Oh, Austin, TX! A quirky, fun city that is big on bats, tacos, live music, bar-b-que, and keepin’ it weird. Honestly, a weekend in Austin, Texas is the perfect solution when you need a little something different!
When you fully immerse yourself into the city, you will see why it consistently makes the list of top cities to visit in the United States. I mean, it has a little something for everyone!
Visiting Austin, Texas for the weekend will allow you to check out some of the tourist hot spots and a few local favorites as well.
Lucky for you, we are native Texans and still call it home. That means that we visit Austin regularly and know it very well! Really, Austin is one of our favorite weekend getaways in Texas.
So, you’re in good hands with us as you create your Austin itinerary.
This Austin weekend itinerary will have you eating some amazing breakfast tacos, enjoying finger lickin’ good bar-b-que, checking out the live music scene, exploring some Texas history, and even seeing the Austin bats!
All of this and more explains why Austin is one of the best places to visit in Texas!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Follow Us on Social Media
About our Austin Itinerary
This post outlines a complete 2 day Austin itinerary. If you have more time and want to do a 3 day Austin itinerary, then keep reading for our suggestions on how to spend an additional day in Austin for an extended weekend in Austin, TX!
If you are staying in Texas longer, then your weekend in Austin is the perfect starting point for one of our great Texas road trips!
So settle in, and let’s get started on your Austin weekend itinerary!
When to Visit Austin, Texas
Knowing when to visit Austin, Texas can quite literally determine if you have a good time visiting Austin or not! Seriously!
If you are not a fan of the heat, and I mean the HEAT, then you will not enjoy summer in Austin.
Texas is HOT in the summer. Temperatures hover in the 90s, but 100+ degree days are not uncommon, especially in July and August.
If this isn’t your thing, then avoid Austin, Texas in the summer.
I never like to make this decision and tell people exactly when to visit. We are all so different and prefer different seasons and temperatures.
So, instead of telling you exactly when to visit, let me tell you the pros and cons of each season along with some of the Austin activities that time of year and you can decide for yourself.
Summer in Austin, Texas (June-Aug)
As I said above, summer in Austin is going to be hot (and humid). Really! This is the kind of heat where you walk outside and you instantly start sweating.
When I describe Texas summers to people, I generally tell them that most native Texans are either in the water or in the air conditioning during the summer months!
With that being said, summer is a great time to plan a weekend in Austin, Texas if you love water activities.
The natural swimming holes around the city are full of people and full of parties.
Since college is out for the summer, the town might feel a little less crowded. This means that you can usually easily get into bars and restaurants.
In addition to this, there are usually several outdoor concerts taking place in the summer months also. Summer in Austin can be quite fun as long as you enjoy the heat and stay hydrated.
Fall in Austin (Sep-Nov)
The fall brings cooler temperatures to Austin, Texas which are quite welcomed if you have spent the summer in Austin.
Fall temperatures in Austin, Texas change dramatically from month to month. September generally seems temps in the upper 80s and low 90s, October high temperatures are in the low 80s and November high temps are usually in the low 70s.
Fall in Austin means that the college (University of Texas) has reopened. The city becomes more crowded and more lively. You will notice that the restaurants and bars are more crowded than they were in the summer months.
This also means that the live music scene is in full effect. I mean, Austin, Texas is the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
Music festivals are also kicking off this time of year, including the ever popular, Austin City Limits. Austin City Limits takes place in October bringing live music performances to stages all over the city.
Fall in Austin also means that you can find fall festivals all over the Hill Country!
Winter in Austin (Dec-Feb)
Texas winters are generally relatively mild. Granted, there are some years that Texas will have extreme cold, but this is not a regular occurrence.
Winter in Austin generally means high temperatures in the 60s and low temperatures in the 40s.
Of course, December means that the city is aglow with Christmas decor and lights. There are also usually a lot of fun holiday activities this time of year to enjoy. There is usually even outdoor ice rinks!
Winter is a great time to plan some indoor activities like visiting Austin’s museums, or seeing a live performance.
Spring in Austin (Mar-May)
Planning your Austin itinerary during the spring months will allow you to enjoy the mild temperatures (70s-80s) and all some great spring festivals.
The famous music festival, South by Southwest, takes place in the spring in the capitol city. This music festival overtakes the city with live music performances pretty much everywhere.
This means the city is extremely crowded, so keep that in mind if that isn’t your thing.
Spring in Austin also means that the flowers and plants are blooming and the nature of the Texas capitol is springing back to life!
Read Next: 15 Fun Things to do in Marble Falls
Where to Stay in Austin
When choosing where to stay in Austin, keep in mind that Austin is a big city, so won’t be within walking distance of everything. When choosing your hotel, we recommend staying in an area that is near to most of the attractions you will be seeing. You know, the city center.
A couple of great areas to consider are the downtown Austin area near 6th Street and the Texas State Capitol or the South Congress neighborhood. Both of these areas have great hotel choices and will put you close to the majority of the attractions.
Our sister site, That Texas Couple, has a complete guide on where to stay in Austin that outlines the different neighborhoods if you would like more in depth information.
There are loads of options to choose from in these areas. Of course, you can choose a luxury hotel, or a great Airbnb. The choice is entirely yours!
Downtown Austin Hotel Choices:
Hilton Garden Inn-Downtown
The Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Austin is a reasonably priced hotel that is conveniently located in Downtown Austin. This hotel is close to Rainey and Sixth Street.
The Fairmont Downtown Austin is conveniently located next to the Austin Convention Center. This is one of our favorite hotels in the downtown area.
The Driskell Hotel
The Driskell Hotel in Austin is an beautiful historic hotel in downtown that was built in 1886. Not only are you in a great location but you also get to enjoy the amenities associated with the hotel such as afternoon tea, and the popular 1886 Baker and Café.
Hotels in the South Congress Area
South Congress Hotel
The South Congress Hotel is hip, modern, and big on customer service. There are six restaurants and bars on site and a cute boutique clothing store. If you want to
Getting to Austin and Getting Around During Your Austin Weekend
Getting to Austin is quite easy. Austin has an international airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).
Once arriving at the Austin airport, you can easily take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber to your accommodations. You can also hire a service, or take the Austin bus line 20.
As we mentioned above, Austin is big and pretty spread out. While you can walk to most things on our list (if you are staying in the areas we recommended, downtown Austin or South Congress), you will need other transportation for some of the trip.
We highly recommend renting a car as this will allow you to explore Austin freely. Keep in mind though that you are in a big city, so parking is limited and you are going to have to pay to park.
With this in mind, you might want to just rent a car for the last day of your trip and save all of the driving until then.
While you will have to pay to park, there is frequently lots of parking to choose from and you can even download this app to pay for parking.
If you choose to rent a car, we suggest using Discover Cars. Discover Cars is a great money-saving tool as they will search dozens of rental sites and find the best prices and terms for your trip!
Not only that, but you get to see all of the fees associated with your rental. That means, no hidden surprises when you arrive at the rental desk!
Shop rental cars for your weekend in Austin!
Weekend in Austin Itinerary-Day 1
Day 1: Tacos, & Austin History & Culture, and Austin Bats
Austin (and really all of Texas) loves a good breakfast taco. This cheap, hand held morning staple is the perfect way to start your day and is a must for the Austin food scene.
Breakfast tacos combine all of the great things about Mexican food with American flavors. They are the perfect combination of Tex-Mex food, celebrating the cultures of Mexico and Texas blending together.
A good breakfast taco has to consist of a delicious hot off the griddle flour tortilla that serves as the perfect wrapper for the ingredients.
The ingredients inside will vary depending on your taste, but a traditional breakfast taco will contain fluffy, perfectly scrambled eggs, some sort of breakfast meat (traditionally bacon or sausage), melty cheese, and soft delicious potatoes.
Of course, you will see plays on these and different combinations of ingredients, but if you want a traditional breakfast taco, these are your ingredients.
Best Breakfast Tacos in Austin
For a fabulous traditional taco, we recommend hitting up Rosita al Pastor. This food truck serves up delicious breakfast tacos that will keep you coming back again and again. Heck, you won’t even care that you are eating in a parking lot, eating from a food truck when you sink your teeth into this baby!
Another Austin staple for breakfast tacos is Veracruz All Natural. Veracruz has won numerous awards for their food, proving you can’t go wrong here.
Other Austin taco spots to try include Joe’s Bakery, Juan in a Million, and Dai Due Taqueria.
Tour the Texas Capitol
Touring the capitol building is a must for your Austin itinerary, especially if you have never toured it.
Upon arriving at the capitol building, you will probably notice the beautiful red granite and that the size seems rather large. Your eyes are not deceiving you, it is large. Larger than the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. even!
You know, everything is bigger in Texas!
You can walk the outside grounds before taking a free tour through the interior of the building. Tours run Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, Saturday from 9:30 AM-3:30 PM, and Sunday 12 PM-3:30 PM.
You can also take a self guided tour using one of the informative pamphlets on site if you would rather.
After touring the capitol, you might also opt to tour the Governor’s Mansion which is within walking distance since it is located right across the street.
Read Next: Lakes in Houston That Are Worth Visiting
Check Out Some Austin Museums
Austin, TX is brimming with fabulous museums. Heck, you could do nothing but visit museums and fill up an entire weekend in Austin!
Since you want to see and do other things during your time here, we will give our recommendations for a few and then you can decide which ones (if any) that you want to visit.
The Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton Museum of Art is the largest art community in Austin, TX. Located on the University of Texas campus, you will find beautiful works of art from around the world.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Bullock Texas State History Museum contains all things related to Texas history. Here you can learn all about the great state of Texas starting with Texas’ fight for independence and taking you through modern day historical events.
The fact that this museum is close to the capitol building makes it easy to visit after you wrap up your tour. This is a great place to learn more about the local history!
Contemporary Austin Jones Center
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center showcases modern art from around the world and is a great addition to your Austin itinerary.
The museum is actually made up of two different buildings and an outdoor sculpture garden.
The Mexic-Arte Museum allows you to explore Mexican and Latino art and culture. The art displays here contain both traditional and contemporary artworks, giving you the best of both worlds.
Museum of the Weird
“Keep Austin Weird” is a popular saying in this area, and that is what the Museum of the Weird is trying to do. Here you can gawk at all things weird and unusual. There is a shruken heard, strange animals, and more!
Now, that is truly Austin, TX for you!
George Washington Carver Museum
The George Washington Carver Museum is dedicated to showcasing the contributions of Black Americans. There is an extensive genealogy center for Black families that helps people to track their ancestry both in Texas and beyond.
Skip the Museums and Do a City Tour
If museums are not your thing, then you might want to do a tour of the city instead.
There are loads of great tours in Austin that will allow you to get to know the city a little better.
Find your perfect Austin tour here!
Grab Some Lunch in Austin, TX
You have a couple of choices for lunch on this Austin itinerary.
To continue with the historical aspect of Austin, and taste some great Austin food, head to the Driskell Hotel, the oldest hotel in Austin, TX and have lunch at the 1886 Cafe and Bakery.
The Driskell is within easy walking distance to most of the attractions mentioned above.
The 1886 Cafe and Bakery serves up delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch. These lighter meals are perfect since you won’t want to leave without having a piece of their sinful 1886 Chocolate Cake!
If you want to do something a little “funkier” for lunch, then head down to the South Congress Avenue to grab a bite to eat.
Our South Congress recommendations include Jo’s Coffee, South Congress Cafe, and Home Slice! There are also usually food trucks in this area, including a taco stand or two! Jo’s Coffee serves up some great tacos and is a fun place for people watching, so head there if you are having a hard time deciding.
After lunch on South Congress, don’t miss the chance to grab an ice cream from Amy’s. Trust us, it is worth the calories!
Explore South Congress Avenue (Shop or Window Shop)
A weekend in Austin would not be complete without a visit to South Congress Avenue.
We prefer the southern section of South Congress Av. as this gets you away from the chain stores and into the real South Congress.
The real South Congress is quirky, and full of fun vintage boutiques, fun street art, restaurants, music venues, and funky shops!
The iconic South Congress stores that we love include: Parts & Labour, Allen’s Boots, Tesoro’s, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, and Big Top Candy Shop. You can find some fabulous Texas souvenirs at these shops so be on the lookout.
Don’t be surprised if you run into a pop-up store or two and some local street performers in this area also.
Be sure to snap a photo of the quirky sign of the iconic Austin Motel. What does it make you think of? LOL!
Really, exploring this quirky neighborhoods is one of the highlights a weekend in Austin itinerary.
Take a Picture With the Greetings from Austin Mural
While you are in this area, make your way over to 1st street to get your picture with the “Greetings from Austin” mural.
The address for this street art is 1720 S. 1st street, but the mural is actually on Annie Street.
Time for Dinner
See the information below about the Austin bats before you go to dinner.
I’m sure you spent a few hours browsing on South Congress and are probably hungry by now. So, why not eat in South Congress since you are already here.
We mentioned a few spots above at lunch time. A few more in the area to consider include: Guero’s Taco Bar, Prim and Proper, Aba Austin, Joann’s Fine Foods, Perla’s, and Magnolia Cafe.
Read Next: Weekend Getaways from Dallas
See the Largest Urban Bat Colony in the World at the South Congress Bridge
Don’t miss a visit to the South Congress Bridge at dusk on your weekend in Austin. You might have to do it before dinner depending on the time of the year.
March-October tons of people gather around the South Congress Avenue Bridge. You might be wondering why?!
Well, because this is where the largest urban bat colony in the world lives and sets out on its nightly feeding frenzy from downtown Austin, TX!
Join in the fun by heading to the South Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to watch the hundreds of thousands Mexican free-tailed bats emerge.
You can choose to sit on the grassy lawn beneath the bridge by Lady Bird Johnson Lake, stand on the South Congress Street bridge, or get the best view by getting on the water of Lady Bird Lake with this sunset bat kayak tour.
Of course, the bats are wild creatures, so there is no guarantee that you will see the bats fly or how dramatic the exit will be.
Check Out the Live Music Scene and Austin’s Nightlife
Hopefully you aren’t too tired after today, because tonight we are going to check out the Austin nightlife, including some of the live music Austin has to offer.
As we mentioned above, Austin is the “Live Music Capital” of the world. This means that there is always some sort of live music performance to be found.
A iconic institution in Austin is the Continental Club, and this is the perfect place to be introduced to a great live music venue.
The fun décor and variety of musical acts at this Austin classic is what keeps people coming back for more.
There are several bars that offer free dance lessons as well, so if you are interested in learning the Texas two step during your weekend in Austin, then consider that as well.
Some tried and true Texas style honky-tonks in Austin include The Broken Spider and the White Horse.
There is always live music and a lot happening on Austin’s famous Sixth Street (aka Dirty Sixth. LOL!). Sixth Street is entertainment central. I equate Sixth Street with the Texas version of Freemont or Bourbon Street as Sixth Street is big on sounds, load of people, and neon lights.
The nightlife on Sixth Street includes cool speakeasy type bars such as Firehouse Lounge & Hostel and the Midnight Cowboy. One of our favorite Sixth Street places is the rooftop bar of Maggie Mae’s!
If you want a little calmer vibe, head to Rainey Street. Rainey Street has a slightly older, more laid back crowd but is still a lot of fun. Here you will find old houses turned into fun restaurants and bars.
Of course, you can also take a guided pub craw while in the Texas State Capitol. This allows you to sit back and relax and let an expert do the work for you.
Weekend in Austin Day 2
Day 2: Austin Outdoors: Zilker Park & Botanical Gardens, Sculpture Garden, and Mont Bonnell
Today we will be spending the day outdoors and exerting some energy, so you will definitely want to fuel up this morning.
If you want to continue exploring Austin’s breakfast taco scene, then consider hitting up Torchy’s Tacos, Austin Java, or one of the breakfast places suggested yesterday that you missed.
If you are done with breakfast tacos, then you might want to check out Snooze Eatery, a spot beloved by Austin locals. Their sweet potato hash is delicious.
Check out Zilker Park
Zilker Park is Austin’s version of Central Park! Spread out over 350-acres, this park is the perfect way to get outdoors in Austin today!
If you are visiting in the summer months, then you will definitely need to take a dip in Barton Springs Pool. This super refreshing area of water is a local favorite in the hot Texas summer
. Take note though, Barton Springs Pool is a consistent 68-70 degrees since it is a natural spring fed pool!
Zilker Park is also home to a gorgeous botanical gardens, the Zilker Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens feature a coi pond, an incredible rose garden, and more.
In the summer, Zilker Park hosts several special events as well. Some of the favorites include Shakespeare in the Park, summer musicals, and summer movie screenings.
Enjoying the town lake, Lady Bird Lake is also a must. If you are up for it, Lady Bird Lake is the perfect place to try out some stand up paddle boarding!
You can also rent kayaks and paddleboats at several different areas from the lake. Biking around the lake is another favorite outdoor activity.
Just note that it is a 10-mile stretch to go all the way around Lady Bird Lake, so make sure you are up for that.
Go For a Hike
There are several popular hikes in Austin to choose from. One of which was just mentioned, try hiking (well, walking) the 10-mile stretch around Lady Bird Lake instead of biking it.
If you want to stay close to downtown Austin, then consider the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail that encompasses some great Austin views.
The Barton Creek Greenbelt is another popular hike. Start out at the Barton Creek Pool mentioned above, you can hike the main trail for 7 miles if you choose!
Visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden is easy to visit from Zilker Park since it is located right next door.
This beautiful museum showcases the works of Charles Umlauf, and other artists.
Charles Umlauf and his wife purchased the property overlooking Barton Springs Road in 1944.
After living at the home for more than 40 years, they donated their home, land, art studio, and many pieces of art to the city of Austin so that it can be used as a source of education for the community.
A visit to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden is a nice, peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Check Out the LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library pays honor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the United States Presidents that was not only from Texas, but was from the Texas Hill County (Johnson City to be precise).
The LBJ Library is home to numerous historical documents, a replica of the Oval Office from the 60s (when Johnson served), a fabulous exhibit on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and more.
This is not your average museum, so be sure to check it out, especially if you are planning a long weekend in Austin.
See the Views from Mont Bonnell
Ok, so I could have included this in the section about hiking, but honestly, I feel like the view from Mont Bonnell needs a section all to itself.
We love the view so much that it is even included as a stop when driving from Dallas to San Antonio!
Granted, you will need a car for this, so if you are spending a long weekend in Austin and only getting a car for one day, then save this one for tomorrow.
Getting to Mont Bonnell is easy. Just set your GPS to “Mont Bonnell at Covert Park”. You will find parking on one side of the two lane road you are directed to.
Take the staircase to the right of the parking lot. After climbing the 102 stairs, turn left and follow the path.
You will know when you have arrived as you are greeted with gorgeous of the Austin skyline and Lake Austin!
Take note that there is little shade on the path and there is no water available, so bring sunscreen and water, and, of course, wear comfortable walking shoes.
This is a fabulous place to watch the sunset over Austin, so time it just right!
End Your Night With More Nightlife or Some Ghosts
If you are ready for more, then head out to enjoy more of the fabulous nightlife that Austin has to offer. See the section from day one and head to a different area to explore.
If you prefer something out on the town, but don’t want more live music and crowds, then consider heading out on one of the ghost tours in the city.
I know this might sound silly, but Austin has an intriguing and scary history. There is no better way to learn about these than a fun and interesting ghost tour.
Long Weekend in Austin-Austin 3 Day Itinerary
Day 3 in Austin-Choices, Choices
If you have 3 days in Austin, then you have several choices to enjoy an extra day in the city. You can explore more of Austin’s culture or head out into the Texas Hill Country.
Here are some of our suggestions for 3 days in Austin!
Explore Austin’s Street Art
Austin is well know for it’s awesome art scene. If you are like us, then we love checking out the local street art in areas we visit.
Austin is full of great murals that make for the perfect places to take photos for your Instagram. I mean, you will find murals in East Austin, South Austin, and downtown.
As we mentioned above, the South Congress neighborhood has loads of murals to choose from. Here you can not only find the “Greetings from Austin” mural, but you can also find the popular “I love you so much”, and the “Before I die” wall just to name a few.
Another fun mural spot is the section between 6th and 9th Streets. One of our favorites in this area is the “Howdy from Austin” mural.
The East Austin area also has great murals. Head to Native Hostel in East Austin to check out their murals and look for the ‘Til Death Do Us Part mural while in the area also (there are actually a couple of these).
Do an Austin Food Tour
If you are super into food, then Austin should make you feel right at home.
A great way to learn all about the local food scene is to participate in food tour. Lucky for you, Austin is home to one of our favorite food tour.
Check Out the Austin Craft Beer Scene
Austin is famous for it’s craft beer scene. I mean, there are over 65 craft breweries in Austin, so craft beer lovers will feel right at home here!
A few of the breweries to check out include Zilker Brewing, Blue Owl Brewing, and Lazarus Brewing.
If you want an awesome experience, then consider taking one of the many craft beer tours that are offered.
The craft pride is this city is hard to be ignored.
Take a Day Trip
While Austin is awesome in itself, the surrounding Texas Hill Country is incredible.
If you rented a car for your final day then a day trip from Austin is the perfect way to see more of the Lone Star State.
You might also opt to do a day trip from Austin such as this awesome Texas Hill Country and LBJ Ranch Tour. This tour picks you up from your downtown hotel and takes you to explore LBJ Ranch, and the fun towns of Luckenbach and Fredericksburg.
The town of Dripping Springs, Texas is about 25 minutes west of Austin. Home to the famous swimming hole, Hamilton Pool, this is a great day trip from Austin in the summer.
Dripping Spring is also home to some great wineries, breweries, and, of course, some delicious Texas bbq.
You have to visit Salt Lick BBQ if you choose to visit Dripping Springs. The BYOB spots serves up delicious Texas bar-b-que cooked over an open fire!
Wimberley is about 45 minutes south of Austin, but is well worth a visit.
Home to a thriving artist community, the small town square area of Wimberley is a great place to start out exploring. Here you will find art galleries, fun restaurants, and several boutique shops to explore.
Wimberley is home to several wineries, a great olive ranch that produced incredible olive oil, and several distilleries.
In the summer months, you won’t want to miss a chance to visit the Blue Hole or Jacob’s Well. Just take note, these both require an advanced reservation as they fill up in the summer.
You will find Georgetown about 35 minutes north of Austin, making it a quick and easy day trip.
The town square in Georgetown is a gorgeous area. Here you can explore the boutique shops and grab a bite to eat at one of the local cafes.
Another popular thing to do in Georgetown is Inner Space Caverns where you can explore the underground caves.
Austin Itinerary Summary
- Breakfast at Veracruz All Natural
- Tour the State Capital, and possibly the Governor’s Mansion
- Check Out an Austin Museum. Consider: Blanton Museum of Art, Mexic-Arte Museum, Museum of the Weird, Bullock Texas State History Museum
- Lunch at 1886 Café or a restaurant on South Congress
- Explore and shop on South Congress Av
- Dinner of your choice
- Bats at South Congress Bridge
- Experience Austin Nightlife and Live Music
- Breakfast at Torchy’s Tacos or Snooze Cafe
- Zilker Park
- Take a hike
- Umlauf Sculpture Garden
- LBJ Presidential Library
- Mont Bonnell
- More nightlife or a ghost tour
- Austin breweries
- Austin street art
- Day Trip into the Hill Country
You Might Also Like These Posts:
Like This Post? Please Pin It!
About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.