Austin has fun things for EVERYONE.  Seriously, are you into beer?  Music?  Hiking, mountain-climbing?  Football?  Or metaphysical fairs?

A typical weekend for my family looks like choosing between: The Austin State Fair, a Beerfest at the French Legation, buying organic vegetables at the farmers market at Boggy Creek Farms, tailgating at the UT vs OSU game, seeing Wilco play at Stubbs, or going to a Zombie Film Festival at the Alamo Drafthouse.  Assuming we can find a babysitter for some of those things.

My kids look forward to things like:  a Firetruck Festival in the Hyde Park neighborhood, or a trip to Zilker Park to ride the choo-choo train, maybe even go canoeing if it’s cool enough.

It’s hard to find time to do the laundry some weekends.

My point is, you won’t be bored in Austin because there’s way too much to do. And because we’re in Austin, they’re usually all really low-key, casual and creative events, full of homegrown weirdness and style.

Where else would you find festivals celebrating bubbles, Eeyore’s birthday, or kites? And we can’t forget the most fun 10-day salute to sausage that you will ever find — WURSTFEST (That one is in New Braunfels, but it’s close enough to count).  It’s at the beginning of November, and my husband and I have gone every year since 2004. It’s our version of going to DisneyWorld.

Whether you’re a music fan, a hiker, a football fanatic, a new mom, a shoe junkie or a road-trip queen, Austin has enough to keep your calendar filled.

Here are my favorite things to do in Austin:

  1. Go hiking. We have SOOOO many amazing places but my favorites are Barton Creek greenbelt and McKinney Falls.
  2. Eat tacos. TACO DELI 4 LIFE!!!  And Torchy’s.  Be sure to check out the daily special menu for Taco Deli (my favorite is the pork belly taco on Saturdays) and the secret menu for Torchy’s (my favorite is the Matador)
  3. Go two-stepping at the Spoke. Ordinarily I don’t love new country music but I have a soft spot in my heart for the old classics, and there’s no better place to hear it/dance to it than at the Broken Spoke. I love to see Dale Watson play there – he’s sort of like a rockabilly/elvis/hepcat dude with an appreciation for Waylon, Willie, Merle and Hank.
  4. Picnic at the Capital. It’s just my most favorite place in the city. I can’t help it. I love all the trees and rolling grassy hills, and that gorgeous building where they let our idiot lawmakers make up stupid laws that try to control women and…(Oops. Sorry. Politics).
  5. Go biking. There’s a bike path that starts near my house on Shoal Creek blvd and follows the creek all the way downtown. It’s exceptionally lovely by Pease Park.
  6. Go swimming. We have amazing natural spring places to swim here. See my outdoors section for more details.
  7. WURSTFEST. It’s technically not in Austin, but 45 minutes away in New Braunfels.
  8. See movies at the Drafthouse. The Alamo Drafthouse was started here and there’s no possible reason to go to another movie chain. You can get a full meal, drink alcohol, and see funny previews before the show.
  9. Go drinking. My favorite bar area is in East Austin. As I get older I know less and less about the best spots, but I still have cool friends that don’t have kids who point me in the right direction.
  10. Wear flip flops to work. Seriously, everyone does it. I consider my gold Havianas to be dressy.

Creative Commons image by StandUPP