There are tons of things to do in Austin, from totally free to really cheap. Austin is the land of tacos and Mexican Martinis, as well as some awesome live music and beautiful scenery. If y’all want to know what to do in Austin look no further. This weekend guide to Austin will have you seeing and doing some of the best things the city has to offer.
Y’all’s Weekend Guide to Austin, TX
Take a hike.
Go to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which, when it’s flowing is a beautiful place to hike or take a dip in the creek. It’s the perfect place to get away from the business of the city.
Go for a swim.
Austin is really hot. Barton Springs is the classic place to go if y’all need to cool off (it’s 68 degrees year round.) For 2 or 3 bucks you can take the plunge. If free is more your style, another option is just on the other side of the fence. There is a spillway that will be full of people and dogs, this is the free area of the spring.
Catch an improv show or play!
Austin is known for live music but the improv and theatre scene is just as vibrant and talented! Find a show that suits you, they also have excellent options for families and kids, and have one of the best experiences you’ll have in Austin! Check out Knuckleball Now for imrov comedy or Scottish Rite Theater for family shows. Also for the adults check out Trouble Puppet Theatre.
Watch the bats.
Head to the Ann Richards Bridge on Congress Avenue just before sunset to see over a million bats fly out on their nightly bug hunt from under the bridge. It’s really cool to see, and definitely worth doing at least once.
Pro-tip: if you are in need of parking, head just south of the bridge and park for free at the Austin American Statesman’s parking lot. It’s the closest spot to the bridge and also completely free after 6 pm.
Eat Mexican food and have a tasty beverage.
A weekend guide to Austin would not be complete without mentioning Mexican food and cocktails. As I said above, Austin is the land of the Mexican Martini which is just a margarita on the rocks served in a shaker. It may or may not have a splash of olive juice in it. For some reason, it tastes better than a regular margarita (usually). Keep an eye out for drink specials!
Two-step at Broken Spoke.
Tiny, crowded, AWESOME. Broken Spoke is an institution in South Austin. Located at the same location on S. Lamar since 1964, it is our favorite place to go and dance to country music. They also offer country dance lessons before it really gets going at night. Y’all might even see a famous act there. Be sure and check out the museum!
Do a little shopping on SoCo, or at one of the many farmer’s markets.
SoCo stands for South Congress, which is a street that runs smack into the Texas State Capitol Building. South of that are a lot of really cool outdoor markets on the weekends, as well as a lot of good food, from pizza at Home Slice, to burgers from Hopdoddy, and Mexican food from Guero’s. Saturday mornings there are many farmer’s markets around the city as well. Go there for some tasty snacks!
Try a local brew.
Austin has delicious beer brewed in it by some great breweries. Live Oak and 512 are just two, there are at least 10, and they are all awesome. 2 of my favorite beers are Live Oak Hefeweizen and 512 Pecan Porter.
BBQ is also a food that there is plenty of in Austin. You will hear the name Franklin’s, which some people swear by and will wait in line for hours to get it. We’re not about wasting a bunch of time. A place I really like is Terry Black’s Barbecue on Barton Springs. Uncle Billy’s is good for food and their house brewed beer is delicious! There are too many to list, so take your pick! Just make sure you get some before y’all leave.
Catch a flick at Alamo Drafthouse.
If movies are your thing, Alamo Drafthouse is the best movie theater in town. Not only do they show the latest new releases, but you can eat and drink while you are watching! They take movies very seriously, so classic movies are also shown here. They have specialty showings, from sing a longs to unlimited cereal as you watch old school Saturday morning cartoons. No joke. Just stay off your cell phone while you are there.
Canoe / SUP / Kayak at Town Lake.
Head over to Zilker Park Boat Rentals and rent a canoe, kayak, or SUP for $15 / hour. If you print out the coupon from their website rentals are buy one hour get one free. It’s very relaxing and gives you a unique perspective on the skyline. Plus, the water is really beautiful near the spring, it’s crystal clear.
Think you can do it all in one weekend? Take the challenge. This is our weekend Guide to Austin. Did we forget something? Let us know in the comments.
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