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Austin, with its location on the cusp of the Texas Hill Country, is know for its thriving music scene and artistic vibe. The Texas capital is a great destination for a romantic weekend getaway.
Hang out in this fun and growing city, discover downtown and immerse yourself in nature. Without a doubt, Austin is an awesome choice for a romantic excursion! To get you started, here are some of the most romantic things to do in Austin!
Romantic Things to Do in Austin – 12 Austin Date Ideas
Austin tends to attract the outdoorsy type. This city was practically built in a park, with outdoor activities taking the cake.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that on any trip to Austin, you will find the best places to connect with your loved one outdoors! But no worries, there are also places to cool down from the heat. Let’s get started!
Go Hiking with your Sweetheart
Get your heart pumping! Going hiking in Austin is the most quintessential local activity! Take your significant other on a hike in one of the many parks and green belt areas, located throughout the city.
You can’t go wrong with checking out Bull Creek Preserve, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, Barton Springs Greenbelt or even McKinney Falls State Park!
Lounge Around Zilker Park
Zilker Park is Austin’s main downtown park! Spread over 350 acres in the heart of downtown. Right by Lady Bird Lake, there are picnic areas, a disc-golf course, and a hike and bike trail to enjoy.
You can also enjoy the flowers at the Zilker Botanical Garden or appreciate art at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. We suggest packing a picnic and enjoying all the vibrant activity in the park! If you need to cool off you can even take a dip in Barton Springs Pool.
Kayak on Town Lake
What is more romantic than having to maneuver a kayak with your partner? After your picnic, rent a kayak to enjoy Lady Bird Lake, also called Town Lake.
If you’re feeling adventurous or looking for laughs you could also rent paddle boards at SUP ATX. There’s nothing quite like being on the water!
Watch the bats at Sunset!
The Congress Avenue bridge that spans Lady Bird Lake is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America! You can see the Congress Bridge Bats from March to October if you visit about 30 minutes before sunset.
Even without the bats, crossing one of the pedestrian bridges at sunset is the perfect place to take in views of downtown Austin.
Head to Lake Travis
Lake Travis is a reservoir, part the Colorado River, just outside of Austin. This is the closest thing that Austin has to a beach. If sun bathing or boating is what you’re after for your romantic getaway, definitely check out Lake Travis.
While you’re out by the Lake, head to Oasis restaurant. This lake view dining experience is the quintessential romantic date night in Austin.
Grab a coffee and pastry on Lake Austin
If it’s water views you’re after, but you don’t want to leave Austin, then head to Mozart Coffee Roasters situated on Lake Austin.
This coffee place sits right on the water facing west, making it a romantic option for catching a sunset! The coffee is roasted on site, making this a fresh cup of joe you can enjoy with a pastry!
Bonus, if you’re there earlier in the day, you are just a few minutes from Mt. Bonnell. Climb up a few sets of stairs and walk down a short trail for sweeping views of downtown Austin!
Take a Selfie at the “I Love You So Much” Mural
Right in the middle of South Congress, is a mural that simply says: “I love you so much”. It is located at 1300 S. Congress Ave on the side of Jo’s Coffee and is the perfect spot to take those selfies with your loved one.
After your photo session, grab a cup of coffee inside. If you’re here on a weekend, the cafe even features live music during brunch!
Put-put with your Honey at Peter Pan Mini Golf
Who doesn’t love a game of mini-golf to spend the afternoon together? The sun on your back, a golf club in hand, and a loved one to help.
This Austin institution has been around since 1948. At Peter Pan Mini Golf there are two 18 hole courses located at Barton Springs and South Lamar. Not only is this an inexpensive activity, but you can also BYOB!
Deep dive into conversation at Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden
Head to South Austin to enjoy this food truck mecca. At the Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden, there are plenty of picnic benches to enjoy the year round sunny weather.
Grab a craft cocktail or local beer and explore these eco-friendly ground, complete with rainwater fed pond, chicken coop and raised garden beds.
Go to a Drive-in Movie
Are you all about theater sized movie screens, but over the cramped movie theaters? Here’s the perfect romantic alternative! Cuddle up in your own car, while watching a classic movie at the Blu Starlite Drive-in Theater.
This boutique (read: small) drive in theater, is perfect for having an imitate movie watching experience with a maximum of 25 cars in downtown Austin.
Start Your Evening with a Romantic Dinner
End your day with a romantic dinner one of Austin’s romantic restaurants. There are so many good restaurants to try in Austin. Head to Lonesome Dove for some wild game and creative takes on Western cuisine in a chic setting.
If you prefer wood fired pizzas and house made pasta, head to Red Ash. For outdoor seating, try Justine’s, a hip French brasserie! There is truly no shortage of fine or casual dining.
If it’s Instagram-worthy pictures you’re after, hit up Taquero Mucho. This standard fare Mexican restaurant is decked out in pink and flowers with multiple backdrops for your social media images.
End Your Day with a Live Music Show
You can’t come to Austin without checking out one of the live music venues! End your evening with a live music show!
The Elephant Room is an underground jazz bar that is perfect for cozying up while enjoying a drink or two.
Romantic Places to Stay in Austin
There are so many great places to stay in Austin. Here are some of the most romantic hotels in Austin, that will keep you close to the dining and entertainment options downtown.
Fairmont Downtown Austin
If you’re looking for luxury on your romantic escape, Fairmont Downtown Austin is for you. The staff at the Fairmount makes you feel like royalty, the pool is amazing and the rooms make you never want to leave.
This hotel is in a high rise building so the higher floors offer sweeping views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake!
Super close to Rainey Street, which is packed with trendy bars, historic homes, and some good food, the Fairmont is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Austin.
Hotel San Jose
Hotel San Jose, located on South Congress Ave, sits in a historic 1930’s building. This romantic hotel, has nightly happy hours and music events. It is close to all of the dining and shopping of downtown Austin.
The building is an old motel that has been nicely renovated into a pretty cool property. The landscaping is beautiful and rooms are very minimalistic and modern. Among the stylish details of this hotel, you will find handmade furniture, custom sheets and kimono bathrobes.
This hotel also features a swimming pool, a small lounge where you can grab a drink, and a gift shop with local artisanal goods.
Hotel Ella is a short distance from the University of Texas campus in downtown Austin. This is a boutique hotel, housed in a Greek revival style mansion, which was originally the historic Goodall Wooten House.
The Hotel Ella combines lush interiors with a beautiful outdoor pool and wrap around veranda. The hotel interior is decorated with original Texas Modernist works of art.
Inside the hotel, the Parlor Bar is perfect for grabbing a drink. If it’s a proper afternoon tea you’re after, you can get one on weekend afternoons complete with a perfect assortment of tea sandwiches and pastries!
Hotel Saint Cecilia
Hotel Saint Cecilia is a boutique hotel housed in an 1880 estate. Named after the patron saint of music and poetry, this property has only 14 rooms. Each room is decked out in an elegant and opulent style.
The outdoor grounds have lovely landscaping with room to relax by the pool. The 50-foot heated lap pool is open to guests twenty-four hours a day meaning you can enjoy this charming spot at all times!
The Saint Cecilia lounge is in the center of the hotel and provides both indoor and outdoor seating exclusively for hotel guests, maintaining an intimate experience throughout your stay.
With so many great places to stay, and amazing things to do, what’s stopping you from planning your romantic weekend in Austin? Get planning! You and your significant other certainly won’t regret it!
About the Author: A recent transplant to Austin, and author of A Tiny Trip blog, Daphna’s motto is never stop exploring. From backpacking to traveling with her four kids, she makes a point to check out fun things to do wherever she goes, near or far. Daphna writes practical guides to help you get outside and embrace a healthy, eco-conscious lifestyle of love and positivity. You will find her most often behind the camera and/or with a baby on her hip!
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