How to Spend One Day in Austin Texas

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Whether you are looking for family fun in Austin or activities to do in Austin with your loved one, you will be pleased with what this diverse city has to offer.  It is a hip, trendy city with great recreational activities and some yummy food options!  A day trip to Austin Texas is close and easy if you are already visiting nearby San Antonio.  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:

Ideas for things to do in Austin TX in one day in Austin Texas. Austin TX is a great city for a day trip! Suggestions for activities and restaurants in Austin.

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:

Austin has been designated one of the country’s most bike friendly cities!  If you love bicycling, this is an easy pleasure to add to your Austin Texas itinerary.  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
Phone: 512-480-0200

Bicycles on a path one day in Austin Texas
Biking is a great way to get around Austin!

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:

Experience the Wierd Side of Austin

Austin’s unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Wierd”.  Folks who live here are really proud of their local culture and they want to keep it a little on a wierd side.  You can experience a little slice of this in the Museum of the Wierd in Downtown Austin.  This off the beaten path gem is one of teh last of a dying breed – a dime museum.  This place houses oddities that will boggle your mind (in an old fashioned, quirky way that seems like it comes straight from the 1800’s.  This is one of the weirder things to do in downtown Austin, but it looks like fun!

Address: 412 E 6th Street, Austin
Admission: $12/adults, $8 for kids 8 and under

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!

Austin TX Chuys Tex Mex restaurant one day in Austin Texas

Address: 1728 Barton Springs Rd; Austin, TX
Phone: 512-474-4452

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.

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!)

This really is a MUST on your Austin Texas itinerary.  More info available at

Address: 2201 Barton Springs Road, Austin
Admission: $9/adult, $4 child

Check out the Austin Food Trucks!

Whether you are planning a day trip to Austin Texas or an Austin Texas weekend getaway, I am SURE that food is on your list.  The food truck scene is alive and well in Austin, and it can be a great way to get a taste of the local flavor.

Austin Food Trailer one day in Austin Texas
This is one of the many food trailers scattered all over the city that make the food scene in Austin so vibrant

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:  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.

Address: 1120 S Lamar Blvd
Phone: 512-476-1320

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.

What are your favorite tips for spending one day in Austin Texas?  Other great suggestions for what to see in Austin TX in one day

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