Austin, Texas, is a vibrant and exciting city known for its unique culture and beautiful natural surroundings. Living in Austin provides residents with a high quality of life, with a variety of activities and opportunities to explore. One of the most notable perks of living in Austin is its music scene. Often referred to as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin is home to numerous music festivals and venues.
The city is located on the banks of the Colorado River and is surrounded by lush green hills and sprawling parks. In addition to its music and outdoor activities, Austin is also home to a diverse and thriving food scene. There are so many things to do in Austin that it’s impossible to list them all!
Free attractions in Austin
Texas State Capitol
Completed in 1888, the Capitol building serves as the seat of government for the state of Texas. Visitors can take free guided tours of the Capitol, which include a visit to the rotunda and the House and Senate chambers.
The 351-acre Zilker Park is one of the city's most popular outdoor destinations, with a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. The park is home to the Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed pool that is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Zilker Park also features several miles of hiking and biking trails, a botanical garden, a disc golf course, and numerous picnic areas.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail
This popular 10-mile recreational trail loops around Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas. It’s open to pedestrians and cyclists and offers scenic views of the city skyline, as well as access to several parks and attractions, including Zilker Park and the Congress Avenue Bridge. The trail is also home to several public art installations and is a great place to enjoy outdoor exercise or take a leisurely stroll.
Family-friendly things to do in Austin
This children’s museum features hands-on exhibits and activities encouraging children to explore and learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math. It's a great place for families to spend a day together, and there are plenty of opportunities for kids to use their creativity and imagination.
Austin Nature & Science Center
The Austin Nature & Science Center is a free outdoor education center that offers hands-on activities and exhibits about the natural world. Visitors can see live animals, learn about local flora and fauna, and explore the center's trails and gardens. The center also hosts a variety of family-friendly events and programs throughout the year.
This scenic overlook is a popular spot for families to hike or picnic, and there are plenty of photo opportunities to capture memories together. The hike to the top is relatively short, making it a manageable activity for families with children of all ages.
Sixth Street is a famous entertainment district in Austin that offers a wide variety of bars, live music venues, and nightclubs. It's a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, with something for everyone, from dive bars to upscale lounges.
Austin City Limits Live
Austin City Limits Live is a state-of-the-art music venue located downtown. It hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year, featuring local and national musicians across a range of genres, from rock to blues to country. If you love live music, this will be one of your top things to do in Austin.
Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching
Every evening at sunset from mid-March to early November, visitors can watch as thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge
and take to the skies. This natural phenomenon is a unique and unforgettable experience that can be enjoyed from the bridge or from a boat on Lady Bird Lake.
Shopping in Austin
The Domain is a large outdoor shopping mall located in north Austin. It features a mix of upscale and affordable stores, including high-end fashion brands, popular chain retailers, and local boutiques. The mall also offers a variety of dining options, as well as a movie theater and a hotel.
South Congress Avenue
Also known as "SoCo," South Congress Avenue is a trendy shopping and entertainment district located just south of downtown Austin. It's home to a variety of unique stores, including vintage clothing boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, cafes, and specialty stores.
Barton Creek Square Mall
Barton Creek Square is a large indoor shopping mall in southwest Austin. It features over 180 stores, including popular chain retailers, department stores, and specialty shops. The mall also offers a variety of dining options, as well as a movie theater and a play area for children.
Outdoor recreation in Austin
A popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming, Lake Travis is a large reservoir located northwest of Austin. There are several parks and marinas around the lake where visitors can rent boats or enjoy a picnic by the water.
McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park is a scenic park located just south of Austin. It features several hiking and biking trails and fishing, swimming, and camping opportunities. Visitors can explore the park's two waterfalls, which cascade into natural swimming holes.
Lady Bird Lake Kayaking
Located in downtown Austin, Lady Bird Lake offers a unique kayaking experience with scenic views of the city skyline. Visitors can rent kayaks or paddle boards and explore the lake at their own pace, taking in sights like the Congress Avenue Bridge and Zilker Park from the water.
Parks in Austin
Pease District Park
Pease District Park is a large park located just north of downtown Austin. It features a mix of sports facilities, including basketball and volleyball courts, a baseball field, a splash pad, open green spaces, picnic areas, and a playground.
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
A large park located in north Austin, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park features several hiking and biking trails and opportunities for fishing and swimming. The park also offers a BMX bike track, a disc golf course, and a playground.
Dick Nichols District Park
Dick Nichols District Park is a large park located in southwest Austin. It features a mix of sports facilities, including basketball and volleyball courts, a soccer field, and a swimming pool. The park also has a nature trail, a dog park, picnic areas, and a playground.
Spas in Austin
Lake Austin Spa Resort
Lake Austin Spa Resort offers a wide range of spa treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps, as well as wellness activities like yoga and meditation. The resort also features a pool, hot tubs, and a fitness center.
Milk + Honey Spa
A popular day spa with multiple locations throughout Austin, Milk + Honey Spa offers a variety of spa treatments, including massages, facials, and body scrubs. It includes beauty services like waxing and nail care. The spa also features a relaxation lounge and a retail boutique.
Viva Day Spa
Viva Day Spa’s multiple locations offer a variety of spa treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. The spa also offers beauty services like waxing and makeup application and features a relaxation lounge and a retail boutique.
Move to the city that has something for everyone
With a seemingly endless array of activities and attractions, you’ll never run out of things to do in Austin. From live music venues to outdoor recreation opportunities, there is always something new and exciting to discover. If you’re ready to make Austin your new home, look no further than Kathryn Scarborough
for real estate expertise bar none. She’s a 5th-generation resident of Austin with a specialty in luxury real estate and has previously been ranked the No. 1 Real Estate Agent city-wide. Trust Kathryn to find you the perfect home in Austin.