Austin holds a special place in our hearts. Not only is it our stomping grounds, it’s a city full of culture, music, outdoor activities, delicious food, a booming economy, awesome people and great weather. People are flocking here from everywhere, and we’re not the first ones to notice. Austin has been number one on Forbe’s “America’s Fastest-Growing Cities” list for the past four years. With such a wide array of activities to do and places to see best paper writing service , it’s no wonder people want to live here so badly. In fact, we love Austin so much that we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite things to do, see and eat in this incredible city.
If you like being outside and staying active, you’ll find never-ending places to release some energy here in Austin.
Ladybird Lake: Located conveniently in downtown Austin, Ladybird Lake (commonly known as Town Lake) is a perfect destination to run, bike or double stroller. The 10-mile trail that loops around the river can be broken down into shorter loops and provides scenic views of downtown. Getting hot on the trail? Cool off on the lake and rent one of the available boats to change it up.
Zilker Park: Right next to Ladybird Lake, Zilker Park is a huge expanse of greenery that’s host to the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. Bring a blanket and a Frisbee, your dog or your kids for a nice leisurely day at Zilker.
Barton Springs: Also located near Ladybird Lake and Zilker Park is Barton Springs, a natural swimming pool and popular summer spot in Austin. On a hot day, the spring’s chilly temperatures are perfect for cooling off.
Barton Creek Greenbelt: Stretching from Zilker Park to North Austin, the Greenbelt offers some of the best hiking in Texas. Be sure to go after it rains, when the belt fills up with water and you can take a refreshing mid-hike dip!
Tip: Make friends with someone who owns a boat, and hit up Lake Austin or Lake Travis!
Scenic overview of Ladybird Lake. Photo courtesy of austinparks.org
In the mood for something fun to do? Check out some of our favorite Austin spots.
TopGolf: More than just a day at the driving range. TopGolf is the entertainment golf place to go to perfect your swing, grab a drink and hang out with some friends for a fun afternoon.
Alamo Drafthouse: An interactive movie-watching experience. Go watch a movie on the big screen and order food and drinks right from your seat. If you’re a movie junkie, they offer documentaries, independent movies and even audience participation shows.
South Congress: If you’re an Austin first timer, South Congress is a must-do for your bucket list. Walk down the strip of eclectic shops, restaurants, food trucks and street vendors for a taste of what makes Austin “weird.”
Top Golf Facilities in Austin, TX. Photo Courtesy of www.topgolf.com
If you’re a foodie, Austin is the place to be. From breakfast tacos to barbecue, your stomach (and Instagram feed) is sure to be full after spending some time here. An entire article could be written about Austin’s cuisine, but for the sake of space, much of the city’s popular eateries can be broken down into two categories: Barbecue and Tex-Mex.
BBQ: Barbecue is a hot commodity in Austin. There’s much debate over the best place to go, but no matter where you wind up, Texas BBQ rarely disappoints.
Franklin Barbecue: For many, Franklin’s is the mecca of all Austin BBQ. Fair warning, though: be prepared to wait in line for hours (seriously). And get there early because if they run out before you get called, they’ll send you home. We haven’t made it there yet—but we’ve heard it’s well worth the wait.
Rudy’s: If waiting in line for four hours isn’t your thing, Rudy’s offers some of the best barbecue in the city (there will most likely still be a line). Stop by one of their four Austin locations for a taste yourself.
For other BBQ ideas, check out Jimmy Kimmel’s recent quest for the best BBQ in Austin.
Tex-Mex: Austin is home to some of the best Texas-infused Mexican food in the state
Tacodeli: Tacos. Need we say more? Come here for some of the best breakfast tacos in Austin.
Torchy’s Tacos: Yet again, more tacos.
Trudy’s*: For a sit-down dining Tex-Mex experience, check out Trudy’s. Along with their food, they’re also known for their Mexican Martinis. Watch out, they cut you off at two (but go with a big enough group and they’ll lose count)!
*Not to be confused with Rudy’s.
Not craving BBQ or Tex Mex? Check out some other popular Austin eateries:
Hopdoddy Burger Bar: Often proclaimed the best burgers in ATX. If you go on a weekend, prepare for a line that wraps around the building.
Moonshine: Known for their weekend brunch buffet. Get there early!
In-n-Out: Newly opened in Austin. A throwback to our California days!
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille: Go on a Friday for their pork chop special.
Uchi: If you like amazing sushi and you’re willing to splurge a bit, Uchi is the place to go.
South Congress Café: If you’re exploring South Congress area and get hungry, be sure to make a stop at SoCo Café.
Franklin Barbecue, Austin, TX. Photo courtesy of Franklin Barbecue.
After a jam-packed day in Austin, make sure to leave some energy for exploring Austin’s fun nightlife!
6th Street: Running East to West, take a trip down 6th street to explore some of Austin’s best bars. On West 6th, you’ll find a wide variety of bars ranging from casual to a club-like atmosphere, often full of young professionals. For a rowdier crowd, head a few blocks farther east to an area commonly known as “Dirty” 6th Street. Here you’ll find tons of college students from The University of Texas at Austin celebrating after a tough week of school. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, this part of 6th is blocked off to automobile traffic. Head even more east onto East 6th Street for a mellower, hipster vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous, venture off 6th Street to explore some exciting bars on 4th and 5th Streets as well.
Stubb’s Bar-B-Q: For an Austin live music experience, check out Stubbs, located downtown on Red River Street. They feature live music almost every night and (as per their name) also serve BBQ.
Rainey Street: Rainey Street is a strip of historic old homes turned bars. Only a few blocks away from 6th Street, Rainey Street offers character, history and is a fun alternative to 6th Street bars. Many of the bars are restaurants as well, such as Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, so feel free to head there early.
Killed too many brain cells on 6th Street? Spend a day exploring some Austin history and its interesting culture.
LBJ Presidential Library: Named after former President Johnson, the LBJ Library is located right off of the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. If you’re into presidential history, this is the place to check out.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: If you’re coming from out of state, stop by the Bullock Museum. You’ll learn all about Texas history, and their gift shop is a great place to buy some memorable souvenirs.
Texas State Capitol Building: Even if you don’t make it inside, you’ll definitely notice its enormous red-brown exterior.
Driskill Hotel: Debatably the most famous hotel in Austin, this beautiful and historic landmark is located right in the middle of the action on 6th Street. During large events such as write my essay SXSW, stop by for a possible celebrity sighting.
The University of Texas at Austin: Austin is home to one of the greatest universities in the world, so be sure to stop by its beautiful and historic campus. Hook ’Em!
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Courtesy of the Bullock Texas State History Museum
The secret’s out: Austin is the place to be. There’s a reason Austinites put up with the traffic and the 100+ degree temps in July and August—because they’ve realized it’s all worth it to live in such an amazing city with so much to offer. In how many cities can you spend a morning hiking the trails, an afternoon on the lake and a night out exploring some live music?
If you live in Austin, where are some of your favorite spots in town? If you’ve never been, we hope you’ve found our guide somewhat helpful should you ever plan a trip down here—maybe it’ll encourage you to do so!