Austin Bucket List Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

If you’ve been putting off filing your taxes until the last possible minute, then Monday, April 18 will probably be a stressful day. And when you finally do hit send, you’re going to need an escape from all that adulting.

Luckily, The Escape Game, Austin’s best interactive game, is offering a special Tax Day promotion. Instead of taking all of your money like the IRS, they want you to keep it! Enter the promo code “TAXDAY18” when you book and you can play on April 18th for only $18 (usually $31.99).

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The Escape Game Austin provides sophisticated, high-level games that will challenge even the most hardcore gamers. Solve million dollar heists, decode secret service missions, and navigate through prison passageways You have one hour. For more about the adventure, click here

Opened in May 1971, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is a repository and exhibition of documents, photographs, audio recordings, and personal artifacts from one of the most interesting presidencies in our nation’s history. Located on the University of Texas campus, the LBJ Library is a fascinating destination for locals and visitors alike—more than 100,000 people pass through its doors each year.

Between the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the library gives both a snapshot of Johnson’s presidency and the context necessary to understand its importance.

Of the more than 45,000 personal objects donated by the Johnson family, visitors can view clothing worn by the president and first lady at the 1964 inauguration, antiques and visual art masterworks owned by the family and their friends, and the desk where LBJ was sitting when he signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Several permanent exhibits opened on what would have been Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday in December 2012, including a 7/8 scale recreation of Johnson’s Oval Office, the Johnson Presidential Limousine, and an entire exhibit dedicated to the assassination of JFK on November 22, 2963.

Current temporary exhibits include Hats Off to LBJ!, an in-depth look at the headware worn and given to the First Family and the public museum debut of the letter of condolence LBJ wrote to Martin Luther King’s widow Coretta Scott King in April of 1968 after the Civil Rights leader was assassinated.

The LBJ Library also serves as an events space for symposiums , lectures, and interviews featuring guests like MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and Bob Woodward, who helped uncover the Watergate scandal as an investigative journalist at the Washington Post.

Above, from top: LBJ Library photo by Charles Bogel; LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

The Escape Game is the newest (and possibly best in our opinion) interactive game in Austin. Participants work their way through complex puzzles and multiple challenges in hopes of “escaping” the room in under an hour.

Here’s the basic rundown and some tips for first time ‘escapees’:

You and the rest of your team will be led into a room and given some brief instructions (there are 4 different game rooms each with their own theme and mission). After receiving your mission objectives, the clock starts counting down from 60 minutes…time to start looking for clues and solving puzzles to ultimately complete your goal and escape! These games are not easy, so get ready for a challenge! You’ll need to practice exceptional communication, critical problem solving skills, and a dose of creativity if you want to escape in time.

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Our group was lucky enough to play the recently opened “Gold Rush,” which is set in a cabin in the mountains. The objective of the game is to find the hidden treasure of an old, greedy gold prospector that has gone missing. Word on the street was that he gambled with the mob too much and has disappeared. Our team had to work fast and find his lost gold in under an hour. Through hidden clues and mind challenging puzzles, we worked our way through the game and escaped successfully. Sorry, we don’t want to give too much away…the mystery is half the fun! (watch game video here)

The Escape Game is perfect for friends, family, coworkers, and visitors to Austin. You can book a game for as few as one person but we suggest playing with at least one more friend to share in the experience with you. The Escape Game should absolutely be added to your list of “best things to do in Austin,” it’s definitely on ours.


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The Paramount Theatre turned 100 this year, making it one of the longest continually operating theaters in the country! That being said, if you’ve never visited this Austin institution, it should definitely be on your bucket list.

This Sunday, they’re featuring ‘Room on the Broom

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The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow, and wand. A helpful dog, bird, and frog find the witch’s lost things and they all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick is not meant for five and – CRACK – the broom snaps in two! When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone? Join us on this wild adventure! This musical adaptation will celebrate friendship, the fall season, and the wonderful world that author Julia Donaldson has created. Wear your Halloween costumes one more time!

Based on the book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
Produced by Tall Stories Theatre Co. London, England

This is the perfect Sunday event for the whole family, and a great opportunity to take in the Paramount in all its glory. Tickets are available via the button below:

GET TICKETS BUTTON YELLOW

If you’re dying to celebrate the harvest season at the number two Oktoberfest in the country as voted by US Today, you’ve probably already made plans to attend Wurstfest this year. From November 6th through the 15th, people from around the state will gather in New Braunfels to celebrate German culture, and to party like crazy.

Attendees will sample German-style fare, dance to the live bands, and take in the various Alpine and Bavarian style shows that celebrate the fall. The Wurstfest grounds are in New Braunfel’s Landa Park, but there are various other events and activities going on throughout the town and Comal County.

The best week in sausage brings some of the best German fare right to Austin’s backyard and chances are you’re going to want to wash it all down with a beer… or four. Needless to say, a designated driver is a must.

Photo by Reddit user: svartorn

Photo by Reddit user: svartorn

We’re partnering up with Austin Tour Company this year to make sure you make it to the fest and back in one piece. We’re offering round-trip transportation on our sweet party busses for only $40 per person. Parking for Wurstfest is actually offsite, so you still end up taking a bus from the parking area to the grounds if you decide to drive yourself. Our busses pick up in Austin and deliver and pick up to/from the front gates of the fest. Your first beer on the bus is on us, byob for the rest.

Additionally, the $40 doesn’t just cover the ride; it gets you into the festival! We get the party started early with fun music and the hilarious movie Beerfest to entertain you on the ride home. We also provide a little education (we promise, it’s not boring!) on the history of the festival and why it’s so significant in Central Texas.

Once we’re at the Wurstfest Grounds, you have three hours to enjoy the festival to your heart’s desire. Then we’ll be waiting for your group at the entrance ready to safely bring you back to Austin. It’s as easy as that.

Wanna learn more? Check out the Wurstfest official site for more information about the sausage party and book your spot on one of our Austin Tour Company party buses here. It’s a small price to pay for a time you won’t soon forget… if only you could remember.

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Cover photo courtesy of Do512 Family.

Only two short years ago, one could count pizza delivery options in Austin on two hands. The choices were those inedible national chains, or Gatti’s/Austin’s Pizza, and a few others (we still love you Conan’s).

Oh, how the times have changed. With Favor Delivery, pizza is a few clicks away from anywhere that offers take-out. In fact, a large pie from my favorite shop for thin-crust, East Side Pies, was the first Favor order I completed.

I included a few newcomers on the list, so hopefully there are a few places you haven’t tried. Take into consideration that your favorite spot might not be on the list purely because it’s not in the Favor delivery zone. Or it could be that we haven’t tried it! Feel free to hit us up on Facebook with your recommendations.

In no particular order:

9. Bufalina

When it first opened, one could expect to wait hours to get a table. They’ve recently (and quietly) begun to allow takeout orders. Take advantage. It’s the best neapolitan pie in the city.

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8. Spartan Pizza

The trailer-turned-brick and-mortar on East 6th is open until 3am on weekends. Skip that Whataburger line and order from the safety of your own living room.

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7. Lucky’s Puccias & Pizzeria

Known for his puccias (authentic wood fired Italian sandwiches), Lucky recently opened a brick and mortar on West 5th. The pizzas are as crave-able as his signature sandwiches.

6. The Backspace

Parkside’s sister restaurant serves up really great wood-fired pies. Pro-tip: Whatever you order, be sure to “put an egg on it.”

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5. 40 North

This South First Street newcomer has quickly climbed into our top ten. Try the Hot Honey if you’re into eating things that taste good.

4. East Side Pies

As mentioned above, if you’re a fan of thin-crust, look no further. ESP sources local ingredients whenever possible, and that extra level of care is reflected in the quality of their cracker-thin pies. (Why is this pizza on rocks? I don’t know either)

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3. Little Deli & Pizza

This Crestview neighborhood gem gets very little press considering it makes one of the best New York style pies in the city.

2. Homeslice Pizza

Loved by tourists and locals alike, no list would be complete without a nod to Homeslice. They also take the cake (pie?) for the most often Favor-ed pizza joint in Austin.

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1. Via 313

Before you say, “but I don’t like deep-dish pizza,” let me comment that I didn’t either until I tried Via 313. Furthermore, I haven’t met a person who has tried it that hasn’t fallen in love.

Via-313

Want to find out if you’re in Favor’s delivery zone? Check out the map.


25 Things To Do This In Austin This Spring

By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

Here's a checklist of things to do in Austin this Spring! 

  • #1 – Austin Food & Wine Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The lineup gets more impressive each year. This year is no different and features renowned local and national chefs.

  • #2 – Lone Star Round Up

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    This event for car enthusiasts is one of the best the city offers. The show started over ten years ago as a small gathering on a football field, and has grown into a huge event with cars from all over the country. Some have even gone as far as to call it the best car show in America!

  • Movies In The Park at Republic Square Park

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Throughout Spring & Summer Austin Parks partners with organizations to host FREE movies in the park! See website for a full schedule. 

  • Yoga In The Park

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Free yoga classes are held every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in April, May, and September. 

  • Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival brings together some of the country's most renowned comedians and a ton of local talent for days of non-stop laughs. The comedians do everything from stand-up and sketch to improv.   

  • UMLAUF Garden Party

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The UMLAUF Garden Party is a chance to spend an evening at the Sculpture Gardens in a one of a kind setting. They’ll have wine, bites from the city’s most iconic restaurants, and both live and silent auctions. 

  • Untapped Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Austin is a city that loves its beer. Forthe first time ever, the Untapped Indie Music and Beer Festival is coming toAustin. They’ll have 65 breweries and 200 beers at Carson Creek Ranchfor a day of boozing and listening to music. I think this festival is going tofit right into the Austin scene.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  • KGSR's Unplugged at The Grove

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The longest running free concert series in Austin is back for its 22nd Season! They have $3.50 Ziegenbock drafts, good food and great music! It's always fun and a great way to spend Thursday evenings throughout the summer. This event is an Austin staple! 

  • The NIGHTOWLS Vinyl Release Show

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Austin’s favorite soul band is releasing its debut vinyl, “Good As Gold,” and they’re having a party to celebrate!  

  • Buda Weiner Dog Races

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    This is exactly what the title suggests, wiener dog racing. It’s entertaining and the money goes to a good cause. 

  • Eeyore's Birthday Party

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Keeping Austin Weird doesn't fully describe this festival. The crowd is, well, eccentric. Picture hundreds of people in costume, dancing, sitting in drum circles, and running around Maypoles to celebrate the birthday of a fictional donkey. 

  • Pecan Street Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    It’sthe season for one of Austin’s oldest and longest running festivals. If you’ve never been, it’s a gigantic street fair with music, art, kids activities, jewelry, giant turkey legs and all kinds of other cool stuff. It’s actually the largest art festival in Central Texas, attracting over 300,000 people!

  • 3rd Annual Texas Olive Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The Texas Olive Festival focuses on way more than just olives! They have cooking classes and demos, food and wine tastings from local restaurants, orchard tours, activities for the entire family, movie nights, live music and more fun! 

  • Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Nothing says spring like spending some time at the ballpark. Celebrities, musicians and professional athletes play nine innings and after the game fans are invited out on the field for a family friendly concert.  

  • O. Henry Pun-Off

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    We just had the annual adult spelling bee, and now it’s time for the O.Henry Pun-Off. This hilariously creative event has become an Austin staple, and it never disappoints. 

  • Derby In the City Music Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Leave it to Austin to turn “the most exciting 2 minutes in sports” into a music festival. Derby In The City will air the Kentucky Derby on their jumbotron while artists play throughout the day. Come dressed in your Derby best. 

  • Ballet Under The Stars

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Each spring, the Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble does BalletUnder The Stars and it’s a favorite every year! It’s not that often you get to watch ballet under the moonlight,so get out there and enjoy what is a pretty unique opportunity. 

  • Music In The Park at Mueller

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Music in the Park is a FREE event in Mueller's Lake Park Amphitheater. Rich Restaino and the Obits will be performing from 6-8pm. Bring a blanket and picnic and enjoy the music. 

  • UT Orange-White Scrimmage

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    This is the closest you’ll be able to get to Longhorn Football this Spring. 

  • Louisiana Swamp Thing Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    If you love everything cajun, this is the event for you. It features eight Louisiana bands, and some amazing food vendors who selling everything from Jambalaya to Alligator. Do you like crawfish? The Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival has 7,000 pounds of boiled Live Crawfish!  

  • Art City Austin

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    In 2015, Austin’s iconic art fair prepares for its 65th year! With an annual attendance of 20,000, this juried art fair is the biggest and best art marketplace in central Texas.

  • Becker Vineyard's Lavender Festival

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Sip and swirl with live music, artisans and lavender fields in bloom. There will be lavender products, plants, vendors, cooking demos, guest speakers, culinary delights, concessions, wine tasting & tours, vintner luncheons, music and much more. 

  • Lonestar Jam

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The biggest Texas Country concert in the Austin, TX area each year. The 2015 Jam will be held at The LBJ Library Lawn on campus at The University of Texas at Austin on Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd.

  • Easy Sunday at Easy Tiger

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    $1 Austin Beerworks Cans, a Ping-Pong tournament, and general "taking it easy" will ensue. Windmill Bicycles will have a pop-up shop and there will also be screen-printing by Fine Southern Gentleman. One person in attendance will win a Fairdale bike!

  • MJ&M

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    Mack Brown, Jack Ingram and Matthew McConaughey joined forces a few years ago all in the name of charity. 

Bluebonnet season is alive and well in Central Texas! There are so many places to get great photos of you, your loved on or your pet in the state flower. Here are our favorite spots, they offer great scenery and are all not far from Central Austin.


5 Best Places In Austin To See Bluebonnets 2015

By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

Here are the best locations around town to snap photos in the state flower of Texas! 

  • Mopac/Bee Caves Road

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    There is a church right as you exit the Mopac, Park Hills Baptist Church that I parked in. You can get great photos in Bluebonnets and if you walk up a small hill you can get a view of downtown in the background. 

  • St. Edwards University

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    There is a  hill covered with patches of bluebonnets with downtown in the distance. I would recommend going early in the evening, as the sun is best around that time.

  • 360 Bridge

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    There's great parking on the eastern shore of the lake under the 360 bridge, just follow the signs for the boat launch. You can get great views of the bridge in the background of your photos at this location. 

  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    This is great for those who want to take it a step further and immerse themselves in a destination dedicated to wildflowers.  Guided and self-guided tours of the grounds are available, and there are endless opportunities for photos. 

  • Brushy Creek Lake Park

    By 365 Things To Do In Austin, Texas

    The lake in the background adds to the scenery and makes for a great photo. 

Bonus Locations:

45th/Bull Creek
Montopolis Drive
Hwy 71 towards Bastrop
Hwy 71 towards Marble Falls
There’s a small patch at Riverside/35 right next to the Norwood dog park 

Have you tilted yet? Our good friends at Tilt (formerly Crowdtilt) asked us about our favorite group activities in Austin, and we absolutely LOVE questions like that!

To encourage checking some of these off your list before summer ends, they’re also giving away a $250 credit towards a rental on AirBnB for every one of these you tilt! Read more details on how to enter on Tilt’s blog.

  1. Take your group to Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
  2. Go Kart in private at K1 Speed
  3. Tilt any Austin Eats food tour for you and your friends
  4. Get out on Lake Travis. 365 Things Austin loves Aquaholics for boats, barges, jetskis and more. See pricing here.
  5. Rent the Blue Starlite Drive-In TheatreFrom 2 people to 250, you can easily make it happen!
  6. Make custom t-shirts for a team or upcoming occasion.
  7. Tilt a house on the Guadalupe River for a weekend.
  8. Tilt Willie Nelson’s 80′s Tour Bus.Yes, this is for real.
  9. Ride in style (limo, party bus or van) with 3 or more to the Fredericksburg Wineries
  10. Rent out The Goodnight with your friends (and their friends…and their friends)
  11. Tilt a VIP booth at Whitewater Amphitheater
  12. Party on a bus and float the San Marcos river (Tilters love Don’s Fish Camp!)
  13. Tilt a Top Golf experience. Tailor it to your group any way you’d like.
  14. Take a Rocket Electrics Bike Ride with friends. The choice of tour is yours.
  15. Enjoy a group dining experience you’ll never forget! (365 Things Austin picks Moo Sway from Sway Thai or The Flour Room at La Condesa). Tilting a minimum group of 8 is required.
  16. Host a backyard bash of any kind. BBQs and crawfish boils totally count!
  17. Tilt bottle service anywhere in Austin.
  18. Go in on a group gift. The best way to take advantage of an upcoming bachelor/bachelorette party, engagement, wedding or back to school expense…
  19. Celebrate National S’mores Day (8/10) by tilting a chocolate-y, marshmallow filled evening. Friends can chip in on the fixings! Need inspiration? Don’t miss this list of deliciousness.
  20. Tilt an end of summer trip. You decide where, how and when. It counts as long as you tilt part of it!

Happy Tilting!

It seems like just yesterday I wandered into Lustre Pearl for the first time. It was the only bar in the neighborhood at that point, and offered an escape from downtown that was as equally refreshing as their cheap beer served in complimentary coozies.

The street has evolved tremendously since then, and while I loved it as a secret hideout from the rest of Austin, the growth has introduced a diverse offering of both food and drink.

We started the concept of this post as a ‘complete guide to Rainey Street,’ but then thought it might be more rewarding to create a scavenger hunt-style checklist of unique things to do at each of our favorite bars/restaurants on the block.

While we advise against trying to conquer all of these in one day; if you complete the checklist, post pictures (or it didn’t happen) to Instagram with the hashtag #365RaineyStreetChallenge and tag us @365ThingsAustin — we’ll send you a free copy of 100 Things To Do In Austin Before You Die, and give you a shoutout for your accomplishments.

Enjoy!

1. Bangers– Go for brunch on a Sunday and order the Manmosa- a full bottle of champagne in a giant mug with a splash of OJ or Cranberry Juice.
Banger's Manmosa
2. Craft Pride – Ask one of the incredibly knowledgeable bartenders what current craft beer offering would pair best with a pepperoni pizza, then walk out back and order The Detroiter from local pizza heroes VIA 313.
Photo courtesy of www.Austin.CityVoter.com

Photo courtesy of www.Austin.CityVoter.com

  1.  Bar 96 – Make a sports bet with a friend then watch the game here. Simply watching any UT Football game also qualifies.
  1.  Half Step – The other drinks on the menu will look amazing, but ask for the Bartender’s Choice. He or she will take a moment to discuss your likes and dislikes, then create something from scratch, right before your very eyes. Bonus points if you come up with a witty new name for your concoction.
  1.  Bungalow – Take a photo in front of the (slightly less famous than its Congress relative) “I hate you so much” wall.
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6. Clive – One of the Rainey originals, Clive still has one of the most beautiful bar interiors on the street. Order an Old Fashioned or a glass of wine; take it out to the patio- rinse and repeat.

7. Icenhauer’s – The titles on their drink menu are all girl’s names. If your name is listed, order that. If it isn’t, cover up the side of the menu that lists ingredients, and order the name that speaks to you the most.

Bonus: There’s also a delicious off-menu cocktail named The Ashley. It consists of Hatch Chile Infused Espolon Silver Tequila, Mango, Red Pepper Simple Syrup and Fresh Lime Juice. When in doubt, order this.

Icenhauer's Drinks

8. The Blackheart – Blackheart was recently named one of the top 20 bourbon/whiskey bars in the country. Ask the bartender for a recommendation and enjoy the free live music that starts at 9pm every night of the week.

9. Lucille – Come here thirsty, then ‘like’ Lucille on Facebook for 20% off your total tab (weekdays only).

Lucille Austin
10. Geraldine The Rainey Street Guinea Fowl – Snap a photo of Geraldine, one of Rainey Street‘s most famous residents. She’s usually roaming around near the south end of Rainey. Please be respectful though, her once quaint neighborhood has been turned into 6th street‘s aggressive little brother.
Update: Geraldine was unfortunately hit by a car shortly after this was written :(
You can replace this one by visiting the restaurant at Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s, that was named in her honor. The views from the outdoor patio provide great views of Town Lake and Downtown Austin.
Photo courtesy of Geraldine's Facebook Page

Photo courtesy of Geraldine’s Facebook Page