In recent years, dozens of publications have named Austin “The Best City in America,” so you’re probably wondering what to do. The city has changed in many ways due to the increased population, but this list aims to include activities that both locals and visitors should put on their bucket lists.
Examine the World-Famous Congress Bridge Bats
Look at the Congress Bridge. There’s a reason why Bats is Austin’s most popular attraction. It’s simply amazing. Watch as 1.5 million bats fill the sky and leave Congress Bridge at night in their appreciated and relentless pursuit of mosquitoes.
Visit the Hamilton Pool, an Austin Oasis
This swimming hole is located in a natural limestone grotto and features a 50-foot waterfall and a small beach area! They require reservations in the busy summer months, so make yours before heading to the pool.
Begin Your Bike Gang
It’s impossible to feel “touristy” while riding around the area on an electric minibike! Make your biker gang and explore the city as you’ve never seen it before. Biker gang adventures and rentals are available daily, and children 15 and under can ride for free with a parent! It’s a fantastic way for couples, friends, families, or coworkers to bond.
Ride in Style With Haunted ATX on a Hearse Limo Tour
The dark, eerie style of Haunted ATX hearse van and limo tours will appeal to visitors and locals. This tour allows you to gather your friends in a hearse converted into a passenger van or a limo wrapped in spooky art to tour historic locations and hear tales of ghosts that haunt these landmarks. The tour itself is a mix of Austin history, scary stories, and a deep dive into some fascinating stories behind Austin’s most iconic structures.
Make a Splash at the Austin Duck Adventures
Among the first tours to show tourists around town and the only water and land tour available, Austin Duck Adventures is among the most popular tours in town. The tour is available seven days each week and begins at the Austin Visitor Center on Red River and the 4th in downtown Austin. It drives down 6th street, up to Congress, where you can see the Texas Capitol, and then to Lake Austin, where you can drive down to the water and splash around before returning.
Put Your Skills to the Test at Austin’s Escape Game
If you’re searching for an escape room in Austin, this is our favorite. They have a variety of experiences to pick from, and you’ll enjoy them all, but “Gold Rush” is our top recommendation.
Rock Your World at Wonderspaces
Wonderspaces has 28,000 sq ft of art installations to blow your mind. Wonderspaces, an exquisite funhouse of various light installations, technology, mirror, and pure imagination, offers a sensually diverse experience that everyone will enjoy. Tickets sell out quickly, so go online to find the time and day to spend a couple of hours dazzling your mind with this indoor activity with plenty of space for socially distant fun with your crew or alone.
Experience Karting at Circuit of the Americas
There’s a new attraction at Circuit of the Americas, and you won’t be watching this time—you’ll be driving! Karting has arrived, and it’s a lot of fun for the whole family.
COTA Karting provides high-speed entertainment on the only Formula 1 track in the United States. They cater to both elite and novice karters and everyone in between! On a technical course, drivers can expect to get ten minutes of race time in a single race. The karting track segments include elevation changes, stars and stripes, hairpin turns, and fuels the need for speed, just like the Formula 1 Circuit!
Ascend Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell, at 775 feet, is Austin’s highest point. Views of Lake Austin, the city of Austin, and the surrounding hills are popular among both locals and tourists.
Lake Travis or Lake Austin Boat Rental
Heading to the lake is a popular summer activity, and our friends at Float On Boat Rentals provide the best access to the two lakes, boat captain optional.
Take Some Selfies While Visiting the Texas State Capitol
The Texas State Capitol is a uniquely Austin activity that takes about an hour and is educational and enjoyable. You might run into Alex Jones protesting science, masks, or some concept of civic responsibility. While many people will take selfies, stroll the grounds, and leave, you can tour with Texas Capitol City Tours, offering one-hour tours.
Consume All of Austin’s Breakfast Tacos
They may be called breakfast burritos, but they’re all about taco life in Austin. Some of our favorite taco spots are:
With bacon, a fried egg, potatoes, refried beans, and brisket, Valentina’s popular breakfast taco incorporates the best barbecue and Tex-Mex worlds. There’s usually a line, so bring a couple of beers for the wait, and get a few lunch tacos, queso, and chips for later.
Pueblo Viejo is a success story from food truck to brick and mortar. The Don Chago is a breakfast taco without eggs, which begs the question: Is it even a breakfast taco? Try one and see if you agree that the answer is “yes.”
This “cash only” spot on South 1st isn’t flashy, but the family-owned trailer has been serving tacos since 2004, meaning the griddle has had over 15 years of seasoning. That is impossible to replicate. Jose Luis Perez, the owner, also makes his chorizo, so make sure to add it to your order.
This is a hangover staple: two eggs of any style, two tortillas, pork carne guisada, beans, potatoes, and your choice of deep-fried bacon or sausage. A word of caution: two tortillas are never enough, so ask for more to take home.
Mi Madre’s #0 breakfast taco is a massive four-ingredient breakfast taco stuffed with bacon, potatoes, egg, and cheese. The Vegetarian Migas Taco (#8) is also enormous. One taco is more than enough here, but you can always order two.
Some tacos don’t live up to the hype. This is it. You can add avocado, but unlike other breakfast tacos, which require a flour tortilla, migas require only a corn tortilla.
Texas Honey Ham
If you want an “authentic” taco experience, you won’t be finding it in Westlake, but you will discover something delicious. This is the only spot you can put ham on a taco, and the baked potato hash is a must-order.
Marcelino’s has since been a local favorite. Tacos are served in a cafeteria setting with a smile. Sticking to your favorite breakfast tacos is the way to go here, but we wholeheartedly suggest including potatoes—they’re fashioned like french fries and come in spicy or regular varieties; always go for the spicy.
The I Love Bacon taco won the “Breakfast Taco Taste-off” competition a few years ago and remained one of the town’s favorites. It’s stuffed with cheese, bacon, potatoes, eggs, and bacon.
Nixta serves off-menu breakfast tacos made from fresh ingredients on hand. Their migas taco is a hidden menu item usually available only to regulars and anyone friendly enough to request one.
Dine at Austin’s Best Restaurants
Everyone knows someone who claims that their city has the most restaurants per capita. That is something you frequently hear from Austin residents. While it may not have the most per capita, it is a popular destination for culinary talent looking to avoid the high costs of operating a boutique restaurant along the country’s coasts.
Seek Excitement With Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
This thrilling flight over Lake Travis will get your heart racing. The views of the lake from ziplining are breathtaking, and it is a truly unique experience. Expect to reach speeds of 60 mph.
Visit Some of Austin’s Most Legendary Breweries
With the craft beer trend exploding in Austin, there are a plethora of fantastic breweries to pick from for a private tour. A popular bachelorette and bachelor activity, guided brewery tours provide a safe way to visit the best spots.
Texas Twisted Tours takes care of everything, from the designated driver to direct you to the best ales and IPAs from a local’s perspective. The first round is on them at each location, and you’re welcome to seconds as long as you’ve got your act together.
Unwind Outside at Zilker Park
Zilker Park, placed in the heart of Austin, is a 351-acre dog-friendly park. It serves as a hub for various special events, including ACL, The Zilker Kite Festival, SWSW, and many others. It’s also a great place to spread out a blanket and people-watch.
Vanish at Magic’s Theater
Magic’s Theater, located in Southwest Austin, features a close-up magic show on Friday evenings and a full auditorium-sized magic show on Saturday evenings. It also serves as a magic museum, housing items from Harry Houdini’s collection, and has a snack bar. One appealing feature is bringing your wine for a small corkage fee.
Discover Rainey Street
Austin’s most well-known party street is still 6th street, but Rainey Street has handed it a run for its money in recent years. Numerous older homes have been converted into bars, and most of them have fantastic outdoor patios. There are also numerous excellent dining options in the surrounding area.
Float the River Using Texas State Tubes
Floating the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers provided a relaxing way for locals to spend the day chilling in the water before tourism struck the Austin market and visitors had endless options. The city’s attractions grew along with it and depending on where and when you go, lines and parking can be a nightmare. Joining a busload of other tubers on a Texas State Tubes tour makes it extremely easy and a little safer with transportation from Austin to the rivers down In the south and back.
Visit Local Wineries
Central Texas‘ wine scene has grown dramatically in the last two decades, with dozens of world-class wineries within an hour’s drive from downtown Austin.
Challenge Yourselves at Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures
Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures is among Austin’s most unique activities. This aquatic adventure park incorporates Kevin Kosner’s Waterworld elements and Total Wipeout and Gladiator. As a unique Austin attraction, Waterloo Adventures holds its own, making Austin unique with killer scenery, outdoor activity, and unrivaled excitement.
Cruise About on Lady Bird Lake
Among the best ways to see Downtown Austin is by boat. Lady Bird Lake extends from the city’s west side to Highway 35 in East Austin. The water is gentle enough for a peaceful day trip or a sunset paddle. Bring your favorite beverage and a ziplock bag for your phone or waterproof camera; you’ll want to take pictures!
Fire a Full Auto Uzi at The Range at Austin
What perfect way to bond with family and friends than demonstrate your Uzi abilities? The Range offers an immersive experience and a cutting-edge facility from the moment you walk in. Choose from rifles, pistols, shotguns, revolvers, and automatic firearms in shooting packages!
Take a Walk Down South Congress
South Congress is a mash-up of eclectic, fashionable, hip, and funky elements. The area is surrounded by many shops, restaurants, and live music venues. You can also see the downtown skyline and the Capitol from the top of the hill.
Hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt
The Barton Creek Greenbelt, which begins at Barton Springs Pool and ends at Sculpture Falls, is one of Austin’s best-kept secrets. The Flats hosts large gatherings, including the odd drum circle. Twin Falls has greater waterfalls, and Sculpture Falls is recognized for its quiet.
There’s also excellent rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities to suit outdoor enthusiasts. It works best when the water flows, even if it is only 15 to 20 CFS.
Austin, Texas, overflows with more than 300 days of sunshine with outdoor fun. From public art to waterside parks, the city offers many great outdoor activities. What’s more, it has tons of tempting restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere.
Experience a rocking vacation here with these 25 things to do in Austin, Texas, featuring Austin museums, sightseeing, tours, attractions, etc., that locals love just as visitors!