Austin, Texas isn’t a place where you’ll hear someone say, “I’m SO BORED.” Nuh-uh. Whether rain or shine, winter or summer, splurge-worthy or free, there’s always something fun to do, and this is my ultimate Austin bucket list of all the good stuff. And since Austin is one of America’s fastest-growing cities, this list will just keep expanding!
I’ve made this ULTIMATE bucket list for you to share with your friends and family! Yee-haw! I love me some Austin, TX!
The Ultimate Austin Texas Bucket List
- Start your day with a big, warm, gooey cinnamon roll. I tried nearly all the cinnamon rolls in Austin and wrote this helpful guide to the best cinnamon rolls in Austin.
- Brunch in style at Elizabeth Street Cafe, Jacoby’s, or one of these 24 tried-and-true Austin brunch restaurants.
- Figure out how long it takes to stand in line at Franklin BBQ. (I mean…would this really be the ultimate Austin bucket list if you didn’t visit Franklin BBQ??)
- Check out the only breakfast taco guide to Austin you’ll ever need, and start crossing those babies off your list.
- Tackle this massive list of the best queso in Austin. How many have you tried?
- Order those kimchi fries at Chi’Lantro. I love ’em so much that I had them served them at our wedding!
- Lick an ice cream cone at Amy’s Ice Cream. Mexican Vanilla is their most popular flavor – it tastes like cake batter. Looking for vegan ice cream options? Check out this list!
- Austin has SO many great food trucks, so be sure to try at least one of these 16 food trucks that you HAVE to try in Austin Texas.
- See if you can stay awake after indulging in Moonshine Grill’s all-you-can-eat buffet brunch. Good luck! #foodcoma
- If it’s summer, enjoy a creamy shaved ice at Sno-Beach, Austin’s most iconic (and best) shaved ice truck. (They’re closed in the winter months.)
- Treat yourself to a fancy dinner out. Here are the top 20 restaurants you need to try when you visit Austin. They’re all worth the splurge.
- From Detroit-style deep dish to big thin slices of NYC-style, you’ve got to dive deep into the crazy good pizza scene in Austin. Here’s a quick guide to the best pizza in Austin
- Start your day at one of these 24 awesome Austin coffee shops.
- Grab a flight at Hops & Grain, Lazarus, Zilker Brewing….and all the other east 6th breweries.
- Head to one of these 22 must-visit Austin craft breweries.
- Drive out to Jester King for their famous farmhouse ale (pair it with their pizza, which is made using 100% Texas grains.)
- Go to one of the 8 best cocktail bars in Austin Texas. Psst: you can get one of the best martinis known to humankind at a speakeasy-type bar called Small Victory.
- Drink ALL the Texas craft beer at Craft Pride, a bar on Rainey Street that sports over 50 taps of craft beer made in Texas. This is such a great bar and has to be on your Austin bucket list!
- Sneak into Midnight Cowboy, Austin’s most-secretive speakeasy on dirty 6th. Just kidding, don’t sneak in….you’ve seriously got to make a reservation to get in there.
- Perch at the bar at the Driskill, Austin’s most iconic downtown hotel built in 1886.
- Take on the Manmosa at Banger’s Sausage House while you wait for brunch to arrive. It’s a full liter of champagne with a splash of OJ. And then continue to bop around on Rainey Street – here’s a quick guide to all the places you should hit up.
- Get your bartender to make you a custom cocktail at Half-Step. They can come up with pretty much anything on the spot!
- Try an avocado margarita at Curra’s – they claim to be the original avocado margarita in Austin.
- Recover from all your drinking with a recovery punch at JuiceLand, or one of these 7 fantastic juice bars in Austin.
ALSO SEE: 11 gorgeous wine bars in Austin
- Take pictures by the famous murals on South Congress Ave, like the iconic “I love you so much” mural. Here’s a list of the murals + where you eat lunch by them.
- See the largest urban bat colony in North America emerge from the congress bridge at dusk. Here’s all the info you need to see the bats.
- Take a free tour of the Texas State Capitol building, one of the nations most distinguished state capitols.
- And after that, walk over to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum to get your Texas state history on.
- Make your way through this list of the 20 most Instagrammable spots in Austin Texas.
- Wander through the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. They even have yoga in the garden every Wednesday and Friday morning!
- Visit the Thinkery, Austin’s children’s museum. (But it’s fun for adults, too!)
- Go to the LBJ library and learn something new about the 36th president of the United States.
- Wander up and down the iconic shops on South Congress. Here’s your complete guide to South Congress Ave.
- Visit the Blanton Museum of Art.
- Check out all the cool artifacts at the Harry Ransom Center.
ALSO SEE: The top 10 things to do in Austin Texas
- Skinny dip at Hippie Hollow, Austin “bathing-suits-optional” swimming hole…
- Jump into Barton Springs with 4,000 of your closest friends. It’s spring-fed and 68 degrees year round, which feels awesome in the summer!
- Rent a boat with Float On, Austin’s top-rated boat rental! You can get a pontoon boat for a big group, or rent a ski boat if you’d like to zip around with water skis or a tube. Days on the lake + boat rentals = good times, my friends! Here’s a recap of my day on the lake.
- Go for a hike in the greenbelt.
- Grab a cup of coffee and go for a walk on the Hike & Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake.
- Wade into the beach entrance at Deep Eddy Pool. Just like Barton Springs, it’s 68 degrees year round, but this one is typically a bit less crowded.
- Drive out to Hamilton Pool…but make a reservation first!
- Zip-line over Lake Travis….wheee!!!
- Take a guaranteed great picture at the top of Mount Bonnell. (Don’t worry, this is Austin; it’s not a real mountain.)
- Spend an hour wandering around Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.
- Work your muscles at Austin Bouldering Project – perfect for a rainy day!
- Rent a kayak or a SUP and get out on Lady Bird Lake. Super fun if you can time it at dusk to see the Congress Bats!
- Listen to jazz music at the underground Elephant Room.
- Rock out at a show at the Continental Club, one of the oldest clubs in south Austin (since 1955). This is a MUST for your Austin bucket list!
- BBQ + bands (they book some pretty big names) at Stubb’s.
- Come in March for SXSW for aaaaaaaall the music everywhere!
- Come in October for Austin City Limits Festival for aaaaaall the music at Zilker Park.
- See a show at ACL Live at the Moody Theater!
- Listen to Blues at Antone’s.
- Jam out to some music under the stars at the historic Scoot Inn.
- Grab your boots and two-step the night away at the legendary Broken Spoke! (Tip: not sure how to two-step? Get there a few hours early for group lessons.)
ALSO SEE: Best Of Austin City Limits Eats
- Peruse the shops on South Congress. Lucy In Disguise is a must!
- Wander the up-and-coming 2nd Street District in downtown Austin.
- Sample and buy cheese at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. You can even book a cheese tasting class in advance!
- Try on some cowboy boots at Allen’s Boots.
- Find a unique, locally-made item at The Burlap Bag.
- Head up north to The Domain, Austin’s ultimate luxury shopping experience with every store and restaurant you could want!
- Browse one of the many vintage clothing stores in South Austin. Here’s a list of them.
- Spend an afternoon wandering up and down South Congress. There are tons of unique ones that are doing their part to “keep Austin weird.”
Want a free 3-day guide to Austin? Click here for an immediate download!
Want more? Head to my Austin Index to search for activities, food, and drinks all over Austin!
Other articles that might help you plan your trip to Austin:
And don’t forget to check out my guide to some of the best date ideas in San Antonio, too!