Nestled deep in the heart of Texas is the lively, vibrant city of Austin. The city has made quite the name for itself as an energetic, quirky place. It’s known for mouth-watering eats, unique attractions, and welcoming people. Whether you are making a vacation out of your visit or just passing through, you’ll want to be sure to check out some of these Austin must-dos for the whole family!
Photo source: Visit Austin
Watch the bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge
From March to October, witness one of the most jaw-dropping nature experiences you’ll ever find in a city. Just prior to sundown, the world’s largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats appear. They make an exodus from their home under the Congress Avenue Bridge in search of food. There are several locations to watch the 1.5 million bats fly out. It’s a popular event, so you’ll want to arrive early to get a good view.
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Tour the Texas State Capitol
Standing tall and proud in the center of the city is the Texas State Capitol building. You might hear a local boast that this pink granite icon is taller than the United State Capitol building. This furthers proves the old saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” to be true. Stroll around the Capitol grounds or join a free guided tour inside to learn about state-level government and the history of the structure.
Stroll and shop along South Congress Avenue
Shopping, food, live music, and iconic Austin scenes. What isn’t there to do on South Congress Avenue? This bustling street lined with cute stores, quirky boutiques, and delicious Austin eateries is perfect if you’re looking for a day out on the town. Here you’ll find recognizable city scenes like the “I Love You So Much” mural. This will make for great photos to remember your trip to the city by. SoCo, as it is called by the locals, also has a thriving nightlife with opportunities to hear live music nearly every night.
Photo source: Austin Parks Foundation
Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is a hit with visitors and residents of Austin alike. There’s no better way to beat the blazing Texas heat during hot summer months than to jump in the chilly waters of this spring-fed pool. If swimming isn’t your thing, sit back and relax under the trees on the grassy areas along the water’s edge. Barton Springs has more to offer than your average city pool and tops the lists for Austin activities for teens and kids, but everyone in the family is sure to enjoy a day spent here.
Lounge at Zilker Park
Across the street from Barton Springs Pool, you’ll find the sprawling Zilker Park. When it isn’t the site of fun family events like free summer concerts and kite festivals, it serves the city as a tranquil park with great views of the downtown skyline. Grab a book to read, pack a picnic, or simply lay out and soak up some sun in the green grass. Kiddos will enjoy riding the Zilker Zephyr, a miniature train that circles the park. The area is also home to other attractions such as the gorgeous Zilker Botanical Garden.
Photo source: Austin Museum Partnership
Learn something new at the Bullock Texas State History Museum
Both casual museum-goers and history buffs are sure to come away with oodles of interesting knowledge and fun facts from the three floors of exhibits at the Bullock Museum. If you’re not a fan of museums, catch a showing of the latest movie at the IMAX theater located inside, which is home to the largest theater screen in Texas.
Appreciate unique exhibits at the Blanton Museum of Art
Located on the University of Texas campus is the stunning Blanton Museum of Art. Here you can find works and exhibits from notable artists around the world. The Blanton is also home to some impressive permanent pieces like Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, a beautiful white stone building with vibrant colored glass windows. While you’re in the area, take a stroll around the University of Texas, which is consistently ranked among the state’s most beautiful college campuses.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Austin, Texas? Let me know in the comments.