7 Things to Do in Austin, TX

This past winter break, I went to Austin, TX to visit my best friend and his family. He’s lived there for most of his life and wanted to show me the best and most unique parts of Austin. He made an itinerary so that I could see as much of the city as I could for the few weeks that I was there. After the trip and completing his itinerary, I can say that Austin definitely lives up to its reputation as a unique, hipster and wholesomely weird city! Here is a list of places that you should definitely visit if you ever find yourself in town!

1. Zilker Park

It is such a beautiful metropolitan park that sits across from Austin’s skyline. There are 351 acres of land dedicated to jogging, biking, swimming, kayaking, and other outdoor activities! The park has many trails, gardens, volleyball courts, natural springs, and swimming areas. If you like nature and outdoor activities, this park is a must see!

2. Snow Monster

This is an amazing dessert place to beat the Texas heat! Their most popular dessert is a bowl of Snow Ice (a popular Taiwanese dessert) that is made from fruit extracts (you can pick the flavor) and fresh milk! This is then turned into ice blocks are that finely shaved with a machine into fluffy ribbons of snow ice! You can top this delicious treat with tapioca, fruit jelly, mochi, fruits, candies, and more!

3. Tacos el Primo

This taco stand is a small hidden gem in Austin that sells the best Mexican street food! Their quesadillas, tortas, and tacos are unrivaled. The taste is super authentic (verified by my friend’s Mexican family), and for such a reasonable price as well. I recommend the quesadilla al pastor heartily! It was the best quesadilla I’ve ever had in my life. The sauces are divine as well. Definitely try the chili sauce and the avocado sauce.  

4. Home Slice Pizza

This vintage pizza joint on South Congress Ave was absolutely incredible. Their thin crust slices and pies are unrivaled. This has got to be the best slice of pizza I have ever had! It serves authentic New York style pizza and has been rated the fourth best pizza joint in the US. It’s also open late at night so definitely drop by for a slice when you’re in town!

5. Scooters

I live in Cambridge, MA most of the time so I am pretty used to walking everywhere. However, in the city of Austin I was surprised by a new way of traveling without car. There is an electric scooter phenomenon taking over the city. The scooter apps Lyft, Lime, and Bird have such a strong prominence in the city with scooter available for riding at every major stoplight. It takes a while to get a hang of, but it’s an incredible way to get around Austin. I rode the scooter around downtown and South Congress Ave, and I was able to visit all the cute shops and restaurants. It’s such a rush to feel the wind in your hair and the city blur past you!

6. Trail of Lights

This is a seasonal event in Austin during the holiday season. Every Christmas, the city shuts down the enormous Zilker Park and sets up an amazing light show. It was the most beautiful and festive light show I have ever been to. There are over 40 displays, 2 million lights, Austin’s favorite food trucks, nightly entertainment and holiday activities, including amazing carnival rides! Around 400,000 people attend each year, and half of the nights the light show is open are free!

7. Graffiti park (Hope Outdoor Gallery)

This park recently moved next to Carson Creek Ranch near the Austin Airport, so when I visited, it was still in its old location. This is an amazing outdoor space in Austin where visitors can create artwork amongst each other. This paint park is the only of its kind in the US, and it was originally created to provide muralists, street artists, arts education classes and community groups the opportunity to make and display large scale art pieces. It has now become an inspirational outlet and creative destination for many visitors!