Excited to start planning your upcoming trip to Austin but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ll help get you started with these handy insider tips and ideas. Whether it’s your first time in Austin or your fortieth, this checklist is sure to provide plenty of unique Austin experiences for visitors of all interests!

Dale Watson at Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin Texas
Dale Watson at Little Longhorn Saloon.

1. Listen to live music.

Austin's celebrated live music scene includes more than 250 live music venues with just about every style represented; this is the Live Music Capital of the World after all! We recommend checking out one of Austin's many iconic music venues. A few favorites include The Saxon PubHotel VegasThe Elephant Room and Broken Spoke for a little two-steppin’ fun!

2. Eat barbecue and Tex-Mex.

You shouldn’t visit Austin without trying what we're most known for - barbecue and Tex-Mex. There are too many spots to name for just one visit, but here are some of our favorites to get you started. If you don't eat meat, don’t worry. Many iconic restaurants around town serve up a selection of vegetarian and vegan options. But remember, vegetarians can eat queso too! We're also known for our unique food trucks, which can be found all over town. If you leave hungry, you're just not doing it right.

three men sit around a platter of BBQ and sides at Franklin Barbecue in Austin Texas
Franklin Barbecue. Credit Wyatt McSpadden.

3. Enjoy a cocktail with local spirits, Hill Country wine or craft beer.

Make a new friend in town and get to know each other over a margarita or locally distilled craft cocktail. From grapevines to hops, Austin serves up local, craft libations sure to please every palate. Be sure to visit one of our local craft breweries on the weekend for a pint and a tour, or spend an afternoon exploring the scenic Hill Country wine trail. Whether you're a sommelier or a beer aficionado, there's a place for you in Austin.

4. Get outdoors.

The Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail is just across Cesar Chavez from downtown and is a great way to run off those breakfast tacos while viewing Austin's skyline. Have a little more time? Spend a sunny afternoon on Lady Bird Lake or play 18 holes at one of Austin's many scenic golf courses.

'Greetings from Austin, Capitol of Texas' Mural at Roadhouse Relics
Greetings from Austin mural.

5. Visit a film location.

Austin was recently named by Moviemaker magazine as one of the "Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker." Film buffs should visit locations from movies and shows filmed in Austin including Boyhood, Dazed and Confused and Friday Night Lights. Keep an eye out, you may even spot a big name filming around town!

6. Explore Texas history.

Texas is getting a lot of national attention as a place to visit, and it also has a pretty cool back-story to boot. Why not take a quick walk up Congress Avenue to see the Texas State Capitol (which offers free tours) and the Bullock Texas State History Museum? For a more casual history lesson, explore some of Austin’s historic districts and sites. Looking for Texas and Austin souvenirs? Our Visitor Center, 602 E. Fourth St., has plenty of local and state-made merch for all your friends back home.

Want more recommendations? Ask us on Twitter or Instagram @VisitAustinTX or connect with the Austin Visitor Center at (512) 478-0098.