Active Things to do in Austin Texas

For all of you looking to plan your trip to see Everything Magnolia in Waco Texas, this is a great place to stay. It is only an hour and a half drive, and there is so much to do and see. You don’t even have to break the bank to do it.

We enjoyed everything about Austin. The active lifestyle is contagious, the street art, the history around every corner, and all of the restaurants and breweries to choose from.

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We stayed at this fantastic Airbnb with a great location, gym, and free parking. We can’t wait to book our trip back and stay at this home away from home again.

Mt. Bonnell

There is no doubt you guys know how much we love a good hike.

Mt. Bonnell is the highest point in Austin Texas. You will see the city, lake Austin, and a ton of gorgeous houses along the Colorado River.

I was excited when I read that it would take us 30 minutes to get up to the top… In all reality, I read Google wrong and it takes 30 minutes to explore and about 5 minutes to get to the top.

This was still one of our favorite and FREE things to do in Austin Texas.

On our drive up the road twists and turns. Around every curve there is many amazing houses to look at. Immediately, I was taken back to the hills of Laguna Beach.

The parking is along that same road. It gets pretty congested, but we still had no problem finding a spot.

Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls Hike

Does this look like a waterfall to you? 🤣

The river was all dried up for the season, but you could clearly see where the falls would have been. It was fun jumping boulder to boulder in the river bed. I can imagine if there has been rain the river would come to life quickly.

When the river is flowing this hike brings you to two waterfalls, Twin falls and Sculpture falls. It is about a 3.5 mile out and back trail.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt Trailhead is where we started. There was a large group of people surrounding the map of the trail so we headed out blind. Whenever we have been unsure if we are going the right direction in the past we typically get enough reception to look on google maps 📱.

There are a lot of trails on this hike to bring you in different directions. We learned if we stayed to the left on our way out we were along “the river”.

This was not too steep or uneven of a hike. I wore dress boots with no tread on the bottom of them and a dress. I only had to slow down a few times to not slip. If I can do it in those shoes it will be a piece of cake to anyone with tennis shoes.

Lady Bird Lake

There is something about a gorgeous fall day that makes me feel alive. Okay, okay it was winter in Austin Texas not fall, but being a Minnesota girl the 65 degree day felt more like fall.

Google maps sent us to a residential neighborhood with a path to Lady Bird Lake. Later, we saw cars parked on the side of S. Lakeshore Blvd. I highly recommend trying that first. The views of downtown are fantastic from there. The parking is just off the side of the road and is a bit limited though.

We enjoyed the little bit of brightly colored leaves that were left on the trees. The water was a crazy color of green in most areas reminding me of the Chicago river on St Patty’s day.

Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake are reservoirs off of the Colorado river. There are hiking, and biking trails all around and total about 10 miles.

The people of Austin are my kind of people. There was loads of people running and biking bringing me back to a beautiful day at Lake Nokomis.

The Driskill

This hotel is located downtown. There is an excellent old school bar that stays busy at all hours of the day.

We were lucky they chose to keep up all the Christmas decor through the New year. This place has a lot of charm for photographs, but also a fantastic cafe if you need a bite to eat.

Zilker Botanical Garden

This is one of the things you will have to pay for. It is 8 dollars for an adult non-resident of the state of Texas.

We enjoyed it, but since it was January they didn’t have many flowers and we felt we saw everything we came for in about 1 hour.

State Capitol

I have a thing for old large buildings, and this one was no exception. We explored the grounds which has so many statues and plaques it’s insane.

They also kept their Christmas tree up after Christmas. It had a choreographed light display to 10 of different holiday songs.

The first time we saw this we were waiting at the stop light in our car across the street. Of course the light turned green before I was done taking it all in. We had to go back to see the entire thing.

Governor’s Mansion

We were not allowed inside on New Year’s day. The Texas State Patrol was guarding it in their cowboy hats, but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures.

Zilker Holiday Tree

I am unsure how tall this tree was, but we could see it clearly from a distance. We parked in a pay to park area but the machines were out of order, SCORE!

We went underneath this massive tree of lights. It hurt my eyes until they adjusted to it. It was amazing to see the skyline of Austin through the tree, and there were food trucks lined up outside of it.

If you can’t tell we love everything Christmas 😄

Downtown

Around every corner there is something fun to look at or read about. Keep your eyes open and take it all in.

Austin Eats

DeSano Pizzeria is a woodfired pizza joint. It is small, but the crust was perfect. They even teach classes on pizza tossing/making.

Austin Eastciders Collaboratory

Unfortunately, this was closed for New Year’s day (the day we checked it out), but we enjoyed a couple of their beers in our airbnb.

They are right next to a climbing gym (The Austin Bouldering Project), and we wished we brought our climbing gear.

Central District Brewing

It was close to the convention center in Austin. Even though we had to pay to park it was fun to check this place out.

We were there before people piled in after their Lake Austin boat tour. It was fabulous people watching.

FreeBirds World Burrito

This is the Chipotle of Texas. We split a large burrito and that was more than enough for us.

Sour Duck Market

This is my favorite place we ate at in Austin. They have live music every Tuesday night, and people come to dance. There is plenty of seating indoors and outdoors (you pick your own spot).

They had a large variety of beers to choose from. We got a burger and a side salad. Both were delicious.

In-N-Out Burger

A staple when we go to a state that has it. We get the double double animal style with fries, and whatever dressing they use is scrumptious.

To Capture Next Time

  • The Cathedral of Junk
  • Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
  • Barton Springs Municipal Pool
  • McKinney Falls State Park
  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden
  • Graffiti Park at Castle Hill
  • LBJ Presidential Library
  • Greetings from Austin Mural

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