Austin is THE place to visit in Texas to revel in fun and unique things to do. This 2 day Austin itinerary will show you where the locals spend time eating amazing food, enjoying the outdoors, and having fun at night.
Day 1: Morning
Try a breakfast taco
There’s no better way to start your visit to Austin than with a breakfast taco. Locals don’t bother with fancy omelets when they can get their egg, bacon, and cheese fix tucked into a flour tortilla. They are cheap, filling, and portable for those on the run!
Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop has been in business for more than 60 years. That probably has to do with the excellent Tex-Mex food they serve up. Prepare to stand in line, but it is well worth the wait. Stick with a basic bacon/egg/cheese breakfast taco. It’s simple but delicious!
For the ultimate breakfast taco experience, head to Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ serving a blend of Austin's best foods: Tex-Mex and BBQ. Try the brisket breakfast taco for a sample of how well these cuisines go together.
Get to know Austin’s history
Austin has a rich history that warrants some of your time. An entertaining way you learn about its history and culture is to take a bus tour. Sightseeing tours help you become oriented to the city while giving you an overview of Austin.
AO Tours offers a range of tours lasting between 90 minutes to 3 hours. You’ll see the sights from inside their glass top, convertible tour buses! The 2.5-hour Austin + Hill Country Panoramic Tour covers both historic neighborhoods and trendy ones, as well as Texas Hill Country. The Best of ATX Panoramic City Center Tour is 90 minutes and shows you Downtown Austin and some nearby areas.
If you find yourself in Austin on one of those days when the temps are too high, a bus tour offers you a comfortable way to see the city! Find out about more things to do in Austin on a hot day.
If bus tours are not your thing, the Bullock Texas State History Museum provides a nice overview of the Lone Star State's history from when it was still part of Mexico to the current day. Learn about the oil’s powerful influence on Texas’s progress, the Battle of the Alamo, and more.
The Texas State Capitol Building is the seat of the state’s government. It’s the largest capitol building in the United States! It is bigger than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., albeit by just 15 feet. The building is stunning, the free tours are interesting and the Visitors Center is really cool. It has a mini-Lego Capitol made from 65,000 LEGO pieces! If you are traveling with kids, they’ll love this! See what other family-friendly things there are to do in Austin.
Day 1: Afternoon
Lunch and shopping in SoCo
After your morning adventures, head to SoCo (short for South Congress Avenue) for some light shopping and lunch.
The popular Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds sells costumes and vintage clothing. Uncommon Objects is a treasure trove of antique collectibles and quirky curiosities. Blackmail Boutique has a mix of artisan clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Big Top Candy Shop is a SoCO must! This shop sells all kinds of candy, including nostalgic treats. How about a pair of cowboy boots as a souvenir? Head to Allen’s Boots!
For lunch, head to Home Slice Pizza whose New York-Style pizza can be ordered by the slice or pie. Order up traditional pies like classic margherita, pepperoni, white clam, or choose your own toppings. Dine in or sit at one of the outdoor picnic-style tables.
Day 1: Evening
Get a flavor for Austin's nightlife in Downtown Austin. All of the below fun things to do can be enjoyed in any order!
Escape the tourist track at The Escape Game Austin
Playing one of five uniquely-themed escape rooms will transport you to a thrilling adventure where you have an hour to race the clock to find a way out! Crack codes, solve riddles, and decipher clues in games like Classified where you are assigned a secret mission to prevent an international attack. Break out of a 1950s jail cell in Prison Break. Stop a rogue curator from getting away with the theft of a masterpiece in The Heist. The Escape Game can accommodate from 8 players in any one room, and up to 43 players playing multiple rooms simultaneously making this a great activity if you are planning a work party or corporate event in Austin.
Dinner at Moonshine Grill
For a modern take on comfort food classics served in a friendly, folksy atmosphere, Moonshine Grill is a great choice. The space features a 19th-century carriage house turned bar, a patio, and a cozy indoor dining room. Main dishes include such delectables as cornbread-stuffed rainbow trout, chicken and waffles, and jalapeño hanger steak. Save room for the Peanut Butter Mousse Pie!
Late night fun on Austin’s 6th Street
With an atmosphere similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the neighborhood is known locally as the "Dirty Sixth". There are plenty of music venues, dance clubs, and bars that stay open late. Plus, if you feel like getting a tattoo, you’ve come to the right place! Given the rowdy, noisy vibe, spending time here is a fun thing to do in Austin for adults not traveling with kids.
Seasonal: Sunset with Austin’s bats
From April through October at sunset head to the Congress Avenue Bridge to see 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats head out from under the bridge to go hunt for food. Stake out a spot at the bat observation area at the southeast corner of Congress Bridge and Lady Bird Lake or stand on the bridge itself, though it can get crowded. There are also sunset bat-watching cruises! Read more here.
For other options for after dark, see our article on things to do in Austin at night.
Day 2: Morning
Breakfast at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Start your day right with a scrumptious breakfast/brunch with Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes, French Toast with toasted coconut and mascarpone, or a simple, fluffy omelet with hash browns, perfectly crisp bacon, and toast.
Austin’s Great Outdoors
Work off your hearty breakfast in the sprawling 350-acre large Zilker Park, one of Austin’s most popular green spaces. Here you can check out the city’s gem, Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed pool with an average temperature of 68 to 70 degrees all year long.
Explore the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. It’s over 10 miles long and fairly flat making for a leisurely ride. You can rent bikes at Barton Springs Bike Rentals.
For a peaceful time admiring flora and fauna, visit the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Zilker Park hosts concerts of all genres as well as Shakespeare in the Park performances in the summer.
For the more adventurous types, go to Lady Bird Lake on the other side of town.
Kayak, canoe, or paddleboard with equipment you can rent from the Texas Rowing Center or the Rowing Dock offers rentals and instruction for paddle boards, kayaks, and paddle boats. For guided kayak tours, look into Austin Kayak Tours.
If you prefer spending much of your day outdoors, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is the place to go to do it all! Hike, bike, walk, swim. Traveling with a dog? They are allowed here!
Day 2: Afternoon
Lunch at a food truck
Austin has a terrific food truck scene! If you are at Zilker Park, the Picnic Food Truck Park is right there. Vendors sell Thai food, tacos, Tex-Mex food, gelato, and more. If you are at Lady Bird Lake, you'll be closer to the food trucks of Rainey Street.
Discover Austin’s street art
Austin is known for having some of the best street art and large-scale murals in the country. Austin’s murals are incredibly Instagrammable -- making a street art tour one of the best things to do in Austin that teens will love!
A must is to pose in front of the iconic “Greetings from Austin'' mural modeled after a vintage tourist postcard at See Mister Rogers at the “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” mural. If you are a couple in Austin for the weekend, pose together in front of the "I Love You So Much" mural. Use this Guide to the Best Austin Street Art: Graffiti, Murals, and More.
As an alternative or if you need something indoors should it be a rainy day in Austin, visit one of Austin’s many museums. The Blanton Museum of Art is a superb museum housing the University of Texas’s art collection.
The Blanton is not large but it does pack a punch. Works on display include European, American, Asian, and Latin American art and more. Museum Visitors get free admission every Tuesday!
Day 2: Evening
Dine and dance at the Broken Spoke
Get ready for a night out at this honky-tonk that is an official Texas historical landmark! The restaurant serves steaks, pizza, burgers, and more. The standout dish is its chicken-fried steak. Do not leave Texas without trying this staple of Lone Star State food.
After dinner, you can learn line dancing in the Broken Spoke's dancehall. The dancehall has hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, The Chicks, Sturgill Simpson, and others during its 60 years. You can join a lesson Wednesdays through Saturdays, between 8 pm and 9 pm. After your lesson, dance the night away! Line dancing is one of the best things to do for a girls’ night out in Austin!
If you prefer to dance to love music, you are in the right city. Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World"!
The historic Scoot Inn has been hosting live music shows since 1955. The Continental Club also opened its doors in 1955 and hosts music of every kind. Antone's Nightclub, an iconic venue for fans of blues and jazz.
Finish your evening at a rooftop bar like The Rooftop on Sixth, a busting bar on Sixth Street with fabulous views of the city skyline.
Have more time in Austin or looking for alternative activities than those suggested above? Check out our comprehensive guide to Austin!