Things to do in Austin Texas

By: jwilder

Things to do in Austin Texas

Experience adrenaline pumping aerobatics flying in a biplane over downtown Austin, travel back in time with a train ride or experience the world class Circuit of the Americas race track! These are just some of fun things you can experience from our list of things to do in Austin for auto enthusiasts.

Whether you are visiting Austin or have recently moved to the Austin area and are looking for something fun to do on the weekend, you can find something fun to do on this list.

Austin Biplane

austin-biplane Enjoy the thrill of flying in a completely modern open cockpit bi-plane over the city of Austin and area lakes!

The plane is a 2012 Waco YMF-5 powered by a 7-cylinder, 300-HP radial engine. The plane looks similar to a classic biplane but it's manufactured according to modern fabrication and safety standards.

The best part of the design is that the passenger seating is actually in the front of the plane and can accommodate two passengers!

According to their FAQ, you can bring your camera and take pictures in-flight! They also have GoPro video cameras to record the flight for an extra charge.

There are many packages to choose from the basic 20 minute Tour of downtown Austin, aerobatic flights, sunset flights, and the deluxe town car service for 2 passengers (door-to-door, dinner for two and a 45 minute flight.

Austin Biplane was founded in 2015 and is owned and operated by USAF pilots Robert Whiteside and Karl Koch.

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Austin Biplane

Austin Steam Train

Austin Steam Train Alco Diesel 442 Although the website is called Austin Steam Train, the steam train has been undergoing major restoration since 1999. The current train, known as the Alco Diesel 442, is a diesel-electric RSD-15 six-axle road-switcher built by the American Locomotive Company in 1960. This type of train has the nickname of alligator due to its long and low nose.

The steam train is known as the Southern Pacific 786 and it has quite an interesting background, which we will explore a bit later.

Where Does It Go?

Most of their rides depart from Cedar Park and either go to Burnett or Bertram. The Cedar Park to Burnett ride is approximately 2 hours each way. The shorter trip goes to Bertram (home to the annual Oatmeal Festival) where there is a short 15 minute stop to visit of the 1912 train station (a relocated Orange Grove station).

They have several themed rides available that include plays and even a wine tasting trip.

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Austin Steam Train

Circuit of the Americas Tour

Austin Circuit of the Americas Tour The Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is a world-class racing and entertainment facility designed specifically for Formula 1 racing. They hosted their first Formula 1 race in 2012.

If you would like to experience the Circuit of Americas but aren't in Austin during a race event you still have options! The Circuit of Americas offers tours of the facilities during the weekend and can accommodate group tours during the week with advanced notice.

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Circuit of the Americas Tour

Greetings from Austin Mural Photo Op

austin-roadside-greetings-from-austin The Greetings from Austin mural one of Austin's most beloved examples of outdoor artwork.

The mural was painted on the side of Roadhouse Relics in 1998 by Todd Sanders and his friend Rory Skagen.

The goal was to brighten up the neighborhood with the beautiful mural but it quickly became an iconic backdrop for many a photo opportunity for both visitors and locals.

Over the years the colors began to fade. Todd Sanders and Rory Skagen worked with community leader Troy Madres to raise funds in order to restore the mural. The restoration project took one month and the completed version was unveiled November 23, 2013.

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Greetings from Austin Mural

K1 Speed Indoor Go Karts

austin K1 Speed Gocart racing Looking for something fun and exciting to do on four wheels in Austin without getting a ticket?

Let's race!

K1 Speed is a world-class indoor go kart racing facility located in north Austin. Their indoor kart tracks are among the largest in the nation!


  • European-style 20hp electric karts.
  • An atmosphere that is if not as exciting as the on-track racing action.
  • Corner after corner of dizzying G-forces.
  • Speeds of nearly 45mph on the track.
  • Museum-worthy collection of racing memorabilia, including race suits from famous drivers, race cars, autographed paraphernalia, and amazing art work.

Great for individuals, couples, families and team building exercises!

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K1 Speed Indoor Go Karts

Dick's Classic Garage Automotive Museum

Dick's Classic Garage Automotive Museum While not in Austin, you might consider taking a short drive to San Marcos to the best automobile museum in Texas! Dick's Classic Garage is an automotive museum located in San Marcos, Texas. It was founded by Dick Burdick, a Texas businessman and avid car collector.

The museum showcases American vehicles and memorabilia from the 1930s though the 1950s and displays a 1948 Tucker Sedan (chassis number 1050; this is the lowest mileage Tucker with 0.4 miles on the odometer). The museum also includes a restoration area.

Dick's Classic Garage is just a few minutes away from Austin and worth the drive! The facility is modern and the cars are immaculate.

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Dick's Classic Garage

Blue Starlight Drive In Theater

Blue Starlight Drive In Austin Texas The Blue Starlite is a "mini urban" drive-in movie theater that focuses on indie films, art house, cult, Gen X/Y, childhood favorites, and drive-in classics.

They call it a mini urban drive-in because it is located in the city (as opposed to a 10 acre field) and they limit the number of cars per movie showing to somewhere between 30 to 50 vehicles. They also have a walk-in section, and they strongly suggest you bring a FM radio and chairs!

Now for the really cool part.

You can rent the whole drive-in and have a movie night for two! You can also request a specific movie. A more practical scenario would be a group rental. A great idea for car clubs to add a little variety to your meetup!

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Blue Starlight Drive In Theater

Visit the Austin Speed Shop

Curious about what a real hot rod shop looks like? We recommend a visit to the Austin Speed Shop.

The Austin Speed Shop is a custom automotive fabricating shop that specializes in building 1963 and older traditional style Hot Rod and Custom cars from start to finish.

The Austin Speed Shop, originally called South Austin Speed Shop, was founded in 2005 by a partnership of three hot rod enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.

Why Visit

Most people have never set foot in a hot rod shop. They're usually located in industrial areas or backyard workshops. There are very few that really welcome visits from the curious.

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Austin Speed Shop

Visit Murpho's Rods and Customs and the Boneyard Boutique

Murpho's Rods and Customs Austin If you're in to kool kustoms and the rockabilly lifestyle you need to visit Murpho's Rods and Customs!

Murpho's Rods and Customs is a full service custom, restoration and hot rod shop with a lifestyle driven retail boutique connected. The "Boneyard Boutique" carries vintage inspired and rockabilly type apparel.

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Murpho's Rods and Customs

Attend an Automotive Meetup

If you want to meet some local car enthusiasts, the best way is to attend a local meetup.

Two of the longest running and most well attended meetups are organized by the Buda Gearheads and Cars and Coffee Austin.

Gearheads Meetup at Cabela's in Buda

This meetup started in 2009 and is still going today!

This gathering consists mainly of hotrods, street rods and muscle cars belonging to the club members. However, they do welcome non club members.

This meetup is every Saturday from 6pm to 10pm, year-round (although if its extremely cold and/or raining don't expect anyone to be there).

The Gearhead club usually has representatives there and you can buy Gearhead club apparel.

No burnouts or alcohol as this meetup is in the Cabelas parking lot.

Cars and Coffee Austin at Circuit of The Americas

Cars and Coffee Austin Oasis

Cars and Coffee Austin is a monthly automotive celebration that meets at Circuit of The Americas.

You will typically find more late model muscle cars, sports cars and exotics at this meetup.

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Cars and Coffee Austin

Find More Car Shows and Events

If you want to find out what is going on today or this weekend, be sure to visit our car shows and events page.

Explore More Attractions in Austin Texas

There's more attractions to explore in the Austin area! Check out our Austin regional site to find attractions in and near Austin.


Article photo "Austin from Congress Bridge" by Daveydickler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.


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