Welcome to Austin, Texas!

  • Get ready for some sunny skies with temperatures sitting around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-20 degrees Celsius) in January and February. You may want to bring a sweater though, overnight temperatures can drop as low as: 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius)
  • Austin is known for their mouth-watering barbecue so make sure to stop by one of our suggestions or ask the locals for their top recommendations!
  • Austin prides itself on being a little bit weird, and a whole lot of fun. Expect wild murals, whiskey bars, dancing, and more.
  • As the Live Music Capital of the World, make sure to stop in to one of the local venues to experience a music atmosphere like never before.


Barton Springs

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g30196-d116421-Reviews-Barton_Springs_Pool-Austin_Texas.html  Address: 2201 Barton Springs Road

Take a dip in the Barton Springs pool – a three-acre spring-fed pool surrounded by lush grass and trees. Relax in the kid-friendly shallow limestone shelf on one end, or head to the deeper end with a max depth of 18 feet. Barton Springs stays warm, with an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) all year round. Enjoy and learn why Barton Springs is one of Austin’s favourite attractions for locals and tourists alike.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

Link: https://www.umlaufsculpture.org/  Address: 605 Azie Morton Road

The perfect retreat from Austin’s hustle and bustle, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden is filled with beautiful water lilies and statues. Explore the garden on your own, or join in on one of the activities, such as yoga in the garden, Umlauf after dark (local market with a variety of handmade goods and art from local artists), guided tours and more.

State Capitol

Link:  https://spadeandpalacio.com/  Address: 1100 Congress Avenue

Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the State Capitol is a breathtaking building that’s a must-see for all visitors! Enjoy the inlaid marble floor and the stunning red granite building or explore the surrounding 17 monuments and gardens. Looking for a little rest? Dip in to the cafeteria or gift shop. Tip: Join a free guided tour to learn about the history and story of Texas.

Wild About Music

Link: http://www.wildaboutmusic.com/   Address: 615 Congress Avenue

Music everything – literally! With over 4,000 sq feet of accessories including guitar straps, decors, prints, t-shirts, gifts and collectibles, Wild About Music is a music lovers dream. The shop also stocks musical instruments for sale such as guitars, oboes, drums, accordions and ukuleles, in case you get a sudden overwhelming urge to pick up an instrument and play!

Graffiti Park

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g30196-d6937486-Reviews-Graffiti_Park_at_Castle_Hills-Austin_Texas.html   Address: 1008 Baylor Street

Some say Graffiti Park shows the “real” Austin. On one of the largest walls in Austin, you will find colourful images that show off Austin’s charm, while overlooking the city from the park’s magnificent viewpoints. Tip: there tend to be plenty of artists walking around, so art lovers and historians, connect with them and chat over the remarkable pieces of art!


Bullock Texas State History Museum

Link: https://www.thestoryoftexas.com/   Address: 1800 Congress Avenue

Looking to learn a bit more about the history of Texas? Look no further than the Bullock Texas State Museum. It offers three floors of exhibits, with each floor concentrating on a different theme. There is also a special effects theater presentation that takes viewers through the journey and story of Texas, as well as an IMAX theatre presenting in 2D and 3D.

The Contemporary Austin-Jones Center

Link: https://www.thecontemporaryaustin.org/   Address: 700 Congress Avenue

For lovers of both new and established art, the Contemporary Austin-Jones Center brings you a wide spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education and various collections. A few of the current exhibitions include: The Sorcerer’s Burden: Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn; Last Conversation Piece; Museum Without Walls; and much more!

Blanton Museum of Art

Link: https://blantonmuseum.org/   Address: 00 East Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard

The primary art collection for the city of Austin, the Blanton Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the United States, with almost 190,000 square feet devoted to exhibits. The Blanton Museum showcases art from all over the world and spanning the ages, including ancient greek pottery to abstract expressionism.


The Color Inside Skyspace

Link: https://turrell.utexas.edu/    Address: Student Activities Center, 2201 Speedway

On the third floor of the Student Activity Center at the University of Texas is a public art installation by James Turrell, The Color Inside. The circular dome serves as an open-air observatory and every day at sunrise and sunset the walls illuminate with colour. The evolving hues combined with the sky and shadows creates an unforgettable experience. Tip: click here to book.

SoCo District

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g30196-d304817-Reviews-SoCo_District-Austin_Texas.html

SoCo District, or South Congress District, is filled with an eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants, antiques, galleries and music venues. It’s the place for all things weird and wonderful. Take a stroll down its colourful streets and search through retro clothing bins or reminisce with old Vinyls.

Austin Steam Train Association

Link: https://www.austinsteamtrain.org/   Address: 401 East Whitestone Boulevard C-100

A great activity for everyone, especially the kids! The Austin Steam Train gives visitors the opportunity to ride on a real vintage passenger train. There are different themed trips throughout the year including gunfighter Wild West shoot-outs and a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. Tip: advanced booking is recommended, as tickets tend to sell out. To book a ticket, click here.

Live Music

Various Locations

Welcome to the Live Music Capital of the world! In Austin, you can find anything from rockabilly to soul, hip-hop, punk and electronica.

Visit The Continental Club for a mix of rockabilly, country, swing, rock and blues music every night of the week. Originally opening its doors in 1955, The Continental Club is located in a gorgeous historical building and offers classic tunes for everyone.

Considered “the swankiest club on South Congress”, C-Boy’s Heart & Soul brings you classic soul and R&B music onstage, and a 50s era Japanese GI bar. Enjoy live music 7 nights a week and a spacious outdoor patio.

Broken Spoke is a legendary Texan dancehall, a Texas music museum and a family business. Huge names like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and George Strait have all graced the stage here. While dancing is not required, we bet you won’t be able to resist!

Waterloo Records

Link: https://waterloorecords.com/   Address: 600 North Lamar Boulevard

The city’s largest music is well-stocked in new releases from both indie artists and major labels. Those looking for more than just vinyl can head towards the music-centric book and film sections for a look. Tip: make sure to check the calendar as there are plenty of in-store performances you won’t want to miss!

Allen’s Boots

Link: https://www.allensboots.com/   Address: 1522 South Congress

Yeehaw! You can’t leave Texas without a good pair of cowboy boots. Since 1977, Allen’s Boots have been selling premium leather footwear to tourists and locals alike. With such a wide selection of boots, you’ll be able to find everything you’re looking for – from turquoise women’s boots to black studded men’s boots, and anything your heart desires!


Mount Bonnell

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g30196-d144295-Reviews-Mount_Bonnell-Austin_Texas.html    Address: 3800 Bonnell Drive

Mount Bonnell is considered to be Austin’s highest point at 775 feet and a great hike for any level of hiker. Once you reach the top of the 102-stair climb, you’ll be surrounded by the 360 bridge and a beautiful overlook of downtown Austin. Tip: head up to Mount Bonnell for an amazing sunset view.

Lady Bird Lake Hike/Bike Trail

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g30196-d184131-Reviews-Lady_Bird_Lake_Hike_and_Bike_Trail-Austin_Texas.html

You’ll find this calm and pristine getaway right in the middle of the city. Popular with runners and bikers, stroll along the waterfront, exploring the many bridges and calm waters. Tip: on a nice day, rent a boat and explore the park and enjoy the surrounding city by water.

Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center

Link: https://westcave.org/   Address: 24814 Hamilton Pool Road

This relaxing hike will take you along a forest trail and down several steps to a creek bed and a magnificent waterfall. There is a large cave area and a collection of old cypress trees and ferns. While the hike is not difficult, come prepared with appropriate outdoor footwear. There are guides available that can help lead the way if you choose.

McKinney Falls State Park

Link: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls   Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway

There are nearly 9 miles of trails for hikers and bikers around the park’s limestone formations and wooded areas. Tip: make sure to check out both the upper and lower falls!


DipDipDip Tatsu-va

Link: https://www.dipdipdip-tatsuya.com/    Address: #101-7301 Burnet Road

Visit DipDipDip for an interactive dining experience. Try the shabu shabu dish for a unique, once in a lifetime tasting that includes uncooked meat, veggies, dumplings and noodles that you dip into boiling broth and smother with delicious dipping sauces and rice. DipDipDip’s drink list is just as unique as their dishes! Choose from Japanese beer, local Austin brews, a wide selection of sake or unique cocktails that will leave you wanting more.


Link: https://www.hanksaustin.com/   Address: 5811 Berkman Drive

This go-to brunch spot is a hit not only for the mouth-watering food, but also for the mimosa carafes, cocktails, beer and wine (including frozen wine!). You’ll find staples like avocado toast, steak and eggs, and even a spicy chicken sandwich. Tip: enjoy Hank’s massive patio area that offers a light and airy feel.

Lucky Robot

Link: https://www.luckyrobotatx.com/   Address: 1303 South Congress Avenue

Not your average brunch menu! This Nikkei-inspired bruncheria blends Japanese and Peruvian fare to bring you dishes like Japanese pancakes with pork belly, napa cabbage, crispy shallots and a sunny side up egg, or “The Traditional” which is a grilled Atlantic salmon, furikake onigiri and farm box veggies. Tip: make sure to pair these unique dishes with Lucky Robot’s signature $2 mimosas!

Biscuits and Groovy

Link: http://iwantbiscuits.com/   Address: 5015 Duval Street

Biscuits and Groovy brings you musically-inspired fluffy biscuits that are loaded with toppings. You’ll find dishes like the Gloria Gaynor, the Johnny ‘Hash’ or the Donna Summer. For those feeling a savoury breakfast, smother your biscuit in cheese, sausage, jalapenos, scrambled eggs, potatoes or bacon (or all of the above – we won’t judge!). And for those taking a walk onthe sweet side, try the carrot cake, bananas foster or the bourbon peach jam. Don’t miss out on this traditional southern biscuit extravaganza!

Franklin Barbecue

Link: https://franklinbbq.com/   Address: 900 East 11th Street

This iconic BBQ joint is a must-have while in Austin. Proud to be serving “the best barbecue in the known universe”, want-to-be diners start lining up as early as 6am for a taste of the best! Not looking forward to the line up? Why not give La Barbecue’s brisket and beef ribs a try instead, or LeRoy & Lewis’ infamous pork belly and mac & cheese-stuffed quail. Messy fingers are encouraged.

Vaquero Taquero

Link: http://www.vaquerotaquero.com/   Address: 104 E 31st St

The perfect spot for breakfast or street-style tacos, Vaquero Tacquro is as authentic as they come. Brought to life by two brothers from Monterrey, Mexico, the brothers held onto Mexico’s tradition of making tacos by hand and serving them fresh off the grill. Tip: make sure to try their signature dish, the Taco al Pastor – you won’t go wrong!


Link: http://www.urokoaustin.com/   Address: 1023 Springdale Road, Building 1, Suite C

Have a hankering for seafood? Give this Japanese restaurant a try! Dedicated to bringing you the freshest ingredients, Uroko caters to three different concepts all with one storefront: the casual counter-service Temaki (hand roll bar), sushi class space, and the weekend 45-minute sushi omakase (where the chef creates the dishes right in front of you). Tip: don’t miss trying their most popular dish, the sushi hand rolls.

Hula Hut

Link: https://www.hulahut.com/   Address: 3825 Lake Austin Boulevard

Aloha! Tex-Mex meets Hawaiin at Hula Hut with an incredible view of Lake Austin. Enjoy an island experience like no other and munch on tacos, enchiladas, or luau dinners, all while sipping on cocktails like the Austin Tini, the classic Mai Tai or the Skinny Devil and enjoying the one of a kind scenery.

Oasis Lake Travis

Link: http://oasis-austin.com/   Address: 6550 Comanche Trail

This huge open air Tex-Mex restaurant has seating for 2,800 and attracts diners for their incredible sunset views. Located 450 feet above Lake Travis, Oasis offers live music, including salsa night, and an extensive menu. The true highlight is the sunset, and the restaurant even holds sunset photo contests throughout the year. Enjoy!

Food Truck Parks

Pangea Lounge

Link: https://www.facebook.com/PangeaLoungeATX/    Address: East Sixth Street

At Pangea Lounge, you’ll find a selection of flavours including: cheesesteaks, Colombian, Thai, Greek, Indian and halal plates. On weekends, enjoy live music and booths from local artisans. Must try dishes include: the falafel over rice plate at Halal Time and the Super Fantazo fries at Aimee’s (a throwback and twist to the classic poutine for those that tried some in Quebec!).

Rainey Street Food Trucks

Link: N/A,  Address: Rainey Street

Serving a variety of dishes including perfectly crispy and juicy fried chicken, mouthwatering arepas, must-try greek gyros and asian cuisine. Top dishes include: the Hercules gyro by Big Fat Greek Gyros, chile limon wings at Tommy Want Wingy and Chow Chow Donuts at Lucys’ Mini Donuts.

Spider House Food Trailers & Village

Link: https://spiderhouseatx.com/food-trailers/   Address: 2908 Fruth Street

Calling all vegetarians and vegans! Spider House serves delicacies like the 100% plant-based Mexican street food truck called Cool Beans that serves some of the best vegan tacos in Austin, and Arlo’s burger joint that offers up vegan burgers, tacos and fries. Must try dishes include: the vegan Bac’n Cheeze Burger at Arlo’s and the Warrior Tacos at Cool Beans.

The Picnic

Link: https://www.thepicnicaustin.com/   Address: 1720 Barton Springs

If you’re heading to the Barton Springs pool, make sure to stop by the Picnic, home of popular food trucks like Kebabalicious, The Mighty Cone, Trudy’s and Hep Cupcake! Plus, The Picnic has a BYOB policy. Must try dishes include: the coconut or blood orange popsicles from Steel City Pops, the spaghetti carbonara from Cannone’s, the Spoiled Brat from Kebabalicious and the blackened chicken with dirty rice from Gambino’s Louisiana.

Thicket Food Park

Link: http://www.thicketaustin.com/   Address: South First & West Dittmar

Surrounded by shady trees and community gardens, Thicket Food Park offers more than just food to its visitors. Take part in the occasional outdoor yoga class and music presented on their live stage. Enjoy unique trucks like Level Up that serves up smoothies and juices from a refitted double-decker bus (with seating up top!), My Granny’s Kitchen that serves delicious soul food, Revolution Vegan Kitchen that puts a spin on your traditional burgers and tacos, and Dragon Delights that serves up amazing dim sum. Must try dishes include: the beef tip with rice from My Granny’s Kitchen and the chicken and basil dumplings from Dragon Delights.



Various Locations

Austin is the craft beer hub of Texas. Give Blue Owl Brewing a try for their unique sour beers, Hops & Grains for their crisp IPAs and warm weather lagers, Zilker Brewing Co. for a wide-range of accessible brews or Lazarus Brewing for an eclectic selection of house beers, and a little something different.

Easy Tiger

Link: https://www.easytigerusa.com/  Address: 709 East 6th Street

Combining our two favourite things, Easy Tiger is a beer garden and bakery all in one. Enjoy an impressive selection of beer, rare whiskey, ping-pong, Creekside seating and a bakery that’s open late. Munch on pretzels, croissants, baguettes and more while enjoying a drink or two.

Desert Door Distillery

Link: https://www.desertdoor.com/  Address: 211 Darden Hill Road

Introducing the United State’s first and only distillery producing sotol. Made from the desert spoon plant native to West Texas, sotol is herbaceous and slightly floral and has deep roots in Mexican history and culture. Visit the distillery for tours and tastes and stick around for cocktails in a tasting room filled with comfortable couches, a fireplace, and eye-catching, regional art.


Link: https://www.drinkwellaustin.com/  Address: 207 East 53rd Street

This gastropub includes murals splashed on brick walls and tufted chairs for seating. Drink.Well. offers some of Austin’s best seasonal beverages with their own unique twist. The award-winning pub serves up some of the most innovative cocktails, craft beer, wine and spirits and has over 75 whiskies for you to enjoy.

Firehouse Lounge

Link: https://www.firehousehostel.com/ Address: 605 Brazos Street Ste 100 (6th Street)

Located in one of Austin’s oldest-standing fire stations, this historic building is now part craft cocktail bar, part hostel. The speakeasy is accessible through a hidden bookshelf in the hostel lobby and serves prohibition-era drinks.


Link: https://www.pecheaustin.com/  Address: 205 West 4th Street (Colorado Street)

Austin’s first absinthe-bar serves up pre-prohibition cocktails and French comfort food. Some highlights include the Flamingo Picasso made with absinthe rouge, lemon, cinnamon, grapefruit and coconut cream and the Absinthe God made with mata-hari absinthe, orgeat, lemon, egg whites and bitters. The bartenders pride themselves on their knowledge of spirits and cocktails, so chat with them if you need help deciding what to start with.

Hidden Gems

The Whisper Room

Link: https://www.austin.intercontinental.com/food-and-drinks/the-whisper-room.html  Address: InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel on Congress Avenue

Inspired by the Prohibition Era, this 10-seat, reservation only bar will have you drooling over their 1920’s-themed bar that serves classics like the Old Fashioned and Sazerca, made tableside on a 1930s Aldo Tura bar cart. The menu was developed by one of Austin’s most coveted barmen, Justin Elliott, famous for The Townsend and Juniper. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel.

The Secret Bar in the W

Link: https://www.thrillist.com/venues/drink/austin/bars/the-w-hotel-the-secret-bar  Address: 200 Lavaca Street

Enter through the W Hotel Austin and be immersed in a glow unlike any other. Sometimes referred to as the red bar (you’ll see why), you’ll be served cocktails from a fully stocked bar and can indulge in snacks from the bar menu. Music lovers, rejoice! The Secret Bar is the home of the vintage McIntosh Sound System, so your taste buds, and ears, will leave happy.

Red Headed Stepchild

Link: https://www.thrillist.com/venues/drink/austin/bars/red-headed-stepchild  Address: 119 East 5th Street

You’ll need a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of new Austin friends to find this hidden gem. Access requires the knowledge of the ever-changing numeric code that is a word-of-mouth system. Ask around, get acquainted with the community and be prepared for an experience like no other at this fun-loving speakeasy.

Techo Mezcaleria & Agave Bar

Link: https://www.facebook.com/techomezcaleria/  Address: 2201 Manor Road

This private, candlelit room, offers you the smoky taste of the single village mescal. From the owners of Mi Madre’s, you’ll find Tech accessible through the staircase on the patio of the Schoolhouse Pub. Techo means “roof” in Spanish, which hints at where you’ll be sipping smoky spirits all night long.

We’re not sure about you but with so many options, we don’t even know where to start! Wishing fun in planning for your visit and we look forward to seeing you at NamesCon in Austin soon.

Your CentralNic Team

If you have any recommendations we should keep in mind, please let us know!

We look forward to seeing you soon and please reach out to us if you would like to schedule a meeting with any of our team members.