Planning to spend Memorial Day weekend in Austin? Whether you’re in the mood to relax and unwind or get outside, we’ve got you covered! Here are our suggestions for the best ways to spend three days off in Austin, Texas.

Woman sitting on a rock under waterfall at Krause Springs near Austin Texas
Krause Springs. Credit Haley Plotkin.

Explore the Outdoors

Soak up plenty of Vitamin D during your long weekend! Bring your friends and a frisbee to Zilker Park. Pets are especially welcome. Or, lace up your hiking shoes to explore the Barton Creek Greenbelt, complete with hiking trails, a rope swing and plenty of scenic views. Run or stroll along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. The heart-of-the-city gem is green, gorgeous and flanked by Austin’s flourishing skyline.

Paddle board, canoe, kayak or cruise around our local lakes, catching some rays while getting a workout. Many rental shops are available on Lady Bird Lake, Lake Travis and Lake Austin, including Live Love Paddle, the Rowing Dock, Greenbelt Outdoors, Float On Boat Rentals and more.

Sit back and let the captain do the driving on a Lady Bird Lake boat cruise from Lone Star Riverboat or Capital Cruises, complete with cityscape views and Austin landmark sightseeing. Or, watch 1.5 million Congress Avenue Bridge bats fly out near dusk on a sunset cruise.

Drive out to the Hill Country for spectacular hikes, state parks and picnic spots. Popular swimming holes like Hamilton Pool Preserve and Jacob’s Well require advance reservations, so book early. Or, spend the day at picture-perfect parks within a short drive, like Krause SpringsEmma Long Metropolitan Park, Reimers Ranch Park, Lockhart State Park and more.

Prefer to stay on land? Go for an urban trail ride with Texas Trail Rides, or travel just a bit outside of the city limits to become a ranch hand for the day with Maverick Horseback Riding. Find more horseback riding near Austin here.

man and dog tent camping at inks lake state park near austin texas
Inks Lake State Park. Credit Pierce Ingram.

Go Camping

Just outside the city lies thousands of acres of untamed wilderness perfect for setting up camp with your favorite folks.

Understated and rugged, McKinney Falls State Park is an excellent destination to hike, bike, fish and swim. Fireflies, campfires and scenic Onion Creek round out the destination.

You might recognize 5,200-acre Pedernales Falls State Park from the 2015 Oscar-nominated film "Boyhood." Cool off in the swimming hole and snap some Instagram-worthy waterfalls before tubing down the Pedernales River and heading back to home base at Pedernales Falls Campground.

Just an hour from Austin, Pace Bend Park provides a relaxing backdrop among limestone cliffs and reflective Lake Travis. Spend the day on the water and then grill out at Pace Bend Campground.

Inks Lake State Park is a 1200-acre escape that’s just an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Austin. Take your pick of adventures, from exploring a waterfall or swimming in the lake, to hiking through a canyon and forest. Pitch a tent or stay in a cabin on the sparkling blue waters at Inks Lake Campground. 

Pick up everything you need for roasting hotdogs and s'mores from local grocers like Wheatsville Co-op or Salt & Time. Plus, pick up a six-pack of local beer from the breweries themselves, or specialty shops with wide selections like Whip In, Whichcraft Beer Store and more.

Explore privately-owned RV parks and campgrounds on our website.

child waves arms in innertube on waterfall in San Marcos Texas
Tubing. Credit Tour San Marcos.

Tube the Rivers

Head to the Hill Country and get on the river with a cooler and a tube. Float the day away on the super clean, spring-fed San Marcos River with Texas State Tubes. Swish down the Comal River near New Braunfels and enjoy shuttle service to and from the river from Rockin' R's six area locations. In Gruene, it’s all about the Guadalupe River. Rent a tube, raft or canoe or take a guided trip down the river.

Some tube rental companies may be operating at limited capacity and offering advance reservations. Check each rental company's website for the latest information.

People dining at the colorful bar at Home Slice in Austin TexasHome Slice North Loop. Credit Chase Daniel.

Post up on a Patio

Spend the day exploring Austin's shopping destinations before treating yourself to a relaxed happy hour at one of Austin's many patio bars and restaurants.

Loro's sprawling, pecan tree-shaded patio is the perfect place to enjoy a laid-back bite in the sun with a cocktail in hand. At Juliet Italian Kitchen, you'll find locals casually sipping DIY mojito and Aperol Spritz cocktail kits on the shaded and expansive, temporary parking lot patio.

Enjoy a craft beer and hand-made pizza on the spacious patio at the ABGB. The high-end beachy patio vibe at Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar is a beautiful setting to indulge in oysters, champagne cocktails and fresh seafood.

Enjoy a spectacular view, overlooking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, at the new Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden South Lamar. Keep it casual with a hand-tossed pizza or an order of crispy buffalo wings on the patio at Home Slice Pizza North Loop. Both locations are open for takeout and are offering cocktail kits, local beers and tried and true or custom pies.

Sip on a sangria or mojito at South Austin's Habana. The Austin staple is famous for their handmade empanadas, authentic seafood paella, and savory Cuban sandwiches. Listen to a local band on the outdoor stage at the Far Out Lounge & Stage, recently voted Best New Venue at the Austin Music Awards.