A Texas-sized heart with a small-town vibe, Austin’s critical acclaim comes from it’s live music, festivals, outdoor adventures, a killer food scene. All that with a dose of good old southern charm and hospitality, of course. It’s a region of scenic beauty, a long and deep history, and vibrant lifestyle. You’ll be sure to enjoy a visit to the Texas Heartland.
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What to know before you travel to Austin with Kids
Austin is a big city with a friendly, small-town feel. It is the State Capital of Texas, although the progressive city isn’t much like the rest of the state! Here you will find plenty of music, as Austin is also the Live Music Capital of the World with over 250 music venues as well as a vibrant art and culture scene.
The city is also an up-and-coming hub of technology and entrepreneurship. Couple that with the amazing blend of cultural and local eats, Austin has become a foodie paradise. Just ask anyone who has attended SXSW (South by Southwest) and ACL (Austin City Limits)- the abundant Hipster culture is thriving!
You'll find everything from craft brews to organic juices to street art. Lots to do outdoors, from kayaking and hiking to swimming and flying a kite. Austin has it all!
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is located 10 miles southwest of downtown. The airport offers nonstop flights to 60+ destinations in the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Domestic Airlines that serve the airport include Alaska Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Virgin America. International airlines include Norwegian, British and Air Canada.
The airport offers a friendly welcome to the city with live music by local artists. The terminal features local restaurants and stores, including kid-favorite Amy’s Ice Cream.
Ground transportation can be found on the lower level of the terminal near baggage claim. A taxi or rideshare to downtown costs around $25. Capital Metro connects the airport to downtown and the University of Texas for just $1.25 each way, with departures every 30 minutes. The rental car facility is walking distance to the main terminal and is served by all the national rental car companies.
The downtown Amtrak station is served by the Texas Eagle, which extends from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The best way to explore Austin is by car. Driving in the city is fairly easy. While hotel parking downtown is expensive, street parking is fairly affordable. You can pay for street parking with cash, credit cards or using the ParkX app. Austin has a reputation for bad traffic. This can be true, especially at rush hour! We recommend using the Waze app to find your way around the worst traffic in the city.
It is possible to explore downtown Austin by foot. There are many attractions within a two-mile walk from most downtown hotels. Just be prepared for heat in the summer! If you don’t want to rent a car, Austin is served by ride share companies including Uber, Lift, Fare, Fasten and the local non-profit Ride Austin.
Capital Metro offers inexpensive neighborhood, express, and downtown routes. Visitors can also get around on the Capital MetroRail commuter train, which operates on weekdays between Downtown and Northwest Austin. The Capital Metro website has an easy to use trip planner. Download the CapMetro App to buy bus or rail fare. A single ride on a local bus starts at $1.25. There are daily and weekly passes available. Kids 5 and under ride for free with an adult.
Austin has many amazing neighborhoods to stay in... MORE
It can also be fun to stay in a hotel downtown.
There are so many incredible places to eat and drink in Austin with kids! Whether you're in the mood for Tacos, BBQ, Donuts, Ice Cream, Smoothies or TexMex, the city's food scene has you covered!
To enjoy warm sunny days outdoors, the best time to visit Austin is in the Spring or Fall. From hiking to swimming, food trucks to playgrounds, there is something for everyone. In March and April, the nearby Texas Hill Country is dotted with wildflowers. By May and June, the weather begins to heat up. If you visit Austin between July and September, you will want to be indoors, in the shade or in the water during the heat of the day!
Plan ahead to attend – or avoid – Austin’s big festivals: Austin City Limits in October and SXSW in March. Not only do prices go up during the festivals, many local spots are closed for special events. There are, of course, the well-known events such as Austin City Limits, South by Southwest, the Texas Book Festival, the Austin Film Festival, and the Austin Food and Wine Festival, but lesser-known gatherings are also catching on and well worth the trip. The Zilker Park Kite Festival, for example, is the oldest continuous kite festival in the United States. Hundreds of kites will dance in the sky the first Sunday in March.
The winter in Austin is relatively mild and dry, with high temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Both Spring and Fall bring lots of sunny, warm days with highs in the 70s and 80s. Between October and April, temperatures at night can be chilly.
From May to September, it is hot and humid. High temperatures are in the 90s and high humidity makes it feel even hotter. While Austin is known for sun, it can rain any time of the year – and when it rains, it rains hard.
Experience frustration-free planning and travel like an insider to the best family-friendly hotels, restaurants and places to visit in Austin