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Top 10 Things to do in Austin this Summer

Gawk at Mexican Free Tail Bats

Every summer night between 8:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., the largest urban colony of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in North America jets out for an insect dinner.  To see the 1.5 million bats flee in swarms, belly up along the the upper eastern portion of Congress Bridge (Ann Richard’s Bridge for our new residents) or linger on the grassy hill on the southeast side of the bridge next to the Austin American Statesman building as this is the most optimal spot to watch them escape for the evening.  If you’d like to watch from afar because being near bat guano is not your cup of tea, you can watch the evening festivities from a boat while floating on Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake for the new residents).  To find out more information on a bat boat cruise, consult with Capital Cruises or Lonestar Riverboats.

Take a Plunge into Barton Springs Pool

To combat the southern sizzling heat, take a plunge or six into the chilly year round spring feed Barton Springs Pool. The pool is a constant 68º which is perfect for our sweaty summer months. No entrance fees are charged between 5 am – 8 am or 9 pm – 10 pm, however you’ll pay a minimal fee to enter between 8 am and 9 pm.  If you believe you’ll be a frequent visitor check out the Punch Cards or Season Swim Passes.  Be sure to not lug a cooler or glass to the pool as it is not permitted.

Spend the Day at Hamilton Pool Preserve 

Take a leisurely drive beyond the Austin City Limits beyond Bee Cave to Dripping Springs and you’ll stumble upon the Hamilton Pool Preserve featuring a 50 foot waterfall into a canyon. Thousands of years of erosion formed this space that today is a world renowned and unique swimming hole. Bring your tennis shoes for the hike down a steep path to the canyon. Oh and be sure to make a reservation and call to check if the pool is open (often closed after a torrential downpour) or you’ll trek out to the wilderness just to be sent back to retrace your breadcrumbs to Austin.

Take Me Out to a Ball Game, Eat Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

The Round Rock Express is a Triple A baseball team currently affiliated with the Texas Rangers where games are held in Round Rock at Dell Diamond.  We haven’t fact checked this information, but it might be the only baseball park in the United States where you can watch the game from the outfield swimming pool.  The best evening to take in a game is Friday night as you’ll get to linger afterwards for Friday Night Fireworks.

Trailer Food Tuesdays at the Long Center

Eat your way through Austin one food trailer at a time on the back patio of the Long Center while gawking at the Downtown Austin skyline.

Frozen Treat Yo Self at the Austin Ice Cream Festival

Save lots of room for dessert the month of August Austin Ice Cream Festival will be in full swing.

Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

You can volunteer, participate or partake in the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival.  This festival is no joke is not for the weak willed by any stretch of the imagination.  In late August, temperatures are often surge well over 100º and so will your tastebuds after you’ve visited a few hot sauce booths.  We recommend creating yourself a pretzel necklace and enjoying a pretzel or two between tastings to cool and tame your buds.  If you’d like to volunteer, submit a hot sauce for judging or would just like to attend, visit the link above for all the sizzling details.

Movies in the Park or Blues on the Green at Zilker Park 

Pack a picnic basket and a blanket as the Austin Parks Foundation has teamed up with Alamo Drafthouse to show a series of movies called Movies in the Park beginning in the spring, throughout the summer and into the early fall.  Or listen to your favorite local band during one of the Blues on the Green evenings throughout the summer.

Skip the Traditional Movie Theatre and Go Old School

Ask the whole family to load up in the car and pack a cooler of your favorite beverages to enjoy for your retro evening on the town.  Old School is really the new school and when we say old school we mean Austin’s mini urban drive in theater, Blue Starlight.  Once on the drive in grounds, place the speaker on the window of your automobile and make your way to the concession stand to select a few vintage treats before the evenings movie starts.

They see me roll on, my Segway!

Book a Segway Tour through Austin and visit the Capitol and the Driskill Hotel.  Don’t panic, if you can ride a bicycle you can cruise through Austin on a Segway.  Tour guides tackle a brief instructional handling session before you make your way through town on two wheels. Just remember, leaning forward makes you go forward and leaning back makes you stop. Don’t lean back too fast or you will end up appreciating Austin’s vertical architecture from the ground.