a porche in front of the hotel entrance

Day Trips

The Perfect Schedule of Activities

Whether you’re itching to get out and explore nature or immerse yourself in the Western side of Texan culture, you can find the perfectly curated itinerary for your own taste in travel. Look through some of the options we’ve put together and see what grabs your attention.

Family-Friendly: Feed Your Brain & Belly

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Fresa’s South First
Start your day strong with a delicious breakfast from Fresa’s. Go for a hearty steak and eggs breakfast burrito with rajas and charred onions in a flour tortilla, or choose a morning Flaco Taco with black bean, potato, avocado, cabbage rajas and pico de gallo in a corn tortilla. A variety of menu items mean yum for everyone.

Cathedral of Junk
Over 60-tons of junk, found objects and random items is sculpted, welded and piled into a towering cathedral-meets-treehouse-meets-sculpture.

Austin Zoo
Over 300 animals wait to be oohed and awwed at. With a mission based in education, conservation and rescue, your family can learn about exotic, domestic and native Texan animals close-up.

Zilker Botanical Garden
Let your kids run free! This peaceful greenspace in the heart of downtown Austin is the perfect place to get some exercise and use those outdoor voices. Heritage live oaks, Koi-filled ponds, streams and pathways wind through a Rose Garden, Taniguchi Japanese Garden and Harman Prehistoric Garden (complete with a life-size raptor monument).

Austin Nature & Science Center
Located on the Western edge of lush Zilker Park in the center of downtown Austin, your family can explore the hands-on nature exhibits, partake in the educational programs, dig for fossil replicas, and observe wildlife over 15 sprawling acres.

Midday & Refuel

Guero’s Taco Bar
Locals and visitors alike flock to this taqueria for the Mexican-meets-Tex-Mex fare, paired with hand-shaken margaritas or ice-cold cervezas. Grab a drink in the cantina or eat in the shade in the Oak Garden to the sounds of live music.

Amy’s Ice Creams in SoCo
For something sweet, stop in at this Austin icon. Amy’s has your tried-and-true favorites along with one-of-a-kind must-tries like: Chipotle Chocolate, Hill Country Crunch and Vegan Roasted Cherry. Grownups appreciate the options with alcohol – like Amber Beer, Spumoni and Waterloo Lavender Gin.

Big Top Candy Shops
Nothing like a kid in a candy store to make a vacation amazing! Indulge your sweet tooth with this incredible circus-themed candy shop filled floor to ceiling with confections and delightful decorations. An old-fashioned Soda Fountain serves up egg creams, malts, shaved ice, sundaes and more.

Afternoon & Evening Activities

South Congress Avenue
Brimming with charisma, unique boutiques, delicious eateries and vintage charm, bustling South Congress is a must-see. Stroll down this street and pop into the shops for an easy and interesting afternoon.

I Love You So Much Mural
Take the perfect family selfie at this insta-famous mural – prop it on your desk or use it for your holiday card. Located at 1300 S. Congress Avenue.

The Picnic
Find everybody’s favorite feasts at this food trailer park, featuring the eight best Austin’s food trucks, a large dining pavilion, air-conditioned restrooms and plenty of parking.

Family-Friendly: Explore The Great Outdoors

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Austin Duck Adventures
Hop on the amphibious bus to tour by land and water. This kid-pleaser includes tours of downtown Austin’s must-sees before plunging into Lake Austin for a cruise.

Barton Springs Bike Rental
Rent bikes, e-bikes or mopeds for a self-guided tour of Austin. Or join a guided tour through the city’s best sights.

Mid-Day Refuel and Afternoon

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop
Keeping Austin Sweet since 2008, Sugar Mama’s offers creative cupcakes, pies, cookies, donuts and more. Accompany your sweet treat with one of their comfort-food classics like a seasonal pot pie and power up for the afternoon ahead.

Flagship Whole Foods
This is where it all began! Grab healthy, tasty picnic fare from their famous buffet/café to eat under Texas skies.

Deep Eddy Swimming Pool
Get in some laps, wade and splash or take in a pool-side movie at this, the state’s oldest swimming pool.

Barton Springs Pool
Located within Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is the perfect way to beat the Texas heat. Fed by underground springs, the natural pools maintain an average temperature of 68-70 degrees. Reservations required.

Gus Fruh Swimming Hole & Barton Creek Greenbelt
Hike or bike the beautiful Barton Creek Greenbelt to arrive at the Gus Fruh swimming hole. Get in some rock climbing and bouldering along the way or take a dip in Barton Creek.

Austin City Kayak Tours
See the sights from an entirely different angle with guided kayak or paddleboard tours of Downtown Austin. Check out the Congress Bat Bridge, the Austin Skyline, or just paddle along on your own.


Bat Bridge
Austin is nicknamed Bat City for a reason, and the Congress Avenue Bridge is the center of it all. A 1980’s renovation of the bridge made it an ideal migratory stop for Mexican Free-Tailed Bats, who now reside there in numbers up to 1.5 million. Locals and visitors gather at the bridge at sunset to watch them put on a spectacular display.

Family-Friendly: Cowboy Culture Plus

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Kerbey Lane Café
Power up for the day with a plate of award-winning pancakes or a crispy chicken benedict at this Austin original serving up local comfort food made from scratch.

Texas Trail Rides at Lone Star Ranch
Saddle up for some outdoor adventure in Hill Country. Just a few miles outside of Austin, you can roam the rolling hills, shady trees and fields of wildflowers on a guided tour. Fishing, skeet shooting and ATVs are another option on this classic Texas ranch.

Austin Bouldering Project
For some fun in the A/C, take the kids to the world’s largest bouldering gym where they can climb the circuits to their hearts’ content.

Mid-Day Refuel and Afternoon

Texas Farmer’s Market
From artisan foods to fresh fruits and veggies, the Texas Farmer’s Market in the Mueller neighborhood will help you eat locally, seasonally and deliciously.

Mueller Trailer Eats
Nothing satisfies a finicky family like an outdoor food truck park. Offering a variety of tasty treats of varied cuisine, everyone is sure to find something to delight their taste buds.

The Thinkery
Enjoy play-based, inquiry-rich, hands-on fun at the Thinkery. With 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor STEAM exhibits, this attraction is best for younger children, aged 0 to 11, but designed to engage all ages.


The Salt Lick
Plenty of picnic tables, a large playground, authentic, amazing BBQ and Texas Hill Country Hospitality make this restaurant a natural for families.

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
Known for its Sunday Gospel Brunch, legendary BBQ and live music, Stubb’s has both an outdoor amphitheatre and an indoor stage.

Best Romantic Dates in Austin

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Take a SoCo Stroll

I Love You So Much Mural
Take a sweet selfie with your love in front of this popular Austin mural. The timeless message and simple design make it an insta-icon. You’ll find it at 1300 South Congress.

Jo’s Coffee
While at the mural, stop into the storefront whose wall it graces, Jo’s Coffee. Share some fresh, hot (or iced) coffee, tasty tacos and delicious sandwiches with your favorite person.

Amy’s Ice Creams
Share a sweet or two at this SoCo staple. Amy’s amazing flavors include tried-and-true classics and inventive originals like Amber Beer, Chipotle Chocolate and Hill Country Crunch.

Enjoy a Romantic Meal

Justine’s Brasserie
From steak frites to tuna tartare, enjoy French cuisine by candlelight late into the night in this rustic-chic brasserie.

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
The perfect treat for your better half. Start your romance early in the day with a delicious brunch (try the sriracha-maple bacon biscuit or the ricotta pancakes) or come for a tasty dinner. This scrumptious eatery is open from 8am to 11pm!

Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden
Start with brunch (with coffee and breakfast bowls) and stay right through to dinner for burgers, sandwiches, house-made sausages and more. A spacious, shaded beer garden makes it easy to while away the hours.

Emmer & Rye
Named one of the best restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit, Emmer & Rye offers seasonal cuisine with a menu that changes based on the farmer’s haul. Butchery is done onsite, heirloom grains are milled for house-made pastas and a Zero FoodPrint is achieved through carbon offset.

Enjoy elevated Mexican cuisine, rooted in traditional techniques and using local Texas ingredients. House-made masa graces the menu which changes daily. Reservations are accepted up to 30 days in advance.

Partake in a Couples Massage

Viva day Spa
Offering both spa and med-spa experiences, facials, massages and nail services in three locations in Austin.

Miraval Austin
Retreat to this natural sanctuary overlooking Lake Travis for a Wild Berry Body Polish, Jade Meridien Massage or Moondance Body Renewal Ritual.

Drive In & Cuddle Up

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In
Operating under the theory that smaller is better, this intimate boutique drive-in plays indie, art-house, cult, Gen X/Y films, childhood favorites and old-time classics. A menu of burgers, dogs, sweet treats and theater favorites can be ordered from your car.

Docs Drive-In
Favorite flicks from every genre play out on a huge screen at this classic drive-in. Order up some of the delicious house-made brisket, burgers, and vegan wings with a nice cold beer or wine.

Toasts with Local Spirits, Wine & Brews

Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen
Raise a glass to each other in this award-winning, German-inspired brewpub, offering handcrafted beer and cuisine made in-house with love.

Still Austin Whiskey
Take a tour, learn whiskey history and partake in a sample in the tasting room. An airy patio is the perfect place to enjoy food truck fare with your whiskey or gin cocktail.

Flat Creek Estate Winery
Walk among the vines, pop open a bottle in the shade of a stately oak and clink glasses in beautiful Texas Hill Country. Voted Best Winery in the County, this estate offers tastings, made-from-scratch foods, wood-fired fare and even disc golf.

Putt Away Together

Topgolf Austin
Perfect your swing and have a blast at climate-controlled, high-tech hitting bays. Delicious food, tasty drinks and music round out the experience.

Peter Pan Mini Golf
Let the nostalgia kick in! This mini-golf course has been delighting Austin since 1946. A variety of obstacles and retro characters keeps things interesting!

Butler Park Pitch & Putt
This 9-hole, par 3 course has been a fun favorite since 1948. Play in the shade of mature pecan trees, and navigate various grass traps, water traps and challenging holes!

Hill Country Wine, Brew & Spirit Trail

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Jester King Brewery
Start here with a free brewery tour to learn about wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers.

Last Stand Brewing Co.
Stop in this award-winning craft brewery for a great variety of tasty beers – all pair well with the delicious offerings of the on-site food truck.

Treaty Oak Distilling
The triple threat! Treaty Oak is the only distillery, winery AND brewery in all of Texas. Take a tour, do a tasting, grab some BBQ at Alice’s Restaurant and soak in the views at this 28-acre ranch.

Dripping Springs

Bell Springs Winery
Small production wines and chef-prepared food make this a perfect starting place in Dripping Springs. Enjoy a wine tasting, pairing experience, or just a glass of wine with lunch from the food truck.

Deep Eddy Vodka
How often do you treat yourself to a flight of handcrafted, fruit and tea-flavored vodkas? The only acceptable answer: not often enough! Enjoy the small-batch, smooth, clean vodkas at Deep Eddy’s Tasting Room.

Twisted X Brewing Company
Take a tasting flight on the patio for delicious handcrafted Mexican-style beer with a Texas influence. Pair your favorite beer from the taproom with some Tex-Mex from the Lazy Dayz food truck parked outside.

Westcave Cellars Winery
Known for its award-winning wines and it friendly and informed staff, Westcave is the perfect place to unwind with a glass of Cab under mature oak trees while taking in the live music. Outdoors: walk-ins are welcome. Indoors: reservations are required.


Desert Door
Have a truly unique experience at America’s only sotol distillery. Native sotol plants (a relative to the agave plant) are wild-harvested and distilled into a premium spirit – sometimes compared to a crisp tequila.

Salt Lick Cellars
Relax in outdoor seating under heritage oak trees on the grassy lawn. Enjoy a Syrah, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, sparkling white and more. For a true Texas treat, pair the house BBQ Red or house BBQ White with the famous BBQ meats at the adjacent Salt Lick BBQ.


Real Ale Brewing Company
Sample some of the highest-quality, unfiltered, unpasteurized craft beers in the state. Sip in the taproom or out in the beer garden. Dog-friendly, kid-friendly, everyone-friendly.


Torr Na Lochs Vineyard & Winery
With unsurpassed views overlooking the Colorado River Valley, this working cattle ranch houses a winery with a variety of options for tasting, seating and relaxing. Enjoy the Orange Muscat, the Estate Syrah, the views of Texas longhorns and the unbeatable sunsets.


Grape Creek Estate and Heath Vineyards
Savor the French-style Texas wines and incredible vineyard views at this contemporary estate. Stop in for a tour, a tasting or simply enjoy a glass of wine. Health Vineyards is the first in Texas dedicated to sparkling wines.

Inwood Estates Vineyards
The regional leader in growing Tempranillo grapes, Inwood Estates boasts over 37 years of winemaking in Texas. Reserve ahead of your visit for a tasting experience, a pairing experience or in-depth tastings with the winemaker.