25 of the Best Things to Do in Austin for 2019
It’s reported that about 150 people move to Austin, Texas on a daily basis, and it’s easy to see why. With its high quality and low cost of living, it’s pretty easy to see why the capital city of Texas is ranked at the top of countless “best of” lists as the most desirable and the best city to live in in the United States.
Visitors instantaneously fall in love with Austin and residents never want to leave. And do you know why? It’s because the city has endless green lush, heavenly spots, laid-back vibe, the tastiest barbecues you’ll ever come across and of course, a sunny weather. Oh! Did we mention the music scene?
Austin lays a strong claim to being the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and that’s the truth.
If you’re crazy about juicy barbecues, sunny weather, great music, lively day and night scenes and good life in general, you’ll agree with the fact that Austin is the best place to be.
This is an urban oasis, full of friendly and smiley residents who are more likely to welcome you with open hugs and a bottle of beer.
So without munching much into your precious time, here are the top 25 things to do in Austin.
You’ll soon realize that they’re among the reasons why Austinites will proudly tell you that their gorgeous city isn’t too far away from heaven.
Things to Do in Austin 2019
|1||Party at ACL||Read More|
|2||Party on 6th Street||Read More|
|3||Ride a Mechanical Bull||Read More|
|4||Hit the Enigmatic Midnight Cowboy||Read More|
|5||Visit the Botanic Gardens||Read More|
|6||Play Disk Golf on Lady Bird Lake||Read More|
|7||Shop and Dine on South Congress Avenue||Read More|
|8||Blues on the Green||Read More|
|9||Taco Truck Tuesdays at Zilker||Read More|
|10||Thursday Night Bike Social Ride||Read More|
|11||Hipster Watching at the Eastside Bars||Read More|
|12||Farm to Market Perfection at Jacoby’s||Read More|
|13||Hit the Queue for the City’s Famous BBQ at Franklin||Read More|
|14||Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake||Read More|
|15||Rock Out at the Mohawk||Read More|
|16||Tuezgays at Barbarella||Read More|
|17||Buzz Mill Stand Up Comedy||Read More|
|18||Visit the Museum of the Weird in Downtown Austin||Read More|
|19||Check out the Haunted Driskel Hotel||Read More|
|20||Cool off at Barton Spring Pool||Read More|
|21||Enjoy some Weird Art at the Cathedral of Junk||Read More|
|22||Watch Bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge||Read More|
|23||Play a Game of Chicken Shit Bingo at the Little Longhorn Saloon||Read More|
|24||Face a Real Challenge at Austin Panic Room||Read More|
|25||Visit the Nudist Hippie Hollow Park||Read More|
View Concerts and Events in Austin Now
1. Party at ACL
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be in Austin on the weekend of ACL Festival, you’ll agree that it’s probably the best thing to ever happen on the face of the planet.
ACL attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry. It’s a phenomenal event that’ll always leave you on the edge and wanting more.
If you’ve ever missed any of the past editions, worry not. This year’s edition is set to be better than before. Imagine the legendary Paul McCartney doing his thing on stage, followed by America’s latest sensation, Khalid and other big acts such as Metallica, Childish Gambino, Travis Scott, Arctic Monkeys, Odesza, among others.
You should never miss any of this because all you’ve got to do is mark your calendar (October 5th and 15th).
2. Party on 6th Street
The 6th Street in downtown Austin is historic, world famous, legendary and the best of the best. As one of the most iconic streets in Austin, the 6th Street is the best party street in America.
There’s no other place that can be compared with the 6th Street when it comes to partying. Forget The Strip in Las Vegas, the 6th Street presents a nightlife like no other and is home to countless bars and restaurants.
From the Buffalo Billiards, The Parish, Midnight Cowboy to Maggie Mae’s and many more, this famous street has it all. The 6th Street is undoubtedly the backbone of what has made Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
3. Ride a Mechanical Bull
Let’s face it, Austin is an undoubtedly fun city with a great and daily nightlife. However, this is a Wild West city, and so it can’t be complete without a proper mechanical bull ride in tow.
This is because no other state can compete with Texas when it comes to Rodeo, Cowboys and of course, Mechanical Bulls.
As the epicenter of the state, Austin presents mechanical bull rides in a way you’ll never experience anywhere else. Riding a mechanical Rodeo Bull is a real Wild West adventure that should never be missed when in town.
4. Hit the Enigmatic Midnight Cowboy
If you’re cool enough and know how to spot this inexplicable joint, you’ll realize that the Midnight Cowboy Lounge in Austin can bring a pleasure-filled adventure.
A beacon of Austin’s past red light district, Midnight Cowboy has been reincarnated to become a speakeasy luxury cocktail lounge.
This lounge is fun-filled, but you’ll require reservation to be guaranteed of entry. In addition to a plethora of wildly and expertly crafted cocktails, you can choose to visit the “massage” rooms for something a little bit extra.
5. Visit the Botanic Gardens
The weather in Austin may be hot, but you never lack lush botanical gardens in and around this marvelous city. If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a short nice walk, we’d bet that you can’t lack something that perfectly suits your lifestyle or what you want.
Whether you’re looking for plant life or wildlife, various botanical gardens in Austin present you with beautiful and scenic ways to spend your afternoon.
From the Zilker Botanical Gardens, the Fairie Garden to the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden, these are some of the enchanting and whimsical gardens that’ll provide great walking trails for both you, your friends and of course your dogs. You better remember to bring your camera!
6. Play Disk Golf on Lady Bird Lake
A couple of things such as swimming and personal motorized boats are not allowed in Austin’s “crown jewel”: Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake if you’re a real OG).
Fortunately, playing disk golf around the utterly gorgeous lake isn’t one of them. Whether you’re influenced to play disk golf by the fact that Austin is a hippie town, a college town or simply a cool town, you’ll agree that there’s no better place to play disk golf than at the Lady Bird Lake.
Imagine playing disk golf with your friends and family at the Lady Bird Lake Park at sunset; very few things can beat or even match this kind of fun.
7. Shop and Dine on South Congress Avenue
Widely known as the “Main Street of Texas,” Congress Avenue (called SoCo by locals) is undoubtedly the heartbeat of downtown Austin.
This neon-lit road is a must-visit destination for any resident or visitor who wants to find the best dining, drinking and shopping experience on offer in this city.
While here, you’ll sample numerous shops, restaurants, museums and theaters. Unlike the 6th Street, which is known for its wild parties and nightlife scene, SoCo is more laid-back and the hipster side of this spectacular city.
My favorite place is the Chicken in a Cone Place, but you can as well sample numerous other places such as the iconic Home Slice Pizza or the Continental Club.
8. Blues on the Green
No summertime in Austin is actually complete without Blues on the Green. On its 28th season, Blues on the Green has become a favorite summer tradition in Austin. Hosted by 93.3 KGSR, this is a captivating and longest running free event in Austin.
It invites music lovers to the relaxed atmosphere of Zilker Park where they’ll enjoy a family and pet friendly night of homegrown music.
This bona fide event gives families, friends and groups the chance to sprawl out on blankets while enjoying drinks, sumptuous food and of course, great music.
9. Taco Truck Tuesdays at Zilker
Even though the food truck trend exploded in Austin 12 years ago at a time when the city’s population was little over 2 million and Frost Bank was still the tallest skyscraper in downtown, there’s no indication of this trend going away anytime soon.
The outside weather in Austin especially during summer may be frightful, but Taco Truck Tuesdays at Zilker is one of the main reasons why Austinites enjoy the city’s 300 days of low rainfall and warm weather.
This is a perfect chance to enjoy some sumptuous tacos and adventurous Austin delicacies at an incredibly affordable price.
Whether you’re crazy about barbecue pork, extravagant meat tacos, juicy burger or chicken mac, you can’t miss the best of Taco Truck Tuesdays, great music and endless fun that come with it.
10. Thursday Night Bike Social Ride
Austin is a fit city and so when Social Cycling Austin came up with the idea of Thursday Night Bike Social Ride in 2009, the organizers were damn sure that they would never run short of interested individuals and participants.
Nine years later, this action-packed Thursday night event attracts hundreds of participants brought together with their love for riding bicycles.
Thursday Night Bike Ride has become one of the city’s permanent fixtures and a great opportunity for participants to sight-see the city by night, socialize, swim, play games and indulge on numerous fun activities.
The best part of this weekly event; it ends at a different bar each week, and you bet they’ll never run out of bars.
11. Hipster Watching at the Eastside Bars
For as long as any living soul can remember, Austin’s 6th Street ruled the airwaves as far as the nightlife and party scene is concerned.
However, this is no longer the case since the city’s hipsters decided to literally “Keep Austin Weird” by making sure that the East of the 6th Street became the city’s new “cool” place to chill and drink.
Whether or not you’re excited about this change, you’ll agree - albeit to some extent - that the 6th Street has lately become boorish, overcrowded and loud.
So if you want to be seen as cool and associate yourself with hipsters you’ll want to sample numerous Eastside bars and get to know where the city’s “cool people” chill and drink.
Some of the bars to sample include but are not limited to Shangri-La, Hotel Vegas, Violet Crown Social Club, Rhino Room and East Cesar Chavez.
12. Farm to Market Perfection at Jacoby’s
It’s almost impossible to come across any negative review about Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile on any review platform.
Do you know why? Well, this is one of those places that’ll make you want to park your belongings and jump onto the next plane to Austin.
For four years now, Jacoby’s has been serving fresh and authentic Southern food such as chicken-fried steak made with beef, shrimp, grits, hush puppies and many more. And do you know the catch? Everything is fresh and sourced straight from the farm to the table.
In addition to the restaurants highly satisfying delicacies, the place is utterly comforting, thanks to its rustic-chic design and setting.
13. Hit the Queue for the City’s Famous BBQ at Franklin
Have you ever been to a restaurant where people will pull up at the wee hours of the morning or shortly thereafter only to spend their entire morning and early afternoon hours waiting for barbecue?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s raining cats and dogs or the sun is blistering hot, men, women and children will wait in their droves for 3 to 5 hours or even longer every day of the week to quench their barbecue appetites with the country’s most celebrated smoked beef brisket.
Believe it, people travel from all over the world to wait in line for hours for what has been arguably called the world’s best barbecue.
The best part of this queuing process at Franklin BBQ is that everyone is equal and has to wait for their turn. You better ask Kanye West.
14. Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake
There are certain activities such as swimming that aren’t allowed at the great Lady Bird Lake. That however doesn’t limit what you can do in and within this beautiful town Lake.
You can choose to hike, walk and bike around the lake. But to fully immerse yourself in the joys of this lake, you can consider kayaking, canoeing and Paddleboarding.
There are numerous places where you can rent kayaks, canoes, dragon boats, paddleboards and rowing shells.
My favorite activity at the lake is the stand-up Paddleboarding, which is an extremely fun way of testing your balance and those of your friends.
15. Rock Out at the Mohawk
There are many places and venues where you can enjoy some good entertainment in Austin, but the Mohawk provides another level of experience.
From the moment you walk through the entrance of this eclectic joint, you’ll be instantly hit by the sight of a grizzly bear raised up on its hindquarters.
This should basically set the tone of what to expect in a joint that offers arguably the cheapest beers in town.
There’s the comfy wood-paneled indoor stage and bar that’s situated next to a fireplace, which is perfect for lounging and conversation.
That’s not all; there’s the outdoor area, which leads to an atmospheric mezzanine and rooftop bar.
In essence, the Mohawk has many possibilities and lets you choose your preferred adventure.
On a good night, you could choose to see a stand-up comedy, a hysterical eating competition, a karaoke performance, a wrestling match or an exciting performance by a talented local or international band.
16. Tuezgays at Barbarella
Austin is one of those few cities around the world that’s friendly to everyone including the LGBT community. You’ll never be judged on your sexual orientation and that’s why you’ll find Barbarella packed every Tuesday night with patrons looking to mitigate the mid-week mist by taking to the dance floor.
You’ll watch your favorite indie-electro stars laced with Divas n’ dildos and enjoy the Happy Hour that goes up to till 11 pm.
While here, you’ll mingle with college aged patrons and listen to music that has become synonymous with Austin’s hipster vibe.
17. Buzz Mill Stand Up Comedy
Are you in Austin, bored and in need of some good laugh? Well, just carry yourself to Buzz Mill Coffee House on Town Creek Drive where you’ll witness one of the best stand-up comedies that that this amazing city has to offer.
Known as the Buzzkill, this show is held every Wednesday night and is full of hilarious performances and riotous banters by some of the wittiest comedians in Austin and from around the world. The best part? It’s free!
18. Visit the Museum of the Weird in Downtown Austin
Austin is historically known for keeping things weird. That’s why Austin is a great place if you have the unending interest in abnormal, odd and supernatural things.
Located on 6th Street in downtown Austin, the Museum of the Weird is arguably the strangest place in America.
For an incredibly affordable fee, you’ll be able to sample some very quirky memorabilia and unusual oddities that are on display at this dime museum.
19. Check out the Haunted Driskel Hotel
Also located on the 6th Street, the Driskel is a Romanesque-style hotel with a very unsettling past. As the oldest hotel in the city, the Driskel was built in 1886 by Jesse Lincoln Driskill, who was a wealthy a wealthy cattle baron.
Driskill spent a huge chunk of his fortune building what became known as “the finest hotel south of St. Louis.”
Unfortunately, the hotel has had to numerous misfortunes and stories of ghosts, making it one of the most haunted hotels in America.
Legend has it that the hotel is haunted by the ghosts of two “suicide brides” who ended their lives in the same bathtub on separate occasions.
There’s also the story of a girl who fell to her death down the hotel’s majestic staircase. We can’t really confirm any of these ghost stories, but it would only be proper if you visit this “haunted” landmark and confirm for yourself.
20. Cool off at Barton Spring Pool
Austin being a sunny city, chances are you’ll have to face sweltering heat of up to 100-degree temperature for the better part of the year.
You’ll therefore need a nice place to cool off once in a while, especially during hot summers. While there are many nice pools in and around the city, the Barton Spring Pool tops the list.
This man-made pool is structured in a three-acre land and is one of those places in the city where both locals and visitors hang out, socialize, swim, relax and most significantly, cool off from the blistering Texas sun.
21. Enjoy some Weird Art at the Cathedral of Junk
Located in South Austin, the Cathedral of Junk is the creation of Vince Hannemann, who is famously known as the King of Junk.
Hannemann has painstakingly created a breathtaking sight using trashy objects in what is arguably the junkiest piece of art in the
We bet you’ve never seen art of this of this nature and magnitude. It’s recommended that you call in advance and make an appointment lest you find yourself barred from this incredible form of art.
22. Watch Bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge
Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, but there’s no better place to watch these mammal creatures than from the Congress Avenue Bridge.
It’s estimated that 1.5 million bats have turned the bridge their home. These birds migrate from Mexico every spring only to give birth and raise their offspring under this historical bridge.
While at the bridge, you’ll have the opportunity to see the bats as they come out each evening for their normal nocturnal expeditions. They’ll rid the city of irritating insects before migrating back to Mexico in the fall.
23. Play a Game of Chicken Shit Bingo at the Little Longhorn Saloon
The Little Longhorn Saloon (also known as Ginny’s) has a modest white front that may make you believe that there’s nothing worth enjoying on the inside.
But you’d be damn wrong to rely on such assumption. This is the only bar or, shall we call it, the only Austin institution with a Honky Tonk Happy Hour that involves an exciting and unique game of Chicken Shit Bingo.
Well, it may not be that exciting because you’ll have to patiently wait for a chicken to poop in a given square to call bingo.
Nonetheless, this is one of those few games that’ll make you invest much of your time and concentration on the simple issue of chicken waste.
24. Face a Real Challenge at Austin Panic Room
The real life challenges at Austin Panic Room are way more fun and almost akin to Prison Break than the name actually suggests.
So imagine getting yourself handcuffed on a wall with your inventiveness as your only solution to freedom.
Located on 1205 Rio Grande St., Austin Panic Room shouldn’t evoke any sort of panic. Instead, it’s a challenging and thought-provoking escapade that’s great for parties and team-building adventures.
25. Visit the Nudist Hippie Hollow Park
Located on the hills west of Lake Travis, Hippie Hollow Park is one of the few public parks/beaches in the United States that carries the tantalizing tag of “clothing optional.”
As weird as it may sound, nearly 230,000 people visit the Hippie Hollow Park on a yearly basis to take a deep in the blue waters of Lake Travis and enjoy the sunshine.
So never feel shy or out of place if you see people wearing nothing at all because it’s hippie and very legal at the Hippie Hollow Park.
What to Do?
Austin may be known as the weird and Wild West capital of the famous Lone Star State of Texas, but that’s kind of an understatement.
With one of the best weathers in the United States, there are countless of things to do in Austin. From its world-class music festivals, friendly locals and flourishing food scene to laying claims to having the best BBQ joint in the world, a laid-back vibe, unrivaled nightlife and thousands of gig spots, you’ll never lack great things to do in this amazing city.
All you have to do is book the next flight to Austin. If you’re a local, you exactly know where to hang your cowboy hat and get down to having some unmatched fun in the City of the Violet Crown.
ACL Party on 6th Street Ride Mechanical Bull Midnight Cowboy Botanical Gardens Disk Golf Shop South Congress Blues on the Green Taco Truck Bike Social Hipster Watching Jacoby's Franklin's BBQ Lady Bird Lake Mohawk Bar Tuezgays at Barbarella Stand Up Comedy Museum of Weird Haunted Driskel Hotel Barton Springs Pool Weird Art Watch the Bats Chicken Shit Bingo Austin Panic Room Nudist Hippie Park