50 Things to do in Austin

Austin has to be one of the most fun places to live!   And yes, the summers are hot, but there are lots of great ways to beat the heat.   Below is a list of of some of our favorite places to go - both in and out of doors :o)


1 ●● Discover Dinosaur Tracks in Leander
There isn't much cooler than seeing actual dinosaur tracks along a riverbed. And a short hike off the road in Leander can bring you to some pretty clear tracks - not roped off or anything - just lying there smack in the middle of a creek bed! 

There is one set of fossilized dinosaur footprints on the downstream side of the bridge, and another on the opposite side of the creek. 


More Details and an update on creek levels

2 ●● Swim in Austin's natural springs and pools
Austin has a number of natural pools that are just perfect for cooling off during the hot Texas summers.  Since these pools are spring-fed, they often are wet when all other pools are dry!  Below are four of our favorites.

Hamilton Pool
Hamilton Pool Preserve is a historic swimming hole where Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone outcroppings to create a 50 foot waterfall. 

The pool's water level stays pretty constant, even during periods of drought. 

After cooling off in the pool, take a nice short (.6 mile) hike out to the Pedernales river for a change in scene.
Fees are $15 per carload
More details

Krause Springs
Krause Springs is a well-known camping and swimming site located in Spicewood, Texas approximately 30 miles west of Austin. 

There are 32 springs on the property, and several feed the man-made pool and the natural pool which flows into Lake Travis.

Go and enjoy for the day or bring camping gear and spend the night!

Entrance is $7 for adults and $5 per child.  Camping is $14 per adult and $6 per child.
More details

Barton Springs Pool

Three acres in size, the pool is fed from underground springs and is an average 68 degrees year round. With all the beautiful trees, clear water, and diving board, this is certainly a favorite! 

Be sure to bring a mask and snorkel to check out all the fish life. 

Moss makes the bottom a bit slippery for young children and non-swimmers.

Entrance is $3 for adults, $2 for juniors and $1 for children
More details

Blue Hole in Wimberley
The Blue Hole, spring-fed by Cypress Creek, has long been known as a beautiful and refreshing swimming hole in Wimberley.  

Lush green lawns, a fun rope swing and cool clear water make visiting this swimming hole a must!

Entrance is $9 for adults and $5 for youth 4 - 12
More details

Swing into Camp Ben McCulloch

Located near Driftwood in Hays County, this privately owned campground hosts a prime swimming hole with a rope swing.  

After a rainy season, the river flows pretty quickly, so bring a raft and play by the river.  

The camp also has a nice playscape and tables for a picnic lunch

Entrance is free
More details

3 ●● Detour: The Year that Broke Austin
This year for SXSW, Radiolabs Austin designed an audio story: The Year that Broke Austin (available via an app) that takes you around downtown Austin to investigate a 130-year-old serial murder case. I have not taken this tour, but it is high on my list of things to do this summer.  What could be more fun then walking around downtown, listening to a murder mystery??

You’ll get the smell of 1885 in your nostrils, the sound of murder ballads in your ears, and – if you’re in the mood – the taste of tequila on your tongue. You’ll go in and out of stores, down into a creek bed and through a hidden maze and discover a side of Austin most people never see.

More details 

River Tubing
Photo and copy sponsored by ATXCursions
Cool off by floating down the river
 with ATXcursions! 

Floats last from 2 to 4 hours and
are a fun, social experience. 
Tubes, coolers, ice, and 
transportation from Austin are all
included. All you need to bring is
sunscreen, drinks, and snacks.  

Tickets start at $54 and booking is
all online 

More details 

4 ●● Spend a day on the UT Campus
Looking for a fun, inexpensive way to pass the day? Why not plan to spend the day on the campus of the University of Texas.

Foucault's Pendulum
You've probably passed the building a hundred times on the elevated portion of I-35.  On the east side, a brown building with a red cylinder in the middle. 

The red tower contains a Foucault's pendulum - and has since 1985. Who knew??

This is an amazing example of physics and well worth a stop.

Note: this building is on the east side of I-35 across from the main part of the UT Campus.

Play around at the UT Underground 
There are lots of places to go bowling in Austin but one of our favorite locations is at the Texas Union.  The kids love the black lights and disco ball. Plus the lanes seem reasonably priced, as does the air hockey table.  And it is frequently not very crowded.

Tour the University of Texas Tower
The University of Texas has opened up their tower for tours.  The view is wonderful and you will learn some of the history of this great campus.  Reserve ahead, as the tours sometimes fill up!

 More details!

Texas Memorial Museum
The Memorial Museum on the UT Campus is almost a museum piece itself: dim, cool, hushed, with four floors from basement dinosaurs to the glowing gem room and the top level dioramas.  Check out the dinosaurs, rocks, and digging area.  

Best of all, this museum is free!

More details!!

The Color Inside Art Exhibit
"The Color Inside" by renowned "sculptor of light" James Turrell propels the viewer's gaze upward to the heavens, challenging typical perceptions of light, sky and space.

Monochrome of Austin
Who can resist a 50 foot art exhibit on Speedway and 24th street made up of 75 different boats.  Take a moment while on campus just to check this out!

5 ●● Ride your bike at the Veloway
The Veloway is Southwest Austin's first trail exclusively for bicycles and rollerblading, making it the perfect place for young bikers.  

No worries about cars pulling out, and if you have two children who ride at different speeds, it is pretty easy to coordinate a hook-up (there are multiple length routes, the longest is 3.1 miles) 


More details

6 ● Discover the outdoor Art of Austin

Hope Outdoor Gallery
Check out this huge wall of grafitti located at 11th street and Baylor Street, one of the largest in the US. 

This project was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messaging.

If you take the time to explore, you will find some fascinating art.  And turn around and get a great view of Austin. There is parallel parking along Baylor Street, though space may be somewhat limited depending on the time. It looked like there was a lot (maybe even free?) on the corner of 12th and Lamar that is a short walk away.

Murals of Austin

Our family recently discovered the "Murals of Austin" geocache, which took us on a tour of many of the murals of Austin.  It took a couple of trips, but we managed to find them all -- and in doing so, discovered what a treasure of murals Austin has.

If you want to get started on some of Austin's more famous murals, below are some of the more famous ones:

"Jeremiah the Innocent", known to most as the "Hi, How are you" frog?"located south side of the building located at the corner of 21st and Guadalupe, across from The University of Texas at Austin. 

Greetings from Austin, located on the southern wall of Roadhouse Relics at 1720 S. First Street, "You're My Butter Half" at 2000 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.

There are many, many more in and around Austin.  If you have the time and inclination, check out the Murals of Austin geocache, which will take you to many throughout Austin!


Bee Cave Sculpture Park
The Bee Cave Sculpture Park weaves through a 7 acre natural setting, showcasing a combination of permanent and rotating sculptures. In addition to the fantastic art, you will find a spring-fed pond and some of the largest oak trees in the city

7 ●  Cheer on the Round Rock Express

Photo courtesy of Steven Snow/Round Rock Express
Grab a cheap seat on the berm or a reserved seat in the infield, there isn't a bad seat in the house!  Let the kids play at the playground when the need to burn off some steam. 

Schedule your trip on a night when they have fire works.  

Throw in some cheese fries, and it sounds like the perfect evening!

Tickets range from $7 for berm seating to $16 for infield reserved

Please note:  All prices are estimates and are placed here for planning purposes only.  To verify exact admission, please visit the web page of the attraction.


  1. Thank you for visiting this page. If you have a favorite place that isn't listed here, please let me know by leaving a comment below!!

  2. I just came across this list, wow! I'm pinning it now. :)

  3. I used to live in Austin in college and love going back with my kids to visit friends. This is such a great list and I am going to use it on our upcoming visit! We love riding the Zilker Zepher and playing at Zilker park when the kids need to get some energy out!

  4. I am very happy to visting this blog, I really liked it, Thanks for share..Pool Builders Birmingham AL

  5. What a great list! I'd have to add some of the great coffee shops and breakfast taco places, like Houndstooth Coffee or Juan in a million.

    Great list of things to do in Austin!

  6. Just moved to town and am so happy to find this! We have two weeks of summer vacation left and we are going to take advantage of this list! Thank you!

  7. You guys have no horseback riding on here! I think the quintessential Texan experience is riding a horse. MaverickHorsebackRiding.com accommodates children of all ages as well as special needs riders.

  8. can you add Austin Sailboat Rentals right in downtown Austin on Ladybird lake? Great for kids and families! Visit website at www.austinsailboatrentals.com and their Facebook page with tons of pictures and videos. 5 star customer ratings on both Trip Advisor and Yelp.

  9. Great list. I would add three things: Tour of KUT Studios (1st Thursday of each month, at 11 A.M. Signups are limited to 25 per tour), Elisabet Ney Museum and The Umlauf Sculpture Garden.

  10. You have a really great list here. There is always a lot to do here in Texas.

  11. Thankyou for the list and detailed description of each. Very helpful :)!

  12. A hop on hop off guided sightseeing and historical tour started in Austin on April 3rd 2014. The tour is done from a double decker bus, which is a lot of fun and provides excellent views of the downtown sights. It stops near most of the items in this list. The stops are near the downtown entertainment district (6th Street), the LBJ Library, the Texas Longhorns Stadium, the Bullock Museum, the State Capitol, the Blanton Museum, South Congress SOCO, the restaurants on Barton Springs, Zilker Park, the Zilker Botanical Garden, and the Barton Springs pool. You can get off and self explore the different areas and hop back on when the bus comes back around.

    The website is DoubleDeckerAustin.com

  13. Two things missing:

    1) Go sky diving (indoor) at iFly on Research Blvd.

    2) Hike the Brushy Creek Regional Trail. It goes past the splash pad in Ceder Park.

  14. My son loves the bouncy house places. His favorite is kids n play by highland mall.

  15. I tried a visit of the Circuit of the Americas, it was great!

  16. I don't know if it was mentioned already but how about Graffiti park. It's pretty cool

  17. How about during winter? What is there to do there?

  18. Check out the Winter Things to Do page http://www.austintop50.com/p/winter-things-to-do.html

    if you are interested in Winter events:

  19. Thank you so much for this blog, and this post especially! We are moving from California to Texas next year and I have been so nervous and clueless about what it's like over there. Thank you thank you thank you!

  20. Just got back from this new craft distillery called, Crystal Creek Moonshine. Didn't expect much going in... but my oh my was I surprised!
    It immediately made my top 10 list of things to do in Austin. They are really small and just launched. Really fun time! 100% add Crystal Creek Moonshine to that list!

  21. Take a running tour that samples beer!


  22. Hello.I love austin.bee there several times.I love to cook Caribbean food indoor outdoor.trying to make connections.let me know.I will cook samples first for people to try.wanna get out of arlington.thanks

  23. Austin Segway Tours by Gliding Revolution. http://www.glidingrevolution.com

  24. Can you post this in a one-pager list?
    I'd love to print it and keep it in on my fridge for quick reference!

    1. Great idea, Jane! Right now, the easiest way to make a printable list is to use the Pinterest buttons to make your own customized summer bucket list - and then print out the list and post it on the fridge.

  25. I didn't do any of these things when I was in Austin! This is a great list I wish I would have found earlier! I also wish I would have worked for SpinGo before I went there so that I could have known about local events happening each night https://www.spingo.com/austin-texas


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