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Valerie
Los Angeles

Austin

Best free things to do in Austin (Texas)?

I'm going to be in Austin (Texas) next month and will be on a pretty tight budget. I'm looking for the best free and inexpensive things to check out! I love the outdoors, art, museums, you name it. Thanks!


8 Answers

answered by
Zack from Brooklyn

S Congress Ave has tons of amazing shops full of unique Austin crafts made by local artists. Had a fun time checking out all the little shops. Also there is an area that showcases graffiti art. It's near a castle looking house and the graffiti art there is really cool. I can't remember the name at the moment. Also you can go watch the bats fly out of Statesman Bat Observation Center in the evenings it's quite a sight!


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. S Congress Ave (attraction)
  2. Statesman Bat Observation Center (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Brandon from Austin (Texas)

The Barton Creek Greenbelt near Barton Springs is great.  You can do some paddle boarding near there or just wade into the water just north of the springs.  The food trucks nearby are also a great place to fill up on good fun food.  I'd take a hike up Mount Bonnell Viewing Platform to get a view that is hard to beat in Austin.    


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Barton Creek Greenbelt (attraction)
  2. Mount Bonnell Viewing Platform (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Eric from Warren, Ohio

Zilker Park

Barton Springs Pool $3 entry fee 

Flamingo Cantina on a wednesday nights has one of the oldest bands in Austin playing reggae for free.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Zilker Park (attraction)
  2. Barton Springs Pool (attraction)
  3. Flamingo Cantina (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Katerina from Los Angeles

Austin is such a fun city. With keeping a budget in mind, check out Blues on the Green (BYOB too) in Zilker Park. There are free concerts on certain days in the park and so many people come out to enjoy it. Also, First Thursday on South Congress is fun and gives you a cool feel for the downtown area. If you're not here for the first Thursday of the month though, I would recommend going to South Congress anyways. It's one of my favorite places in town to walk around. Plus you have an awesome view of the Texas State Capitol and downtown Austin skyline. You can also walk around town lake, which is a very popular thing to do. And the bats under the Congress bridge is a pretty unique and a cool thing to see after sunset. I've lived in Austin for nine years now and I still love the city!



Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Austin (city)
  2. Zilker Park (attraction)
  3. South Congress (neighborhood)
  4. Texas State Capitol (attraction)
1 thanks


answered first by
Jorge from Austin (Texas)

Check out the HOPE Outdoor Gallery . It is in downtown Austin. This place captures the true essence of being an Austinite. It is fun, quirky, and the graffiti art is amazing! http://hopecampaign.org/hopeprojects/hope-outdoor-gallery/


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. HOPE Outdoor Gallery (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Sara from Seattle, Washington

Definitely checkout Zilker Park, a beautiful open park with a great view of downtown. Take a walk on the trail around Lady Bird Lake. Renting a kayak or stand up paddle board on the lake is really fun. Usually sites like Groupon have deals.

I love walking around South Congress. Get a great ice cream cone at Amy's Ice Creams or a coffee at Joes across the street. The lobby of the new South Congress Hotel is very stylish - great place for a cocktail.

For good cheap food, don't miss Torchy's Tacos (these are actually all over town). There are also some great happy hours. My favorite is Uchiko

If you want to take a yoga or dance class, lots of the studios give you your first class for free. My favorite is Ballet Austin.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Zilker Park (attraction)
  2. Lady Bird Lake (attraction)
  3. Amy's Ice Creams (restaurant)
  4. South Congress Hotel (hotel)
  5. Torchy's Tacos (restaurant)
  6. Uchiko (restaurant)
  7. Ballet Austin (attraction)


answered by
Lori from Rhinebeck, New York

Hi Katie,

Zilker Park in downtown Austin is nice and includes the famous Austin watering hole, Barton Springs.  Close to the park is the American Botanical Council which is quite nice. 

Along the river downtown is the hike and bike trail and places to rent canoes.  If you have a car, you can drive west of town and climb to the top of Mount Bonnellfor some great views. 

The Texas Capital has free guided tours. 

Watch the bats fly out from the Congress Avenue Bridge each night at sunset.  People will be standing on the bridge waiting for this popular event.

Play a round of putt putt at the Peter Pan Mini-Golf on Barton Springs Rd. 

Walk around So-Co and take in this unique area of Austin with shops, restaurants and live music.  (So-Co stands for South Congress)

Hope you enjoy your visit!


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Zilker Park (attraction)
  2. Barton Springs (attraction)
  3. American Botanical Council (attraction)
  4. Mount Bonnell (attraction)
  5. Congress Avenue Bridge (attraction)
  6. Peter Pan Mini-Golf (attraction)


answered by
David from Austin (Texas)

Hi Katie, check out  Zilker Park for the Trail of Lights, it's open to the general public until Dec 22nd. The Blanton Museum of Art is the best museum in town, admission is pretty cheap at $9. 


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Zilker Park (attraction)
  2. Blanton Museum of Art (attraction)




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