Mar 19, 2022 - Things to Do

Newcomers guide: Things to do in Austin

Barton Springs pool in the foreground with the Austin skyline in the background.
Barton Springs Pool stands in Zilker Park in an aerial photograph taken above Austin on Monday, April 13, 2020. Photo: Bronte Wittpenn/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Your first stops in Austin might be obvious, but you can't miss these.

What to do: Take in the skyline from the James D. Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge.

  • From there, you're an easy walk into downtown, Trader Joe's, a lunch at Moonshine Grill and more.
Get outside:

We can't get enough of this city, but it's very hot for much of the year. Good thing there are dozens of public pools and swimming holes.

  • First, take a dip at Barton Springs. Pro tip: The pool reopens at 7pm daily for free night swims.
  • Rent a kayak or paddle board and take in the city views from Lady Bird Lake. For fewer crowds, head to the Southern Walnut Creek Trail.
  • Go on a walk around the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail.
  • Hike Mount Bonnell and watch the sunset. We promise it's not a long trek.
Listen and shake:
Act like a local:
  • Play 18 holes at Peter Pan Mini Golf. (It's BYOB.) Better yet, head to Butler Pitch and Putt — a 9-hole, par-3 golf course downtown — for beer and biscuits.
  • Attend an Austin FC game, and if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of Matthew McConaughey.

Buy a burnt-orange Longhorns beanie, so you’re fully prepared when the temps drop below 55. (You’ll get soft, fast, in this town.)

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