10 Must Things to Do in Austin
Austin is known as a “Live Music Capitol of the World” and I have to agree with that statement. There are plenty of music venues, bars and clubs. Probably best known for Austin City Limits Live and SXSW Film Festival, Austin has a lot more to offer.
1) Tour the Capitol
This is the best place to start your tour of this beautiful city. It’s based right in the centre and surrounded by pretty park-like grounds. While visiting this grand building, you can appreciate the saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas”. It’s a great place with a lots of information on the building itself, Texas history and Texas legislature. I truly recommend to take a free guided tour.
Address: Congress Ave, between 11th & 14th Sts, Austin, TX 78701
Contact: 001 512-463-0063; website
Opening times: Mon – Fri, 07:00 – 22:00; Sat – Sun, 09:00 – 20:00
Capitol Tours: Mon – Fri, 8:30 – 16:30; Sat, 9:30 – 15:30; Sun, 12:00 -15:30
2) Visit 6th Street – “Keeping it Weird”
The famous and iconic 6th Street is an entertainment centre and musical hub of the city. It’s very busy and vibrant during night, with lots of pubs, restaurant and live music. Here you will find any music of any gender just everywhere around you and good food to satisfy any of the tastes (and and tons of craft beer). Enjoy!
Address: W 6th St, Austin, TX, USA
Opening times: 24 hours
3) Texas Longhorns
If you are fan of American Football, or you want to see a match for the very first time, you have to visits Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium during season. If you have never been to that kind of venue at all, or you know nothing about it, you will be positively surprised how much fun and good vibe on the game day is! The stadium at Joe Jamail Field has been home to the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns football team since 1924. One of the most recognisable slogan and gesture is “Hook ’em Horns”. The hand sign was created by head cheerleader Harley Clark in 1955 and was adapted as Texas University’s official hand sign. So, imagine: cheerleaders, band music, loud cheering and the moment, when thousands Fans of the Texas Longhorns show their support during the game using “Hook ’em Horns” – you have to see it for yourself.
4) Check out the Trail of Lights in Holiday Season – “Keep Austin Bright”
When you happened to be in Austin during Holiday season, don’t miss the Trail of Lights. The Austin Trail of Lights has been an Austin tradition since 1965. Described as “a community-wide celebration of the unique spirit and people that make Austin the place we love to call home” by the official website, Trail of Light will get you in a Christmas spirit. Enjoy local entertainment, food and live music. Make sure to wear some comfortable walking shoes, as the trail stretches out over miles of the Zilker Park.
Tip: If you have never been during Christmas in USA, get in your car and drive around the city to see all the wonderful decorations and light displays. All Texans take pride in decorating their homes and you will find them everywhere. It’s a magical time of the year.
Address: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746, USA
Opening times: 10 December – 23 December, 7pm – 10pm (might be longer hours during weekends)
5) Take a walk in McKinney Falls State Park
This is a great place for hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing and swimming in Onion Creek and so close the hustle and bustle of Austin. The limestone landscape is definitely picturesque. There is evidence that humans occupied the land that is now McKinney Falls State Park about 8,750 years ago. The park includes several designated hiking trails, so bring a hat, plenty of water and snacks, your walking shoes and just explore the place!
Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744, USA
Opening times: Sun – Sat, 08:00 – 22:00
Price: Adult: $6 Daily, Child 12 Years and Under: Free
6) Eat: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, Llamo.
We know that everyone is recommending Franklin Barbecue in Austin, and yes, you should try it! But I want to tempt you to drive further away to Llamo, Tx and stop at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que. As soon as you drive to Llamo, you will feel the delectable smell of meat smoking. Outside the building there are massive pits, full of delightful smoked meat. Sometimes there might be long queue, but it is worth to stand in line – it’s all worth the wait! Choose your cut of meat right from the pit and go inside to choose your sides and drinks. Oh, don’t forget to serve yourself beans, pickles and BBQ sauce once you have paid. Then you can sit down at one of the many picnic, long tables and enjoy your meal. It’s delicious.
Address: 505 W. Dallas, Llano, Texas 78643
Opening times: Sun – Thu, 10:30 – 20:00, Fri– Sat, 10:30 – 21:00
7) Drive to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
This shouldn’t be missed! This world heritage site is an enormous pink granite dome like a massive bald mountain that is visible for many miles in surrounding Llano Uplift. This is steep hill to climb and since there are no steps or guardrails, you will need your best walking shoes and plenty of water. The scenery, views, rock formations and legends are magical, mystical and enchanted.
And why not on your way back to Austin, go to Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, Llamo?
Address: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Opening times: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: Adult: $7 Daily, Child 12 Years and Under: Free
8) Visit Gruene Historic District in New Braunfels (46min)
When German farmers arrived in Texas in the mid 1840s, they became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene, Texas. Today the place is full of inetersting architecture, amazing shops and plenty of restaurants with good food. Enjoy local shopping, food and live music at Gruene Hall as well.
Address: Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130
9) Visit Pioneer Town (50 min)
If you are wondering how the western town of 1880’s looked like, you should drive to see this reconstructed village of the Old West. Go and check an Opera House, Pioneer Emporium and Cowboy Museum, Family Centerand other storefront displays all in one place.
Address: 333 Wayside Dr, Wimberley, TX 78676
10) Rodeo Austin
Forget football, baseball, basketball or ice hockey – the official sport of Texas is Rodeo. Austin Rodeo takes place at the Travis County Exposition Center and the grounds around it. The whole event is packed with fun activities for the whole family. You can wonder around the fairgrounds where you’ll find carnival, shopping and delicious food. Don’t forget to check the exhibition area, where ranchers across the nation travel to Austin each year to showcase their animals. The rodeo itself is a fast paced competition that lasts for 2 hours. You will be enjoying extreme competition during bareback bronc riding, team roping, calf tipping, bull fighting and more. After rodeo there is always a live concert.
Address: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Opening times: March 10-24, 2018. Mondays – Saturdays from from 19:00 and Sundays from 15:00. Arena Doors open one hour prior to start time.
So, have fun and enjoy Austin!