With two days in Austin, you’ll have time to explore many facets of the Texas capital—its history, politics, art scene, live music, nightlife, and extensive opportunities for outdoor recreation—at a much more leisurely pace. Here are a few ways to spend two days in the Live Music Capital of the World.
To understand Austin’s present, look to its past. Dive deep into Texas history at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, learn about Austin politics at the Texas State Capitol (the biggest capitol building in the 50 states), or snap a photo with an animatronic version of a past president at the LBJ Library and Museum, where you’ll also find the best views of the University of Texas campus.
Austin is known as quite the quirky community—a characteristic you’ll quickly note when exploring the art and music scene. Take in some of the city’s street art on a Segway tour, or head to the shops on Lamar, including Waterloo Records (Austin’s favorite music store) and the Whole Foods flagship.
Austin is home to well over 200 live-music venues, plus plenty more bars, clubs, lounges, and breweries. Depending on your interests, you might join a local musician for a live-music crawl down Sixth Street, hop on a bike to peddle between the lounges and pubs of Rainey Street or the East Side, or polish up your offbeat Austin trivia while hopping between the city’s best patio bars.
Yesterday was all about diving into Austin’s culture. Today is about getting outdoors. Start your morning with a walk, bike, or Segway tour along the shores of Lady Bird Lake, set beneath the skyscrapers of downtown Austin. Take a stroll through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to learn about the 800 species of native Texas plants on display.
The cool, clear waters of Barton Springs rank as one of the best swimming holes in Texas. Come for a refreshing dip during the hot summer months, or get your heart pumping with some mountain biking along Barton Creek no matter the season.
As the sun begins to set, some of Austin’s most famous residents make an appearance: the Congress Avenue bats. One of the best places to watch as North America’s largest urban bat colonies takes flight is from the water beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. Join a guided kayaking tour for the best views.