Things to Do in Austin

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Texans’ love of all things big extends to its capitol building, which dominates the Austin skyline and is visible for miles driving up South... Read More

Music-lover's scene. This bar's theme nights include Two-Bit Tuesdays, featuring 25-cent corn dogs and two-dollar premium drafts. Read More

Situated in the heart of the Live Music Capital of the World on Willie Nelson Boulevard (a statue of the Red Headed Stranger greets visitors on its... Read More

The Alamo isn’t your average movie theater. Along with blockbuster hits, they play  oldies and indies, and serve food and drinks during the show.... Read More

The shop rents environmentally friendly electric scooters and e-bikes. Read More

With 13 locations in the Austin area, this little ice cream dominates the local market. The day’s 15 flavors are displayed on a chalk board above... Read More

Surrounding the lake are 10 miles of trails beloved by runners, walkers and cyclists—not to mention local dogs out for exercise (and an occasional dip... Read More

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... Read More

The beloved TV show became a music festival in 2002, and, in fall 2013, expanded from one weekend to two at Zilker Park near downtown Austin. Acts span... Read More

Downtown’s historic Paramount Theatre takes a starring role for premieres and other screenings at this fall festival, which was founded in 1994. AFF... Read More

An Art Deco house set on 12 waterfront acres, featuring a rotating collection. Read More

The Austin Nature & Science Center, located in Zilker Park, has a range of family friendly activities and hands-on exhibits. While special ... Read More

Three-acre watering hole has lifeguards and diving boards just like a swimming pool, but its 68-degree waters are fed by underground springs. Don&rsquo... Read More

This three-acre watering hole has lifeguards and diving boards just like a swimming pool, but its 68-degree waters are fed by underground springs. Don't... Read More

Bicycle Sports Shop, with three locations in the Austin area including the flagship near Zilker Park and Barton Springs, caters to the needs of Austin... Read More

You know, there's really something to that "kid in an candy store" expression. Kids seem pretty darn delighted at this South Congress Avenue shop, but... Read More

The permanent collection includes works by Romare Bearden, Mark Rothko and Thomas Hart Benton. Don’t miss Luis Jimenez’s massive sculpture Progress II ... Read More

The independent spirit is also strong at Waterloo's across-the-street neighbor. At this beloved store, founded in 1970, the scads of books include local... Read More

Founded in 1970, this is one of the nation's leading independent bookstores.  It's a popular stop for touring authors, from Stephen King to... Read More

Callahan’s General Store is a throwback to a time when shopping options were more limited for Texans. Its offerings include just about anything... Read More

Picture the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, if it were designed by the Ramones. Casino El Camino has a dark interior, a punk-rock spirit, a renowned... Read More

Since 2012, Austin has been host of the U.S. Grand Prix, the only Formula 1 race in the U.S. Built for F1, the COTA track also hosts other racing events... Read More

Club De Ville is one of the oldest music venues in Austin, and is a mainstay of the Texas capital's Red River District. While it has a small indoor bar,... Read More

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... Read More

The city's oldest man-made swimming pool originated as a natural swimming hole, but a century ago it was encased in concrete for Deep Eddy Bathing Beach... Read More

Besides an extensive selection of comic books and graphic novels, Dragon's Lair offers board and card games, as well as game guides. It's also a... Read More

East-Central Austin is a haven of artistic activity. For two weekends in November, the artists and artisans there open the doors for the East Austin... Read More

Esther’s has been a mainstay in Austin since 1977, and these sketch-comedy players never run out of things to poke fun at in Austin life or Texas and... Read More

Since 2005, Austin has played host every September to what might be the weirdest film festival in the country. Based at the Alamo Drafthouse movie... Read More

If you’re in Austin during the fall, any high school game will give you a real-life Friday Night Lights experience. One of the area’s leading programs... Read More

Back in the days when Texas was its own country, this was the home of France’s diplomatic representative to the Republic. Today, it’s a museum. You can... Read More

Founded in 2006, this is another youngster of a festival that has come on strong and shown that it can stand with the Austin mainstays: Attendance hit... Read More

Strange Factor: Peek inside the Live Music Capital of the World’s henhouses on the Funky Chicken Coop Tour. During the open house event, folks... Read More

This cramped honky-tonk isn’t licensed to sell spirits but does provide the setup—the ice and juice—for only a few dollars. Read More

In 2008, an arson fire severely damaged the mansion, which was first built in 1856. Luckily, because the home was being renovated at the time, no one... Read More

If you're seriously into street art, pay a visit to this every-evolving showcase of what local artists are up to. Located on an abandoned building site,... Read More

Originally painted in 1998 and recently refurbished, this mural at Roadside Relics on South First Street calls to mind a vintage postcard. It’s so... Read More

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 high... Read More

The Harry Ransom Center, on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, has an enormous collection of literary manuscripts — more than 36... Read More

The Harry Ransom Center’s holdings are vast, varied and ever-growing, from Frida Kahlo paintings to Woodward and Bernstein’s Watergate notes to Robert... Read More

At the University of Texas' Ransom Center, you can view a Gutenberg Bible and enjoy literary events such as lectures and Poetry on the Plaza. The vast... Read More

This simple mural by musician Daniel Johnston has remained intact near the University of Texas for more than 20 years, even as the building where it was... Read More

Just west of downtown Austin, Hiatus takes care of the environment with green initiatives, like recyclable packaging, while they're also taking care of... Read More

You may know Shepard Fairey as the creator of the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster back in 2008. He's one of the most famous street artists in the word... Read More

Catching Austin on a rainy weekend? Head to this indoor center filled with trampolines of all shapes and colors. Some rooms are set up as basketball and... Read More

Enjoy the native gardens and plants. The center uses solar power, has a green roof, and offers community outreach programs to restore the environment. Read More

About 12 miles south of downtown Austin, the Wildflower Center promotes the use of native plants—as in, plants that humans didn’t introduce to a region... Read More

The downtown lake is usually dotted with rowers, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders. Not up for that much of a workout? When Austin’s famous colony... Read More

A prime view doesn't require elevation, either. In summer 2014, this 1.4-mile segment of the hike-and-bike trail along Central Austin's Lady Bird Lake... Read More

Lady Bird Johnson left her mark on America as First Lady in the 1960s, and later in the Texas capital after she led a campaign to clean up Town Lake and... Read More

Formerly a private estate, this Art Deco house set on 12 waterfront acres features rotating and permanent collections on its lush grounds on Lake Austin... Read More

Lake Austin Spa Resort—about 20 miles from downtown—is known as a destination spa, but you can also book day packages if you aren't staying there. The... Read More

The magnitude of President Johnson's impact is felt when standing in the Great Hall inside the LBJ Presidential Library: more than 45 million pages, an... Read More

The overwhelming majority of performances at Austin's creative centerpiece highlight local artists: opera singers, symphony musicians, ballet dancers.... Read More

The Longbranch Inn, which is not an inn at all but a small dive bar on a corner in gritty but renascent East Austin, is a popular neighborhood bar that... Read More

Walking around the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at the University of Texas is a touching experience. For there, among the Disneyfied kitsch ... Read More

At the LBJ Ranch, outside of Johnson City in the Hill Country, where Johnson was born and died, everything is being restored to the way it was during... Read More

Art from South of the Border includes several José Clemente Orozcos and Rufino Tamayos (and a number of other painters of a heroic,... Read More

This chicly decorated spa is right at home in Austin's stylish Second Street District. Make a day of it by shopping at the nearby boutiques and then... Read More

Moontower is one of Austin's youngest festivals, but when it debuted in spring 2012 with such polish and self-assurance—it was as if it had been around... Read More

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... Read More

The panoramic view of Austin you can get from Mount Bonnell on Lake Austin is simply stunning. Keep in mind that getting to the view requires a short... Read More

Built in 1915, the grand dame of Congress Avenue has hosted a roster of Hollywood elite over the past century: from Orson Wells, Harry Houdini, and... Read More

While this stretch of Sixth Street is one of the best-known areas of Austin, it’s not really a hotbed of live music. Parish is an exception. You can... Read More

A view of this graceful steel bridge over Lake Austin is lovely, and so are the views from it—of the surrounding lake and hills. You can also see... Read More

Generations of Austin children have celebrated their birthdays at this landmark on Barton Springs Road near downtown. Open since 1946, Peter Pan has two... Read More

The exhibits at this living history park will take your kids back to 19th century Texas — they may even get a glimpse of some real Texas Longhorns (and... Read More

South Congress Avenue may be better known, but North Loop Boulevard is one of the current epicenters of weird Austin spirit. You'll find lots of local,... Read More

About 23 miles north of downtown Austin, the Dell Diamond is the home of the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Texas... Read More

This coffee shop, which now distributes coffee to grocery stores throughout the state, was founded in Austin in 1990 with its “world headquarters... Read More

Insider Clout: For a Caravaggio enthusiast, Watkins enlisted an art historian guide to escort the client to three churches in Rome to admire seminal... Read More

Outside of cheering in the stands at DKR-Memorial Stadium, enjoying some beer, brats and barbecue with the burnt-orange masses at Scholz Garten is the... Read More

SXSW started in 1987 as a music festival in downtown Austin and went on to add film and technology segments. But music remains the best-known part of... Read More

This private, liberal arts university perched on a hill off South Congress Avenue has great views of downtown Austin, especially just outside its Mary... Read More

Willie Nelson isn't the only famous musician honored with a statue in Austin.  An 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture memorializing blues-rock guitar... Read More

Turns out, all flavors of music—rock, pop, hip-hop, alt country—pair really well with Stubb's fabulous, Texas-style barbecue. On the outside stage, I've... Read More

With folk art from around the world, Tesoros embodies Austin's eclectic charm. The colorful tin ornaments from Mexico are some of my favorite gifts to... Read More

Setting (in and around the Texas Capitol), timing (autumn with its mild weather) and characters (big-name authors, plus thousands of book lovers) all... Read More

When the weather is sunny, nothing tops a day of tastings along the Highway 290 wine trail. Book a local shuttle or limousine to guide a trip between... Read More

The capitol building was completed in 1888, and Austinites have been pretty darn proud of it ever since. There are even laws on the books to prevent... Read More

Does it surprise you at all to learn that the Texas State Capitol, completed in 1888, is taller than the U.S. Capitol? The famous red-granite dome makes... Read More

Less than a mile from the Capitol, the lovely, tree-lined Texas State Cemetery is the final resting place for political figures such as U.S. Rep.... Read More

This free event celebrating young adult literature has grown fast since its start in 2009.  Authors such as James Dashner (the "Maze Runner" series... Read More

The student union building of the University of Texas at Austin serves as a hub of activity for the more than 50,000 students enrolled in the school,... Read More

Photo idea: You, plus thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats flying overhead. From March to October, the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in... Read More

If you're around UT for the day, stop in for a visit to the Blanton, especially if it's a Thursday (when there's free admission). Memorable exhibitions... Read More

Founded in 1964, the Broken Spoke is a timeless Texas dancehall that's beloved by Willie Nelson—pretty much the best endorsement you can get—not to... Read More

In 2011, the Austin Museum of Art and Arthouse at the Jones Center merged to become The Contemporary Austin. The Contemporary has two distinctive venues... Read More

Way before South Congress Avenue got that trendy “SoCo” nickname, the Continental Club was there delivering roots rock, country, soul and a cool '50s... Read More

UT Austin is home to LBJ’s presidential library, which explores the Civil Rights Movement, the War on Poverty and other aspects of Johnson's presidency... Read More

The Red River District is packed with live music, and the Mohawk is one of its most popular and acclaimed venues. Open since 2006, the indoor/outdoor... Read More

Just over 15 miles from downtown Austin, the Oasis has one of the best-known views in town. The huge, multi-story restaurant was built (and rebuilt,... Read More

This piece of the sprawling campus is one of the most beautiful areas of UT. It’s home to World War I memorial Littlefield Fountain, and the Mall’s “Six... Read More

Yoga Yoga studios offer classes all over Austin, but this location is the only one with a spa. Pair a massage, body wrap, facial or other Ayurveda... Read More

The Thinkery is the new incarnation of the Austin Children's Museum. The 40,000-square-foot facility opened in 2013 in the Mueller neighborhood, about... Read More

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... Read More

Past Austin visitors may remember Toy Joy from its previous location near UT. The store is downtown now, but still has the same mix of toys you won't... Read More

This noteworthy newcomer is outfitted with traditional Chippendale furniture. Read More

Near Zilker Park and the restaurants of Barton Springs Road, you'll find a quiet, beautiful garden that's home to works by the 20th century American... Read More

Want some Longhorn swag to commemorate your visit to the University of Texas at Austin? There's the more visible Co-Op just across from UT on  ... Read More

Even if you're not a football fan, taking in a Longhorns home game here is unforgettable, from the massive tailgating scene to the many game-day... Read More

The Tower is a symbol of both UT’s happiest and saddest times. Notoriously, it was the site of Charles Whitman’s mass shooting in 1966. Today, the Tower... Read More

Sitting in the front row is no longer a hindrance to the movie-going experience at this locally owned theater, where oversize chairs have the added... Read More

Viva has an extensive menu of package deals, including the super-indulgent, seven-hour Viva Diva. It helps you decompress with a massage, body wrap,... Read More

At its East Austin headquarters, this theater company stages award-winning, boundary-busting original productions and welcomes innovative guest... Read More

For years, this creek—which runs from north campus through downtown and into Lady Bird Lake—has been subject to severe flooding. But a new, well-funded... Read More

This Austin icon is one of the nation's top independent record stores. Pick up CDs by Texas acts like Ruthie Foster, Billy Joe Shaver, Gary Clark Jr.,... Read More

This New York transplant is housed in a wood-paneled house and has a sprawling lawn dotted with vintage furnishings. Settle in with a potent Revolution,... Read More

After hitting Waterloo and BookPeople, head to the downtown location of Austin-founded Whole Foods to refuel and shop more. At 80,000 square feet, this... Read More

If you’re going to a concert at ACL Live downtown, take a moment to get a picture with the 8-foot tall bronze sculpture of local patron saint Willie... Read More

Fittingly for a gallery in the Live Music Capital of the World, Yard Dog showcases work from musician/artists like Jon Langford and Ian McLagan, along... Read More

This sweet and colorful bread-and-butter mural is especially popular with couples seeking a distinctively Austin background for their engagement photos.... Read More

When it isn’t hosting concerts such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, a three-day event held each October, Zilker Park is a popular... Read More

Two weekends a year, Zilker Park is home to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. But the rest of the year, this 351-acre park in the middle of town is... Read More

Innumerable couples have taken their picture with these sweet, simple words on the side of Jo's Coffee on South Congress Avenue. The back story? Austin... Read More

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