Austin, Texas is one of the most fun and exciting places in the world! I’ve been to New York City, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., not to mention cities all over Europe, and Austin remains one of my favorite places to be. Since I attended high school and college in Texas, I’ve spent quite a lot of time there. Here are my top 10 activities to engage in while in Austin, Texas.
1) Greenbelt- This is my number one pick, because it’s free, beautiful, and loads of fun! The Greenbelt of Austin is the place to be during the summer. There are many different creeks that make up the Greenbelt and when the Texas weather begins to scorch, people head on down to these areas to float, swim, drink, socialize, and hike. Some people even have their own “secret” entrances, which they use to avoid crowds. However, crowds aren’t typically too much of a problem and people are so friendly in Austin, you’ll be happy whether you’re in a private area or a populated one. Sometimes you can find a little waterfall or a rope swing. It’s also a great chance to bring your dog outdoors.
2) Coffee Shop Art Exhibit- There are so many artists in Austin that many coffee shops actually hold exhibitions of their work. So find a coffee shop and explore some local art! One of my friends recently had his work on display at Flipnotics Coffee Shop. You can even ask about purchasing the work you see on display. I purchased a one-of-a-kind painting that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life from one of these exhibits.
3) Stubbs- Look up who’s playing this month at Stubb’s and nab some tickets. Stubb’s is relatively small music venue, but don’t let it’s size fool you- it’s a great place to watch a show. I’ve seen Ratatat, Matisyahu, and Parliament all at Stubb’s. While you’re there, stop by the restaurant section for dinner. They’re known far and wide for their barbeque.
4) Juan-in-a-Million- While we’re on the subject of food, why not try a delicious burrito from Juan-in-a-Million? This restaurant is one of Austin’s treasured gems. It has been featured on the Food Network and locals love it. Breakfast is best, because you’ll get to try the Don Juan burrito. Make sure you come hungry, one Don Juan burrito can be quite the challenge.
5) Reggae Fest- Previously known as Marley Fest, Reggae Fest is an incredible festival to attend in the heart of Austin, Texas. It takes place every April and features live music, vendors, entertainment, and load of people! The vibe is very laid-back and friendly, although be warned, there are LOTS of hippies. But if you’ve never been, round up some friends, head on down, and catch some sunshine!
6) Eat from a food trailer- Believe it or not, some of Austin’s best food comes from a trailer! On Congress there are lines of food trailers selling everything from sandwiches to cupcakes! And they’re not just on one street, as you drive around you’ll see them all over the city.
7) Get a tattoo on 6th Street- If you’re looking for something a bit more wild (and permanent), go to the tattoo shops on 6th Street. There are some amazing tattoo artists that work on this street and I’ve had many friends who got their work done here. So this might not be a spontaneous outing, but if you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo, you might want to see what 6th Street has to offer.
8) Riverboat down Lake Austin- This is a great way to enjoy the scenery of Austin. There’s food and drink on board, so it’s the perfect activity if you just want to relax and enjoy Austin from the river.
9) Roller Derby- Popularized by the hit film, Whip It, the roller derby of ATX is as unique and exciting as Austin itself. The season begins in February and tickets are $15 at the door. The tournament features teams such as the Hustlers, Hell Marys, Honky Tonk Heartbreakers, and Hotrod Honeys.
10) Thrifting- Shopping in Austin is awesome. There’s so much variety and you can find some real treasures whether shopping in a store or weekend booth. Thrifting in Austin offers something very special- one-of-a-kind finds straight from the heart of Texas. Uncommon Objects is a popular store for thrifting, but you don’t have to shop at stores. Weekend booths can be a very good place to find unusual items. My friend found a $30 130-year-old locket at a weekend booth!