Things to See & Do in Austin, Texas
I don’t know what it is, but I have caught the serious travel-bug, and all I wanna do is pack my bags and go somewhere fun.
Vacations are great. Big or small, it’s always nice to get away. But tbh, sometimes a mini stay-cation is all you need! I teamed up with Mazda to give you some of the best of Austin! Whether you’re planning to visit Austin this season, or sometime in the future, I’m serving up all the best of the best right to you!
Places to visit:
More formerly known as South Congress, but don’t call it that. It’s a funky, cute neighborhood district just south of Town Lake. This area is boasting with boutiques, eateries, galleries, and music venues. Also, as a little fun fact, our dear sweet Kendra Scott used to sell her jewelry out of the back of her car on SoCo! All I can hear are Drake’s lyrics “started from the bottom, now we here.” You can find tents and booths set up with local artists selling unique, and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake) —
Okaaaaaay, so it’s not really a lake, but who cares? The lake itself has a fun history, if you’re into that sorta stuff. This area of Austin is a major recreational hub in the city. If you’re into running, walking your dog, or just looking for a nice stroll with good views, this is definitely your spot. Other popular lake activities include (but are not limited too) paddle boarding and kayaking. When the weather is nice, there’s always someone out on Town Lake!
Auditorium Shores —
Basically, the park that is in conjunction with Town Lake, but a park worth mentioning on its own. It’s a great urban park, with spectacular views of downtown. And if you’re ever in Austin for the 4th of July, it has one of the best fireworks shows!
Zilker Park (& Barton Springs) —
Probably Austin’s most famous park. This is where ACL takes place! This is also the home to Austin’s best natural springs swimming pool, aka Barton Springs Pool. You can swim in Barton Springs year-round, but be warned, the pools temperatures vary between 68 °F—74 °F, not bad for a warm summer day… but a little too chilly for me in the cooler months.
The State Capitol —
Okay, Austin is the capitol of Texas. If you like history, architecture, or Austin-culture, taking a trip to the State Capitol is your thing. Located in the heart of downtown, taking a tour, or even just walking the grounds you’ll find and learn interesting and unique things about Texas history, and the wild Austin-culture.
Hope Outdoor Gallery (aka Graffiti Park at Castle Hill) —
This graffiti park was initially going to be a housing complex, long story short, the housing complex ended up not getting built, and it became Austin’s 3-story graffiti art park, and one of the largest outdoor galleries in the USA. Originally located at 1101 Baylor Street, Hope Outdoor Gallery is moving to a new 6-acre location 9507 Sherman Road. Hope Outdoor Gallery bleeds true, and iconic Austin-culture.
Mount Bonnell (& the 360 bridge) —
Both Mount Bonnell and the 360 Bridge are iconic Austin spots. Mount Bonnell is a great overlook to witness some of the most gorgeous landscape in all of Texas (yep, I said it). You have a great view of the west Austin rolling hills, the lake (aka river) in the valley below, and the 360 bridge. The 360 Bridge also has a stunning overlook. It’s a little more treacherous of a hike, but the views are breathtaking.
Congress Bridge —
Another one of Austin’s iconic bridges. This one is located in downtown, and if you ever hear talk of bats in Austin, this bridge is the home to the largest urban bat colony. The Austin bats are a city icon, and always a sight to see if you are spending the evening in downtown.
Blanton Museum —
If you’re an art lover, then this museum is a must see. The Blanton Museum has several permanent exhibits with over 17,000 pieces, and has a special area dedicated to all the temporary exhibitions. Art has always been at the heart of Austin culture, so making a visit to the iconic art museum in downtown is always a must.
Peter Pan Mini Golf —
This is another iconic Austin place. Family owned and operated since 1948, the Peter Pan Mini Golf is always worth a game or two, even if you aren’t that into golf! Hard to miss this mini golf course when you are greeted with a giant Peter Pan smack dab at the intersection of Barton Springs and South Lamar. The whole course is filled with whimsical putting greens, the perfect spot for kids and adults. Escape the harsh-adulting life with a round of mini golf! Yes, yes, and yes!
Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 —
Okay so this isn’t located in downtown Austin, and it’s kinda in the middle of nowhere. But what do you expect? There’s basically zero room for a track of this size to fit downtown. With that being said, if you’re into cars (that you’ve probably never seen before in your life), or racing (of cars that you’ve probably never seen before in your life) this is pretty neat. However, if you’re not into cars, but music is more your thing, never fear, Austin always comes through with a great music venue located right at the Circuit of the Americas! I’ve been to some pretty BA concerts out at the Formula 1 race track, and it’s incredible how many people can fit in that venue.
So, whether you live in the Greater Austin area and want to know of some fun things to do, or you’re visiting Austin from out of town, there’s something for everyone! I hope you enjoyed my list of places and things to see and do, and special thanks to Roger Beasley Mazda!
All thoughts and opinions are my own.
What’s your favorite place in Austin? Find me on IG at @HaleighBelle and send me a comment letting me know!
Photos taken by the one and only Emilie with Emilie Anne Photography.
I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog! I hope it's full of beautiful inspiration and brings a little light-hearted joy to your life. Wishing all of you a beautiful day! I don’t say it enough, but I am so grateful for every single one of you. Thank you so much for following!
If you’re interested in shopping my picks, I’ve posted links below, or you can shop my looks here and here.
Find me on Instagram at: HaleighBelle
I would love to hear your thoughts!