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I had never thought of Austin as a destination unto itself. I came to discover that Austin has a lot to offer! It is a hip, trendy city with great recreational activities and some yummy food options! Check out these suggestions from an Austin local for spending one day in Austin Texas!
If you enjoy my itinerary for one day in Austin Texas, check out these other pieces:
- Top Things to do in Washington DC in Four Hours
- What to do in Stockholm, Sweden with Only One Day
- Layover in New York?
Getting To and Around Austin Texas
Getting into town from the airport: This seems to be one of the easiest and cheapest towns to get into from the airport. Airport flyer line 100 goes from the airport right into downtown Austin every 30-40 minutes and costs only $1! You can fine more information about Austin airport connections here: https://www.capmetro.org
Austin has been designated one of the country’s most bike friendly cities! The city has made a conscious effort to build bike paths throughout the city, making as bicycle a great way to get around. Here are a couple of suggestions about where to rent a bicycle in Austin:
Bicycle Sport Shop
Cruiser Bike: $22/24 hour period
Tandem Bike: $60/24 hour period
Address: 517 S. Lamar Blvd
Phone: 512-477- 3472
Barton Spring Bike Shop
One Speed Cruiser: $7.50/hour or $22.50/day
Multi Speed Cruiser: $9.50/hour or $28.50/day
Tandem: $14.50/hour or $43.50/day
Address: 1529 Barton Springs Rd. Suite 31
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Work up a sweat on the Barton Creek Greenbelt
7.8 miles of hiking and biking trails right near the city. Rent a bike from either of the above locations and have them point you in the direction of the Barton Creek Greenbelt (another option: Google Maps can give you bicycle directions with bike routes spelled out to print ahead of time!)
More information about the Barton Creek Greenbelt can be found here: http://www.cityofaustin.org/parks/greenbelts.htm
Where to Eat Lunch in Austin
I hate to use a cliche, but I have heard the word “institution” used about this place. One of the original restaurants to pioneer the Tex Mex food movement, Chuy’s is a great place to relax for lunch and enjoy fresh made salsa and sauces and made from scratch margaritas. A great place to rest and refresh while spending one day in Austin Texas!
Address: 1728 Barton Springs Rd; Austin, TX
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11:00am until 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday from 11:00am until 11:00pm
Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4:00pm-7:00pm
Featuring: Fully loaded nacho car, $3.75 house margaritas $7.25 house Texas martinis and $2.50 domestic beers.
More info available at: http://www.chuys.com
Cool Off at Barton Springs
Barton Springs is a spring fed pool in Austin and according to my sources is a local hot spot when you need to cool off. Admission is just $3. No food or coolers are allowed, but you will have just come from Chuy’s for lunch so no food should be necessary for a while (make sure to give your stomach time to settle before swimming!)
More info available at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool
Check out the Austin Food Cart Scene!
The food cart scene is alive and well in Austin, and it can be a great way to get a taste of the local flavor (as well as being a very budget friendly option). Here are a couple of guides and maps to get you planning:
Plan a route on your bike to hit a couple of these unique, local treasures…my choice for dessert would be Hey Cupcake. This foodcart/trailer can be located at different locations on different days of the week…details and information about its location on the day that you plan to be in Austin can be found here: http://www.bestaustinfoodtrucks.com/hey-cupcake/
Dinner and a Movie
But not just your ordinary dinner and a movie…dinner and a movie AND a great beer at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. They have many different themed nights, ranging from Girlie Night to Sing Along Musical Dance Parties to Heckle Vision (where you can text jokes that appear on the screen.)
There are a number of locations, but the location on South Lamar is the one that is closest to Barton Springs. Find the location of your choice as well as menus, special events and themed nights and show times at:
Address: 1120 S Lamar Blvd
Experience AWESOME Austin Texas Music Scene
Austin is the home of the South By Southwest Music Festival and one of the music capitols of the world (you can even listen to live music in the Austin airport!)
On a recent search of music events, I saw listings for symphony orchestra, blues, and rock on a given night (and if music isn’t your thing, this guide to Austin Entertainment had TONS of other tempting options that make me think I will need to hang out in Austin for a whole month just to get a bite sized taste!)
You can search the above directory by date to find events for the exact date that you will be spending one day in Austin Texas.