50 Fun Things to do in Austin, Texas

austin town lady bird lake - kmackenzie


I recently had lunch with a relative newcomer to Austin. As we chatted, I mentioned many places in and around Austin and was greeted with a blank stare. I realized he had no idea to what I was referring. With over 100 people moving into Austin, Texas each and every DAY, I’m sure there are thousands of people, at this point, who don’t know about all the gems Austin has to offer.

I became an Austinite on New Year’s Eve, 1980 and I’ve have plenty of time to explore. I’ve also witnessed lots, and I do mean massive amounts, of changes around Austin.

So here’s my top 30 list of fun times around the Capitol City:

  1. State Capitol Tour – 1100 Congress Avenue (free)
  2. 6th Street – Austin’s answer to New Orlean’s Bourbon Street (free – moderate $)6th Street
  3. Mt. Bonnell – Climb to the top and have a picnic with awesome views. 3800 Mt. Bonnell Road (free)
  4. Esther’s Follies – Modern day vaudeville will have you laughing until you cry. 525 E. 6th Street (moderate $)
  5. Town Lake / Lady Bird Lake – Walk the shores, canoe, kayak, but don’t swim. This is actually the Colorado River. Downtown. (free-inexpensive)
  6. SoCo – Experience the hipster part of town with unique shops, restaurants and more. South Congress Avenue (free-pricey)
  7. Lake Travis – Beat the heat with a day on the lake waterskiing, boating, swimming or floating. Northwest of town – Drive out 2222. (free-pricey)
  8. Mansfield Dam Park – The southern dam of Lake Travis (which is really the Colorado River). 4370 Mansfield Dam Park – off 620 (Moderate)Bull Creek
  9. Bull Creek Park – A pretty and refreshing place to hike and feel like you’re out of the city  6701 Lakewood Drive (free)
  10. Rodeo – Happening NOW! March 12- 26. 9100 Decker Lake Road (head east on 290 from 35) $8 for day pass ($5 for kids).
  11. Circuit of Americas Speedway – Events year round. 9201 Circuit of Americas Blvd. (head south on 183 from 71 (SE of town) (Prices vary)circuit of the americas
  12. The Tavern – A local favorite sports and hang-out pub. Corner of 12th & Lamar. (inexpensive)
  13. Oasis – Despite being burnt to the ground June 1, 2005, the Oasis, with it’s awe-inspiring view of sunsets over Lake Travis, has risen. 6550 Comanche Trail (Moderate)
  14. Zilker Park – Fly a kit, play soccer or volleyball, have a picnic, stroll through botanical gardens, and see dinosaur bones. It’s all here at Zilker Park. 2100 Barton Springs Road (free)
  15. Barton Creek Pool – Another great way to beat Austin’s heat is diving into the refreshing 68-degree waters of the 3-acre Barton Creek Pool – a natural pool fed by underground springs. 2100 Barton Springs Road (inexpensive)
  16. Windy Point – Now that the lake is full again, get out the windjammers and head to Windy Point! A favored placed by locals for scuba diving as well. 6506 Bob Wentz Park Rd (entry fee)
  17. Hippy Hollow – Like to walk around in the buff? This is the only clothing optional park in the state of Texas. Located near the Oasis on the shores of Lake Travis. (entry fee)
  18. The Backyard – Come for the music, eat, drink, and be merry. 13801 Bee Caves Road
  19. Austin Zoo – All animals in this zoo have been rescued and rehabilitated and this is their forever home. It’s a highly educational adventure and located in a beautiful setting. A great inexpensive way to spend the day. 10808 Rawhide Trail ($8-$11)Fox
  20. Texas State Cemetery – The final resting place of state governors and others since 1851. 909 Navasota St (free)
  21. The Drag – Guadalupe Street along the edge of UT is referred to as “the drag” by locals. It began as stores for students to get books, t-shirts, etc. and has evolved into UT’s version of 6th Street. Guadlupe Street between 29th and 15th Streets. (free – moderate, depends on what/where you visit)
  22. UT – Home to more than 51,000 students. So why’s it so hard to get accepted if you’re an Austinite? Hmmm. Bordered by IH-35 to east, MLK to South, Guadalupe to West and 29th Street to North. (free to walk, if you can get on campus)
  23. Hyde Park Grill – A favored place by locals for a meal located in Hyde Park. 4206 Duval (moderate)
  24. Manor Downs – Austin’s horseracing track. Manor Downs is Texas’ oldest quarter-horse racetrack and is located about 10 miles east of Austin near Manor. 9200 Hill in Manor (follow 290 east from Austin). CLOSED at this time.
  25. Bluebonnet Cafe (Marble Falls) – If you love pies, you have got to experience this 80 year tradition! They don’t take credit cards, so bring your checkbooks or cash. 211 US-281, Marble Falls (inexpensive)Burnet - 4
  26. Hill Country Flyer – Here’s your chance to ride an old fashioned steam train through the hill country of Texas and experience a Texas outlaw gunfight. A day you’ll always remember. Other options available as well. 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park TX 78613(moderate).
  27. Georgetown Square – It’s like stepping into the 1880’s. Unique shops and restaurants surround the historial Williamsom County capitol. Head north on 35 from Austin to Highway 29 in Georgetown, go right…and follow signs.
  28. Bob Bullock Museum – Learn the history of Texas, see an IMAX show, and much more. You’ll need an entire day to experience it all! 1800 Congress. (inexpensive)
  29. Nutty Brown Cafe – A favorite local hangout. Eat inside or out. Live music, Macaws in the trees. Dance under the stars. Very unique.12225 Hwy. 290 West. (Inexpensive – moderate)
  30. Angel’s Icehouse – A pretty drive west of Austin to experience the hill country, good food, full bar and live music. 21815 Texas 71, Spicewood (inexpensive-moderate)
  31. angels 2angel 1

And there you have it, my top 30 things to check out in/near Austin. And, this is just the beginning. There’s a whole lot more. Enjoy!



Are you a millionaire…and didn’t know it?

Did you hear that Lance Armstrong’s house is now on the market? Maybe he knows it’s a good time to sell!

It’s no secret that the housing market in Austin, Texas is on fire. Prices have continued to climb, yet that’s not stopping homebuyers. The most active segment of the market are homes priced below $400,000 (these buyers usually go through a lender to borrow money to purchase) and over $800,000 (these buyers usually pay cash and close quickly).

Tarrytown house.jpgLuxury Sales Skyrocket

It’s these high-end homes that have seen a significant increase in sales. In 2015, according to the Texas Association of REALTORS, sales increased 16.3 percent! So what are people paying for these luxury homes? About $397 per square foot. That’s a median price of $1,381,252. As of today, buyers have a limited selection of only 524 homes priced over $1,000,000.

Market Time Shortens

Not so long ago, luxury homes would sit on the market considerably longer than their counterparts. However, that is changing. In 2015 the average time on market was only 100 days, or two months longer than the average house.

Millionaires are Made

Combine this with the healthy increase in value of Austin homes, many homeowners are now finding themselves millionaires – in assets. According to a statement released by Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, homes that were valued at $800,000 to $900,000 just a few years ago, will now sell for over a million dollars.


Are you a millionaire and didn’t know it? Find out what your home is worth by contacting MacKenzie Realty for a free, no-obligation market analysis. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Austin’s housing market slowing?

For the past several years now, Austin’s housing market has been hot, hot, hot! Austin’s area population now exceeds two million and reports of upStevie Ray Vaughan to 115 people move into town each and every day. The traffic alone can testify to that! The result?  Housing options are tight and prices continue to shoot up.

The cumulative value of homes in Austin for 2015, according to a recent Zillow report, was $155,000,000,000 – yeah, that’s a “B” – a staggering number. In fact, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS, Austin homes snagged the highest prices in the state of Texas.  An Austin-area single-family home average price came in at Continue reading

Before Buying a Home in Austin, Read This FIRST!


Each town, each city is unique. Austin, Texas is no different. Check out this video for the sights and sounds of Austin.

Over the decades, real estate broker, Kathleen MacKenzie, has worked with many home buyers and shared tips about little nuances of what makes one home a great buy and another a disaster.

Because Kathleen can’t physically work with everyone, she wrote this book sharing her priceless tips.

If you are thinking about buying an Austin house, read this before you go house hunting. You’ll:

  • Save time
  • Prevent headaches
  • Avoid hassles and
  • Save thousands of dollars!

Get the book now

Homebuying Tips for AustinitesIf you want to buy a house in Austin and are not already working with an agent, here is a rare opportunity to work with the author of this book! Contact her today.

Live the Lake Style

With all the recent rain in central Texas, does that mean the drought is coming to an end? And if it is, does that mean Lake Travis will be rising . . . along with house and land prices?

If you’ve been dreaming about getting some land to build your dream vacation or retirement home on near Lake Travis, the time to buy is now! And here is one good option: 1/2 acre lot on a cul-de-sac, surrounded by trees, yet level and clear in the center – just waiting for you to start building! For more information, visit http://www.MacKenzie-Realty.com.

Kathy MacKenzie is the broker of MacKenzie Realty, which helps people buy and sell homes around Austin, especially in the Lake Travis communities of Volente, Jonestown, Lago Vista, Leander and Cedar Park. Kathy authored the books “Stop Dreaming . . . Start Owning,” “Find Your Perfect Home with Feng Shui” and “Repair Your Credit . . . Buy a House.” You can follow Kathy on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.