Travel Guide to Austin: Top Things to Do in Austin, Texas
If you’re not Austin for the annual SXSW festival, there’s still plenty of stuff to do in Austin. The city is well known for having some of the top tech startups in the US (move over Silicon Valley!), eclectic music vibe, hipster trends and parties. When in Austin, you’ll want to make sure you’ll make the most of your time. Here are the top things you can do when in Austin, Texas.
1. Texas State Capitol
Address: 1100 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704-1728
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 10:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday 9:00am – 8:00pm
You’ll know all about the history of the “Republic of Texas”, before it became one of the states of the United States, here at the Texas State Capitol. Joining the tour is free admission and you can also join the tour in Spanish if you know how to speak Spanish. Completed in 1888, this landmark houses the State Senate Chambers and House of Representatives.
2. SoCo – South Congress Avenue Shops
If you’re looking for some unique antiques, hipster outfits, and expensive-as-hell cowboy boots at Allen’s Boots (they sell for at least $250!) SoCo Shops is the way to go. This avenue is lined up with trendy boutiques, as well as Amy’s ice cream, where you can quench your afternoon Texas heat.
3. Dine at Moonshine Patio and Grill
Address: 303 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
Official Website: moonshinegrill.com
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 9:00am – 11:00pm, Sunday 9:00am – 2:00pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
If you’re looking for authentic chicken fried steak about the size of Texas, look no further. Moonshine’s Chicken Fried Steak will make you crave this dish so bad, you’ll want another helping. The gravy on top is so delicious, the cornbread will help you wipe this plate clean. Get some brusselsprouts on the side to cut through that salty taste.
4. Franklin’s BBQ
Don’t go home yet without taking some BBQ with you! Franklin’s BBQ needs some extra planning. You can’t just come here without a plan or you’ll line up with the rest of these noobs. If you really want to dine here, you might want to line up at 6am. But just do like we did and preorder Franklin’s BBQ online, ahead of time, preferably a month ahead, so they can be ready when you arrive. Bring some tupperware so you can keep the goods fresh.
Yes, I know, that’s a lot of meat. It’s about 10 pounds of brisket. Each pound of brisket sells for $22 and it’s one of the best BBQ you can ever try.
5. I Love You So Much Graffiti at Jo’s Coffee in Austin, Texas
Address: 1300 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704-2433
This famous mural is also found at Jo’s Coffee along South Congress Avenue and don’t miss it. This iconic landmark symbolizes that love triumphs and unites all, and is present in other key cities all over the world. Take a photo with your friends and show that you don’t give a damn when someone says “F*ck you, Austin”.
6. Party at Rainey Street
Didn’t I tell you that Austin is a musician’s paradise? While the city’s best bars close at 2am (which is actually good), you can be sure that you always have a good time at Rainey Street. Head to bars like Midnight Cowboy, Lustre Pearl or The Gatsby and mingle with young professionals who work in some of the best tech startups in US.
7. 6th Street
Continue partying at 6th Street. Another prime Austin party hub for the younglings who want a taste of margarita. The Container Bar is worth lining up for at 12 midnight. I honestly enjoyed the music all the time, plus conversations with Austin imports.
8. Barton Springs
Address: 2201 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704
Official Website: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool
Being in Austin just makes you want to dive into a pool of cold water. That’s what you can do at Barton Springs. For $8 (if you are a non-resident of Texas), you might as well dive into the coldest springs in Austin. It makes an ideal swimming spot for the entire family or group of friends who just want to chill under the 100 degree sun.
9. Kerbey Lane Cafe, Austin
Address: 3704 Kerbey Ln, Austin, TX 78731, USA
Official Website: www.kerbeylanecafe.com
Telephone Number: +1 512-451-1436
Opening Hours: Daily 6:30am – 11:00pm
Don’t forget Kerbey Lane. No matter what time of the day it is, you gotta eat their pancakes. (And you know I prefer waffles over pancakes!) This Austin favorite since 1980 is heaven in every single bite. These Lemon Poppy pancakes are drizzled with cinnamon glaze and topped with syrup. It’s like diabetes attack, but you get what you truly deserve.
10. Watch 2 Million Bats over South Congress Bridge
Nobody misses this. Before you leave Austin, say hi to 2 million Mexican free tail bats flying over the South Congress Bridge at 7pm every night. Check out my guide on how to experience these magnificent phenomenon only in Austin here.