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Famous Austin Attractions That Aren't On Sixth Street

Picture of Anna Carruth
Updated: 9 February 2017
Austin, Texas is a vibrant city filled with plenty of fun things to do, but often its activities are overshadowed by the allure of the infamous Sixth Street. While spending a night out downtown is fun, it is not exactly family friendly. Below, find six exciting activities you can do in Austin that are anywhere but on Sixth.

Lady Bird Lake

Austin is home to the gorgeous Lady Bird Lake, which is actually a reservoir on the Colorado River that runs right through the center of town. A popular activity on the lake for tourists and Austinites alike is stand up paddleboarding down the river, which you can do at any time during the year. If SUPing isn’t for you, many places offer canoe and kayak rentals as well. Surrounding the lake is the Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trail, which is ten miles of trail that serves as a social hub for runners, hikers, and bikers alike.

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX USA

South Congress Ave.

South Congress is perfect for anything you can think of – it’s got great shopping, great food, and great Austin sightseeing, all in one central location just south of downtown Austin. If you’re hungry, you can visit any one of the amazing restaurants on the street, like South Congress Café or Hopdoddy Burger Bar. If you feel like shopping, check out the eclectic Uncommon Objects or Feathers Boutique. For sightseeing, head over to the Congress Ave. bridge to catch a glimpse of the famous bats, or just look north for a fantastic view of the city.

South Congress Ave, Austin, TX USA

See A Live Show

What is a visit to the live music capital of the world without seeing some live music? Austin lives up to its title, with countless music venues, music festivals, and music stores. Famous bands and musicians come to Austin on a regular basis, and you can catch any one of their shows at venues such as Stubb’s BBQ or the historic Paramount Theatre. If you’re looking to see some local talent, visit any one of a number of bars and venues that showcase live music every night. If you get the chance, try to attend some of Austin’s lesser-known musical events like Fun Fun Fun Fest or Blues on the Green.

Tour the Capitol

The Texas State Capitol is one of the most notable state capitols, with its iconic pink limestone color and height of 308 feet. Despite being a more touristy spot in Austin, the Capitol is still very much worth visiting. Inside, take in the Capitol’s beautiful dome and rotunda where the Governors and Presidents Portrait gallery is located. Here, a picture of every person who was ever president of the Republic of Texas or Governor of Texas hangs. The Capitol’s 22-acre grounds are also worth exploring, with monuments and statues dotting the landscape.

Texas Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 463 0063

Barton Springs and Deep Eddy Pool

Austin has over 107 days each year where the temperature is over 90 degrees, and Barton Springs is the best place to cool off and hang out. Barton Springs is a spring-fed pool located near Zilker Park and has an average temperature of 70 degrees, making it perfect for a swim at any time of the year. The Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas, built in the Depression-era, and now serves as a popular swimming pool for Austinites. For residents of Austin, entry to both swimming holes is only $3.

Barton Springs and Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, TX, USA

Mount Bonnell

If you feel like going for a hike, Mount Bonnell is the place to go. Free to the public, Mount Bonnell is located in north Austin along the edge of the Colorado River and provides the best view of the city and its surrounding hills in the area, making it a popular tourist destination since the 1850s. A short hike to the top of the mount will get you to a large vista for viewing Austin’s best scenery. There are multiple picnic tables and covered areas available so you can relax and enjoy the fantastic view.

Mount Bonnell, Austin TX US