Keep Austin Weird: 12 Must-See Spots in the Lone Star Capital

Located in the heart of Texas, Austin is a vibrant city that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and nature. Whether you're a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast, or a music lover, there's something for everyone in this eclectic city.

From the bustling downtown area to the serene parks and lakes, Austin is a destination that promises to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Austin is known for its live music scene, with numerous concerts and festivals taking place throughout the year. The city is home to many famous musicians and has produced some of the most iconic bands in history.

Whether you prefer jazz, blues, rock, or country, you'll find plenty of venues to enjoy your favorite genre. The city is also famous for its food, with a diverse range of cuisines that reflect its multicultural population. From food trucks to fine dining restaurants, Austin has it all.

If you're looking for outdoor activities, Austin has plenty of options to choose from. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, with parks, trails, and lakes that offer endless opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, and boating.

The weather in Austin is pleasant year-round, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you want to explore the city's vibrant culture or immerse yourself in nature, Austin is a city that has something for everyone.

1. Zilker Metropolitan Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park is a 351-acre urban park in Austin, Texas.

It offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking and biking trails, sports facilities, and a spring-fed pool. Visitors can also enjoy the botanical gardens and a theater.

The park is dog-friendly and hosts events like ACL and Kite Fest.

With its beautiful views of the Austin skyline, Zilker Metropolitan Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some outdoor fun.

2. Bullock Texas State History Museum

Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a fascinating place to visit for those interested in Texas history and culture.

The museum has a variety of exhibits and educational experiences that aim to tell and interpret the story of Texas.

Visitors can explore the history and culture of Texas through the exhibits, IMAX films, and interactive displays.

The museum is well-organized and easy to navigate, with plenty of interesting artifacts and displays. The museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Texas history and culture.

3. Texas Capitol

Texas Capitol
1100 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

The Texas Capitol is a must-visit for history buffs. This 1888 marble and granite building is home to the state legislature and boasts a significant rotunda and dome.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the building and grounds for free, with plenty of informative displays and paintings that offer insight into Texan and American history.

The open-air rotunda and memorials on the grounds are particularly impressive. The parking garage to the east is affordable and convenient.

Whether you're in town for a short trip or a long stay, the Texas Capitol is a fascinating and educational destination that shouldn't be missed.

4. Pease District Park

Pease District Park
1100 Kingsbury St, Austin, TX 78703 (Google Maps)

Pease District Park is a must-visit for anyone looking for a fun day out. With plenty of activities for all ages, including basketball hoops, swings, and slides, this park has something for everyone.

The large grassy area is perfect for a game of frisbee or a picnic, and there are plenty of shaded areas to relax in.

The park has undergone recent renovations, making it a modern and well-designed space. There are clean restrooms and plenty of seating areas to enjoy nature or grab a bite to eat.

Don't miss the unique observation pod and life-sized chess game. Pease District Park is a lovely, safe, and clean park that is perfect for families and anyone looking for a peaceful walk or a great spot to play.

5. Thinkery

1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723 (Google Maps)

Thinkery is an interactive children's museum that provides an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about STEM and experimental learning.

The museum offers a wide range of activities, including water play, physics, engineering, and art exhibits. There is also a spacious outdoor play area with a small stream and a rope climbing jungle gym.

The staff is friendly, and the restrooms are clean. Although parking can be a challenge on weekends, the location is ideal, with a playground across the street and an ice cream shop nearby.

Thinkery is a great place to spend a few hours of family time while engaging in creative and educational activities.

6. Pennybacker Bridge Overlook

Pennybacker Bridge Overlook
N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78730 (Google Maps)

Pennybacker Bridge Overlook is a must-visit scenic spot for anyone in Austin. A short hike will take you to the top of the hill where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Colorado river and the bridge.

The best time to visit is at sunrise or sunset to experience the beauty of the changing colors of the sky.

The hike is moderately difficult, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear for the climb.

The only downside is the lack of proper parking, but the view is worth the effort. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views.

7. Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746 (Google Maps)

Zilker Botanical Garden is a 31-acre garden in the heart of a city. The garden boasts diverse plants, ponds, and trails, with educational programs for kids.

Visitors can enjoy the Japanese garden, pre-historic garden, and butterfly garden.

The garden is also a great spot for taking pictures of nature and the Austin skyline. The entrance fee is affordable, and there is plenty of parking available.

It's a must-visit place for anyone who loves nature and wants to relax amidst beautiful surroundings.

8. Blanton Museum of Art

Blanton Museum Of Art
200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712 (Google Maps)

Blanton Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

The museum boasts an impressive collection of art from various eras and regions, including Renaissance to 20th-century American paintings, Latin American art, and Greek & Roman sculptures.

The museum is well laid out, making it easy to navigate and explore the exhibits. The building itself is also a work of art, with stunning architecture and a beautiful meditation building on-site.

The museum offers free tours and has a gift shop and cafe for visitors. Don't miss out on the chance to experience this gem of a museum.

9. Haunted ATX

Haunted Atx
501 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for a unique way to explore Austin's haunted history, Haunted ATX is a must-visit.

Their knowledgeable guides provide an entertaining and informative experience, sharing both legends and verifiable history.

The tour is BYOB, and the van is air-conditioned for your comfort. Masks are available upon request.

With Haunted ATX, you'll discover places and stories you won't find on any other tour. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the spooky side of Austin!

10. Littlefield Fountain

Littlefield Fountain
201 W 21st St, Austin, TX 78705 (Google Maps)

Littlefield Fountain is an iconic landmark at the University of Texas at Austin.

Surrounded by well-manicured gardens, this beautiful fountain is a great spot for taking photos or just enjoying a peaceful moment.

Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the Texas State Capitol and the UT Longhorn tower from here.

It's a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Austin.

11. River Place Nature Trail

River Place Nature Trail
8820 Big View Dr, Austin, TX 78730 (Google Maps)

River Place Nature Trail is a beautiful hiking area with breathtaking views and a moderate level of difficulty. The trail is well-maintained and features several benches along the way to rest and enjoy nature.

The trail is not a loop, so hikers will need to backtrack to the starting point. Parking can be difficult during peak times.

The trail is fully-shaded, making it a great option for a summer hike. The trail is privately owned, and there is a $10 fee per person to enter.

The water crossings are easy during low water periods, and the trail features several waterfalls and wildlife sightings. This is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a challenging hike with stunning scenery.

12. Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell
3800 Mt Bonnell Dr, Austin, TX 78731 (Google Maps)

Mount Bonnell is a must-visit tourist attraction with breathtaking views of the Austin skyline.

The hiking trail is short but steep, making it an excellent workout for those who are up for the challenge. The lookout points on the way up offer stunning views of the river and the city.

The area is family-friendly, and visitors can enjoy picnics while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Parking is free on the side of the road, but be cautious while driving up the mountain. The best time to visit is during sunset for an unforgettable experience.