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Top 25 Things To Do Your First Month in Austin TX

Are you thinking about moving to Austin, or are you new to the city and looking for some fun new things to do? Maybe you’ve been here awhile and just want some new ideas for some adventures around town.

We’ve been in Austin a long time (24 years to be exact) so we consider ourselves experts in all things Central Texas. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite things to do in Austin including good food, good drink, and some family fun too! Take a look below — and remember, if you need help packing and moving your stuff, Dependable Relo movers in Austin TX are the trusted moving company of Central Texas.
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Photo by Habanero Cafe
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Get a beef fajita taco at Habanero Cafe

This is one of the last “hidden gem” restaurants in South Austin. Located on Oltorf Street, this tiny restaurant has some of the best authentic Mexican food in the city. Their red salsa is top notch and the beef fajita tacos are a favorite. The restaurant is cash only, so make sure to hit the ATM on the way.

Address: 501 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 416-0443
Website: http://habanerocafe.com/
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Take a walk around Lady Bird Lake at sundown

Formed in 1960, Lady Bird Lake (then called Town Lake) is actually a dammed section of the Colorado River due south of downtown Austin. On the south side of the lake lays Auditorium Shores Park and Zilker Parks. With walking / biking paths all around the lake, this is a great spot for an evening stroll.

Address: Auditorium Shores – 800 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704
Tip: Some parking is available at the address listed above, but more parking is available at Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704)
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See a comedy show at Cap City Comedy

Austin is becoming known more and more for being a funny city, and even hosts an annual comedy festival called the Moontower Comedy Festival. If you want to get a good laugh, you can catch a show at one of the funniest venues in the area, Cap City Comedy, to see both professional standup and open mics. Some famous comedians that have been through Cap City include Bill Hicks, Ron White, Amy Schumer, and Patton Oswalt. Located in North Austin.

Address: 8120 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
Phone: (512) 467-2333
Website: capcitycomedy.com
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Go to a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse

Those not familiar with the Alamo theaters will be pleasantly surprised by a movie theater with full food and beverage service. There’s nothing better than eating a cheeseburger and drinking a cold beer while watching the newest movie releases. Alamo theaters also do some fun events with throwback movies, quote-alongs, and special screenings.

Location: Various locations in north, south, downtown, and central Austin. See drafthouse.com/austin for more info.
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See a concert at The Mohawk

Located on historic Red River Street in downtown Austin, the Mohawk features a large outdoor stage and a smaller indoor stage. The venue does a good job of bringing in a wide variety of performers across all musical genres. The outdoor stage features a unique layout with a two tiered patio that makes for a memorable concert experience.

Address: 912 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 666-0877
Upcoming events: http://mohawkaustin.com/events
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Try tsukemen at Ramen Tatsu-ya

Ramen Tatsuya is not your 15 cent packaged ramen! Tsukemen is a Japanese ramen dish that comes with the noodles and the broth separately. It is eaten by dipping the noodles in the broth, not as a soup. The tsukemen at Ramen Tatsu-ya is so good that we’re going to go there tonight for dinner (and probably again this weekend!) There are Ramen Tatsu-ya locations in both north and south Austin.

South Location: 1234 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
North Location: 8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, TX 78758
Hours: Open daily for lunch and dinner
Menu: ramen-tatsuya.com/
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Take a dip at Barton Springs Pool

This natural spring water swimming hole is one of the most popular attractions in Austin. Located just south of Downtown Austin, The 3 acre pool boasts consistent temperatures between 68-70 degrees, which means you can comfortably swim year-round here.

Address: 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746
Hours: Open daily at 5am and closes at 10pm
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Watch the bats on the Congress Avenue bridge

Austin earned the nickname “Bat City” because of the massive bat colony living under the bridge on Congress Ave. Every night at sundown, spectators gather on the bridge to watch the bats fly out into the night. These bats are the largest colony in the world, and live in the heart of a city. As a symbol and as a form of tourism, they boost Austin’s economy by nearly 8 million dollars annually.

Location: 305 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 / Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, just south of downtown.
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Get a burger from Hopdoddy

Arguably one of the most popular restaurants in Austin, Hopdoddy serves some fantastic burgers and gets rave reviews (they have 3,264 Yelp reviews at the time this article was written!) Some of our favorite burgers are the Buffalo Bill (Bison burger with blue cheese, Frank’s Hot Sauce, apple-smoked bacon, and “sassy sauce”) and for fans of spicy food, the El Diablo (Angus Beef, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, habanero and serrano chiles, salsa roja, and chipotle mayo.)

North Location: 2438A W Anderson Ln Austin, TX 78757
South Location: 1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Menu: www.hopdoddy.com
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Watch a Taping of “Austin City Limits”

One of the newer venues in Austin, ACL Live / Moody Theater is a massive concert hall with top notch lighting and sound equipment. The theater hosts tapings for the famous “Austin City Limits” TV Show, as well as concerts from some of the biggest touring acts in the country like Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and Lionel Richie, to name a few.

Free Ticket Giveaways for Austin City Limits Tapings: Ticket Giveaways (free ticket giveaways are announced 1-2 weeks before the taping. Check back frequently for new artist announcements.
Venue Address: 310 W Willie Nelson Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
Non-Taping Calendar / All Shows: http://acl-live.com/
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Photo by Justine’s
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Have dinner and drinks at Justine’s

This French bar and restaurant is a hidden gem on the far east side of Austin that features authentic French cuisine, craft cocktails, a deep wine list, and special live music events. The “off the beaten path” location of Justine’s makes it a favorite spot for celebrities and musicians visiting for events like SXSW.

Address: 4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: (512) 385-2900
Hours: Open every day 6pm – 2am, except Tuesdays.
Menu: justines1937.com
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Explore The Greenbelt

The greenbelt is a section of preserved land that stretches over 7 miles across Austin. It features hiking, biking, swimming, and climbing spots for everyone from casual day hikers to extreme sports enthusiasts. With several park access spots across town, there is no shortage of new areas to explore.

Hill of Life / Sculpture Falls: Camp Craft Rd, Austin, TX 78746 (Steep 1 mile hike to sculpture falls, not best for beginners. Park in neighborhood near entrance.)
Seismic Climbing Wall / Main hiking access: 3755-B S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78704 (easy access, great hiking for all levels, free parking lot available)
Trail Head at Zilker Park: 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746 (flattest option, best option for beginners, free parking available.)
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Get brisket from Terry Blacks, Franklin’s, La BBQ, or Salt Lick

There is certainly no shortage of good barbecue in Austin these days. Every year, more and more pit masters are moving their rigs from the outskirts of town to brick and mortar restaurants in Austin, which is great for BBQ lovers here. For those of you new to Austin, remember that Texas BBQ doesn’t use much barbecue sauce, just good cuts of meat, smoked slowly over low heat.

Terry Blacks: http://www.terryblacksbbq.com/ 1003 Barton Springs Road Austin, TX 78704
Franklin’s: https://franklinbarbecue.com/ 900 E. 11th, Austin, TX 78702
La BBQ: http://www.labarbecue.com/ 1906 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Salt Lick: https://www.saltlickbbq.com/ 18300 FM 1826 Driftwood, TX 78619 (multiple locations around town, but this one is the best!)
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Photo by Allen’s Boots
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Get a pair of boots at Allen’s on South Congress

Sure, it’s kind of touristy to get a pair of cowboy boots when you come to Austin, but trust us, there’s no shame in a good pair of boots. Allen’s Boots is conveniently located on South Congress Ave, and is a great place to start if you’re looking for a new pair.

Address: 1522 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 447-1413
Website / Order Online: http://www.allensboots.com/
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Photo by Zilker Kite Festival
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Fly a kite at Zilker Park

Zilker Park is a massive 350 acre park, just south of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin. It is open year round to the public, and is home to a variety of events like ACL Festival and the Zilker Kite Festival. Zilker is a great place to walk the dog, play sand volley ball, fly a kite, or just relax and take in the breathtaking views of the Austin skyline.

Address: 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704 (plenty of free parking available)
Park Hours: 5am-10pm daily
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Drink a beer at Moontower Saloon

The Moontower Saloon is an oasis of fun in far South Austin. Moontower is not just a bar, but a sprawling property of bars and food trucks in a tree covered area. This dog-friendly bar also features a stage for live music, bar games, and volleyball courts with seasonal leagues.

Address: 10212 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78748
Website: https://www.moontowersaloon.com/
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Play old school arcade games at Pinballz

Located in North Austin, Pinballz is a massive 13,000 square foot arcade featuring over 200 games. Pinballz has some newer games, but is known for their large selection of vintage machines, including a working version of the Zoltar machine from the Tom Hanks movie “Big.”

Address: 8940 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
Phone: (512) 420-8458
Hours: 10am – late
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Play with some puppies at Austin Pets Alive!

Who doesn’t want to play with puppies, right!? Austin Pets Alive! (also known as APA) is an animal shelter in Austin that aims to adopt out dogs and cats that are at risk of euthanasia at other shelters. They always have a large number of animals ready for adoption, so stop by and see them. Also, APA uses the help of many volunteers, so if you have some spare time, get in touch with them about how you can help out.

Address: 1156 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78703
Phone: (512) 961-6519
Hours: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM daily
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Rent a bike from Austin B-cycle

B-cycle is a bike share program in Austin that allows anyone (over 18) to rent a bike conveniently from one of 40 stations around town. When you are done with the bike, just drop it off at any of the bike stations. For pricing and maps of where you can find a bike, visit their website at austinbcycle.com
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Go bar hopping on Rainey Street

For many years, Rainey Street was a small residential area near downtown with a few blocks of small houses. Then in 2004, the area was rezoned for commercial use and entrepreneurs started buying the small homes and converting them into bars and restaurants. Now, nearly every “house” on the street has a bar inside, making it one of the most unique places to go bar hopping. Fun fact: King of the Hill show creator Mike Judge, an Austin resident, included Rainey Street in more than one episode of the show. There’s even an episode entitled “The Redneck on Rainey Street.”

The entire street actually has its own Yelp page
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See the Pennybacker Bridge (360 Bridge)

This massive steel bridge on the outskirts of Austin is iconic and has become a symbol of the city’s rapid growth. Most commonly referred to as the “360 Bridge,” the Pennybacker was finished in 1982 and lays where Loop 360 Highway crosses the Colorado River. The scenic views around the area of the bridge are some of the best in the city.

Bridge Overlook: 5300 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78730
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Photo by hopsandgrain
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Take a Brewery Tour at Hops & Grain

Austin has seen a boom in craft breweries over the last 5 years, and there is certainly no shortage of good local beer in the area. One brewery that consistently stands out from the rest is Hops & Grain Brewery on the east side of town. They have a tap room open 7 days a week where you can sample beers, and they offer tours of the brewery on weekends. Fun fact: If you have a pet, Hops & Grain makes dog treats out of malted grains that are finished with the brewing process.

Address: 507 Calles St Suite 101, Austin, TX 78702
More info about hours and brewery tours: http://www.hopsandgrain.com/tours-taproom/
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Get a slice of Detroit style pizza at Via 313 on E. 6th

Have you ever heard of Detroit-style pizza? We hadn’t either until we tried a slice at the Via 313 food trailer. What is Detroit-style pizza? The best way we could describe it is Chicago-style pizza in a square! Conveniently located outside of Violet Crown Social Club on East 6th St, Via 313 is a great place to grab a slice after going out on the east side. When you go, try “The Cadillac” (Gorgonzola, Fig Preserves, Prosciutto di Parma, Parmesan / Balsamic Glaze) — it might just be the best pizza in Austin! (Via 313 also has a trailer on Rainey St. and a brick and mortar restaurant in West Austin.)

Rainey St Truck (at Craft Pride): 61 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
East 6th Truck (at Violet Crown): 1111 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Brick and Mortar Restaurant: Suite 503, 6705 US-290, Austin, TX 78735
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Listen to live jazz at The Elephant Room

This tiny listening room in downtown Austin is trying to keep jazz music alive by offering live jazz 7 nights a week. The Elephant Room is a great spot for date night, or if you want to get a cocktail downtown and avoid the craziness of Sixth Street. Music begins nightly at 9:30pm.

Address: 315 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Concert calendar: http://www.elephantroom.com/
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Do some spelunking in the Longhorn Caverns

It is said that Sam Bass, an American outlaw and train robber in the 1800s, used the limestone halls of Longhorn Cave to travel undetected through Texas. Today, the caverns are part of the Texas Park system and available for tours. Longhorn Cavern State Park is 50 miles East of Austin, in Burnet Texas. More information is available at http://www.longhorncaverns.com/
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