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

POV: you live in Austin, the forecast is 105 degrees all week, and you need to find the nearest body of water, stat. No worries—we got you. The ultimate way to stay cool is with this summer bucket list of 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 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 onWest 6th 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.

Photo Credit: Paramount Theatre

Catch a classic film at Paramount Theatre

Paramount Theatre is running its annual Classic Film Series this summer inside its nice and cool, air conditioned space.

Photo Credit: ACL Radio

Enjoy free live music in Austin parks

Two great free live music series are coming to Austin parks: Blues on the Green brings folk singers to Zilker Park on June 14 – 15 and July 19 – 20, and The Drop-in at Long Center runs every Thursday, May 26 – August 11 on the Hartman Concert Lawn.

Celebrate Pride Month this June

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

Have a swim at Barton Springs Pool

This iconic natural pool across from Austin’s famed Zilker Park is officially open and waiting for ya!

austin hotel pools

Grab a pool pass at an Austin hotel

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


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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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