5 interesting things you have to do in and around Austin

Texas is an amazing place that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. While there is a seemingly endless array of things to do across the state, Austin has more than a few things to do that are both special and unique.

Arts, music, food and sports all hold a special place here, giving visitors a range of ways to kill weeks if they have that time. Honestly, Austin is the kind of city that tourists fall in love with and seriously think about planting roots in.

Hit up BookPeople

While there are a lot of incredible independent bookstores across the country, BookPeople is easily one of the best of the best. For anyone who fancies themselves a literary tourist at all, this store is a pilgrimage worth making.

In business since 1970, BookPeople was named the best bookstore in the US by Publisher’s Weekly at one point. It’s a massive space with an incredible number of books to browse. The store also has hundreds of events a year featuring some of the world’s biggest authors.

The Blanton Museum of Art

The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art is located at the University of Texas in Austin. It’s not uncommon for a university campus to have an art gallery or two but the scope of this facility is almost too much to take in during a single visit.

At almost 190,000 square feet, the Blanton houses collection of permanent pieces as well as stunning temporary exhibitions. Their permanent collection contains more than 19,000 pieces of art from genres such as European, Latin American and Modern & Contemporary.

Spend a day in SoCo, Austin


AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 09: A general view of atmosphere at the Culture Trip premiere of the “The Soul of Soho” film at SXSW on March 09, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Culture Trip)

Every city has a neighborhood or two that becomes synonymous with cool. In Austin, one of those neighborhoods is South Congress Avenue, aka SoCo. Not only is SoCo on the list of top things to see and do it Austin, SoCo has its own lists of top things to see and do.

This area is filled with unique restaurants and shops to suit pretty much any and all tastes. While it can get a little crowded on nice days, SoCo is still a must stop spot for anyone staying in Austin for a while. You might find your trip booked up once you get there.

Zilker Botanical Garden


AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 13: A view of the Austin city skyline during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival on March 13, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gerry Hanan/Getty Images for SXSW)

The tag line on the garden’s website calls Zilker Botanical Garden a jewel in the heart of Austin. That’s more than an advertising gimmick. It’s part of the Zilker Metropolitan Park which is quite literally in the heart of downtown Austin.

Features like the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and Rose Garden all provide unique, relaxing experiences that guide visitors out of the city and into a more calm place. It’s worth taking time to savor one of the most beautiful green spaces available in any city.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum

Getting outside and enjoying everything Austin has to offer takes many forms. What’s wonderful about Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is that it combines the beauty of a nearly perfect green space with the Zen experience of immersing oneself in art.

Near Zilker Metropolitan Park, the Umlauf features nearly 170 sculptures by a celebrated Austin artist named Charles Umlauf. He and his wife donated his works to the city, who in turn established this phenomenal garden and museum experience.