If we have to narrow it down, there are 10 things about Austin that we’re missing most right now. Whether you’re a local, a longtime visitor or new to the city (welcome, y’all!), these are the quintessential Austin experiences you’ll want to add to your must-do list.
1. Breakfast tacos from a food truck
Start your day the Austin way with cheesy migas served up from a food truck. Some of the most popular versions of this beloved breakfast taco are on the menu at Veracruz All Natural, El Primo and Tyson's Tacos.
2. Boozy patio brunch with friends
Enjoy lip-smacking barbecue and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q during its rousing Sunday Gospel Brunch; choose from 200+ craft beers and 30 varieties of grilled sausage at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden‘s Sunday Big Band Brunch; or just kick back and soak up the beachy vibes with freshly shucked oysters and a mimosa at Perla’s.
3. Swimming in Barton Springs Pool
Combine a cool dip with great people watching at Barton Springs Pool. This spring-fed swimmer’s paradise stays a refreshing 68 degrees year round and features grassy hills for sunbathing.
4. Shopping on South Congress
Give your wallet a workout at the funky shops that line trendy South Congress Avenue. Check out the kicks at Allens Boots, one-of-a-kind jewelry and clothing by local artisans at Parts & Labour and wild costumes at Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds.
5. Waiting in line for fall-off-the-bone barbecue (no, really, we miss this!)
You’re not doing Austin right if you don’t try some of our world-famous barbecue. Get in line for the ultra-tender brisket from James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Aaron Franklin at Franklin Barbecue, pulled pork from Micklethwait Craft Meats or smoky ribs at la Barbecue.
6. Browsing the collections at your favorite Austin museum
Revisit pieces by Mark Rothko and Thomas Hart Benton at the Blanton Museum of Art, see spectacular outdoor sculpture on displat at The Contemporary Austin and examine the historic Watergate papers at the Harry Ransom Center.
7. Hiking to catch the sunset at Mount Bonnell
Hike up the stone steps of Mount Bonnell and get a sweeping sunset view of the city from atop this Lake Austin landmark that has been a popular attraction since the 1850s.
8. Watching the bats emerge at dusk
We just can’t get enough of our winged, nocturnal part-time residents. Stake out a spot on the Congress Avenue Bridge (also known as the Bat Bridge) nightly from spring through fall to witness a swarm of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly into the sky from beneath the bridge.
9. Two-stepping at the Broken Spoke
Pull on your boots and join in a dance lesson Broken Spoke, an old-fashioned honky-tonk that’s been an Austin mainstay since 1964.
10. Experiencing a live show in an iconic venue
Watch a band at the legendary Continental Club, which has been hosting live music ranging from rock to country for 60 years; catch a concert at ACL Live at The Moody Theater, named for the long-running Austin City Limits television show filmed here; or hear six acts in a single night at The Saxon Pub, a haven for singer-songwriters since 1990.