From Water to Wine: The Most Fun Things to do in Austin
The amount of fun things to do in Austin is limitless, so we’ve compiled this list to help you narrow down your options.
In the city of weird, there’s never a dull moment or reason to be bored. Austin lives in notoriety because of our unique attractions and unusual traditions, like celebrating a fictional cartoon character’s birthday or willingly – even eagerly – watching millions of bats emerge from the Congress Avenue Bridge.
The HubRunner team offices in a beautiful part of downtown, on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake and within walking distance to South Congress (or SoCo, as the transplants call it). We’re situated in the very heart of the city, allowing us to keep up with all of the most fun things to do in Austin this summer.
Whether you’re looking for ways to fill up your days off or are planning a visit to the Lone Star State’s capital for the first time, our list of fun things to do in Austin should give you a few exciting ideas.
Pack a lunch and cooler, then head over to Deep Eddy Pool
Located in Eilers Park, Deep Eddy is known as the oldest swimming pool in Texas, the recently renovated Deep Eddy Pool is surrounded by a beautiful green park and playground, making it the perfect swimming spot for all ages.
If you have youngsters, you can relax and swim while your children enjoy the large wading pool. The lap pool is ideal for those who’d like to get a workout in while enjoying the scenery. Make sure to check out the restored Depression-era bathhouse while you’re there, and read up on the historic Deep Eddy Bathing Beach.
*Important: Deep Eddy does not allow alcoholic beverages or glass containers, but you can take a cooler with N/A beverages and food. Don’t worry though, if you’ve got a hankering for an ice cold beer after your swim, just head uphill about 50 yards to the Deep Eddy Cabaret, home of the best jukebox and the coldest beer in town. Or, try the nearby JuiceLand, just a half block away…see below!
Grab a refreshing smoothie from JuiceLand!
If you’re near the Hyde Park area and in the mood for smoothies and records, check out the JuiceLand located on Duval, where you’ll find a range of used and new vinyl available for purchase. Daily specials, an awesome atmosphere, and delicious smoothies make stopping in a no-brainer. **Pro tip: They also have amazingly good vegan ice cream!
Action Pack Sing-Along at Alamo Drafthouse. Need we say more?
No matter your opinion of some of the featured pop artists, there’s no denying the amount of fun their music creates in this setting. Some of the previous featured sing-along artists include Beyonce and Justin Timberlake. Don’t miss out on the Ultimate ‘90s Party, hosted every month with a brand new playlist, featuring your favorite ‘90s artists (who doesn’t want to see Vanilla Ice’s faded buzzed sides up on the big screen?).
Join Social Cycling Austin and go on a Thursday Night Social Ride
On Thursdays, the club meets for an easy ride around town, ending up at a destination meant to inspire fun conversations, relaxation, and good times, including playing games, swimming, or just hanging around outside.
As the club so aptly puts it, get your butt on a bike and and enjoy the ride. And…if you’re not into socializing but love biking, hop on one of the red rental bikes downtown and cruise around Lady Bird Lake on the Hike & Bike Trail.
Stand in awe at the Cathedral of Junk
Built in 1988 by Austin native Vince Hannemann, the Cathedral of Junk is exactly what it sounds like – mounds of scrap metal lined with assorted barbie head dolls, surrounded by glass bottle mosaics and trees of shrubbery and blank CDs.
The unique display, located in Vince’s backyard, nestled in a quiet, quaint neighborhood on the south side of Austin, has hosted weddings, birthday parties, and even music videos in the 27 years it’s been around.
Grab your camera, check the weather, and make sure to call ahead of time to ensure Vince is at home and able to let you in to view his beautiful monstrosity of junk.
Dance the night away on Oldie’s Night at Barbarella
With classic hits from all-time favorites like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Cream, and Janis Joplin, it’s hard to stay away from the dance floor, no matter how filthy it is.
There’s no cover until midnight and they serve $2.00 drinks until 11:00 pm. Don’t miss Barbs’ other theme nights, including ‘80s night on Fridays!
In the mood for some fried food? Head over to Gourdough’s Public House.
We’ll let the menu speak for itself: El Camino – Angus beef, chipotle, cheese blend, chipotle mayonnaise, pickled jalapenos, bacon, cilantro, and sliced tomato, served on a piping hot donut bun.
Not a fan of meat? No worries. They have an awesome veggie patty option, as well as gluten free items, so everyone can enjoy the laid back, charming atmosphere the House offers.
Along with deliciously non-nutritious donut entrees, Gourdough’s serves up thirst-quenching drink specials, daily deals, and an unforgettable weekend brunch. Forget about your waistline and chow down on the Black Betty – you won’t regret it.
Attend one of the many festivals in the music capital of the world.
Austin’s foundation is rooted in music appreciation, and we have more music venues per capita than any other American city. We’re serious about this live music stuff.
No matter what day of the week, you can catch a free show at a variety of venues all across town (see Do512.com to browse), or plan ahead and attend one of the dozens of annual music festivals that bring this city to life.
Some of our favorite music venues include:
Not into the music festival scene? It’s cool – take it from several of our team members who opt to watch the festivals from the comfort of their couches.
Sit in on a show at Esther’s Follies, then make your way down Dirty 6th.
6th Street isn’t all grinding and grossness though, and Esther’s Follies is a testament to talented performers sticking to their guns in a modern vaudeville-style show in the dingiest and darkest part of the street.
Belting show tunes, magic, juggling, comedy sketches, dancing, and political satire – all under one roof. By the end of the show, you’ll want to grab a boa, jump on stage, and work through your frustrations about the upcoming presidential elections through laughter…and a strong drink!
Do you like your honky tonk with a bohemian flair? At The White Horse, you can find some two steppin’ hipster action all in one place.
The White Horse is an entertaining and exciting fusion of authentic, local country music and the hip, pseudo-new wave vibes of the ever-expanding east side.
Whether you’re looking to two step with a stranger or hang out with friends on a picturesque patio, The White Horse is the spot for you.
The White Horse hosts local bands every night of the week, and there is usually no cover. For readers 21 and up, check out this casual and comforting spot to drink and dance the night away. Don’t forget to hit up The Eastern next door while you’re in the neighborhood!
If you’re ever in our neck of the woods, make sure to stop by the HubRunner office and say hi! We’ll be sure to take you to our favorite dive bar, Donn’s Depot, and order Special Gin Specials for the table! Make sure to check out the best tacos in Austin while you’re in town, and let us know what you think on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!