20 Best Things To Do in Austin, Texas
Home to the University of Texas and an array of beautiful parks, gardens, and buildings, the city of Austin in the state of Texas offers a wide range of activities. The city is known for its State Capitol, festivities at Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake, views offered by the Mount Bonnell, fun activities provided by Lake Travis and Lake Austin, rich history museums and libraries, interesting flora and fauna, and much more. The city has something special for history lovers, adventure buffs, and art admirers. Let us see some of the best things to in Austin!
1. Know the history of Texas at Texas State Capitol
One of the most spectacular and prominent points of attraction in Austin is Texas State Capitol. This magnificent building is home to some of the important offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and the Office of the Governor. Located in Downtown Austin, Texas State Capitol is the work of the architect Elijah E. Myers and was completed in 1888. A 30 minutes tour of Texas State Capitol offers a keen insight into the history to Texas and its legislative system. Some highlights of this building are its four marble floors and a beautiful dome on the top.
2. Attend a festival at Zilker Park
Named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, Zilker Park is located in South Austin and is one of the top tourist attractions in Austin city. Stretched over an area of 350 acres, Zilker Park is placed between the Barton Creek and the Colorado River. Zilker Metropolitan Park provides plenty of recreational activities for people of every age. The main features of this park are its miniature train, playgrounds, nature center, botanical garden, dog park, swimming pool, live music, and a number of festivals that are celebrated here.
3. Enjoy paddle boating on the Lady Bird Lake
While looking for free things to do in Austin, hanging around the picturesque Lady Bird Lake is a great option. Formerly known as the Town Lake, Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir that is used significantly for flood control and recreational facilities. This reservoir was built in the city of Austin in 1960 as a cooling point for the city power plant. There are some hiking and biking trails around the lake and also a boat ramp through which you can participate in kayaking, paddle boating, and stand up paddle boarding.
4. Bathe in the soothing waters of Barton Springs Pool
When you are at Zilker Park, you will come across Barton Springs Pool that highlights a major part of recreational activities in Austin. The reason behind its name is that this outdoor pool is filled with the waters of nearby springs. The average temperature of the water in the pool is 20 to 23 degrees Celsius which makes it perfect for swimming throughout the year. The water majorly comes from Main Barton Springs which is the fourth largest spring in Texas. The swimming pool itself covers an area of 3 acres in the park.
5. Look at the city from Mount Bonnell
Also called as Covert Park, Mount Bonnell is one of the popular tourist destinations in Austin. Honored as Texas Historic Landmark, Mount Bonnell was also listed as one of the National Historic Places in 2015. Mount Bonnell has an elevation of 775 feet above sea level and with this, it provides a panoramic view of the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the hills that surround it. Mount Bonnell covers an area of 5.36 acres and is considered as the highest point in Austin.
6. Meditate upon the Lake Travis
With 63.75 miles of total length, over 271 miles of shoreline and 4.5 miles of width, Lake Travis is a symbol of natural beauty in Austin. This beautiful reservoir is located on the Colorado River and was formed in 1942 by the construction of Mansfield Dam. The reservoir is surrounded by some good resorts, waterfront parks, and restaurants. In addition to a plethora of recreational activities that this reservoir provides, you should enjoy a 4-hour tour of the lake that includes a boat ride, jet skiing, and other outdoor activities. With the views of lakes, woods, and hills, Lake Travis is one of the best Austin tourist attractions.
7. Read and experience the history at Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Also known as LBJ Presidential Library, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is a part of the University of Texas in Austin. This huge library and museum is one of the thirteen presidential libraries that are run by National Archives and Records Administration. The library is situated over an area of 14 acres and provides an opportunity to view a large number of historical, cultural, and temporary exhibits. With 125,000 visitors year-round, LBJ Presidential Library if one of the top attractions in Austin Texas.
8. See the colony of birds from Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge
Built over the picturesque Lady Bird Lake, Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is a concrete arch bridge with three southbound and three northbound vehicle lanes. The bridge has a length of 945.9 feet and was first opened for public in the year 1910. The Congress Avenue Bridge is famously known for its urban bat colony, world’s largest and featuring Mexican free-tailed bats. You can see the bats from the bridge itself, or from the boat while enjoying a ride on the Colorado River.
9. Try fishing in Lake Austin
Moving around the Lake Austin is one of the fun things to do in Austin Texas as with world-class resorts, adventure activities, and plenty of nature trails, it provides fun activities for entire family. This picturesque water reservoir was formed due to the construction of Tom Miller Dam in 1939. The lake houses a large variety of fishes such as Largemouth bass, Grass carp, Bluegill, Blue catfish, White crappie, and more. A major part of Lake Austin’s shoreline is owned privately which also means that it doesn’t lack anything when it comes to recreational activities and cozy stay. Apart from these, there are public boat ramps, walking trails, picnic and swimming areas.
10. Listen to the “Story of Texas” at Bullock Texas State History Museum
Owned by the Texas State Preservation Board, Bullock Texas State History Museum is an important point of attraction for all the history buffs. The museum displays a huge collection of historical artifacts, exhibits, documents, educational resources and also holds some interactive programs and events. The museum also has an IMAX theatre that offers 400 seats and has a projector with both 2D and 3D quality. Another theatre is used for multimedia representations and lectures. The museum has three floors dedicated to the historical exhibition.
11. Explore the animal life at Austin Zoo
Located in the west of Austin, Austin Zoo is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitation, and care of animals. Home to over 300 animals of more than 100 species, exploring the animal life at Austin Zoo is one of best things to do in Austin with kids. Some of the specialties of animals found here are African Lions, Bengal tigers, cougars, three species of monkeys, black bears, ring-tailed lemurs, and porcupines. Earlier, the zoo housed domestic animals like goats, pigs, fallow deer, donkeys, and ponies.
12. Admire the world art at Blanton Museum of Art
Blanton Museum of Art was founded in 1963. In the beginning, the museum was located in the Art Department of the University of Texas. With a great collection of over 18,000 works of art from European paintings, prints and drawings, and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, Blanton Museum of Art is one of the must-see places in Austin. Known as one of the largest art museums in Texas, Blanton Museum of Art comprises an area of 189,340 square feet. In the vicinity of this museum, you will see some wonderful exhibitions, art galleries, administrative offices, classrooms, a print study room, an auditorium, shop, and a cafe for the tourists.
13. See the weird collection of Museum of the Weird
Located on the Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Museum of the Weird is one of the unique places to visit in Austin. Often called as “Texas’s Strangest Attraction”, the Museum of the Weird is a fun place to visit. You will find a huge collection of weird things at this place that includes some movie props as well as recreation of movie characters. As you move around the place, you will see two headed animals, shrunken heads, and skeletons, and many random things you would witness for the first time.
14. Attend an educational program at Austin Nature & Science Center
With an aim of promoting awareness about our natural environment, Austin Nature & Science Center was established in 1960. Nestled on the western edge of Zilker Park, Austin Nature & Science Center provides an indoor and outdoor area for scientific exhibits and also offers environmental science education programs for school kids and communities. In addition to this, you can also participate in camps, adventure activities, family events and more offered by the center.
15. Look at the magnificence of University of Texas Tower
One of the popular landmarks in Austin, the University of Texas Tower stands in the city as a symbol of academic excellence and personal growth. The tower is 307-foot-tall and can be seen from a far distance. The purpose of building this tower was to provide space for the university’s central library. The building was designed by Paul Cret, a French architect. Made of Indiana limestone, this tower houses plenty of bookshelves for world-class literature.
16. Meet the aquatic animals of Austin Aquarium
One of the best places to explore the marine life, Austin Aquarium houses a collection of over 8,000 living animals fetched here from the Oregon shores and Indonesian Islands. The aquatic animals are provided with the replicas of their natural habitat in this aquarium. There are 35 exhibits represent the life of aquatic animals. You can feed the sharks, rays, birds, and fish and know about a variety of reptiles kept in the aquarium. The aquarium also hosts various educational programs and tours.
17. Enjoy a ride through McKinney Falls State Park
Nestled on the meeting point of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek, McKinney Falls State Park first opened to the public in 1976. The park has 81 campsites and many hiking and biking trails for the nature enthusiasts. The Onion Creek that forms the fall is also available for fishing and swimming. 2.8-mile Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail provide the best route for road trippers and bikers. The park offers Ranger Programs for kids and has a group recreational hall in its vicinity.
18. Take a stroll around Mayfield–Gutsch Estate
Located near the shores of Lake Austin, Mayfield-Gutsch Estate is a historic house and was built in the 1870s. This beautiful house, best known for its lush gardens and porches offering breathtaking views of the landscape, was purchased by the former Texas Secretary of State Allison Mayfield in 1909. The house was later purchased by the university professor Milton Gutsch. Today, as the park is open for public, you can take a stroll in its gardens and see the museum of art located inside.
19. Be a hippie at Hippie Hollow Park
Hippie Hollow Park is located on the shore of Lake Travis in the northwest of Austin. Known for its hippie atmosphere, Hippie Hollow Park is the only legal clothing-optional park in Texas. Due to its location, the park is often called as a beach. The park is set over a steep slope above the lake which is made of limestone and also provides an opportunity for rock climbing. The park usage is restricted to the people over 18 years.
20. Experience the fun of zipping at Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
Located by the Lake Travis, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures is the best place to catch some adrenaline rush. This amusement center in Austin provides an opportunity of enjoying the awesome views of the Lake Travis while zipping over the lake. This zipline adventure begins from 22 stories above the water surface and features 5 ziplines of different levels. Taking a nighttime zipline tour of 3 hours is one of the best things to do in Austin at night.
Explore the travel planning tool for your visit to Austin and create a flawless plan in few simple steps!
#1 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: Congress Ave, between 11th & 14th Sts, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)
Glistening grey statues, sunset red bricks and little historical gems await those who wish to visit the Texas State Capitol, in Austin. Whether you want to picnic in the gardens, watch the squirrels a...Read more
#2 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 305 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, United States
Did you know a bat baby is called a pup? Or that bat mothers can identify their babies by their unique smell and high pitched squeak? You’ll be able to learn these facts, and more, at the Congre...Read more
#3 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Just a few blocks up north of the Capitol Building stands the hi-tech Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Named after the state’s former lieutenant governor who envisioned the museum’s...Read more
#4 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: Lady Bird Lake, First Street Bridge at Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX 78701 (South Austin)
Runners, walkers and cyclists: unite! The Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike- Trail is 10 miles of green grass, lean trees and wide roads. The Trail is one of the most popular spots in the city, with visito...Read more
#5 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705, United States
History buffs, you’re in for a treat! The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is chock full of historical documents, photographs, one million feet of film, oral histories and recordings i...Read more
#6 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Austin’s a big, big city and finding the perfect place to stay can be quite a task. Amongst the numerous hotels and inns, shines The Driskill, a Romanesque styled hotel that dates back to 1886. ...Read more
#7 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 3800 Mt. Bonnell Drive, Austin, TX
Going up on Mount Bonnell to watch the sunset is an Austin tradition that’s been around for decades. The point alongside Lake Austin is also called Covert Park and provides stunning views of the...Read more
#8 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739
Imagine butterflies fluttering and dancing around rainbow coloured flowers, all set against emerald green grass. Now imagine a reality where none of these beauties exist! The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflo...Read more
#9 of 66 Things To Do in Austin
Address: 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701
Lights, entertainment and a whole lot of action! That’s what you can expect to find in Austin’s legendary 6th street. If you’re a fan of pub hopping, live music and young, vibrant cr...Read more
66 Tourist Attractions in Austin
Must see places in Austin ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Austin and point of interests to visit.
Tourist Attractions Near Austin
- The San Antonio River Walk Added 23496 times in Trip Plans
- The Alamo Added 19514 times in Trip Plans
- SeaWorld San Antonio Added 9002 times in Trip Plans
- Natural Bridge Caverns Added 16209 times in Trip Plans
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas Added 5580 times in Trip Plans
- Mission San Jose Added 9579 times in Trip Plans
- Japanese Tea Gardens Added 11671 times in Trip Plans
- Majestic Theatre Added 6845 times in Trip Plans
- San Antonio Zoo And Aquarium Added 5592 times in Trip Plans
Find Your Austin Attractions on Map
Types of Things To Do in Austin
Find more attractions and places to visit in Austin under these things to do categories.
Top Austin Activities And Tours
Explore the best things to do in Austin. These are the most preferred tourist activities.
2 Reviews Duration: 2 Hrs
Enjoy a leisurely bike tour to get acquainted with Austin, including the Capitol, Castle Hill, Barton Springs and Butler hike...
USD 60Book Now
6 Reviews Duration: 2 Hrs
This informative and historic 2-hour tour starts at Lady Bird Lake and makes its way around on the Butler trail 10 mile loop,...
USD 60Book Now
New on TripHobo Duration: 4 Hrs
This 20-mile tour with the local operator and is catered for travelers who want a good mix of nature and street riding, along...
USD 120Book Now
New on TripHobo Duration: 4 Hrs
This 4-hour guided tour is catered to travelers who want a more in depth or locals experience of Austin. Once you gear up wit...
USD 120Book Now
Find more places to see in Austin
LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River StHistoric and Protected Sites
1100 S Congress AveHistoric and Protected Sites
Greetings From Austin Postcard Mural
1720 S 1st StHistoric and Protected Sites
6th Street Austin
6th Street and TrinityHistoric and Protected Sites
Texas State Capitol
112 E 11th StHistoric and Protected Sites
702 Rio Grande StHistoric and Protected Sites
1600 S Quinlan Park RdLakes
1 Lake TravisLakes
Devils Cove - Lake Travis
Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail, Austin, TX 78746, United StatesLakes
Town Lake Trail
S First StLakes
Texas Military Forces Museum
2200 W 35th StMuseums
French Legation Museum
802 San Marcos StMuseums
O. Henry Museum
409 E 5th StMuseums
Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery
1137 W 6th StMuseums
Harry Ransom Center
300 W 21st StMuseums
South Austin Popular Culture Center
1516 S Lamar BlvdMuseums
1701 W Ben White BlvdAmusement Parks Pizza
13530 N Highway 183Amusement Parks
4800 W Howard LnAmusement Parks Arcades
River City Bingo
900 E Braker LnAmusement Parks
2207 E Cesar Chavez StAmusement Parks
11th Hour Escape
2600 McHale CtAmusement Parks
620 W 6th StBars Night Clubs Restaurants
708 E 6th StBars Restaurants Music and Show Venues
St Roch's Bar
515 Pedernales StBars
Bout Time II
6607 N Interstate 35Restaurants Bars Night Clubs
1808 E Cesar Chavez StBars Burgers Mexican
Red Shed Tavern
8504 S Congress AveBars Restaurants
5500 S Congress AveCasinos and Gaming Bars
Big Star Bingo
910 W Anderson LnCasinos and Gaming
1919 E Riverside DrCasinos and Gaming
5310 Burnet RdCasinos and Gaming
Treasure Island Bingo
2400 E Oltorf StCasinos and Gaming
Lucky Lady Bingo
1107 N Interstate 35Casinos and Gaming
3505 W 35TH StNatural Parks
Bull Creek District Park
6701 Lakewood DrPlaygrounds Dog Parks
Norwood Estate Dog Park
1009 Edgecliff TerDog Parks
Wells Branch Dog Park
14676 Wells Port DrDog Parks
Garrison District Park
6001 Manchaca RdDog Parks
Red Bud Isle
3401 RED BUD TrlDog Parks
12100 Millwright PkwyDog Parks
Emma Long City Park
Arbor Trails Track
4301 W William Cannon DrHiking
River Place Nature Trail
8830 Big View DrHiking
Great Hills Park Trail
Town Lake Running Trail
Lady Bird LakeHiking
Spicewood Valley Trail
10978 Callanish Park DrHiking
Rock-About Climbing Adventures
3505 S Lamar BlvdHiking
What To Do in Austin: Day-Wise Ideas
Find what not to miss in Austin! Recommended Austin itineraries and vacation ideas created by travelers across the world.
- Things To Do in Nearby Cities
- Things to do in Blanco
- Things to do in Horseshoe Bay
- Things to do in Ottine
- Things to do in San Antonio
- Things to do in Houston
- Things to do in Corpus Christi
- Things to do in Waelder
- Things to do in Harwood
- Things to do in Mcmahan
- Top Cities in United States for Things To Do
- Things to do in Miami
- Things to do in Los Angeles
- Things to do in New York City
- Things to do in Chicago
- Things to do in Las Vegas
- Things to do in San Francisco
- Things to do in Moorestown
- Things to do in Brownstown
- Things to do in Paris Crossing
- More Places on TripHobo to visit
- Things to do in Paris
- Things to do in Prague
- Things to do in Rome
- Things to do in Rio De Janeiro
- Things to do in London
- Things to do in Barcelona
- Things to do in Bolívar
- Things to do in Dhordo
- Things to do in Wairakei