Austin has an unlimited amount of wonderful sights to see and enjoy from landscape to various local businesses around the city! From shopping along historic South Congress to hiking up to the tippy top of Mount Bonnell, Austin is home to wonderful scenery and a quirky sense of pride. Check out our ultimate Bucket List for Austin Newbies, whether you’re just visiting or calling it home.
Find out why Austin is known as “Bat City” when you go on a little tour beneath the Congress bridge. Bats are known to congregate and fly out into the sky in a spooky frenzy! Book a boat tour for this must-see Austin bucket list item.
South Congress Ave. stretches for miles and is known for a variety of local shops that make Austin famous for its quirkiness. Check out local boutique Aviator Nation street wear, the original Joe’s coffee, and Allen’s Boots to name a few!
📍South Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704
If you’re ever craving NY-style pizza in Austin, you have to visit Home Slice Pizza. Check this bucket list item off by visiting the original location right in the heart of South Congress.
WED & THURS, SUN | 11A-10PM
FRI & SAT | 11AM-11PM
While strolling along South Congress Ave. you have to visit the original Jo’s Coffee for some coffee or their famous frosé. On your way out, a true christening of Austin lifestyle wouldn’t be complete without a picture in front of the “I Love You So Much” mural!
For more Instagram-worthy Austin murals, check out our guide to the Top 20 Most Insta-Worthy Murals in Austin.
Scoot around downtown Austin with a little speed when you rent any one of the many bikes or scooters parked around the metro area. Whether you use Bird app, Lime, or Uber, you can find tons of transportation options!
If you haven’t dined at Kerbey Lane Café have you really been to Austin? Satisfy this bucket list mealtime at Kerbey Lane’s famous breakfast joint known for their famous queso and tons of comfort food classics. Try any one of their locations for a solid meal!
As one of the oldest operating businesses in the heart of South Congress, Güero’s Taco Bar is a must for your Austin bucket list. It has one of the best patios to enjoy dining outdoors. Plus, Güero’s offers delicious taco combo meals and lots of other yummy dishes!
SUN-THURS | 11AM-9PM
FRI-SAT | 11AM-10PM
Enjoy a true Texan summer when you paddleboard along Lady Bird Lake. If you should need a paddleboard, the rowing dock on the waterfront offers reasonable paddleboard rentals for hourly/daily use!
OPEN DAILY | 9AM – 8PM
For your summertime bucket list, check out Barton Springs natural pool right off of Zilker Park for an enjoyable afternoon of sunbathing and swimming. You can purchase a daily pass or a season pass. Check the website for more information!
SUN – WED & FRI – SAT | 5AM – 8AM Swim at your own risk | 8AM – 10PM Guarded Swim
THURS | 5AM – 9AM Swim at your own risk | 7PM – 10PM Guarded Swim
Probably the best and most well-known park in Austin, Zilker Park is centrally located and expansive. Zilker Park offers wide-open spaces for Frisbee, dog-friendly play, and outdoor sports. It’s also the location for the annual Austin City Limits Festival!
For some giant burritos and classic margaritas, you’ll want to check out Chuy’s! This Austin staple has multiple locations, but the original is situated right along Barton Springs Road in the heart of downtown Austin.
SUN-THURS | 11AM-9PM
FRI & SAT | 11AM-10PM
A MUST to check off your Bucket List for Austin Newbies. Take in the sight of the majestic state capitol when you visit the green grounds of the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin. You can also see beautiful views of the capitol building along South Congress.
Austin is known for its barbecue and there are tons of options. Though the best barbecue for your bucket list has to be La Barbecue or Micklethwait Craft Meats. Fresh, juicy, and hot daily barbecue options await you!
Take in the natural wonder of Austin by hiking the greenbelt. The most expansive and well-known hiking trail is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which is accessible through many points near downtown Austin. Barton Creek Greenbelt is a must for your nature bucket list!
📍Various Access Points
Check out this new man made piece of natural artwork when you visit Austin. Pease Park Treehouse artistically mimics a seed pod you might see on the forest floor. Feel like you’re part of nature when you bounce around in the 575 square foot space.
Every Day | 5AM-10PM
Take in the views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake from one of the highest points in Austin when you visit Mount Bonnell. This is a very short hike, but the views are gorgeous. The hike is free, and you can find plenty of parking nearby!
Matt’s El Rancho is an Austin staple. It seats 500 people and it’s always packed for dinner because it’s a must-visit in Austin. The strong margaritas are incredible, but you cannot leave Austin without trying the Bob Armstrong Dip. Many restaurants have tried to copy the recipe, but Matt’s is the original. No other dip compares!
MON-THURS | 11AM – 10PM
FRI-SAT | 11AM – 11PM
SUN | 11AM – 9PM
Austin, TX is hot in the summer so cool down at the Austin Motel Pool and lounge with a fruity cocktail in hand. . If you aren’t staying at the motel, you can reserve a Daily Pool Pass. Check their website for more information on themed pool parties in Austin!
DAILY | 7AM – 10PM
The Austin Public library should be on your bucket list because it has one of the best rooftops in Austin. On the top floor, there’s an amazing rooftop garden where you can bring a coffee and chat with your friends or read a book. The architecture is also really cool. You’ll be amazed by this free spot in Austin.
MON-THURS | 9 AM – 8 PM
FRI | 9 AM – 5 PM
SAT | 10 AM – 5PM
SUN | 12 PM – 5PM
To get a true taste of Austin, head to Broken Spoke for some two-steppin’! The Broken Spoke is legendary. Almost all of the celebrities you know have been to this amazing honky tonk bar, including the beloved Dolly Parton. They offer Two-Step lessons Wednesday to Saturday from 8:00 pm – 9:00pm.
TUES | 4PM-11PM
WED – THURS | 4PM-12AM
FRI – SAT | 4PM-1AM
Going to an Austin FC game should be on your Austin bucket list even if you’re not a soccer fan. Being in the stadium cheering on the team is one of the best Austin experiences. Check their website for information on the game schedule and more!
Photo by @thenuevalatina
Don’t forget to save or bookmark this guide, it’ll come in handy. It’s the BEST Bucket List for Austin Newbies. How many will you be checking off?
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