Though you may be in the "The Live Music Capital of the World" when in Austin, there are plenty of other activities to fill your itinerary when you move to the city. Lace up your shoes, because a lot of life's most memorable experiences occur in the great outdoors.

Austin, Texas has everything you might want, from beautiful scenery to institutions dedicated to public art to unique stores that reflect the city's eccentric character. Here are some of the lesser-known Austin attractions to check out if you're planning a move here or have just moved to the city.

1. Texas Memorial Museum

Address: 2400 Trinity St, Austin, TX 78705, United States

Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $4-7

Neighborhood: University of Texas

“Sabertooth Tiger Rocks! There were so many things to see here. When we went there were both an archaeologist and a paleontologist present in the exhibits. Staff were personable and knowledgeable; really helped make the exhibits relevant for an elementary school student.” - Tripadvisor

Located on the University of Texas campus, the Texas Memorial Museum is a celebration of natural science. Its programs and exhibits are devoted to geology, zoology, paleontology, herpetology, ichthyology, and more.

If you’re intrigued by the thought of touching meteorite rocks or feeding little critters from wildlife shelters, there’s something on the schedule for you.

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2. Texas State Capitol

Address: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, United States

Hours: 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: Downtown

 “Great visit. Took the free walking tour. Was interesting and the guide was knowledgeable. Saw the senate room and the house of representatives room. Along with many other things.” - Tripadvisor

You can’t move to the city of Austin without checking out the Texas State Capitol. Not only is it the most important seat of government in Texas, but at more than 300 feet tall, it’s even bigger than the famous capitol building of Washington D.C.

Tours are available if you’re interested in the grand architecture of the building or the politics within it. If not, you can check out the different photos, videos and exhibits that have been arranged for visitors. Make sure you check out the gigantic Lego model of the capitol that required more than 65,000 blocks to complete.

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3. Museum of the Weird

Address: 412 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701, United States

Hours: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $12

Neighborhood: Downtown

“Fun Activity! I had a blast with my coworkers. If you take the time to really read and look at everything, I think it’s a great value. If you are a ghost hunter, highly recommend it.”- Tripadvisor

The Museum of the Weird is one of the most unusual things to see in Austin, with its eye-popping hues and mind-bending oddities. It's the only location in town where you can see shrunken heads next to melted wax figures next to massive movie monster statues. You can see strange antiques, psychic trinkets, taxidermy creatures, misshapen skulls, and other oddities at the Museum of the Weird.

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4. The Blanton Museum of Art

Address: 200 E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Austin, TX 78712

Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $0–12

Neighborhood: University of Texas

 “Wonderful visit! We visited the museum for the first time and plan to join. Wonderful collection and we spent hours wandering through the galleries. This will be on our list of places to take visitors.” - Tripadvisor

Founded in 1963, the Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and holds the largest public collection in Central Texas. With more than 21,000 works in the collection, the Blanton showcases art from across the ages, from ancient Greek pottery to abstract expressionism. With a year-round schedule of traveling exhibitions, art lovers are sure to discover new and old favorites at the Blanton.

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5. Laguna Gloria

Address: 3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703, United States

Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: Colorado Foothills

“A must-see. Do yourself a favor and allow a couple of hours to visit this beautiful museum. Wander the lovely grounds to find works of contemporary sculpture by some of the best artists working today, in all styles. Visit the Mediterranean villa as well. Great but small gift shop. A must see!” - Tripadvisor

If you live in Austin and are looking for a quiet retreat to take a break from the big city, Laguna Gloria is a hidden gem you got to visit. This historic museum with a fourteen-acre campus is situated on the shores of Lake Austin offering guests an art-in-nature experience.

Laguna Gloria features works of art, a café named Spread & Co., a museum shop—The Contemporary, and a welcoming entrance for its guests. You can also book a private event for ceremonies, receptions, reunions, and more. Truly one of the best hidden gems in Austin, TX!

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6. McKinney Falls State Park

Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744, United States

Hours: 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $6 for persons older than 13 years

Neighborhood: McKinney

“Take some time and spend it here to relax! Great state park, a hidden gem of sorts, and within the city limits of Austin! Great well-marked trails, beautiful natural areas, and a nice river running through it!” - Tripadvisor

McKinney Falls State Park is one of the many outdoor recreation spots in Austin. In the summertime, temperatures can climb high in Texas, so people flock to the streams and pools of state parks to get a little relief.

In terms of activities, however, McKinney Falls State Park is a great place to cool down. It boasts more than 80 campsites, and you’ll have the option of sleeping under the stars or living the life of luxury in a wooden cabin. You can also swim, fish, hike, bike, picnic, bird watch, and even geocache.

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7. Jacob’s Well Natural Area

Address: 1699 Mt. Sharp Road, Wimberley, TX

Hours: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: Wimberley

“Great place for short hikes. Short, easy hikes through well-maintained natural areas. The well itself was pretty cool to see too. Great place to just wander around and see some typical hill country landscape.” - Tripadvisor

Located in Wimberley, TX, an hour away from Austin in Hay’s County is an extensive underwater cave and an ideal summer destination for those that want to beat the heat.

Most people that visit the area choose to lounge at the lip of the well while some daredevils dive in it. If you plan on diving all the way to the end, you have to be a licensed SCUBA diver to do so. If you don’t feel like taking a dip in the waters, hiking is another activity option for you.

*Please take note that currently swimming at Jacob’s Well is Temporarily suspended as of June 29, 2022, until further notice.*

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8. Veterans Memorial Park

Address: 2525 New Hope Dr Cedar Park, TX 78613

Hours: 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $2 per adult

Neighborhood: Cedar Park

 “Best Dog Park Ever. We love Veteran’s Memorial Park which has a lot to offer including a dog park with a swimming pool for dogs. Also has a fabulous Birthday Party space, swimming pool, a walking trail and many other activities.” - Tripadvisor

Located just outside downtown Austin in Cedar Park, Veterans Memorial Park offers something for everyone. Some of the amenities include an 8,500-square-foot outdoor aquatic facility, a large dog park, multiple pavilions for rent, and sports courts.

There’s also a large pond with a pier where the dogs can run and jump off from and a shower area once they’re finished playing in the water. Not to mention, there are also tennis courts and basketball courts, a huge public pool, walking trails, and a solemn memorial to those who made this possible, the Veterans.

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9. Circuit of the Americas

Address: 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617, United States

Hours: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Entrance Fee: $25 per person

Neighborhood: Del Valle

“Great Experience. We really enjoyed COTA. Everything was very well organized. While the place is huge, it was very easy to get around. There were a lot of entertainment and food options. We'll be back!” - Tripadvisor

If you feel the need for speed, there’s no better place to get the wind whipping through your hair than Circuit of the Americas. Though it was built as a professional racetrack, it’s expanded to include an amphitheater, observation tower and various sports facilities, so it’s easily one of the top destinations in Austin.

Plan a trip in the spring to enjoy the IndyCar Classic. Visit in the winter to watch the Formula One Grand Prix. Go anytime to marvel at the glass floors and ceilings of the observation tower, or check their schedule to see when they’ll be hosting concerts, rugby matches, motorsport events or go-kart races.

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10. Town Lake

Address: 1820 S Lakeshore Blvd, Austin, TX 78741, United States

Hours: 10:00 AM–5:30 PM

Entrance Fee: No fee required

Neighborhood: Downtown

“Downtown Austin at Lady Bird Lake. This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. It’s really pretty. At this lake you can get boat rides at a very affordable price and take breathtaking pictures for everlasting and unforgettable memories.” - Tripadvisor

Lady Bird Lake, with its glistening waters and tree-lined shores, is one of Austin's most stunning sights, and it can provide hours of enjoyment for outdoor aficionados. The first thing you should know about the lake is that motorized boats are not permitted. You may, however, rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. You can also trek or bike around the lake on one of the many trails.

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11. Lake Travis Zipline Adventures

Address: 14529 Pocohontas Trail, Volente, TX 78641, United States

Hours: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $129 per person

Neighborhood: Volente

“Unforgettable experience. This was amazing. There is quite a bit of hiking involved but it is worth every single step. Our guides Madison and Harrison were amazing. Will absolutely be doing this again in the future.” - Tripadvisor

If you’re going to hurl yourself through the air at 30 miles per hour, you might as well book the best, and that’s Lake Travis Zipline Adventures. They boast the longest and fastest ziplines in the entire state of Texas!

Their lines aren’t the only things that they have going for them, however. They also offer food, lodging and transportation for guided tours through the beautiful scenery of Austin.

Homes for Sale in Volente

12. Blazer Tag Adventure Center

Address: 1701 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, United States

Hours: 4:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Entrance Fee: $9.99 (plus tax) per person per game

Neighborhood: South Lamar

“Newly found fun. I had never played lazer tag before, I mean I'm old, but this was a great time. This was a very large two-level room. I definitely will be doing this again.” - Tripadvisor

Hailed as the largest laser tag arena in Texas, Blazer Tag offers three entire floors of ramps, towers, corridors, and bridges. Rather than playing a rinky-dink game of tag in a small, enclosed area, you’ll immerse yourself in an amazing tactical landscape like something out of a video game or military exercise.

When you’ve defeated the other team, you can relax at a cafe that offers pizza, burgers, nachos, cheese sticks, and funnel cakes. You can also get nostalgic with an arcade that boasts everything from pinball machines to good old skeeball.

Homes for Sale in the South Lamar Neighborhood

13. Pinballz Arcade

Address: 8940 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758, United States

Hours: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Entrance Fee: $8-10

Neighborhood: Wooten

 “Great place to take the kids! If you grew up playing with pinball machines at arcades, you'll love Pinballz. Even more important, it's a great place to take your kids for a couple of hours of fun activities.” - Tripadvisor

If you’ve always lamented the fact that you can’t find old-fashioned arcades anymore, Pinballz Arcade is a must-see destination. It’s a cozy little place that offers all of the best retro games, and with a relaxed, open atmosphere that includes a “bring your own beer” policy, adults can enjoy it just as much as kids.

Once you’ve beaten the games, you can mosey on over to Pinballz Lake Creek for even more fun. It’s a secondary location that offers laser tag, escape rooms, bumper cars, and virtual reality simulations, so there’s a little something for game enthusiasts of all types. Pinballz Arcade is definitely one of the best things to do in Austin, so if you’re moving to the city or just bought a house in Austin, put this one on your itinerary.

Homes for Sale in the Wooten Neighborhood

14. Hatchet Alley

Address: 443 A Bastrop Hwy, Austin, TX 78741, United States

Hours: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: Montopolis

“I got the clutch. I had a great time throwing axes!!!!! The coaches and atmosphere were awesome! I loved how open and lively the place was. Definitely much better than the dungeon feeling I got from the other axe places I went to.” - Tripadvisor

If you’re wondering what to do in Austin on a rainy day, consider Hatchet Alley. It offers more than 12,000 feet of indoor recreational space, and activities include everything from axe throwing to football bowling. You’ll find lots of fun stuff to do here, and since it isn’t weather dependent, it can be enjoyed anytime!

You can even try “football bowling,” an inventive game that combines precision passing with good old-fashioned bowling. Walks-in are accepted at Hatchet Alley, but you can also call ahead and reserve lanes if you’re in a big group.

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15. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Address: 117 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701, United States

Hours: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: Downtown

“Austin’s best! If you like fried chicken you need to go to Gus’s. If you don’t like fried chicken you need to go there and learn to love it! A very informal diner that was packed with Gus lovers. Best thing Austin has to call its own.” - Tripadvisor

It’s tough to live up to a name like “world famous,” but Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken rises to the challenge. Originally based in Memphis, Tennessee, it’s expanded to several other southern states, and it’s converted thousands to its menu.

Whether you’re craving coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, or fried okra, you can find some finger-licking goodness on the menu. They’re also completely devoted to fried chicken. They don’t serve any other kind of meat, and it refuses to cater to customers who want things baked or steamed. At Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, you go greasy or you go home. That’s the Texas way.

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16. Austin Nature and Science Center

Address: 2389 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX 78746, United States

Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: University of Texas

“Family Fun. My family of 4, kids aged 5 and 9, loved their time there. Plenty of free parking right by the entrance path. The science section was very interesting and fun for all ages, and the outside animals and Dino sand pit were also fun.” - Tripadvisor

Are you moving to Texas with kids? You won’t want to miss the Austin Nature and Science Center. While it offers family-friendly fun that can be enjoyed by all ages, it holds a special kind of magic for children.

Maybe it’s because of the wildlife center that houses everything from birds to bobcats. Maybe it’s just the fact that the Austin Nature and Science Center makes learning fun. It isn’t a dull place where you have to listen to tour guides drone on and on about things that you don’t care about. At this destination, you can enjoy education and entertainment all rolled into one, so it should please parents and kids alike.

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17. Thinkery

Address: 1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723, United States

Hours: 9:00 AM– 7:00 PM

Entrance Fee: $16 per person

Neighborhood: Mueller

“Creative Place for Kids. Superb entertainment center with creative, educational, engaging activities for children between 3 to 10 years of age or so. My 6-year-old spent about ten hours at The Thinkery today. Not too many places can retain a child’s interest for that long.” - Tripadvisor

Formerly known as the Austin Children Museum, Thinkery started as a roaming collection of exhibits, activities, and programs that were designed to engage children from all over Texas.

Visitors to Thinkery can build, mold, cook, craft, and experiment in various labs and workshops. There’s a “spark shop” with child-safe tools and a “light lab” where they can hit all kinds of buttons and switches. If your kids enjoy trying new things, making new friends, and maybe even getting a little messy, they should love all of the nifty stuff to do at this children’s museum.

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18. Uncommon Objects

Address: 1602 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704, United States

Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Free

Neighborhood: South Manchaca

“Visual Treat for all ages. The aesthetic of this place is phenomenal. The different presentations and collections make you feel like you're in a vintage madhouse.” - Tripadvisor

Austin can be a quirky city, especially when you’re in a place like Uncommon Objects. It’s basically an attic sale filled with everything under the sun. Guitars are propped against bookshelves and marble statues. Purses and carnival masks hang on the walls. Old jewelry is displayed with dishes, perfumes, figurines, music boxes, and decorative tins.

If you like thrifting, you’ll love Uncommon Objects. It’s the kind of place where you could spend hours just sifting through the goods and laughing with your travel partners about what you’ve unearthed. Make sure to add it to your must-explore list when moving to Austin!

Homes for Sale in South Manchaca

19. Cathedral of Junk

Address: 4422 Lareina Dr, Austin, TX 78745, United States

Hours: Appointment only

Entrance Fee: $5

Neighborhood: West Congress

“Weirdly amazing. If you are in Austin you have to check this out. You must call ahead for an apt and it’s totally worth it. All ages will be amazed by what has been built here. The host was super friendly and answered all of our questions.” - Tripadvisor

Don’t be misled by the name — the Cathedral of Junk is not just a pile of rubbish. But it is a true cathedral, as well as a gigantic sculpture made up of just about every kind of object you could possibly think of— tools, dolls, toys, car parts, toilets, building materials, signs, baskets, tires, bells, mannequins, beads… the list goes on. If you’re a lover of weird places and items, then visiting the Cathedral of Junks is a must.

You can also combine your trip with a lunch at Casa Maria around the corner, on St. Elmo at S. 1st. They make their own tortillas and have a panaderia, too!

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20. Casa Neverlandia

Address: 305 W Milton St, Austin, TX 78704

Hours: By appointment only

Entrance Fee: $15

Neighborhood: Bouldin Creek

“What a wonderful tour! The most beautiful thing is that the owner of this home has been working on this project for so very long and gives you any details you want. Enjoyed every bit of it and posted a bunch of photos on my Facebook wall because this is just simply a beautiful piece of art still in progress after so many years.” - Facebook

The Bouldin Creek neighborhood holds a sweet surprise for those who know where to look. And that surprise is Casa Neverlandia. Artist James Talbot built this towering yet whimsical mansion with love and care.

The home acts as a colorful, undulating playscape outfitted with solar panels, rainwater collection, fire poles, secret passages, an elevated footbridge, talk tubes, nooks, crannies, a hidden concert stage, and other hideaways that are fascinating to explore.

Updated in 2018 with an outdoor shower, a composting toilet, and a brand new, fantastical nautilus shell bathtub! One of the coolest parts is the treehouse tower which is accessed via a bridge that connects to the main home!

Homes for Sale in Bouldin Creek

Are you ready to experience all of the weird, wonderful places of Austin? This list doesn’t cover all of them, but it should be enough to get you started. Don’t forget to save or bookmark this guide. That way you’ll be able to reference back when you’re looking for hidden gems to explore after moving to Austin.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Austin, then check out the BHGRE HomeCity website. There’s something there for everyone!