The best of Austin, Texas: 12 places that prove Austin offers the BEST of city and Hill Country life

What is it that makes Austin so special? If you ask a dozen Austinites, then you’ll get a dozen different answers—and therein lies the key. The best of Austin, Texas, lies in the city and Hill Country life rolled into one. It’s a place that truly does have something for everyone. So, here are 12 of our favorite one-of-a-kind Austin, Texas, attractions to prove it. 

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas Photo Credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center via Facebook

1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Home to an overwhelming variety of native wildflowers, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a great example of an Austin, Texas, attraction that has maintained its connection to nature despite the city’s growth. It’s particularly breathtaking in springtime.


Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Jennifer Morrow via Flickr

2. Cathedral of Junk

The lifelong work of Austin’s own Vince Hannemann, the backyard sculpture known as the Cathedral of Junk takes everyday trash and transforms it into a vast, palatial work of art.


Broken Spoke entrance in Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Broken Spoke via Facebook

3. Broken Spoke

This authentic Texas honky-tonk and dance hall, located 10 minutes from Austin, might very well be the last of its kind. So, stop in for a cold beer, and learn to two-step like a pro. Also, be sure to check the Broken Spoke’s music calendar before you go, because some of the best bands in Texas play here. Have fun cuttin’ a rug at one of Austin’s best and most classic attractions!


Barton Creek Greenbelt with water in Austin, Texas

4. Barton Creek Greenbelt

A 360-acre urban oasis in the heart of Austin, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is the perfect place to go for a walk, jog or bike ride without straying too far from home. The 7.5-mile Greenbelt trail connects several of Austin’s best parks.


Wall with quote at Houndstooth Coffee in Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Houndstooth Coffee

5. Houndstooth Coffee

Love a good cup of joe? Well, you have a lot of options. For example, get cozy at Houndstooth Coffee, a perennial local favorite that serves carefully sourced and expertly prepared coffees and teas at its two Austin locations.



Photo Credit: Travis County © 2012

6. Hamilton Pool

Why not swim your way through the best of Austin? Formed when the roof of an underground river collapsed to form a stunning natural grotto, Hamilton Pool is a beautiful swimming hole surrounded by trees and cliffs, and fed by waterfalls.


Pinballz Arcade room in the city of Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Pinballz Arcade via Facebook

7. Pinballz Arcade

Pinballz Arcade is home to more than 500 new and vintage pinball machines. So, stop by and see how many you can play in a night.


 Franklin Barbecue outside eating area as one of the best in Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Franklin Barbecue

8. Franklin Barbecue

When you think of the best of Austin, Texas, this popular food joint should definitely be on your stomach’s list. You might have to wait in line, but it will be worth it. Most noteworthy is Franklin Barbecue which serves some of the best BBQ in a city where great meat is seemingly around every corner.


trance to Uncommon Objects store in Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Uncommon Objects via Facebook

9. Uncommon Objects

There are antique stores in every city in America, but not like this one. For example, Uncommon Objects on South Congress Avenue is packed floor to ceiling with a seemingly endless collection of stunning relics. It’s been described as “your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids.” 


Longhorn Cavern State Park in the Austin, Texas Hill Country

Photo Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006

10. Longhorn Cavern State Park

Located just a short drive outside the city, Longhorn Cavern is an eerily beautiful natural wonder with breathtaking scenery both above and below ground. As a result of swooning over the beauty here, you’ll see why Austin is the best of hill country and nature life.


Inside the Alamo Drafthouse as one of the best of Austin, Texas

Photo Credit: Mike Prosser via Flickr

11. Alamo Drafthouse

This wonderfully weird movie theater serves beer during showings, and sprinkles in a healthy dose of classic (and cult-classic) films alongside the regular new releases. For example, the Alamo Drafthouse has even been known to hold massive film marathons, including showing all three “Lord of the Rings” movies back to back!


Items at the City Wide Garage Sale in the city of Austin, Texas

City Wide Garage Sale via Facebook

12. Citywide Garage Sale

This huge—seriously, huge—indoor flea market has been supplying Austin residents with hidden treasures and head-scratching oddities since the ’70s. The City Wide Garage Sale takes place once a month at the Palmer Events Center.


When it comes to exploring the best of Austin, Texas, these 12 spots barely scratch the surface. At MileStone Community Builders, we’re committed to helping you get the most out of your Austin experience, so contact us today to learn more about finding a new home near your favorite Austin, Texas, attractions.


So, get to know these 12 spots that compose the best of Austin, Texas:

  1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  2. Cathedral of Junk
  3. Broken Spoke
  4. Barton Creek Greenbelt
  5. HoundstoothCoffee
  6. Hamilton Pool
  7. PinballzArcade
  8. Franklin BBQ
  9. Uncommon Objects
  10. Longhorn Cavern
  11. AlamoDrafthouse
  12. City Wide Garage Sale

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