Summertime in Austin brings the heat—and we’re talking about more than just the temperature. With a huge variety of outdoor activities, a full roster of fun events and festivals, and delicious foods and refreshing drinks to indulge in, the city is abuzz in the summer months. Here are some of our top Austin summer activities to look forward to.
Outdoor adventures in Austin
We could write a whole novel about all outdoor summer activities in and around Austin. Instead, here are some of the city’s most loved outdoor adventures that you can enjoy this summer.
Rent a boat at Lake Travis
Just northwest of downtown, Lake Travis is a favorite destination for Austin locals in the summertime. Not only can you take a cooling dip in the lake’s clear blue waters, but you can also rent a boat for the day to explore the 64-mile-long reservoir. Whether you’re looking for an active day out on a kayak or a more leisurely party pontoon experience, Lake Travis has it all.
Oh, and hey, its conveniently located near our homes for sale.
Bike around Lady Bird Lake
One of the best things about Austin is that you don’t have to leave the city to enjoy the outdoors. The city’s 10-mile-long trail around Lady Bird Lake—both walk and bike friendly— is the perfect urban route, offering a mix of river and city views. The trail also takes you by several of Austin’s natural landmarks, including the scenic Zilker Parc (ideal picnic spot) and Barton Springs (more on that next).
Take a dip at Barton Springs Pool
Looking to beat the summer heat in Austin? Look no further than Barton Springs. Just a stone’s throw from downtown, Barton Springs Pool is a three-acre pool fed by water from the natural springs that share its name. Beloved by everyone, including Robert Redford (who learned to swim there!), the pool is open year-round, but is particularly popular in the summertime. Its clear cool waters offer some much-needed relief from the hot Texas sun.
Hike the River Place Nature Trail
Just a half-hour drive from downtown is the beautiful River Place Nature Trail. The moderately difficult trail covers six miles out and back and takes you through forest, along streams, and up its famous log stairway (great for getting your steps in!). There are lots of trees to provide shade along the walk, but still be sure to bring lots of water with you in summer.
Festivals and Events
Austin isn’t the Capital of Live Music for nothing: the city has a continuous stream of festivals and events that highlight a range of musical genres. Beyond music, the city also celebrates other cultural areas in the summer months. Here are some of the best events happening this summer.
Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na Bat Fest! Held annually in August, Bat Fest is a celebration of the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that call the Congress Avenue Bridge home. The festival is, at its core, a bat viewing party, but it also includes tons of other activities, like live music, food and drink, market stalls, and a bat costume contest. It’s an Austin classic!
Hot Summer Nights
Hot Summer Nights is a music concert series that was initially launched in 2017 to support Austin-based artists and venues during the quieter summer season. It proved to be a big success and is now held annually; showcasing a range of acts at a dozen local venues throughout the summer. In addition to the festival, live music is never in short supply in Austin.
Each August in Austin, hundreds of thousands of people flock downtown to celebrate Pride. The weeklong festival consists of many events, including live performances, markets, and parties. Of course, the crown jewel of the week is Austin’s Pride Parade, a colorful and celebratory procession you don’t want to miss!
Pecan Street Festival
Pecan Street Festival happens twice a year (in May and September) and has been an Austin tradition since the 1970s. The free two-day event brings together makers and artisans from across the city (and further afield) to showcase and sell their creations. The festival also features musical performances and a diverse selection of scrumptious local foods.
Food and Drink
From its famed food truck scene to local food markets and festivals, there is a heck of a lot to taste in Austin and we would want you to miss out on any of it. Let’s take a look.
Heat things up at the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Fest
Think you can handle the heat? Test your taste buds at the annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Fest. The summertime foodie event features a hot sauce competition, great local food, live music, and tongue-cooling drinks. To top it off, proceeds from the event go towards the Central Texas Food Bank.
Cool down with a cone of ice cream
Austin’s ice cream spots have not only perfected the classics, they’re also real innovators. Since 1984, Amy’s Ice Cream has served its famous Mexican Vanilla ice cream alongside limited edition flavors; Lick Honest Ice Cream uses local seasonal ingredients to make unique aromas like thyme & honey; and Thai Fresh has unique vegan ice creams with Thai-inspired flavors like Coconut Lime. Grab a cone on a hot day, you won’t regret it.
Barton Creek Farmers Market
Held every Saturday, the Barton Creek Farmers Market is the perfect place to stock up on the freshest Texan produce like cheeses, meats, and your greens. Known for its welcoming atmosphere, the weekly open-air market also features live music and entertainment for the kids. It’s the perfect weekend activity in the summer to taste what’s in season and enjoy the local community.
Enjoy a cold one at an Austin brewery
Austin is home to a number of top-tier breweries that serve cold drinks and good food in airy beer gardens. With a big patio, a nice selection of house beers, and some seriously tasty pub grub, Hold Out Brewing is one of our favorites. Other notable local brew pubs include Jester King Brewery just outside of Austin, and Live Oak, which has a massive beer garden and a disc golf course.
Summertime at Lakeside
Lakeside at Tessera also has lots to offer in the summer months, including over a mile of shoreline on Lake Travis, a private boat launch, hiking trails, and much more—like air-conditioning, we promise. Get in touch today to find out more about our homes and community.