Fall is one of the best times of year to visit Austin, TX. The sweltering temperatures of summer have dipped down to a more comfortable temperature, while still remaining plenty warm to enjoy outdoor activities. Nights are even cooler, offering the opportunity to cozy up next to a fire or don a jacket and enjoy the town’s vibrant nightlife. Additional festivities added to the city’s fall calendar bring added options of family-friendly harvest festivals, spooky thrills, and lively Oktoberfest celebrations. Whether you want to spend your fall getaway exploring the city’s many outdoor venues or sipping a cold brew from a downtown patio, you’ll find plenty of options for staying entertained. These favorite fall things to do in Austin will get you started on planning an ideal seasonal getaway!
The fall months in Austin offer a great time to get outside and enjoy the cooler temperatures and changing leaves. A top spot for leaf peeping in Austin is McKinney Falls State Park, located just 13 miles south of downtown. The park is home to nine miles of hiking trails, where you’ll wind your way beneath towering oak and cypress trees vibrant with color. The trees here turn to rich orange, red, and yellow colors, and with the right vantage point, you can capture magnificent reflections of the fall foliage in the waters of Onion Creek below. The creek adds a beautiful natural element you may not expect to find right outside a big city, with water that flows over limestone rocks, creating small waterfalls and swimming holes. Especially in early fall when temperatures are still warm enough to work up a sweat, this is a great spot to hop in and cool off. The best time to head to McKinney Falls State Park to catch fall foliage at its peak is between late October and early November.
Take advantage of fall’s cooler weather to explore a little further on some of Austin’s best hiking trails! The Barton Creek Greenbelt is located conveniently right near Austin’s downtown, offering an outdoor adventure within the city. Hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and biking are all possible activities along the trail. Another urban hiking option is the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail and Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake. This 10-mile trail offers scenic views of the water and city skyline as well as offering a path tucked away from traffic to enjoy a walk or run. And if you’d like to delve even further into Austin’s hiking options, more trails await in the surrounding Hill Country!
Cast a line into one of Austin’s many waterways this fall! Lake Austin, Lake Travis, and McKinney Falls State Park are just a few of Austin’s best fishing holes. Largemouth bass and Guadalupe bass can typically be caught in Austin’s lakes throughout the fall months. Within the bounds of McKinney State Park, you can expect to snag catfish, largemouth bass, and sunfish. A bonus to fishing at McKinney State Park is that you won’t need to get a fishing license if fishing from the bank!
Enjoy all the amazing fall things to do in Austin when you spend the season here! The city comes alive with festive activities, decorations, and events, making the getaway feel extra special. A favorite activity for families is Boo at the Zoo, held on select nights throughout October at the Austin Zoo. In addition to visiting the vast assortment of animals that call the zoo home, the kids will enjoy a spooky train ride and a haunted mansion. Take the thrill up a notch for the adults at Austin’s House of Torment, where you’ll come face to face with the Boogeyman and other nightmarish characters throughout September and October. Pioneer Farms, a living history museum that depicts life in the 1800s, offers Night Owl Ghost Tours and Pumpkin Nights throughout September and October.
Celebrate Oktoberfest the fourth weekend in September at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. Feast on bratwurst and sauerkraut as you listen to oompah bands and dance the night away. And of course, it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without a generous assortment of beers on hand. Banger’s offers a large array of local and regional beers on draft. If your travel dates don’t line up with this event, there are still plenty of other options for enjoying a festive fall beverage in Austin. Grab a beer at one of the best Austin breweries such as The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, Austin Beerworks, or Brewtorium. Or stop in Austin Eastciders for a spiced cider infused with cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
Fall Accommodations in Austin
Enjoy all the best Austin has to offer this fall by basing your stay in a conveniently located Austin vacation rental. These spacious homes offer the charm you would expect in a chic city, as well as an advantageous location for enjoying fall in Austin! Browse our Austin vacation rentals here.