When it comes to entertainment, it's all about individual personality and preferences. Thankfully, Austin is not only made up of a diverse population, but also diverse attractions and places to visit. Live music events abound nightly. However, there are museums, exhibits, guided tours, swimming holes and even rock climbing experiences to be savored in the state's capital. Don't forget to try unique opportunities to learn about the city. Texas Bike Tours takes you to several historic sites and provides dinner as part of the trip. Austin Duck Adventures literally drives you into Lady Bird Lake.
Some venues close on weekdays so always call ahead first.
In summer, always bring sunblock to any outdoor event. Texas heat is scorching!
Austin accommodations are plentiful. The key is to focus on the purpose of your visit. If you’ll be downtown for business or partying on Austin’s famous Sixth Street, you’ll find several hotels within walking distance of great restaurants, live music venues and even the State Capitol. Don’t assume that downtown is “all city.” The downtown area features access to Lady Bird Lake, and hiking and biking trails. When visiting other areas of Austin, it’s a good idea to verify how far you'll be from your destinations. Austin is super friendly to cyclists and walkers, and encourages public transportation.
There is only one hotel close in proximity to the airport. There are several other chain hotels about 10 minutes away.
If you are flexible, don't forget to check surrounding cities for hotels. Good deals may be found very close to your destination. Round Rock and Cedar Park are connected to the upper north part of Austin.
Austin is a foodie's paradise. Whether it's a chain restaurant or a local favorite you're seeking, you'll be able to satisfy your cravings. Downtown is host to a variety of restaurants and upscale eateries that cater to the weekend nightlife. From amazing high-end restaurants to gourmet food trailers featuring mouthwatering originals, Austin has it all.
Avoid taking IH-35 if you are short on time or have a reservation. Traffic can be a nightmare between 4-7pm on the weekends.
Take It or Leave It:
Skip the chain food restaurants. Ask about establishments that are local favorites instead.
Be Sure to Sample:
Entrees from at least one of Austin's funky but fabulous food trailers!
Austin is called the "Live Music Capital of the World" for good reason. You can find live music all over the city, no matter the time of day. Nightlife here has a personality all its own. Austin is home to the world's largest bat colony and every night people gather to watch them fly. Others enjoy dancing in their favorite clubs while sharing drinks with friends. It can get pretty noisy at sunset out on the lake, and it can be pretty quiet on the haunted walking tours downtown!
When attending concerts and live music events, advance purchase of tickets may be the only thing to get you in the door.
Take It or Leave It:
Parking can be an issue at some venues. Call ahead to see if valet service or other arrangements are offered for parking.
Pick up a copy of the Austin Chronicle (available free at many local businesses) to see up-to-date concert, show and event times.
Austin has self-defined style like nowhere else. People-watch for a few minutes and you'll begin crafting your own style, too! At some events, you'll rub shoulders with tuxedos and tattoos. Blue jeans and cocktail dresses sit side by side in restaurants. Quirky styles catch your eye on the streets. Austin is home to upscale boutiques, specialty stores and swanky malls. Get your fitness attire in stores geared towards running or cycling. Practice recycling by visiting local consignment stores. Grab those trendy hand-tooled leather boots on South Congress (SoCo) where you'll find an entire strip of shops and galleries.
Mall parking can be brutal on the weekends. Channel your inner rockstar and visit boutiques and independent shops for local flavor.
Ask shop owners if you can be put on the VIP mailing list. It often qualifies your for an instant discount!
Best Local Souvenir:
Pick up a T-shirt that says "Keep Austin Weird."