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54 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Austin This Weekend

What to Do in Austin This Weekend

If you find yourself in the vibrant city of Austin this weekend, you’re in for a treat! With its eclectic arts scene, renowned live music venues, mouthwatering cuisine, and breathtaking outdoor spaces, Austin has something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, a music lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, here are some activities and places you should consider checking out during your time in Austin.

Indulge in Austin’s Food Scene

Austin is a food lover’s paradise, with a thriving culinary scene that offers a diverse range of cuisines to satisfy any craving. Start your day at one of Austin’s beloved brunch spots like Elizabeth Street Cafe, where you can enjoy mouthwatering pastries and Vietnamese-inspired dishes. For lunch, head to Franklin Barbecue for a taste of the city’s famous slow-smoked meats. Don’t miss the chance to try Tex-Mex cuisine at places like Matt’s El Rancho or indulge in authentic Mexican flavors at La Condesa for dinner. End your culinary adventure with a visit to Amy’s Ice Cream or Gordough’s Donuts for a sweet treat.

Explore the Outdoors

With its sunny weather and beautiful landscapes, Austin offers numerous outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Visit Zilker Park, a sprawling green space located in the heart of the city, where you can go for a hike, have a picnic, or rent a kayak to explore Lady Bird Lake. Take a dip in the Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed swimming pool that maintains a refreshing temperature year-round. If you’re up for a challenge, hike up to the summit of Mount Bonnell and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Colorado River.

Immerse Yourself in Live Music

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin boasts a vibrant music scene that attracts musicians from all genres. Catch a live performance at iconic venues like the Continental Club, where you can groove to the sounds of blues, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll. For a more intimate setting, head to the Cactus Cafe or the Elephant Room, both known for their cozy atmosphere and live acoustic performances. Don’t forget to explore the famous South Congress Avenue, where you can browse through record stores and catch street performers.

Visit Cultural Landmarks

Austin is a city rich in cultural heritage and has several landmarks worth exploring. Visit the State Capitol building, a stunning architectural masterpiece that offers free guided tours. Take a trip to the Blanton Museum of Art, located on the University of Texas campus, and discover an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. For history buffs, a visit to the Bullock Texas State History Museum is a must, where you can learn about the fascinating history of Texas through interactive exhibits.

Enjoy Shopping and Entertainment

If shopping is on your agenda, Austin won’t disappoint. Head to the trendy South Congress Avenue and explore its eclectic mix of boutiques, vintage shops, and local artisans. Visit the vibrant 2nd Street District, home to upscale retailers, galleries, and dining establishments. For a unique shopping experience, check out the popular Austin Flea Market, where you can find a variety of crafts, antiques, and local products. Wrap up your day by catching a movie at the iconic Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, known for its comfortable seating, craft beer selection, and delicious food.

Experience the Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Austin comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene. Start your evening with a cocktail at one of Austin’s rooftop bars, such as The Oasis on Lake Travis or the Azul Rooftop Lounge. If you’re looking for live entertainment, head to the famous Sixth Street, known for its lively bars and music venues. For a more laid-back atmosphere, explore the hip Rainey Street district, where you can find converted bungalows turned into unique bars and restaurants.

FAQ

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Austin?

A: The best time to visit Austin is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November), when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Avoid the scorching summer months if you’re not a fan of high temperatures.

Q: Are there any outdoor festivals in Austin this weekend?

A: Austin is known for its vibrant festival scene, but it’s important to check the local event calendars to see what’s happening during your specific weekend. Some popular festivals include South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Austin Food + Wine Festival.

Q: Can I rent bicycles or scooters to explore the city?

A: Yes, Austin has a variety of rental options for bicycles and electric scooters. Companies like B-Cycle, Lime, and Bird offer rentals throughout the city, making it convenient to explore Austin on two wheels.

Q: Are there any kid-friendly activities in Austin?

A: Absolutely! Austin has plenty of family-friendly attractions and activities. Visit the Austin Children’s Museum, explore the Austin Nature & Science Center, or enjoy a day of fun at the Zilker Park playground. You can also rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore Lady Bird Lake with the whole family.

Q: Are there any must-try dishes unique to Austin?

A: Yes, Austin is known for its unique culinary offerings. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous breakfast tacos, queso dip, or a decadent Texas-style barbecue. For dessert, indulge in a slice of pecan pie or try a delicious kolache, a Czech pastry popular in the area.

Q: What is the best way to navigate around Austin?

A: Austin has a comprehensive public transportation system with buses and trains operated by Capital Metro. It is also a bike-friendly city, and many areas have dedicated bike lanes. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available, and renting a car is also an option if you prefer more flexibility.