For many students at the University of Texas, family weekend is one of the highlights of the fall semester. When your family comes to visit, you get to show them your new home in Austin and all that the city has to offer.
When your family comes to your college town, it can be overwhelming to plan a fun agenda for everyone. Between the countless Austin restaurants to try, outdoor scenery to view, and shopping spots to explore, the list of things to do is extensive. To help you plan where you should take your family on their next visit, we have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do with your family in Austin!
What to Do with your Family Near UT Austin
1. Have dinner at one of Austin’s finest
Whether you’re looking for Tex-Mex, Italian or Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, Austin has it all. Show off the Austin foodie scene to your family by visiting one of our favorites:
Located off Barton Spring Road, Chuy’s is the best in town for yummy and affordable Mexican food. Don’t forget to try the Creamy Jalapeno Ranch while you’re there!
Neighborhoods: Zilker and Arboretum
If you’re in the mood for made-from-scratch Italian food, you’re sure to love Juliet’s Italian Kitchen. With locations on Barton Springs and in the Arboretum, you can bring your family to enjoy a delicious, authentic dinner.
Neighborhood: South Congress
For an upscale dining experience, you can head to the Mediterranean-inspired Aba. Whether you want to enjoy a hummus appetizer or a delicious seafood or lamb entree, you can also enjoy a selection of Mediterranean-inspired wines!
2. Check out Austin’s views
With the West Hills, Lady Bird Lake, UT Campus and Downtown all minutes away from each other, there is no shortage of amazing Austin scenery.
If you’re up for a hike, climb the 102-stair staircase and be blown away by the amazing view of the West Hill Country. Mount Bonnell is one of the highest points in Austin at 781 feet! The best time to go is right before sunset, so you can watch the sun fall over the hills for a breathtaking view (and photo-op!)
For a view you’ll never forget, take your family to the 360 Overlook to take in all the different parts of the city. This spot is beautiful from sunrise to sunset, so you’re sure to find a place to fit in your schedule.
3. Attend a Longhorn Football game
If you’re a regular attendee at DKR, you know the atmosphere is like no other. Show off our Texas pride by cheering on the Longhorns at one of the fall home games. And, if you’re looking to make your Saturday all about UT football, you can explore our list of the Top 10 Places to Tailgate for UT Football Games.
4. Enjoy a shopping day on South Congress
Spend some time on South Congress Avenue to explore the unique shops, delicious lunch options, or the iconic I love you so much mural at Jo’s Coffee. Stop by Allen’s Boots, Alo, Outdoor Voices, Aviator Nation, Kendra Scott, and more, then grab a bite to eat at Home Slice Pizza.
If you plan on visiting SoCo in the evening, you can stop by the South Congress Bridge to check out the famous bats that fly through from March to September each year.
5. Have a night out downtown
For those of you who are 21+ and want to share your college town’s nightlife with your family, take them to your favorite college bars! 6th Street is the most infamous strip in Austin, complete with dive bars, live music and Roppolo’s pizza. Take a trip down this historic street to show them what Austin is all about. If your family tends to cap the night early, but you still want to have a drink, check out the 12 Best Spots for Happy Hour Near UT Austin!
6. Take a walk through campus
Show off your student life to your families and take them to your favorite campus spots. You can stop at your favorite library, your college’s building, and the turtle pond! Don’t forget to snap a cute photo in front of the tower and end at The Co-op to get some UT merch.
7. Enjoy a Sunday brunch
Kerbey Lane Cafe
For an option close to campus, try out the beloved Kerbey Lane Cafe. From their famous swirl pancakes to loaded omelets, there’s sure to be something everyone will love!
Snooze AM Eatery
Neighborhood: North Austin
With a delicious and extensive menu, this hotspot always has a line out the door. With a variety of breakfast drinks, health-conscious dishes and even seasonal menu items, Snooze never disappoints!
For a refined and classy brunch, you can enjoy a tasty eggs benedict, salmon avocado toast, or orange vanilla french toast from this Downtown spot, Taverna.
Read Next: 9 Best Brunch Spots Near UT Austin
8. Spend some time outdoors
If you’re looking for a way to get some fresh air and explore the city, there are plenty of fun ways to get outside.
Only minutes away from campus, Zilker offers a beautiful space to throw a frisbee, have a picnic, or bring your furry friend!
Lady Bird Lake
If your family is looking to spend time near the water, you can take them paddle boarding on Lady Bird. Whether you’re taking a stroll around the trail or looking over the SoCo bridge, you’ll always find Austin locals out on the lake.
9. Grab a coffee
With a college campus located in the center of the city, there’s an endless amount of amazing coffee shops and cafés to explore in Austin. Check out our list of the 10 Best Coffee Shops Near UT Austin and try some of our favorites!
10. Take some photos at the murals
Last but not least, one of the most iconic things to do in Austin is to explore the many murals. Hop in the car and take a self-guided tour of these Austin classics that you won’t want to miss!
In a city this amazing, there’s an endless list of options to choose from when deciding where to show your loved ones around. I hope this article gave you some inspiration on where to take your family next time they’re in Austin.