5-Day Austin Family Adventure: Sightseeing and Shopping Extravaganza

Austin, Texas

5 days

Downtown skyline on the Colorado river
A colony of endemic bats flies over Austin
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Cowboy boots aligned on a store shelf
Cowboy Memorial in front of Texas Capitol dome

About Austin, Texas

Welcome to Austin, Texas, a city that perfectly blends traditional Southern charm with a vibrant arts scene and innovative tech culture. Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin offers an array of music festivals, including the famous SXSW and Austin City Limits. Explore the city's rich history at the Texas State Capitol and Bullock Texas State History Museum. Nature lovers can enjoy the Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park, and Barton Springs Pool. Foodies will love the city's renowned food trucks and BBQ joints. Don't miss the chance to witness the world's largest urban bat colony at the Congress Avenue Bridge. Austin's warm, sunny weather makes it a perfect year-round destination. Come experience the unique blend of Texan hospitality and progressive culture in Austin.

5-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Downtown Austin and Zilker

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Texas State Capitol. This impressive building offers free guided tours that provide a rich history of Texas politics. It's a great way to get acquainted with the state's history and culture.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Zilker Metropolitan Park. This 351-acre park offers plenty of space for a family picnic, as well as a variety of recreational activities.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Zilker Botanical Garden. This 26-acre garden features a variety of themed gardens, including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and a butterfly garden.

Dinner

Have dinner at a family-friendly restaurant in the South Congress district. This area is known for its eclectic dining scene, with options ranging from Tex-Mex to gourmet burgers.

Evening

End your day with a stroll along the South Congress Avenue. This vibrant shopping district is filled with unique boutiques, vintage shops, and art galleries.

Morning

Begin your day at the Austin Zoo. This rescue zoo is home to over 300 animals from more than 100 different species, including lions, tigers, and bears.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant in the Barton Creek Square. This shopping mall offers a variety of dining options, as well as numerous stores for a post-lunch shopping spree.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon at the Barton Springs Pool. This natural spring-fed pool is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, and it's a great way to cool off on a hot Texas afternoon.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Rainey Street Historic District. This area is known for its historic bungalows that have been converted into trendy bars and restaurants.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats. Every evening from March to October, hundreds of thousands of bats emerge from under the bridge at dusk, creating a truly unique spectacle.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Bullock Texas State History Museum. This museum offers three floors of exhibits that tell the story of Texas, from prehistoric times to the present.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant in the Second Street District. This area is known for its upscale dining options, as well as its high-end boutiques and shops.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This botanical garden is dedicated to preserving and displaying native Texas plants, and it offers a variety of walking trails and exhibits.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Warehouse District. This area is known for its diverse dining scene, with options ranging from sushi to barbecue.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Moody Theater for a live music show. Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," and the Moody Theater is one of the city's premier music venues.

Morning

Begin your day at the Austin Nature & Science Center. This family-friendly attraction offers a variety of interactive exhibits and outdoor activities, including a Dino Pit and a Wildlife Pond.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant in The Domain. This upscale shopping center offers a variety of dining options, as well as numerous high-end boutiques and stores.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon at the Thinkery. This children's museum offers a variety of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that encourage learning through play.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the East Sixth Street district. This area is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues.

Evening

End your day with a stroll along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. This 10-mile trail offers stunning views of the Austin skyline and Lady Bird Lake.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the LBJ Presidential Library. This library and museum offers a comprehensive look at the life and presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant in the Mueller district. This area is known for its diverse dining scene, with options ranging from food trucks to upscale restaurants.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. This outdoor museum features a variety of sculptures by Charles Umlauf, as well as rotating exhibits of contemporary sculpture.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Hyde Park district. This historic neighborhood is known for its charming bungalows and tree-lined streets, as well as its diverse dining scene.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to the Mount Bonnell. This popular viewpoint offers stunning views of the Austin skyline and the Colorado River, making it a perfect spot for a sunset picnic.

Attractions in Itinerary (19)

Texas State Capitol

1
Texas State Capitol

An iconic red granite state capitol building with a large dome, offering guided tours.

Attractions
Monuments
Architecture
Zilker Metropolitan Park

2
Zilker Metropolitan Park

A large, urban park that offers many recreational activities and is home to several attractions including Zilker Botanical Garden and Barton Springs Pool.

Parks
Cultural Experiences
Zilker Botanical Garden

3
Zilker Botanical Garden

A 26-acre garden located within Zilker Metropolitan Park, featuring diverse plant and flower species.

Parks
Gardens
South Congress Avenue

4
South Congress Avenue

South Congress Avenue, also known as SoCo, is a vibrant neighborhood in Austin, Texas. It's known for its eclectic mix of boutiques, eateries, music venues, and galleries.

Attractions
Shopping
Neighborhoods
Austin Zoo

5
Austin Zoo

Austin Zoo is a rescue zoo located in Austin, Texas. It provides a sanctuary for a diverse collection of animals, including lions, tigers, monkeys, and more.

Attractions
Barton Creek Square

6
Barton Creek Square

Barton Creek Square is a large shopping mall located in Austin, Texas. It features a variety of stores, restaurants, and a movie theater.

Shopping
Barton Springs Pool

7
Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool is a recreational outdoor swimming pool that is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. It is located on the grounds of Zilker Park.

Attractions
Parks
Congress Avenue Bridge

8
Congress Avenue Bridge

The Congress Avenue Bridge, also known as the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, is home to the world's largest urban bat colony, which is a major tourist attraction.

Attractions
Landmarks
Bullock Texas State History Museum

9
Bullock Texas State History Museum

A museum dedicated to telling the story of Texas, with three floors of exhibits and an IMAX theater.

Museums
Cultural Experiences

10
Second Street District

Second Street District is a trendy neighborhood in Austin, Texas. It's known for its upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment options, including a number of boutiques and restaurants.

Attractions
Shopping
Neighborhoods
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

11
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a botanical garden located in Austin, Texas. It's dedicated to preserving and displaying native plants of North America, with a focus on the flora of Texas.

Attractions
Parks
Gardens
Moody Theater

12
Moody Theater

Moody Theater is a live music venue located in Austin, Texas. It's known for hosting the long-running TV show Austin City Limits, as well as a variety of concerts and events.

Attractions
Entertainment
Austin Nature & Science Center

13
Austin Nature & Science Center

Austin Nature & Science Center is an educational facility located in Austin, Texas. It offers hands-on exhibits and programs focused on nature and science.

Attractions
Museums
The Domain

14
The Domain

The Domain is a high-end shopping center located in Austin, Texas. It features a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options, including popular retailers and upscale dining.

Shopping
Attractions
Thinkery

15
Thinkery

Thinkery is a children's museum located in Austin, Texas. It offers hands-on exhibits and educational programs focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Attractions
Museums
Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

16
Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is a scenic trail located in Austin, Texas. It runs along the shores of Lady Bird Lake, offering stunning views of the city's skyline.

Attractions
Parks
LBJ Presidential Library

17
LBJ Presidential Library

LBJ Presidential Library is a museum located in Austin, Texas. It's dedicated to the life and career of President Lyndon B. Johnson, featuring a variety of exhibits and artifacts.

Attractions
Museums
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

18
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is a museum and garden located in Austin, Texas. It features the works of American sculptor Charles Umlauf, including a variety of sculptures and drawings.

Attractions
Museums
Gardens
Mount Bonnell

19
Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell, also known as Covert Park, is a prominent point alongside the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s.

Attractions
Landmarks

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Barbecue

Barbecue

Austin is famous for its Texas-style barbecue, which is typically slow-cooked and smoked over a wood fire.

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast Tacos

A popular breakfast item in Austin, these tacos typically include ingredients like eggs, cheese, and bacon wrapped in a tortilla.

Tex-Mex

Tex-Mex

A fusion of Mexican and American cuisines, Tex-Mex is a staple in Austin and includes dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, and nachos.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

A classic Texas dish, chicken fried steak is a breaded and fried steak served with gravy.

Chili

Chili

Texas-style chili is a meaty stew often made without beans, and is a popular dish in Austin.

Queso

Queso

A creamy cheese dip often served with tortilla chips, queso is a favorite appetizer in Austin.

Kolaches

Kolaches

Originally a Czech pastry, Texans have put their own spin on kolaches, filling them with ingredients like sausage and cheese.

Migas

Migas

A Tex-Mex breakfast dish made from scrambled eggs mixed with strips of tortillas, onions, peppers, and cheese.

Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock

A popular Texas beer, Shiner Bock is a smooth, dark lager that's brewed in the small town of Shiner, just outside of Austin.

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

A staple in the South, sweet tea is a popular drink in Austin and is often served iced with a slice of lemon.

Margarita

Margarita

A popular cocktail in Austin, margaritas are typically made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec, and served with salt on the rim of the glass.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

A classic Southern dessert, pecan pie is a sweet, nutty pie that's particularly popular in Austin due to the abundance of pecan trees in Texas.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Austin, Texas is during the spring and fall, specifically from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is typically mild and comfortable, perfect for outdoor activities. Additionally, Austin hosts several popular events during these periods such as the South by Southwest (SXSW) in March and Austin City Limits Music Festival in October. However, please note that these are also peak tourist seasons, so it's advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Austin, especially if you plan on visiting areas outside of the city center. There are numerous car rental companies available at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and throughout the city.

Austin is served by several ridesharing companies including Uber and Lyft. These services provide a convenient and often cost-effective way to get around the city, especially if you don't plan on driving yourself.

Austin is a bike-friendly city with numerous bike lanes and trails. You can rent a bike from one of the many bike rental shops in the city or use the city's bike-sharing program, Austin B-cycle.

Austin's public transportation system, Capital Metro, offers bus and light rail services throughout the city. The bus system has numerous routes, while the MetroRail has nine stations running from downtown Austin to the city's northern suburbs.

Taxis are readily available in Austin, especially in the downtown area. You can hail a taxi on the street, or call ahead to book one.

Pedicabs, or bicycle taxis, are a fun and eco-friendly way to get around downtown Austin. They're especially popular during festivals and other large events.

Downtown Austin is quite walkable, with many attractions, restaurants, and shops within a short distance of each other. The city also has several beautiful trails for longer walks or hikes.

Electric scooters are a popular way to get around Austin. Several companies, including Bird and Lime, offer scooter rentals throughout the city. Simply download the app, find a nearby scooter, and start your ride.

RideAustin is a local nonprofit ridesharing option available in Austin. It operates much like Uber or Lyft, but with a focus on giving back to the local community.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Austin, Texas as a first time visitor

1

Austin is the capital of Texas, so expect to see a lot of state government buildings and activities.

2

The city is known for its live music scene, with many venues featuring live performances every night.

3

Austin is also known as the 'Silicon Hills' due to the large number of tech companies in the city.

4

The city is very bike-friendly, with many bike lanes and bike rental services available.

5

Austin has a warm climate, with average high temperatures in the summer reaching 96°F (35.5°C) and average lows in the winter around 43°F (6.1°C).

6

The city is home to the University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest universities in the U.S.

7

Austin is known for its food trucks, which can be found all over the city serving a variety of cuisines.

8

The city has a strong commitment to sustainability, with many green initiatives and eco-friendly businesses.

9

Austin is home to many parks and outdoor spaces, including the Lady Bird Lake, Zilker Park, and Barton Springs Pool.

10

The city has a vibrant nightlife, with many bars and clubs located on 6th Street and Rainey Street.

11

Austin is known for its annual events, including South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits Music Festival.

12

The city has a diverse population, with a mix of students, professionals, artists, and musicians.

13

Austin is located in Central Texas, so it's a great base for exploring the Texas Hill Country.

14

The city has a strong craft beer scene, with many local breweries offering tours and tastings.

15

Austin is a very pet-friendly city, with many parks, restaurants, and businesses allowing dogs.

16

The city has a laid-back vibe, with a casual dress code prevalent even in upscale restaurants and events.

17

Austin has a strong arts scene, with many galleries, theaters, and art events throughout the year.

18

The city is known for its unique 'Keep Austin Weird' culture, which celebrates individuality and creativity.

19

Austin has a strong economy, with a low unemployment rate and a high job growth rate.

20

The city has a good public transportation system, including buses, light rail, and bike-sharing services.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear (5 pairs)

  • Socks (5 pairs)

  • T-shirts (5)

  • Shorts (2 pairs)

  • Jeans (1 pair)

  • Light jacket or sweater (1)

  • Swimsuit (1)

  • Pajamas (1 set)

  • Comfortable walking shoes (1 pair)

  • Sandals or flip-flops (1 pair)

  • Hat or cap (1)

  • Sunglasses (1 pair)

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Floss

  • Deodorant

  • Razor

  • Shaving cream

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm

  • Facial cleanser

  • Moisturizer

  • Contact lens solution (if needed)

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport or ID

  • Flight tickets

  • Hotel booking confirmation

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash

  • Guidebook or map

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Power bank

  • Adapters (if needed)

  • Laptop (if needed)

  • Charger for laptop (if needed)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs

  • Eye mask

  • Books or e-books

  • Travel-size laundry detergent

  • Travel-size umbrella

Weather Conditions

Austin, Texas is known for its warm climate, with temperatures often reaching the high 90s (35-37°C) in the summer months. If you're planning a trip during this time, be sure to pack lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Don't forget to stay hydrated, as the heat can be intense. The city also experiences mild winters, with temperatures typically ranging from the 40s to 60s (4-15°C). If you're visiting Austin during the winter months, you'll want to pack layers, as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day. Spring and fall in Austin are quite pleasant, with temperatures usually in the 70s and 80s (21-27°C). These seasons are a great time to explore the city's outdoor attractions, such as Zilker Park or Lady Bird Lake. Rainfall in Austin is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year, but the city can experience heavy storms, particularly in the spring. It's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip and pack an umbrella or rain jacket just in case. Regardless of when you visit, Austin's weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to pack for a variety of conditions. Enjoy your trip to this vibrant and dynamic city!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

20° / 4°

January is the coldest month in Austin, Texas, with an average low of 4°C. It's a good time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.

February

23° / 6°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, with an average high of 23°C. The weather is still cool and comfortable for outdoor activities.

March

27° / 10°

March marks the beginning of spring in Austin, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 27°C. It's a great time to enjoy the city's parks and outdoor festivals.

April

30° / 15°

April is a warm month in Austin, with an average high of 30°C. It's a perfect time to explore the city's music scene and enjoy the outdoors.

May

34° / 19°

May is the start of the hot season in Austin, with temperatures often reaching 34°C. Make sure to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

June

37° / 23°

June is one of the hottest months in Austin, with an average high of 37°C. It's a good time to visit the city's swimming holes and indoor attractions.

July

39° / 24°

July is the peak of summer in Austin, with temperatures often exceeding 38°C. It's a great time to enjoy water activities and the city's vibrant nightlife.

August

39° / 24°

August is another hot month in Austin, with similar temperatures to July. It's a good time to visit the city's museums and indoor attractions.

September

36° / 21°

September marks the end of the hot season in Austin, with temperatures starting to cool down. It's a great time to enjoy the city's outdoor dining and music festivals.

October

31° / 16°

October is a comfortable month in Austin, with an average high of 31°C. It's a perfect time to explore the city's parks and enjoy the fall colors.

November

26° / 10°

November is a cool month in Austin, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 26°C. It's a great time to enjoy the city's food scene and cultural attractions.

December

22° / 6°

December is a cool and comfortable month in Austin, with an average high of 22°C. It's a good time to enjoy the city's holiday festivities and shopping scene.

Did you know?

Did you know that Austin, Texas is known as the 'Live Music Capital of the World' due to its high density of live music venues?

1 of 10

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Natural Bridge Caverns

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