How to spend a perfect day in Austin

We asked our readers where they would take a friend from out of town — here’s the itinerary they gave us for a perfect day in the Capital City.

People sitting at picnic tables on the dock outside Mozart's Coffee Roasters, with Lake Austin in the background.

Sip some coffee to the tune of waves lapping against the docks.

We think every day in Austin is wonderful, but some days are a little more perfect than others.

We asked our readers to share where they would take a friend from out of town. Here’s their itinerary for a perfect day in the Capital City.


We suggest starting your day with a coffee and a quick hike before the heat settles in.

London’s favorite local coffee shop is Radio Coffee & Beer, and Figi’s is Plaza Colombian Coffee Bar, but reader Elise B. also recommended checking out the lakefront at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters.

For your walk, our readers recommended the historic Mount Bonnell or the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, an adjustable 10-mile trail that stretches along Lady Bird Lake through downtown.

People swimming in Barton Springs Pool, with trees behind them framing the skyline.

Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool — it’s cool year-round.

Photo by @ginna_smith


Spending a summer afternoon in Austin centers around one thing: cooling off.

No visit to Austin is complete without a stop at Barton Springs Pool, which stays a cool 68-70º year-round.

Reader Elizabeth B. also recommended a trip to the Bullock Texas State History Museum, and reader Pixie C. reminded us that the central Austin Public Library can be a great place to spend an afternoon.

You also can’t go wrong with a shopping spree down South Congress Avenue, or a 90-minute AO Tour. “Along the way, you’ll pick up some great trivia about our city,” said reader Devon A.

Crowds gathered at the Congress Avenue Bridge watching bats fly from underneath

Watching bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge is an iconic Austin activity.

Photo via @pnw_vagabond


Reader Cheri L. recommends taking in the sunset from a boat ride on Lady Bird Lake — if you’re lucky, you might also see the nightly emergence of our ~1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats.

The party goes on late in Austin, so readers suggest you wrap up your evening with a drink on 6th Street, a comedy show at Esther’s Follies, or a live jazz show at The Elephant Room.

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