Austin is an incredible city. There’s so much to do and see on every block; it’s a non-stop adventure whether you live here or you’re just visiting. Luckily, there’s enough press out there that most visitors make it a point to see as much of the city as they can while they’re here. But that’s not always the case for locals. Sometimes we take it for granted because we’re submerged in it all the time, but that’s a mistake.
Instead of running errands or staying inside this weekend, why not make it a point to get out & explore this beautiful city we love so much? Here’s a list of seven things you should experience during your time in Austin. Keep in mind; this doesn’t even scratch the surface! Check back often as we’ll be posting info about local places on a regular basis.
Seven Things You Don’t Want to Miss While You’re in Austin:
- The Zilker Botanical Garden
- Lady Bird Lake
- Mt Bonnell
- The Hope Outdoor Gallery
- Congress Avenue Bridge (& Bats!)
- The Broken Spoke
- Austin City Limits
Visit the Zilker Botanical Garden
Nothing says “relax” quite like strolling through a sea of flowers, and there’s no place better to do that in Austin than the Zilker Botanical Garden. It’s the perfect place to take in the beauty of nature any time of the year. You’ll enjoy tons of brilliant colors as various blooms explode throughout the spring season, lots of lovely foliage dotted with blossoms in the summer, and lush greenery you won’t see many other places during the winter.
Explore Lady Bird Lake
If you’re looking for a place to walk, run, hike, or bike, then Lady Bird Lake should be your first stop. This large, serene lake right in the heart of Austin is surrounded by soft dirt trails and exquisite natural features that are revered by locals and travelers alike. If you’re a fan of playing in the water, then you’re also in luck because canoes and kayaks are welcome on the lake.
Take in the Views atop Mount Bonnell
Head up to the pavilion at Mt. Bonnell to enjoy the phenomenal cityscape and panoramic views of the Colorado River. It’s an excellent spot to watch the sunset, take a leisurely walk with the family, or enjoy a romantic picnic.
View the Street Art at the Hope Outdoor Gallery
Austin is known for being unique. The Hope Outdoor Gallery is a fitting example of how the city takes the ordinary and transforms it into something extraordinary. This “gallery” is the remnants of an abandoned construction project that was turned into something beautiful and alive with color. Even if you’re not normally a fan of graffiti art, it’s hard not to appreciate the novelty of this one-of-a-kind paint park.
Watch the Austin Bats Fly from Congress Avenue Bridge
Believe it or not, Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world (there are up to 1.5 million bats at any given time). If you’ve never stood on the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset and watched thousands of bats take to the skies, now’s the time to do it. Bonus if you’re here during August and can catch the Bat Fest where there’s always a great lineup of local and nationally known bands.
Kick Up Your Heels and Dance at The Broken Spoke
Described as a “honky-tonk heaven,” The Broken Spoke is a local favorite. Take in a show while you dine, stop by for some two-stepping, or just sway to one of the many bands that play here like Dale Watson or The Derailers. No matter when you visit this authentic Texas dancehall or who’s playing, you’re practically guaranteed to have a good time.
Go to a Show at Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits (ACL) is an award-winning concert venue where music legends come to connect with fans from around the world. It’s also home to the Austin City Limits Music Festival and hosts almost 100 shows every year!