Article Contributor: Ben Burton, Austin Community College | Journalism Major
Austin, the state capital of Texas provides various entertainment activities that are loads of quality fun.
(Sight-seeing) The state capitol building is the largest state capitol building in the United States. Free guided and self-guided tours are available daily for the must-see attraction.
(Spectator Sports) Austin has the only Formula One race track in the United States and is home to the Austin FC Verde. Of course, the University of Texas Longhorns takes center stage every fall.
(Concerts) The city is known as being “the Live Music Capital of the World” for having more than 200 live music venues and around 2000 bands and performance artists.
Here is a list of some of the locations for entertainment activities in the City of Austin.
Austin’s Top Entertainment Venues and Hangouts
6th St. and Red River Entertainment Districts
115 E. 6th St.
Music, dancing, food, bars, comedy, shops, tattoo parlors, hotels,…..
Rainey St. Historic District
Rainey St. Downtown
Historic houses renovated into bars and restaurants (chic and casual).
South Congress District (SoCo)
S. Congress (Live Oak to Riverside Drive)
Restaurants and food trucks, bars, vintage shops, music venues, boutiques, galleries,……
525 E. 6th st. (6th and Red River)
Comedy troupe theater entertaining Austin for over 40 years.
Alamo Draft House Cinemas
Various locations throughout the Greater Austin area.
Watch movies while being served cold drinks, delicious meals, and craft beers to your seat.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In
2015 E. M. Franklin Ave.
Old-time drive-in showing classic and arthouse movies with dinners and concessions.
Blue Starlite ATX Downtown Rooftop Skyline Drive-in
300 San Antonio st. (garage rooftop)
New releases and classic movies. Downtown restaurant food delivery and concessions.
Circuit of the Americas
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.
The first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States for all classes of racing, including
the NASCAR Cup Series motor races, it is the home to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix,
and it also hosts big concerts such as Taylor Swift, Billy Joel, and the Rolling Stones.
Peter Pan Mini-Golf
1207 Barton Springs rd.
An Austin landmark operating since 1948, featuring two 18 hole mini-golf courses. BYOB but no glass. peterpanminigolf.com
Main Event Austin
13301 N. Hwy. 183
Amusement center with lots of entertainment activities. 28 lanes of state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, an arcade with 100+ interactive video games, casual dining, a bar serving handcrafted cocktails and beers, and wine, that is surrounded by big-screen televisions.
1701 W. Ben White Blvd.
Texas’s largest laser tag arena with towers and ramps, an arcade, and an Austin Sky Trail ropes course. blazertag.com
8940 Research blvd
New & vintage pinball machines, classic & modern video games, good food, cold drinks, and BYOB. pinballzarcade.com
Museum of the Weird
412 E. 6th St. (6th historic district downtown)
A tribute to the once-popular dime museums (10 cents admission) and cabinets of curiosities (wonder-rooms) developed during the 17th and 18th centuries. A strange collection of oddities such as, shrunken heads, haunted artifacts, life-size wax figures of circus “freaks”, side-show performers, and classic monsters, with a friendly gift shop.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 Congress Ave. (three blocks north of the capital)
A celebration of Texas history and culture with three floors of interactive exhibits, an IMAX with Laser theater, a 4D special effects theater, a museum gift shop, and a cafe.
Blanton Museum of Art
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
One of the largest university art museums in the United States with a permanent collection of over 19,000 works that consist of European paintings, prints, and drawings, modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, and Ellsworth Kelly’s design for his most monumental work titled “Austin”.
Texas Memorial Museum
2400 Trinity St. (located on the campus at the UT of Austin)
Austin’s first science museum. Permanent exhibits include fossils and prehistoric life; gems, minerals, and meteorites; and native Texas wildlife. The specimens are the outcome of biological, geological, and paleontological fieldwork, and research supervised by scientists at the UT of Austin, and from public donations.
McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Parkway (on the outskirts of Austin)
80+ campsites, fishing and swimming-in river, hiking and mountain biking-on trails(5), wildlife observation, picnic areas, a series of limestone ledges and pools over which Onion Creek flows, scenic overlook, playground, and public restrooms.
Zilker Park | Barton Springs Pool
2100 Barton Springs Rd.
The recreation area of 350 acres by Lady Bird Lake, with access to the Ann and Roy Butler hike and bike trail, sports fields, the Trail of Lights during the Christmas season, local productions at the Zilker Hillside Theater, and the three-acre spring water fed Barton Springs Pool.
Lady Bird Lake
1820 S. Lakeshore Blvd.
The river-like reservoir on the Colorado River was once called Town Lake then it was re-named after First Lady Bird Johnson for all her hard work cleaning the shoreline and for creating the hike and bike trail system. Walk, jog, or bike all the way around the lake on a mostly flat crushed granite trail that is over 10 miles long. There is a dog park at Auditorium Shores. Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards can be rented to get on the water. Two local companies: Capital Cruises and Lone Star Riverboat offer lunch, dinner, sightseeing cruises, and also special South Congress bridge bat-watching expeditions. Nearly one and a half million bats call the S. Congress bridge home from March to September.
10808 Rawhide Trail
A non-profit animal rescue zoo gives homes to over 300 animals from over 100 different species. Animal lovers this is a must-see. Purchase snacks and drinks from the gift shop or from vending machines throughout the zoo.
Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
805 N. Capital of Texas Highway
227 acres of native Texas Hill Country habitat, two and a half miles of hiking trails that pass through woodland, grassland, and streamside habitats that are home to threatened and endangered species, and hundreds of native plants, animals, and birds. There are waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and a research center where visitors can learn about the native plants and wildlife that live on the preserve.