When the temps rise in Austin, Texas, it’s tempting to slow down and take things easy. And while we’re never one to turn down an afternoon nap in a hammock, we’re also not one to turn down something really fun to do. Like this stuff, all of which is on our super fun summer in Austin, Texas bucket list.
Austin has some really beautiful public courses, all of which will be a lot more enjoyable if you hire a golf instructor to help you with your swing. And your strategy. And your short game. And… well, you get it. Find a great local golf instructor on Thumbtack.
Nothing says summer like firing up the grill and inviting friends and over for a later afternoon cookout. If you need to install, repair, or clean your barbecue, there’s a Thumbtack pro who can help. In addition, though a backyard party is definitely a laidback affair, you may want to consider hiring a local bartender or caterer to help out.
You don’t have go to a boring gym to get in shape. Instead, take your workout to Austin’s beautiful parks where you can exercise while taking in the scenery. Find a trainer on Thumbtack who will create a training plan that fits where you want to work out and what you want to accomplish.
Head to the ballpark to watch this Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. And maybe even go on a Thirsty Thursday when you can get discounted draft beers and $1 sodas.
Ditching your clothes is optional, but know before you go that there will be nudists cruising around this gorgeous park in northwest Austin where you can sunbathe and swim. Fun fact: It’s the only legally recognized clothing-optional public park in all of Texas!
Whether you want to bike, swim, kayak, play volleyball, or explore the waterfalls and gardens, Zilker Park is the perfect place to spend a (not-so) lazy afternoon.
Will you have to wait in line? Yes. So bring a cooler of beer and a folding chair and just know that when you’re finally biting into the best barbecue in America it will all have been worth it.
Okay, so this one’s in Zilker Park, but is worth mentioning on its own since it’s a three-acre pool fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68 to 70 degrees. From 5 to 8am and 8 to 10pm you can swim for free, but if you want to go between 8am and 8pm, Austin residents have to fork over a whole $3.
KGSR puts on a free summer concert once a month in Zilker Park starting in May, so pack a picnic for a fun night under the stars. You can even bring your pup as long as he’s on a leash.
People have been visiting Mount Bonnell since the 1850s because, at 785 feet, it’s the highest point in Austin City Limits, which means breathtaking panoramic views of Downtown Austin, the 360 bridge, and more. Plus, the 100+ steps you have to climb to get to the top make for a fun summer workout.
This 3.1 mile paved loop is 23 feet wide and is JUST for cyclists and rollerbladers, which means it’s safe. But even better: it’s scenic and perfect for doing laps.
On alternating Wednesdays all summer long, you can watch classic movies for free on the Long Center lawn. A sunset concert kicks things off and there are tons of food trucks so you can enjoy your dinner al fresco.
The Austin Ice Cream Festival happens every August. $15 gets you free ice cream from some of Austin’s best vendors, plus contests and live music.
The Blue Starlite is a mini urban drive-in in Austin with just 50 car slots per showing that shows movies that were made during the days of drive-ins (and also indies when they feel like it). No car? You can also walk or bike in. With your dog if he doesn’t bark.
There’s nothing better than playing mini golf with the family on a warm, summer night and Peter Pan Mini Golf is the place to go. An Austin tradition since 1946, there are two 18-hole courses with split-levels and a unique cast of characters along the way.
The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is a “community paint park” in downtown Austin, which means it’s basically an ever-changing outdoor museum full of super cool and colorful graffiti.
Congress Avenue Kayaks will rent you everything you need and on Friday and Saturday evenings you can take a guided bat tour that will take you to Congress Avenue Bridge where you can see Austin’s famous colony of Mexican Freetail Bats emerge.
The Austin Zoo has over 300 species, including big cats and monkeys, and while you can’t feed those, you can feed goats, deer, sheep, and llamas, which is definitely something you should do.
The Austin Steam Train is the perfect way to experience historic steam-era railroading, but with the conveniences of modern times. There’s a family-friendly 66-mile round-trip route with time for lunch and shopping or, if you’re with adults, a 3-hour train ride with a custom craft beer tasting.
Austin’s Park n’ Pizza has go carts, batting cages, bumper boats and cars, mini golf, laser tag, an arcade, and everything else you need to entertain the kids or bring out the kid in you.