Austin, TX is a great travel destination that’s oozing with vibrant culture and endless entertainment, however, it can be a pricey vacation if you’re not careful. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of fun & affordable events and activities in Austin, TX for those staying at Uptown’s Downtown Austin or Round Rock locations. Our list includes attractions like Austin parks, free museums, and much more so you can plan your itinerary without hurting your wallet.
Although Austin is a lively urban city, it does offer many lush, green parks. The parks in Austin can be found throughout the metro area, and offer a perfect, free way to spend your day.
2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Austin’s most beloved park, Zilker Park, is a 350-acre metropolitan park found right in the heart of the city. Zilker Park is home to a variety of recreation opportunities, facilities, and many special events. The park is open every day from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm. Take some time out of your day and take in the fresh air at Zilker Park.
Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail, Austin, TX 78746
Sculpture Falls is a hidden gem in the greater Austin area. The falls are part of the 8-mile long river called Barton Creek Greenbelt that flows throughout the city. The falls themselves are quite the urban oasis and offers itself up for swimming, fishing, and relaxing.
3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Mayfield park is a historic garden and nature preserve located on the west side of Austin that is home to wild peacocks. That’s right, this beautiful Austin park overlooking Lake Austin has wild peacocks, found right in their natural habitat. Open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm every day.
4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723
Mueller Lake Park is a tranquil place to take a stroll on one of the many trails that wind around the lake. It has a thriving ecosystem as well as recreational and educational opportunities. Admission is free and the park is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm every day.
1000 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
A quick way to escape the craziness of the city is to explore the Butler Metro Park. It’s a popular spot for running, walking, picnics, and occasional special events. This park also has free admission and is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm every day.
With an abundance of rich history, Austin has a lot to share in the realm of art collections, famous people, exhibits, and much more. Below is a list of FREE museums all located within the greater Austin area. Each museum is accompanied by a link to their website so you can provide yourself with more detailed information.
300 West 21st Street Austin, Texas 78712
The Harry Ransom Center is a humanities research facility at the University of Texas, which has an expansive collection of art, literature, film, and photography. Some notable collections are Robert De Niro’s archive of film memorabilia, production materials from the film Gone With The Wind, and Albert Einstein’s unpublished notes and calculations. Harry Ransom Center hopes that visitors arrive with curiosity and leave with inspiration. The museum is open Monday-Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Saturday/Sunday
2389 Stratford Drive Austin, TX 78746
Since 1960 the Austin Nature and Science Center has been educating locals and tourists alike about the natural environment. Its located on the western end of Zilker Park and offers indoor and out nature exhibits. The Museum’s goal is to educate the public on the importance and preservation of nature. It’s open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday-Saturday and 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Sundays.
1165 Angelina St, Austin, TX 78702
The George Washington Carver Museum is dedicated to illustrating the rich history of African American experiences throughout Austin and the United States. Open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm from Monday-Wednesday, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm on Thursday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm on Friday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday, and closed on Sundays.
304 E 44th St, Austin, TX 78751
The Elisabet Ney Museum accommodates thousands of visitors each year and displays the lifework of the German sculptor Elisabet Ney. In addition, the museum shows the works of contemporary artists who shared the same love of sculptured art as Ney. Stop by from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Wednesday-Sunday and enjoy the beautiful works of art (closed on Monday and Tuesday).
Below is a list of truly unique things to do in Austin. Each event is all relatively inexpensive, and most definitely an event that you can only find in Austin. Don’t miss out on the opportunity and check out what bizarre things Austin has to offer.
4422-4424 Lareina Dr, Austin, TX 78745
The Cathedral of junk has years of leftover scraps and trash that have been carefully formed into a cathedral of junk. Started in 1988, Vince Hannemann has been slowly adding to his unique masterpiece, right in his backyard. To visit the site attendees must call ahead to (512-299-7413) and make sure Vince is available. A small donation from your group is all that’s required for admission.
Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
The Congress Bridge is a one-of-a-kind habitat for Mexican Free-Tailed Bats. From March to October, hundreds of people gather to see these bats emerge by the thousands. Typically, the best time for viewing is between 7:30 – 9:45 pm. Just look for the crowd of people standing by the bridge waiting for the bats to take flight.
Blues on the Green is a monthly musical event that is hosted in Zilker Park during the summer months. The event offers free admission and usually draws a large enough crowd to fill the extended area around the stage. In the past, people have brought blankets or foldable chairs for comfortable viewing and usually arrive before the event starts to secure a good spot. Blues on the Green has been running consistently for 29 years and is Austin’s largest free concert series.