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Top 25 Things To Do in Austin, Texas

Below you'll find a list of top 25 things to do in Austin, Texas featuring Austin sightseeing, attractions, tours, museums, and more that locals love just as much as visitors!

Ivan Collins Last updated on Jun 17, 2021 by

1. Check out the World Famous Congress Bridge Bats

View the Congress Bridge Bats is Austin's most popular tourist attraction for a reason. It's simply a marvel. 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 mosquitoes. There are a lot of ways to view the bats. Use the button below to learn about 4 fun ways to check them out.

View Congress Bridge Bats

2. Get Spooky in Style on a Haunted ATX Tour

Austin Ghost Tours

Locals and visitors alike will enjoy the dark, spooky style of Haunted ATX hearse limo and van tours. One of the more unique experiences in Austin that is seriously keeping Austin weird, this tour lets you pack your friends in a hearse that's been converted into a limo or a passenger van wrapped in spooky art to visit historic locations and hear the tales of ghosts that haunt these landmarks. Tours start at $49 per person, but lasts 3 hours so you get a lot of entertainment bang for your buck. The tour itself is a blend of scary stories, Austin history, and a deep dive into some intriguing tales behind some of Austin's most iconic buildings.

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3. Take a Splash with Austin Duck Adventures

Austin Duck Adventures

One of the first tours to show visitors around town and the only land and water tour available, Austin Duck Adventures is one of the most popular tours in town. 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 great views of the Texas Capitol and then on to Lake Austin where you drive straight into the water and float around before heading back. Tours run 7 days a week.

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4. Zip Over Land and Lake with Lake Travis Zip Lines

Climb up above the tree lines and then zip across the forest and water like a modern Tarzan with (hopefully) more than a loin cloth. Lake Travis Zip lines offers a chance to suspend your pedestrian life with something more airborne as you zip through, across, and over some of Austin's best scenery. Zip lines offers one of the most highlighted photographic opportunities available to declare to your social media pals that you're bravery is not grounded to bikes and scooters.

View Zip Lake Travis

5. Challenge Yourself at Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures

One of the most unique activities in Austin is the Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures. Opening for season in May, this aquatic adventure land mixes elements of Kevin Kosner's Waterworld with a splash of Gladiator and Total Wipeout. As a totally original Austin attraction, Waterloo Adventures holds its own in every aspect that makes Austin unique with an outdoor activity, killer scenery, and unparalleled excitement.

View Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures

6. Hold your Paddle High with Live Love Paddle

We absolutely love Live Love Paddle's bat watching tours during bat season. But 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, check out their full moon music paddle that features kayaking to an island, watching a band play, eating smores, and kayaking back at night under the stars.

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7. Dine Out at One of Austin's Top Restaurants

Everybody has a friend that claims their city has the most restaurants per capita. You hear that from locals in Austin from time to time as well. While it may not offer the most restaurants per capita, it is a fast growing market for culinary talent looking to escape the high prices of running a boutique restaurant along the nation's coasts. We recently released our Top 25 Austin Restaurant Guide that looks and feels a lot like this things to do in Austin guide. We figured we'd give it a quick plug here since everybody loves to eat!

View Austin's Top Restaurants

8. Disappear at Magic's Theater

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 museum with pieces from Harry Houdini's collection, and offers a snack bar. One worthwhile feature is that you can bring your own wine with a small corkage fee.

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9. Tour Some of Austin's Legendary Breweries

Austin Brewery Tours

With the craft brew trend hitting overdrive in Austin, there are quite a few fantastic breweries to choose from for a private tour. A favorite among the bachelor and bachelorette activities, a guided brewery tours offer a responsible means to hit the top spots. The team at Texas Twisted Tours covers all the details from designated driver to steering you towards the best IPAs and ales from a local's point of view. The first round is on the house at each location and you're welcome to seconds just as long as you keep your act together.

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10. Fire a Fully Automatic Uzi at The Range at Austin

What better way to bond with friends and family than showcasing your Uzi skills? The Range features a state of the art facility and immersive experience that begins the moment you step inside. Pick from shooting packages featuring, pistols, revolvers, shotguns, modern rifles, and/or automatic firearms! Packages start at $49. We suggest you go big and get the AR15 + Uzi Two-Gun package for $199. Your party's Safety Officer will run you through the protocol and demonstrate proper usage of your gun(s). The Range Safety Officer is there to assist your party from start to finish and make sure you're prepared for the next invasion.

View The Range Austin

11. Break Out of Prison + More at the Escape Game

The Escape Game in Downtown Austin, Texas

Located downtown next to the Austin Visitor Center, this is the #1 escape room in Austin. You and your friends will work together to find clues and overcome challenges to ultimately complete a mission and ESCAPE! The Escape Game has 5 different adventures to choose from including The Heist, Gold Rush, Playground, Classified, and our favorite - Prison Break.

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

Definitely one of the more popular tourist activities in Austin, Barton Springs Pool offers a natural water hole that stays a chilly 68 degrees all year round. See some killer 360 photos and learn more using the button below.

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13. Go for a Hike Along the Barton Creek Greenbelt

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, Twin Falls, and Sculpture Falls. The Flats is known to host large gatherings, even the occasional drum circle. Twin Falls offers one of the better waterfalls, and Sculpture Falls is known for a little solitude. There's also great rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities that appeal to a wide array of outdoorsy types. It's best when the water if flowing, even if it's low just 15 - 20 cfs.

View Barton Creek Greenbelt

14. Get the Party Started at Rainey Street District

Rainey Street District is probably the most unusual nightlife scene in Austin. The first bar to open in Rainey was Lustre Pearl located in an old home. Not too long after other homes converted into bars and now the area is covered with bars, hotels, restaurants, and food trucks, offering one of Austin's most unique nightlife districts.

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15. Gather the Crew for a Boozy Brunch

View Twisted Texas Tours

Nothing cures a hangover from a night out on Rainey Street like Austin's favorite meal of the day! Rallying your squad for a boozy brunch is an Austin tradition. Consider a "brunch crawl" for some elevated day drinking and the perfect pre-party for another big night out. The team at Twisted Texas Tour offers several brunch experiences with private and public options available. From a bus with a live band to walking tours around our city's favorite neighborhoods, they've got you covered.

View 704 Brunch Walking Tours

16. Enjoy a Sightseeing or Dinner Cruise on Lady Bird Lake

Sightseeing Tours on Lady Bird Lake

There are two large river boat operations on Lady Bird Lake that are super packed during warmer months taking people on bat watching tours. When they bats leave, they still offer great tours of Lady Bird Lake. Capital Cruises offers evening sunset tour and afternoon sightseeing tours on the weekends. Lone Star Riverboats features weekend sightseeing tours and a Friday Night Moonlight cruise. Both tour operators 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 buttons to learn more.

View Lonestar River Boats

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

It wasn't until they finished the boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake that you could circle the entire trail without a few treks on the road. Now there's a full 10.2 mile loop along the water in downtown Austin. We love getting our bikes out there when the weather is right.

View Lady Bird Lake

18. 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.

View South Congress

19. Swim Some Laps at Hamilton Pool

Explore Hamilton Pool

Another amazing water hole just outside of Austin, Hamilton's Pool features some shade in the covered side and a sunny beach. Formed from a hollowed out grotto and 60 foot waterfall, it's an amazing all natural site that caters to locals from Austin as well as nearby towns.

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20. Blow Your Mind at Wonder Spaces

Arriving in Austin during covid, Wonder Spaces offers 28,000 square feet of art installations to dazzle every corner of your mind. An exquisite fun house of varied installations of light, mirror, technology, and pure imagination, Wonder Spaces features a sensually diverse experience that everyone will love. Tickets sell out, so check online to find a day and time to go spend a few hours blowing your mind with this indoor activity that features plenty of space for socially distanced fun alone or with your crew.

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21. 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.

View The Domain Austin

22. Enjoy a Sunset on Top of Mount Bonnell

One of the best free activities in Austin, Mount Bonnell features the highest peak in the city limits. There's a higher peak across the water in the city of West Lake Hills, but it doesn't come with Mount Bonnell's giant staircase or a picnic area.

View Mount Bonnell

23. Soak in the Sun at McKinney Falls State Park

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

View McKinney Falls State Park

24. Whack Some Balls at Top Golf in the Domain

One of the hipper activities for swingers to hit Austin in the last few years, Top Golf offers a whacky way to spend an afternoon or evening. Featuring a three story driving range with state of the art ball tracking equipment, a respectable menu, and your own server bringing drinks, we didn't realize swinging clubs could be this fun.

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25. Snap Some Selfies at the Texas State Capitol

Viewing the Texas State Capitol

A uniquely Austin activity that usually takes about an hour, visiting the Texas State Capitol on warm spring or fall afternoon is enjoyable activity. Who knows, you might get lucky and bump into Alex Jones protesting against masks, science, or some version of local civility. While a lot of people will stroll the grounds, take some selfies, and head out, you can go inside after a pass through the metal detectors. You can also sign up for a free 45 minute tour from Capitol Visitor Center. The photo above feature the Austin City Guide team and family passing by on a scooter tour.

View Texas State Capitol Tours