Spending a week in Austin, Texas means you’ll have plenty of time to appreciate the full scope of the city, from the quirky shops in SoCo to the hidden swimming holes along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. From exploring nature to staying entertained at live music venues, this Austin itinerary for a 7-day journey has you covered for experiencing Austin to its fullest!
Day 1: Discover Austin’s Rich History
From the informative Bullock Texas State History Museum to the intricate architecture of The Driskill, Austin has its share of historic sites that are well worth a visit. Begin with the sprawling Texas State Capitol Building, once the tallest capitol building in the nation, located in downtown Austin. Then make your way over to the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin, an intricate building which dates back to the 1850s and is filled with stunning stained-glass windows. The Driskill Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in Austin, completed in 1886. Even if not planning on a stay at the hotel, step inside the open rotunda, which extends upwards to the fourth floor and culminates in a domed skylight. Be sure to take a stroll down East Sixth Street, a National Register Historic District with six blocks of turn-of-the-century Victorian commercial buildings.
Day 2: Get Outside
Austin may be a bustling city, but opportunities for enjoying nature lie right within the city’s bounds. Walk or bike along the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, which winds its way alongside peaceful parks and serene lakes. Another popular downtown trail is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which extends for 12 miles and offers various entry points, providing multiple opportunities for exploration. Hiking, biking, rock-climbing, bouldering, and swimming can all be enjoyed along the Barton Creek Greenbelt!
Day 3: Explore the South Congress District
South Congress, Austin’s favorite district also known as SoCo, is where you’ll find the latest restaurants, lively bars, and unique shops great for browsing. From the latest trends to memorable specialty shops such as Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Allens Boots, where you’ll find items such as costumes and cowboy boots, there’s never a dull moment in SoCo. South Congress is also the place to find good eats and live music. Catch a live performance while you nosh on tacos at Guero’s Taco Bar or sing to the rhythm of your own tune on karaoke night at Ego’s.
Day 4: Take a Dip
Especially if visiting Austin during warm summer months, you may be in search of a way to escape the heat. If so, you’ll find several options for cooling off around Austin. And even when not in the peak of summer, the majority of these watering holes can be enjoyed year-round! Barton Springs Pool is the most obvious choice, situated right downtown and offering 1,000 feet in length of swimming bliss. This spring fed natural limestone pool boasts a steady temperature year-round and is surrounded by grassy hills and mature shade trees perfect for picnicking and lounging the day away. For a more secluded swimming experience in the heart of nature, consider making the trek to one of the swimming holes located along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Depending on recent water levels, you’ll find deep swimming holes as well as spots perfect for wading. Gus Fruh is a favorite spot for a more immersive swimming experience, while the Sculpture Falls area is a great place for wading and experiencing the picturesque beauty of the large boulders and meandering cascades.
Day 5: Enjoy the Live Music Scene
Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, you can hear live music streaming out into the streets basically anywhere in Austin. But for a special live music experience, set aside at least one day for checking out some of the city’s hottest venues. The Continental Club is a favorite for an intimate music experience, with a 200-person capacity. Dating back to the 1950s, this venue is an Austin mainstay. For the opposite experience, the vast Moody Theater has a large-scale capacity and top-of-the-line lighting and sound. And for an unforgettable outdoor experience, head to the outdoor amphitheater at Stubb’s BBQ & Grill, where you’ll find world-class concerts with the laid-back vibe of a backyard barbecue.
Day 6: Treat Yourself to the Foodie Experience
From quirky food trucks to upscale fare, Austin offers the ultimate experience for foodies. Austin’s food scene is known for its barbeque and Tex Mex, as well as for its dedication to source fresh, local products. Start your day out with breakfast tacos from the Veracruz All Natural food truck, and then snag a mid-day meal at the famed lunch-only Franklin Barbeque. Round out the day with southern comfort food and a glass of hard lemonade from Moonshine Bar & Grill.
Day 7: Capture Memorable Shots
Be sure to capture all of Austin’s best sights to share on social media or to serve as a reminder of your epic 7-day journey in Austin. From sweeping city and river views seen from the peak of Mount Bonnell to street scenes such as the “I love you so much” mural in SoCo, you’ll find plenty of Instagram-worthy shots in Austin!
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