Austin is an outdoor, music, and food playground. Whether you’re looking to enjoy some time outdoors or hopping from food truck to food truck, we’ve put together the must-visit places in Austin to make your trip easy. Let’s look at some of the best gems of the Weird City.
Outdoor Recreation Go-Tos:
Zilker Metropolitan Park
With over 350 acres of hot springs, music venues, recreation areas, and hiking and biking trails, Zilker Park is a popular place for residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors. The iconic park is a top attraction in Austin for a good reason. The scenic public space is home to volleyball courts, the Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and Barton Springs.
Tucked into the Texas Hill Countryside is the nearly 19,000-acre scenic Lake Travis. Within a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin, you can rent boats, kayaks, and standup paddleboards and spend a day relaxing in the Texas sun. But, if you want to see Lake Travis from a different perspective, book a zipline tour at Lake Travis Zipline Adventures and cruise over the lake at one of the longest and fastest ziplines in Texas.
McKinney Falls State Park
If you’re looking for a place to explore and enjoy the outdoors near Austin, McKinney Falls State Park offers fishing, hiking, and mountain biking opportunities. In addition to endless outdoor recreation activities, this must-visit place near Austin also has multiple campsites available to rent. You can bring the whole family along for an outdoor adventure with affordable entrance fees at just $6 a day for adults and free admission for children 12 and under.
Dynamic Food Scene
This must-visit place is possibly the best BBQ joint in Texas, or the universe, as they claim. Franklin BBQ is open six days a week and is located on Austin’s historic east side. The two owners, Stacy and Aaron Franklin, first began in a small bbq trailer and quickly climbed their way towards BBQ notoriety and a James Beard Award for Best Chef. With deep roots in the Austin bbq community, Franklin BBQ is easily considered a top attraction in Austin.
If you prefer savory tacos over bbq, check out Cuantos Tacos on E 12th Street in Austin. They offer authentic Mexico City-style taco options like barbacoa, Mexican chorizo, pork belly, and cachete. While the tacos are small street style, the $2 price is hard to beat.
Right next door to The VORTEX performing arts theater, another top attraction in Austin, is a quaint old-school Italian restaurant called Patrizi’s. If you’re looking for a quiet and more intimate scene, you can relax on the outdoor patio with a bottle of wine and tasty homemade dishes. The outdoor seating area provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the evening atmosphere while catching up with friends.
Austin’s Best Entertainment & Culture
Take a step back in history and learn more about the distinguished Texas Capitol building and surrounding spaces. While you are welcome to stroll through the grounds on a self-guided tour, the Capitol offers free guided tours generally every 30-45 minutes each day of the week. Check out the website to find the guided tour hours and to learn more about this top Austin attraction and its National Register of Historic Places designation.
Austin City Limits
It’s safe to say that Austin City Limits was the catalyst for Austin’s nickname of “Live Music Capital of the World.” With a history dating back to the mid-1970s, the show continues to propel Austin’s dynamic music scene onward. The place where all the music magic takes place is Moody Theater, located just mere blocks away from the Colorado River in the heart of Austin. Whether you stop by to take a peek at the venue during the day or snag a concert ticket concert, this historical venue is a must-visit place in Austin.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden
Perhaps after a tasty bbq, taco, or Italian lunch, you can stroll through the Umlauf Sculpture Garden near the famed Zilker Metropolitan Park. The sculpture garden is a compilation of 20-century artwork exhibited in an outdoor setting. The six-acre exhibit is open to the public with an admission fee of $7 for adults, and children under 12 are free. In addition, the sculpture garden and museum offer guided tours if you’re interested in diving deeper into the history and insights of the artists.
Life at Lakeside
After a day of touring the must-visit places in Austin, head back to the comfort of your waterfront home. Contact our office today to book a tour and begin searching for your Texas Hill Country dream home!