Austin, the capital of Texas, is more than just a political hub.

It’s a vibrant city where music, culture, and cuisine combine to create a unique atmosphere. 

Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin possesses an impressive number of live music venues per capita, showcasing everything from country to blues and indie rock.

Whether you’re looking to explore Austin’s beautiful parks, enjoy its rich history, or savor its world-famous barbecue, there’s no shortage of the best things to do in Austin. 

With over 27 million annual visitors, Austin’s attractions draw tourists from all over, thanks to a mix of outdoor activities, cultural hotspots, and a welcoming vibe.

Austin isn’t just one of the best things to do in Texas; it’s a destination that perfectly blends traditional charm with modern innovation.

So, if you’re eager to discover ATX’s attractions, you’ll find that the city’s blend of traditional charm and modern innovation makes it a top destination for tourism and fun activities.

Table of Content

1. Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake

A-boat-at- Ann-and-Roy-Butler-Hike-and-Bike-Trail

The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake is a perfect spot for an outdoor adventure in Austin and one of the top places to visit.

This trail offers beautiful views of the lake and the city, making it great for walking, biking, or relaxing in nature. 

You can experience Lady Bird Lake Trail with friends or family, watch the ducks and turtles, or even catch a sunset!

Pro Tip:

Go early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the heat and crowds. Remember to bring water and wear sunscreen!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Outdoor Activities, Walking Trails, Nature

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free

Timings: Open 24 hours

Days: Open Daily

Website: Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

Phone: +1 512-974-6700

Address: Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX

2. Zilker Metropolitan Park

Zilker-Metropolitan-Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park is a true nature oasis in Austin where you can enjoy outdoor activities, have a picnic, or attend one of the many events held here. 

Known as Austin’s most-loved park, it has open green spaces, a large playground, and the perfect hillside for city skyline views.

It’s a must-see in Austin and one of the most fun spots for adults.

Pro Tip:

Bring a blanket and snacks to enjoy a picnic by the Barton Springs Pool, especially in the early evening when it’s cooler. And ride the Zilker Zephyr mini train for a fun tour around the park!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Picnic Areas

Time To Spend: Half-day to Full day

Visitor Information:

Price: Free, but some facilities within the park may have fees

Timings: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Days: Open Daily

Website: Zilker Metropolitan Park

Phone: +1 512-974-6700

Address: 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

3. University of Texas at Austin

University-of-Texas-at-Austin

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is not just for students; it’s a place where you can explore UT Austin and enjoy an educational experience. 

With beautiful buildings, museums, and lots of Longhorn spirit, this campus is full of life and academic excellence.

Pro Tip:

Take a free campus tour to see famous spots like the Tower and the Turtle Pond. The tours are fun and full of facts about the university’s history and the many famous people who studied here.

Type of Attraction:

Type: University, Higher Education, Campus Tours

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free

Timings: Guided campus tours are usually available from Monday to Friday, 10:00 AM – to 4:00 PM, but self-guided tour materials are available anytime.

Days: Open Daily

Address: 110 Inner Campus Dr, Austin, TX 78712

Tours and Tickets:

4. Texas Capitol

Texas-Capitol-Building

The Texas Capitol is a must-see historical landmark in Austin.

It’s bigger than the U.S. Capitol and is known for its stunning red granite and beautiful architecture. 

When you visit the Texas Capitol, you can learn about Texas history and see where laws are made.

It’s one of the best places in Austin.

Pro Tip:

Check out the free guided tours to learn exciting facts about the government building and its history. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful grounds to see statues and memorials up close.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Historic Site, Government Buildings

Time To Spend: 1 to 2 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free

Timings: Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Saturday to Sunday, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Days: Open Daily

Website: Texas Capitol

Phone: +1 512-463-0063

Address: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Tours and Tickets:

5. Lake Travis

Lake-Travis-Austin-Texas

Lake Travis is a favorite spot for water activities in Austin. Known for its clear waters and scenic views, this large lake offers lots of fun for activities like boating, fishing, and swimming.

When you enjoy Lake Travis, you’ll see why it’s perfect for a sunny day with family or friends.

Pro Tip:

Visit a marina to rent a boat or jet ski and explore the lake independently. Bring sunscreen and a hat because the sun can be strong, especially in the middle of the day. Plan it for the weekend, to spend the whole day.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Lake, Water Recreation

Time To Spend: Half-day to Full day

Visitor Information:

Price: Free, but some activities and rentals may have fees

Timings: Open 24 hours

Days: Open Daily

Website: Lake Travis

Phone: +1 512-261-5121

Address: Lake Travis, Austin, TX

6. Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater

Austin-City- Limits-Live-at-The-Moody-Theater

Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater is a cornerstone of the Austin music scene. 

Known for hosting the famous TV show Austin City Limits, this venue is about live music and great performances.

When you experience ACL Live, you’re in for a night of incredible sounds and excitement.

Think of it as a must-do in Austin.

Pro Tip:

If you can, try to catch a live taping of the “Austin City Limits” show; it’s an unforgettable entertainment experience! Also, get there early to enjoy the food and drinks at the venue and snag the best spot.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Concert Venue, Live Music, Entertainment

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Varies by show

Timings: Depends on the show; check their schedule

Days: Varies by event

Website: Austin City Limits Live

Phone: +1 512-225-7999

Address: 310 W Willie Nelson Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

Tours and Tickets:

7. Mount Bonnell

Mount-Bonnell-Austin-Texas

Mount Bonnell is one of Austin’s highest points and is famous for its breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Colorado River. 

It’s a perfect place for a quick hike and to visit Mount Bonnell if you love nature and taking great photos. It’s one of the top Austin tourist attractions.

Pro Tip:

Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and see the sunrise or sunset. The view is incredible, and it’s a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the scenery. This is a must-do activity for couples while in Austin.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Scenic Overlook, Hiking Trails, Nature

Time To Spend: 1 to 2 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free

Timings: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Days: Open Daily

Website: Mount Bonnell

Phone: +1 512-974-6700

Address: 3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, TX 78731

8. Circuit of the Americas

Circuit-of-the-Americas

Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a world-class motorsports and entertainment venue in Austin that offers an exhilarating racing experience. 

Whether watching a Formula 1 race, jamming at a concert, or even driving a go-kart, COTA is about high-speed fun and excitement.

It’s a top Austin attraction.

Pro Tip:

Check out the observation tower for an amazing view of the entire track. If you visit during non-event times, consider taking a tour or even a driving experience to feel like a real racer!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Motorsports, Racing Events, Entertainment

Time To Spend: 2 to 4 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Varies by event

Timings: Depends on the event; check their schedule

Days: Open on event days and other special occasions

Website: Circuit of the Americas

Phone: +1 512-301-6600

Address: 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617

Tours and Tickets:

9. South Congress Avenue

An-icecream-South-Congress-Avenue

South Congress Avenue, or SoCo, is a trendy neighborhood in Austin where you can shop, eat, and enjoy live street performances. 

This lively area has unique shops, delicious food trucks, and cool cafes.

When you discover SoCo, you’re stepping into the heart of Austin’s creative scene.

SoCo is a must if you are looking for things to do at night in Austin.

Pro Tip:

Visit on the first Thursday of the month when many stores stay open late, offering special sales and events. Remember to try some local snacks from the food trucks!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Shopping, Dining, Street Performers

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free to stroll, but bring money for shops and food

Timings: Varies by store, but generally 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Days: Open Daily

Phone: +1 512-474-5171

Address: South Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

10. Blanton Museum of Art

Blanton-Museum-of-Art

The Blanton Museum of Art is a top spot for art appreciation in Austin.

It’s known for its impressive exhibits and collections, including European paintings and modern and contemporary American art. 

When you visit the Blanton Museum, you’ll see why it’s a cultural center for artists and art lovers.

It’s the 10th on our list of things to visit in Austin.

Pro Tip:

Don’t miss the Museum’s famous blue and white tiled hall, “Austin,” by artist Ellsworth Kelly. It’s a cool place to take pictures! Also, check out their free admission day to explore without spending a penny.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Art Museum, Cultural Center

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $12 for adults; free for children under 12 and members

Timings: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Closed Mondays

Days: Open Tuesday to Sunday

Website: Blanton Museum of Art

Phone: +1 512-471-5482

Address: 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712

Tours and Tickets:

11. Sixth Street

Sixth-street-in-Austin

Sixth Street is the heart of Austin’s nightlife hub. It has bars, clubs, and live music venues; visitors can experience its vibrant energy. 

This famous entertainment district is the best place to listen to live bands and see why Austin is called the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Pro Tip:

For the best experience, visit Sixth Street on a weekend night when it is closed to traffic and filled with music and crowds. Remember to stay safe and travel with friends! It is one of the places to see in Austin.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Entertainment District, Bars, Nightlife, Live Music

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours or more, depending on how much fun you’re having!

Visitor Information:

Price: Free to walk around, but bring money for entry fees and drinks at bars.

Timings: Best after 8:00 PM for nightlife; varies by venue.

Days: Best on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

Phone: Not applicable to the entire street; varies by venue.

Address: Sixth Street, Austin, TX 78701

12. LBJ Presidential Library

LBJ-Presidential-Library

The LBJ Presidential Library, also known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, is a place where you can explore Austin’s political legacy

Its fascinating exhibits and archives tell the story of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s time in office and his impact on the USA.

If you are a history lover, this must be part of your Austin sightseeing plan.

Pro Tip:

Make sure to see the replica of the Oval Office to experience life in the White House. Also, check out the interactive exhibits, where you can listen to phone calls from the White House during the 1960s!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Presidential Library, Historical Archives, Exhibits

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $16 for adults; free for children under 12, and military personnel can avail of a discount

Timings: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily

Days: Open Daily

Website: LBJ Presidential Library

Phone: +1 512-721-0200

Address: 2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705

Tours and Tickets:

13. Barton Springs Pool

Barton-Springs-Pool

Barton Springs Pool is a refreshing oasis in Austin.

Here, you can dive into cool, clear water from natural springs.

This iconic swimming spot is perfect for beating the Texas heat and is surrounded by grassy areas for picnics and relaxation.

Pro Tip:

Go early in the morning to enjoy the calm waters and fewer crowds. Remember, the water stays cool at 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, so be prepared for the initial chill!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Natural Springs, Swimming, Outdoor Recreation

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $5 for adults (residents), $9 for non-residents

Timings: 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM with a cleaning break from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Thursdays

Days: Open Daily, except Thursdays (limited hours)

Website: Barton Springs Pool

Phone: +1 512-974-6300

Address: 2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746

14. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Bullock-Texas-State-History-Museum

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a place to dive deep into Texas heritage in Austin.

It features fascinating exhibits and stories that bring Texas history to life. 

It’s an interactive, educational, and fun experience for all ages, making it one of Austin’s best places.

Pro Tip:

Take advantage of the IMAX theater for an immersive film experience about Texas history. Also, check out the interactive displays where you can get hands-on experience with history, which makes it a great learning experience for kids!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Museum, Texas History, Interactive Learning

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $13 for adults; $9 for children

Timings: Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sunday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM; Closed Mondays

Days: Open Tuesday to Sunday

Website: Bullock Texas State History Museum

Phone: +1 512-936-8746

Address: 1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Tours and Tickets:

15. Rainey Street

Rainey-Street

Rainey Street is known as a lively entertainment district in Austin.

Here, you can explore its unique blend of modern bars and restaurants in charming historic houses. 

This area is perfect for a fun night out with friends, offering everything from live music to gourmet food in a relaxed, backyard-style atmosphere.

It is one of the best places to visit in Austin for quick yummy snacks.

Pro Tip:

Visit in the early evening to enjoy the mix of indoor and outdoor settings without the late-night crowds. Also, try some of the local food trucks for various tasty treats!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Bars, Restaurants, Historic Houses, Entertainment District

Time To Spend: 2 to 4 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free to walk around; prices vary by bar and restaurant

Timings: Best after 5:00 PM for the nightlife scene; varies by venue

Days: Best Thursday to Sunday for the liveliest atmosphere

Phone: N/A for the entire street; varies by venue

Address: Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701

16. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady-Bird-Johnson-Wildflower-Center

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a beautiful nature sanctuary in Austin dedicated to the conservation of native plants and the creation of sustainable landscapes. 

As you discover the Wildflower Center, you’ll be surrounded by stunning botanical gardens that showcase the beauty and diversity of Texas wildflowers and plants.

Pro Tip:

Visit in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom for the most colorful displays. Also, don’t miss the family garden, where kids can explore and learn about nature in a fun, interactive way.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Botanical Gardens, Conservation, Nature Sanctuary

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $12 for adults; $6 for children ages 5-17; free for children under 5

Timings: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Closed Mondays

Days: Open Tuesday to Sunday

Website: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Phone: +1 512-232-0100

Address: 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739

Tours and Tickets:

17. Austin Bats

Austin-bats

The Austin Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge are a natural spectacle in Austin that you don’t want to miss.

This famous bat colony emerges at dusk in a breathtaking display that draws visitors worldwide. 

Austin Bats soar into the evening sky for food, creating an unforgettable wildlife experience. If you are a nature lover, it’s one of the best things you can do in Austin.

Pro Tip:

Visit the bridge at sunset between March and October for the best view of the bats. Bring a blanket to sit on the grassy areas nearby for a comfortable viewing experience, and remember your camera to capture this incredible natural event!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Wildlife, Bat Watching, Natural Phenomenon

Time To Spend: 1 to 2 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free

Timings: Best viewed at dusk, around 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, depending on the time of year

Days: Best from March to October

Phone: N/A for this natural event

Address: Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin, TX 78704

18. The Contemporary Austin

The-Contemporary-Austin

Contemporary Austin brings the forefront of artistic expression to Austin, focusing on contemporary art and thought-provoking exhibitions

This dynamic art museum offers a blend of indoor galleries and outdoor installations, encouraging visitors to experience Contemporary Austin in an immersive environment.

Pro Tip:

Visit the sculpture park at the Laguna Gloria site, where art and nature beautifully intersect along the waterfront. It’s a great spot for inspiration and to see how art interacts with the natural world.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Art Museum, Contemporary Art, Public Art

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $10 for adults; free for members, military, and under 18

Timings: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Closed Mondays

Days: Open Tuesday to Sunday

Website: The Contemporary Austin

Phone: +1 512-458-8191

Address: 700 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Tours and Tickets:

19. UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum

UMLAUF-Sculpture-Garden-Museum

The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum is an artistic haven in Austin.

Visit the UMLAUF Museum to explore a tranquil outdoor setting filled with stunning sculptures and outdoor art

This space combines the beauty of nature with creative works to offer a peaceful retreat for art lovers of all ages.

It is one of the must-visit places in Austin.

Pro Tip:

Wear comfortable shoes to walk through the garden paths, and don’t miss the seasonal cultural events and workshops that UMLAUF hosts, which add extra charm to your visit.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Sculpture Garden, Museum, Outdoor Art

Time To Spend: 1 to 2 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $7 for adults; $3 for students; free for children under 12 and members

Timings: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Closed Mondays

Days: Open Tuesday to Sunday

Website: UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum

Phone: +1 512-445-5582

Address: 605 Azie Morton Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Tours and Tickets:

20. Elisabet Ney Museum

Elisabet-Ney-Museum

The Elisabet Ney Museum is a fascinating historical site in Austin.

Here, you can explore the Ney Museum and discover the artistic legacy of renowned sculptor Elisabet Ney. 

The museum was once her studio and now houses many of her marble sculptures and personal memorabilia.

Pro Tip:

Take a guided tour to get the full story behind Elisabet Ney’s life and work. The Museum’s architecture and the surrounding gardens are also worth exploring for a peaceful and inspiring experience.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Historical Site, Museum, Artist Studio

Time To Spend: 1 to 2 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free; donations are welcome

Timings: Wednesday to Sunday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM; Closed Monday and Tuesday

Days: Open Wednesday to Sunday

Website: Elisabet Ney Museum

Phone: +1 512-974-1625

Address: 304 E 44th St, Austin, TX 78751

21. Mexic-Arte Museum

Mexic-Arte-Museum

The Mexic-Arte Museum is a vibrant celebration of cultural diversity in Austin. It showcases an impressive array of Mexican art and cultural exhibits

When you discover the Mexic-Arte Museum, you immerse yourself in the rich traditions and colorful artistry representing Mexico’s history and contemporary life.

Pro Tip:

Check out the Museum’s events calendar before your visit. They often host exciting community events, workshops, and festivals that enrich the experience. Visit the gift shop for unique arts and crafts!

Type of Attraction:

Type: Art Museum, Cultural Center

Time To Spend: 1 to 2 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: $7 for adults; $4 for students and seniors; free for children under 12

Timings: Monday to Thursday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Closed Sundays

Days: Open Monday to Saturday

Website: Mexic-Arte Museum

Phone: +1 512-480-9373

Address: 419 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Tours and Tickets:

22. Austin Nature & Science Center

Austin-Nature-&-Science-Center

The Austin Nature & Science Center is a fantastic place for nature education in Austin.

It offers hands-on educational programs and exciting wildlife exhibits.

Families and kids can learn about the natural world while exploring nature trails and interactive displays.

Pro Tip:

Don’t miss the Dino Pit, where kids can dig for fossils and learn about dinosaurs in a fun, hands-on way. Also, the wildlife rehabilitation area is a must-see for learning about local animals being cared for by the center.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Nature Center, Educational Programs, Wildlife Exhibits

Time To Spend: 2 to 3 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free; some programs may have a small fee

Timings: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sunday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Days: Open Daily

Website: Austin Nature & Science Center

Phone: +1 512-974-3888

Address: 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX 78746

23. The Domain

The-Domain-Austin-Texas

The Domain is a shopping paradise in Austin, known for its upscale retail therapy, fine dining, and vibrant entertainment options.

This shopping district features a wide range of shops, from high-end boutiques to popular department stores, making it the perfect place to shop at The Domain and enjoy a day out with friends and family. 

It’s one of the best things to do in Austin with your family on a relaxed day on your trip.

Pro Tip:

Visit during the week to avoid the weekend crowds, and check out the outdoor areas for live music and events. Also, many restaurants offer outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying Austin’s pleasant weather.

Type of Attraction:

Type: Shopping District, Retail, Dining, Entertainment

Time To Spend: 3 to 4 hours

Visitor Information:

Price: Free to explore; shopping and dining vary by store and restaurant

Timings: Most stores are open from 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM Monday to Saturday and 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM on Sundays

Days: Open Daily

Website: The Domain

Phone: +1 512-873-8099

Address: 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX 78758

Best Things to Do in Austin According to Reddit

If you’re looking for exciting places in Austin that are not the usual touristy spots, this Reddit chat has some great ideas. 

Locals recommend exploring limestone bed rivers like Onion Creek and San Marcos River for free outdoor activities.

Adventurous options include visiting Natural Bridge Caverns and aboard the Natural Bridge Safari for a unique experience.

The city’s locals talk about the secret spots that make up some of Austin’s best things to do.

There’s something for everyone, from hiking and swimming in beautiful rivers to staying on ranches. 

So, if you want to find the coolest spots in Austin and have an adventure, jump into this Reddit chat and start exploring!

Things uniquely good around Austin?
byu/Technical-Key-8896 inAustin

Conclusion

Austin has surprises and unique experiences, making it a great place to explore and create lasting memories. 

From the serene beauty of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to the bustling streets of Rainey Street and Sixth Street, there’s something for everyone. 

Whether diving into the refreshing waters of Barton Springs Pool, enjoying a live show at Austin City Limits Live, or exploring the natural wonders at the Austin Nature & Science Center, Austin’s vibrant culture and friendly atmosphere are sure to impress. 

So, pack your bags, bring your curiosity, and get ready to discover the Best Things to Do in Austin – a city where adventure and history meet under the Texas sky.