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Great Things to Do in Austin

Local Tours

Austinites love their city so much that they take tours of their own city regularly. Here are a few fun ways to get to know your new city better.

1. Haunted ATX- Sit back and relax if you dare on this mobile haunted adventure in a 1992 Cadillac Hearse converted into a luxurious limosine visiting 12 different landmarks that have experienced paranormal activity.

2. Austin Steam Train Association-Take a step back in time as you step on board this vintage passenger train for a relaxing journey. Enjoy the 66 mile round trip on the popular Hill Country Flyer, which includes a 2 and a half hour layover in Burnet for lunch and the ever-entertaining Burnet Gunfighters Association wild west shootout! There are shorter rides as well as the North Pole Flyer that pulls into town in Late November and features Santa and Mrs. Claus giving gift to each child.

3. Austin Duck Tours-Amphibious tour of downtown Austin on beautiful Lake Austin. This Austin tour consists of 75 minutes of sightseeing that includes Historic Sixth Street, the State Capitol Building, Bob Bullock State History Museum , the Governor’s Mansion and Lake Austin.

4. Austin Brew Bus-Whether you are a tourist visiting Austin for the first time or a local Austinite looking for something to do, you should check out the Austin Brew Bus. This unique beer experience has you visiting multiple breweries and brew pubs while learning about the local beer scene and the craft beer industry. On these tours, you will get behind the scenes look at the beer making process and will have an opportunity to sample many great beers. You’ll even have opportunity to try some of great local food.

Music - Theater

Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World-boasting two of the largest music festivals in the world with South by Southwest and ACL. Most of the music venues and festivals are kid friendly so everyone is encouraged to hear great music and shows.

1. ACL Live at Moody Theater(ACL Live) is a state-of-the-art, 2,750-person capacity live music venue that hosts approximately 100 concerts a year. It serves as the new home for the taping of the acclaimed KLRU-TV produced PBS series, Austin City Limits, the longest running music series in American television history. ACL Live is nestled next to the W Austin Hotel & Residences, which are both located within Block 21, the first mixed-occupancy building of its type in the world to be LEED certified. LEED is a mark of excellence developed by the U.S. Green Building Council acknowledging measurable performance attributes that benefit human and environmental health. ACL Live is the premier destination in Austin for live performances.

2. Paramount Theater-This nearly century-old theater is the oldest surviving theater in Austin and has quite a history. It was once the location of Sam Houston's office in addition to the War Department of the Republic of Texas. This official city, state, and national landmark was also home to Vaudeville and variety theater, but now it features everything from children's shows to comedy performances to film screenings. Major international acts grace the stage and the old-timey feel is hard to beat.

3. One World Theater is one of the best live music and wedding venues in Austin.  A civilized, intimate venue for patrons of a certain age and taste level. Lovely lobby/reception area. Striking Hill Country views. Easy access and parking. The theatre is small enough that every seat is a good one. The acoustics are a delight. Performers love it. Find a performance. Go.

4. Esther's Follies- Even if you aren't in the mood for live music, head down to 6th Street to get your laugh on here. This comedy club has been a downtown staple since 1977, and for good reason. The ever-changing shows are full of musical-comedy theatre, with parodies, satire, magic tricks, improv comedy, and a large window to Sixth Street, where unique passersby (or drunken denizens) provide additional humor for the audience. Shannon Sedwick, or "the mama of the follies," is known for her hilarious Patsy Cline routine.

5. Alamo Drafthouse is dinner, drinks, movies and events, all under one roof. Their film presentation and programming has made them a second home to movie fans all over the planet and earned accolades from the likes of Entertainment Weekly (#1 theater in America), (Coolest Movie Theater in the World) and (One of the Best Theaters in the Country). Check out their calendar for theaters near you and choose your show and go see why Austinites love these shows.

6. The Backyard, an Austin tradition now, opened its doors in 1993 with legendary alumni as  Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Paul Simon, The Allman Brothers, and Willie Nelson.  The Backyard  is an open-air venue located in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country, this one of a kind venue creates a natural, comfortable, and unique environment for artists and fans .  The music is as varied as the people of Austin which invites all to participate...

Cooling Off

1.  Barton Springs- Nestled within Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a favorite locale among visitors and residents alike. Native American settlers once believed the springs possessed spiritual healing powers, and professional travel writers still refer to Barton Springs as the soul of Austin. Formed by several million gallons of water from Edwards Aquifer that is held at a cooling (but not too cold) 68 degrees, Barton Springs offers a welcome respite from Texas' sweltering summer temperatures. Surrounding the pool are areas perfect for soaking up the sun or enjoying a picnic.

2. Deep Eddy Pool is a historic man-made swimming pool in Austin.   It is the oldest pool in Texas and features a bathhouse built during the Depression era by the Works Progress Administration. The broad shallow end, cool water, and massive cottonwood trees make this place a family favorite.

3. Hamilton Pool & Grotto is one of the best swimming holes and picnic spots in Texas.  The preserve’s pool and grotto were formed when the dome of the underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago.  There is a 45 foot waterfall creating a great swimming hole with nature trails running along the creek.

4. Krause Springs- A  well-known camping & swimming site located in Spicewood, Texas on a 115 acre property and is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites and has been privately owned by the Krause Family for over 50 years.  The property has  32 springs and several feed the manmade pool and the natural pool which flows into Lake Travis.

5. Hippie Hollow- Situated on 109 acres, this is one of the few public swimming spots in Texas where clothing is optional. It’s located on Lake Travis and no one under 18 is admitted.

For the Kids

1. Zilker Park

2. The Thinkery  is an evolution of Austin Children’s Museum. It’s Austin’s sparkling new home for “why” and “how.”  A place where science and families play sideb y side.  Where people connect with ideas by doing, making, and experiencing.   It’s a foundry for a new generation of innovators and creative problem solvers.

3. Austin Aquarium welcomes everyone to enjoy the unique interactive experiences found within, and is especially excited to introduce children and families to the world beneath the ocean’s surface.  Guests are encouraged to hand feed sharks, rays, birds, and fish, or to get up close and personal with many of the reptiles and other animals on exhibit.  Above all, the Austin Aquarium promotes education through an interactive experience in a comfortable environment.  Kids and adults alike are sure to be amazed at the soft skin of sharks and rays among other experiences.

4. Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit developed is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education.  There are over 300 animals from over 100 different species at the Zoo which were viewed by over 199,000 visitors last year.  Over 32,000 visitors were students and teachers visiting on field trips.  Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is a pleasant Hill Country zoo where the people of Austin can come to learn about the animals close-up, spend some time outdoors getting exercise, and have fun.

5. Dinosaur Park is an educational and fun place, where people can learn about the majestic creatures that ruled our earth millions of years ago. Unlike most museums, Dinosaur Park doesn’t just show skeletons, but actual life sized dinosaur replicas, ranging in size from the 6-foot velociraptor to the 40-foot T-Rex, all in their natural habitat. Other activities include a fossil-dig, playground, picnic area, and a wonderful Dinosaur Store stocked with a variety of gifts sure to please any dinosaur fan!

6. Main Event Entertainment is the ultimate FUN destination for people of all ages. The rapidly expanding Dallas-based company operates high-volume family entertainment centers throughout the US ranging in size from 45,000 to 75,000 square feet. A subsidiary of Ardent Leisure Group of Australia, Main Event offers a unique “Eat.Bowl.Play.” experience featuring state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, thrilling high ropes adventure courses, captivating game rooms, stylish billiards, energetic bars and high-quality restaurants. Consistently voted as “Best Place to Bowl” and “Best Party Place” in the markets where it operates, Main Event has been described by industry analysts as “unrivaled in quality”.

Outdoor Fun - Fitness

See why Austin has been named Best City for Outdoors and one of top 10 the fittest large cities when you check out these local Austin favorites:

1. SUP ATX Stand Up Paddleboarding is credited with introducing and popularizing the sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP). Convinced the interest and demand for stand up paddling is far greater in inland United States than in the coastal areas, Founder Nick Matzorkis launched SUP ATX to design, develop and manufacture stand up paddle boards designed for ocean, lake AND river usage. The result is the SUP ATX line of stand up paddle boards that have since defined and revolutionized the stand up paddle board industry worldwide, moving the sport from the shores to lakes, rivers and surfing areas everywhere.

2. Roy and Ann Butler and Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail

3. Shoal Creek Greenbelt- Anchoring the west side of downtown, Shoal Creek is a 3.25 mile multi-use path and greenbelt that runs north from Ladybird Lake to 38th Street. It includes Duncan Park, Austin Recreation Center, and Pease Park. The City of Austin is working with developers to close the small but critical gap along Shoal Creek downtown. The greenbelt is an important recreational and transportation connection to downtown from neighborhoods north. To learn more about Shoal Creek, click here.

4. Austin Rowing Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of rowing in Austin and is a partner of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. ARC offers a variety of low-cost and no-cost rowing programs for junior and adult rowers. Each year, ARC hosts three nationally recognized rowing events at Lady Bird Lake, and sends rowers to competitions all over the world. Rowing is a low-impact, total-body sport which involves elements of strength and cardiovascular fitness. Whether you are an experienced rower, or brand new to the sport, ARC is fun for everyone.

5. Ballet Austin

6.  Enchanted Rock State Park has been named as one of the 7 best hikes in the U.S., this park offers hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and stargazing. The massive pink granite dome rising above Central Texas has drawn people for thousands of years. But there’s more at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area than just the dome. The scenery, rock formations and legends are magical, too!

7. Congress Avenue Kayaks is a downtown Austin Boathouse with Kayaks and Standup Paddle Boards for rent by the hour, open everyday in the fabulous Waller Creek Boathouse.

The information being provided is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) from September 15th, 2019 at 12:15am CDT. Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. The Austin Board of REALTORS®, ACTRIS and their affiliates provide the MLS and all content therein "AS IS" and without any warranty, express or implied. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.