Events | Locals | Things to Do

Things to Do in Austin for Austinites | Realty Austin

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Austin is paradise, or as Patton Oswalt put it, a “weird, magical, fairy-bubble of sanity.” We don’t think he’s too far off either. Inevitably, all Austinites run into the same dilemma: You’ve been to every bar on Rainey St. and East 6th more times than you’re comfortable admitting. You love Torchy’s Tacos but your taste buds are thirstin’ for a little more adventure. Waterloo is great but it’s probably time to branch out. You even went on a tour of the Capitol that one time when your friend from out of town visited. Been there, done that. So what is there left to do in Austin now? We understand how you feel, so we made it our mission to put together a niche AToX list of things to do in Austin specifically for Austinites. (Don’t know what an Austinite is? It’s probably best you head over to our AToX list for Austin Newbies and knock those out first.) We did a lot of digging and checked out a lot of new places to create this list for all you Austinites looking for something fresh to do. We hope you enjoy!


A – Action Pack Quote Alongs at the Alamo Drafthouse

AtoX List for Austnites - Action Pack Quote Along - Realty Austin

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While the Alamo Drafthouse normally has a zero-tolerance policy against talking in the theater during a movie, they make a special exception on their Action Pack nights. Their Quote-Alongs and Sing-Alongs give the audience a chance to participate in some of their favorite scenes and quotes. In the past, the Action Pack has hosted Quote-Alongs and Sing-Alongs for Anchorman, Pulp Fiction, The Silence of the Lambs, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and many more. Visit the Action Pack website Pro Tip: Make your life easier and book your tickets ahead of time. Back to top

B – Blues on the Green

AtoX List for Austnites - Blues on the Green - Realty Austin

You live in Austin, the self-proclaimed live music capitol of the world, so you bet your bottom dollar that you deserve some awesome free music in an awesome BYOB setting. Luckily, the kind folks at KGSR couldn’t agree more, so every summer they take over a section of Zilker Park, set up a stage, and throw on some great free shows twice a month. Past acts include Ben Kweller, The Old-97s, White Denim and Bob Schneider. Pro Tip: Bring a cooler of your favorite beverages, go with a group of friends, arrive early, set up shop, and dig the vibe that Blues on the Green brings. It’s one of the most relaxed events Austin has to offer. Back to top

C – Cathedral of Junk

AtoX List for Austinites - Cathedral of Junk - Realty Austin

Imagine collecting license plates, circuit boards, ladders, bottles, bicycles, dolls, and every other piece of ‘junk’ you could find. Then deciding to create art with it in your backyard. That’s how Cathedral of Junk came into fruition in a quiet suburban neighborhood in South Austin. What started as some hubcaps on a fence has evolved into a bonafide cathedral-esque structure. Over the last few years, the Cathedral of Junk has run into code issues with the city due to safety concerns, but Austinites protested and pitched in to help keep the cathedral. It has since expanded and still remains one of the most unique places to visit in Austin. Visit their Facebook page Pro Tip: It used to be free, which is pretty much the case for every cool thing in Austin. Nowadays it’s a $10 donation per group with an advanced appointment required. Check it out on a weekend when you haven’t made any other plans. Back to top

D – Draught House

AtoX List for Austnites - Draught House - Realty Austin

Located off of Medical Parkway in Central Austin, the Draught House (pronounced “draft”) is a beer connoisseur’s mecca. With over 60 beers on tap – many of which are seasonal batches – the avid Austin beer nerd will have an endless supply of tastes, tannins, and textures to imbibe upon. The atmosphere can’t be beat either. Inside, the Draught House offers the timeless appeal of a cozy British pub with a wall of seemingly endless taps. Outside, the patio and stand up tables provide a great place for those looking to enjoy the evening air. They also usually have a fantastic food truck parked outside. Pro Tip: Later on in the night, the line to the bar sometimes extends all the way outside. Get there early to avoid the lines and to find a good seat outside. On Tuesdays, almost all pints are $3. Back to top

E – End of an Ear Records

AtoX List for Austnites - End of an Ear Records - Realty Austin

While Waterloo Records gets a lot of love from Austin’s newbies, End of an Ear Records is widely regarded among the locals as THE go to place for their aural fix. Located off South First (right next door to New Brohemia), End of an Ear looks like the record store from your dreams: walls lined with vinyl, racks dedicated to punk, jazz, rock, and local musicians. They also have a huge selection of music DVDs. Pro Tip: Though it doesn’t happen often, End of an Ear has some great, free in-store performances to check out. Scope their site to see what’s coming next. Know before you go. Back to top

F – Free Week

AtoX List for Austnites - Free Week - Realty Austin

Sure, the out of towners glamourize music events like ACL, SXSW, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, but for those Austinites who are really down with the local music scene, it doesn’t get much better than Free Week. Throughout the first week of January, the majority of the venues across town (mainly Red River and East 6th) join forces to put on a slew of events and shows for free based around local artist and bands. We’re talking #FREE. Austin’s music scene really comes together during Free Week, when you can catch notorious Austin acts as well as burgeoning local bands playing for – you guessed it – free. It’s really a celebration of everything that makes this such a great music town. Pro Tip: Even though it’s called Free Week, the events usually last throughout the first two weekends in January. Prepare accordingly. Back to top

G – The Goodnight on Anderson

AtoX List for Austinites - Goodnight on Anderson - Realty Austin

Talk about suave; The Goodnight on Anderson is classy, interesting, and, most importantly, entertaining. Offering solid food, great cocktails, ping pong, bowling, shuffleboard, pool, board games, karaoke, and a Western Zoltar fortune-telling machine not unlike the one in the movie Big, you can easily lose track of time spending an evening at The Goodnight. Imagine spending a swanky night downtown without all the headaches and traffic and you’ll get a good idea of what The Goodnight has to offer. Pro Tip: They only have 8 lanes for bowling and a few private karaoke rooms, so be sure to make a reservation 24 hours in advance if you’re interested in knocking down some pins and screaming your favorite Wings song. Back to top

H – Hopdoddy

AtoX List for Austinites - Hopdoddy - Realty Austin

Photo by Nick Simonite

You know those ridiculously long lines that snake around the corner out of Hopdoddy on the weekends? Those are there for a reason. Hopdoddy, a relatively new addition to the Austin culinary scene, has quickly become a wildly popular destination for what some might call this city’s best burger. In fact, they’ve grown so fast, they recently opened up a new restaurant in Dallas. Even though they serve hundreds of hungry patrons during lunch and dinner, their quality never suffers. Their hormone-free, humanely raised patties come with an array of cheeses and toppings. Their fries aren’t too shabby either. Pro Tip: If you’re dealing with “the line” at their South Congress location, don’t be afraid to order a local brew at the front bar to sip on while you wait. Back to top

I – I Luv Video

AtoX List for Austinites - I Luv Video - Realty Austin

Austin may be known for its music, but truth be told, we’ve got a great film scene here too. We’ve got multiple Alamo Drafthouse locations, the Violet Crown Cinema, and all kinds of film festivals promoting independent movies. We also happen to have one of the best video stores in the world. In fact, it’s so good that it still remains successful in the age of Netflix and Redbox. I Luv Video’s Airport Blvd. location is a two story movie-lover’s paradise where you can search for movies organized by genre, director, and country of origin. There are literally thousands and thousands of movies available from super-campy horrors to the latest Blu-Ray releases. Pro Tip: On Tuesday, I Luv Video hosts “Free Beer Tuesdays” where you can come in, grab a cold one from the keg, and browse their incredible selection. Back to top

J – Jester King Brewing Co. Tour

AtoX List for Austinites - Jester King Brewery - Realty Austin

Austin’s beer scene has exploded recently. According to the Austin Beer Guide, there are ten craft breweries in Austin and even more brewpubs. Jester King sets itself apart by brewing farmhouse-inspired ales with “depth and character.” Using water from their on-site well, Jester King’s brews are conjured from the surrounding Texas Hill Country. Brewery tours are offered Fridays at 6pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. Tours are free and open to the public. Pro Tip: Jester King offers a bottles-to-go service, where you can hand pick your favorites of their available beers right from the brewery and get them to go. Back to top

K – Kebabalicious

AtoX List for Austinites - Kebabalicious - Realty Austin

Kebabalicious is an Austin staple. If you’re looking for one of the best doner-style kebabs around, you can easily find it at one of the Kebablicious trailers dotting the town. Their beef, lamb, and chicken are slow cooked on a giant skewer, then thinly sliced into a pita of fresh greens, sauces, and veggies. Inspired by the delicious European street vendor foods they encountered on a jaunt abroad, the three Texas natives that started Kebablicious perfected their recipe and opened up their first trailer in 2006. Today, they have 3 trailers and a brick and mortar store on the Eastside. Along with the classic beef/lamb doner kebab, they also offer falafel, chicken, spoiled brat, hummus, and turk salad. Mmmmmmm. Pro Tip: Get it spicy – if you can handle it. Back to top

L – Little Deli

AtoX List for Austinites - Little Deli - Realty Austin

Chances are you’ve heard of the Little Deli but never seen it. Tucked away in an inconspicuous shopping center in the heart of Crestview, Little Deli is a neighborhood hotspot with some of the best sandwiches, soups, and pizza pies in town. Locally-owned but New Jersey inspired, their menu features some serious tried and true eats, including a stellar pastrami, Jersey-style slices, plenty of cold sandwiches and hot soups. Scope their soup schedule calendar here: Pro Tip: BYOB means swinging by the market across the street and grabbing a six-pack of your favorite seasonal Austin ale while you enjoy some of the best food in town. Back to top

M – Mini Golf at Peter Pan

AtoX List for Austinites - Peter Pan Minigolf - Realty Austin

Peter Pan Mini Golf is quite literally fun for people of all ages. You can bring your kids, your date, your friends, or even a cooler full of your favorite adult beverages. Yep, you read that correctly: BYOB + Mini Golf = Guaranteed good time. The huge fairy, animal, and dinosaur statues surrounding Peter Pan’s two mini golf courses help remind you what it means to be a kid. When the weather is right and you’re with the people you love, the world is your oyster at Peter Pan Mini Golf. Pro Tip: Be sure to let the staff at Peter Pan about any birthday celebrations ahead of time. You could get your name on their sign out front! Back to top

N – New BROhemia

AtoX List for Austinites - New Brohemia - Realty Austin

Austin has no shortage of thrift stores and vintage shops, but something about New BROhemia just stands out more than the others. New Bohemia, a novel vintage clothing shop on South Congress, opened their male-centric store (hence New “BRO”hemia) in 2010 to cater to the those Austin men who want real vintage clothing. If you’re looking for a denim jacket or vintage western wear, New BROhemia on up and coming South 1st Street is your go-to-shop. Visit their Facebook page Pro Tip: Ryan Gosling hits this store almost every time he’s in town if that helps showcase how bad ass New Brohemia truly is. Back to top

O – Olive & June

AtoX List for Austinites - Olive and June - Realty Austin

We all know Austin is the best city in the world, but let’s face it: we can’t always have our cake and eat it too. Or can we? Though there are some great spots like Milto’s and Frank and Angie’s, Austin’s upscale Italian experience is spread thin. Boticelli’s and Vespaio are great options but recent newcomer, Olive & June have brought fine Italian cuisine to the forefront. With a focus on fantastic, high-end, regional Italian dining, you can find antipasto, cavatelli, vegetable contorni, or veal meatballs on their menu among other delicacies. You’ll have no problem enjoying the gorgeous architecture when you’re there as well. Pro Tip: Mezzo Monday’s means half off wine by the glass and piccolo piatto all night. If you can’t make it on Mondays, they have an exquisite half-off happy hour everyday before 6:30pm. Back to top

P – (TIE) Paper Cuts Series

AtoX List for Austnintes - Chronicle Papercuts Series - Realty Austin

The Austin Chronicle is the conrnerstone of Austin culture, news, and music. Suffice to say, they have great insight as to what’s going on in Austin’s music scene. Their Paper Cuts Series at Palm Door is no exception; it celebrates local artists who have made an impact on our humble little town. Best of all, they provide free entry, food, and beer (as long as you sign up on the guest list). Pro Tip: For the Papercuts Series, make sure to sign up on their site a week in advance and get there early. The venue can reach capacity depending on the performer, even if you’ve signed up. Back to top

P – (TIE) Pinballz Arcade

AtoX List for Austinites - Pinballz Arcade - Realty Austin

Looking for a legit pinball arcade? You’re in for a treat. Pinballz provides that classic arcade experience, offering an astounding selection of pinball machines and vintage arcade games. They regularly host tournaments and are open until 2am on Friday and Saturday. Go get your game nerd on. Pro Tip: The arcade is BYOB. Back to top

Q – Queen Lola’s

AtoX List for Austinites - Queen Lolas - Realty Austin

Nubian Queen Lola’s is somewhat of an unknown Austin epic. The story goes that Lola Stephens was on her way to California from Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1980 when she ran out of cash in Austin. She picked up a cashier job, fell in love with the city, and decided to stay. Times eventually got tough and Lola was homeless for a couple of years. Through her persistent faith, she was able to climb back, and in 2004, she scraped up enough cash to rent a vacant space at Rosewood and Chicon to finally open her restaurant. Even though she had secured a spot, Lola was still unable to open up due to lack of equipment and funds. An unnamed man with a hankering for cajun decided that had to change one day, so he picked up Lola and bought her what she needed to get the ball rolling. The rest is history. Don’t go to Queen Lola’s because her story is awesome, and don’t go there because your friends still don’t know about it yet. Go there because it’s the best cajun food in Austin. Pro Tip: Let Lola order for you if you’re having a tough time deciding for yourself. Back to top

R – Rollergirls

AtoX List for Austinites - Texas Rollergirls - Realty Austin

The Texas Rollergirls are the original roller derby league and forbearers of the ongoing Flat Track Derby Movement. Established in 2003, the Rollergirls are comprised of four separate teams: The Hell Marys, The Hotrod Honeys, The Honky Tonk Heartbreakers, and The Hustlers. The leagues hosts 7 separate events throughout the season (February – August) at the Austin Convention Center showcasing a bout between the four teams. Things really heat up in the all-star season when the best of the best face off against other flat track leagues across the country. You can’t really call yourself an Austinite until you’ve seen the Rollergirls in action. Pro Tip: Early Admission to the arena (15 minutes before other ticket holders) allows you to skip the lines. Back to top

S – Summer Classic Film Series at the Paramount Theater

AtoX List for Austinites - Summer Film Paramount - Realty Austin

Sometimes when it’s over 100 degrees outside, going outside is just out of the question. Luckily for us Austinites, the Paramount Theater puts together a sublime collection of classic films to enjoy that play throughout the hottest months of the year. This means you can beat the heat while watching limited runs of classic films in 35mm and 70mm. Previous highlights include Casablanca, Annie Hall, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sound of Music, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and many more. The Paramount always posts their Summer Cinema Series schedule on their website. Visit their website Pro Tip: The Paramount Theater shows 10 movies during their Summer Classic Film Series at $10 per ticket. However, they also offer a bundled bargain called Flix-Tix, where you pay a one time fee of $50 at the beginning of Summer for admission for all 10 movies; half the normal price. Back to top

T – Texas Stars

AtoX List for Austinites - Texas Stars Hockey - Realty Austin

The Texas Stars are the highest-affiliated hockey team in the Dallas Stars franchise. Formed in 2009, the franchise moved from Iowa down to our great state, bringing hockey to Central Texas. The Texas Stars are only four seasons deep, but so far they’ve managed to pull off three seasons with a winning record. Since the Texas Stars are the closest thing that Austin has to a professional team, it’s only right that they get a little support from Austinites. Seats closer to the ice put you closer to the action – just don’t ever call them the Dallas Stars. Ever. Pro Tip: Go on Sumo Night and you could have a chance to wrestle on the ice. Back to top

U – Uchiko

AtoX List for Austinites - Uchiko - Realty Austin

Uchiko is the second restaurant opened under the Uchi name. They tout a “farmhouse” approach similar to that of their sister restaurant Uchi, only more refined. Taking a “fusion” approach to traditional foods, their flavor profiles are bolder than those of Uchi’s, showing off a rural, southeastern spin on Japanese dining. At a relatively comparable price point, Uchiko is a folksier departure from Uchi, with foods that are sustainably sourced. Pro Tip: Get the Fried Milk for dessert. You won’t regret it. Back to top

V – Violet Crown Cinema

AtoX List for Austinites - Violet Crown - Realty Austin

If the Alamo Drafthouse is a film fan’s haven for new releases and hard-to-find campy films with a no B.S. attitude, then the Violet Crown is the upscale Cadillac of the restaurant-movie theater industry. Located in the Warehouse District near the W Hotel, the Violet Crown Cinema offers movie-goers their favorite indie movies, phenomenal craft brews, cocktails, and an upscale cafe menu that includes pork tapas and thai noodles. Pro Tip: Get to your movie early and enjoy a drink in the swanky lounge overlooking 2nd street. Awesome view. Back to top

W – Workhorse

AtoX List for Austinites - Workhorse - Realty Austin

This awesome dive has everything you’d ever need in a bar: a jukebox, comfort food, a patio, a nice selection of good liquors, and over 25 beers on tap. The owner of Workhorse, Brent, was a UT music major with an affinity for homebrewing. That same passion is what led him to eventually open up this great dive bar in North Austin off of North Loop. If you’re looking for a great neighborhood bar, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with Workhorse the first time you go. Pro Tip: They offer one of the best Buffalo Burgers in Austin, so if you’re start to get hungry, don’t miss out. Back to top

X – Xmas Lights on 37th Street

AtoX List for Austinites - 37th Street Xmas Lights - Realty Austin

Just like our good friend over at 365 Things Austin states, seeing the Christmas lights on 37th Street is a rite of passage for Austinites and a simple “must” on your list of things to do in Austin during the holidays. The entire street radiates, beginning at 37th and Guadalupe, reminding you what the Christmas spirit all about. In this case, its motorcycles surrounded by lit up flamingos and dinosaurs constructed out of strands of Christmas lights. Needless to say, you’ve got to see it to beleive it. Pro Tip: The closer to Christmas it gets, the bigger the crowds. While some people choose to drive through the neighborhoods, it’s really much easier to park nearby and walk through. Back to top There you have it, Austinites! We wish you the best of luck in checking out all these new places and learning a lot of new things about the best city in the world! Chances are pretty high your friends are gonna be jealous of how hip you are when you bring them out to one of these places.

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