Not many cities are famous for their weirdness, but Austin’s signature quirkiness is one thing that keeps people coming back for more. A favorite vacation spot for decades, Austin is now a full-fledged center of tech and business in addition to a fabulous dining destination filled with fascinating attractions. Searching for things to do in Austin, Texas today or just getting a sense of the wonderful Austin events on the calendar? Look no further than our list of 7 eclectic things to do in Austin.
Take a swim in Barton Springs Municipal Pool
If the weather’s nice and you’re looking for things to do this weekend (or even during the week!), you’ll want to dive right into the enormous 3-acre swimming pool in Zilker Park. Barton Springs Municipal Pool is the ultimate summer hangout in A-Town, and it’s eco-friendly too. The pool is filled entirely with natural spring water, so it’s almost like swimming in a lake. It also has some interesting history; Robert Redford learned to swim here! If you’re visiting Austin with the whole fam, add Barton Springs Pool to your list of things to do in Austin with kids.
Learn about the Lone Star State at the Bullock Texas State History Museum
As far as states go, Texas has one of the most exciting histories. At the Bullock Texas State History Museum, you can answer all of your burning questions about the history of the Lone Star State. From battles to booming industry, Texas has seen it all. In addition to the exhibits, the museum hosts frequent lectures, tours, and events, making it one of the best things to do in Downtown Austin with an educational focus.
Spot the Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony
Most cities might try to downplay the existence of a massive bat colony that lives underneath one of its main thoroughfares, but in Austin, the Congress Avenue bat colony has been one of the city’s icons. The bats make their appearance at dusk every night of the summer - all 1.5 million of them - and the best observation point is at the Statesman's Bat Observation Center. Bring a picnic blanket and some snacks for a different sort of dinner with a view, which is also one of the best affordable things to do in Austin, TX. Best of all, the bridge is within walking distance of Stay Alfred 422 at The Lake.
Keep the little ones entertained at the Thinkery
Looking for things to do in Austin today with family? The Thinkery is no ordinary children's museum; it’s a hands-on science lab designed specifically with little ones in mind. With exhibits like “Earth, Wind, Inspire” and the “Innovators\ Workshop,” the kids will have so much fun that they’ll forget they’re learning. Guided programs with topics like music, art, and science further enrich the experience.
Marvel at the oddities at the Museum of the Weird
Ready to turn up the weirdness level? Move beyond the standard “Keep Austin Weird” and discover the strange yet fascinating Museum of the Weird. The collection of absurd artifacts blurs the line between science and fiction, and you’ll find items related to Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and aliens. It’s heralded as the “strangest attraction in America,” and we have to agree. Searching for the best things to do in Austin this weekend? If you’re in the mood for a foray into the peculiar, don’t miss this one.
Taste some authentic Tex-Mex
On the hunt for things to do in Austin this weekend that involve food? Check off a tasty culinary bucket list item: Tex-Mex food. You just can’t leave Texas without digging into tacos, burritos, or barbecue, so head over to the Holly neighborhood for the hearty fare that Juan in a Million is known for. This low-key eatery is within walking distance of Stay Alfred at E6, and the menu contains favorites like breakfast tacos, enchiladas, and crispy chalupas.
More notable Tex-Mex spots include Papa Joe's Tex-Mex, Matt's El Rancho, and Güero's Taco Bar.
Have a photo shoot with Austin’s wacky street art
Art is everywhere in Austin, even all over the buildings! Colorful, larger-than-life murals can be found throughout the ATX, bringing the city’s character to life. Some are famous, like the Peace Love Austin mural, and others pop up every day, so by taking a walk around town, you may discover some new ones - or murals in process. Grab your camera and start your street art tour at the iconic Greetings From Austin mural, then wander around the area and you’ll surely spot more.
Enough with the ordinary things to do in Austin; now you’re ready to explore Austin’s unique, weird, and interesting attractions that give the city it’s famous flair.