Austin is one of the top cities to visit in the United States, and it's no surprise considering  the amount of things to do, see and eat. Whether you want to cool off with a quick dip in a spring-fed pool or embrace the live music and nightlife scene, it's nearly impossible to get bored in this thriving city. The unique, friendly vibe of Austin makes it the perfect place for anyone to explore by themselves, and with this solo traveler’s guide you’ll be ready to book that trip.

Barton Creek Kayakers near Zilker Park in Austin Texas
Kayaking on Barton Creek. Credit Ryan Kyte.

When to Go

One of the (many) reasons to love Austin is our year-round, mild temperatures and sunshine. Spring and fall have warm but moderate weather, generally 70-80 degrees, while the winter season is mild around 60 degrees. Summer is hot, so embrace those outdoor, shaded patios and make sure to spend plenty of time on the lake. If your timing is flexible, you may want to check out a list of Austin's annual festivals and plan your trip to coincide with an event that interests you.

Where to Stay

This is the heart of the city, where you'll find the majority of museums, upscale restaurants and a happening nightlife scene. Staying here will put you close to all the action, but can also be a bit pricier than other neighborhoods. Just off Congress Avenue and Sixth Street, the Aloft Austin Downtown, perfect for solo travelers who like to be in the middle of all the action. This stunning high rise hotel boasts trendy decor, an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar and a coffeehouse serving local coffee and breakfast tacos.

South Congress
Just across the river from downtown is South Congress Avenue, where you'll find a funkier, more eclectic side of Austin in the shopping, dining and arts scenes. There are also several bus lines, making it a great central location for easy access to other parts of the city. The boutique Kimber Modern hotel is located in the South Congress neighborhood. The location is amazing, and it gives you the feel of living in a modern condo (so you can pretend you're a local).

East Austin
East Sixth Street has a thriving bar and nightlife scene perfect for those who want to experience several spots all in one night. Grab drinks at the colorful dive bar Shangri-La, or try what’s on tap at relaxed Zilker Brewing Co. Rock and alternative fans will want to check out Hotel Vegas for killer music and cocktails, while others can get their boot scootin’ on at The White Horse, a country western spot with two step dance lessons.  For a boutique hotel with deep roots in the Austin community, check out Heywood Hotel. Experience the local culture through carefully curated rooms furnished and decorated with works from local makers. Nestled off East Cesar Chavez St. just east of downtown, you’ll have access to a variety of high-end restaurants that make up downtown as well as hidden gems frequented by locals on the east side. 

Image of a women ordering at the Via 313 food truck.Courtesy of Via 313.

Where to Eat

Food Trucks
The food truck game is strong in Austin. We even have dedicated food truck parks with multiple options! Here are a few favorite trucks and trailers to check out:

  • Via 313: Detroit-style pizza served out of several pizza trailers throughout the city
  • The Picnic: Austin’s premier food truck park located just outside of Zilker Park featuring a variety of local cuisines
  • Patrizi's: Freshly made pasta...What could be better?
  • Cuantos Tacos: Locals love these Mexico City-style tacos from a food truck park in East Austin
  • Spicy Boys: Located at the Zilker Brewing Co. taproom, this trailer specialized in fried chicken (+ vegan options!)

Check out more can’t miss food trucks around Austin.

Get Your Drink On
Plan to visit at least one of Austin's many wineries, distilleries and breweries. All these spots are lots of fun and great places to meet lively locals, enjoy some good beverages and maybe listen to some cool tunes.

  • Still Austin Whiskey Co.: Whiskey and bourbon connoisseurs will enjoy a tasting flight or a tour of the distillery
  • The Austin Winery: Sip a selection of wines at this urban winery with an industrial vibe
  • Austin Beerworks: Enjoy a variety of classic and seasonal taps at this North Austin spot
  • Lazarus Brewing Co.: Coffee, beer and tacos make this brewery a great spot to hang out at with two Austin locations
  • Hold Out Brewing: On-tap brews served alongside a killer burger menu

Looking for more sipping spots around town? Stop by one of these breweries, wineries and distilleries.

Woman in white jumpsuit admiring Kelly Eisworth's rainbow glass exhibit at the Blanton Museum.Blanton Museum of Art. Credit to Cindy Bolanos.

What to Do

Shop for Vintage Finds
Shopping is one of my favorite things to do solo and Austin has a ton of great vintage stores. Here are a few to add to your list:

  • North Loop: Go here to find a collection of vintage clothing and furniture stores, ranging from antique to mid-century modern
  • South First Street: A chic, walkable neighborhood in South Austin, away from the hustle-and-bustle of South Congress. Find galleries, vintage shops and murals on almost every corner
  • East Austin: A beautiful selection of vintage clothing and gift shops, spaced out between hip restaurants, sidewalk cafes, historic attractions and more

Listen to Live Music
As the Live Music Capital of the World®, catching a live show is a must when visiting Austin. With hundreds of live music venues, there's bound to be a perfect spot for every visitor. These are fantastic spots for solo travelers.

  • Whisler's: It's almost like Whisler’s was made for solo travelers. You can sit at the action-packed bar, join a group at an outdoor communal table or play pinball alone
  • Mohawk: This beloved Austin bar and multilevel live music space has a roof deck and indoor and outdoor stages. Shows are scheduled nearly every night of the week
  • Broken Spoke: An Austin tradition since 1964 with a reputation for great live country music, good Texas cooking and even line dancing classes!
  • ACL Live at The Moody Theater: If it's located on a street called "Willie Nelson Boulevard," you know you're going to have a good time. The world-famous theater hosts a variety of acts from all genres, making it the place to see and be seen in Austin

Get Artsy
There is such a great art scene in Austin! Here's what we recommend for your perfect solo trip:

Interested in exploring Austin’s foodie, live music, cultural arts, or outdoor scenes more? Check out for more information and to order your free visitor guide