Whether you like to plan ahead or wait until you arrive, you must be wondering what there is to do in Austin. Well, a lot of our advice depends on whether you are with your tri buddies or with your tri family. But, never fear, we can help with both – Austin is our home town!
Regardless of your situation, you need to head downtown to what we loving call Tri Street, at the intersection of Lamar and Barton Springs. If you have older kids with you, drop them at Peter Pan Mini-Golf and walk across the street to the Bicycle Sport Shop, which used to be our favorite Jack and Adams. Then, head up the street for everything tri to Austin Tri Cyclist.
Once you have your tri fill, head either to P Terry’s for a burger and a shake or Shady Grove from Ironman Austin, Food and Fun Part 1. The Whole Foods flagship store is also right around the corner and has wonderful options for a snack, meal, or to pick up what you need.
After you eat head to Zilker Park, There is so much to do here. If you have little ones, the playground and train are must dos. Other options include a swim at Barton Springs; a little canoe, kayak, or paddle board trip on the lake; enjoying the Botanical Gardens or the Sculpture Gardens; or just hiking along the trials.
Other fun things to do include:
- South Congress – affectionately known as SoCo. On this street you can find funky shops and Big Top Candy besides tons of restaurants. Our favorites here include Cafe So Ne, Guero’s and waiting in line for pizza at Home Slice Pizza. Amy’s Ice Cream is definitely worth the calories. And, don’t forget to get your picture taken at Jo’s Coffee in front of the “i love you ” sign on the side of the building. This is a great place to grab coffee and yummy treats.
- If you don’t know, you should – Austin is the “Live music Capitol of the World.” Check out the Austin Chronicle to see who is playing around town. There are performances every night of the week. The Continental Club on SoCo shouldn’t disappoint. It’s a former dinner club with a wide variety of music and patrons.
- Scare For a Cure is going on during race week. This is a 45-minute interactive haunted adventure that benefits The Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas and all dog food and treats donated go to local animal shelters. They advise you not to wear nice clothes. You can purchase tickets on-line.
- Check out the University of Texas for interesting museums, including the Harry Ransom Center, which is incredible. UT also has the Natural History Museum and the LBJ Presidential Library.
- Austin has a wonderful State Capitol Building made of pink granite with free tours available daily.
- For a bit of Austin culture, stop by the South Austin Museum of Pop Culture for a quirky and fun browse.
- Other museums of note include the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, The Contemporary Austin, and the Austin Children’s Museum. There is a small zoo in town.
- For aquatic sports, dining, and shopping, head out to Lake Travis, which is northwest of Austin.
- If you are traveling solo and want a running buddy, check out this great program, Ruff Trail Runners. They take dogs out of the shelters to get fresh air and exercise.
There you have it. You should not get bored in Austin. You can also check out Today In Austin for up to the minute activities. Enjoy my home town and most importantly, have a great race!!!
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.