If you’re looking for your next travel destination in the U.S., make sure to check out Austin, Texas. Austin is constantly rated as one of the best cities to live and visit in the States, and it’s not hard to fathom why. With its lively music scene, beautiful attractions and epic food—you won’t run out of stuff to do.
Photo by milpool79
Whether you’re traveling single or as a group, Austin always has something for you. Need a handy guide on what to do, eat, or see in the best place to live in America? Here are 15 things you should definitely check out:
1. Bar Hopping in Sixth Street
Top of the list is visiting Sixth Street between Congress Street and Interstate 35. Also known as the Dirty Sixth. What makes this place special is that Austin local music scene here. With lots of music joints, bars, and restaurants dotting the place you will have your choice. Bring your friends and experience the “Live Music Capital of the World”. You might wake up hungover, but it’s worth it!
2. Movie Marathon at the Alamo Drafthouse
This isn’t your ordinary movie theater. The Alamo Drafthouse is the place to be if you’re a total movie buff and want to experience your movie. There is almost always a fun special event happening when the Alamo has a new release schedule. and they always serve food and drink during the film. Stars such as Elijah Wood and Quentin Tarantino say, “the Alamo Drafthouse is the best movie theater in the world”.
3. Take a Dip at Barton Springs
One of the most amazing places in Austin and probably in the country. Barton Springs Municipal Pool is the perfect place to relax or de-stress after a very long day. It’s a 3-acre natural pool fed with water from nearby springs. The temperature hits you in the sweet spot at 74 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. Children of all ages revere Barton Springs, and if you get a chance to visit, make sure to soak it all in.
4. Gorge Delicious Food in Austin’s Food Truck Parks
If you’re planning to eat your way through Austin, then make sure to hit some of the city’s food trucks. There are several food truck parks scattered throughout the city. You’ll get to taste your way around the world without getting your wallet broken. Are you craving Thai, Mexican, or even Filipino food? Say no more. Austin got your back.
5. Strip at Hippie Hollow Park
If you’re very open-minded and not at all shy, then you might want to check out Hippie Hollow Park. The park is alongside Lake Travis. This 109-acre public park boasts amazing views and solid swim spots. Be warned, it is the only one of its kind in Texas. This park is a place for nudists, so clothes are optional if you want to come visit. It’s an exciting experience, but the question is, are you game for it?
6. Revisit Texas’ history at Bullock Texas State History Museum
Those who love visiting museums will enjoy Bullock Texas State History Museum. Located at 1800 Congress Avenue. The building has three floors, each dedicated to telling a story of the history of Texas. Take time to watch the interactive exhibits and awesome displays. This museum also boasts a unique presentation theater. The theater even has “special effects” that showcases how Texas came to be.
7. Hike at Mount Bonnell
Feeling a little outdoors-y but don’t want to stray too far from the city? Then wear your hiking boots and try hiking at Mount Bonnell. The views are awesome and the fresh air will surely soothe your aching muscles. There is a lookout deck on top where you can enjoy a picnic or look at Austin’s skyline. Even though it is kinda high, the climb is not that arduous which even beginners can enjoy.
8. Dance at the Broken Spoke
If you’re looking for a classic Texas experience, bring a dance partner and visit the Broken Spoke. The place is famous since it first opened its doors in 1964. When you get inside you’ll definitely feel like you’re inside of a classic Old West movie. Kick up your heals dancing to country music. According to the owner James M. White, Broken Spoke is “Last of the true Texas dance halls and damn sure proud of it!”
9. Experience Shopping at North Loop Boulevard
If you’re tired from the crowds at the Dirty Sixth but still want to experience the local atmosphere at Austin. Take a stroll at North Loop. This place is dotted with shops that will surely catch your attention. Stores like the Vulcan Video. A VHS shop that sells foreign, classic or cult films. Room Service, a paradise for those who adore anything old-school or vintage, and so much more. Feeling thirsty? North Loop also has bars that make some of the best cocktails and craft beers in the world.
10. Mingle with Hipsters at SoCo District
SoCo District’s colorful streets are a must-visit for hipsters and eclectic alike. Its weird shops, galleries, food joints, boutiques, and more! You’ll never get boring strolling through this place. If you’re feeling hungry, make sure to try the food truck named, “Hey, You Gonna Eat or What?” You’re welcome.
11. Get in Line at Franklin’s Barbecue
Ask any local on where the best place to eat in Austin, and Franklin’s Barbecue will immediately come to mind. The line at this place start as early as 6 am every day. Be ready to face some serious waiting before you get to taste Austin’s best barbecue joint. They say you have to work hard for something really worth it. And in the case of Franklin’s smoked brisket, a whole lot of waiting is what you’re up against.
12. Experience the 1800s at Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
If you’re looking for a perfect day activity for you and your family, then include visiting Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms in your checklist. Five historical sites are dotted in this 90-acre estate, and kids will have the time of their lives experiencing some seasonal activities in the area such as doing some farm chores, taking care of the animals, and more!
13. Drink the Official Cocktail of Austin
Austin has its own official drink. It’s called The Paintbrush, which you can get at the Garage. The Garage is a warehouse-style and candle-lit bar located in an old parking lot. Why is it named The Paintbrush? Well, the ingredients of this drink consist of lots of vodka, grapefruit juice, rosemary syrup, bitters, and lime juice. Just like a paintbrush, you have to proceed slowly, otherwise it’ll get messy if you don’t.
14. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Big Top Candy Shop
This candy store is a must-visit for kids and adults alike. With its old-school theme, vintage decor, and heaps and heaps of candy! Adults will get especially nostalgic with the classic candy favorites. There is also so much more to discover with the mounds of candies and chocolates filling the store!
15. Experience the Museum of the Weird
Located at 412 E 6th St, Museum of the Weird is basically a big collection of everything odd, weird, or eclectic. If you have a fascination for such things, then you’ll definitely enjoy your visits. Some of the oddities include a stuffed Cyclops pig, shrunken heads, a mythical Fiji mermaid, and even Bigfoot!