Bonus 20 That Are Worth The Drive:
*One quick, but important, note: Several of the museums included on the checklist are only free at certain times, as detailed above.
Taste And Tour Texas Hill Country Distilleries
Get to know Austin’s Hill Country with a distillery tour in Dripping Springs. You and your crew can take a private ride from your location in Austin to three celebrated distilleries: Dripping Springs Distilling, Treaty Oaks Distillery, and the Desert Door Distillery. Maybe take some notes on how to make your own hooch in case prohibition circles back to the new America. Or just enjoy drinks at each location and soak in the views. The guys at Austin Tour Company make it fun, safe, and legal to let go a little. It’s a great idea for birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or just a group get away.
Central Market Free Music Events
One of the best venues for all ages music events is Central Market grocery store. What?! Isnt that cool, the grocery store has live music in Austin!
I always have a good time at the Central Market music events. I love that this live music venue is outdoors, lots of room for dancing, plenty of tables to sit and people watch, and theres a playground for the kids.
What makes it an even more perfect low-key casual, wear whatever you like, be yourself, and chillax kind of venue, is that you have a whole grocery store full of food, wine, beer, and desserts to buy that will keep you happy while youre enjoying the tunes.
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Enjoy An Outdoor Performance
Enjoy free shows in beautiful outdoor settings around Austin. The annual Zilker Summer Musical offers live theater from July-August on an outdoor stage at the Hill Country Galleria. ACL Radio and the Long Center have teamed up to present a free, weekly outdoor live music series. The Drop-In will showcase a diverse lineup of Austins favorite and emerging artists from May September in the heart of downtown.
Check Out The World Famous Congress Bridge Bats
View the Congress Bridge Bats is Austin’s most popular tourist attraction for a reason. It’s simply a marvel. Watch as 1.5 million bats pepper the sky in their nightly departure from Congress Bridge in their relentless and appreciated pursuit to rid us of mosquitoes. There are a lot of ways to view the bats. Use the button below to learn about 4 fun ways to check them out.
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Float The River With Texas State Tubes
Back before tourism hit the Austin market and visitors had endless options, floating the Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers provided locals with a relaxing way to spend the day chilling in the water. As the city grew so did the attraction and depending on when and where you go the parking and lines can be a mess. Joining a buss load of other tubers on a tour from Texas State Tubes makes it super EASY and a little SAFER with transport from Austin to the rivers down South and back.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Named after a previous Lieutenant Governor, the Bullock Texas State History Museum opened its doors to the public in 2001and now its waiting to open its doors to you on your Austin adventure!
In the museums permanent collection, youll get an inside look at the history of the local area, and how Texas has become the state it is today. Youll also find rotating exhibitions offering insight on living in Texas today.
Complete your experience with a trip to the onsite IMAX. It screens Texan-themed documentaries, of course, in the Texas Spirit Theatre. Or indulge in a little mainstream cinema: The museum also has a few IMAX screens offering a unique viewing of all the latest blockbuster releases.
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Enjoy 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.
Ride Segways At Night
Glide through the most scenic and popular spots in Austin on a segway for a unique city experience at night.
The tour starts with a basic segway training.
Afterwards, its onto a picturesque spot overlooking the most beautiful parkland in the city.
Head on to Dough Hill Summit where you will see the sun reflected on the citys landscape.
Just in time for the setting of the sun, you will cross the Ladybird Lake.
Make a stop on the Congress Avenue bridge.
Your knowledgeable tour will then guide you through Rainey St., so you can have a feel of the Austin nightlife.
Tour starts at 5 pm and goes for 2 hours.
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Disappear At Magic’s Theater
Located in Southwest Austin, Magic’s Theater offers a full auditorium sized Magic show on Saturday nights and a close up magic show on Friday nights. It also doubles as a magic museum with pieces from Harry Houdini’s collection, and offers a snack bar. One worthwhile feature is that you can bring your own wine with a small corkage fee.
Power Your Own Pub Crawl With Pub Crawler Of Austin
Pedal power is all the rage in the new green America! Help do your part to save the environment by saddling up on a PubCrawler and hitting the town. If you’re worried about stamina, these rides come with electric pedal assist as a backup for your quads. Your tour can include stops at bars, murals, and food trucks in the downtown area. Private tours are a clear favorite of bachelor and bachelorette parties, but public tours are also offered and are a great way to meet new people for locals and visitors alike. Wigs are encouraged but not required )
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Sip A Pint On A Patio
Enjoy a craft beer and hand-made pizza on the spacious patio at the ABGB. Last Stand Brewing’s outdoor beer garden is open for you to enjoy more than 10 house-brewed beers on tap. Or catch the all-day happy hour in the outdoor beer garden at Jester King Brewery on Wednesday and Thursday, when pizzas are $2 off. On Fridays from 3-6 p.m., all cocktails at the Jester King’s Pasture Bar are $5.
Actually Fun Things To Do In Austin During Quarantine
This list is in full support of social distancing, mask-wearing, and staying in if youre not feeling well. As long as youve checked all three of those things, here are some fun things to do in Austin during quarantine! Please be extra careful to stay in if youre not feeling well, wear a mask when youre around the humans, and keep a 6-foot distance from other people. Just a gentle reminder. If youre like me and eating is one of your favorite activities, Ive found that outdoor patios are a safe way to enjoy Austin restaurants. There are a ton of local craft breweries that are doing social distancing the right way.
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Cruise Out To Hill Country For Beer And Bbq
Jester King Brewery & The Salt Lick BBQWhen you get tired of the urban landscape, refresh your spirits with a trip out to Hill Country. It may only be 45 minutes away, but the mesmerizing vistas and dramatic sunsets will make you forget all those emails you have sitting in your inbox. Start by making a reservation at Jester King Brewery, where you can sip on their section of sour beers in the breezy, crisp sunshine. Then grab dinner at nearby Salt Lick, where the legendary barbecue constantly ranks as one of the countrys very best.
Shop For Treats At Big Top Candy Shop
Aka heaven for me! This circus-themed candy shop also sells ice cream and floats on South Congress .
Not just one of the things to do in Austin with kids, its for big kids too right? Their stock will fill you with nostalgia as well as sugar.
You can even buy seasoned bugs! We took some home for my eleven-year-old cousin to try.
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Nightlife Things To Do In Austin Texas
41. Live music at Mohawk
There are tons of live music venues in Austin but Mohawk is one of the top picks in downtown Austin. Live music is daily from 8pm-2am showcasing the best of what Austins creative local scene has to offer and both touring up-and-coming & also established talent in the local music scene.
Other popular live music venues:
- The Continental Club
912 Red River St, mohawkaustin.com
42. Dirty 6th Street in downtown Austin
Everyone has to go at least once but nobody says you have to go more than twice. But if you do, no ones judging you :). Watch out for horse poop.
43. Container bar on Rainey Street
Sadly Rainey Street isnt as cool as it use to be before all the housing construction but there are still cool bars like Icenhauers, Bungalow, Javelina, Half Step, and Container Bar. Container Bar is made entirely out of shipping containers.
90 Rainey St, austincontainerbar.com
44. Mezcal cocktails at Whislers
If youve done dirty 6th street, west 6th, Rainey Street, then you have to go to the east side. Whislers serves craft cocktails in a chill setting. Be sure to upstairs to their Mezcalería Tobalá, a traditional Oaxacan mezcal bar.
1816 E 6th St, whislersatx.com
45. Hang out Native Hostel
Native Hostel is one of Austins hottest hang spots and its a rad hostel that has a bar + kitchen.
807 E 4th St, nativehostels.com
Bbq Austin Texas Style
Do it as Texans do! Some of the most popular Austin attractions are the BBQ houses.
Franklin BBQ, on the east side, is the most talked about BBQ joint. Therefore, you have to get there fast and expect to wait in line. It closes when the food is gone.
During our trip, a taxi driver recommended Blacks , on our way there, we stopped for directions and a local pointed out Green Mesquite so we settled for there.
No need to settle, Green Mesquite serves up a decent plate of two types of meat and two sides! This Austin restaurant is very close to Barton Springs so you can bathe and then BBQ, just dont burn baby.
Weve now dined at Blacks and the Copper Pit and have to say that we prefer Mesquite.
Were not really a fan of cold food and by the time you wait in line to choose your sides, your meat and then pay your food, your plate cold.
I also hate the amount of single-use plastic. Theres no need at a sit-down restaurant.
If you have time, head out to Lockhart to try Kreuz BBQ. Best green beans Ive tasted.
Find out more in our road trip guide.
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Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park
Austin Parks and Recreation Department
With its peaceful lakefront views, the Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park is a great place to escape the urban frenzy of Austin.
Youll be able to get away from it all without actually venturing too far from the fun stuff of the city.
You can just take a break from it for a while.
The water is calm and pretty. The wooden docks are a great place to sit and fish.
Folks usually bring their dogs to run around the open fields and catch Frisbees, and it isnt uncommon for swans to come up to picnickers and ask for food.
Local events include nature tours, birdwatching trips, gardening shows and more.
Check their schedule to see if something fun is happening while youre in Austin, or give them a call to ask about private arrangements for a big family or work group.
You dont have to leave the city to get away from the steel bridges and high-rise apartment buildings.
Serenity can be found in a nice little park like the Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park!
Address: 614 N Commons Ford Rd, Austin, TX 78733, United States
Cool Off At High Heights
The Azul Rooftop Bar and Lounge at the Westin Hotel allows non-members to use their rooftop swimming pool free of charge .
However, do expect to pay skyrocket prices for drinks.
Personally, I think it is worth the hit on your purse as the cold slush cocktails and summer vibes music was just what we needed to chill out after the madness of South By.
Azul features in our most Instragrammable places in Austin guide.
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Funniest Person In Austin Competition
If you love to laugh and if you think youre a good judge of whos a funnier person, then this event is perfect for you. Help crown this years Funniest Person in Austin! This Sunday, itll be the preliminary round. Just be warned, your stomach might hurt from too much laughter but dont worry. Just think its a great ab workout!
When: Sunday, August 21 | 6:00 p.m.
How much: $10
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Marble Falls Winery With 3
The picturesque town of Marble Falls is on a chain of seven gorgeous lakes and is home to several local wineries.
On this tour, you will visit the Flat Creek Estate Winery & Vineyard in the evening.
Even more, you will enjoy an exquisite 3-course dinner menu perfectly paired with Flat Creek wines.
Before dinner, you can explore the vineyards to enjoy the scenic Hill Country views.
You will also tour the 10,000-case production of the winery.
The night tour begins at 5 pm.
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Be Cute At Austins Rainbow House
Ive died and woke up in social media photography heaven.
Cute Nail Studio actively encourages you to come to see their bright and awesome salon!
This unique rainbow building just off East 6th is a wonder to behold.
Clever marketing by the Cute team and they are kick ass on Insta too.
If youre quite into unique architecture, check out our guide on treehouses in Texas you can book!
Taste Texas Wine At Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery
*COVID-19 Update: Infinite Monkey Theorem is temporarily closed. Check out The Austin Winery, another great indoor urban winery in Austin.
Everything about Infinite Monkey Theorem makes me happy. The industrial vibes are balanced by delicate vintage furniture, and all sorts of funky graffiti covers the walls. IMT imports their grapes from all over Texas but makes the wine right there on South Congress.
Sip and savor your way through the wine offerings, or ask to set up a guided tasting. WEBSITE
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Firehouse Hostel And Lounge
Firehouse Hostel and Lounge
If youre looking for a place to stay in Austin, consider the Firehouse Hostel and Lounge.
Its located on the top floor of an old, abandoned firehouse, and it has more secrets than its blocky building would suggest.
You see, theres a speakeasy hidden in the depths of the firehouse.
Thats where the lounge part comes in.
While the world-weary travelers are sleeping upstairs, the party animals are living large in a secret bar that can only be accessed by pulling a latch on an out-of-the-way bookcase.
Some people stay in the hostel with no idea that the lounge exists.
Others come specifically for the lounge as part of scavenger hunts or city tours that go off the beaten path.
Regardless of how you find it, the Firehouse Hostel and Lounge is one of the top destinations in Austin, so you wont want to miss it.
Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and get to searching!
You could be enjoying craft drinks in a speakeasy tonight.
Address: 605 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Atx Short Film Showcase: Best Of The Year Film Festival
For the past 12 months, the ATX Short Film Showcase has been collecting Texas-made short films and of 73 entries, 11 have been picked as the Audience Award Winner. This Sunday, these films will go head-to-head and you can help crown the winner for this years Best Short Film in Texas. Its the perfect place to go with your fellow film buffs or with your family for an entertaining end to the weekend. There will also be food and drinks in the venue.
When: Sunday, August 21 | 12:oo p.m. 10:00 p.m.
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