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Perfect Weekend in Austin Itinerary

Austin is a city full of culture and history.

It’s no wonder it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas.

From its downtown district to its eclectic neighborhoods, Austin has something for everyone.

History buffs will love exploring the city’s rich past, while foodies can enjoy some of the best restaurants in the country.

Austin is one of the best cities to visit in Texas
Austin is one of the best cities to visit in Texas

Austin’s music scene is legendary – after all it is known as the live music capital of the world!

And if you’re looking for a little adventure, Austin has it too!

So if you’re looking for a fun and affordable vacation destination, be sure to add Austin to your list!

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Weekend in Austin Itinerary

Austin is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas.

There is so much to do and see in Austin, you could easily spend a week or more exploring everything the city has to offer. 

The Texas State Capitol Building in downtown Austin at Night
The Texas State Capitol Building in downtown Austin at Night

From world-class museums and stunning architecture to great restaurants and nightlife, Austin has a diverse range of attractions.

Start by checking out some of the top tourist attractions listed below, and then get creative and explore beyond the typical tourist traps!

Day 1 in Austin

Spend the day exploring the many iconic attractions in Austin, including the Texas state capitol building, the Sixth Street district, and the lakefront trail.

Texas State Capitol

Completed in 1888, the Texas Capitol building is an imposing structure that dominates downtown Austin.

It’s one of the most iconic buildings in all of Texas, and it’s also one of the most photographed!  

Visitors are welcome to tour the building and grounds.

Texas state capitol building in Austin is a must visit attraction
Texas state capitol building in Austin is a must visit attraction

South Congress District

Also known as SoCo, this district is full of restaurants, shops, and bars.

South Congress Avenue attractions include the eclectic shops on the eastern end of the district and The Continental Club on the western end.

Places to eat in SoCo include Guero’s Taco Bar, Maudie’s Tex-Mex, and Franklin BBQ.

South Congress Avenue is also a great place to spend the day people watching!

You’ll find lots of hipsters wearing funky sunglasses, vintage t-shirts, and equally quirky haircuts.  

This is one of the most fun places to visit on your Weekend in Austin Itinerary.

6th Street in Austin is famous for its live bands bars clubs and street food
6th Street in Austin is famous for its live bands bars clubs and street food

Evening Bat flight

Every evening, in a ritual known as “the bat flight,” Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge to begin their nightly hunt for insects.

Thousands of bats take to the sky just before sundown and then return about 45 minutes later when the last few stragglers finally join the crowd.

It’s quite a spectacle – be sure to add to your list while visiting Austin, Texas!

Congress Avenue Bridge bats in Austin at sunset
Congress Avenue Bridge bats in Austin at sunset

Lady Bird Lake Trail

This hike/walking trail is a great way to work off all the food and drinks you’ll be enjoying on your Weekend in Austin Itinerary.

Lady Bird Lake has been touted as one of the best urban hikes/walks in America, so it’s definitely worth checking out!

You can rent a kayak or enjoy stand-up paddle boarding or get a good workout on a bike at the many rental shops along the trail.

Austin skyline views from the Mopac Bridge are also amazing – especially at night!

Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake is one of the popular things to do in Austin
Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake is one of the popular things to do in Austin

Live Music and nightlife

Did you know that Austin is nicknamed the “Live Music Capital of the World”?

It’s true!

The city has a vibrant and ever-changing music scene that ranges from country to blues to punk.

There are legendary music venues like Stubbs and The Mohawk, as well as a ton of smaller venues that are great for catching up-and-coming bands.

If live music isn’t your thing, don’t worry – Austin has plenty of other nightlife options to keep you entertained!

Crowds attending music concert in Austin Texas
Crowds attending music concert in Austin Texas

Day 2 of Austin Itinerary

Spend your second day exploring the city’s many surrounding neighborhoods.

There are plenty of great attractions to discover both inside and just outside of Austin, including some amazing free tourist attractions!

Museums in Austin

Austin has an amazing variety of museums that cater to all interests.

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, and the Blanton Museum of Art are all great options if you’re looking for a cultural experience.

If you want something a bit more quirky, head over to the Texas Prison Museum or The Thinkery Children’s museum.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas
The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas

Blanton Museum of Art

Located on the University of Texas campus, the Blanton Museum of Art is one of the most renowned art museums in the US.

The space houses European masterworks as well as a large collection of Latin American pieces.

Texas Prison Museum

This museum provides an educational and entertaining look at life behind bars.

It has everything from actual prison cells to replicas of a gas chamber and electric chair!

The Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin Texas has stunning architecture
The Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin Texas has stunning architecture

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

Located about 10 minutes from downtown Austin, this is a great place to go if you’re looking for some gorgeous outdoor sculptures.

Entry to the park is free, but there’s a small fee for entrance to the museum itself.

Thinkery Children’s Museum

Located in downtown Austin, this museum is great for both kids and adults.  

It’s a hands-on way to learn about the sciences, complete with lots of interactive exhibits.

Bullock History Museum

If you’re a history buff, this is the museum for you!

The museum has several exhibits dedicated to Texas history.

It’s located on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol, so it’s also a great place to stop by before or after exploring downtown Austin.

Austin Texas skyline view from the trails at Zilker Park
Austin Texas skyline view from the trails at Zilker Park

LBJ Presidential Library

This attraction offers an interesting look at President Lyndon B. Johnson and his time in office.

You’ll find plenty of interactive exhibits and interesting historical documents.

We recommend picking one museum and checking it out while visiting Austin.

Zilker Park

Austin’s Zilker Park is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.

There are tons of great picnic spots, hiking trails, and fun activities for kids.

You can also take advantage of the free Zilker Botanical Garden!

Barton Creek Bridge spanning across Barton Creek in Austin
Barton Creek Bridge spanning across Barton Creek in Austin

Barton Springs Pool

Located in Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a natural pool fed by underground springs.

It’s a great way to cool off on hot days and get up close to some local wildlife.

Optional: East Austin

East Austin is home to Austin’s largest cultural district.

There are tons of great restaurants, bars, and other attractions in this area.

On Sunday afternoon you should check out the famous Tamale House East for some delicious local cuisine.

Optional: South Austin

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food, South Austin is the place to be!

There are lots of fantastic taco stands and taquerias in this part of town.

Stop by Tacos Guerrero on South First Street for some great al pastor tacos!

Wild flowers during spring at 360 Bridge or Pennybacker Bridge in Austin Texas
Wild flowers during spring at 360 Bridge or Pennybacker Bridge in Austin Texas

360 Bridge

Located at the famous 360 bridge, this lookout point offers stunning views of downtown Austin and the Colorado River.

If you want to take a few Instagram-worthy photos of the city, this is the place to do it!

The 360 bridge is one of many bridges in Austin that have great skyline views.

The Sixth Street District

This famous entertainment district is known for its unique mix of businesses, including restaurants, bars, and clubs, as well as shops.  

Explore the area on foot with a stroll down 6th Street or take a guided tour to find out more about Austin’s history and culture.

Long stairway up to Mount Bonnell in Austin Texas
Long stairway up to Mount Bonnell in Austin Texas

Rainey Street

Rainey Street is known for its beautiful homes and upscale bars.

The area is an eclectic mix of businesses from dive bars to rooftop bars with a view overlooking Austin.

Parking can be a bit difficult here but it’s definitely worth the effort!

Mount Bonnell

For incredible views of Austin, make your way to Mount Bonnell.  

There are steps as well as a hiking trail leading up the mount, which is of moderate difficulty level.

This is a great place to go if you’re looking for beautiful views of sunset or sunrise!

Birds eye view of Texas Hill Country downtown Austin and Colorado River from Mount Bonnell Overlook
Birds eye view of Texas Hill Country downtown Austin and Colorado River from Mount Bonnell Overlook

Day 3 in Austin

On your last day in town, take a tour to explore the city’s highlights!

Austin Duck Adventures is a great way to see all of Austin’s fascinating landmarks.

These amphibious land/sea vehicles transform from a duck tour boat into a truck and take you around the city at 100 miles per hour!

Another option is using E-bikes on an electric bike tour.

Pedal on down to the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, or discover local neighborhoods like Clarksville and South Congress by bike!

And if you want a kayak tour, head out with Lone Star Riverboat.

Here is a little information on all the tours.

Downtown Austin Skyline From Underneath Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge at Lady Bird Lake
Downtown Austin Skyline From Underneath Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge at Lady Bird Lake

Austin Duck Adventures

These tours take you around Austin in a unique way – on land and water!

The amphibious vehicles are designed to withstand even the worst Texas weather, so you can be sure that they will get you to all of the city’s best attractions.

Electric Bike Tours

If you get tired of walking around, use E-bikes to get around quickly!

Electric bike tours are the best way to cover a lot of ground, while also being environmentally friendly.

You’ll have fun exploring all that Austin has to offer without breaking too much of a sweat in the Texas heat!

Lone Star Riverboat

If you want a kayak tour, head out with Lone Star Riverboat.

These tours explore Lady Bird Lake and the surrounding area from a different perspective!

You can use single or double kayaks to enjoy views of the skyline, bridge, and more.

The Lonestar River Boat Cruise and people paddle boarding across Lady Bird Lake in Austin Texas
The Lonestar River Boat Cruise and people paddle boarding across Lady Bird Lake in Austin Texas

Street Art tour

You’ll find some great street art all over Austin.

Several street art tours take you to some of the best examples of graffiti, murals, and other kinds of artwork within Austin City Limits.

Optional Day 3 in Austin

On your last day of Austin weekend itinerary, explore the beautiful Texas Hill Country surrounding Austin!

Rent a car at the Austin Bergstrom international airport or anywhere in the city and explore a natural swimming hole or the gorgeous bluebonnet drives on your long weekend.

Hamilton Pool Swimming Hole

If you want to cool down in a natural swimming hole, Hamilton Pool is the ideal location.

This historic pool is shaped by an underground spring and surrounded by plenty of greenery making it a truly refreshing escape from city life!

We recommend adding it to your Weekend in Austin itinerary for outdoor lovers.

Hamilton Pool Swimming Hole in Dripping Springs near Austin is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Texas
Hamilton Pool Swimming Hole in Dripping Springs near Austin is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Texas

Bluebonnet Drives

In the spring, Texas Hill Country turns from green to blue as fields of bluebonnets bloom!

These beautiful flowers are native to Texas and available for everyone to enjoy.

Bluebonnet drives take you through small towns like Lampasas and Burnet, where you can snap a few pictures of the amazing scenery!

Cowboy boots in a field of Bluebonnets
Cowboy boots in a field of Bluebonnets

Be sure to add some time to see the bluebonnets on your Austin spring itinerary.

Also Read: 21 Best Road Trips from Austin, Texas

McKinney Falls State Park

If you’re interested in waterfalls, McKinney Falls State Park is where to go.

Hike through the park to find multiple waterfalls throughout the property amongst greenery and trees.

And of course, don’t forget your swimsuit!  The pools at McKinney Falls are another great way to stay cool on a hot Texas day.

Waterfall at McKinney Falls State Park Austin
Waterfall at McKinney Falls State Park Austin

Austin is a city full of surprises.

Nestled in the heart of Texas, Austin offers a unique cultural experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

From its famous music scene to its thriving arts community, there is something for everyone looking to visit Austin.

We hope you liked our Weekend in Austin Itinerary.