Downtown Austin from South Congress Bridge

Things to Do in Austin: Ultimate Guide to Texas’ Capital

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is a vibrant city in Texas offering many exciting activities, from festivals and concerts to parks and hiking trails. As the capital of Texas, Austin also has several museums and historical attractions for you to explore where you can learn about the city’s rich past. 


With so many fun things to do in Austin, Texas, you’ll never get bored, but it may be tricky to know where to start. Whether you’re planning a trip or considering a move, keep reading to learn about Austin’s top attractions, hidden gems, and unique experiences.



Top Attractions in Austin


State Capital


The State Capitol is recognized as one of the most distinguished state capitol buildings in the nation. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986, the capitol allows self-guided or guided tours for visitors to learn about crucial historic events and people from Texas’ past. The Capitol is also known for holding special events, including social gatherings and fairs. 


Lady Bird Lake


If you feel at home in nature, the tree-lined shores and glistening water of Lady Bird Lake offer hours of entertainment. Although swimming and motorized boats aren’t allowed, outdoor enthusiasts can still enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding. If staying on land is more your style, several hiking and biking trails circle the lake, or you can enjoy a scenic stroll along the paved boardwalk. 


South Congress Avenue


South of Lady Bird Lake is South Congress Avenue, a bustling hub of local boutiques, eateries, galleries, and music venues. This walkable neighborhood is one of the biggest tourist spots in Austin and has been around for over a century. Take some time to explore the shops, grab a bite to eat, and check out a live performance. 


Barton Springs Pool


Barton Springs Pool, located at Zilker’s Park, has had nearly 800,000 visitors over the years. With average temperatures of 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit, the pool is ideal for year-round swimming. The surrounding grassy areas also make the pool an enjoyable spot for sunbathing or having a family picnic. 


LBJ Presidential Library


The Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum comprises a 30-acre site at the University of Texas’ Austin campus. This 10-story building contains 45 million pages of historical documents and several thousand photos and recordings from President Johnson’s political career. The library hosts numerous educational events throughout the year and features several permanent and temporary exhibits. 



Austin Hidden Gems


Mount Bonnell


Also known as Covert Park, Mount Bonnell has been a popular tourist attraction since the 1850s thanks to its stunning views of the city and the Colorado River. The mountain offers several trails for hiking and mountain biking. Hike up the historic limestone staircase to experience the highest point in Austin, or check out the Pennybacker Bridge to enjoy a picnic and soak up panoramic views of the city’s skyline. 


The Contemporary Austin


For art lovers, The Contemporary Austin offers two locations full of unique exhibits. The Jones Center, located in the heart of downtown Austin, features several galleries. Laguna Gloria is an Italianate-style villa offering a more offbeat experience. The historic house boasts an outdoor sculpture park with walking trails and an indoor gallery of contemporary pieces. Classes and events are frequently scheduled.


Zilker Botanical Garden


Nestled within Zilker Metropolitan Park, Zilker Botanical Garden comprises several themed gardens, including the Hartman Prehistoric Garden and Taniguchi Japanese Garden. You can also participate in fun, family-friendly events or activities, such as nature presentations, themed picnics, and monthly club meetings. 


Mayfield Park


Situated on 23 acres, Mayfield Park features picturesque cottages, ponds covered in water lilies, and peacocks wandering the grounds. Explore walking paths that curve through the cottage gardens, or admire the variety of wildlife in the park, including herons, koi fish, and turtles. 


Austin Instagram-Worthy Photo Ops


Show off how much fun you’re having by snapping and sharing photos of iconic street murals and art located throughout Austin. South Congress and downtown Austin are hotspots for street art. Create a photo collage, or strike a pose with some of your favorite pieces to post on your Instagram. 



Unique Experiences in Austin


Austin Food and Wine Tours


There’s no better way to see the city than on a guided tour of Austin’s food and wine scene. The Austin Food Tour allows you to sample numerous foods while discovering the city’s most popular sights, or embark on a wine tour to check out local wineries. 


Austin City Limits Live


Austin City Limits Live is a state-of-the-art live music venue that hosts about 100 concerts each year. You can purchase tickets for an upcoming performance or schedule a venue tour to explore the filming location of “Austin City Limits”, the longest-running music series in TV history. 


Texas State History Museum


If you want to learn about Texas’ culture, community, and history, the Texas State History Museum offers several year-round special exhibits, artist series, films, and artifacts for viewing. The museum also hosts weekly events, such as trivia nights and science activities. 


Circuit of the Americas


Just outside downtown Austin is Circuit of the Americas, a premier destination for world-class motorsports and entertainment. The venue has hosted MotoGP, Formula 1, and Nascar events and has an on-site amphitheater for live music performances. You can camp out right on the property and enjoy fun activities, including bike nights and karting. 


South by Southwest (SXSW)


SXSW is an annual festival and conference event that celebrates music, film, tech, education, and culture. You can attend conference sessions and live performances or explore interactive exhibits spanning topics from art to health and wellness or virtual reality. 



Learn Why So Many Choose to Call Austin “Home”


Austin, Texas, offers so many fun things to do, whether you prefer spending your days in nature, absorbed in art and history, or indulging in local cuisine and live performances. With so many unique attractions and experiences, the city is ideal for a short trip or a permanent stay. 


If you love Austin and want to make it your home, CEND offers Austin moving and storage services that can make the relocation process easier. Check out our services today, and transform your moving fantasies into a reality.