When you think about Austin, Texas, what springs to mind? A fantastic music scene? Diehard football fans? Amazing barbecue? Well, yes, we have all three, but Austin is also an incredible place to visit with your family.
After 10 years of life in the Dallas/Fort Worth suburbs, we recently made the move to a much different scene in Austin. While I didn’t trade in my minivan for a hybrid or get season passes to Austin City Limits, I did embrace the move and began to experience all the culture and fun that Austin had to offer me and my family. Here are five of my favorite things to do in Austin:
Wander the Cathedral of Junk. In a small backyard of a South Austin home, Vince Hannemann created an amazing work of art out of ordinary junk – TVs, bicycles, glass bottles, toys and more are strategically placed about this three-story wonder. Take your time meandering through the “junk” and don’t forget to take a few pictures. The Cathedral of Junk is open on the weekends and by appointment on weekdays. It is absolutely free, but donations are welcome.
Go on the Austin Murals Tour. Some of the best art in Austin can be found on the sides of buildings. For free. Hop in a pedicab and tour all the murals within a 10 block radius of 6th Street. Get your family’s picture taken in front of the famous “Greetings from Austin” sign. Give your sweetie a smooch at the “I love you so much” mural.
Take a Dip at Barton Springs. Where else can you take a dip in March and be perfectly comfortable? Located at Zilker Park near downtown Austin, Barton Springs is the fourth largest natural spring in the state. The Springs are always a comfortable 68 degrees, allowing for a warm swim in the winter and a refreshing dip in the summer. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a ride on the famed Zilker Zephyr miniature train too.
Eat Dinner from a Food Truck. While in Austin, you must eat at least one meal from a local trailer or food truck. Some of the best meals I’ve had have been from a trailer. I’m talking gourmet, friends. Many of the food trailer parks even have picnic tables, live music and twinkle lights to add to the atmosphere. There’s even a mobile app to help you locate your favorite trailer. Mine just happens to be the giant airstream Hey Cupcake! trailer.
Climb Mt. Bonnell at Sunset: Mt. Bonnell offers a high peak to climb (it’s just steps!) with a 360 degree view of both downtown Austin and the gorgeous Lake Austin with the Hill Country in the distance. Bring along a blanket, picnic basket and your camera. The view is amazing!
Honestly, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just five favorite things to do in Austin. My family and I discover new things each week. Between incredible Mexican food, bat flights in the summer and loads of Texas history, we could easily plan a whole week of fun.
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Rebecca Darling is a contributing writer who likes to travel around Texas with her three kids and report on all the fun events and attractions at R We There Yet Mom?.
Photo Credit: lucidist