If ever there was a day to spend basking in the rays of the sun and then absorbing the light of the moon, it’s during summer in Austin.
If you’re not outside during at least some point, you’re definitely doing summer wrong. Get outside, get a little sweaty, howl at the moon, skinny dip, commune with fairies, whatever. Be as weird as Austin wants you to be, even if just for one day.
With that modest goal in mind, here are a few of our favorite Austin.com lists that will help you get the most out of this Central Texas season…
There are plenty of cloudless evenings ahead that may make things unbearably hot and make our favorite swimming holes dry up, but it does make for good weather to check out the constellations. Here is our Austin Stargazing Guide to help you tell the difference between Orion’s Belt and Aries.
Say Farewell to the Wildflowers
Though the beautiful bluebonnets, lantanas, and other wildflowers usually only last through spring, sometimes mild conditions allow them to creep their way into the summer. They won’t be around for long, so if you see a pitch of flowers, be sure to enjoy them while you can. Here’s our Austin Wildflower Guide so that you can identify them if you do see them.
Take a Road Trip
Heading out on the highway is an essential part of summer, but sometimes a long trip isn’t an option. Instead, try hanging around Austin by checking out some of the Cannot-Miss Restaurants Just Outside of Austin. And yes, there’s pie.
While you’re at it, here are 10 Perfect Places for Great Dates: Day Trip Edition. Grab that special someone, fill up the tank, queue up a great Spotify playlist of Austin artists, and get out on the open road.
Learn Some Local History
The Texas State Capitol is a pretty fascinating place, and unless you work there, it’s probably a place you haven’t visited in a while. A summer field trip could be a lot of fun, plus they have tax-dollar funded air conditioning, so you might as well. We’ve got a list of Crazy Facts About the Texas State Capitol for you to brush up on before your visit.
Take Lots of Photos
Because you’ll definitely miss summer once it’s not around anymore, here’s a list of 10 Photos That Will Make You Miss Summer in Austin to give you some inspiration. There are also some great places for couples to take photos that make for some truly Instagram-worthy shots.
Have an Extreme Summer Adventure
There are plenty of opportunities to have your mettle tested in and around Austin, so try putting yourself to the test with some of these Extreme Austin Adventures. Bonus: Not all of them require you to say “bro” while participating.
Obviously we can’t have a list about summer that doesn’t prioritize swimming. Though competition may sometimes be fierce for some of these 12 Natural Austin Swimming Holes, they’re all totally worth it. Just keep in mind that some of them are undergoing changes, like the permit/reservation systems at Hamilton Pool and Blue Hole, so look them up before you go.
Watch the Sun Set
With the sun lingering longer in the sky throughout the summer, sunsets come a bit later. This gives Austinites plenty of time to get off of work and grab a picnic and bottle of wine in time to catch some beautiful oranges and pinks stretch across the sky. Everyone knows there’s nothing quite like a Texas sunset, and here are a few great spots near Lake Travis to catch one.
Get Super Sweaty
Perspiration. It’s basically equivalent to death and taxes if you live in Texas — you just can’t avoid it. So sometimes you might as well just lean into it. Head out for a walk on one of these 10 Beautiful Austin Trails, Boost Your Health Outside of a Gym, or stroll through one of the great Austin neighborhoods where you don’t need a car. If you just can’t handle the perspiration, though, here’s How Austinites Beat the Summer Heat.
Be a Good Host
We all know that Austin is a place that any decent tourist should have on their travel list, and there will certainly be plenty of camera-clicking, Google-maps searching visitors around this summer. Of course none of us want them to move here, but let’s all turn on some of that Southern charm and show them a great time while they’re in our city. Maybe suggest some of these Austiny activities from our 10 Tips for Travelers Looking to do Austin Right!
Now get off your computer (or phone) and go have fun!
Featured photo from Wikipedia, Creative Commons licensed