October 30, 2017

Top Things to do in Austin, Texas

Top Things to do in Austin, Texas

Explore this seasonal list of things to do in Austin, tx

Below you'll find a list of top Austin attractions, museums, outdoor activities, tours, and other activities that Visitors love to check out while they're in town. We try to modify this list for Winter and Summer as a lot of top attractions in the summer are centered around the water and being outdoors.


1. Take a Splash with Austin Duck Adventures

One of the first tours to show visitors around town and is the only land and water tour available. The tour starts at the Austin Visitor Center at the corner of 4th and Red River in downtown Austin. It drives along 6th street, up Congress where you get a great shot of the Texas Capitol. From there you head throught the West side of downtown and then splash into the waters of Lake Austin. Tours run daily. Learn more about Austin Duck Adventures here.  

Austin Duck Adventures


2. Get Spooky in Style on a Haunted Hearse Limo Tour

One of the more unique tours in Austin that is seriously keeping Austin weird come from the Haunted ATX team. They pack up to 7 guests in a hearse that's been converted to a limo and take you around haunted locations and tell the stories about the ghosts that linger in their spots.  The tour goes through a variety of locations that usually include most of the following: the Driskill hotel, the Tavern, the Clay Pit, and the Littlefield House on the UT campus. This tour starts at $49 per person which is priced a little higher than others due to the exclusive nature of the limousine hearse. There are only 3 in the US last we heard and Haunted ATX owns two. The tour itself is a blend of scary stories, history of Austin, and a deep dive into some really cool buildings. Check out the cool hearses and get the full Haunted ATX description here on Austin City Guide.

Haunted Austin Tours


 3. Break Out of Prison at the Escape Game

Located in downtown Austin nex to the Austin Visitor Center, The Escape Game reigns as the #1 Escape Game in Austin. You can your friends will get locked in a room and given some clues to help your figure out how to ESCAPE!  The Austin location has 5 different room to choose from including The Heist, Goldrush, Playground, Classified, and our favorite Prison Break. Learn more about the Escape Game here

The Escape Game


 4. Go Cave Exploring with Inner Space Cavern

Located about 25 north of Austin, lies Inner Space Caverns. You and your friends, family, or crew can tour below the ground and explore a natural cavern formed millions of years ago beneath one of Texas' busiest interstate highways. Inner Space Cavern is filled with history, mystery and chemistry! This all season activity caters to large groups and offers one of the most engaging afternoons activities in Texas. Learn more about Inner Space Cavern tours here

Inner Space Caverns


5. Circle the City with Austin Overtures

Austin Overtures is the first tour company to take people around town in a 14 per passenger van. Their tour rolls through several uniquely Austin areas including the Capitol complex, downtown Austin, Barton Springs area, Mt Bonnell, and East Austin. Their tours run 3-4 times a day out of the Austin Visitor Center for around $25 per person. Get details on pricing and check out a few of the sites you'll see with Austin Overtures here.

Austin Overturess


6. Ride Around Austin with Mikes Bikes and Tours

We love biking in Austin and nobody knows the trails and sites better than Mike. They offer a variety of tours to choose from including a couple that target some of Austin best mountain bike trails and a few that explore the city itself. You might think summer is the ideal time for biking in Austin, but winter lends itself to better weather.  Get a feel for Mike's Bikes and Tours here.

Mikes Bikes and Tours


7. Enjoy a Sunset on Top of Mount Bonnell

One of the best free activities in austin, Mount Bonnell features the highest peak in town. Sure there's a higher peak in West Lake Hills across the water, but it's there's no shade on top or a giant staircase. Mount Bonnell is one of Austin's oldest sighseeing locations. Get all the details on Mount Bonnell here

Mikes Bikes and Tours


8. Hold your Paddle High with Live Love Paddle

We absolutely love Live Love Paddle's bat watching tours. They also rent kayaks, paddleboard, and canoes for those looking to get a little exercise in with their sightseeing.  The views of downtown from Lady Bird Lake are amazing. Also, if you time it right they offer a full moon music paddle that features kayaking to an island, watching a band play, eatings smores, and kayaking at night. Check out all live Love Paddle Offers here on Austin City Guide.

Live Love Paddle


 9. Laugh til you Cry at Esther's Follies

The only evolving shows to grace the city of Austin's streets and possibly the only remaining reason to go to Austin's famous "Dirty 6th" street, Esther's Follies offers an amazing Broadway musical like show that features several current political skits, impersonations, magic and more. The tease both sides of the political wheel, but if you're really rigid about your politics, this may be more than you can handle. We consider it an annual must see show worthy of every guest that comes to town. Get more info on Esther's Follies here

Esther;s Follies


10. Keep Austin Weird and Visit South Congress Avenue

The epicenter of the Keep Austin Weird movement, South Congress Avenue remains a top visitor attraction albeit more and more upscale as the years go by. It's a great place to do some unique shopping, catch a great restaurant, even see live music. Use this link to learn more about South Congress Avenue (aka SoCo).

Esther;s Follies


11. Go Full Yuppie at the Domain in North Austin

Quite the opposite of South Congress, but very impressive with total shopping emersion, the Domain in North Austin features the most exclusive brands in the city. It also features a strong resume of restaurants, nightlife, and boutiques.  Use this link to learn more about the Domain in North Austin.

The Domain in North Austinf


 12. Disappear at Magic's Theatre

Located in Southwest Austin, Magic's Theater offers a full auditorium sized Magic show on Saturday nights and a close up magic show on Friday nights. It also doubles as a magic musuem with pieces from Harry Houdini's collection, a snack bar, and very important you can bring your own wine (small corkcage fee required). Get the details on Magic's Theater here. 

Magics Theatre


 13. Get Lost in the Bob Bullock Museum

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum offers 3 full floors of exhibits featuring everything about Texas.  Plus they offer the only real Imax theater in Austin in our opinion. Check out prices and exhibit details for Bob Bullock here

bob Bullock


14. Get the Party Started at Rainey Street District

Rainey Street District is probably the most unusual nightlife scene in Austin. Spawned from somebody's house, Lustre Pearl started a nightlife juggernaut of an area that has a style to it you won't find in the other nightlife districts. With zoning rules reminicient of Houston, this area feature turn of the centry homes converted into (mostly) bars with condos, hotels, and food trucks stuffed into every crevice.   Check out our write up on Rainey Street District here.

Rainey Street District


 15. Practice for the F1 Track at Central Texas Speedway

It's hard to make the F1 circuit, but you'll never know if you've got what it takes until you get behind the wheel. Why not start at Central Texas Speedway? This is a real 3/8 mile track and the cars get up to 65 miles per hour. They also host some some solid parties there with live music at the Car Bar.  Learn more about Central Texas Speedway on this things to do in Austin City Guide profile

Austin Attraction Central Texas Speedway


16. Lean Into an Austin Segway Tour

Did you know the owner of the Segway company actually rolled his off a cliff to meet his end? Yea, seriously. Was he going for the all time most ironic death of all time or just getting too bold with the figure 8s on his one of these amazing self balancing vehicles. Find out by taking a tour from Austin Segway Nation

Austin Segway Tours


17. Whack Some Balls at Top Golf in the Domain

One of the cooler activites to hit Austin in the last few years, if you haven't experienced Top Golf it's whacky good time. A three story driving range with state of the art ball tracking equipment, solid kitchen and your own server brining drinks. We didn't realize swinging clubs could be this fun. Check out the pictures on the Top Golf Austin City Guide Profile.

Top Golf


 18. Walk, Jog, or Ride the Boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake

It wasn't until last year that the finished the boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake that allowed for a 10.2 mile loop along the water in downtown Austin. We still loving getting our bikes out there when the weather is right.  Take a look at some of the refreshing views you'll get on Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail in Austin.

Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail


 19. Go for Hike Along the Barton Creek Greenbelt

Starting at Barton Springs Pool, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is one of Austin's best treasures with areas known as the Flats known to host large gathers complete with drum circles, Twin Falls offering easy access to a great pair of falls, and Sculpture Falls being a short hike past Twin for a little more solitude. There's also great rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities that appeal to a wide array of people and families. It's best when the water if flowing (even low flow is fin2) and you can check out a flow guage at Loop 360 bridge here.  

Twin Falls Austin


 20. Enjoy a Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Lady Bird Lake

There are two major boat operations on Lady Bird Lake. Both Capital Cruises and Lonestar Riverboats have optional menus for private cruises that cater to parties ranging in size. Capital Cruises has a smaller boat that goes out with 2-8 people.  Both companies can handle large parties ranging from 30 - 140. use these links to learn more about Capital Cruises and Lone Star Riverboats.  

Capital Cruises Dinner Cruise


 21. Go Skydiving Inside at Ifly in North Austin

Ohh how times have changed in the skydiving world. You can now do it inside in a air chamber supported by fans while other fans watch. It's a crazy good time and quite a bit cheaper at $69 per person for two flights. Plus you don't have to go tandem your first 10 times.  Learn more about Ifly Austin here.


 22. Get Crafty with an Austin Brewery Tour

Austin is quickly becoming the biggest micro brewery town in Texas. That's mostly because we're the loaded with hipsters with beards and refined pallets. With several distilleries in the outskirts of West Austin and several brewaries on the east side, tours from Austin brewary Tours offer a nice combination of seeing Austin, learning about the beer brewing process, and a usually a pleasant pre dinner buzz. Check out Austin Brewery Tours here for more info.

 23. Dive Into an Aquifer Fed Pool at Barton Springs Pool

Definitely one of the cooler activities in Austin, we'll move this Austin attraction up the list when the warmer weather hits. Because Barton Springs pool stays the same temperature all year round (a chilly 68 degrees), we'll leave it on the top 25 list for now. See some killer 360 photos and learn more about Barton Springs Pool here


 24. Soak in the Sun at McKinney Falls State Park

Probably the least known outdoorsy area in Austin city limits, McKinney Falls is hidden between IH35 and the Airport. We like to go here because it's less crowded than the Barton Creek and still offers some great views, moderate hiking, and a nice swimming hole. It's a state park so expect a $5 to enter. Learn more about McKinney Falls State Park here.


25. Check out the World Famous Congress Bridge Bats

Our #1 activity 9 months out the year, we leave it in the list during the winter for those making plans in advance. The Congress Bridge Bats are the top tourist activity in Austin.  Watch as 1.5 million bats pepper the sky in their nightly departure from Congress Bridge in their relentless and appreciated pursuit to rid us of mosquitos. There are a lot of ways to view the bats and we feature the top 5 ways to view the Austin Bats here.