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Things To Do In Austin, Texas When Visiting
Keep Austin weird. It’s their slogan and the truth that most Austin-ites have held onto since the city was incorporated in 1839. I was lucky enough to call the capital of Texas my home for a few years and some of my best memories are from those times. While most of the memories aren’t appropriate to share here, I can share 7 things you must do in Austin if you want to feel like a real local.
Migas are a delicious gift from the Tex-Mex gods. You saute up jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, and mix in fried tortilla strips, cheese, and eggs. You’ll find them as either a plate with tortillas on the side or tacos that are already assembled at practically any Mexican restaurant, hole in the wall, or food truck in the city. My favorite migas can be found at Trudy’s served with a Mexican martini on the side.
Visit Hamilton Pool
You could visit Barton Springs which is easily accessible and often crowded, or you could take the trek right outside of town to Dripping Springs and hike up to Hamilton Pool Preserve. The pool is cool and refreshing on a warm summers day and ridiculously beautiful. I’d suggest getting there earlier rather than later. Hours are 9 AM – 6 PM and the entry fee is $15 a vehicle.
Watch the Bats
If you’re feeling batty you’ll find good company in Austin. Right in the middle of the city, under Congress bridge, is the largest urban bat colony in North America. During spring and summer, you can catch between 750,000 to 1.5 million bats as they emerge from the bridge during sunset to feed on insects. You can grab a blanket and catch the views from any of the grassy areas around Lady Bird Lake.
Hike Mount Bonnell
If you’re up to get a good leg workout, and take in some spectacular views, a hike up Mount Bonnell is a must for you Austin adventures. There are many stairs to reach the top (with supportive railing if you need it) but you’ll be glad you made the trek. The entire path provides breathtaking views of the Colorado River and the home that are nestled along it’s edge. Give yourself time to sit and reflect.
Grab a Drink on Dirty 6th
If Austin hazed it’s visitors it would start with a night of dancing and drinks on dirty 6th. Dirty 6th street refers to the area of bars and clubs around Austin’s 6th street area between the 35 bridge and Congress Avenue. It’s where I spent my 21st birthday and woke up the next morning needing X-Ray’s with no memory of what happened the night before. Go forth to dirty 6th and have a real good time.
Go shopping on SoCo
If you love shopping, and all things eclectic, look no further than South Congress. You’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants that draws serious crowds on the weekends. You’ll find genuine Texas boots, antiques, toys, trendy clothing, and plenty of places to grab a snack to refuel your excursion.
Catch Some Live Music
Did you know that Austin has THE premier music scene in Texas? From country to rock or rap, you’ll find it all in Austin. On any given night you can wander into one of the cities music venues and hear great music. AustinTexas.org has a great guide to slice and dice the music scene by neighborhood and style. You can check it out here, Austin Music Guide.
Are you traveling to Austin, Texas? What’s on your list of things to do? Tell me in the comments below!