The Perfect Weekend in Austin
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
“Keep Austin weird” has long been the city’s unofficial slogan, which means visitors can expect to find an abundance of fun and unique things to do in the Lone Star capital, even with just three days to spend. Experience Austin like a local: discover where to cool off, find best place to watch the sunset (and the bats), sample delicious craft brews, and listen to the best of the city’s live music scene.
1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, USA
Since everything seems bigger in Texas, it's no surprise that the Texas State Capitol holds the title for largest state capitol building in the union (360,000 square feet of floor space in the main building!). The building is also quite...
2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746, USA
Texas summers are hot! When the heat hits, the people of Austin flock to the Barton Springs Pool to cool off and chill out. The $8 summer entrance fee (for nonresidents) buys you a whole day of fun. Get your hand stamped for reentry if...
1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, USA
You’ll find landmarks and historical buildings in states around the country named after presidents, historic figures, and governors, but finding one named after a lieutenant governor is pretty rare. But Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock was a...
S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
If you haven't before seen 1.5 million bats flying out for their nightly feeding at once, now's your chance. The largest urban bat colony in North America, Austin's Congress Avenue Bridge is the home to hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tail...
3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
This Texas Dancehall will have you two stepping the night away, in the the spirit of the musical history that dates back to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. There's traditional country music played by true country musicians and autographed photos...
2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78712, USA
This impressive modernist building, designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft, houses the legacy of the 36th president of the United States of America. Central Texas native Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the most colorful and powerful men in the...
1501 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704, USA
Elizabeth street cafe is the charming outpost offering French breakfast bites & creative Vietnamese plates you didn't know you needed in your life. The menu consists of everything from ho and bun bo hue to sticky rice, banh mi, and chocolate...
1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Find smoked meat worth waiting for at this Austin trailer and picnic table setup. While standing in line, keep your fingers crossed that there will be brisket left when you reach the counter, as each party in front seems to...
1722 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
The McGuire Moorman Hospitality group has proven time and again that it knows how to develop a concept and deliver it in a stunning thematic package—from the coastal seafood vibes of Perla’s to the handsome brawn of Lamberts Downtown...
2404 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
The Vietnamese banh mi offers everything you’d ever want in a sandwich. It is an explosion of flavors and textures: tangy, crunchy, spicy, and savory. Chef Tebi Nguyen creates this culinary alchemy in an East Austin trailer: He...
108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
The tiny cocktail bar Small Victory opened in a sequestered nook of a parking garage (you read that correctly), replacing divey Mike’s Pub. Mike’s undoubtedly had its fans, but finding cocktails made with such care and so little...
7020 Easy Wind Dr, Austin, TX 78752, USA
Owned and managed by a cooperative made up of its workers and the community, Black Star Co-op supports fair wages, sources its ingredients from local farms, and elects its governing board democratically. Sound strident? It isn't: It manages...
1209 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Hillside Farmacy is a farm-to-table restaurant in Austin built around a pharmacy theme. While it may sound odd, the execution is brilliant, with incredible food and wonderfully eclectic design. The restaurant space was formerly the home of a...
603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703, USA
Leading the charge for independent bookstores since it opened in 1970, Book People is legendary for creativity and a strong calendar of events. The store holds frequent author signings—and we're talking big authors—and book...
1522 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
When you're hitting the food truck or restaurant scene on South Congress, be sure to head in to Allens (look for the big red boot) to be wowed by the craftsmanship and the selection. The minute you open the entrance door, the smell of leather hits...
600 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703, USA
In this modern age of Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora, record stores often seem sad and bitter places. Not so Waterloo, where music lovers—both staff and customers—celebrate the art. Bands playing Austin come in for in-store performances...
1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704, USA
This south Austin mural located on the corner of Annie and South 1st Street is a popular location for travel photos as well as engagement photos (or just cheesin' out in general). Why not take your photo in front of the mural the next time you...
604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
Austin’s very own grand dame, this landmark hotel opened in 1886 as the city’s first iconic hotel, both a testament to and display of the success of cattle baron Jesse Driskill, who wanted to build his beloved frontier town a palace to...
112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704, USA
A compound-like hideaway on a leafy street a block from trendy South Congress, Hotel Saint Cecilia is a retro-glam love letter to the 1960s and '70s rock music scene, named for the patron saint of music and poetry. But that doesn’t mean that...
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