Fun Things To Do In Austin


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The live music capital of the world offers so much more than its large outdoor music festivals and intimate performances at local bars and clubs. Taking a trip to Austin will uncover many unique attractions with a thriving arts and culture scene, fantastic diners that will make you feel at home, and theme parks that will make you want to slap on a cowboy hat! Come down to this city and you'll know why people say it's weird but in a good way! Here is a list of some fun things to do in Austin to make the most of your trip!


Kickstart Your Trip With Austin Visitor Center

Kickstart your tour by stopping over at the Austin Visitor Center. Nestled in Downtown Austin at 602 E. Fourth Street, this tourist spot is the perfect place to get street maps, tour guides, and brochures. Open year-round, the visitor center attracts millions of sightseers each year who come to explore the whole of Austin. You'll be greeted by the friendliest of staff at VC who will leave you anticipating more good things throughout your trip! You'll get the particulars about the best guided tours of the city, the local attractions ranging from historical museums to musical festivals, places to dine in, and more!

Austin Visitor Center

(Photo via @wrongwayduck / Instagram)

People here also love to narrate stories of Austin infused with lots of culture and history, so make sure that you're all ears so you don't miss a beautiful tale! Folks at VC will also tell you how the slogan "Keep Austin Weird'' was born. Do check out the center's highlight – a gift shop where you can get beautiful apparel, Texas-style artifacts, historical books, and other gifts for loved ones back home. Don't forget to snap photos here so you can look back on your first stop on the Austin tour!

See The Best of Austin On Our Guided Tour!

See the Performing Arts at Paramount Theatre

This historic theater sitting in the heart of Downtown Austin is a testament to the devotion of the town's folks to uphold community, arts, and culture. Visiting the Paramount Theatre to get a glimpse of the creative experiences of Central Texas first-hand is surely one of the best things to do in Austin! If you're lucky, you might even get a chance to see a Golden Globe, Tony, or other prestigious award-winning performers gracing the stage, since that's not so rare in this distinguished theater.

Paramount Theatre

(Photo via @ggsampley / Instagram)

The Paramount is graced with over 250 performances annually ranging from musicals and comedies to classic film screenings in its movie theater. When you visit this hot spot, you'll understand why Austin is famously dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World. Musical titans and legends like Miles Davis and Billy Joel have put in a magical appearance over here. If you need a laugh, do see this theater's festival dedicated to light entertainment — Moontower Comedy featuring over 100 comedians from the locals to the legends. If you want a classic cinema hall affair with the ever-present smell of popcorn wrapping itself around you, check out the Family Film Festival dedicated to providing such an experience! All in all, you will never get bored spending a day in this theater.

View The Thriving Arts Scene In Austin!

Take a Tranquil Stroll Through Umlauf Sculpture Gardens

Spend a meditative hour strolling through the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum to get a glimpse into the works of Charles Umlauf with a splash of lyrical abstraction, expressionism, and neoclassical realism! The garden showcases over 40 sculptures wrapped in scenic surroundings. You'll find the inner gallery full of rotating exhibits of artworks and sculptures from other artists made in the same vein as Umlauf's style. You'll also find many obscure pieces and rare collections.

Umlauf Sculpture Gardens

(Photo via @utexasmstc / Instagram)

Visiting this tourist spot is a great way to appreciate art complementing the scenic beauty of nature. Don't forget to bring along kids as the museum features many activities and workshops for the little ones. You can also partake in the workshops to immerse yourself in the arts & crafts!

Hop On A Scenic Night Tour Of Austin!

Get a History Lesson at Texas Capitol

To sprinkle some history and heritage into your tour, stop by the Texas State Capitol. Constructed in the style of the Italian Renaissance, this building is an important historical landmark and a symbol of the state's government and heritage. Sitting atop a cliff with a view of the downtown area, its magnificent architecture and historical significance entice millions of tourists year-round. Stop by and see its ornate Texas Red Granite framework with gorgeous details, from its vintage brass door hinges and massive chandeliers to its intricate handrails.

Texas Capitol

(Photo via @travelwiththeelsers / Instagram)

Learn more about the Capitol's history by exploring its gorgeously landscaped grounds, home to a diverse mix of 17 monuments including interesting sculptures and memorials. View other fun exhibits at the Visitor's Center to brush up on your knowledge of Texan history! Snag a seat at Texas Chili Parlor for a plate of Texas-style chili to refuel for your next tourist stop!

Learn Austin Red River Street Food Walking and BBQ Tour

Batwatch at Congress Avenue Bridge

As weird as it sounds, tourists and locals alike love bat-watching in Austin. And there's no other place more famous for this recreational activity than the Congress Avenue Bridge. When the sun goes down, these black beauties emerge flying all the way from down south and flocking over the Congress Bridge. From a distant view, these bats appear as black specks made with a paintbrush against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.

Batwatch at Congress Avenue Bridge

(Photo via @checkitofftravel / Instagram)

The best time to spot these beauties is from 7:30 to 9:45 pm so be sure to get on the Congress Bridge as early as possible to see millions of bats swarming overhead. Don't miss the rare opportunity to see the biggest urban bat colony in the world. Get the most out of the unique bat-watching experience by visiting the bridge during All Hallows' Eve to make it all more spooky!

Hop On A Bat Watching Tour Of Congress Bridge!

Promenade Around Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

You're missing out on a lot if you don't stroll along the paved Boardwalk to see miles of beautiful cityscape as the sunset stretches across the horizon. Bike or hike the 3.6 miles of the promenade which winds along the clear waters of Lady Bird Lake boasting a glorious vista of Austin's skyline! Many couples hit up this tourist spot at night time to spend some quality time together while taking a lazy stroll. Water sports enthusiasts use the boardwalk to kickstart activities like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake.

Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

(Photo via @adam_ali91 / Instagram)

Get fit with a scenic workout, enjoy thrilling funfairs and rodeos, go on a shopping spree at gift stores, or taste your way along the Boardwalk at its famous restaurants and bars. On your stroll, you'll see several other spots of interest nearby, such as Zilker Park and the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is home to the world's largest urban bat colony.

Take A Lazy Stroll Through Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk!

Be One With Nature in Zilker Botanical Garden

A visit to the City of the Violet Crown is incomplete without visiting the famous Zilker Botanical Garden. Located in the heart of Downtown Austin in Zilker Metropolitan Park, this quiet garden is a good spot to stop by if you want a break from the bustling tourist attractions. If you're into gardening, this place is a must-visit. You'll get to explore the various themed gardens such as the Rose Garden, Taniguchi Japanese Garden, and the famous Hartman Prehistoric Garden. Little ones will love the butterfly trail and the children's garden.

Zilker Botanical Garden

(Photo via @zilkerbotanicalgarden / Instagram)

Take a trip down history and see majestic dinosaurs in the Hartman Prehistoric Garden. Even the plants of this garden represent the prototypical flora of the Cretaceous Period. That's why kids love this garden in particular! For the best meditative experience, visit this park during spring or summer to see what's blooming! Take a stroll down this garden and watch the beautiful Koi swirling around its ponds and embrace the sense of serenity it offers. You'll also spot vibrant blooms, heritage live oaks, and streams — all of which make for a perfect Zen experience in the heart of Austin!

See The Scenic Sights Of Austin On A Guided Tour!

Make Your Day Zen With Barton Creek Greenbelt 

Barton Creek Greenbelt is one of the most popular hiking and outdoor recreation areas for tourists in Austin, Texas. It boasts lush greenery, a variety of natural trails for all skill levels, and the opportunity to be one with nature and do some physical activity against the backdrop of a gorgeous setting. Outdoor enthusiasts and athletes visit the greenbelt for its scenic beauty, as well as for the opportunities it provides for hiking, biking, bouldering, swimming, sightseeing, and rock climbing. Nature enthusiasts are also thrilled to find an eclectic mix of unique flora and fauna in the area!

Barton Creek Greenbelt

(Photo via @el__chubasco / Instagram)

If you're looking for a tranquil day out, lazily lying in a hammock while nature wraps itself around you, Barton Creek Greenbelt should be your go-to destination in Austin! There are also great leisurely spots to sunbathe along Barton Creek. If you're in the mood for activity, check out the greenbelt's stunning 12 miles of trails accessible through several points spread across the city. If you're visiting during summer, don't forget to take a dip in the cool waters of Barton Springs Pool, fed by bubbling springs. This beloved spot alone attracts over 800,000 sightseers each year who come looking for a quiet respite right in the midst of the bustling town!

Explore The Zen Attractions Of Austin On This Tour!

Enjoy Breathtaking Views at Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge

The Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge nestled in Austin, Texas, is a scenic spot to hit up if you're in the mood for a hushed walk. The bridge is a pedestrian-only bridge that spans the waters of Lady Bird Lake, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area. The bridge is also a popular place for recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, and jogging, and is adored by tourists and locals alike. In addition, the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge is a key part of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, which offers a scenic and enjoyable way to explore the city.

Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge

(Photo via @wufoodle / Instagram)

Popular nearby tourist spots include Lady Bird Lake, Texas State Capitol, Zilker Metropolitan Park, Barton Springs Pool, Blanton Museum of Art, and Bullock Texas State History Museum. So if you're stopping by this bridge, make it a part of an extended tour of the whole area rich in tourist attractions. All in all, visiting this bridge is a great way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and take in the sights and sounds of Austin.

Hit Up The Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge On Our Tour!

Climb Atop The Idyllic Doug Sahm Hill

Named after the Texan musical titan, Doug Sahm, this picturesque hill sits at the summit of the scenic Bouldin Creek Park nestled near Lady Bird Lake. Visitors to this tourist attraction can enjoy a glorious 360 view of the downtown skyline and the surrounding attractions. Previously named Spiral Hill, this 35-foot attraction is nestled near Zilker Metropolitan Park, Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, and Statesman Bat Observation Center.

Doug Sahm Hill

(Photo via @vegtastic_atx / Instagram)

You can enjoy a variety of recreational activities atop this hill such as hiking, picnicking, and bird watching. Bring along your family to this place, pick a snug spot in an idyllic corner, spread out a blanket, and dig in delicious homemade food while taking in the beautiful scenery of the city and beyond. Don't forget to pack some throw pillows to make your trip comfortable!

See The Picturesque Doug Sahm Hill On A Guided Tour!

See the Famous ACL Live at The Moody Theater 

You can't tour the live music capital of the world without stopping by Austin City Limits at the Moody Theater to get a chance to see live performers in person. The music venue is known for its intimate setting and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, which make for an exceptional live music experience. Additionally, ACL Live at Moody Theater is located in the heart of Austin, making it a convenient and easy-to-reach destination for music aficionados.

Famous ACL Live at The Moody Theater

(Photo via Alison Narro for @acllive / Instagram)

An eternal home to the famous PBS series, Austin City Limits, you'll also find all sorts of comedy shows and live concerts catering to your interests here. While you're there, browse through the photo gallery to see iconic shots by Jim Marshall and Scott Newton. Have some pre-show drinks at the bar located at the entrance and tap into the vibrant music scene with perfect acoustics at ACL in the live music capital of the world!

Hop On A Tour Of The Live Music Capital Of The World!

Hop on a Scenic Bike Tour

One of the best things to do in Austin is to enjoy simple hiking and biking through its many trails. Nothing can compare to the sense of serenity and accomplishment you'll get by exploring the city by yourself. Many wonderful bike trails across town will keep you going for hours. One of the most famous tourist trails is the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail nestled at Lady Bird Lake which snakes along the edge of blue waters. Named after a one-time Austin mayor and his wife, this 10-mile path attracts over 2.6 million sightseers annually.

Scenic Bike Tour

(Photo via @davidrharding / Instagram)

Moving down this trail, you'll notice lots of tourist attractions with historical and cultural significance, skyscrapers with great architectural value, vibrant Texan neighborhoods with an eclectic mix of people, and wide baseball fields — some of the reasons why this natural gem is more than just a bike trail. Come down to Austin and see the city thriving in this recreational spot!

Tour The Scenic Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail!

Climb the Heights of Mount Bonnell

Seeing the city from the heights of Mount Bonnell is one of the most memorable things to do in Austin. Visitors climb atop this mountain to see a glorious vista spread out before them — miles and miles of beauty stretching from the downtown skyline to the surrounding cliffs, Lake Austin, and even the majestic Colorado River. Sightseers also love to spot the multi-million dollar mansions and the Pennybacker Bridge this tourist spot is famous for!

Heights of Mount Bonnell

(Photo via @mountbonnell / Instagram)

Mount Bonnell is also a famous place for picnicking with your friends and family! When you make your way up this tourist attraction, you'll see multiple spots with tables and grills laid out, awaiting a glorious picnic with a stunning view of the rolling hills, the Colorado River, and all other points of interest. As Central Texas experiences mostly mild winter days, you can catch a clear view of the sunset throughout the year!

Climb Atop Doug Sahm Hill With Our Guided Tour!

Stroll Down the Zilker Metropolitan Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park is a must-visit being a crown jewel of Austin! Spanning more than 350 acres of lush greenery, this park features lots of tourist attractions you can spend time in during your trip. The best way to get the most out of your visit here is to take a day-long walking tour to get away from the rush of the city. Widely regarded as "Austin's most-loved park", this place houses the famous Zilker Eagle, Barton Springs, Zilker Botanical Garden, a natural playscape, and over 400 acres of woodlands and sports pitches.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

(Photo via @stotlem / Instagram)

Tourists flock to this park during weekends for a nice picnic with their family. One of the best things to do in Austin is to visit the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail in the Zilker Park that winds along the edge of Lady Bird Lake, passing multiple points of interest, skyscrapers, and ball fields. Along this 10-mile trail, you can rest and take in the beauty of the native flora the park has to offer. If you're in a recreational mood, there are plenty of spots and put-outs into the water to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard! Another highlight of this park is the Barton Springs Pool which is a perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer day!

Cool Off With A Scenic Boat Tour Of Austin!

Hop on an Austin Food Tour

You can't just explore Austin without digging into its delicious Texan food which is so rich that a trip to an eatery or two won't suffice — you'll have to embark on an Austin Food Tour to try a little bit of everything. From themed musical bus-based food tours to loaded food trucks, Austin has everything that you will want to try! A tourists' favorite is the secret food tour where you can explore the historic city center while tasting an eclectic range of Austin cuisines and learning about their history!

Guest at Austin Food Tour

(Photo via @spurexperiences / Instagram)

Another famous tour is the Brunch Bus where a live band will perform as you dig into local specialties ranging from Czech kolaches and breakfast tacos to chicken and waffles. You'll get to visit three local brunch restaurants for breakfast and beverage tasting on this tour. What's not to love? So come down to Austin and walk around the city or hop on a bus to taste the delicious Texan cuisine and learn about its historical significance along the way!

Treat Yourself To A Private Tour Of Austin!

See the Vibrant South Congress Avenue

If you love to visit tourist spots packed with action, South Congress Avenue should be your next stop! Nestled south of Lady Bird Lake, this bustling neighborhood is famous for its chic boutiques, live music, delicious diners, cool vintage shops, and quirky bars! Tourists and locals alike flock to this spot to shop till they drop in the hip Neighbourhood Goods and vintage Reformation. People with a sweet tooth adore the Big Top Candy Shop for its eclectic mix of old-fashioned candies. Visitors love to snap photos in front of the famous I Love You So Much Mural as a souvenir!

Vibrant South Congress Avenue

(Photo via @eve_maz / Instagram)

You can't experience the SoCo life without experiencing its nightlife thrills at the jazzy C-Boy's Heart & Soul. If you love karaoke, Ego's is your spot! To get the most out of visiting the live music capital of the world, stop by Guero's Oak Garden to catch live tunes of Americana and blues. Head to Home Slice Pizza for its famous thin-crust pies and retro ambiance. If you love Mediterranean cuisine, stop in for an authentic experience at Aba. After your trip, book a room in Hotel San Jose for a peaceful night to round out your busy day!

Watch The South Congress Avenue Come To Life On Our Tour!

Enjoy Nightlife on Sixth Street

Sixth Street of Austin is so rich with life that it's a tourist destination on its own! Visitors and locals alike flock to this spot for its live music festivals, boisterous bars, delicious eateries, nightlife, and more! This neighborhood has got a personality of its own that's why people refer to it as "the party district". You can't get the most out of your Austin trip unless you visit this lively street! One of the most famous tourist spots here is the luxurious hotel known as The Driskill. Inside this place sits the famous Driskill Bar which will give you a taste of Austin's vibrant nightlife.

Nightlife on Sixth Street

(Photo via @therustictap / Instagram)

If you're looking for more, spark up your night by stopping by Downtown Austin's favorite happy hour place — Little Woodrow's on W. 6th Street. If you want some tunes to rejuvenate your soul, hit up Flamingo Cantina for Latin and reggae beats! If you're into performing arts, The Hideout Theatre should be your go-to place. Wrap up your night with a delicious plate of Tex-Mex cuisine at Iron Cactus! 

See The Vibrant Nightlife of Austin On This Tour!

Cruise the Scenic Lake Travis

A visit to Austin is incomplete without visiting one of the most famous lake getaways — Lake Travis. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, this lake spans almost 60 miles and can go as deep as 100 feet! This makes it perfect for water sports and other recreational activities. One of the best things to do in Austin is to hop on a boat tour to cruise Lake Travis for a whole day. If you want to crash the waves in style, try out jet skiing! 

Other things you can do in the lake are paddleboarding, fishing, and scuba diving to explore freshwater life! Round out your day by visiting the Oasis for a drink afterward. Dig into your food while enjoying gorgeous views of the lake and the hill country in the surroundings! Snap a photo from the outdoor decks of this restaurant when the sun is setting down to cement your memory of one of the best sights you'll ever get to see.

Hop On A Relaxing Boat Cruise With A View Of Lady Bird Lake!

Take a Quiet Picnic in the Texas Hill Country

No visit to Austin is complete without visiting the scenic Texas Hill Country. Situated in the rolling hills of Central Texas, this tourist spot offers a range of excursions where you'll get to see nature, history, culture, and much more! Some tourists know this spot for being the border between the American Southeast and the Southwest, but after visiting it, they remember it for its breathtaking beauty.

Texas Hill Country

(Photo via @mckaskles.tackle.txhillcountry / Instagram)

Come down to this scenic spot and take a dive into Jacob's Well — one of the tourists' favorite swimming holes in the Lone Star State. If you love exploring undergrounds, visit the Natural Bridge Caverns to behold its fascinating limestone deposits. If you love hiking, climb atop the 425-foot-tall Enchanted Rock made of pink granite. For a quiet picnic, spend a day with your family on Canyon Lake where you can fish, swim, kayak, scuba dive, and do much more! Round out your trip by digging into the delicious barbecue in Lockhart!

Escape The Noise And Hop On A Private Tour Of Austin!

See the Field of Light Exhibit at Wildflower Center

One of the best things to do in Austin is to be one with nature at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center! Located about 10 miles from Downtown Austin in the hills of South Austin, this nature preserve is dedicated to protecting and preserving North America's native plants and their habitats. Visiting the Wildflower Center is a great way to learn more about native flora and the important role they play in our ecosystems. Open year-round, this scenic spot has become a famous wedding venue as well.

the Field of Light Exhibit at Wildflower Center

(Photo via @rohofoto / Instagram)

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center offers a quiet respite from the bustling city. Additionally, this tourist spot offers a variety of educational and outreach programs and events, making it a fun and engaging destination for people of all ages. The center's highlight is the Field of Light exhibit where you'll behold 28,000 stemmed lights lighting up over 16 acres of the botanical garden. See the union of art & tech at this must-see exhibition in the Wildflower Center!

Enjoy A Sightseeing Cruise With Tripshepherd!


Austin certainly has a lot to offer from its vibrant music and arts scene and interesting attractions, to great dining and shopping options. Whether you're interested in exploring the city's historical monuments, enjoying live music, or simply soaking up the laid-back atmosphere, Austin has something for everyone. So if you're looking for a fun and exciting destination to visit, consider adding Austin to your list. Want to spend some quality time with your paramour on a romantic getaway? Check out this guide on romantic things to do in Austin!


Ammara Younas

I am a travel blogger with a passion for adventure and trying new things, whether it's relishing exotic foods or participating in thrilling activities! As a travel blogger, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting destinations to explore. With Tripshepherd, I've been fortunate enough to document my adventures and share them with the world. Through my travel guides, I aim to inspire and empower others to explore the world and challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zone!

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