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25 Fun Things To Do In Austin

Check out these 25 fun things to do in Austin to see why it's one of the best cities in the U.S. to visit. With gorgeous parks, fascinating museums, vibrant nightlife, and, of course, its famous music scene, Austin has it all!

May 28, 202318 min read

Anecia Ascalon
Anecia Ascalon
Team Building Expert

Check out these 25 fun things to do in Austin to see why it's one of the best cities in the United States to visit. With gorgeous parks, fascinating museums, vibrant nightlife, and, of course, its famous music scene, Austin has it all!

1. Downtown Austin

austin mural

New to town or just visiting? Explore Downtown Austin, the most walkable part of the city. There are plenty of places to shop, eat and enjoy the arts. Within Downtown, there are different districts to visit, each with its own vibe.

The 2nd Street District is home to award-winning restaurants while Sixth Street is the place for nightlife. Stop off at the Austin Visitor Center to get your bearings and take advantage of a very friendly staff, happy to share their knowledge of Austin’s history, and where to find the best outdoor fun, nightlife, and music in the city.

2. The Escape Game Austin

an escape room

One of the most exciting things to do in Austin is to play an escape room at The Escape Game Austin. This exciting, immersive experience challenges you and your group to find a way out of a “locked’ room in just 60 minutes, putting your brainstorming skills to the test!

Each room has a unique and intricate storyline and has been meticulously designed to create a realistic atmosphere. Solve riddles and puzzles, crack codes and decipher clues if you want to escape in time! The Escape Game promises an unforgettable escape room experience right in the heart of Austin.

If you happen to be looking for things to do for a work party or corporate event in Austin, The Escape Game is a fantastic way for colleagues to bond while having a blast!

3. ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Austin City Limits sign

This music venue is one of the many places responsible for Austin’s reputation as the “live music Capital of the world”. The theater hosts 80+ concerts a year, which are filmed for the television show “Austin City Limits”, the longest-running televised music series in U.S. history!

Many musicians and bands are known around the world, while others are up-and-coming acts. Also in the complex is the 3TEN ACL Live Club, a music venue with an intimate setting of just 350 people. Seeing a show at these venues is one of the best things to do at night in Austin!

4. Blanton Museum of Art

a painting

This impressive museum is the home of the University of Texas’s art collection of more than 18,000 pieces of art. The Blanton provides a rich and diverse art experience, featuring a wide range of artworks from different periods and cultures. See European paintings and prints from the medieval period to the present. Take in one of the most comprehensive collections of Latin American art in the country.

Also, see works of Native American and African American artists. The walls are adorned with pieces from masters like Botticelli, Rubens, and Rembrandt. The modern art collection is excellent with work from Goya, Monet, O'Keeffe, Pollock, Rothko, and many more.

5. Austin Street Art

mural in austin

Many of Austin’s streets are like outdoor museums featuring art that is quite unlike what you’ll see at the Blanton. The vibrant large-scale murals that adorn the walls of buildings throughout the city contribute to the city's unique and creative atmosphere. It’s easy to discover these works on your own by using this self-guided street art tour.

Some big hitters to see are “Women Vote” at 111 E. Cesar Chavez St. created by world-renowned artists Shepard Fairey and Shandra Chevrier and “I love you so much” at 1300 S. Congress Avenue. Memorialize your trip in a photo in front of the vintage-style “Greetings from Austin” mural at 1720 S 1st Street.

6. Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake

This picturesque reservoir stretches approximately 4.5 miles along the Colorado River right in Downtown Austin. The lake is a popular spot for kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Spend some time here among the locals having fun on the water. You can rent kayaks and canoes or take lessons from the Texas Rowing Center. The Rowing Dock has rentals and offers instruction for paddle boards, kayaks, and paddle boats. If you want to learn about Austin at the same time, take a tour with Austin Kayak Tours.

7. Sixth Street

people toasting

Spending a night out on East 6th Street is definitely one of those things to do in Austin for adults for those looking for raucous fun. Known as the "Dirty 6th" by the locals, Sixth Street is a bit like New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. If that is your thing, then head to Sixth Street for a very lively nightlife.

The street is lined with bars, microbreweries, restaurants, food trucks, and even tattoo parlors! Plus there are loads of live music venues featuring an eclectic mix of musical genres. The Dirty 6th will certainly give you a memorable night out in Austin!

8. Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

biking in Austin

This 10-mile-plus scenic trail along the banks of Lady Bird Lake offers walkers, joggers, and cyclists leisurely exercise along its mainly flat terrain. The trail is mainly flat and has separate lanes for those on two wheels and those on two feet so there’s a feeling of safety.

The trail is lined with calm green spaces, picnic areas, and shady spots, so why not bring along some food for a picnic? If you don't have a bike, you can rent one from Barton Springs Bike Rentals.

9. Texas State Capitol Building

Austin Capitol Building

Completed in 1888, this landmark stands as the largest state capitol building in the United States. It’s even taller than the nation’s capital in Washington, DC. It’s a magnificent example of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture with a pink granite exterior.

The Capitol is more than an attractive structure -- it’s the seat of government for the state of Texas. You can take a free, guided tour to learn about the state's history as well as visit the legislative chambers. The Capitol also houses various exhibits, including artwork and artifacts. The grounds are ideal for picnicking and leisurely walks.

10. Austin Bus Tours

ATX sign

Taking a sightseeing bus tour of Austin can give you an overview of the city in just a few hours. With a sense of orientation, you can branch out afterward to the neighborhoods and attractions that interest you. Knowledgeable and entertaining guides tell you historical anecdotes and tales of the city that help you understand what makes Austin, Texas (ATX) tick!

Choose from hop-on, hop-off bus tours, double-decker sightseeing bus tours, or themed tours like brewery bus tours, food tours, and art tours. Also, bus tours are one of the very best ways to conquer a rainy day in Austin!

11. Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms is a living history museum that allows visitors to get a glimpse into the lives of early settlers in Central Texas. The museum features six historic areas with authentic buildings and exhibits, including a Tonkawa Indian Encampment, a German Emigrant Farm, and a Texian Farm. You can interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about pioneer activities like blacksmithing, weaving, and farming. You can even ride horse-drawn buggies and learn how to churn butter!

12. Schlitterbahn Waterpark

a waterpark

Are you in Austin with teenagers who are getting a bit tired of grown-up sightseeing? Take a 90-minute drive to Schlitterbahn Waterpark for one of the best things to do with teenagers in Austin. It’s a massive waterpark, split into four sections, and each has its own waterpark bigger than many local water parks! It has towering water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools. Ride the Boogie Bahn surf ride and the Master Blaster water coaster, relax in cabanas, and float along the Torrent River.

13. Inner Space Cavern

an underground cavern

This phenomenal limestone cave, formed over thousands of years, was discovered in 1963. This natural wonder offers visitors an incredible underground experience seeing breathtaking rock formations, stalagmites, stalactites, and even an underground lake. Guided tours take visitors on a journey through its vast chambers, highlighting its geological wonders and sharing fascinating insights into its history.

14. Cathedral of Junk

The Cathedral of Junk is one of the symbols of the city’s unofficial slogan, “Keep Austin Weird”. This unconventional art installation is made entirely out of discarded materials and found objects, like bicycles, appliances, toys, and other miscellaneous objects. Vince Hannemann, aka the "Junk King," began building the ‘cathedral’ in 1988 and it has grown over the years to around 33 feet tall.

Visitors can wander through interconnected rooms, corridors, and staircases made of whimsical objects of all sizes. The Cathedral of Junk is a testament to individual creativity and the ability to turn trash into treasure!

15. Continental Club

a man playing a guitar

The Continental Club is a legendary music venue that played a prominent role in shaping the city's live music scene. The club opened its doors in 1955 first as a supper club, and it's the oldest continuously operating venue in Austin.

Over the years, both local and internationally renowned musicians of all genres have played here, making it a favorite spot for music lovers and performers alike. The theater has a dimly lit stage, an intimate seating arrangement, and an outdoor patio. This iconic Austin spot is one for your bucket list!

16. Zilker Park

barton springs pool

Zilker Park is an urban oasis spanning over 350 acres near Downtown Austin. The park features vast green spaces where locals and tourists enjoy hiking, playing sports, and picnicking. Zilker Park is also home to the must-visit Barton Springs Pool.

Within the park is the Zilker Botanical Garden, a gem of Austin. Stroll through the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Riparian Streambed, and Rose Garden, all of which are interconnected with streams, waterfalls, and Koi-filled ponds. The park also hosts several annual events and music festivals, most notably the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

17. South Congress Avenue

SoCo (short for South Congress Avenue) is a street bustling with energy and plenty of things to do. First and foremost, the shopping is great. You can avoid mass-manufactured goods and chain stores and buy from small shops instead. Uncommon Objects is a quirky antique furniture store. Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds sells both costumes and vintage clothing for various occasions and themes.

Looking for a souvenir of your trip? Allen Boots sells cowboy boots and Parts and Labour, with one-of-a-kind items. Your sweet tooth will not be disappointed at Big Top Candy Shop, selling a long list of sweets, chocolates, nostalgic candies, and ice cream! An afternoon in SoCo is an excellent option for a Girls’ Day or Night out in Austin!

18. Austin Food Tours & Brewery Tours


Food tours and brewery tours make it possible for you to sample the best of everything Austin has to offer. There are several tour companies that allow you to taste foods from Barbeque, authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Austin’s take on Asian, Pacific, Traditional American, and French cuisine, If you are a beer connoisseur or want to learn more, brewery tours are a fun way to see the city while trying some of the best beers in Austin.

19. Barton Creek Greenbelt

Barton Greenbelt

Seeking some nature adventures? Barton Greenbelt gives locals and visitors alike a way to enjoy the wonders of nature. Partake in an array of outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery. It features limestone cliffs, refreshing swimming holes, and winding trails that are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The Greenbelt has 12 miles of hiking trails of varying levels. For a challenging hike, make the climb to the top of the Hill of Life, a 300-foot ascent in a half mile to the top!

20. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Bullock State Museum

Learn the story of Texas at this museum that celebrates the history and diverse heritage of Texas. The museum offers a fascinating journey through time, showcasing interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations that bring the state's past to life.

Visitors can explore various topics, including Native American history, the Texas Revolution, and modern-day developments. With engaging displays and educational programs, the museum serves as a captivating destination for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Texas's vibrant past.

21. Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell

Rising 775 feet above sea level, Mt. Bonnell treats visitors to stunning panoramic views of the city skyline, the Colorado River, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country. The summit is reached by climbing a slightly steep flight of stairs, but it’s well worth the workout!

If you are seeking romantic things to do in Austin on date night? Watch the sunset over Austin from Mt. Bonnell! Add on a 15-minute walk and you can enjoy the peacocks at the Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve and another 10 minutes to visit the interesting Laguna Gloria, part of the museum, The Contemporary Austin.

22. Antone's Nightclub

Blues fans coming to Austin, rejoice! Antone’s is a legendary music venue established in 1975 and is a hotspot for some of the best blues, rock, and soul music you can see in town. With its intimate atmosphere and rich musical history, Antone's is a cherished institution in Austin's live music scene. Antone's has hosted well-known performers like B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Muddy Waters. Rightfully so, it has earned its reputation as “Austin’s home of the blues”.

23. Austin Zoo

a tiger in a zoo

The Austin Zoo is both a family-friendly attraction and also an educational experience for anyone who visits. As a non-profit ‘rescue zoo’, it is a sanctuary providing care and rehabilitation for exotic animals and retired zoo animals. As such, it’s a great place for your kids to see more than 300 animals of 100 different species and for them to learn about conservation and animal welfare. The zoo has a feeding area, a train ride, and regular educational demonstrations, that keep any visit here entertaining and engaging.

24. Broken Spoke

line dancing

This honky-tonk dance hall is so relevant to Austin’s past that it’s been designated a Lone Star State historical landmark. During its 60 years of operation, the Broken Spoke has hosted such legends as Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, The Chicks, and so many more. Besides music, what does this Austin institution have to offer you? Line dancing and chicken-fried steak!

After a meal at the Broken Spoke’s restaurant, head to the dance hall to learn how to line dance. Lessons are offered Wednesdays through Saturdays, between 8 pm and 9 pm and cost $10 (reservations are highly recommended). Once you’ve mastered the basics, dance the night away! Line dancing is one of the best things to do for a girls’ weekend in Austin!

25. The Domain

If you find yourself in Austin on a hot day, head to the air-conditioned Domain mall. With 100 stores, you’ll be occupied for several hours. The Domain is a mix of high-end boutiques and popular chain stores. Just a sampling of stores includes upscale shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany & Co. and mainstream retailers like Zara, H&M, American Eagle Outfitters, Aeropostale, and more.

The Domain is more than just a shopping mall. Take your pick of restaurants of every cuisine from Greek, Italian, Seafood, Sushi, Steak, and many more. It often hosts events, concerts, and festivals. There's an iPic movie theater and even a play area for young children!
For dining and entertainment, go to Punch Bowl Social where you can order from a full menu and bowl! Feel like other games? Punch Bowl Social has ping pong, marbles tables, shuffleboard, darts, pinball, foosball, board games and classic arcade games! In town with your BFFs? A trip to the Galleria is a great choice of things to do on a girls’ day/night out in Austin!

You can find even more things to do in Austin here.

For suggestions on how to spend your time in Austin, including daytime activities, suggestions for meals, and nightlife, see our Austin 2-day itinerary!