Things to do in Austin Tx during the Summer

So you are going to be visiting Austin, Texas in the summer.  Just in case you have not heard, it is going to be hot and it might even be unbearably hot. Expect the days to be at minimum in the low 90’s but it could be as hot as 105 degrees and maybe hotter. The summer of 2011 was one of the very worst with one week being 106 degrees plus an entire week. That was of course in the daytime. Nights might go down to the high 80’s, if you are lucky.

Fortunately, while Austin is inland, there are many beautiful places to go swimming and enjoy other water sports. There are rivers, lakes and pools. One of the most beautiful places to swim, within the Austin City Limits, is Barton Springs in Zilker Park. Barton Springs is a natural springs and part of it has been enclosed to create a beautiful swimming pool with grassy banks. There is an admission charge. it does get very crowded. And the water is frigid. It is a great place to cool off, relax and people watch.

if you want to venture outside of Austin, there are a series of man made lakes with Lake Travis being the closest to Austin. The Colorado River has been  dammed up to create  a series of artificial lakes. There are miles and miles of such lakes. They are scenic and each community has its own personality with its own events and activities. Traffic might be a problem as well as crowded conditions. On these lakes, you can also enjoy boating and other water sports such as skiing. 

Besides the lakes, other beautiful swimming areas outside of Austin are Hamilton’s Pool and The Perdenales River. These are natural and beautiful places to explore and have a wonderful time.

Unfortunately many of the swimming spots are deadly. They can be shallow in some areas and then suddenly can drop off to 40 feet of water as well as having strong undertows. There are regular drownings in the summer. Sometimes there have been two or three in the same day. Most of the persons who drown are visitors to the area. Unless you are a very strong swimmer, you should not even consider going out into the waters without wearing a life jacket. Even strong swimmers should consider wearing a life jacket. 

There is always live music in Austin and summer is no exception. Sometimes evenings do cool down and there are many places to hear wonderful music out of doors. For those who want to be inside, where there is always air conditioning, there are many clubs and other venues that offer live music. There is more than one entertainment district in and around downtown Austin. There is East 6th street, The Warehouse District and SoCo also known as South Congress. All these areas offer live music and good food. Because indoor places are very well air conditioned, you might need a light sweater or shawl when inside.

One of the best ways to find out where to go and what to do is ask friends or at your hotel. The Austin Chronicle is a free weekly paper that writes about things to do or “what’s going on”. It is available at most hotels, clubs and restaurants. 

Summer will be hot. It is something that you can count on just like taxes and death. It can get very hot beginning as early as May and remain very hot until as late as October. While some people love the heat, most people do not. Complaining about the heat is a regular part of everyone’s conversation. Do not be afraid to chime in. Complaining about the heat is something that unites and bonds everyone.

So, come prepared for excessive heat but also come prepared to have a really great time.