Things to do in Austin Texas

Marc's Big Fun List of Music, Food, Cafés, Clubs & Outdoor Activities

water scooters on the Colorado river in Austin

Austin Texas stands out as a America's new "it" city, bursting with activities that cater to all types of travelers and locals alike. Known for its eclectic live-music scene centered around country, blues, and rock, it's also a haven for foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, and culture seekers.

The city’s atmosphere is a blend of laid-back southern charm and the energetic buzz of a small yet influential metropolis. Whether you’re exploring the colorful street art, indulging in the world-famous barbecue, or kayaking on Lady Bird Lake, Austin promises a memorable experience with its unique character and warm hospitality.

Moreover, Austin is not just about music and food. The city also boasts a rich tapestry of history and innovation. From the historic Texas State Capitol and the educational exhibits at the Bullock Texas State History Museum to the cutting-edge tech startups that pepper the cityscape, there’s always something new to discover.

Events and conferences in Austin, such as SXSW and Austin City Limits, highlight the city's ability to blend creativity and community. So, whether you're looking to delve into the arts, enjoy nature, or immerse yourself in local culture, Austin offers an array of activities to enrich your visit.

coliving house in austin texas

Looking for a place to stay in Austin?

Music Scene in Austin

The music scene in Austin, Texas, pulsates with energy and diversity, earning the city its well-deserved title as the "Live Music Capital of the World." From the soulful strains of blues to the twangy melodies of country and the electrifying beats of rock, Austin offers a kaleidoscope of musical genres to suit every taste.

Broken Spoke

Step into the Broken Spoke, and you'll find yourself transported to a bygone era of Texas honky-tonk charm. Since 1964, this iconic venue has been synonymous with traditional country music and lively dancing, earning its status as a cultural landmark in Austin. From two-stepping across the wooden dance floor to savoring hearty Texan fare, patrons flock to the Broken Spoke for an authentic taste of Texas hospitality and live music that keeps the spirit of country alive.

White Horse

Nestled in Austin's hip East Side, the White Horse beckons with its unassuming facade and lively atmosphere. This honky-tonk gem offers a haven for country music enthusiasts and dance aficionados alike, boasting a diverse lineup of live performances and themed dance nights. Whether you're a seasoned two-stepper or a newcomer to the dance floor, the White Horse promises an unforgettable night of toe-tapping tunes and Southern hospitality.

Continental Club

Continental Club Austin Texas

The Continental Club stands as a bastion of Austin's musical heritage, tracing its roots back to 1957. Nestled in the historic South Congress Avenue, this legendary venue exudes an unmistakable charm, drawing music aficionados from near and far. With its intimate setting and eclectic lineup of performers, ranging from blues to rockabilly and everything in between, the Continental Club offers an unparalleled live music experience that resonates with the soul of Austin.


Located on the iconic South Congress Avenue, C-Boys embodies the laid-back spirit of Austin's music scene. With its retro-inspired decor and cozy ambiance, this beloved venue serves as a sanctuary for lovers of blues, rock, and soul. Whether you're unwinding with a cold drink at the bar or swaying to the rhythm on the dance floor, C-Boys provides an authentic live music experience that captures the essence of Austin's musical heritage.

Austin City Limits

The Austin City Limits Music Festival stands as a testament to the city's unrivaled passion for live music and communal celebration. Held annually in Zilker Park, this world-renowned festival showcases an eclectic lineup of artists spanning various genres, from indie rock and hip-hop to folk and electronica. With its sprawling grounds and multiple stages, Austin City Limits offers a sensory feast for music lovers, solidifying its status as a must-attend event on the global festival circuit.

University of Texas Student Union Open Mic

Within the campus of the University of Texas, the Student Union Open Mic serves as a breeding ground for emerging talent and creative expression. Every week, aspiring artists and seasoned performers alike take to the stage to share their music, poetry, and comedy with a supportive audience of fellow students. From raw, unfiltered performances to polished acts honed through hours of practice, the Open Mic embodies the inclusive spirit of Austin's music scene, where creativity knows no bounds.

Food in Austin

In Austin, the culinary landscape is a dynamic tapestry woven with diverse flavors, reflecting the city's eclectic culture and rich heritage. From sizzling food trucks tucked away in quirky neighborhoods to upscale eateries helmed by renowned chefs, Austin's dining scene offers a tantalizing array of options to satisfy every palate. Whether you're craving mouthwatering barbecue, zesty Tex-Mex, or innovative fusion cuisine, the city's gastronomic offerings promise a journey of culinary exploration and sensory delight.

Terry Black’s BBQ

Continental Club Austin Texas

Terry Black's BBQ, a venerable institution dating back to 1932, is a cornerstone of Lockhart's barbecue heritage. Revered for its slow-cooked meats, imbued with the smoky essence of post oak wood, Black's offers a taste of authentic Texas barbecue tradition. From succulent brisket to savory sausages, each dish showcases generations of expertise and a commitment to preserving the essence of Texas barbecue.

Franklin’s BBQ

Franklin Barbecue isn't just a restaurant—it's a mecca for barbecue enthusiasts worldwide. Situated in Austin's East Side, this revered establishment, led by pitmaster Aaron Franklin, has amassed a devoted following for its mouthwatering meats, perfectly smoked to tender perfection. From the signature brisket to the fall-off-the-bone ribs, every bite at Franklin's is a testament to the artistry and dedication that defines Texas barbecue.

Lockhart BBQ

Lockhart BBQ, located in the heart of Lockhart, Texas, upholds the town's reputation as the "Barbecue Capital of Texas." With its rustic charm and authentic flavors, Lockhart BBQ pays homage to the longstanding tradition of Central Texas barbecue. From the heavenly aroma of slow-smoked meats to the indulgent sides and sauces, dining at Lockhart BBQ is an experience steeped in history and culinary excellence.


Guerro's, a beloved Tex-Mex institution nestled in the heart of Austin's South Congress district, has been delighting locals and visitors alike since 1986. Boasting a lively atmosphere and vibrant decor, Guerro's offers an extensive menu of Tex-Mex classics with a contemporary twist. From sizzling fajitas to flavorful enchiladas, each dish at Guerro's is a celebration of bold flavors and culinary craftsmanship.

Buca di Beppo

Buca di Beppo, an Italian-American favorite, brings a taste of hearty, family-style dining to Austin. Located in a charming setting, this restaurant offers an eclectic menu featuring classic Italian dishes served in generous portions meant for sharing. From the mouthwatering pasta dishes to the cheesy pizzas and indulgent desserts, Buca di Beppo invites guests to gather around the table and savor the comforting flavors of Italy.


Bacalar, a hidden gem nestled in Austin's culinary scene, offers a sophisticated fusion of Mexican and Caribbean flavors. With its warm ambiance and artfully crafted dishes, Bacalar invites diners on a culinary journey inspired by the vibrant cultures of Mexico and the Caribbean. From the tantalizing ceviches to the rich mole sauces and fresh seafood, every dish at Bacalar is a testament to the restaurant's dedication to culinary excellence.

Chuy’s on Barton Springs

Chuy's on Barton Springs, a Tex-Mex institution with a festive flair, has been a favorite dining destination for locals and tourists alike since 1982. Boasting colorful decor and a lively atmosphere, Chuy's offers a menu bursting with Tex-Mex favorites, including sizzling fajitas, flavorful enchiladas, and refreshing margaritas. With its commitment to quality and tradition, Chuy's on Barton Springs continues to delight diners with its bold flavors and welcoming hospitality.

County Line

County Line, nestled along the picturesque shores of Lake Austin, offers a quintessential Texas barbecue experience with a scenic backdrop. Set in a rustic, lodge-like atmosphere, County Line serves up mouthwatering barbecue classics, from tender brisket to savory ribs, complemented by hearty sides and refreshing beverages. Whether dining indoors or al fresco overlooking the lake, a meal at County Line is a true Texas culinary adventure.<

Lucy’s Fried Chicken

Lucy's Fried Chicken, with its down-home charm and finger-licking fare, captures the essence of Southern comfort food in the heart of Austin. Specializing in crispy, golden fried chicken served with all the fixings, Lucy's pays homage to the timeless classics of Southern cuisine. From the indulgent chicken and waffles to the creamy macaroni and cheese, every dish at Lucy's is made with love and served with a side of Southern hospitality.


Loro's, a collaborative venture between two culinary powerhouses, blends the best of Texas barbecue and Asian flavors to create a unique dining experience in Austin. With its sleek, modern setting and innovative menu, Loro's offers a tantalizing array of smoked meats, inventive sides, and Asian-inspired dishes. From the melt-in-your-mouth brisket to the flavorful pork belly buns, dining at Loro's is a fusion of bold flavors and culinary creativity.

Outdoor Activities in Austin

In Austin, Texas, the outdoor scene is as dynamic as the city itself. With its sprawling parks, scenic trails, and picturesque waterways, Austin offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in nature and adventure. Whether you're kayaking along Lady Bird Lake, hiking the trails of Barton Creek Greenbelt, or cycling through the Hill Country, Austin's outdoor playground beckons with endless possibilities for exploration and recreation.

Barton Springs Swimming Pool

Barton Springs Pool Austin Texas

Nestled within the lush confines of Zilker Park, Barton Springs Swimming Pool offers a refreshing oasis for Austinites and visitors alike. Fed by natural springs with a constant temperature of around 68°F (20°C) year-round, this iconic pool provides a cool respite from the Texas heat. Surrounded by grassy hills and shaded groves, Barton Springs invites swimmers to bask in the tranquility of its crystal-clear waters, making it a beloved destination for relaxation and recreation.

Hippie Hollow

Hippie Hollow, situated along the scenic shores of Lake Travis, holds the distinction of being Texas' only clothing-optional public park. Tucked away amidst rugged cliffs and sprawling vistas, this serene enclave offers a liberating escape from the constraints of modern life. Whether sunbathing on the rocky shoreline or taking a refreshing dip in the clear waters of Lake Travis, visitors to Hippie Hollow can embrace a sense of freedom and connection with nature.

Austin Rowing Club

The Austin Rowing Club, nestled along the tranquil waters of Lady Bird Lake, provides a gateway to the timeless sport of rowing. With its state-of-the-art facilities and expert coaching staff, the club offers a welcoming environment for rowers of all skill levels to hone their technique and passion for the sport. Whether gliding along the glassy surface of the lake at sunrise or partaking in spirited regattas, members of the Austin Rowing Club share a deep camaraderie and appreciation for the beauty of rowing.

Bike Ride around Lake Austin

Embarking on a bike ride around Lake Austin offers a scenic journey through the heart of the Texas Hill Country. With its winding trails and picturesque vistas, the route beckons cyclists to explore the natural beauty and tranquility of the area. From shaded pathways beneath towering oak trees to expansive viewpoints overlooking the shimmering waters of the lake, every twist and turn of the journey reveals a new perspective on Austin's outdoor splendor.

Morning Run Jo’s Coffee

Combining two beloved Austin rituals, a morning run followed by a visit to Jo's Coffee epitomizes the city's active and laid-back lifestyle. Starting the day with a brisk jog along the scenic trails of Lady Bird Lake sets the tone for an energized and invigorating morning. After working up a sweat, runners can refuel with a cup of freshly brewed coffee from Jo's Coffee, a local favorite known for its laid-back ambiance and artisanal blends. Whether savoring a post-run espresso or indulging in a leisurely breakfast taco, a visit to Jo's Coffee adds a flavorful finishing touch to any morning routine.

Tubing San Marcos

Tubing down the tranquil waters of the San Marcos River offers a leisurely escape into nature's playground. Drifting along the gentle currents, tubers can soak up the sun and enjoy the scenic beauty of the river's lush surroundings. With its clear waters and shady stretches, the San Marcos River provides a refreshing retreat from the Texas heat, making tubing a beloved pastime for locals and visitors alike.

Boating on Lake Travis

Exploring the vast expanse of Lake Travis by boat offers a glimpse into the serene beauty and recreational opportunities of the Texas Hill Country. Whether sailing across the expansive waters, cruising along the rugged shoreline, or anchoring in secluded coves, boaters can immerse themselves in the tranquility and natural splendor of the lake. From adventurous water sports to leisurely sunset cruises, boating on Lake Travis offers endless possibilities for outdoor adventure and relaxation.

If you like this article, please share it...

Is there something we should add to the list? Send an email to

Marc Bolh

Founder Vidalingua, Supercollider
Co-Founder Applied AI

© Coliving Austin