Top Austin Attractions Focus on History, Music and The Great Outdoors

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10Best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Austin to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. 

Austin is America’s It City. In January 2014, Forbes named it the #1 fastest growing city in the country for the second year, and its continuing popularity has it growing by leaps and bounds. Austin’s story, like the city, is ever evolving. Austin has a lot to offer, from parks and great outdoor recreation, to the arts, music and cultural events. Continually rated one of the best places to visit and live, Austin is a cosmopolitan city that offers everything without losing its small-town feel or quirky energy. Whenever the weather permits, even in the hot summers, you can find Austinites taking advantage of the natural beauty and outdoor activities the city offers. There are plenty of choices for relaxing and playing as well, from restaurants and shopping to nightlife and live music.

Whether you live here or are just visiting, here are some of the best ways to catch the unique vibe here that’s so different from the rest of Texas. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.



Lady Bird Lake - once named Town Lake and still called that by many locals - is a major recreation area for the city. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail around the lake lies at the heart of Austin, with 10 miles of a unique urban path...  Read More

University Area


Wander about this historic college campus for a fun and free activity. You can see the University of Texas tower, which is the center point of the university. Check out the behemoth football stadium, which serves as home to the Texas Longhorns....  Read More



A fun, narrated, amphibious tour of downtown Austin end with a splash on Lake Austin. Tour Austin inside one of the unsinkable, US coast guard inspected, Hydra Terra vehicles. The fun begins when you board your Austin Duck Adventures "Duck" at...  Read More

South Congress Avenue


This stretch of South Congress, just across the bridge from downtown, is home to a multitude of boutiques, vintage stores, restaurants and clubs. Shop to your heart's content, and when you need to recharge, sit down with some sweets from...  Read More



Every year nearly 1 Million Mexican free-tailed bats call Austin home, typically arriving as the warm weather sets back in the Spring. They stay in Austin until early fall, and are the largest urban bat colony in North America. When in Austin,...  Read More

University Area


Austin City Limits still remains as the main focal point of Austin live music scene, and is the longest running music series in the country. Initially created to celebrate the music of Texas--featuring western swing, Texas blues, Tejano music,...  Read More



Mount Bonnell provides a spectacular vista of Lake Austin, surrounding bluffs and multi-million dollar homes, the 360 bridge and downtown skyline. Climb the stairs or path to reach the highest point in the city, and you can even take a picnic -...  Read More

Barton Springs District


Within Zilker Park's 358 acres lies one of the crown jewels of Austin - Barton Springs Pool. The pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round...  Read More

Barton Springs District
Zilker Metropolitan Park


This 351-acre park is arguably the most popular in town, and is considered "Austin's most-loved park." Miles of hike and bike trails, train rides on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train, a playscape for kids, and a natural swimming pool (Barton...  Read More



Austin is not only the home of the University of Texas, but the Texas State Capitol Building. The Capitol is an extraordinary example of late 19th century public architecture and is widely recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished...  Read More


Meet Shelley Seale

Shelley Seale is a freelance journalist and author in Austin who has written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian and Texas Monthly, among others. She loves yoga, indie movies,...  More About Shelley