The Live Music Capital of the World and a hub for food, culture, and creativity, Austin ranks among the fastest growing cities in the US. With loads of entertainment, outdoor attractions, and quirky neighborhoods, the Texas capital has a lot to offer. Here’s how to make the most of your time if you only have one day in Austin.
Austin’s compact downtown area is an excellent place to get out and do some sightseeing to kick off your short visit. Step on a Segway and zip past the Texas State Capitol, historic Driskill Hotel, and hip South Congress Avenue, or hop on a bike to peddle through downtown, across the Congress Avenue Bridge, and to Zilker Park. Alternatively, the hop-on hop-off bus lets you explore the city at your own pace, with stops at the Texas State Capitol, Museum of the Weird, South Congress District, and the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum.
Austinites love their outdoor activities, many of which are accessible to visitors as well. Spend a sunny afternoon cycling along Walnut Creek, swimming in the cool waters of Barton Springs, touring the murals and street art of the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, or kayaking on the waters of Lady Bird Lake. For something a little different, head to Zilker Park, Congress Avenue, or the Texas State Capitol downtown for a digital scavenger hunt.
Before diving into Austin’s nightlife, head to the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch North America’s largest urban bat colony take flight. No visit to Austin would be complete without seeing some live music. After the sun sets, join a local musician for a live music crawl to a mixture of iconic clubs and up-and-coming venues while learning about the history of Austin’s storied music scene.