Things like perusing South Congress, visiting some murals, eating local food, and seeing the bats are the kinds of experiences that can best encompass Austin. If you’d like some more specific guidance, here's our suggestion for 48 hours in Austin.
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Austin is renowned as the live music capital of the world. This means that, whenever you visit, you won’t have to look far to find something you like. Hundreds of venues across the city have live jazz, pop, rock, indie--whatever your genre is--every night. You can look up what’s going on during the nights you’re in town (make sure to check our Instagram story for our favorite events) or just walk around an area like the Rainey Street District until you find something you like.
Located in downtown Austin, 6th Street is a famed entertainment district known for a variety of things, but predominantly its nightlife. The street is split into three distinct enclaves--East 6th, West 6th, and Dirty 6th--and even has its own website to guide your experience
Whether you want to swim, hike, bike, or just lounge around in nature, Austin pretty much has what you need (and we’ve pretty much posted about it). Here are some of Austin’s best parks, swimming spots, and a bike tour.
South Congress, fondly known as SoCo, is both a street and a cultural hub of Austin. Packed with restaurants, shops, and usually a combination of locals and tourists, it’s a go-to for anyone looking for shopping, food, or entertainment. Only the best businesses survive there, so you won’t be disappointed wherever you go, but here’s our idea of a perfect day on South Congress.
Austin is probably one of the most pet-friendly cities you can visit. Many hotels allow pets, you won’t struggle to find a restaurant with a patio, and several of the city’s main attractions involve walking, making it the perfect place to bring your dog! And if you want to be extra nice to your canine companion, here are 30 dog treat recipes, just because.
Now essentially the city’s motto, this phrase was actually coined by the Austin Independent Business Alliance. It’s meant to promote the support of local businesses such as food trucks and is largely responsible for the funky, eclectic vibe of the city.
One of Austin’s biggest attractions are the Congress Bridge bats, and the prime time to catch a glimpse of them is between late March and early fall. That said, if you’re not accustomed to Texas heat, I’d recommend visiting during the beginning or end of that window. In both the spring and fall, Austin can be pretty nice, but summers can be overwhelming for those unused to hot weather. This is especially true if you plan to visit some of Austin's many outdoor attractions.
ACL is a music festival held annually in Zilker Park. It takes place over two three-day weekends and features a diverse lineup. Here’s everything you need to know
Absolutely! If you’re able to time your visit to avoid it coinciding with big festivals or holidays, hotels will be cheaper. I’d also recommend opting for food trucks over sit-down restaurants or doing research before to scout out prices before meals. If you’re staying in a general area, walking or biking can also cut down on costs, especially since it can be difficult to find free parking in the city.
Austin is home to some incredible displays of art including massive murals. Some of the most famous ones are Jo’s coffee “I love you so much” mural and the “Greetings from Austin” mural on South 1st Street.
Austin summers can be incredibly hot and humid, so to cool off head over to swimming spots like Barton Springs or the Green Belt.
As a new resident of this wonderful city, the best things to do to get acquainted with the lifestyle are to visit local hotspots like South Congress, Zilker Park, or the UT campus.
Austin is home to some incredible bakeries that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Head down to a spot like Texas French Bread to see what’s coming out of the oven fresh every morning.
There are a ton of places to explore the outdoors in Austin and some beautiful local parks too. Places like Zilker Park or Commons Ford are terrific options for getting some sunshine in the great outdoors.
With such a diverse and unique food scene, Austin is home to more than a few restaurants worthy of taking your significant other out for date night or a special occasion. Whether you are looking for something unique like The Ultimate Drive-In or a nice dinner at P6, Austin has what you need.
Austin is quite vegan and vegetarian friendly with many options for those who eat healthily. Head over to Nixta Taqueria or The Well for some healthy grub that will leave you reconsidering eating meat.
The central Texas sunsets are quite beautiful and Austin has quite a few spots worthy of taking in the views. The Congress Bridge with its bats, as well as Mount Bonnell, are some of the more popular spots for catching the last few moments of daylight in Austin.
Burgers can be found all around the city of Austin, ranging from city staples like Sandy’s to new and unique burger joints like Jewboy Burgers.
Just like the rest of the great food scene in the city of Austin, sweet treats can be found all around the city. For chocoholics like me who love cocoa in all its many forms, head over to one of the great local spots like Milky Way Shakes or Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop
Austin can be quite a bustling and happening city full of people. If you are looking for some tranquility in this great city, head over to Pace Bend Park by Lake Travis or Commons Ford for some relaxing, outdoor fun.
Exercise is a staple in the vibrant city of Austin. All over the city, you can find people running, biking, doing yoga, or walking throughout the beautiful scenery. For newcomers looking for a good workout or place to jog, make your way to the Lady Bird Lake Trail or run around the UT Campus.
Austin is home to more than a few places where you can buy vintage clothing. Some local favorites are Buffalo Exchange which is located just north of the UT campus and Austin Pets Alive Thrift where proceeds go to helping Austin Pets Alive with their incredible work.
The Drag, the section of Guadalupe street that runs through the heart of the UT campus, is home to quite a few campus staples and legends that have kept UT students satisfied for many years. Head over to the famous Kerbey Lane Cafe for breakfast classics or late-night munchies, or even grab a boba on the go at Tapioca House.
The Austin food scene is one of the country’s best and is home to more than a few dishes and restaurants that will satisfy anyone’s spice craving. Check out Hopdoddy Burger Bar for the El Diablo Burger, some killer spicy ramen at Ramen Tatsu-Ya, or take on the Fire in the Hole challenge at Pluckers.
With such a diverse and prolific food scene, Austin has quite a few restaurants that compete for the best bites in the city. For a weekend stay in the 512, be sure not to miss brunch at Texas French Bread where one can enjoy freshly baked goods, and make sure to go to Gourdough’s for a life-changing donut experience.
Austin has a ton of different places to get a quick, cool drink ranging from juices to coffees and milkshakes. Head over to one of the Juiceland locations for some delicious juices or smoothies, and if you are craving something extra sweet, check out Yard Milkshake Bar.
For anyone worried about their blood sugar or paying attention to their sugar intake, Austin has some sugar-free sweet treats that will hit the spot. Check out Mr. Natural where they are baking up a storm of delicious goodies that cater to all dietary restrictions. If you’re in the mood for something cold, head over to Mammoth Creameries where they have a creamy and delicious vanilla frozen custard with only 1 gram of sugar per serving.
Austin is home to a ton of unique cafes and coffee shops where one can get their morning java and a snack to go with it. Some local favorites are Lucky Lab, a haven for students in West Campus, and Easy Tiger where one can get some work done and enjoy a coffee as well as a cinnamon knot.
Yes, Austin may be deep in the heart of Texas but it has a ton of spots where one can go swim and cool off. One can kayak or paddleboard along Lady Bird Lake while admiring the skyline or head over to Lake Travis and rent a boat for water sports.