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100 Things To Do In Austin

Steak Frites Night At Josephine House

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Austin

Mondays are steak frites night at Josephine House from 5 10pm. Choose from wedge salad, chicken meatball soup, or chicken liver mousse for your first course. Prime 7 oz tenderloin filet, prime 11oz New York strip, prime 13 oz ribeye, gulf shrimp, or prime tenderloin beef tartare for your entree. And for dessert, nutella mousse cake, funnel cake, stinky cheese, or scoop of ice cream.

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin City Limits, the festival, goes down in Zilker Park across two consecutive three-day weekends at the start of October.

Over 450,000 people show up for rock, hip hop, folk country, electronic and indie, on eight stages.

In a city that knows good music, the festival has a serious pedigree, having booked everyone from the Pixies to Chance the Rapper in the 20 or so years its been going.

To pair with that musical feast theres Austin Eats, where the citys favorite restaurants all have a stand.

Were talking kimchi fries, brussels sprout salad, black angus burgers, souvlaki and organic fruit pops, instead of normal festival fare.

Why You Should Go

Want to escape the sweltering summer heat in Texas? Do yourself a favor, and put this swimming pool at the top of your list of fun things to do in Austin, Texas.

Fed by a refreshing natural spring, this pool stays consistently around 68 to 70 degrees, offering a respite during hot summers. And, guess what? This spring remains pleasant in winter as well.

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Experience A Free Symphony

Classical music lovers wont want to miss Austin Symphony’s Concerts in the Park, held on the lawn at the Long Center. On Sunday evenings during the summer, bring a lawn chair or blanket and kick back under the stars, listening to classical music while soaking in city skyline views.

SFC Farmers Market. Courtesy of the Sustainable Food Center, credit Buff Strickland.

University Of Texas At Austin

100+ Things to do with Preschoolers in Austin

Weve seen at the Blanton Museum of Art that you dont need to be a prospective student to want to visit the massive Austin campus for the University of Texas.

More than 50,000 people study and another 24,000 are employed at this site, converging on the 94-meter tower of the Main Building.

Campus Tours are offered to potential students, but you can also join a Tower Tour for a guided visit to that Spanish Colonial Revival landmark from 1937. In the company of a student guide youll pick up lots of interesting details about the building and head up to the observation deck.

If youre interested youll learn about the shooting in 1966 when a gunman murdered 15 people from this roost . On a lighter note, Dirty Martins Place is a beloved greasy spoon on the north side of the campus, making cheeseburgers and milkshakes since 1926.

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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!

Sleep Under The Stars

Various locationsSince the weather has finally cooled down a touch, theres no better time to revel in Texas natural beauty by camping out in the elements. See for yourself by booking a spot at one of Texas Hill Countrys breathtakingly gorgeous parks. McKinney Falls State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, Inks Lake State Park, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area are all a stone’s throw away from Austin proper .

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Admire The View At Mount Bonnell

Not exactly a secret among locals, Mount Bonnell is the best spot to soak up the views of Austin, the lake and the surrounding countryside. This may not be what you think of when you think of a mountain , but at 775 ft, its considered the highest point in Austin!

Climb up the 102 steps to the top, catch your breath, and then wander around the top to see a variety of different views. If you head towards the left, youll get a view of downtown in the distance, and if you go towards the right, youll be treated to some beautiful lake and Hill Country views, as well as a glimpse of the Pennybacker Bridge. And if youre lucky, you may even catch a proposal while at the top!

Locals Tip: While sunset is definitely the most popular time to visit Mount Bonnell, it can be a bit crowded on a clear evening, especially on the weekends or during the summer. Our locals tip is to go for sunrise instead. The crowds are much lighter, which means you can enjoy the view with more solitude .

Our Favorite Shops To Check Out On South Congress

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  • South Congress Books: We love a good book store and this small one has tons of charm!

  • Lucy in Disguise: This place is crazy! Its full of costumes and party attire and really fun to walk around.

  • Allens Boots: Go for the smells alone! And if youre wanting to embrace your inner Texan, grab yourself a pair of boots.

  • Big Top Candy Shop: An old school candy shop and soda fountain with tons of childhood classics.

  • Parts & Labour: This is our favorite souvenir shop! It only features handmade work by Texas-based artists.

  • Co-Star: A cool boutique with a mix of Austin and non-Austin clothing items.

  • Tesoros Trading Company: This colorful store has folk arts and crafts from around the world.

  • STAG Provisions for Men: A very nice boutique for men!

If you get hungry while out shopping in SoCo:

  • grab a slice of pizza from Homeslice Pizza,

  • the best queso in Austin at Torchys Tacos,

  • or a scoop of ice cream at Amys Ice Cream, an Austin institution that not only makes great ice cream, but serves it up with a few tricks.

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Jam Out At Austin City Limits

If you happen to be in Austin during ACL but for ACL, good luck. This is the biggest music festival that brings people from all over the world on two consecutive three-day weekends Oct. 6-8 & Oct. 13-15, 2017. If youre not here for ACL, avoid Zilker Park at all costs. If you want to check out, you can usually buy a wristband from someone at the entrance.

If you want to experience live music, visit Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater.

Enjoy Outdoor Creativity At The Creek Show

Waterloo ParkWith cuffing season well underway, its about time you updated that tired Tinder profile with some new snapsand, with five larger-than-life, lit-up outdoor installations, the Creek Show is just the place to do it. Head there at night to check out new pieces by local artists, landscape architects, and designers in the recently renovated, green mecca of Waterloo Park. While all the backdrops are worthy of a pic or three, this years favorite is definitely the si-glo, which looks like a series of giant glow-in-the-dark agaves to the untrained eye. And, in addition to on-site food and live music, theres also a barin case you need to loosen up before shooting those thirst traps.

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Our Favorite Craft Breweries To Visit In Austin:

  • Lazarus Brewing: Lazarus has an awesome interior and exterior, many beers, wine, coffee, and tacos! Does it get any better than that?

  • Zilker Brewing Company: Zilker Brewing has a fun vibe, outdoor seating, and a food truck on site. Bonus: it is close to Lazarus, so you could do a mini brewery tour!

  • Austin Beerworks: While not in the heart of Austin, Austin Beerworks is a local favorite for its variety of beers and large space to hang out. You can also go on a free tour to learn about their process! Check their calendar to see their tour times.

  • Jester King: Jester King is located a bit out of town, the beers and environment are worth the drive.

  • Craft Pride: Low on time, but want to try as many beers as possible? Craft Pride only serves Texas craft beers!

Spot The Bats From The South Congress Avenue Bridge

100+ Things to do in Austin, Texas

South Congress Avenue bridgeThe bats! are one of Austins simplest tourist attractions. Head down to the South Congress Avenue bridge in downtown Austin at the end of the day and pick a vantage point, either on top of the bridge or below on the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trailcareful to stand six feet apart from other groupsand wait until dusk for the little creepy critters to emerge. About 1.5 million bats live underneath the bridge in whats widely considered the worlds largest bat colony.

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Explore The Cathedral Of Junk

The amount of time Vince has spent putting together this cathedral is mindblowing. There are areas where specific colors are grouped together, lots of random objects that will likely spark nostalgia, as well as multiple staircases leading you to the top of the cathedral, which is three floors high.

How to do it yourself: To visit the Cathedral of Junk, you need to call Vince at 299-7413 to make a reservation. He understandably prefers to not have folks come unannounced, as it is in the backyard of his house.

It took us a couple tries to get through to him, but once we did, he was super friendly and happy to have us. Its a $5 cash donation per person to visit, so make sure to have some cash handy.

If you want to get a true taste of Austins quirky culture and the phrase Keep Austin Weird, the Cathedral of Junk is a must!

Austin Nature & Science Center

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A fine family option, this free attraction on the west side of Zilker Park organises school holiday camps, homeschool activities and all sorts of other programs.

But if youre just passing through the center has enough to keep littler visitors enthused for an hour or two.

Theres a forest trail with boards identifying native trees, a dino pit where kids can uncover fossils and terrariums, aquariums and outdoor enclosures for animals from the region that cant be released back into the wild.

Lots of hands-on fun is in store at the Naturalist Workshop, where kids are encouraged to touch fur, rocks, bones, plants and insects, and study them to their hearts content through magnifying glasses, while the new Nano exhibition is explores nanoscopic phenomena and real world applications of nanotechnology.

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Things To Do In Austin When Its 100 Degrees

100. Bar Hop On Rainey Street

101. ENJOY AUSTIN

Speaking of things do in Austin. Last week we published 100 Things To Do In Austin Before You Die. Its a great guide of things to do in Austin for locals who want to get out and experience Austin and or newbies to Austin that are looking for a comprehensive guide to learning the city! .

Where To Stay In Austin

Things To Do In Austin, Texas

The majority of the items on this list are located near downtown, so we highly recommend staying close to downtown Austin so you can be in the heart of the action!

There are a handful of trendy, fun neighborhoods around the downtown area that will give you a local Austin experience and make the perfect home away from home. Here are some of our favorites, as well as where to stay in each one!

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Bonus 20 That Are Worth The Drive:

  • Take a bike, trike, or scooter to navigate the play village streets in Round Rocks Play for All Abilities Park.
  • Test your skills at the largest skate park in Texas, found in Northeast Metropolitan Park.
  • Take your junior engineer to Kids Fun Day at the New Braunfels Railroad Museum.
  • Let kids climb on the fun playscape at Veterans Memorial Park in Cedar Park.
  • Shop Wimberley Lions Market Days on the first Saturday of the month, March through December.
  • *One quick, but important, note: Several of the museums included on the checklist are only free at certain times, as detailed above.

    Spa Day At Viva Day Spa

    For a spa treatment, I go to Viva Day Spa, a local day spa with three locations in Austin: The Domain, 35th St, and North Lamar.

    For the holidays, Viva Day Spa has a couple of holiday packages and I treated myself to both of these and loved them!

    Spa La La Holiday Massage Package

    Melt your cares away with a deeply relaxing Spa La La Holiday Massage Package in Austin at Viva. Smooth basalt stones plunge healing warmth deep into your neck, shoulder and back muscles during you Swedish massage. Your massage therapist will wrap up your service with our Magic Mint Scalp Treatment among other massage extras, sending you on your merry way refreshed and rejuvenated!

    • 75 Minute Swedish Massage with Hot Rocks on Neck, Shoulders & Back
    • Holiday Spice Hydrating Body Wrap
    • Full Body Dry Brush Exfoliation
    • Hot Herbal Steam Towel Treatment
    • Merry Mint Scalp Treatment
    • Served with Hot Spiced Chai

    Holiday Glow HydraFacial Package

    Treat your skin to a deep cleanse and renewed radiance with our Holiday Glow HydraFacial Package. It combines our popular 30-minute HydraFacial MD facial with a Perk Lip or Eye treatment, custom masque, Neck, Shoulder & Arm massage and other skin care goodies.

    • HydraFacial MD Treatment

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    Circuit Of The Americas

    The venue for the Formula One United States Grand Prix, the Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas , the IndyCar Classic and many other prestigious racing events, is an awe-inspiring feat of precision engineering that opened in 2012. For Formula One drivers the 5.5-kilometer circuit, with a one-kilometre straight, poses a unique challenge as, unlike most other F1 circuits, it runs counter-clockwise instead of clockwise.

    The track was devised to give clear lines of sight to spectators, and the main identifier is the 77-meter observation tower with a double helix staircase.

    If you visit outside one of the landmark events you can tear around the track in an Audi RS8. Another way to get to know the circuit is on a tour, which will take you out onto the track to spots like Turn 1, perched above Central Texas landscape.

    In the last decade the circuits Austin 360 Amphitheater has also become a stage for big time performers from Kanye West to Metallica.

    Mckinney Falls State Park

    100+ Things to do in Austin, Texas

    Barely 15 minutes south of downtown Austin is a scene of real rugged beauty at this 750-acre state park.

    Onion Creek flows through this landscape, inhabited by turtles and dropping over limestone ledges, filling pools that couldnt be more inviting on a hot Texas day.

    Youre free to swim in the creek at the parks upper and lower falls, and youll find rocks and little beach areas here and there where you can relax by the water.

    For walkers and cyclists, the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail is almost three miles long and has a hard surface for an easy trip through the mesquite and groves of live oaks.

    On the Homestead Trail youll find the remnants of a limestone-built house constructed by the merchant William F. McKinney, who owned this land.

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    Things To Do In Austin: Pogo Pass

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    Work Up A Sweat At The Greenbelt

    Barton Creek Greenbelt & Bull Creek GreenbeltTime to bust out those hiking boots. With 12 miles of gorgeous manicured trails, rustic creek beds, and rushing waterfalls, the Greenbelt is a must-visit for every outdoorsy Austinite. Round up your buddies, pack some snacks, and leash up the pups for what promises to be an unbeatable weekend adventure. And while you cant go wrong with any of the Greenbelts access points, the Spyglass Trailhead is tough to beatnot to mention the fact that its proximity to a nearby Tacodeli easily facilitates a pre- or post-workout migas stop.

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    Catch The Sunset Atop Mt Bonnell

    Mt. BonnellChallenge yourself to jog, bike, or walk through the gorgeous neighborhood along Scenic Drive, through Covert Park, and all the way to the top of Mt. Bonnell. The 775-foot peak is the highest point in Austin, overlooking Lake Travis and the rolling Texas Hill Country below. Pro tip: Bring a picnic to enjoy on the pavilion at sunset for a unique date night outing.

    Exploring Austin With Kids: Over 100 Fun Things To Do

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    The updated, expanded edition of the guidebook Exploring Austin with Kids covers 25 annual events and over 100 family-focused activities, venues, and outings. The entries reflect the spirit of the city: to support local, get outdoors, enjoy the arts and culture, and celebrate the unique, fun places that uphold the city motto “Keep Austin Weird.” A categorical Table of Contents identifies outings by type of activity, age appropriateness, and location. An Annual Events section describes the city’s best family-friendly events and festivals. A new Places to Eat section points out the best in relaxed family dining. The local guide is an invaluable resource for visitors, new arrivals, new parents, and locals seeking fresh adventures.

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