmosphere with the essence of a Japanese izakaya, offering a unique and enjoyable dining experience. Here, you’ll find a creative mix of Texas barbecue and Japanese flavors, such as brisket seasoned with a sesame-pecan rub and innovative Japanese-style cocktails. The decor, a mix of Texan and Japanese styles, perfectly complements the fusion menu.

Each dish at Kemuri Tatsu-ya is a celebration of flavor innovation, taking diners on an exciting taste journey. With its focus on smoky, rich flavors and a creative drink selection, this spot rewards those looking for a new dining experience. Kemuri Tatsu-ya is an exploration of Austin’s diverse food scene and a testament to culinary creativity.

Odd Duck

Odd Duck stands out as a true representation of Austin’s lively food scene, putting a creative spin on locally sourced ingredients. Starting as a food truck and growing into a full-fledged restaurant, Odd Duck showcases innovative dishes like the famed pork belly sandwich made with bread from freshly milled grains. Its dedication to local farms means every dish is bursting with freshness and community spirit, capturing what makes Austin special.

The restaurant’s eclectic and welcoming vibe creates a unique dining experience. With an open kitchen, guests can watch as chefs turn local ingredients into extraordinary meals, adding a touch of excitement to the dining experience. Odd Duck is a place of constant discovery, offering a taste of Austin’s dynamic culinary landscape to everyone who walks through its doors.

Barley Swine

At Barley Swine, every dish celebrates Austin’s local flavors, led by Chef Bryce Gilmore and his dedication to farm-to-table eating. The menu changes regularly, featuring the best local ingredients in unique dishes like cured antelope and beef fat toast. This place stands out for its community vibe, with tables that bring together food lovers of all types to enjoy Austin’s diverse tastes.

Barley Swine provides a close-knit dining experience. Dining here is more than just a meal; it’s a journey into Austin’s farming culture, creatively crafted by Chef Gilmore. For those looking to dive deep into what makes Austin’s food scene special, Barley Swine’s tasting menu showcases the best of the city’s culinary spirit, ensuring every visit is a new and exciting experience.

La Barbecue

La Barbecue in East Austin is a standout in the city’s barbecue scene. It serves up smoky and delicious brisket, sausages, and ribs that capture the essence of Central Texas-style barbecue. Its laid-back, picnic-style setup makes dining here feel like a friendly gathering, enhancing the overall experience.

The charm of La Barbecue isn’t just in its incredible food but also in the warm, welcoming vibe it offers. It’s a place where the delicious aroma of barbecue fills the air, setting the stage for a memorable meal. As a highlight of Austin’s food scene, La Barbecue is a top spot for anyone wanting to dive into the city’s rich culinary traditions.

Elizabeth Street Café

At Elizabeth Street Café, mornings start with the smell of fresh pastries, setting the tone for a great day ahead in this cozy French-Vietnamese spot. As the day enlivens, it shifts from a bakery with sweet macarons and croissants to a lively place famous for its bánh mì sandwiches. This café mixes French flair with Vietnamese flavors, showcasing Austin’s rich food scene uniquely and invitingly.

What makes Elizabeth Street Café special is not just the food but also its welcoming, vibrant setting that reminds you of a small café in Paris. The café serves up sandwiches on crunchy, homemade baguettes filled with seasoned pork, herbs, and sauces. This place is a must-visit for its fresh take on dining, perfect for anyone wanting to dive into the city’s diverse and fashionable food culture.

Justine’s Brasserie

Justine’s Brasserie perfectly captures Austin’s relaxed atmosphere alongside a touch of elegance. As the evening turns to night, Justine’s becomes a buzzing spot for both locals and visitors to enjoy under twinkling lights, serving up specialties like escargot and steak frites. Its unique late-night dining experience brings a slice of Paris to Austin, ideal for those wanting to enjoy a stylish night out.

The brasserie’s dark, cozy interior and welcoming garden create the perfect setting for romantic dinners and long talks. Every plate, from the crispy French onion soup to the perfectly crafted Sidecar cocktail, showcases Justine’s dedication to fine dining and ambiance. Dressing up for a night at Justine’s promises an exceptional experience, blending Austin’s casual charm with French sophistication for a memorable evening.

Nixta Taqueria

Nixta Taqueria, nestled in East Austin, transforms tacos into a creative feast. Chef Edgar Rico mixes different flavors, offering unique tacos far from the usual. With everything from Aztec-style tortillas to a taco selection reflecting his heritage, Nixta shines as a spot of culinary creativity in Austin. It combines traditional ingredients in new ways, making dining here a vibrant experience reflective of the city’s diverse culture.

The atmosphere at Nixta Taqueria is lively and inviting, highlighted by a disco ball and colorful decor. The menu elevates tacos to something special, with options like beet tartare with avocado crema and duck confit with salsa cruda. Nixta is a must-visit for anyone wanting to dive into the heart of the city’s diverse and ambitious culinary world.

Lutie’s Garden Restaurant

Lutie’s Garden Restaurant offers a unique dining experience that highlights the richness of Texas’s heritage cuisine. Every dish, from the garden hand rolls to the freshly baked estate bread, is made with attention to detail and the freshest ingredients. Eating at Lutie’s feels like being part of a special event, surrounded by the estate’s rich history and opulence.

The setting of Lutie’s creates a perfect backdrop for a meal that blends luxury with the essence of Texas’s farm produce. The menu features exceptional dishes like duck leg confit and Texas beef that are sure to impress. Whether you’re celebrating a special moment or simply want to enjoy some of Austin’s finest cooking, Lutie’s offers an unforgettable dining experience.

Austin’s food scene is a vibrant mix of new ideas, classic flavors, and bold cooking. These ten restaurants are only a start to discovering Austin’s deep passion for food. Whether you’re into barbecue, sushi, or tacos, there’s a spot in Austin ready to welcome you.


35 Things To Do In Austin


The 10 Best Tours in Austin

Austin, Texas, is a unique and vibrant city full of adventure, history, and culture. It’s a place where food lovers, music fans, outdoor adventurers, and history enthusiasts can all find something to enjoy.

With a variety of unforgettable tours, here are the top 10 must-do experiences in Austin, each showcasing a different aspect of this lively city’s essence.

Austin Live Music Crawl with Austin Detours

Dive into the heart of Austin’s vibrant music scene with an evening tour that takes you across the city’s most celebrated live music venues. Each stop is a unique experience, showcasing the diverse sounds and stories that earned Austin the title of “Live Music Capital of the World.” You’ll be immersed in the performances of local musicians, providing a rich insight into the city’s musical culture.

Austin Live Music Crawl with Austin Detours

This tour is an invitation to become part of Austin’s dynamic musical environment. The soulful tunes and passionate narratives of the artists you’ll encounter will leave a lasting impression. By the end of the night, you’ll carry with you not just memories of melodies but a profound appreciation for Austin’s rich musical heritage.

  • Tour Fee: Approximately $50
  • Schedule: Sunday to Friday, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8-11 p.m.
  • Inclusions: Venue entries, expert local musician guides

BikeTexas Tours – Tour Austin on an e-Bike

Discover Austin in a new and exciting way with an e-bike tour that combines the fun of cycling with the convenience of electric assistance. As you effortlessly navigate through the city, you’ll pass by breathtaking sites like the lush Barton Springs Pool and the iconic Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue. You can easily immerse yourself in the lively essence of Austin.

BikeTexas Tours – Tour Austin on an e-Bike

Whether you’re cruising through energetic city streets or enjoying a peaceful ride by the lake, this e-bike tour offers an enjoyable and accessible way to see the heart of Austin. This tour will appeal to explorers of all ages seeking a memorable adventure.

  • Tour Fee: Starts at $69
  • Schedule: Daily (except Wednesday), 9:30 a.m.
  • Inclusions: e-Bike, helmet, lights, professional guide

Austin Brewery Tours – City Brewery Tour

Experience Austin’s vibrant craft beer scene with a tour that offers more than just a taste of the city’s best brews. Wander from brewery to brewery, each stop presenting a unique flavor profile and an opportunity to learn about the brewing process from the very people who bring these beers to life. This experience isn’t merely about enjoying Austin’s finest beers; it’s about connecting with the culture and the community.

Austin Brewery Tours – City Brewery Tour

As you explore a variety of beer styles, from the intensity of IPAs to the richness of stouts, you’ll uncover the rich history and passionate community that fuel Austin’s beer revolution. For beer lovers and story seekers alike, this tour is an essential exploration of the flavors and tales that make Austin’s beer scene truly special.

  • Tour Fee: Starts at $80
  • Schedule: Thursday to Sunday, varying times
  • Inclusions: Transportation, tastings, facility tours, option to purchase food.

PubCrawler of Austin

Experience Austin’s nightlife in a unique and lively way with the PubCrawler tour, where you and your friends can pedal through the city on a bar-on-wheels. This exciting journey blends the fun of cycling with the vibrant atmosphere of bar-hopping, offering an adventure you won’t forget. As you move from one popular spot to another, enjoy your favorite beverages and see the city’s nightlife from an entirely new angle.

PubCrawler of Austin

The sound of laughter accompanies your group as you power the PubCrawler, making stops at some of Austin’s favorite bars along the way. This experience is more than just a night out. It’s an engaging workout, a dynamic party, and an insightful city tour all in one. Perfect for any celebration or a casual fun day out, the PubCrawler ensures a memorable time filled with good cheer.

  • Tour Fee: Starts at $39 (Thursday) to $42 (Friday-Sunday)
  • Schedule: Thursday to Sunday
  • Inclusions: Pedal pub ride, electric assist, BYOB option

Lone Star Riverboat – Bat Watching Sunset Tours

Watching over a million bats soar into the sunset is best enjoyed on a Lone Star Riverboat tour along Lady Bird Lake. The calm waters and the fading light of day set the perfect scene for this natural display at the Congress Avenue Bridge. This spectacle is not just a visual treat but a moment that captures the essence of Austin’s unique natural heritage.

Lone Star Riverboat – Bat Watching Sunset Tours

As the day ends, this tour stands out as a peaceful yet thrilling adventure, offering a rare look at the intersection of urban and natural worlds in the heart of Texas. It’s an essential experience for those who love nature and seek to witness one of Austin’s most famous wildlife phenomena up close.

  • Tour Fee: Adults $12, Children $7, Under 2s free
  • Schedule: March to October, 30 minutes before sunset
  • Inclusions: Lake cruise, narration by the captain

Austin Eats Food Tours – Best of Austin Food Truck Tour

Join the Best of Austin Food Truck Tour for a culinary journey that takes you through the heart of the city’s vibrant street food scene. Experience a variety of flavors showcasing the diverse and innovative tastes of Austin. Each food truck stop offers a chance to enjoy unique dishes that mix traditional flavors with modern flair, highlighting the creativity that Austin’s food scene is known for.

Austin Eats Food Tours – Best of Austin Food Truck Tour

As you explore, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the dedicated chefs behind these tasty creations, whose passion and stories bring depth to the dining experience. This tour is an exploration of Austin’s rich culinary culture. Discover a world of delicious eats and the vibrant community that supports them, making each bite a memorable part of your Austin adventure.

  • Tour Fee: Approximately $85
  • Schedule: Most Saturdays at 10 a.m.
  • Inclusions: Food at each stop, air-conditioned bus, knowledgeable guide

Austin Duck Adventures

Austin Duck Adventures presents a unique journey through the heart of Texas’ capital, combining educational content with entertainment aboard an amphibious vehicle. As it moves from the lively city streets, the tour is filled with laughter thanks to the amusing stories and interesting facts shared by the guides. This seamless blend of city tours and lake adventure provides an engaging experience for all.

Austin Duck Adventures

The tour’s highlight comes when the vehicle transitions from land to water, offering participants a remarkable view of Lake Austin and the surrounding Hill Country. This change in perspective showcases the beauty and appeal of Austin from a different angle, making for a memorable adventure that appeals to both young and old. The experience not only entertains but also leaves lasting impressions of Austin’s picturesque landscapes and vibrant city life.

  • Tour Fee: Adults $30, Kids (3-12) $20, Under 2s free
  • Schedule: Daily, varying times
  • Inclusions: 75-minute narrated tour

Haunted ATX – Private Hearse Tour

Haunted ATX offers a thrilling journey through Austin’s spooky side in a Cadillac hearse, where bold adventurers can explore the city’s most haunted spots and hear chilling tales. Expert guides share eerie stories at each stop, from the legendary Driskill Hotel to the puzzling University of Texas campus, enhancing the night with a blend of fear and fascination.

Haunted ATX – Private Hearse Tour

As darkness envelops Austin, the tour navigates through shadowy streets, setting a perfect scene for potential encounters with the paranormal. This unique experience invites guests to dive into the city’s mysterious past, offering glimpses into the supernatural. It’s an adventure that combines the thrill of ghost stories with the intrigue of historical secrets, all under the glow of the moon.

  • Tour Fee: $100 for first two people, $59 for each additional (up to 6)
  • Schedule: Daily (except Monday), 7 and 8 p.m.
  • Inclusions: Private hearse ride, ghost stories, knowledgeable guide

Bike and Brew ATX – Austin’s Gem

Experience Austin’s vibrant east side in a unique blend of cycling and craft beer tasting. Riding from one notable brewery to another, you’ll feel the freedom of the open road and the warmth of the sun. Not only will you get to taste a variety of exceptional beers, but you’ll also learn about the craftsmanship that goes into making them.

Bike and Brew ATX – Austin's Gem

This tour is ideal for adventure seekers who love to explore a city’s culture on two wheels and enjoy the company of fellow beer enthusiasts. As you pedal along with friends old and new, you’ll share in the rich flavors and stories that each brewery offers, creating a bond over the love of biking and beer. It’s a journey that captures the laid-back, yet vibrant spirit of Austin.

  • Tour Fee: About $75
  • Schedule: Wednesday to Sunday, afternoon and evening times
  • Inclusions: Bike rental, helmet, brewery visits, tasting flights, souvenir glass

Live Love Paddle – Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Tours

As evening falls, the Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Tour with Live Love Paddle becomes the perfect opportunity to witness one of Austin’s most breathtaking natural events. Paddling gently on Lady Bird Lake towards the bridge, participants eagerly await the moment when millions of bats take to the sky. This peaceful kayak journey offers not just a close-up view but also a fresh way to appreciate the city’s wild side.

Live Love Paddle – Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Tours

This captivating experience is further enriched by knowledgeable guides who unveil the secrets of these fascinating creatures of the night. Watching the bats emerge in unison is an unforgettable sight that showcases the delicate balance between Austin’s bustling city life and its rich natural heritage. It’s a captivating experience that allows the wonders of the natural world to take center stage.

  • Tour Fee: Starts at $45
  • Schedule: Mid-February to late November, seasonal departure times
  • Inclusions: Kayak rental, guide, life jacket

Austin’s diverse tour offerings capture the essence of the city’s vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re paddling under a bat-filled sky, cycling past iconic landmarks, or tasting your way through the culinary scene, each tour promises memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your spirit of adventure and come explore the unforgettable charm of Austin.