A long weekend in Austin means ample time to taste test your way through the city’s top eateries, catch some famed live music acts, and explore your personal passion, whether that be shopping, enjoying nature, or tapping into your inner history buff. From experiences in nature to dazzling city lights, you can experience it all in downtown Austin. Use our Austin 3 day itinerary to get you started on planning the perfect weekend getaway to Austin!
Day 1: Sightsee Your Way Through Austin’s Top Landmarks
Start your first day out in Austin by grabbing breakfast at one of the city’s most well-loved dining venues – a food truck. From casual finger foods to surprisingly exquisite cuisine, you’ll find a variety of food truck options located throughout Austin. Fuel up on your first day with breakfast tacos from Veracruz All Natural’s food truck.
Next, begin your quest to hit Austin’s top landmarks. A great way to begin your time in Austin is to get a bird’s eye view lay of the land from the top of Mount Bonnell. Reaching the lookout at the top requires a short hike with an ascent of 800 feet, and the reward for your efforts is a panoramic view over the Colorado River.
Many of Austin’s other top sights are located right downtown, making it easy to explore via a walking tour. Those interested in the city’s history and architecture will want to be sure to include sights such as the Texas State Capital Building, Cathedral of Saint Mary, and Driskill Hotel on your walking tour throughout the city. For a deeper dive into the city’s history, plan to spend a few hours perusing the Bullock Texas State History Museum and the LBJ Presidential Library.
Offering a completely different experience, the Congress Avenue Bridge is another popular draw in Austin where 1.5 million inhabitants reside. It may come as a surprise to some, but these inhabitants are actually Mexican free-tailed bats. Wrap up your first night in Austin by watching the continent’s largest urban bat population emerge from the bridge at sunset, providing a spectacular show in the sky.
Day 2: Enjoy a Nature Experience Within the City
While Austin certainly offers a vibrant city life, many visitors are surprised at the opportunities presented to escape into nature right within the city’s limits. Trails such as the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail and the Barton Creek Greenbelt both offer serene places to walk, jog, and bike past scenic lakes and meandering rivers. In fact, the terrain along the 12-mile-long Barton Creek Greenbelt also offers rock-climbing, bouldering, and swimming opportunities as well.
Zilker Metropolitan Park offers 400 acres of sports fields and woodlands, as well as the well-loved Barton Springs Pool. The spring fed Barton Springs Pool is a great place to take a dip on a warm day, and the rolling hills surrounding give the area a natural feel. McKinney Falls State Park offers more outdoor recreation activities, including hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. Whether you’re cooling off in a hidden swimming hole along the Barton Creek Greenbelt or admiring native plants along a trail at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, there are many ways to experience the natural beauty of Austin!
After a day of outdoor exploration and fun things to do in Austin, refuel with some well-earned southern comfort food from Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill. Feast on dishes such as corn dog shrimp and chicken and waffles, washing it down with an ice-cold glass of hard lemonade.
Day 3: Take Your Pick of Entertainment Venues
South Congress Avenue, also known as SoCo, is Austin’s top district for shopping and entertainment. Here you’ll find live music drifting out into the streets, trendy bars and restaurants, and an assortment of shopping venues that range from quirky boutiques to all the latest trends. Shop Austin mainstays such as Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Allens Boots, or simply find your favorite sidewalk café to listen to live music and people watch.
In addition to southern comfort food, Austin is known for its finger-licking-good barbeque joints. Franklin Barbeque is a must-visit, and it’s best to get in line early for this lunch-only dining spot, especially if you’re after an order of their brisket or pulled pork.
Celebrate your last night in Austin by reveling in some of the live music that is found throughout this city known as the Live Music Capital of the World. Stubb’s BBQ & Grill offers a laid-back vibe at their outdoor amphitheater, which houses nearly 2,000 spectators and sports top-of-the-line sound and light displays. For a more intimate experience, The Continental Club in SoCo has been in operation since the 1950s and is a favorite on the Austin music scene.
Accommodations and Fun Things to Do in Austin
Take your weekend getaway in Austin to the next level by staying in one of these Austin lakeside rentals that offer the perfect location for enjoying all the best of this exciting city! If you still haven’t booked your stay but the date of your trip is getting closer, check out our last-minute rentals near Austin!