Austin Travel Guide 2024

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2024 Austin Visitors Guide

Known far and wide for its eclectic atmosphere, trendy shops, restaurants, and great museums, Austin is a city with a Texas-sized personality and plenty of attractions to see and fun things to do. Situated in the heart of the Lone Star State, the Texas capital boasts a thriving array of places to shop, eat, and have fun as well as enriching cultural attractions and unique historic sites. For those looking to have a memorable time, Austin is just the right place to go.

The city of Austin is packed with great attractions and interesting sights to see. The iconic Texas State Capitol, located in the bustling center of the city, plays host to a number of interesting artifacts, paintings, and sculptures that are open to the public to see free of charge. Another important site in Austin is the LBJ Presidential Library, a large cultural and historical complex that examines the history, impact, and consequences of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency in the 1960s.

Austin also hosts a number of renowned museums such as the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, a cultural institution that explores the state’s rich history and unique heritage, as well as the fascinating Austin Museum of Art. East Austin is packed with galleries, unique shops, energetic music venues, and trendy boutiques while the beautiful Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake are great places to relax, unwind, and spend a little downtime. Throughout the city, visitors will also find a plethora of shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, and edgy boutique stores to explore.

The city of Austin is also known for its festivals and cultural events. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin boasts a wealth of music festivals, concerts, and fun annual shows worth a visit. The South by Southwest Music Festival and the South by Southwest Film Festival are two of the region’s premier cultural events while the Austin City Limits Festival is yet another popular music festival that showcases a wide array of musical artists. Other events in the city include the Austin Wine Festival, the Austin Film Festival, the Zilker Park Kite Festival, the Dragonboat Festival, and much more.

With its fascinating museums, eclectic shops and restaurants, and world-class festivals and community events, there’s really no other place in the United States quite like Austin. No matter who you are, this city has something unique and surprising in store just for you.

Austin Downtown

Located in the central business district and along the Colorado River, downtown Austin is one of the busiest locations in the state of Texas. It is the government, economic, cultural, entertainment, and educational center of the state capital, and where a traveler can go to find everything from luxurious hotels to restaurants, music, and more.

Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin; image via jdeeringdavis

The downtown area is divided into several different streets and areas. Congress Avenue is the largest street in Austin and is the home of the state capitol building and other governmental structures. The Second Street District is where a traveler can find authentic food and shopping opportunities. Rainey Street, with its one-of-a-kind cocktail bars and lounges, is another place to have a drink, hear music, and relax.

The West End District is home to markets and shops, and the Seaholm District is an industrial area. Bremond Block Historic District, a collection of historic homes on the National Register of Historic Places, is also a part of the downtown area, as is Judges Hill, a historic area filled with stately homes. And finally, you have Sixth Street, the center of entertainment for the entire central Texas area.

Vacation Child Care Austin

Trying to find childcare while on vacation can be a hectic and unpleasant experience. How do you know your children will be well-cared for, happy, and safe? Many resorts and vacation hotspots provide childcare services, but parents should investigate the facilities and staff qualifications before leaving their children at an unknown facility.

Austin Hotels with Childcare

The following Austin hotels are reported to have childcare services available.  Call first.

  • Hotel Granduca Austin – 320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Bldg. B, Austin, TX
  • South Congress Hotel – 1603 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX
  • Four Seasons Hotel Austin – 98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX
  • Austin Southpark Hotel -4140 Governors Row, Austin, TX

Austin Vacation Nannies & Babysitters

If you need a nanny or babysitter while vacationing and you require temporary childcare and nanny services, there are options. When you’re on vacation and need a night out, a temporary nanny might be a good solution.

  • Windsor House Nannies 512-831-6677
  • Nanny Poppinz – 512-879-4177
  • College Nannies + Sitter Great Austin 512-343-1087

No matter where you go, these tips on how To find childcare for your next family vacation will come in handy! They will assist you in making an informed decision for your next family adventure.

Austin Weather

If you’re considering a visit to Austin, Texas, the good news is that there are few times of the year when the weather will be anything but hospitable.


Although summers can be downright blazing, as is the case with most cities in the Texas area, even the winters require little more than a sweater or light jacket. In the middle of January, temperatures may dip down to the 45-degree mark, but compared to the rest of the country, Austin provides a comfortable oasis from the harshness of the winters seen on the East Coast, Midwest, and even areas of the South. In fact, Austin only has an average of 13 days each year when the temperature falls below the freezing mark.


Needless to say, snow is not much of a concern in Austin. With average yearly snowfall under half an inch and the number of days each year where snow falls from the sky at less than one, most people in the area don’t have a need for a snow shovel. Every few years, weather patterns will send a light dusting of ice or sleet to cover the city. This often leaves the area immobilized for a day or two, largely due to the lack of supplies needed to remove the ice and drivers being unequipped to move their automobiles in inclement weather.

While winters may be as easy as can be, an Austin summer can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat. Although the heat does not have the humidity found in cities such as Atlanta and New Orleans, the temperatures rise significantly higher. In fact, the average number of days each year that Austin sees the thermometer climb above 90 is around 115 days, or nearly a third of the year. Almost all of these days occur between July and September, making air conditioning a way of life for residents and travelers to Austin in the summer months.

Spring & Fall

Spring and Autumn consist of two months each, with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Winter, which begins in December and ends in late February, typically has high temperatures around 65 and lows near 45. Those who love the cold weather or the dramatic shift of seasons are likely to feel unimpressed with Austin.

Austin is dry a majority of the year, but during April and May, Spring arrives in the form of thundershowers that provide the area with much-needed moisture. Drought has often been a severe problem in Austin, as the area is positioned so that it gets virtually no precipitation, even when the surrounding areas receive copious amounts of rain. Drought conditions have left the city under restrictions regarding the use of water.

Austin Transportation

Austin, the capital of the big state of Texas, is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. It is home to Texas’ center of government, as well as colleges and universities, professional sports teams, and plenty of entertainment options, hotels, and restaurants to appeal to travelers looking for a good time. Austin is a great city for a vacation, particularly because of all the transportation modes available to travelers.


The city is, first and foremost, home to many different taxi services. These services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take passengers wherever they need to go in and around the Austin area. Fares range from small for short trips to fairly steep for longer excursions around the city. However, taxis are among the most reliable transportation services available in Austin. They can be found at random on some of the city’s busiest downtown streets, and companies may be called in advance from anywhere around the city if you are in need of a ride and don’t want to wait for a cab to happen by.

Bus System

Public transit is also a great option for travelers looking to see the sights in Austin. The city operates a reliable bus system that runs from 5 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. A huge number of bus stops are available all up and down Austin’s main thoroughfare and at scattered points of interest located throughout the city as well. A hotline is available throughout the city for tips on how to get where you want to go by bus, and buses clearly display their point of origin, route number, and destination to help travelers who may be new to the area. Fares are paid on individual buses, and day passes are available from drivers if you plan to ride frequently during a trip.

Metro Rail

Another public transportation option is the Metro Rail. This light rail line operates Monday through Saturday on a route in the busiest part of Austin. Board the rail at Leander, one of Austin’s busiest streets, and ride along the 32-mile track to your next destination. There are nine different stations located along the Metro Rail track so you can get nearly anywhere you want to go in the city easily and quickly. Tickets and passes are available in advance of your ride, and can also be purchased at the time you ride at the train station. Three park-and-ride lots are available along the route for those interested in leaving personal or rented vehicles behind and riding the rail.

Austin Attractions

A stop at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum should be on your priority list when you visit Austin. You’ll be given access to chronicles of histories of the great state of Texas with fashionable exhibits, captivating narratives, and knowledgeable tour guides. All of your questions about the history of Texas will be answered by the time you’re ready to leave the museum. The content is suitable for people of all ages, so you can take your entire family there without hesitation. The history buffs among you will revel in the sights and sounds of the museum.

Barton Springs Pool

How does a refreshing dip in a pool sound? The Barton Springs Pool in Austin takes the idea of a community pool to a whole new level. The stunning oasis provides plenty of cold water to help you stay cool in the burning Texas sun.

Barton Springs Pool

The breathtaking scenic views around the pool are worthy of pictures on their own, but you’ll be able to explore the area to see the best sights available. This place isn’t just somewhere to swim; it’s a real spring with real cold water, even with scorching temperatures in the summer.

ACL Live Moody Theatre

Austin City Limits Live is the place to be for theater enthusiasts. You can watch hilarious comedies, tear-jerking dramas, suspense, action, and other kinds of plays there. You don’t have to rush to get there either. There are plenty of good seats so that you get a clear view of the stage. You might also get to hear some live music from time to time on the stage. The bands and actors communicate with each other regularly to give customers the most rewarding entertainment possible.

The Driskill

If you’re in need of lodging during your visit to Austin, be sure to check out The Driskill. Not only will you stay in a luxurious room with unmatched comfort, but you’ll also be treated to salivating breakfast choices the next day.

The gorgeous architecture displays a shade of Austin’s historic past. The service here is out of this world. People truly feel pampered when they stay here. You’ll wake up refreshed, you’ll eat a satisfying breakfast, and you’ll be on your way in no time. Try the Driskill for your Austin accommodation needs.

Town Lake

Town Lake caters to many different types of travelers. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you could hike the glorious nature trails surrounding the lake. Prepare to be amazed by the stunning beauty right before your eyes as you navigate the twists and turns you find yourself tangled in. You could also try your hand at some unforgettable kayaking on the waters. You’ll have loads of fun at Town Lake when you visit Austin.

Austin Dining

Moonshine Grill

303 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701; (512) 236-9599

If you are looking for traditional American food in an old-fashioned setting, you should stop by Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill. When you open up the menu, you will find a variety of different dishes including buffalo meatloaf, cornbread stuffing, corn dog shrimp, and flat iron steak.

image via

When the weather is warm, make sure to eat your meal on the patio and sip on a fresh-squeezed glass of lemonade.

Wink Restaurant

1014 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703; (512) 482-8868

Wink Restaurant is considered one of the best fine dining establishments in Austin and is a great place to get a bite to eat. All of the dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients and the wines are delicious.

Wink Restaurant Austin

Some of the dishes featured on the menu include roast duck breast, seared sea scallops, white wine steamed mussels, and lamb rack. All of the employees are very knowledgeable about the food and drinks, so do not ever be afraid to ask questions.

Fonda San Miguel

2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756; (512) 459-4121

Fonda San Miguel is the perfect restaurant to visit if you are in the mood for Mexican food. This colorful dining establishment has been around since 1975 and is a favorite among locals. The menu features traditional Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas, tamales, fajitas, and burritos.

Fonda San Miguel
image via

The Sunday brunch buffet is very popular and includes tables covered in Mexican pottery, fruits, flowers, and all sorts of different Mexican dishes. When the weather is nice, make sure to sit out on the patio, which is decorated with beautiful tropical plants.

Austin Events

There are not too many cities in the world that hold more great yearly events than Austin, Texas. While there is a wide range of events occurring in Austin throughout the year, these are the four events that everyone must experience.

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits is a music festival that takes place every year in either September or October. Austin City Limits was established in 2002, and it features three days of music from some of the biggest rock, folk, and alternative artists. There are over 100 artists performing over the three days on eight different stages, so there is always great music happening. Some of the biggest stars to perform at Austin City Limits are Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, and Stevie Wonder.

Austin Film Festival

Some of the best filmmakers in the world have been coming to Austin every October for the Austin Film Festival since 1994. Films of all types are shown throughout the festival in hopes of taking home one of the prestigious awards given to the best films. There are also several conferences and panel discussions involving some of the best actors, writers, and directors in television and film at the Austin Film Festival. Some of the great films that have been screened at the Austin Film Festival include Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, and Up in the Air.

South by Southwest

If you like what the Austin Film Festival and Austin City Limits have to offer, then South by Southwest is an ideal event for you to attend. South by Southwest is a combination film and music festival that has been taking place every March since 1987. Just like the Austin Film Festival, South by Southwest involves several conferences involving greats in the entertainment world. The music festival portion of South by Southwest features thousands of bands playing at various music venues throughout Austin. The films Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street, and The Cabin in the Woods have all made their premiere at South by Southwest.

Family Fun near Downtown Austin

Spending time with your family is an important part of any family vacation. It is great to get away from home and spend time enjoying each others’ company and having fun. While in Austin, there are many things to do and attractions to see with your family.

Austin Duck Adventures

Austin Duck Adventures is located at 300 Pressler Street in Austin. You and your family can see much of Austin from a different view while on this amazing tour. The tour is taken aboard an amphibious Hydra Terra vehicle which allows for you to be on land and water throughout the tour. From this unique view, you will be able to see the Governor’s mansion, the State Capital Building, Historic Sixth Street, and even Lake Austin from both the land and on water.

Austin Zoo

The Austin Zoo, located at 10807 Rawhide Trail, is a great place to see amazing animals with the ones you love. Over 300 animals of over 100 different species reside at this zoo.

The Austin Zoo also doubles as an Animal Sanctuary which helps to rescue animals. While at the zoo, you can get an up-close look at all of the animals as you walk around in a peaceful setting.

Blazer Tag Adventure Center

Blazer Tag Adventure Center, located at 1701 West Ben White Boulevard, is a great place to go for fun and entertainment. This ten-thousand-square-foot building with three stories was formerly a movie theater. It has been transformed into a place to go for an amazing game of laser tag. There is a video arcade as well. When your time of play has been finished, you could choose to have a bite to eat before heading off to your next destination.

Dinosaur Park

Dinosaur Park, located at 893 Union Chapel Road, is a great place to go for fun as well as for education. It is a museum where you can learn more about the dinosaurs that roamed this earth millions of years ago. Something that sets Dinosaur Park apart from other museums is the dinosaur replicas. Not only are there skeletons of dinosaurs, but there are replicas of dinosaurs that are life-sized, including a 40-foot T-Rex. Some of the other activities that can be found here are a picnic area, a playground, and the chance to complete a fossil dig.

With all of the family attractions that Austin has to offer, you are sure to find just the right ones for you and your family.

Shopping near Downtown Austin

Austin, Texas is a top destination for tourists and is flooded with a diverse retail scene. This city is perfect for those who love to shop and you are guaranteed to have the shopping experience of your life. Here, you will find the most unique, eclectic, and eccentric stores in the nation where all your shopping dreams will come true.

2nd Street

Popular shopping areas that you have to visit while in Austin include the bustling 2nd Street area, which will suit you well if you are an anti-chain clothing shopper, as it is lined with small boutiques where you will find everything even eco-friendly goodies.

The Domain

The Domain is an amazing 700,000 square foot space packed with independent stores that will provide you with the local shopping experience


The Arboretum Market is an outdoor shopping center that features high-end boutiques, including the chains that we have all grown to love such as Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, and much more.

Barton Creek Square Mall

Barton Creek Square Mall is a huge shopping mall that will keep you busy for hours. Here, you will find the popular chain and boutique stores such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Sears, and Nordstrom as well as the city’s one and only Apple Store and Armani Exchange store.


“The Drag” on Guadalupe is a traditional funky space with collegiate-type stores; San Marcos is the largest global outlet shopping complex where you will find everything from clothing and footwear to housewares and furnishings.

Lakeline Mall

Lakeline Mall is a relative newcomer to the city; and at South Congress, you can shop for priceless antiques including beautiful Edwardian jewelry.

Austin shops that you simply cannot afford to miss include

  • By George, a gem where you will find trendy designer wear;
  • STAG, which is always flooded with females and offers modern menswear;
  • Amelia’s Retro-Vogue & Relics, which sells one-of-a-kind vintage clothing;
  • Feathers Boutique, which specializes in vintage clothing;
  • At MOSS you will find classic labels for less;
  • At HEM Jeans, you will find those perfect-fitting jeans;
  • At Bootleg Austin, you will find trendy, vintage footwear which are great American discoveries of the owner brought back from her trips;
  • Aviary is a popular store specializing in decor;
  • and Busy-Being is a store that sells alternative-style accessories and artwork.

Austin is quite the shopping gem where you will discover a hidden shopping treasure in every neighborhood. From the small specialty shops and boutiques to the larger department stores, Austin has it all and you are guaranteed to have the shopping time of your life.

Map of Hotels in Austin

  1. Bergstrom International Airport – Find hotels near Onion Creek & Mckinney Falls State Park
  2. Austin Downtown – Find hotels near Rollingwood & Chestnut
  3. University of Texas at Austin – Find hotels near Upper Boggy & Pease Park.
  4. McKinney Falls State Park – Find hotels near Sweetbriar & Onion Creek
  5. Zilker Botanical Garden – Find hotels near Town Lake Park & Deep Eddy Park
  6. Festival Beach – Find hotels near Lakeshore Park & East Cesar Chavez.
  7. Sunset Valley – Find hotels near Westgate & Dick Nichols Park
  8. Texas State Capitol – Find hotels near Shultz Beer Garden & Wooldridge Square.
  9. Mount Bonnell Park – Find hotels near Perry Park & Lake Austin.
  10. Barton Creek Wilderness Park – Find hotels near Zilker Park & Sunset Valley.