35 BEST Places to Visit in Austin
|Austin, the capital of Texas|
Austin, the capital of Texas, is a city filled with culture, history, and outdoor adventure. From food to music, Austin has something for everyone. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are endless opportunities to explore this vibrant city. In this article, we will take a look at 35 of the best places to visit in Austin, so you can plan your next adventure.
Table of Contents
- South Congress Avenue
- Zilker Metropolitan Park
- Barton Springs Pool
- Lady Bird Lake
- Texas State Capitol
- University of Texas at Austin
- Blanton Museum of Art
- LBJ Presidential Library
- The Contemporary Austin
- Bullock Texas State History Museum
- The Thinkery
- South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery
- Franklin Barbecue
- Salt Lick BBQ
- Home Slice Pizza
- Kerbey Lane Cafe
- Elizabeth Street Cafe
- Rainey Street
- Sixth Street
- Red River Cultural District
- The Mohawk
- Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
- The Broken Spoke
- The White Horse
- The Continental Club
- The Elephant Room
- The Domain
- The Oasis on Lake Travis
- Lake Austin
- McKinney Falls State Park
- Mount Bonnell
- The Driskill
- Austin360 Amphitheater
Austin is a city that embodies the spirit of Texas. It’s a place where the past meets the present, and where art, culture, and music come together to create a unique experience. From the vibrant downtown area to the beautiful outdoor spaces, Austin has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore 35 of the best places to visit in Austin.
2. South Congress Avenue
South Congress Avenue, also known as SoCo, is a vibrant area in Austin that is known for its unique shopping and dining experiences. Here, you can find everything from vintage clothing stores to food trucks. SoCo is also home to some of Austin’s most iconic landmarks, such as the “Greetings from Austin” mural.
3. Zilker Metropolitan Park
Zilker Metropolitan Park is a 351-acre park located in the heart of Austin. It’s home to many of the city’s most popular attractions, including Barton Springs Pool and the Zilker Botanical Garden. You can also find hiking and biking trails, as well as open green spaces where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
4. Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is a natural spring-fed pool located in Zilker Park. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, especially during the hot summer months. The water is always a refreshing 68 degrees, making it the perfect place to cool off.
5. Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is a beautiful body of water located in the heart of Austin. It’s surrounded by miles of hiking and biking trails, making it the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to explore the lake from a different perspective.
6. Texas State Capitol
The Texas State Capitol is a stunning example of 19th-century architecture. It’s located in downtown Austin and is open for tours seven days a week. The building is also home to the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house.
7. University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university located in Austin, Texas, United States. It was founded in 1883 and is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. The university is known for its academic excellence, innovative research, and strong athletic programs. It offers over 170 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across 13 colleges and schools.
The campus of the University of Texas at Austin is spread across 431 acres in downtown Austin and is home to various museums, theaters, and other cultural institutions. The university is a major contributor to the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene. It has a diverse student body with students from all 50 states and over 120 countries.
Some of the notable alumni of the University of Texas at Austin include former US President Lyndon B. Johnson, actors Matthew McConaughey and Farrah Fawcett, astronaut Alan Bean, and journalist Walter Cronkite.
8. Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It’s one of the largest university art museums in the country and is home to more than 18,000 works of art. The museum features a wide range of exhibits, including contemporary art, Latin American art, and European paintings.
9. LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library is a museum and research center dedicated to the life and presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. It’s located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin and features exhibits that highlight Johnson’s accomplishments, as well as the social and political issues of the time.
10. The Contemporary Austin
The Contemporary Austin is a museum that focuses on contemporary art. It has two locations in Austin, the Jones Center and Laguna Gloria. The Jones Center features rotating exhibits of contemporary art, while Laguna Gloria is a 14-acre sculpture garden and historic home.
11. Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of Texas. It features exhibits on everything from the state’s early Native American inhabitants to modern-day politics. The museum also has a 4D theater and an IMAX theater, making it a great destination for families.
12. The Thinkery
The Thinkery is a children’s museum that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. It features interactive exhibits that allow children to learn through play. The museum also has a café and outdoor play area, making it a great destination for families with young children.
13. South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery
South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery is a collection of food trailers that serve up some of the best food in Austin. From tacos to barbecue, there’s something for everyone here. The park also has a communal seating area, making it a great spot to grab a bite with friends.
14. Franklin Barbecue
Franklin Barbecue is a barbecue restaurant that has gained national recognition for its mouthwatering brisket. It’s a popular spot in Austin, so be prepared to wait in line for a few hours. But trust us, it’s worth it.
15. Salt Lick BBQ
Salt Lick BBQ is another popular barbecue spot in Austin. It’s located in Driftwood, just outside the city, and is known for its family-style dining and delicious smoked meats.
16. Home Slice Pizza
Home Slice Pizza is a New York-style pizzeria located in the heart of Austin. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike and serves up some of the best pizza in town.
17. Kerbey Lane Cafe
Kerbey Lane Cafe is a beloved Austin institution that has been serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner for over 40 years. They’re known for their pancakes and queso, and they also have a great selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
18. Elizabeth Street Cafe
Elizabeth Street Cafe is a charming French-Vietnamese bakery and café located in South Austin. They serve up a delicious selection of pastries, banh mi sandwiches, and noodle bowls.
Uchi is a Japanese restaurant that has won numerous awards for its innovative cuisine. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but it’s definitely worth the splurge for a special occasion.
20. Rainey Street
Rainey Street is a historic district in downtown Austin that has been transformed into a popular nightlife destination. It’s lined with charming bungalows that have been converted into bars and restaurants.
21. Sixth Street
Sixth Street is another popular nightlife destination in Austin. It’s a vibrant street that’s lined with bars, music venues, and restaurants. It’s a great spot to experience Austin’s live music scene and nightlife.
22. Zilker Park
Zilker Park is a 351-acre park in the heart of Austin. It’s home to several popular attractions, including Barton Springs Pool, the Zilker Botanical Garden, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Zilker Kite Festival.
23. Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is a popular spot for outdoor activities in Austin. It’s a 416-acre lake that’s located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by a 10-mile hike and bike trail. Visitors can rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes to explore the lake, or simply take a walk or bike ride along the trail.
24. Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell is a popular hiking spot in Austin that offers stunning views of the city skyline and the Colorado River. It’s a short hike to the top, and visitors can enjoy a picnic or simply take in the views from one of the benches at the summit.
25. South Congress Avenue
South Congress Avenue, or “SoCo” as it’s known by locals, is a trendy neighborhood in Austin that’s filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. It’s a great spot to spend an afternoon browsing the shops and enjoying some of Austin’s best food and drinks.
26. Texas State Capitol
The Texas State Capitol is located in downtown Austin and is the seat of the state government. Visitors can take a guided tour of the capitol building and learn about the state’s history and political process.
27. Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is a scenic region that’s located just outside of Austin. It’s known for its rolling hills, wildflowers, and charming small towns. Visitors can explore the region by car, bike, or on foot, and enjoy some of the best scenery that Texas has to offer.
28. McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park is a 641-acre park that’s located just outside of Austin. It’s home to several waterfalls, including Upper and Lower McKinney Falls, as well as several hiking and biking trails.
29. Hamilton Pool Preserve
Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural swimming hole that’s located just outside of Austin. It’s a popular spot for swimming, hiking, and picnicking, and features a stunning 50-foot waterfall that cascades into the pool below.
30. The Oasis on Lake Travis
The Oasis on Lake Travis is a popular restaurant that’s known for its stunning views of Lake Travis. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset and enjoy some delicious food and drinks.
31. Austin Nature and Science Center
The Austin Nature and Science Center is a museum and nature center that’s located in Zilker Park. It features exhibits on local wildlife, geology, and ecology, as well as several hiking trails and an animal exhibit.
32. Austin Zoo
The Austin Zoo is a non-profit rescue zoo that’s home to over 300 animals from over 100 different species. Visitors can take a guided tour of the zoo and learn about the animals and their habitats.
33. The Domain
The Domain is a high-end shopping and dining destination in North Austin. It features a variety of upscale stores and restaurants, as well as several entertainment options, including a movie theater and bowling alley.
34. Cedar Park Center
Cedar Park Center is a multi-purpose arena that’s located in Cedar Park, just north of Austin. It’s home to several sports teams, including the Texas Stars hockey team and the Austin Spurs basketball team. It also hosts concerts and other events throughout the year.
35. Jester King Brewery
Jester King Brewery is a farmhouse brewery that’s located just outside of Austin. It’s known for its unique and creative beers, as well as its beautiful hill country setting. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the brewery and tasting room, as well as outdoor seating and a pizza kitchen.
Whether you’re a music lover, foodie, or outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Austin. With so many amazing places to visit, it’s no wonder that Austin is one of the most popular destinations in Texas. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience all that this vibrant city has to offer!
In conclusion, Austin is a city that’s full of life and energy. From live music and delicious food, to beautiful parks and outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor, these 35 places are a must-visit when in Austin.
- What s the best time of year to visit Austin?
The best time of year to visit Austin is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and there are plenty of outdoor events and festivals.
- What is Austin known for?
Austin is known for its live music scene, delicious food, and outdoor activities.
- What is the most popular attraction in Austin?
The most popular attraction in Austin is the Texas State Capitol, which is the seat of the state government.
- Is Austin a good place to live?
Yes, Austin is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States, thanks to its vibrant culture, strong economy, and beautiful scenery.
- What is the cost of living in Austin?
The cost of living in Austin is relatively high, but it’s still more affordable than other major cities in the United States. Housing and transportation are the biggest expenses for most residents.