Top 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. 

Now if only summer were six months long! :o)


Austin Top 50 : Summer of Giveaways:


This week's giveaway:  Cafe Monet!!
Bring your family to Cafe Monet, a Paint Your Own Pottery, 
Mosaic and Fused Glass Studio to create art that will last a lifetime.  
Certificate is valid for $48 to spend at any Cafe Monet Studio.  


Contest begins Monday, July 28th and ends Thursday July 31st at midnight.

Follow this blog via email, facebook or Google + so you don't miss any of the fun giveaways!!!

Austin Top 50 - Page 1 of 5

1 ●● Enjoy Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake)

Okay, I know, it's official name is Lady Bird Lake. What can I say, I've lived here a long time, and it will always be Town Lake to me!

Whatever name you want to call it by, it is a great place to spend an afternoon!

Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail
I am so incredibly  excited!!!! On June 7th at 10am will be the grand opening of the newly completed hike and bike trail.  This $28 million project, begun in October 2012 is a 1.1 mile boardwalk that will complete the 10 mile loop around Town Lake.  No more scurrying across I-35 and no more sidelining it along Riverside Drive.  I truly can't wait for the trail to open!!


Photo courtesy of Austin Sailboat Rentals
Austin Sailboat Rentals
The only location on Town Lake that rents sailboats!  Austin Sailboats brings the joy of sailing to downtown Austin on easy to operate dinghy sailboats, day sailor sailboats, and Hobie Mirage Adventure Islands.

Or check out their new Surrey bicycles and explore the newly extended Hike and Bike Trail!

SUP ATX
I went paddleboarding a few years ago, and thought it was a lot of fun, and a great way to get some exercise.  I think the boys would really enjoy it, and I hope to take them this summer!

SUP ATX is credited with introducing and popularizing the sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP) in lakes, rivers and surfing areas throughout the United States and around the world beginning in 2008.

2 ●● 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. The one set of tracks are from a sauropod, and the other is speculated to have been from a very rare carnivorous dinosaur called an Acrocanthosaurus. Only four sets of this dinosaur’s skeletal remains have ever been found and they were in Texas and Oklahoma. They probably traveled in packs, but these tracks in particular don’t indicate that.

These dinosaurs are thought to have walked by the creek bed in Leander more than 100 million years ago.

More Details!



3 ●● Swim in Austin's natural springs and pools

Okay, I know that this is my new 2014 list, and I still have "Austin's natural springs"' as one of my top options.  But when I asked the boys what they'd like to do again this year, they first places they listed were the one below! So, here it is again, for another year :o)

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.

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!

More Details!


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.

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.  

In 2005, the town of Wimberley purchased the land and has converted this spot into an incredible regional park.  The Wildflower Center worked with the city to landscape the park, and it shows, because it is just beautiful!

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!

4 ● Take a Ride on Austin's only Steam Train
Photo courtesy of Austin Steam Train

Take a step back in time as you step on board a vintage passenger car for a relaxing journey to the past.  

Enjoy the 66 mile round trip on the popular Hill Country Flyer, with a 2 and a half hour layover in Burnet for lunch and wild west shootout!  Or hop on board the Bertram Flyer or the new Capital City Express for a shorter 3 hour adventure. 

Remember to check out the Special Rides from the annual Day Out With Thomas (returning to Burnet in September 2014) to the North Pole Flyer which pulls into town in late November.  


5 ●● Enjoy a musical

Zilker Hillside Theater
 
Oklahoma!   July 11 - August 16th
Thur - Sun evenings.  Start: approx 8:30


Go once, and I bet you quickly find it becomes an annual tradition for you as well!  This is about as Austin as it gets!

There is no better way to enjoy a musical than to sit outside on a beautiful summer evening.  Head early to the Hilltop theater, save your spot with a blanket, and then head to Barton Springs to cool off before the show!

Located just across from Barton Springs Pool in beautiful Zilker Park, the natural amphitheater is nestled among a grove of giant 100 year old Pecan trees and is home to numerous locally produced musical and dance oriented events.    

This year's musical is the Oklahome (O~K~L~A~H~O~M~A.... Oklahoma's okaaaaaay).  Yeah, we're looking forward to this!

More Details!


Austin Summer Musical for Children
A great and inexpensive way to introduce children to musicals.  


This year's show is the Wizard of Oz.  Check it out!

6 ● Go Ride a Horse
There isn't much more "Texan" than horseback riding, so what a great thing to do this summer.  When I mentioned it to my youngest son, he was super excited!!

Maverick Horseback Riding
Photo courtesy of Maverick Horseback
Located in Hutto, Maverick Horseback Riding is a unique trail riding-meets-lessons operation that works with the community to provide unique, integrated equine-related services.  

Try out their Buffalo Ride, an approximately two hours mounted (total lesson time 2.5-3.5 hours) that is ideal for both locals and visitors who want to travel to see mini donkeys, pigs, llamas and of course the buffalo.  

Texas Trail Riders
Texas Trail Rides takes pride in offering safe, family friendly, horse back trail rides, equine excursions, ranch rodeos, skeet shooting, fishing and hunting.

20 comments:

Annemarie said...

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!!

Kelly said...

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

Blissfulfour said...

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!

lipsa herry said...

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

Thomas Hardy said...

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!

Anne S said...

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!

Joan Marie MacCoy said...

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.

Austin Sailboat Rentals said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Add top golf!

kate Mcclellan said...

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.

Skyline Houston said...

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

Sree said...

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

trey meeks said...

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

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Austin Top Fifty said...

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:

Allie Casazza said...

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!

Blogging tips