35 Things Everyone Should Do In Austin, Texas, Before They Die
Whether you're a longtime resident or just trying to hang like a local during SXSW, these are the things that everyone should check off their bucket list in ATX. Mostly they involve eating, drinking, and natural beauty — that's how we do it in Texas.
1. Pack a picnic and head to gorgeous natural swimming grotto Hamilton Pool.
3. See the city's 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats emerge from underneath the Congress Bridge at dusk.
5. Jump into the giant year-round 70-degree spring-fed heart of the city, Barton Springs Pool.
6. Spend some time in the amazing ladies bathroom at Donn's Depot.
The most amazing little bathroom in the world is attached to an almost equally amazing divey piano bar on West 5th St. There's a CARPETED NOOK that you have to climb up a ladder to get to where you can look out over the entire bar / spy on your boyfriend.
7. Sift through the photographs and antique whimsy of strangers at Uncommon Objects.
The South Congress store is packed from ceiling to floor with baubles, dolls, furniture, jewels, taxidermied animals, and my favorite — mysterious antique photos from strangers whose memories are just waiting for you to come rescue them.
8. Watch the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake or Lake Austin from a tiny boat.
10. Hike up to Mount Bonnell and make out.
13. Go pore over David Foster Wallace's papers at the Harry Ransom Center and see if you get more intelligent by osmosis.
14. Witness the burnt orange insanity of a University of Texas home football game.
19. Eat at East Side Kings and drink all night on the back porch of The Liberty.
Paul Qui's been serving up beet fries and deliciousness from a trailer in the back of the Liberty Bar since before he won Top Chef and got all fancy on us. It's still my favorite of his now many institutions, and as a bonus you're at the favorite bar of the coolest people in Austin (my friends).
20. Get lost in the rows upon rows of new and vintage pinball machines and arcade games at Pinballz Arcade.
22. Do the full loop of the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail.
24. Stumble upon some "yarn-bombed" trees.
25. Try a selection of beer served lovingly by the experts at The Whip In.
And while you're there try some hot curry at the dhabapub and see some tunes on its tiny perfect stage.