The Attendee's Ultimate Austin Checklist

20 Things To Do Before or After Your Meeting

In Austin for a meeting or corporate event? We’ve got 20 great ideas for things to do during your downtime. From where to catch live music to the best spots for breakfast tacos and boutique shopping, we’ll help you experience the real Austin.

People drinking craft beer at Austin Beerworks brewery bar
Austin Beerworks. Credit Nick Simonite.

1. Attend a fun local event. Think brewery tastings, a sing-a-long or quote-a-long of your favorite cult classic at Alamo Drafthouse, or ice skating on the rooftop at the Whole Foods Market flagship store during the winter.

2. Boutique hop along the 2ND Street District with an iced coffee from Jo's in hand. Explore this walkable downtown district just blocks from Lady Bird Lake that features locally owned shops, award-winning restaurants and exciting entertainment options.

3. Save plenty of time to explore South Congress Avenue. This trendy area is home to quirky shops (some featuring pieces made by Austin artisans), restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines and loads of live music.

Superfonicos on stage at the Mohawk lead singer points out towards the crowd
Superfonicos at Mohawk. Credit Brittany NO FOMO.

4. Catch live music any night of the week at iconic Austin venues, including Antone’s Nightclub, The Continental Club, Mohawk, Elephant Room and Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. Find concerts and live music in Austin tonight to see who’s playing while you’re in town.

5. Take a self-guided tour of Austin’s iconic murals and public art. Be sure to see the towering, 10-story Tau Ceti mural (an Instagram favorite!) and East Austin’s Rhapsody mosaic, which pays tribute to the blues and jazz musicians who once called the neighborhood home.

6. Spend an afternoon on the links playing a round of golf at one of Austin’s many area championship courses. Close to downtown is Butler Park Pitch & Putt, a nine-hole, par 3 course featuring shady pecan trees, challenging holes, and players that range from families to pros.

7. Watch the sun set over Lake Austin after taking a quick hike up Mount Bonnell. Nearby, explore Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve, a lovely 23-acre estate that’s home to colorful strutting peacocks and beautiful gardens with koi ponds.

8. Stroll around Sixth Street after dark and let the music spilling out into the street pull you inside. Be sure to check out other notable areas around town for drinks and live music, including charming Rainey Street and the Red River Cultural District.

House Margarita on the patio at Fresas in Austin Texas
House Margarita. Courtesy of Fresa's.

9. Indulge in Austin's favorite foods from morning to late night — breakfast tacos, Tex-Mex, barbecue and food trucks — and enjoy as many rooftop and patio margaritas as possible, whether you like them frozen or on the rocks.

10. Take a free tour of the landmark Texas State Capitol and learn about the history of this massive building, which is the largest state capitol in the United States. Afterwards, view the fascinating exhibits at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center.

11. Get on the water at picturesque Lady Bird Lake, where you can paddleboard, kayak, canoe or take a boat cruise to soak up the downtown sights. Check out Austin’s many water rentals and cruises to get you on your way.

12. Take a walk on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail that skirts the sparkling waters of Lady Bird Lake. Insider tip: snap a selfie with the statue of Austin music legend Stevie Ray Vaughan stationed along the route.

13. Sample as much queso – a bowl of spicy, melted, cheesy goodness – as possible. There are lots of restaurants around town that serve queso, but one version you won’t want to miss is the legendary Bob Armstrong at Matt’s El Rancho.

14. See a show at ACL Live at The Moody Theater, one of the premier concert venues in the city and home to live tapings of the beloved Austin City Limits, America’s longest-running music television series.

Aerial view of Barton Springs Pool and downtown Austin Texas skyline
Barton Springs Pool. Credit Ryan Kyte.

15. Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, located within the heart of scenic Zilker Park. This swimmer’s paradise features clear, spring-fed water that stays a refreshing 68 degrees year-round, along with grassy hills for sunbathing and great people watching.

16. Hit up happy hour with friends and colleagues. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars that offer discounted appetizers and cocktails. Check out our guide to the top downtown happy hours to get the party started.

17.  Don’t miss the sunset show from spring through fall at the bat bridge, when more than one million Mexican free-tailed bats fly into the evening sky from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. Watch from the bridge or stake out a spot at the Statesman Bat Observation Center.

18.  Austin has been the star setting of many hit films and smash television shows. Check out the locations of some of your favorites, including Dazed and Confused and Fear the Walking Dead, with our fun Austin Film Tourism Guide.

19. One of the best ways to learn about and experience Austin’s many cultural influences is by visiting the city’s diverse-owned businesses and attractions. Go to our Cultural Heritage page that will link you to sights and events you won’t want to miss.

20. Stop by the Austin Visitor Center and join one of Austin's many tours. Whether you’re interested in historic sites, live music venues, local eateries or downtown guided walking tours, you’ll find a tour that covers them all at the Austin Visitor Center.