A new school year is almost upon us and hundreds of new students are getting ready to go back to school in a matter of weeks. While many might be eager to jump into class as soon as possible and begin learning, most new students who come from out of the city are excited to explore the new and exciting things that Austin has to offer. Thankfully, Austin is a city packed with exciting events and delicious food, most of which are conveniently located near campus for students to enjoy.
Many of our favorite activities are free and are sure to become quick favorites for those who are new to the area. Here are but a few of the many activities that new students can do while in Austin that are surprisingly close to the University of Texas campus.
Indulge In The Delicious Food Along The Drag
Image credit: Kerbey Lane Cafe Instagram
Austin is known for its amazing food and the area on Guadalupe St, affectionately called the Drag, is home to many unique restaurants for students and residents alike.
This includes the well known Kerbey Lane Cafe, which has been offering Austinites with some of the best breakfast there is 24 hours a day, every day. Whether you are studying late at night and need some pancakes in your life, or simply looking to grab some grub before class, Kerbey Lane Cafe has become the must go for many.
For those who are unfamiliar, Austin takes its tacos very seriously. While there are many, many places in town that offer this delicious Mexican delight, few are as recognizable as Torchy's Tacos. Featuring an extensive list of iconic flavors including some special taco of the month flavors, new and old students are able to enjoy some of the most unique and tasty delights that Austin has to offer here.
For those who are looking for something on the healthier side there's also K-bop, a Korean inspired restaurant serving delicious and healthy dishes that include bulgogi bowls, bibimbap, and even bubble tea. It's a great place to grab a quick bite to eat in between classes and worth a look for those who are looking to taste some unique dishes.
Thai, How Are You? is also an Austin staple thanks in part to Jeremiah The Innocent, a mural located on 21st St featuring a polite and charming frog that is well known around the world. Turn the corner and go inside to enjoy some of the amazing curry selection and other Thai delights that have long provided UT students with the energy they need to get through class.
Enjoy a Longhorn Game At The Texas Memorial Stadium
During football season the Texas Memorial Stadium is the place to be. Home to the UT Longhorns, the stadium is among the most recognizable locations in Austin. The energy that comes from the crowds is one of a kind as they cheer on the beloved Longhorns. Whether you're a dedicated fan of football or are eager to learn more about the sport, you'll be hard pressed to find a better place to be than the Texas Memorial Stadium.
Get Some Drinks At 6th St or Rainey St
College life wouldn't be complete without some partying and it's hard to deny that Austin is notorious for its nightlife. Most notably 6th Street which is host to a large amount of bars and venues to enjoy a night away from responsibilities.
For those who simply want a calm place to relax after classes there are hangout spots such as Easy Tiger which offers coffee, beer, wine, and food to get together with friends. If food is your main goal then Casino El Camino is another great choice simply because of its famous burgers and jukebox which have been named among the best in the nation.
The Jackalope also offers a great opportunity to relax with its dive bar atmosphere alongside some of the best burgers in town. There's also a wide list of drinks available to unwind after a long week, making it a lively place to be at. For those that want a taste of the upscale there's Parkside which offers an extensive list of drinks and cocktails along with a host of foods that are perfect for those who have a bit more to spend.
If uniqueness is what you want you'll be hard pressed to find a place similar to Midnight Cowboy. This former hostel is home to a reservation-only bar that offers a wide selection of expertly crafted cocktails. There is a two-drink minimum along with a two hour reservation period, with a strict anti-rowdiness policy making it a great place for those who are simply looking to relax outside of the liveliness of 6th St.
Enjoy Live Music Downtown
Image credit: Do512 Instagram
Austin is known as the live music capital of the world and with good reason. There's always some kind of musical performance around Austin, with local bars and restaurants often hosting an artist of some kind. In fact, a walk down the streets of downtown will usually lead to a music performance from a local band making it incredibly easy to find a fun way to enjoy an afternoon.
Some music venues to look for include the Mohawk, Stubb's BBQ, the Continental Club, Parish, and many, many more. There's always a fun concert to watch in town so make sure to stay on top of your favorite artist's schedule!
Take In Nature At Zilker Park or Mount Bonnell
Austin is among the fittest cities in the United States, so it's not surprising that spending time outside being active is important for many residents. Thankfully, there are many fun locations to go to such as Zilker Park or Mount Bonnel which are among the most well known.
Zilker Park is the perfect place to go if you wish to workout, go for a run, or simply take your four legged friend along some of the most scenic areas in the city. This area is large (350 acres) and offers amazing views from the lake and even a hike trial for those who prefer being out in the outdoors.
Mount Bonnell offers an amazing look at some of Austin's best scenery, but getting there is half the fun. After a steep hike up some steps you'll reach the top where you'll be able to relax and take in all of the beauty of the river and of the many houses along it.
Visit Barton Springs or Lady Bird Lake For A Swim
For those who spend more time in the water, there's also Barton Springs and Town Lake available which are both within Zilker Park. Lady Bird Lake is perfect for those who are looking for a quick dip, to enjoy an afternoon paddle boarding alongside friends, and even ride a kayak down the river at dusk to see the famous Austin bats.
If your goal is just to swim and cool off, then Barton Springs is the best place to go. Featured in our 7 Ways To Stay Cool in Austin list, it's a great place to spend a hot afternoon at.
Explore The UT Campus
The campus at University of Texas at Austin is packed full of historical facilities which all provide something for students to enjoy. Whether you're looking to enjoy some time away from classes or you wish to explore everything that the campus has to offer, you'll easily find a place to spend an afternoon without much trouble.
The Blanton Museum of Art is a must for those who appreciate the arts. Its vast collection of art is well known to be among the most comprehensive in Texas, offering visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy paintings, sculptures, and more in one location. Looking to enjoy some live music on campus?
The Cactus Cafe has had a wide variety of artists perform on stage, many of which are well known around the nation. In fact, Billboard Magazine has named the Cactus Cafe one of the top 15 most solidly respected clubs in the United States.
For those who prefer life in the water, there's the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex which offers a large variety of pools and spas for students to cool off during the year. The Texas Union has long been known as the living room of UT, and is also a great place to spend time in between classes or to finish up work.
Finally, the Tower is among the most notable of the landmarks on campus and Austin itself. This easily recognizable symbol has long been one of the favorites among students and visitors alike since it offers a stunning look at the city from a unique vantage point. Tours are available to enjoy the observation deck so make sure to reserve your tickets to enjoy a perspective of Austin few get to see.
Join One Of The Many Student Organizations
UT Austin has a large variety of student organizations which each provide a unique opportunity for students to socialize. It's also an amazing place where you can gain valuable skills and connections that will be incredibly useful upon graduation.
From fraternities to simple gatherings with like minded people, it's one of the best ways to fully enjoy student life without having to go far away from campus.
Need A Place To Stay Near Campus?
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