Best Cool Things to Do in Austin

Explore Austin, the city renowned for its vibrant culture and creative spirit. Dive into a range of cool things to do in Austin that showcase the most incredible attractions, solidifying Austin’s reputation as a hub for innovation. 

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here’s your guide to experiencing the best of what Austin offers.

Experience a journey that goes beyond the norm, and uncover why Austin is consistently recognized as a premier destination for those searching for entertainment, adventure, and a genuine connection with a city that exudes creativity and embraces the extraordinary.  

Austin is a city that exudes a rich tapestry of stories and experiences, embracing diversity and offering a vibrant immersion into its unique heartbeat. 

It stands as a testament to the remarkable power of originality and innovation through the cool things to do in Austin.

List of Top 15 Cool Things to Do in Austin, TX

Here are the top fifteen Cool Things to Do in Austin:

  1. Museum of the Weird
  2. Cathedral of Junk
  3. Congress Bridge Bats
  4. Toy Joy – Vintage Weird Toys
  5. Texas Capitol
  6. Barton Springs Municipal Pool
  7. Bullock Texas State History Museum
  8. Blanton Museum of Art
  9. Zilker Botanical Garden
  10. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
  11. Wonderspaces
  12. Austin Duck Adventures
  13. Star Party Boats
  14. Frustrations in a Rage Room
  15. Dine at the Best Austin Restaurants

1. Museum of the Weird

Location: 412 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-5493

Museum of the Weird

Regarding living up to its name, the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas, provides visitors with an experience that immerses them in the bizarre and mysterious realms. 

Those interested in investigating Austin’s unusual side will find that this museum provides a genuinely immersive experience. 

Visitors are likely to be enthralled by the oddities on the show due to the extensive collection of bizarre relics, rare species, and spooky displays housed there.   

This museum is stuffed to the brim with fascinating artifacts and displays that are certain to enthrall and astound guests. There is something unique to uncover around every turn, from creatures with two heads to classic sideshow exhibits and everything in between.

  • Services and Timings: Explore bizarre exhibits, oddities, and paranormal artifacts. Open daily from 10 am to 12 am.

2. Cathedral of Junk

Location: 4422 Lareina Dr, Austin, TX 78745

Phone: (512) 299-7413

Cathedral of Junk

The Cathedral of Junk is a stunning example of how one person’s creative vision can transform trash into a work of art. It is impressive that Vince Hannemann constructed this building in his garden using only materials dumped by other people. 

It creates a mesmerizing artwork shaped like a labyrinth that perfectly encapsulates Austin’s thriving creative culture. 

The visitors to this one-of-a-kind cathedral will be mesmerized by the maze-like arrangement of discarded treasures, leading them to discover secret jewels tucked away in every nook and cranny.

  • Services and Timings: Guided tours are available, showcasing the ever-evolving art by appointment only.

3. Congress Bridge Bats

Location: Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: No specific phone

Congress Bridge Bats

Experiences as astonishing and genuine as those provided by the Congress Bridge Bats are almost indistinguishable from Austin.  

Every night, from the beginning of spring until the end of fall, the millions of Mexican free-tailed bats put on a stunning show as they emerge from their roosts under the Congress Avenue Bridge and fly out into the night. It is undoubtedly one of the most astonishing things to do in Austin. 

This activity of viewing bats has become a well-liked tourism destination, enthralling residents and travelers anxious to see the awe-inspiring natural phenomena offered.

  • Services and Timings: Witness the bat’s emergence at sunset, especially during warmer months.

4. Toy Joy – Vintage Weird Toys

Location: 403 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Phone (H5): (512) 320-0090

Toy Joy

Toy Joy is a delightful destination catering to individuals of all ages who share a passion for toys. The shop exudes a welcoming ambiance, inviting customers to immerse themselves in a world filled with nostalgia and amusement. 

What sets Toy Joy apart is its extensive collection of antique, unusual, and quirky toys, creating an enchanting space that resonates with the spirit of childlike wonder.

Visiting Toy Joy in Austin allows patrons to explore a vast selection of retro toys and unique collectibles. 

The shop curates items that perfectly capture the essence of playfulness and creativity, making it a standout destination for those seeking a touch of whimsy in the city’s heart.

Whether you’re a toy enthusiast, a collector, or someone simply looking to experience the joy of discovery, Toy Joy provides a memorable and charming shopping experience in Austin. 

The shop’s commitment to offering diverse toys ensures something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a lighthearted and nostalgic adventure.

  • Services and Timings: A vast collection of vintage and quirky toys. Open daily from 10 am to 11 pm.

5. Texas Capitol

Location: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 463-4630

Texas Capitol

In the middle of Austin, you’ll find the state capitol building, which has become an instantly recognizable landmark. 

As the seat of the Texas government, this architectural masterpiece is an absolute must-visit location because it provides guided tours that dive into the state’s extensive history and political heritage.   

In addition to acquiring a more in-depth comprehension of the historical, cultural, and political significance of the Lone Star State, guests will have the chance to see jaw-dropping chambers, exquisite architecture, and picture-perfect gardens while they are here.

The State Capitol Building, situated in the heart of Austin, is an iconic and instantly recognizable landmark. 

Serving as the seat of Texas government, this architectural masterpiece is a must-visit destination, offering guided tours that delve into the state’s rich history and political heritage.

The guided tours provide a comprehensive and insightful journey, allowing guests to appreciate the grandeur of this significant governmental institution.

The State Capitol Building’s central location makes it a focal point for those wanting to connect with Texas’s past and present. 

Whether learning about legislative processes, marveling at architectural details, or simply enjoying the scenic surroundings, visiting the Texas State Capitol offers a memorable and educational experience.

  • Services and Timings: Guided tours, educational programs, and visitor services. Open daily.

6. Barton Springs Municipal Pool

Location: 2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746

Phone: (512) 867-3080

Barton Springs Municipal Pool

A treasured haven in the middle of Austin, the Barton Springs Municipal Pool is a welcome escape from the sweltering heat of the Texas sun and offers a chance to refresh and revitalize. 

The large pool fed by natural springs is a popular attraction not just among the locals but also among those just passing through. The presence of lifeguards makes it a risk-free environment for swimming, unwinding, and enjoying oneself.   

Barton Springs, located in the heart of lush terrain and known for its clear waters, is an excellent destination for nature lovers looking for cool things to do in Austin. This experience is both refreshing and authentic.

  • Services and Timings: The natural spring pool with lifeguards is open from 5 am to 10 pm.

7. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Location: 1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 936-8746

Bullock Texas State History Museum

The Bullock Texas State History Museum stands as a captivating and informative gateway to the diverse history of Texas, providing an excellent platform for historical exploration. 

Through engaging exhibitions, interactive displays, and an extensive collection of artifacts, the museum brings the rich tapestry of the state’s history to life in a compelling and immersive manner.

Visitors to the Bullock Museum can delve into the fascinating narrative of the Lone Star State. 

From the iconic tale of the Alamo to the myriad cultural influences that have played pivotal roles in shaping Texas’s development, the museum offers a comprehensive and dynamic overview of the state’s history.

The commitment to creative research and the thought-provoking exhibitions at the Bullock Museum contribute significantly to Austin’s cultural landscape. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or looking to gain a deeper appreciation for Texas’s past, visiting the Bullock Texas State History Museum promises an enlightening and enriching experience.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum stands as a testament to the commitment to preserving and presenting the multifaceted story of Texas. 

Whether you are a history enthusiast or a casual visitor, the museum offers a memorable and educational experience that showcases the unique identity and enduring legacy of the Lone Star State.

  • Services and Timings: Exhibits, IMAX theater, and educational programs. Closed on Mondays.

8. Blanton Museum of Art

Location: 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 471-7324

Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art is a cultural jewel in Austin. Its remarkable collection spans across eras and countries, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in art. 

This museum beckons art lovers to explore diverse creative expressions, encompassing historical treasures and works crafted in more recent times.

Visitors to the Blanton Museum are treated to thought-provoking exhibitions that showcase the depth and breadth of artistic endeavors. 

From classical masterpieces to contemporary creations, the museum’s commitment to creative research and presentation contributes significantly to Austin’s diverse and robust cultural landscape.

As patrons wander through the galleries of the Blanton Museum, they have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of artistic exploration and appreciation. 

The museum’s role in fostering a vibrant cultural scene in Austin makes it a focal point for those seeking to engage with the transformative power of art across various periods and styles.

  • Services and Timings: Diverse art collections and educational resources. It is closed on Mondays.

9. Zilker Botanical Garden

Location: 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746

Phone: (512) 477-8672

Zilker Botanical Garden

Those who value the aesthetic value of natural settings will find the Zilker Botanical Garden, situated in the middle of Zilker Metropolitan Park, an ideal retreat.   

With its themed gardens showcasing an extensive range of plant species, the park offers visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding metropolis.   

Those who are eager to lose themselves in the splendor of nature may do it in a way that is both relaxing and enlightening by visiting the Zilker Botanical Garden. 

It is the ideal location for finding peace and tranquility because of the abundance of vivid flowers and Japanese-style sceneries that can be found there.

  • Services and Timings: Themed gardens, educational programs, and private events. Open daily.

10. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

Location: 605 Azie Morton Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: (512) 445-5582

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

A captivating outdoor space commemorating Charles Umlauf’s sculptures was created due to the seamless combination of art and nature that takes place at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. 

Visitors get the opportunity to explore a breathtaking variety of sculptures tucked away amid gorgeous gardens, each of which captures some aspect of love, family, or the tenacious spirit of the human race. 

People looking for cool things to do in Austin that are one-of-a-kind and thought-provoking and provide a seamless marriage of art and the surroundings need to go no further than this fantastic treasure.

  • Services and Timings: Outdoor sculpture garden and art museum. It is closed on Mondays.

11. Wonderspaces

Location: 1700 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: No specific phone

Wonderspaces

Wonderspaces offers visitors an interactive and enthralling art experience, showcasing cutting-edge installations created by artists worldwide. 

Wonderspaces provides guests with an experience that is one of a kind and intriguing while also enabling them to engage with art in novel and unexpected ways.   

Those interested in gaining a fresh perspective on modern art should go to this location since the carefully selected artworks add to an environment that is both dynamic and inspiring, making it a place that should be noticed.

  • Services and Timings: Interactive art exhibits and rotating installations. Check the website for opening hours.

12. Austin Duck Adventures

Location: 602 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 477-5274

Austin Duck Adventures

Austin Duck Adventures offers a unique and entertaining way to explore the city of Austin. Combining a land and water tour, this amphibious vehicle provides a fun and informative experience for locals and tourists alike. 

The tour typically takes participants through the streets of Austin to explore its landmarks and attractions and then transitions into a water adventure on the city’s lakes or rivers.

During the land portion, passengers can enjoy lively commentary from knowledgeable guides, providing interesting facts and stories about Austin’s history, culture, and notable sights. 

When the vehicle transforms into a watercraft, passengers can see the city from a different perspective while cruising on the water.

The Austin Duck Adventures tour is often characterized by a lively and engaging atmosphere, making it a popular choice for families, friends, and those looking for a unique sightseeing experience. 

The blend of land and water exploration adds an element of excitement to the tour, creating lasting memories for those who embark on this amphibious adventure in Austin.

  • Services and Timings: Land and water tours in amphibious vehicles. Check the website for tour schedules.

13. Star Party Boats

Location: 16107 FM2769, Leander, TX 78641

Phone: (512) 745-2707

Star Party Boats

Star Party Boats offers a unique and personalized experience for individuals and groups looking to enjoy the stunning scenery of Lady Bird Lake in Austin. 

With the option of renting their own private party boat, visitors can tailor the experience to commemorate a special event or simply unwind with friends on the lake.

Star Party Boats’ individualized and festive atmosphere makes them an ideal choice for creating lasting memories against the backdrop of Austin’s breathtaking skyline. 

Whether it’s a celebration, a gathering with friends, or a leisurely day on the water, these boats allow visitors to travel in style and comfort.

The experience aboard Star Party Boats combines the beauty of Lady Bird Lake with the excitement of a private boat setting, offering a one-of-a-kind way to appreciate Austin’s natural and urban landscapes. 

It’s perfect for those seeking an intimate and memorable outing on the water.

  • Services and Timings: Boat rentals, guided tours, and lake experiences. Check the website for booking details.

14. Frustrations in a Rage Room

Location: 3301 Steck Ave #102, Austin, TX 78757

Phone: (512) 920-3715

Frustrations in a Rage Room

Individuals who are looking for a one-of-a-kind and therapeutic way to let go of their stress and anxiety might benefit from participating in the Frustrations in a Rage Room program. 

The guests are allowed to enter a supervised area, where they are outfitted with protective gear and allowed to take out their pent-up aggression on inanimate objects. 

People searching for alternative stress management methods will benefit from participating in this one-of-a-kind event as it provides a therapeutic outlet. 

Individuals looking for an exciting and secure method to unwind and have fun will find that this activity provides them with an experience that is one of a kind and one that they will never forget.

  • Services and Timings: Vent your frustrations in a controlled environment. Bookings are available; check the website.

15. Dine at the Best Austin Restaurants

Dine at the Best Austin Restaurants

Explore Austin’s diverse culinary scene. From barbecue joints to food trucks, the city offers a range of dining experiences. Check out local favorites like Franklin Barbecue, Uchi, and Torchy’s Tacos. 

Indulge in Austin’s gastronomic delights, making your visit a perfect blend of art, adventure, and culinary exploration! The restaurant scene in Austin is quite varied, offering a vast selection of cuisines and atmospheres to cater to various preferences.  

The restaurants in Austin’s eating scene provide diverse dining options, ranging from food trucks that serve inventive street dishes to luxury restaurants that feature gourmet cuisine. It is a culinary journey just waiting to be embarked upon and discovered.   

Austin’s bustling and diverse culinary culture is mainly due to the city’s famous restaurants. As a result, Austin is a favorite destination for food lovers who want to sample the local cuisine and enjoy the city’s unique flavors.

Conclusion 

Overall, Austin has a lively and diverse atmosphere, offering a wide range of activities and cool things to do in Austin that contribute to its distinct charm. 

The city offers a wide range of attractions, from the quirky Museum of the Weird to the engaging Wonderspaces, that will captivate visitors and encourage them to experience all it has to offer fully.   

Austin’s reputation as a hub for creativity is evident in its unique and unconventional attractions, which highlight the city’s dedication to cultivating an environment of limitless innovation. 

As you explore Austin’s diverse and vibrant city, you’ll find yourself immersed in a unique narrative shaped by its free-spirited and open-minded atmosphere. 

From the awe-inspiring Cathedral of Junk to the cathartic experience of venting frustrations in a Rage Room, there’s no shortage of cool things to do in Austin or intriguing experiences.  

In addition to the attractions mentioned, Austin is also known for its vibrant live music scene, the picturesque Lady Bird Lake, and the flourishing culinary culture, all of which contribute to its rich cultural tapestry.

Chris Kim

A passionate Texan with a flair for capturing the essence of the Lone Star State through his words. Born and raised in the heart of Texas, Chris brings a unique perspective. With a background in journalism and a love for storytelling, he weaves together narratives that transport readers to the vibrant landscapes and rich culture of Texas. Whether he's exploring hidden gems in local communities or savoring the diverse flavors of Texan cuisine, Chris invites you on a journey to discover the untold stories that make Texas so tantalizing.