Preface: A few weeks back I was asked by a friend for help planning a weekend trip to Austin, Texas. His girlfriend apparently printed and carried along the below list the entire time, crossing off a few places places they made it to, one by one. By his endless stream of Snapchat stories and videos of their wild debauchery around town, it sounds like the list proved to be at least a bit useful.
As a former Austin resident, I share a love for the city with many others. I hope the list can help you make your stay in Austin (whether for just a weekend, or as a permanent resident) as great as it gets. The list is not perfect, of course, but a work in progress. I’m eager to add more spots to the list – Please help me in doing so.
Austin Texas things to do:
—Brunch Spots: (prepare for a wait)
Cisco’s (personal favorite, ultra-local spot, probably no wait time)
The Hightower (apparently has Chicken and Waffles but I could never get a table)
Flyright chicken – (like Chic-Fil-A but better. Quick but high quality fast food)
—Bars on 6th street: ***East versus West: see below
***EAST 6th – East 6th has a “get college kid black out & forget your name by 2am” vibe. Thursdays thru Saturdays they block off the streets from cars resembling Bourbon street in New Orleans..
Barbarilla (aka barbs)
The blind pig (we ended up here all the time.)
Pete’s piano bar
Midnight cowboy (res. Only) 5128432715
***WEST 6th – West 6th has more upscale “young professionals” and 20-30 year olds.
Green light social
La vaka street bar
Little Woodrows (arcade games and cornhole)
The Ranch – (huge bar, wild spot, you should go, 10-15 min line wait.)
—Bars on the “Eastside” (up and coming side of town but a great time for sure. I used to live on east 4th street so I can give you way more recs if you want)
Wright Bros Brew & Brew – craft beer, craft coffee.
Zilker brewing company – get the Marco IPA
Whisler’s (right next to my old apartment)
Sahara Lounge – Africa themed bar.
Eastside Tavern – fun & grungy
Blue owl brewery (sour beer, free glass)
—Bars on Rainey:
Container Bar – wild spot with a dance floor, good spot to end the night from 1-2am
The Blackheart – has live music almost every night
Icenhauers – fun cover band plays here Thursdays at 9
Bangers – spot to day drink on weekends. Must get a “manmosa” and a bratwurst on Sunday.
Craft Pride: A bunch of beers on tap. Order a pecan porter beer.
GREAT indian food on Rainey: Masala Dhaba food truck, or Graj Mahal
—Random favorites (*** recommended):
***Visit Zilker Park
***Hike the Greenbelt and find a swimming hole. In the summer, you’ll generally experience a dry greenbelt. Swimming is only an option during certain months.
***Go swim at Barton Springs pool or Deep Eddy pool if Barton Springs is closed
***Get Tacos at Torchys or Taco Deli
***Get barbecue -> Terry Blacks Barbecue in Zilker Park (my favorite spot, Franklins isn’t worth the wait)
***Capitol building – quick tourist spot, you can get in and out in less than 30 min.
***Rent a S.U.P. or Kayak: Rowing dock canoe, kayak, and sup rentals. 20/hour weekends. Worth it on town lake. Multiple rental spots. There is one in Zilker that is good but can get crowded. Bring cash, they don’t take cards
***Float the River – full-day event, but highly recommend doing it with a group of friends.
***Mount Bonnell or 360 bridge overlook- Watch the sunset with a couple beers or wine from Mt. bonnell (very short hikes with cool views)
***South Congress Avenue: Take a stroll on Saturday or Sunday and wander into shops. Get coffee at Jo’s
***River trail – rent bikes at ‘Eze bikes’ on Barton Springs road – you can get anywhere in the city from the trail.
McKinney Falls state park – really awesome if the water level is high enough.
Lake Travis – a lot to do like boat rentals, party barges, etc. but far away. Not be worth the drive if you only have a few days.
St arnold – oldest craft brewery in Texas
Picnic/Play volleyball or toss football/frisbee in Zilker Park with a view of the city
Buenos Aires Cafe: (empanadas, tapas, good food, upscale)
Bufalinas: good Neapolitan style pizza
Moonshine: solid food, (easy walking to bars on 6th street or Rainey)
Surf at the nLand wave pool
Kyle, TX – texas flea market on sunday
LBJ presidential library
Zilker botanical garden
Sfc farmers market downtown – on Saturday / Sunday mornings.
Wildflower center in Austin
Salty sow – food
Escape room – fun to do with a group
Callahan’s general store – random Texas souveniers junk, etc
Armadillo Clay – 3307 E 4th St Austin, TX 78702 – for the artist
Art on 5th – small free art gallery, their dr. seuss themed stuff is great
Texas State history museum
Jacobs Well – Devil’s Sinkhole