Austin Visitor Guide 2023: Everything you need to know
Texas' state capital, Austin, is one of the top cities to visit in the Lone Star State. With bohemian vibes, acres and acres of green space, and some of the top attractions in Texas, Austin is well worth a visit if you're road-tripping across Texas or planning a weekend away.
The area that's now metropolitan Austin has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was populated by the Tonkawa tribe. Modern-day Austin dates back to the 1830s, when it made the new capital of the Republic of Texas. Since then, Austin has grown to become the second most populated state capital in the U.S., after Phoenix, AZ.
Drop your bags at an Austin storage locker, and get ready to explore one of the most exciting state capitals in the U.S.!
7 Best Ways To Experience Austin, Texas, In 2023
Big cities like Austin in Texas are not easy places to find your way around alone. Even if you know where they are, there are so many different recreational activities to choose from, it can be really hard to decide exactly what to do. Take a look at the tours offered by the companies below and from the word go, you'll be going in the right direction for making your stay in Austin a resounding success
Best Brewery And Winery Tour – Texas Tipsy Tours
Brewing beer and making wine may appear similar; a barrel's a barrel after all. But they are made by different processes. Learn about both by taking a morning or afternoon out with Texas Tipsy Tours. You can have a private tour and keep the guide all to yourself or join up with a like-minded group of people who also enjoy some boozy sightseeing.
Plan your outing with Texas Tipsy Tours by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them on 1 512-593-1858.
Best Live Music Event – Strings In The Wood
When you combine music with nature you end up with something quite special. For an unusual experience sign on for a night of classical music played outdoors in one of Austin's parks that starts with a hike over the grass accompanied by a violinist. After the musical walk, there's an hour-long concert under the stars. All you need to take is a blanket to sit on and something to sip while listening.
Check out when the next Strings In The Woods event is by calling 1 512-379-5934 or emailing email@example.com for more details.
Best Running Tour – City Running Tours Austin
Can you exercise and sightsee at the same time? You can if you take a sightseeing running tour with City Running Tours Austin. You don't need to be a professional marathon runner to participate, but you will need to be relatively fit to be able to keep up as you jog around the designated route in a group run or have a tour tailored to suit your personal agility level.
Get ready for the off by calling City Running Tours Austin on 1 877-415-0058 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Segway Tour – Transport Yourself
Don a safety helmet and mount a Segway to see the sights of Austin on two wheels with Transport Yourself. Once you've mastered handling the Segway, glide around the city stopping off to see outstanding landmarks like the statue of Willie Nelson, countless murals, and if you're out after dark, the bats flying out from under Congress Avenue Bridge.
Book your Segway tour of Austin with Transport Yourself by emailing email@example.com or calling 1 512-298-9781.
Best E-Bike Tour – Bike Texas Tours
E-bikes take the strain out of pedaling so you can enjoy touring around Austin on two wheels without getting out of breath or suffering from leg ache. Get the best e-bike in Austin from Bike Texas Tours. Join up with a group or go solo on a private ride. They're both equally good ways to see the Austin sights, especially if you combine your cycling with a music and club crawl.
Prepare to zoom around Austin by calling Bike Texas Tours on 1 512-476-7433 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Cycle Tour – Mike's Bikes and Tours
If you're a fitness fanatic and want to make the most of your energy, go on a mountain bike ride around Austin with Mike's Bikes and Tours. Mike's bikes are pedal-powered so you'll need to do all the work as you go from place to place. There's plenty of stops where Mike will fill you in on the location with lots of interesting information about what you're looking at.
Get ready to pedal around Austin with Mike's Bikes and Tours by calling 1 512-919-6293 or emailing Mike on email@example.com.
Best Kayak Tour – Lone Star Kayak and Paddleboard Tours
Don't pedal, but paddle your way around Austin in a kayak or on a paddleboard. It's a novel way to see the city from on Lady Bird Lake as you float around the shoreline. Paddleboarding is also one of the more exciting ways of experiencing the flight of the bat colony that lives under Congress Avenue Bridge so long as the thousands of bats streaming across the water don't give you a fright and make you fall off.
If you're thinking of kayaking or paddleboarding in Austin contact Lone Star Kayak and Paddleboard Tours by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them on 1 512-766-5640.
A weekend in Austin
You can't go wrong with a weekend away in Bat City, whether you're looking to discover Texan history or discover the local countryside. If you're only in Austin for a couple of days, consider adding some of these attractions to your itinerary.
- Take a tour of the Texas State Capitol. This state capitol building is the largest of its kind in the U.S., and Austin offers a free 30-minute tour.
- Plan a sunset stroll along the Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge is famously home to the largest urban bat colony in the world. Visitors can watch the bats exiting their roost between 7:30 pm and 9:45 pm.
- Enjoy stunning vistas from Mount Bonnell. The highest point in Austin, Mount Bonnell stands at 775 feet and offers panoramas of Lake Austin and the Colorado River.
- Dine out at one of the best restaurants in the Texan capital. Some of Austin's best dining options include The Peached Tortilla, Franklin Barbecue, and Seoulju Korean Kitchen and Bar.
While Austin is fairly easy to traverse on foot, it does have one of the highest crime rates of large cities in the U.S. As a result, you may want to find somewhere to store your valuables before exploring the city. Bounce offers the best luggage storage services in Austin, with lockers distributed across the city. These secure facilities can be found at local businesses and can be booked via the Bounce app. Hop online today, and find a convenient Austin luggage locker that suits your needs.
Off the beaten path in Austin
Travelers familiar with Austin may be looking for some lesser-known activities to entertain themselves during their next visit. You'll find plenty of quiet parks and less popular attractions in and around Austin, where you can escape the hectic city streets and discover something new.
- Plan an outdoor adventure at McKinney Falls State Park. Composed of over 700 acres of verdant woodlands along Onion Creek, McKinney Falls State Park is ideal for a long hike or a relaxing picnic.
- Cool off on a scorching summer's day at Zilker Park. This vast green space contains the 3-acre Barton Springs Pool, a spring-fed swimming pool that stays a temperate 68 degrees year-round.
- Discover Austin's stranger side at the Museum of the Weird. A kooky little museum that's easy to miss, the Museum of the Weird contains many quirky exhibits, including freaks of nature, the Fiji mermaid, and shrunken heads.
What to do alone in Austin
Spending the weekend alone in Bat City? Planning the perfect solo itinerary isn't easy; however, there's plenty for individual explorers to do in Austin. Swing by a luggage locker in Austin, and then check out some of these exciting excursions.
- Learn about the Lone Star State's history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Visitors will get to learn about over 15,000 years of local history at this museum, with exhibitions on everything from space exploration to native Aranama pottery.
- Spend the day shopping along South Congress Avenue. Austin's SoCo neighborhood is home to many of the quirky and unusual boutiques that make Austin unique.
- Study the collection at the Blanton Museum of Art. The University of Texas' art museum is one of the largest of its kind and contains roughly 18,000 objects with works by Peter Paul Rubens, Raphael, and Alice Neel.
The best souvenirs in Austin
When you're nearing the end of your time in Austin, you might be looking to pick up a few mementos from your trip. If you're looking for something special to remember your vacation, pay a visit to Allen Boots or the Wild West Store and pick up a pair of traditional Texas cowboy boots or a stetson hat.
If cowboy attire isn't your style, there are dozens of other great nicknacks you pick up in the city. For a cheap and cheerful souvenir, pick up a "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirt along Sixth Street or some local produce from Callahan's traditional general store.