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Discover Austin: Things To Do In Austin On Weekends

Things to do in Austin on Weekends

Due to the wide range of activities available, the weekend in Austin is a great time for exploring and going on adventures. 

The lively energy of Austin makes sure that there is never a dull moment, whether you are interested in historic sites or want to try the city’s delicious food. 

On weekends, Austin transforms into a vibrant hub of activity. This pulsates with the rhythm of live music, the aroma of delicious cuisine, and the laughter of locals and visitors alike.

As the city comes alive, it even offers plenty of fun things to do. From exploring historic districts to trying local specialties, here are some of the top activities to consider.

1. Hang Out in South Austin

South Austin is a vibrant and eclectic part of the city known for its laid-back atmosphere, colorful murals, and diverse range of activities. It’s the perfect place to spend a weekend exploring and soaking up the local culture. 

Things to do in Austin

For some ideas, you can check some of the activities below:

  • Explore South Congress Avenue: Wander down South Congress Avenue, known as SoCo, and explore its unique shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the iconic “I Love You So Much” mural.
  • Catch Live Music: Experience Austin’s legendary live music scene at venues like the Continental Club or the Saxon Pub, where you can listen to talented local musicians and bands.

2. Visit the Rainey St Historic District

The Rainey Street Historic District is a charming and vibrant neighborhood nestled in downtown Austin. Walking down Rainey Street feels like stepping back in time while also experiencing the city’s modern energy. 

It’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering activities like:

  • Bar Hopping: Rainey Street is renowned for its lively bar scene, with each establishment offering its unique vibe and selection of drinks. From craft cocktails to local brews, there’s something for every taste.
  • Try Food Trucks: In addition to bars and restaurants, Rainey Street is also home to several food trucks serving up a variety of delicious eats. From tacos and barbecues to gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, the food trucks offer a convenient and tasty option for a quick bite.
  • Explore Historic Homes: Take a stroll through the neighborhood and admire the well-preserved historic homes that line the streets of Rainey Street. These charming bungalows add to the district’s unique character and provide a glimpse into Austin’s past.

3. Play Indoor Pickleball

This fast-paced sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, and is suitable for all ages and skill levels. Several indoor pickleball facilities in Austin offer open play sessions and lessons. 

Indoor pickleball things to do in Austin

Grab a paddle, find a partner, and get ready to sweat. The game is played on a small court with a low net, making it easy to get started. It’s a great way to get some exercise while having fun with friends or meeting new people.

If you’re new to the sport, consider taking a beginner’s lesson. Many facilities offer group or private lessons to help you learn the basics. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can join a league or participate in tournaments to take your skills to the next level.

Want to get started with indoor Pickleball? Explore our memberships here.

4. Try the Local Specialties

No visit to Austin would be complete without trying some of the city’s famous local specialties.

Things to do in Austin Tex Mex

Austin is known for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, influenced by a blend of Texan, Mexican, and Southern flavors. Some of the local specialties you must try here are:

  • Barbecue: Austin is famous for its mouthwatering barbecue, with tender brisket, smoked ribs, and flavorful sausage being the stars of the show. Head to legendary spots like Franklin Barbecue or La Barbecue for a true taste of Texas barbecue.
  • Tex-Mex: Indulge in hearty Tex-Mex dishes like breakfast tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas, which are a staple of Austin’s dining scene. Don’t miss out on trying migas, a popular Tex-Mex breakfast dish made with scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, cheese, and salsa.
  • Craft Beer: Austin boasts a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous breweries and brewpubs serving up a diverse selection of locally brewed beers. Take a brewery tour or visit a beer garden to sample some of Austin’s best brews and experience the city’s beer culture firsthand.
  • Sweet Treats: From artisanal ice cream and gourmet doughnuts to decadent pastries and homemade pies, there’s no shortage of delicious desserts to satisfy your cravings.

5. See the State Capitol Building

As the largest state capitol building in the United States, it’s an impressive architectural marvel that reflects Texas’s rich history and political significance. The building features stunning Renaissance Revival-style architecture, with a grand dome, intricate details, and beautiful grounds. 

Things to do in Austin State Capitol Building

Visiting the State Capitol Building is simple, and here’s how: 

  1. Check the State Capitol Building’s operating hours and plan your visit accordingly. The building is open to the public Monday through Friday, with guided tours available throughout the day.
  2. Beat the crowds by arriving early in the morning, especially on weekends when the building tends to be busier. This will give you ample time to explore the Capitol Building and its surroundings at your own pace.
  3. Consider taking a guided tour of the State Capitol Building to learn more about its history, architecture, and significance. 
  4. Take some time to explore the beautiful grounds surrounding the Capitol Building, which feature lush gardens, statues, and monuments honoring Texas’s heritage and leaders.
  5. Stop by the Capitol Visitor Center to pick up maps, brochures, and other helpful information about the building and its attractions. 

6. Explore Zilker Park

This 350-acre park is located in the heart of Austin and offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.

Start your visit by taking a stroll around the park’s many trails and pathways. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the lake up close.

Zilker Park Austin

Aside from that, if you’re visiting with children, be sure to check out the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Nature and Science Center. These attractions offer interactive exhibits and educational programs that are fun for the whole family.

7. See the Bats

Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, and seeing the bats is a must-do experience. Every evening, from March to November, thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge and take flight.

Bats in Austin, things to do in Austin
Source: austin.culturemap.com

With that, head to the bridge at sunset to secure a good viewing spot. As the sun begins to set, you’ll see the bats start to emerge in search of food. Gazing up at thousands of bats flying around is truly mesmerizing.

If you’re interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures, consider taking a bat-watching boat tour on Lady Bird Lake. These tours offer a unique perspective and allow you to see the bats up close.

8. Learn Texas History at the Bullock Texas State History Museum

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a captivating destination where visitors can delve into the rich and diverse history of Texas. Located in downtown Austin,

Bullock Texas State History Museum

This museum offers an immersive experience that brings the state’s past to life through activities like:

Explore Exhibits

Wander through the museum’s diverse exhibits, which cover a wide range of topics including Native American history, early colonization, the Texas Revolution, and the Civil Rights Movement. 

Interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and hands-on activities make learning about Texas history engaging and accessible for visitors of all ages.

Visit the IMAX Theatre

Enhance your museum experience by catching a film at the Bullock Museum’s IMAX Theatre. This showcases a variety of educational and entertaining films on topics related to Texas history, science, and nature. Sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the larger-than-life world of IMAX cinema.

Shop at the Museum Store

Browse the museum’s gift shop for souvenirs, books, and Texas-themed merchandise inspired by the museum’s exhibits and collections. It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts and mementos to remember your visit to the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

How to Get Around Austin

Getting around Austin is fairly simple and offers various options to suit different preferences and needs, such as:

Walking

Many areas, especially downtown, are pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks and crosswalks, making it safe and easy to get around on foot. Walking allows you to take your time and soak in the city’s sights, sounds, and culture at your own pace. Plus, it’s a great way to stay active and healthy while you explore.

Ride Shares

Ride shares like Uber and Lyft provide convenient and flexible transportation options for getting around Austin. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can request a ride and have a driver pick you up from your current location and take you to your destination.

Ride shares are available 24/7, making them ideal for late-night outings or early-morning commutes.

Public Transit

Public transit in Austin is provided by Capital Metro, offering bus and commuter rail services to help residents and visitors get around the city. Using public transit is a convenient and affordable way to travel, with routes covering many neighborhoods and popular destinations throughout Austin. 

Scooters and Bikes

Scooters and bikes are popular modes of transportation in Austin, offering a fun and eco-friendly way to get around the city. 

To rent a scooter or bike, start by downloading the corresponding app onto your smartphone and creating an account. The app will show you nearby rental locations and available vehicles, along with pricing and rental terms. 

Once you’ve found a scooter or bike, simply unlock it using the app and start your ride.

Renting a Car

Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring Austin and its surrounding areas, giving you the freedom and flexibility to travel at your own pace and on your schedule. 

To rent a car in Austin, start by researching rental companies and comparing prices, vehicle options, and rental terms. Many rental companies have locations at the airport and throughout the city, making it easy to pick up and drop off your vehicle. 

You can book your rental car online or by phone in advance to ensure availability and secure the best rate.

Enjoy the Vibrant Cityscape in Austin

From exploring historic districts to trying local specialties, there are plenty of things to do in Austin during the weekend. Next time you find yourself with a free weekend, head to Austin and experience everything this vibrant city has to offer. 

Explore our memberships if you want to play pickleball whenever you want. By taking part in yearly competitions, you can even form relationships with other players.

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