Can you keep a secret? Austin is full of secret spots, speakeasies, and hidden gems scattered across the city just waiting to be found. The coolest thing about Austin is that no matter how long you have lived here, there is always something new and exciting to explore!
Get ready because it’s time to spill the tea on the best kept secrets and hidden gems in Austin!
The Cathedral of Junk is truly a hidden gem in Austin as it is secretly located in the backyard of a South Austin home. You could easily drive by the house and never know the 60 tons of junk turned art that lies inside! This living sculpture is three-stories and made up of everything from bicycles, televisions, dolls, street signs, and pretty much anything else you could possibly imagine. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
This secret garden looks like it is straight out of a fairytale! Vines creep up the outside of this abandoned greenhouse as natural light pours in. Sekrit Theater is a beautiful space for photography and videography, in fact, it acts as the backdrop for artists, weddings, and engagements because of its enchanting facade.
Go on an adventure to find this secret beach in Austin! Located just off of Roy G. Guerrero Park, Secret Beach is a secluded stretch of land surrounded by shallow water. Wondering how to get there? Park at the Montopolis Youth Sport Complex and cross the road to follow the walking trail for about ten minutes. This is one of the few watering holes in Austin that doesn’t dry up when there is no rain, so be careful that the water can flow quickly and even dangerously at times.
Please note that you are prohibited to swim at Secret Beach, but it is a beautiful spot to hike to!
Located behind a one-way mirror inside the popular West 6th Street Bar, Green Light Social, lies a speakeasy that transports you to another world! You have to get lucky to get into Benny’s Room, but trust me when I say you are in for an experience and some of the best cocktails in Austin! The drinks are spectacularly crafted and the atmosphere feels like a modern twist on a prohibition-era speakeasy.
Try your luck at getting an invite in by grabbing one of the many quirky cocktails at the bar at Greenlight Social where a bartender slips you a pack of matches to act as your ticket in. No photos or phones are allowed to be seen inside which just adds to the allure of this secret spot.
One word: peacocks! Mayfield Park is full of peacocks roaming the two acres of serene cottage gardens where waterlilies delicately float in the surrounding water. Nature trails make this the perfect spot to go on a peaceful hike right outside of the city.
Entry is free, but pets are not allowed at Mayfield Park.
If you’re like me, you have probably passed the large sign for uncommon OBJECTS a million times as you drive on Highway 290. My curiosity finally led me inside recently where I discovered hundreds of antique objects as far as the eye could see. There are a few other thrift stores tucked away near uncommon OBJECTS, so it is easy to get lost in the multitude of intriguing knick-knacks you are bound to find.
This place lives up to the phrase “Keep Austin Weird”, so next time you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, stop by this hidden gem in South Austin.
Hippie Hollow Park is a well-known park in Austin that has earned a bit of an infamous reputation. Off the coast of Lake Travis near the Oasis, Hippie hollow is the only clothing-optional public park in Texas. Yep, you hear that right! If you’re feeling daring and want to cross this one off the ole’ bucket list, just be sure to wear your sunscreen.
Austin has some of the most unique and artistic homes which are celebrated each year during the Weird Homes Tour. Artist and owner of Casa Neverlandia, James Edward Talbot, created this architectural masterpiece as an ode to his personal journey taking inspiration from his past ventures. This hidden gem in Austin is full of childlike wonderment with its vibrantly juxtaposed colors and materials. One of the best parts is the treehouse tower that is accessed via a bridge that connects to the main home.
Jacob’s Well is a natural artesian spring nestled in the Texas Hill Country that boasts gorgeous caverns that plunge into the deep waters. As the second-largest full submerged cave in Texas, it is quite the sight to see whether you are swimming or hiking around Blue Hole Regional Park.
Reservations are required and this hidden gem in Austin is only open for swimming from May 1 thru September 30.
Located inside the Barton Creek Greenbelt, you’ll find the beautiful trails that lead to the even more beautiful waterfalls.
Sculpture Falls is a great swimming hole option where you want to just relax and get away from the city life. Even though it is considered a hidden gem, it can get crowded!