Taking a weekend trip to Austin? We’ve got you covered. There are plenty of fun things to do to enjoy your stay, no matter how you’d like to spend the trip! We've come up with a list of the ten best things for you to check out - but also understand if you'd like to just sit back and relax during your getaway weekend. You might enjoy your weekend getaway in Austin so much that you consider coming back to Texas for a Thanksgiving trip.
Put These 10 Things On Your Austin Itinerary!
Where: Dripping Springs, Texas
A huge erosion many years ago made access to this pool possible. A 45-foot waterfall created a huge swimming pool, and it is all the rage in Austin. Come during the day and relax in this natural pool, or sit by the waterfall and have a picnic. It gets a little hot in Texas, so you might want to make sure you make a reservation first: in recent years, access to Hamilton Pool has changed to reservation only.
Where: 1700 B South Congress Avenue
After a nice break at one of the seven best coffee shops in Austin, head to Feathers Boutique for some quintessential Austin shopping. Feathers hand-selects their vintage pieces, and has a wide variety of different clothing items that you will love. The store also has jewelry and home décor, so do a little shopping for the house, or find a little gift for a friend. See something you like, but it’s too big to take home? No worries. Feathers ships items from their store to anywhere in the world.
Where: 3800 Mt. Bonnell Road
Want a chill Saturday? Bring a picnic and spend the afternoon in the sun. In this park, the best view of Austin comes with a little bit of a climb. Although you have to climb just about 100 stairs to get to the stop, the view from Mount Bonnell (also known as Covert Park) is simply amazing. There are trails at the top for you to walk around and explore, or you can take pictures from underneath the pavilion at the highest point in Austin. Take the trip up at sunset for some amazing pictures!
Where: 605 Robert E. Lee Road
Inside this sculpture garden hides the true essence of Austin. Step inside to find beautiful artwork, surrounded by trees and other foliage, and a waterfall for the more calming vibe. There’s also a museum, which is currently featuring what it’s like to be in the studio with sculptors. Umlauf features tons of fun events like Saturday yoga and an occasional Family Day, so be sure to check out their events calendar before you stop by.
Where: 8940 Research Boulevard
Want to feel like a kid again? Head on over to Pinballz Arcade. With the largest arcade game selection in all of Texas, you’ll never be bored at this fun place. Bring the family for a fun game night, or go out with some friends for old times sake (did we mention it’s B.Y.O.B?) There is also a full restaurant and bar, so stop in, eat, and enjoy some of your favorite games from your childhood.
Where: First Street Bridge at Lady Bird Lake
A must see point in Austin; this lake sits right in the heart of the city and is a relaxing place to spend the afternoon. All along the river are hiking trails and bike trails, and you can also have some fun in the water: rent a boat or a canoe out, and travel along this waterway in downtown Austin. Although you aren’t allowed to swim there, Lady Bird Lake has tons of fun activities for you and the family to try.
Where: 900 E. 11th Street
If you’re looking for some good Texas barbecue, Franklin’s is the place to be - and one of our favorite Austin barbecue joints. Wake up early and stand in line to get some of the best barbecue in the country. The food may be good, but so can the wait: bring a lawn chair, and high spirits, as you get to know the other food lovers around you. Once you get the chance to eat, try the crowd-favorite moist brisket, a popular item on the menu that leaves customers wanting to come back and wait in line all over again. Then head to one of Austin's six best rooftop bars for a cocktail with a view!
Where: 713 Congress Avenue
This theatre celebrated it’s centennial last year, and it continues to grow in popularity. People come from near and far to check out this historic theatre, and you’ll be able to understand why with just one visit. Find tickets to the latest show in town, and check this place out. Once you step inside, you’ll begin to feel connected with the vast culture of Austin, as well as a connection to the other concert/show-goers. This venue has been kept up for now 101 years, and it continues to withstand the test of time.
Where: 1800 Congress Avenue
Learn more about the history of Texas at this awesome museum. With artifacts, rare documents, and photographs, you can delve into the history of Texas all with one walk through the museum. They also have an IMAX theater, where you can watch the newest movie out, as well as the Texas Spirit Theater, where you can check out some cool special effects movies. When you’re done, stop by the museum gift shop, or the Story of Texas café for a quick bite to eat.
Where: 1720 S. First Street
Todd Sanders took his talents, and turned them into one of the coolest art galleries in Texas. This studio and art gallery is home to the neon artist’s vintage style neon signs. Walk around inside and view all of the different light up signs, from the basic ‘BAR’ sign to the more elaborate pieces like the Mercury Man and a mason jar filled with fireflies. You can even check out the piece that was on the album cover of the Kings of Leon album ‘Mechanical Bull’. Stop by and take a look at all of Todd’s original pieces, and maybe even invest in one for yourself!
This article was written by Kellyn Nettles.