Austin is the heart and soul of Texas, with a dazzling array of talent that includes blues, jazz, folk and alternative rock musicians. Historic landmarks dotting the landscape include the State Capitol, University of Texas Tower and the Governor’s Mansion.
This hip neighbourhood, which runs along South Congress Avenue from Johanna Street to Gibson Street, is home to a quirky collection of boutiques, restaurants, galleries, antique shops and music venues.
Things to do in Austin
Concierge Recommends: Austin
The Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Austin shares travel tips and suggestions to make your stay in Austin a memorable one.
Romantic Things to do In Austin
With mild weather, a lively art and music scene, and an abundance of outdoor attractions, Austin is a year-round destination for fun-loving couples.
7 Kid-Friendly Activities in Austin
Encounter wildlife, discover local history and take in unforgettable views in this family-friendly city.
Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail
Explore this thriving recreational area in the heart of Austin, steps from the Hotel property. The 10-mile (16-kilometre) urban path winds around Lady Bird Lake and through a vibrant mix of lush parks, cultural attractions and gathering spaces.
Feel the energy of a live show just about 24/7. Home to the most live music venues per capita nationwide, it’s no wonder Austin’s been dubbed “the Live Music Capital of the World.”
Savor Texas history: the imposing Capitol Building, built in 1888, is the tallest capitol building in the nation and offers a commanding view of the Colorado River from one of Austin’s highest points.
University of Texas
Cheer on the Longhorns, tour the campus collections, museums and exhibits or take in the magnificent view from the observation deck of the famous UT Tower.
Congress Bridge Bats
Watch an astonishing aerial display as 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats (the largest colony in North America) swoop out from their roosts beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk.
Discover the very best of indie culture at the renowned SXSW, a hybrid festival
that showcases emerging technology, up-and-coming films and industry insiders and 2,200 musical acts on over 100 stages.
Experience the perfect combination of food and fun with Texas BBQ, Austin-style. A variety of local restaurants serve up legendary dishes with a side of music and authentic Texas hospitality.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Watch a music legend perform live or discover the next big thing at the world-famous ACL Music Festival, where more than 140 bands converge on Austin's Zilker Park over two weekends and across eight stages.
Zilker Park & Barton Springs
Fly a kite, explore the 22-acre (nine-hectare) botanical garden or go for a swim in the spring-fed Barton Springs pool – it’s no surprise Zilker Park is considered “Austin’s best-loved park.”
Texas Performing Arts
Take in a Broadway musical or expand your cultural horizons with diverse theatre and dance programming year round. Texas Performing Arts has been one of the most important contributors to cultural life in Central Texas since 1981.
The Broken Spoke
Kick up your heels at Austin’s most definitive dance hall. Serving up live country music five nights a week – along with the city’s best chicken-fried steak – the Broken Spoke is a must for visitors wanting to experience authentic Texas two-steppin’.
Food Trailer Tour
Get your fill of Austin’s thriving food scene with a visit to one of the city’s many food cart parks. From sandwiches and tacos to cupcakes and coffee, the trailers have something for all tastes, and something new to discover in every neighbourhood.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Soak up Austin's 300 days of sunshine on Lady Bird Lake, home to some of the best kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding in town. Calm waters and numerous picturesque inlets provide hours of lake-filled fun in the heart of downtown Austin.
Bob Bullock Museum
Step into the pages of Texas’ storied past at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, featuring special effects shows and three storeys of eye-popping exhibits, from a full-sized 1940 AT-6 Texan airplane to the Capitol’s original Goddess of Liberty statue.
Embrace the city’s “Keep Austin Weird” vibe with a visit to eclectic South Congress, known to locals as SoCo. This shopping and entertainment district features funky shops, live music venues, laid-back dining and unparalleled people watching.
Texas Hill Country
Sniff, swirl and sip your way through Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country, home to more than 30 wineries, each offering distinctive varietals and scenic views of rolling green hills and vibrant wildflowers.
Whole Foods Market
Indulge your inner foodie with a visit to the 80,000-square-foot (7,432-square-metre) headquarters of Whole Foods Market. Founded in Austin in 1980, the company’s flagship store features 5 restaurants, over 1,800 wines, 600 varieties of cheese and a gelato counter with 20+ different flavours daily.
One of Austin’s newest entertainment and nightlife districts, Rainey Street features a row of laidback bungalows-turned-bars – many with cozy backyards and porches.
Thinking has never been so fun! More than just a children’s museum, this 40,000 sq. ft. (3,716 m2) center provides one to 11-year-olds with plenty of interactive activities, from creating music with water and drawing with lasers to sculpting with magnetic fluid.
Circuit of the Americas
From Formula 1 and X Games to world-class concerts, Circuit of the Americas is a year-round racing and entertainment destination. Even when there isn't an event, the 25-story Observation Tower is well worth a visit with its breath-taking views of the circuit, the Hill Country and Austin's skyline.
Get to know Austin like a local through a public or private tour of Austin and the surrounding Hill Country. From live music crawls and scavenger hunts downtown to wine tasting and BBQ tours, Austin Detours specializes in authentic adventures led by local artists, musicians, foodies and others who are part of the fabric of Austin.
As laundry manager, Patrick is frequently up and on his feet throughout the day, but he still makes time to exercise after work and on weekends. In his "Our Austin" itinerary, he shares how he stays active, including four Austin activities that helped him lose 65 pounds on his journey to get fit.
HOOK 'EM HORNS
Alumni, parents and soon-to-be Longhorns won't want to miss Alyssa's guide to the best places to hook 'em. A recent University of Texas graduate, the guest recognition coordinator shares her go-to spots for tailgating in Austin, where to find U.T. clothing and gear and much more.
Barbecue is a must for any Texas vacation, and Residences Concierge Homer is an expert on the topic. When he's not working, he loves exploring the many places to eat barbecue in Austin, as well as further afield spots located on the famous Texas barbecue trail.
One of the newest ways to experience Austin is through its burgeoning beer scene, complete with a day trip to the breweries in the Texas Hill Country. But there are also many restaurants and bars closer to downtown Austin where craft beer is king, including these five spots recommended by Richard, a long-time TRIO server.
Exploring Austin is more fun when you have a four-legged friend in tow, or so contends Public Relations Director Kerri in her guide to pet-friendly Austin. From an off-leash dog park to the best places to enjoy "yappy" hour, this itinerary will appeal to both local pet owners as well as travellers with Fido in tow.
"Eat dessert first" types of travellers will find it easy to satisfy their sweet tooth with this mouth-watering itinerary, written by Executive Pastry Chef Amanda.