Austin in the Winter

Boat Trail of Lights in Austin during winter.

The city’s summer heat can be a doozy; however, Austin in winter months boasts of milder temperatures. December and February average in the mid-60s, while January drops a bit lower to the mid-50s. These cooler days in the state’s capital city still offers plenty of activities. Here are 10 of our favorite things to do in Austin in the winter: 

1. Eat Al Fresco 

Because Austin’s winter weather is so mild, you are able to eat outside all season long. Famous for its classic American fare, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill offers a heated outdoor patio complete with a seating area around a fireplace. The outdoor patio at Perla’s on Congress, serving fresh seafood, is not to be missed. Located in East Austin and modeled after a family ranch, Contingo is nearly 100% outdoors with both covered and uncovered seating options. 

2. Ice Skate on Whole Foods Plaza 

Feel like you are in a winter wonderland when you ice skate on the roof of Whole Foods’ flagship store. Enjoy this light-hearted, family activity, open from Thanksgiving until late-January. Once you are done skating, get your holiday shopping done while you are downtown or check out other holiday activities in Lago Vista.

3. Visit a Museum 

For the days that do drop below 50 degrees, enjoy one of the city’s great museums. Brush up on your presidential history at the LBJ Library to learn all about America’s 36th president. For those who love Texas history, don’t miss the Bullock Texas State Museum, musing the history of Texas with three themed exhibits. The Blanton Museum of Art has a fabulous collection of 20th century American Art and the United States’ largest collection of Latin Art.  

4. Stroll down “Main Street” 

Enjoy the wintery weather and take a festive stroll down Congress Avenue, dubbed “Main Street”. During the holidays, the city erects a 45-foot tall Christmas tree near the capitol that is visible for blocks, featuring LED lights and synchronized holiday music.  

5. Enjoy Secluded Hiking 

Feel like you are a million miles away and enjoy more secluded hiking during the winter months. Due to the cooler temperatures, trails all over Austin are less crowded. Hike through the Barton Creek Greenbelt, one of Texas’ top-rated trails or get a quad workout when you hike River Place Nature Trail, consisting of three of the most challenging hikes in Austin. 

6. Walk or Boat Austin’s Trail of Lights 

Austin’s Trail of Lights, located in Zilker Park is the city’s largest holiday tradition. This event features everything that makes Austin great – food trucks, art and live entertainment. Visitors can enjoy more than 60 light displays. There is even a Boat Trail of Lights if you’re wanting to put on your sea legs.

7. Train for the Austin City Marathon 

Held in February each year, The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon is one of Austin’s biggest events. Race down open roads passing many of Austin’s iconic landmarks along the way, finishing downtown to enjoy music and brews. 

8. Head to Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 

Taking place 10 days leading up to Christmas, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaars is the perfect one-stop shop to get all your holiday gifts. A true Austin experience, this event offers fine art and music featuring nearly 200 art vendors selling everything from stocking stuffers to one-of-a-kind collectibles.  

9. Visit a Local Distillery or Winery 

While technically in Dripping Springs, Treaty Oak Distillery is just a half-hour drive from Austin and boasts of being the most awarded distillery in Texas. As an urban winery and the first grape-to-glass winery in Austin, The Austin Winery is re-inventing what a traditional winery looks like.  

10. Catch Fireworks on New Year’s Eve 

Dubbed one of the most unique fireworks shows in Texas, the annual fireworks over Lady Bird Lake on New Year’s Eve is fun for everyone. Bring your family or meet your friends to enjoy this memorable event. 

Life at Lakeside at Tessera 

Austin is an ideal destination to both visit and live year-round. Located in Lago Vista, Lakeside at Tessera is just a 45-minute drive away. You can’t beat the benefit of small-town living on Lake Travis while being a stone’s throw away from the best city in the Lone Star State. Explore our Lake Travis homes here.  

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