Austin, on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, is not only the state capital but lays claim to being the “live music capital of the world.” It’s also a center for film and home to the University of Texas and Formula 1’s Circuit of the Americas raceway. In addition, its abundant parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.

Things to do in Austin

Hike Mount Bonnell

While part of the allure of Austin includes over 300 days of sunshine per year, those visitors and new residents with more urban experience might find themselves intimidated by the unbelievable variety of outdoor activities the city offers. Whether you’re here for the day or plan on sticking around for a while, Mount Bonnell is a great place to start your outdoor adventures and witness some of the incredible views the city offers.

Mount Bonnell, Austin
A view of the Colorado River from Mount Bonnell, Austin

Located in Covert Park, Mount Bonnell is generally considered the highest point in Austin at 775 feet! The peak is named for George Bonnell, who served as Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Texas Republic.
While this view is pretty high up in the sky, don’t be intimidated! The overlook of downtown and the 360 Bridge is actually more of a tourist destination than a workout and is an excellent hot spot for picture-taking and those on an adventurous date. When you reach the top of the 102-stair climb, you can rest at the view deck and pavilion before returning.

Explore Lady Bird Lake 

Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River in Downtown Austin.

Austin, Texas
A view of Austin City Skyline from the other side of Lady Bird Lake

Hangout Around Lake Austin

Lake Austin, formerly Lake McDonald, is a water reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin.

Mozart’s at Lake Austin
Outdoor seating – Mozart’s at Lake Austin

Visit Lake Travis

Lake Travis is a reservoir on the Colorado River in central Texas in the United States. The reservoir was formed in 1942 by the construction of Mansfield Dam on the western edge of Austin.

Mount Bonnell, Austin
A view of the Colorado River from Mount Bonnell, Austin

Hamilton Pool Preserve

While Hamilton Pool is actually in Dripping Springs and not Austin, we thought we’d include it anyway because we like it and can. Thousands of years of water erosion from an underground river flowing beneath the heart of the Texas Hill Country led to the collapse of an underground dome to form the breathtaking grotto and pool known as Hamilton Pool Preserve. Thank you, nature.

Located about 32 miles west of Austin, Texas, and 13 miles north of Dripping Springs, Texas, Hamilton Pool is one of the more popular swimming holes in the Texas Hill Country. It sits in a small canyon and can only accommodate a limited number of people. The swimming hole’s popularity often causes Hamilton Pool to reach capacity during the warmer months, forcing swimming hole goers to wait in line, sometimes for hours, and abide by the “one-in-one-out” rule. Getting to Hamilton Pool as early as possible is best to beat the crowds.

Hike the Greenbelt – Scottish Woods

The Scottish Woods Trail is on the other end of the Green Belt. This awesome swimming hole is beautiful even when the water is low. A small waterfall begs to be jumped off of, but make sure you go underneath to check out the cave of secrets behind the falls. This is an excellent part of the Green Belt for a solid hike with a nice swim in the middle. I have to warn you. However, the hill of Life is not for the faint of heart or the drunk. The Hill of Life is the steep rocky hike that leads from the head of the trail to the water of the Green Belt below, So it’s always going to be a hike & swim, not just a swim. Bring some good shoes and pace yourself on the boxed river wine.

The Texas State Capital 

The Texas State Capitol, completed in 1888 in Downtown Austin, contains the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and the Office of the Governor.

The State Capital of Austin, Texas
The State Capital of Austin, Texas

Food I have Tried In Austin

Torchy’s Tacos in Austin

At Torches Tacos, a combination of the Democrats and Mr. Orange

Mozart’s at Lake Austin

Halal Bro is also one of the most popular restaurants in the Austin University area.

Torches Tacos, Austin
At Torches Tacos having a combination of the Democrats and Mr. Orange
Mozart’s bakery in Austin
The cake that I tried at Mozart’s bakery in Austin

Where to stay in Austin, Texas

Hampton Inn and Suites Austin University Capitol

The University of Texas at Austin is less than one mile from the hotel. Bright, modern guest rooms at Hampton Inn and Suites Austin University Capitol are furnished with a work desk and ergonomic chair, and a rooftop swimming pool. Guests can energize at the modern fitness facility or print travel documents in the onsite business center. A self-serve laundromat is also conveniently accessible at the hotel. In addition, the Texas state capitol building and the Sixth Street entertainment district are each within one mile of the hotel.

Staybridge Suites Austin, an IHG Hotel

Located 5.5 miles from Austin Convention Center, Staybridge Suites Austin South Interstate Hwy 35, an IHG Hotel, offers 3-star accommodations in Austin. It has a fitness center, a shared lounge, barbecue facilities, and an outdoor swimming pool. In addition, the property has a free shuttle service, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage for guests. Capitol Building is 6.6 miles from Staybridge Suites, while Frank Erwin Center – University of Texas is 6.6 miles from the property. The nearest airport is Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, 6.8 miles from the hotel.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Austin, Texas? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being in Austin, Texas, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Texas.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mahmud Hasan

    Austin is really beautiful. Great description, very useful information indeed!

    1. DZTraveler

      Appreciate your nice comment !

  2. DZTraveler

    Thank you for the nice comment!

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