I’ve had such a great time in Texas the past couple weeks. When I was thinking about the post I wanted to write for our time, I decided on one all about the fun things to do in Austin Texas, because this city is just freaken fun! Austin is by far one of the most fun cities I’ve ever been to… although the company I kept might have something to do with that. ;) I took a road trip to Austin with a few favorite old friends and had a girl’s trip weekend that was way beyond my expectations.
Just getting away and seeing a new city is always refreshing, I shared years ago that exploring a new place is one of the main ways I foster creativity. To say I’ve been inspired by Austin would be a huge understatement. In partnership with Homeaway who graciously provided our accommodations, I’ve come up with a list of my favorite 10 fun things to do in Austin Texas to share today.
Fun Things To Do In Austin Texas
1. Go Two-Stepping.
This was the #1 thing on my Texas plans list and it did not disappoint! We started out at the acclaimed Broken Spoke, which I didn’t love quite so much. Instead we headed to Dance Across Texas where I could have stayed all night long! They had a two step lesson around 9pm and then opened the floor. It was a fun mix of 2 step, line dancing and just random songs to dance to. It was a younger crowd and there was no shortage of cowboys to turn us around the floor. It was really one of the most fun nights we had.
2. Take the party home!
Normally when I travel I prefer hotels, but this trip being a girls weekend – we knew we wanted to spread out a little. To ensure we’d have time for all the fun things to do in Austin Texas, we stayed at a gorgeous house with Homeaway that had plenty of room for us to spread out. We cooked breakfast together, carried on our two step dance party until the wee morning in the living room and generally were able to have a lot of fun without being worried someone was trying to sleep on the other side of the wall. For family trips, and girls trips, and any trips that are a number of people I would definitely consider using Homeaway. The space was perfect for us and was listed more affordably then a small downtown hotel room would have been.
3. Find all the murals
Austin is obviously known for it’s murals and we had fun finding them and jumping in front of the murals around town. I followed this map to find the best ones to see. We had a blast taking silly photos all around town and new ones seem to pop up everyday.
4. Eat the Fried chicken, and the BBQ, and the ALL THE tacos!
Oh my gosh. You guys… the food is SO good! I’m from Reno, where we cannot get great fried chicken, or BBQ, or anything really southern and deep fried (Reno’s an oddly healthy foodie town). But Austin has it all! We ate at Lucy’s for the fried chicken which was obviously great, Stubbs for the BBQ, but the best of the best was the tacos from Torchies! I will dream about these tacos and might come back just to eat them. My favorite was Mr. Pink.
5. Hike to Hamilton Falls
One of my favorite fun things to do in Austin Texas was our awesome hike. On the last day we hiked out to Hamilton Falls, which honestly was more a stroll then a hike. It was a 45 min drive from the city and totally worth it. You need reservations to get in, so plan ahead! The falls weren’t as grand as I’ve seen in photos, but the water coming down wasn’t even the coolest part. You can walk through the backside in the cave area and it was breathtaking. Plus after all that fried chicken and late nights dancing, it was a gorgeous way to get out of the city and get needed fresh air.
6. LBJ Museum
Normally, I save museums for trips with the kids – but one friend really wanted to see this one so we all went and it was fascinating. I’m so glad we didn’t miss it. It’s on the UT campus, so it was a fun way to see that as well. My favorite was on the second floor where they had paintings on every president and all the first ladies. I don’t know much about the first ladies (not of my time), and it was really cool to see their different styles and read about their accomplishments. You might not know this, but I was actually a political science major in college. On the top floor there was a replica oval office, which was fun to see because if you remember, I wasn’t allowed into the real on on this trip to DC.
7. Enjoy the patios on Rainey Street
So I will say that since we were here during SWSX I don’t think we got the true Rainy street experience, but it was still fun. So many cute patios and sweet looking houses to pop in and grab a drink and bite to eat. My favorite stop was their sliders with goat cheese on thick Texas toast that shouldn’t be missed.
8. Walk and find new favorite shops
One great thing about our Homeaway experience was that we were still close enough to walk to everything downtown. We wandered from the house in and out of shops. My 2 favorites were Wildflower where I took about 100 inspirational photos for the house and Modcloth, which I didn’t even know had a physical store. So fun!
9. Canoe down the river
Lastly, we visited Zilker park which has a natural pool to swim in, botanical gardens that were pretty and a place to rent kayaks and paddle boards. Since I live so close to Lake Tahoe it can be hard to impress me with this type of activity – but for a girl’s weekend there are always more laughs to be had. In fact we probably could have kayaked down a drainage ditch and I would have had fun.
10. See live music
One of the things I adored about Austin was the music scene. Granted we were there during SWSX, but the locals tell me there is always live music to be found around town. Many of the spots we adored like Lucy’s and the patios on Rainey Street had stages set up for live music during the week so check out where the bands are before you go and plan accordingly.
*And lastly on my fun things to do in Austin Texas list is to attend SWSX… but at your own risk. ;) Even hearing all I had about this festival, I still didn’t totally understand how significantly it took over the entire city. It was a crazy week to be in town for sure, but also lots of fun!
PS. Girls night in ideas for a girls trip to anywhere!
This post is done in partnership with Homeaway. All photos taken by me.