The Ultimate Austin Summer Bucket List: Restaurants, Bars, and Things to Do

Summer is so suddenly upon us that ERCOT is losing control of the grid again *eyeroll* and yet, we celebrate, because this is our first summer back in action after a whole lot of time spent at home! Summer is about to make the biggest comeback ever. We have put together the ultimate summer bucket list to restaurants, bars, and things to do in Austin, TX.


We know you’re fixin’ to eat this summer. If you’re looking for new restaurants to add to your summer bucket list, we have created a list of the best places to visit with friends.

bbq austin

Chow down on essential Austin BBQ

A classic Texas meal like this is best enjoyed on a hot summer night with a cold beer to wash it all down.

Get a taste of authentic Tex-Mex

If you’re searching for things to do in Austin in the summer, treat yourself to tacos and margaritas at some of the cutest Tex-Mex spots around.

lgbtq owned restaurants

Support local LGBTQ+ owned restaurants

June is Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community, so show your support by opting to eat at one of these noteworthy restaurants.

best restaurants east austin

Have a night out in East Austin

East Austin is known for its food scene, so why not take a walk on the hipster side of town and peruse the offerings?

boozy popsicles austin

Cool down with a boozy popsicle

Not even close to downtown? Not a problem. The Domain has plenty of great restaurants for kickin’ it this summer, including the new Picolé popsicle stand.


Dive into the food scene by day, and take to bar-hopping by night—that’s the Austin way. But there’s more than one way to have a great night out here.

Best Micheladas

Slurp down micheladas

Do you have a craving for micheladas? There are a large number of bars and restaurants in Austin to add to your summer bucket list that offer delicious and surprisingly nutritious, micheladas.

Hit all the best bars on 6th Street

Our famous 6th street is rightly divided into three primary sections: West, Dirty (downtown), and East. We’ve hand-selected the best bars up and down 6th to make sure you’ve hit them all.

bars rainey street

Have a cocktail on Rainey Street

Rainey Street has been BUSY this summer, so make sure you join the party and hit these essential bars.

Photo Credit: Montevega Media

Ride a mechanical bull

Bull & Bowl just opened up on West 6th and boy, is it a wild time. The main draw by far is the mechanical bull you can ride all night, but they also have arcade games and duckpin bowling, plus plenty of cocktails and entrees.

bars live music austin

Listen to live music

If you’re a live music fan, there are a countless number of activities to attend in the summer in Austin. The city wouldn’t be The Live Music Capital of the World without these essential bars, where live musicians come to play nightly.

Things to Do

Summer in Austin is a great time to get outside, whether it’s paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake or having a picnic at Zilker Park. Here are a few ways to stay cool.

Celebrate Pride Month this June

Show your true colors at one of Austin’s many spectacular Pride Month parties this June.

tubing san antonio

Brave the world’s largest tubing course in San Antonio

Slide on down to our neighbor city, San Antonio, and get wet on the world’s largest tubing course while it’s here in Texas for a limited run.

fiesta san antonio

Live it up at Fiesta San Antonio

This year’s festival returns with 100+ events throughout June, so don’t miss the largest celebration in San Antonio this summer.

van gogh exhibit

Step into Van Gogh’s world

Are you searching for artistic things to do in Austin in the summer? The immersive Van Gogh exhibit you’ve seen all over social media is in Austin right now! Grab tickets and get lost in a masterpiece.

Have a swim at Barton Springs Pool

The pool reopened last weekend after weeks of flooding and, in even better news, reservations will no longer be required, starting in July!

austin hotel pools

Grab a pool pass at an Austin hotel

Or, you know, if you like something a little more lowkey, private, and arguably cleaner, Austin hotels are handing out day passes left and right.

willie nelson austin

Rock out with Willie Nelson

Don’t forget to end your Austin summer with some good, old-fashioned country, rock, and folk music from legends like Willie Nelson and Chris Stapleton at the Outlaw Music Festival on August 22nd.


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Here at UrbanMatter, we pride ourselves on leading the charge when it comes to Austin entertainment. Need ideas? News? Info? From venues, restaurants, and bars to events, festivals, and music — we’ve got you covered.


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