Couples looking for a romantic getaway will find plenty of fun things to do in Austin, from intimate dining to active adventures. Get some tips for your next date with these great ideas.
Courtesy of Lakeway Resort & Spa
1. Get pampered at a spa
Shake off stress and focus on relaxation during an afternoon spent at one of the many spas in Austin. For massages and body treatments, book the Delicious Duet Couples Spa Package at Viva Day Spa. Or book a stay at Miraval Austin, a secluded wellness resort and spa that offers one-of-a-kind treatments at its award-winning Life in Balance Spa, yoga, hiking and outdoor dining overlooking Lake Travis (day packages are available).
2. Enjoy romantic restaurants in Austin
In Downtown Austin’s West Sixth Street district, J. Carver’s Oyster Bar & Chophouse offers refined dining with wood-fired steaks, seafood delicacies, and an extensive wine list. Elevate your experience with the new private dining option. Come for the fantastic coffee and craft cocktails on the spacious patio at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails. But stay for the all-day cafe fare, including chicken-fried steak and killer hush puppies. Sample creative, seasonally inspired cuisine at the award-winning Emmer & Rye, hailed by Bon Appétit as one of the best restaurants in the country. The menu changes daily and includes nightly dim sum specials, best enjoyed on the restaurant’s covered patio. Post up on the patio overlooking East Sixth Street at Suerte and dig into elevated Mexican cuisine like the oak-grilled carne asada with peach pico and carrot-habañero salsa, sided with a rosé sangria. Dine on handmade pastas and pizza at Il Brutto or flirt over French dishes under the candlelit tent at Justine’s.
3. Snuggle up at the drive-in
Take your love on an old-fashioned movie date at an Austin-area drive-in. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in showcases double features of indie films, cult classics and childhood favorites on the big screen. Just south of the city limits, Doc's Drive In Theatre presents films under the Texas sky, with a bar and expansive concessions menu. Visit Moonstruck Drive-In Cinema at COTA to watch first-run and classic movies, right on the racetrack.
4. Hike an Urban Trail
The Barton Creek Greenbelt boasts almost 13 miles of trails and is one of the top-rated hiking spots in Texas. Barton Creek passes both Sculpture and Twin Falls (with steep cliffs that are great for climbing) and snakes through a dense forest. Or hike the leafy 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, which skirts along shimmering waters and has picturesque views of Austin’s skyline. Experience a lush hidden escape within the city limits at the quiet St. Edward's Park or the 227-acre Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, where you can hike through forested greenbelt trails (reservations required on weekends and holidays).
Butler Hike & Bike Trail. Credit Nick Simonite.
5. Sample local spirits, wine & brews
Still Austin Whiskey is a local favorite, with a spacious patio where you can enjoy on-site food trucks along with your distilled on-site whiskeys and gins. Go for a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting, Tuesdays–Sundays. Enjoy wine tastings and snacks like tinned fish and butter boards in the new Austin proper location of Wine for the People, which shares space with American restaurant Spread & Co. Taste the difference that 100% Texas-grown grapes make in the delicious wines offered by C.L. Butaud. Brunch easily turns into an all-afternoon affair at Easy Tiger, which has three locations around Austin. Pair your corned beef-and-potato hash with a mimosa at South Lamar, which has Greenbelt views; East 7th, with its 100-table beer garden; or The Linc, known for its sprawling covered patio.
6. Play a friendly game of golf
Join in some friendly competition with a round or two of golf. Enjoy drinks and upscale golfing in the Austin-inspired, adults only Dirdie Birdie. An indoor putt putt experience at The Domain. Or go for a nostalgic game at Peter Pan Mini-Golf, an Austin favorite since 1946 and the nearby Butler Park Pitch & Putt, a fun 9-hole par 3 course that's been open since 1948.
7. Escape to a resort
Taste wines, dine at a brewery with live music and settle in for some pampering at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa. Get pool passes for the day or stay overnight in a luxe cottage at Camp Lucy, a sprawling 275-acre resort nestled on a bluff above Onion Creek. Indulge at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, which boasts the world-class Mokara Spa, along with seven different restaurants and lounges. Kick back in a private poolside cabana at the Italian-influenced Hotel Viata, located on a hilltop with breathtaking views. Go boating and enjoy the boutique spa at the Lakeway Resort and Spa, the only resort on Lake Travis. Just outside Lakeway, experience the all-inclusive Lake Austin Spa Resort, named the #1 destination spa resort in North America by Condé Nast Traveler in 2019. Or, release your inner child with a getaway to Kalahari Resort, home to world-class dining, a luxurious spa, live entertainment, diverse shopping experiences and more.
I Love You So Much Mural. Credit Carmen M. Fischer
8. Share something sweet on South Congress
Want to keep it simple? Enjoy a leisurely stroll along South Congress Avenue, and stop in the many unique shops along the way (Insider tip: Amy’s Ice Creams is always a yummy choice). Make sure to pause by the “I love you so much” mural located on the side of Jo’s Coffee (a great spot for iced coffee) and snap a selfie with your sweetheart.
9. Sip Spirits in an Intimate Speakeasy
To find the hidden Garage, you’ll need to step into the parking garage at Colorado and East Sixth streets and look for the word “Cocktails” on the wall. Once inside, you’ll discover superb craft cocktails in this imaginative space. Make a reservation, as it’s small and cozy. Reserve a spot to drink inventive libations at Midnight Cowboy, a former East Sixth Street brothel with a massage parlor sign. If you see a “Vacancy” light on, feel free to head into the no-reservations-needed patio area. Also on East Sixth Street, step below the Buenos Aires Café to relive 1950s Argentina in the downstairs Milonga Room, where the cocktails flow and South American small bites like empanadas are delicious. Settle into in a red velvet seat and try Milonga Room’s signature amaro liqueur. Make a reservation to snag a spot in the 20-seat Kinfolk, located in the 1850s-era cellar of downtown Austin’s Moonshine Grill. Pair charcuteries, cheeses and chocolates with the bar’s collection of exquisite spirits.
Need more ideas? Plan your own Austin getaway with these ideas for a perfect long weekend!