Local Love: #KeepAustinWeird 10 Must-Do’s

We’re coming, Austin!

Instead of grocery shopping, let’s explore the city with some of our favorite ways to explore the capital of weird.

1. South Congress Bridge Bats

This is Lady Bird Lake. It’s amazing for kayaking, paddleboarding… and bat watching.


That’s right, under the South Congress Bridge lives millions of Mexico free-tailed bats.


And every summer night, around 6-9 p.m., you can watch the bats swarm out from under the bridge for their feeding time.


You can watch from the bridge, like we did.


Or from below, on a kayak.


Or on the side! Bring a picnic blanket and some snacks, it’s quite a view that you won’t want to miss!


2. Vintage Shopping

Austin is famous for its style, and it’s not hard to find something new and something old to suit your tastes here. Wander around SOCO, South Lamar, Guadalupe and S 1st Street for some serious vintage and thrift finds.


Use the Vintage Around Town Guide if you want to pick and choose your hot spots. Make a day of it, and make sure to stay fueled and hydrated at the eateries in between!


3. Anything and Everything on SOCO

South Congress is a bustling street that is teeming with things to do. Restaurants, thrift stores, food trucks, and graffiti galore.


Our advice? Save a day to just wander and explore the shops and streets around SOCO, without a strict agenda. You won’t be disappointed, and you will never leave hungry.


4. South Congress Books

Okay, well you have to stop by South Congress Books on your way. It’s a local bookstore that feels a little like home and a lot like any book-lover’s cozy paradise.

Flip through a few titles, and you might discover the used or collectible book you’ve been looking for.

5. Deep Eddy Pool

Feeling the sizzling Austin heat? Take a dip in the Deep Eddy! Made of the coolest freshwater, the Eddy is a huge pool open to the public, for a small fee.


6. Colorado River

Want to explore by boat? Take a float on the Colorado River (yes, we’re still in Austin). With boats docks and activities along the body of water, check out the reservoirs the Colorado streams into, like Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis.


The river is also surrounded by trails for those looking to stay more land-locked but still experience the glory that is the Colorado River.


7. Barton Springs

In the heart of Zilker Park lies a sparkling gem called Barton Springs. This magical watering hole is a public pool that is fed by underground springs that keep it a cool 68-70 degrees.
And look out for the endangered Barton Springs Salamanders! They’re federally protected here, so look on lovingly and wish them luck!


8. Grafitti Park

What is in Austin, looks like a castle and is ever-changing? GRAFFITI PARK!


Also known as the Hope Outdoor Gallery, the park is a massive community art project. In all of it’s nooks, crannies and heights, find multiple artists and paint-ready people putting up their own masterpieces.

Technically you need a permit from gallery owners to spray, but frequenters tell us that as long as you aren’t covering someone else’s art, you’re fine.


And if you’re going to cover someone else’s, the rule is that your piece better be better than what you’re painting over. All’s fair in paint and graffiti.


Or you can just sit back and watch the masters at work.


And watch the awesomeness unfold. Gosh, Austin, you rock.


9. Bike, bike, bike!

With hundreds of bike racks around town and bike rentals on every corner, the primary way to get around Austin is by two wheels, not four. And with dedicated blocked off bike lanes, it’s the best way to see the sights around town, especially when you consider traffic and parking!


10. Street Art Spotting Around Austin

The city of Austin is wrapped and covered in street art with absolute masterpieces and positive messages, commissioned by communities and amazing Austinites. How many can you spot?


“The only magic I believe in is love”



and more…

It’s hard to miss the arts in Austin. And it’s just the best. Share your favorites with us as you explore the city!



See you there!! And remember #KeepAustinWeird!


Category: #LocalLove, #ShiptLife, Blog

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