It’s quite literally the most wonderful time of the year! The weather is cooling down, the food is getting more delicious, and relatives are coming to see you in this beautiful city you call home. If you need ideas for enlightening and entertaining outings in Austin that out-of-town guests may enjoy, here are several options!
Option 1: A Day on Congress Ave
I’m convinced every single person in Austin has been to South Congress, but your family is visiting from out of town! This is built in, easy entertainment. You can mix up the classic “let’s go to South Congress” trip by starting up north at the State Capitol and making your way south. Start with a free tour of the Capitol. Your relatives will be so impressed by the echo they hear when standing on the star at the center of the grand lobby (along with all the history, etc.).
From there, walk or drive south on Congress. Explain how obsessed Austin is with bats while you’re crossing the bridge. Once you walk up a little hill to the best of South Congress, stand in line to take a picture declaring just how much you love each other. Hit the antique shops, jewelry stands and pizza joints. It’ll be a sweet, explorative day with your family.
Option 2: Museums Galore
Have some knowledge and culture thirsty grandparents? Thank goodness you live in Austin! There are plenty of museums in which to spend countless hours. Start at the Bullock Texas State History Museum because Texas. Soak in the state’s history and walk away with even more pride in Austin. You could even rest your feet and see a movie on the in-house IMAX screen. From here, head over to The Blanton Museum of Art located on UT’s campus. The array of exhibitions will continue to inspire for the rest of the day. Note that the permanent exhibition on the top floor is closed until February 2017.
If your family is still ready for more, there are other options for a third or fourth museum stop. Here are some great choices you can check out: Mexic-Arte Museum, grayDUCK gallery, LBJ Presidential Library & Museum, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum.
Option 3: Walk Around Lady Bird Lake
A shocking twist for anyone visiting from up north will be that the weather is actually nice during this time of year. No better way to show off that truth than a walk around Lady Bird Lake! Take the 3, 5, or 7 mile loop and have great conversations with your loved ones.
Explain how it used to be called Town Lake, but Austinites love Lady Bird Johnson so much that we officially named it after her in 2007. Also, stop off at Zilker Park or Barton Springs and bring a picnic for a truly ideal day. This is a great choice for the more active and outdoorsy members of your family.
Option 4: Brewery and Distillery Tours
Here in Austin, we love our craft beer. You know who else potentially loves craft beer? You guessed it! Your family! There are more than thirty local breweries that have taproom tastings and many have tours, as well. You can check out specific schedules for each site, but some good options are Hops & Grain, Real Ale Brewing Company, Save the World Brewing Company (who donate their net profits to charities), and Infamous Brewing Company which is out by Lake Travis. Want a taste of everything? Book a comprehensive, three-stop trip with Austin’s Brewery Tour.
Want something a bit stronger, like Jack Black in The Holiday? Check out local Austin distilleries for a tour, as well. Treaty Oak and Deep Eddy are both great options in Dripping Springs, but take note that unlike some breweries listed above, you have to book the tour!
Option 5: Put on Those Dancing Shoes
Here in Austin, we have incredible dancing spots that out-of-towners will fall in love with and make them want to come back. First on that list? Broken Spoke. Traditional Two-Stepping is the front runner here and will guarantee to cultivate a “Remember when…” story that will be told for years to come. Get there at 8:30 from Wednesday to Saturday for two-step and swing dancing lessons.
Then, if all of you want to keep dancing the week away, head over to Austin Uptown Dance for dancing lessons for all skill levels! They even have free classes on certain Saturdays. Check out the full schedule here.
All in all, you cannot go wrong in this glorious city. Take your loved ones on any or all of these adventures and they’ll be sure to rave about this city until next year’s holiday season.