24 hours in Austin

One Day in Austin

How to See Austin in 24 Hours

There is so much to see and do in Austin that it can be overwhelming for visitors to decide what to do, especially if they have only one day to explore. Fortunately, with proper planning, you can experience the best of Austin in just one day. From live music and mouthwatering cuisine to outdoor activities and iconic landmarks, this comprehensive guide will help you maximize your limited time in Austin. So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, read on to discover how to get the most out of Austin in just one day.

How to plan your day in Austin

The key to maximizing your limited time is to plan to fit in as many of the city’s highlights as possible.

Start by considering what you want to see and experience in Austin. Do you want to explore the city’s music scene, check out the local art, or sample the local cuisine? Once you have a general idea of what you want to do, research the best places to do them and create an itinerary that includes the must-see spots.

Being realistic about what you can accomplish in one day is important. You don’t want to rush from one place to the next without fully experiencing everything. Prioritize the things that interest you the most and schedule enough time to enjoy them.

Another important factor to consider is transportation. Austin is a spread-out city, so if you plan on visiting multiple locations, renting a car, or using ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. Alternatively, you could opt for a bike rental or even a guided tour to maximize your time.
Finally, make sure to check the hours of operation for the places you want to visit so that you can plan your day accordingly. With careful planning, you’ll be able to experience the best of Austin in just one day and leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Morning activities in Austin

Austin, the capital of Texas, has so much to offer, even if you only have one day to explore it. To make the most of your morning in Austin, visit the Texas State Capitol. The magnificent building, with its stunning architecture and beautiful grounds, is a must-see for any visitor to the city. You can take a self-guided tour or join one of the state’s free tours.

After taking in the grandeur of the Capitol, head over to the iconic South Congress Avenue. You’ll find quirky boutiques, vintage shops, art galleries, and more here. Take a stroll down the street, soak in the vibrant energy, and don’t forget to snap some pictures with the “I love you so much” wall.

Still, have some time before lunch? Visit the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. This scenic trail offers stunning views of the city skyline and is perfect for a morning walk, jog, or bike ride. You can even rent a paddleboard or kayak and take in the scenery from the water.

No matter what you choose to do, Austin has something for everyone in the morning. This vibrant city has plenty to see and explore from history buffs to nature enthusiasts.

Best breakfast spots in Austin

To start your day in Austin, there’s no shortage of great breakfast spots. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic diner-style breakfast or something more unique, you will find a restaurant that fits the bill.

Juan in a Million

One must-visit spot is Juan in a Million, a local institution that has been serving up some of the best breakfast tacos in town for over 30 years. Be sure to try their famous “Don Juan” breakfast taco, which features a heaping helping of bacon, potatoes, and cheese all wrapped up in a delicious tortilla.

June’s All Day

For something more upscale, head over to June’s All Day, a trendy bistro is known for its creative takes on classic brunch dishes. Favorites include the Croque Madame, which features ham, gruyere cheese, and a fried egg on top of sourdough bread, and the Steak and Eggs, a hearty dish perfect for meat lovers.

Magnolia Cafe

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, check out Magnolia Cafe. With two locations in the city, this iconic Austin diner is open 24/7. It serves many breakfast dishes, from classic pancakes and eggs to unusual options like migas and breakfast enchiladas.

No matter where you go for breakfast in Austin, you’ll be in for a treat. So grab a cup of coffee and prepare to start your day in the capital city.

After breakfast, stroll around downtown Austin

After enjoying a delicious breakfast at one of Austin’s many popular brunch spots, stroll downtown Austin to experience the city’s vibrant energy.

Congress Avenue

Start by walking down Congress Avenue and admiring the stunning architecture of the Texas Capitol Building. This pink granite structure stands as a must-see for anyone visiting Austin. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the politicians at work inside.

Sixth Street

Next, head down to Sixth Street, where you’ll find a lively strip of bars, restaurants, and music venues. This area is known for its bustling nightlife, but during the day, it’s a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere.

Lady Bird Lake

After exploring Sixth Street, visit Lady Bird Lake, a beautiful reservoir perfect for a stroll or bike ride. The trail around the lake is just over 10 miles long and offers stunning views of the city skyline.

If you’re short on time, you can always walk across the pedestrian bridge that spans the lake. The bridge offers great photo opportunities and is popular with locals and tourists.

South Congress

After your walk, head back downtown to check out some of the city’s unique shops and boutiques. South Congress Avenue is a great place to start, with its eclectic mix of vintage stores, art galleries, and trendy clothing boutiques.

Overall, a morning stroll around downtown Austin is the perfect way to start your day and get a feel for the city’s unique character and charm.

Outdoor activities to do in Austin

Austin is well-known for its beautiful outdoors and numerous recreational activities. Enjoy the city’s outdoor activities if you’re visiting Austin for just one day.

Barton Creek Greenbelt,

First on the list is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a 7.9-mile trail perfect for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The trail is surrounded by beautiful scenery and leads to the Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed swimming pool.

Zilker Park

Next, head over to Zilker Park, a 351-acre park that offers a variety of activities. Take a dip in the Barton Springs Pool, play a game of frisbee golf, or have a relaxing picnic. The park also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals for those who want to explore Lady Bird Lake.

Congress Avenue Bridge

If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, visit the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset to witness the flight of over 1.5 million bats. The bats fly out from under the bridge in a spectacular show that will leave you in awe.

Mount Bonnell

Finally, end your day with a visit to Mount Bonnell, a popular spot for watching the sunset. The summit offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings, making it a perfect spot for taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful Texas scenery.

In conclusion, Austin has a lot to offer for outdoor enthusiasts. With just one day in the city, you can experience some of the best outdoor activities and see some of the city’s most beautiful sights.

Best lunch spots in Austin

Austin, Texas, is a food lover’s paradise, with plenty of great lunch spots. Austin has something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for classic Tex-Mex or something a little more unique.

Torchy’s Tacos

One of the top lunch spots in Austin is Torchy’s Tacos. This local chain is known for its inventive tacos and delicious queso. Try the Trailer Park taco, which features fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo, and ranch dressing. Another great option is the Brushfire taco, which features Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, sour cream, and cilantro.

Home Slice Pizza

Another must-visit lunch spot in Austin is Home Slice Pizza. This New York-style pizzeria serves up some of the best pies in the city, with chewy crusts, tangy sauce, and plenty of toppings. Try the Margherita pizza, which features fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato sauce, or the White Clam pizza, which features clams, garlic, mozzarella, and parsley.


For something a little more upscale, head to Uchi, one of Austin’s most renowned sushi restaurants. The lunch menu offers a selection of small plates and sushi rolls, with options like hamachi crudo, Wagyu beef tataki, and spicy tuna rolls. Be sure to try the sake, which pairs perfectly with the fresh and flavorful dishes.

Austin has plenty of lunch spots, no matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for. You might have to plan a return visit with so many great options to try them all.

Visit historical landmarks in Austin

Austin is known for its rich history and culture, so no visit to the city would be complete without exploring some of its most iconic historical landmarks.

Texas State Capitol

One must-visit landmark is the Texas State Capitol, the largest state capitol building in the United States. Visitors can take a free guided tour of the building and learn about the state’s history, legislature, and architecture.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Another historical site that should be on your itinerary is the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Here, you can explore three interactive exhibits showcasing the state’s diverse history – from the earliest Native American settlers to its modern-day culture.

Moody Theater

If you’re a fan of music, a visit to the legendary Moody Theater is a must. It has been the home of Austin City Limits, the longest-running music program in television history, since 2011. Visitors can tour the theater or catch a live performance if their schedule allows.

LBJ Presidential Library

Lastly, don’t miss the chance to visit the LBJ Presidential Library, which honors the legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was born in Texas. The library showcases important historical artifacts and documents from his presidency and the civil rights movement.

These historical landmarks are just a few of the many sites that make Austin a unique and fascinating destination. Be sure to add them to your itinerary to experience the city’s rich history and culture truly.

Museums to visit in Austin

Austin is known for its food and music scene and the many museums it has to offer. If you’re a history buff or just someone looking for a fun and informative way to spend your day in Austin, then you’re in luck. Here are some of the top museums to visit in Austin:

1. The Bullock Texas State History Museum

This museum tells the story of Texas and its people through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and immersive experiences.

2. The Blanton Museum of Art

This museum is home to over 18,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and contemporary art.

3. The LBJ Presidential Library

This museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson and features exhibits on his presidency, civil rights, and more.

4. The Texas Memorial Museum

This museum is part of the University of Texas and features exhibits on natural history, including dinosaurs, fossils, and gems.

5. The Contemporary Austin

This museum showcases contemporary art worldwide and features rotating exhibits and installations.

No matter your interests, there is a museum in Austin that will pique your curiosity and provide you with an unforgettable experience. So, if you’re planning a trip to Austin, add these museums to your itinerary.

Best dinner spots in Austin

Austin is known for its eclectic food scene that caters to various palates and dietary preferences. After a long day of exploring the city, you’ll want to find a spot to sit and relax while enjoying a delicious meal. Here are some of the best dinner spots in Austin that you won’t want to miss.

1. Uchi

For a good reason, this is one of Austin’s most popular sushi restaurants. The chefs here are masters at their craft and create some of the most delectable sushi dishes you’ll ever taste.

2. Franklin Barbecue

This restaurant is one of the most famous in Austin, and it’s no surprise why. The brisket here is slow-cooked to perfection, melting your mouth.

3. Emmer & Rye

This farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Austin offers a unique dining experience with its ever-changing menu that showcases the best of what’s in season.

4. Launderette

This restaurant is housed in a former laundromat. It serves up some of the best Mediterranean-inspired dishes in Austin, including delicious wood-fired pizzas and small plates perfect for sharing.

5. Lenoir

This cozy restaurant offers a prix fixe menu that changes regularly and features locally sourced ingredients. The outdoor patio is a great spot to enjoy a romantic dinner with twinkling lights overhead.

No matter what your taste buds crave, these dinner spots in Austin will satisfy you. Book a reservation in advance, as tables at these popular spots fill quickly.

Nightlife in Austin

If you’re looking for exciting nightlife, Austin has got you covered. The city is known for its vibrant music scene, and there are plenty of venues where you can catch live performances any night of the week.

Sixth Street

The famous Sixth Street has bars and clubs that offer everything from classic rock to hip-hop and EDM. The street is closed to traffic on weekend nights, creating a lively party atmosphere you won’t want to miss.

Rainey Street

For a more relaxed evening, head to Rainey Street. This historic street of bungalows has been turned into a hub of trendy bars and restaurants. The street is popular among locals and visitors alike, and you can find everything from craft cocktails to local beer on tap.

Rooftop bars

Check out some of the city’s rooftop bars if you want something unique. The views of the city skyline are breathtaking, and the atmosphere is perfect for unwinding after a long day of sightseeing. Some popular rooftop bars include The Upside at East Austin Hotel, Azul Rooftop Pool Bar + Lounge, and the P6 Rooftop Bar at The LINE Austin.

No matter what your taste in nightlife, Austin has something for everyone. So, get ready to dance, drink, and have a great time in this exciting city.

Conclusion and last-minute tips for exploring Austin

Exploring Austin in just one day can be overwhelming, but it can be one of the most exciting and memorable experiences with the right planning and mindset. As you wrap up your day in Austin, here are some last-minute tips to make your visit even better:

1. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and stay hydrated. Austin can get pretty hot, even in the cooler months, so protecting your skin and staying hydrated throughout the day is important.

2. Download a map or use a GPS device to navigate the city. Austin is a large city with many different neighborhoods, so having a general sense of where you’re going is important before setting out on your adventure.

3. Take advantage of public transportation options like buses, trains, and ride-sharing services. Not only will this save you time and money, but it’s also an eco-friendly way to explore the city.

4. Ask for recommendations from locals or other travelers. Austin is known for its friendly and welcoming community, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation and ask for tips on the best places to eat, drink, and explore.

We hope you enjoyed our comprehensive guide to discovering the best of Austin in just one day. Austin is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, and we know it can be overwhelming trying to fit everything in when you’re short on time. With our guide, we hope we’ve shown you that it’s possible to experience the best of Austin, even if you only have a day to spare. We hope you have a fantastic time exploring the city, and please do share your experience with us on social media!

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