Things to do in Austin
When deciding what things to do in Austin, always go the live music route. Mohawk, located in downtown Austin, right on 10th and Red River, is consistently voted one of Austin’s best live music venues. It offers an eclectic variety of bands and artists at any time of year. East Side Showroom has a low-key vibe, perfect for relaxing and sipping on a beer or cocktail in Austin’s East Side neighborhood. It has live music on the weekends and also showcases local visual artists. For some history and sightseeing, the Texas State Capitol is the largest capitol in the US and offers guided tours and the option to stroll the grounds as well.
The Texas Memorial Museum houses one of the biggest dinosaur-finds ever, and many other wild and weird natural history discoveries. If you’re not afraid of creepy-crawlies, the bat colony under Congress Bridge is the largest urban colony in North America. Many people gather during the summer to watch the horde take off at sunset every night to forage for food- an eerie but exciting sight. Zilker Park is 350 acres of greenery, with hiking and biking trails along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. It also provides access to Barton Springs- the famous natural swimming pool.
Art from South of the Border includes several José Clemente Orozcos and Rufino Tamayos (and a number of other painters of a heroic, postrevolutionary mode), as well as a collection of gorgeous 19th-century earthenware pitchers for serving pulque, a viscous agave beer.
Walking around the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at the University of Texas is a touching experience. For there, among the Disneyfied kitsch (a life-size, moving doll of LBJ telling corny jokes), is a record of achievements that puts today’s politicians to shame.
Callahan’s General Store is a throwback to a time when shopping options were more limited for Texans.
The calm waters of Lady Bird Lake, the dammed portion of the Colorado River that runs through Austin, provide an excellent vantage point to experience the city. And at 6.5 miles long, Lady Bird Lake offers ample opportunity to get a good workout by paddling.
Club De Ville is one of the oldest music venues in Austin, and is a mainstay of the Texas capital's Red River District.
This cramped honky-tonk isn’t licensed to sell spirits but does provide the setup—the ice and juice—for only a few dollars.
Texans’ love of all things big extends to its capitol building, which dominates the Austin skyline and is visible for miles driving up South Congress Avenue.
Strange Factor: Peek inside the Live Music Capital of the World’s henhouses on the Funky Chicken Coop Tour.
This noteworthy newcomer is outfitted with traditional Chippendale furniture.
Music strikes a note in Austin, known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” so dance your way to this bar for blues, country rock, and rockabilly sounds.
Mount Bonnell, a municipal park located on the western edge of the city above Town Lake, is one of the highest points in the area at 775 feet, making it a popular spot for surveying the surrounding area.
On the edge of Lady Bird Lake, the Long Center for the Performing Arts houses the city's ballet company and symphony orchestra.
Coffeehouse by day and lounge by night, Halcyon stands on the corner of Fourth and Lavaca Streets, at the center of the Warehouse District.
The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day event held every October in Zilker Park with more than 100 artists covering a wide spectrum of genres. Past acts have included Kings of Leon, the Zac Brown Band, Kanye West, Coldplay, and Sara Bareilles.