If you are traveling to Texas for work, your trip will not be complete without checking out the top 10 things to do when in Austin. As one of the fastest growing cities in the state, Austin has a small town in the middle of a city vibe. The mixture of high-rise buildings, the State Capitol, spacious parks, running trails, lively entertainment and culture yields a little something for everyone, with no shortage of fun and exciting adventures.
Welcome To Austin
This charming city is the capital of Texas and is growing quickly every day with the addition of new companies that are relocating to the area. With a population of close to one million people, many are business executives and employees of the state legislature, the local University of Texas campus, or a wide range of Fortune 500 companies in the area.
In this up-and-coming city of young entrepreneurs and start up businesses, it is not unusual to see a suit riding their bicycle to work or taking advantage of a nice afternoon by Lady Bird Lake. If you are working downtown, you will still be able to enjoy the best of both work and leisure, all rolled into one.
Top 10 Things to Do When in Austin
The only problem with business trips that take you to Austin is that there simply may not be enough time for you to explore all the beauty, excitement, and culture this lively city radiates. Whether you choose to spend your time soaking up the unique outdoor activities, walking Congress Street and dining at local eateries and frequenting shops, or checking out the State Capitol, there is plenty to see and do in this lively city.
Our recommendations for the top 10 things to do when in Austin include:
Get out and enjoy nature.
Part of the allure of Austin is the abundant natural areas scattered throughout and around downtown. If you have traveled for work and brought your dog, let them get some quality running and play time at one of the nearby dog parks. If you are looking to shake up your workout routine, consider kayaking in or running the trails around Lady Bird Lake just as the city begins humming to life with the rising sun. Should your trip to Austin fall during the hot summer months, take advantage of the cool water from Barton Springs Pool.
Watch the bats on Congress.
Many visitors do not realize that the city hosts one of the largest urban bat colonies on the continent each summer. While walking the Congress Avenue Bridge, it might go completely unnoticed that an estimated 1.5 million bats are making a home on the underside of that concrete. However, as the sun sets and dusk arrives on those sultry summer nights, the bats take flight in a silent symphony. Depending on how you feel about bats, you can catch this amazing natural phenomenon from standing atop the bridge or idling on a boat in the water below.
Visit the LBJ Presidential Library.
Just on the outskirts of the University of Texas campus stands the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. As the thirty-sixth president of the United States and his largely unexpected succession after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, his library abounds with hands on and interactive exhibits chronicling his time in office. Those who remember this time period or who are dedicated history buffs will thoroughly enjoy a visit to this well-designed museum.
Climb Mount Bonnell.
This is favorite for residents and tourists alike because it can double as an excursion and a workout all at the same time. A word to the wise, make sure you have on comfortable shoes as you will need them for the more than one hundred step climb up to the top, but the payoff is worth it with stunning views of Lake Austin, the city, and nearby hills.
Check out the magic of Sixth Street.
If you have any trouble finding this favorite night spot simply ask someone nearby and they can direct you—it is that iconic and popular. This part of the city comes alive at dusk with live music, bars, restaurants, and shops. One of the local favorites is Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar. Most Sixth Street visitors make a night of their visit drifting from place to place to take in a variety of live music and meet new friends.
Take a stroll down South Congress.
Just a few miles from the State Capitol is the one of the hottest spots in town, day or night. South Congress, which is nicknamed SoCo by the locals, is a bustling avenue full of unusual shops, mom and pop restaurants, and outdoor eating venues. Tourists can find everything from exotic candies and fine jewelry to homemade hamburgers and delicious frozen treats
Visit the State Capitol.
This official building is considered by many to be the very heart of the city. With a majestic appearance that features an impressive and ornate rotunda and magnificent architecture, the building is almost as stately as that of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. A visit to this notable landmark offers plenty of history and exhibits to help tourists learn more both about Texas’ past and its future. Typically, both self-guided and professionally guided tours are available to visitors although spots generally fill up quickly.
Feel like a kid again and ride a motorized scooter.
No matter how old you are, there is something about hopping on a motorized scooter that can just make you feel young again with the wind in your hair as you zip down the street. Not to mention, this ride can also offer a more unique way of exploring the city. There are specially designed apps that will help you locate and rent the scooters closest to you.
Tour the University of Texas.
This is one of the premiere universities in the state, and there is just something special about the culture here. Be sure to check out the UT Tower, the Texas Union, and catch a sports event or two. To get an up close and personal look at the university, sign up for a guided tour.
Take in some culture at the Blanton Museum of Art.
Whether you are an avid art lover or just enjoy checking out creative talent and local art museums, this can be the ideal stop for you. Located on the campus of the University of Texas, it features thousands of works of art that range in era of origin and genre.
Make sure to fit in these top 10 things to do when in Austin and be sure to keep a list of any extra or repeat activities you want to do. Even if you do not have time to explore all the items on this list on this business trip, you will know where to begin on your next trip to Austin.