Whether you’ve recently moved to Austin or you’re just visiting, chances are there are a few secret spots in Austin you don’t know about. Since Austin prides itself in its eclectic personality, there are various restaurants, bars, and chill spots that you have to check out!
This nightclub off of Congress has something to offer for every member of your crew. The first level is a bar with a stage that often welcomes live music from local bands. The second story features a bowling alley with darts and shuffleboard to satisfy your competitive side. The third story is a rooftop bar with a gorgeous view of downtown. What more could you ask for?
2. Cathedral of Junk
Yep, you heard that right. A palace made out of recycled trash! This spectacle was actually created in a resident’s backyard. This secret spot in Austin was no small feat. It now has over 60 tons of junk to create a multistory clubhouse with vaulted ceilings. This one you have to see to believe!
3. Mount Bonnell
If you are in search for the best picnic destination or a quiet place to enjoy nature, Mount Bonnell is a perfect secret spot in Austin to check out. If you are willing to make a small sacrifice of a short hike, the views at the top are breathtaking. Mount Bonnell overlooks Lake Austin from almost 800 feet high. The best time to go is right before sunset!
Pinballz is an old-fashioned arcade geared towards a young crowd. This arcade is not only home to pinball machines and ancient arcade games, but it also has all the modern favorites. With a bar in the back, this is the perfect secret spot in Austin for a night out. Just don’t forget to turn in those tickets for a few prizes!
5. Barton Springs
If you’re looking for somewhere to cool down during the hot months, then stop by Barton Springs. This naturally fed body of water is known for its frigid temperatures. Although 70 degrees doesn’t sound very cold, I dare you to jump in! Barton Springs has shallow areas as well as deeper areas around 18 feet for more experienced swimmers. There is a small cost to enter, but it’s worth it to escape the heat for a while!
6. Zilker Park
Although this spot is well-known as the location of Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual festival spanned over two weekends celebrating all music genres, it is underrated all the other weeks of the year. Zilker Park is located right in the heart of downtown. It can serve as a perfect escape from all the busyness and noise. Come take your dog for a walk, bring a soccer ball, or grab a book and a blanket to enjoy this beautiful Austin park.
7. Starlight Drive-In
It isn’t often anymore that you get the chance to watch a movie in your car! Although back in the day, this was common, only a few of these drive-ins still exist! So pull up in your car, pop your trunk, or bring a lawn chair to watch a movie under the stars. This drive-in shows any movie from classic romance movies for date night to family movies for kids.
8. Stubb’s BBQ
Stubb’s not only has amazing barbeque, but they also have a stage outside to accommodate local artists to big names. Typical Austin, Stubb’s doesn’t have the most modern or new exterior. However, when you step out into the courtyard with the stage, you will know why Stubb’s is an iconic secret spot in Austin.
9. Mayfield Park (Peacock Park)
Mayfield Park is a unique spot in downtown Austin. If you’re looking for a place to walk through beautiful gardens or see peacocks wandering around, Mayfield Park is for you. It is a “historic cottage” with plenty of nature to enjoy. Make sure to bring a camera to capture the unique landscape and any peacock friends you may meet!
10. Elephant Room
The Elephant Room is an eclectic bar in downtown Austin. The bar is located underground in the basement where live jazz bands play. But don’t worry, their neon signs will light up the night. This bar has plenty of character and drinks to go around! Its cozy space makes for an intimate place to enjoy drinks with friends.