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Whether you are nervously planning your first or have been together for years, this list of date night ideas in Austin, Texas, reveals various activities to impress your other half. It features romantic things to do day and night and cozy restaurants great for chats. Did we miss your favorite spot? Tell us in the comments.
We love Austin so much we got married here!
Fun Austin Date Ideas By Day
It’s Austin, so I will start (and probably end) with booze but don’t worry if you or your partner aren’t big on alcohol; the guide features plenty of non-drinking related suggestions, too.
Bar hopping is an ideal date idea for those who like quick-paced activities that keep their attention span active as moving between locations gives couples lots to discuss, with each bar providing a new experience.
The most obvious starting point is what locals call Dirty 6th; old 6th Street is the party area in Austin, and it has bars on two levels, with the upper floors often providing views of the shenanigans below!
Dirty 6th also has pizza joints and food trucks to soak up the drink, which we strongly suggest doing between bar hopping!
Close to Dirty 6th is East 6th, a little more chilled than its neighbor but still delivering with craft beer bars and snack stops.
Rainey Street is another option where bars with gardens and trendy restaurants have taken over historic bungalows.
South Congress is a little tamer, with vintage stores, boutique hotels, and upmarket restaurants thrown into the mix.
The Warehouse District is where you’ll find a handful of gay bars.
Craft Beer Tour
If you are both really into beer, consider a self-guided craft beer tour sampling flights at Lazarus Brewing Co, Oddwood Brewing, and Central District Brewing.
Alternatively, let someone else take control of the itinerary and the driving during this half-day tour, which visits three breweries around the city and provides generous half-pours at each stop.
Couples must be over 21 to participate; remember to bring your ID.
Listen To Live Music
Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, which means there is no hiding from its stages!
You don’t actually have to put much thought into this date idea, as you could just rock up to any of the party streets mentioned above and enjoy a drink while bands perform in the background.
Red River is a great location for small gigs; here, you’ll find Cheer Up Charlies and Empire Control Room.
Or, with some pre-planning, you could catch a local or international artist in one of the bigger venue spaces, such as Hotel Vegas, Stubb’s, or Mowhawk.
Attending gigs is one of the most popular Downtown date ideas.
If you are more of a cocktail-with-views kinda couple, climb to the dizzy heights of the 77° Rooftop Patio Bar, Upstairs at Caroline, Edge Rooftop at the JW Marriott, or Azul Rooftop at the Westin.
Otopia Rooftop Lounge is a cool spot with private igloos for rent in winter.
One of the prettiest parts of the city has to be the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, which follows the Colorado River.
The 10-mile trail runs from Tom Miller Dam on the west side to the Longhorn Dam on the east side.
We got married at Lou Neff Point with the Austin skyline as a backdrop.
Start The Date With Tex Mex Breakfast
If planning to do any physical or drinking activities discussed in this guide, it might be worth suggesting that the date starts late morning with an epic Tex-Mex breakfast.
Go for biscuits at Cisco’s, tacos at Juan and Million, or a Texas twist on eggs Beni at Phoebe’s Diner.
Check out our guide on where to eat for more.
Gorge on BBQ
Visitors line for hours for brisket in Austin, but luckily, you don’t have to, as there are heaps of BBQ joints to choose from.
For traditional smoked meats ordered from the server behind a hot plate, check out Terry Black’s Barbecue or, if you prefer to be served, Green Mesquite BBQ.
I am salivating while I type.
For a more unique Austin date idea, make a reservation for afternoon tea, which encourages a slow dining experience over savory and sweet food.
It is typically enjoyed from early to late afternoon and consists of trays of sandwiches, pastries, cakes, and British scones.
A cup of tea served in a cute teapot accompanies most platters.
In the UK, a glass of fizz is usually on the menu, making it a boozy affair, but it isn’t mandatory.
If this suits your dating style, check out Austin English Tea Company and Brentwood Social House.
Walk off all that stodge during a self-guided street art mural tour of the city.
You’ll find the iconic I Love You So Much Wall in South Congress, the Greetings from Austin Postcard on South 1st, and the Historical 6th Street mural Downtown.
You may also enjoy our photo spots guide, which I published as capturing the murals is one of our favorite things to do as a couple in Austin.
Secret Food Tour
Austin is a foodie city, which you can discover during this three-hour tour, which can be delivered privately or by joining others in a small group.
Taste Texas offerings by sampling small plates over six stops at traditional and contemporary restaurants and cafes.
Picnic at Zilker Park
Pack a picnic or pick up takeout for a cheaper food date and head to Zilker Park, the jewel in the heart of Austin.
The 351-acre green space has great views of the skyline as well as some art pieces dotted around.
It is also where the huge Trail of Lights takes place at Christmas.
Zilker Park is where you will find Barton Springs, an outdoor pool next to a free lake that locals use to cool down in summer.
The public pool has a comfortable grassy hill for sunbathing, while the free area is a little rocky.
We opted for the free version but will do the paid version next time.
Barton Springs is also featured in our unique things to do in Austin guide.
If you prefer to have a cold drink in hand while sunbathing by the pool but don’t want to pay for an overnight hotel stay, The Westin has day access passes.
The pass includes sun loungers, use of the rooftop pool nestled among the skyscrapers, and bar service.
I’m still dreaming about the afternoon we spent here!
Get On The Water
Paddling along Lady Bird Lake is popular for couples to do in the warmer months.
You can hire a single or double kayak, but be cautious; the latter is also called a divorce boat…
If planning a date night during fall, check out the schedule for the local Texas Longhorns.
The Horns play at the city’s Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium.
Hook ’em, horns!
Adventurous couples with a thrill-seeking side could have a go at indoor rock climbing at Crux Climbing Center or Austin Bouldering Project.
These manmade walls have strategically placed boulders used as grab handles to climb the artificial wall.
First-timers require support from professional staff members.
Go Ice Skating
Keeping it physical but throwing in a bit of a cool surprise, what about an ice-skating date?
You’ll find inside rinks at Chaparral Ice and Ice & Field at The Crossover.
If the above activities don’t sound relaxing, consider a couples spa.
Spa Réveil offers a duo massage in their award-winning spa, perfect for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or anniversaries!
Packages may include milk baths, massages, and body wraps.
Bliss, sign me up.
Museums and Galleries
If you prefer to exercise your brain over your body, book a day out at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, Mexic-Arte Museum, or Women & Their Work Gallery.
See schedules for sessions and classes, too.
Support local by shopping at one of the neighborhood farmers’ markets, then take your fresh produce home to cook a meal together.
What a wholesome date day!
Weekly seasonal markets include the SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown and the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller.
Thrifting and Flirting
Pick up a pair of pre-loved cowboy boots from Allen’s in South Congress or hop between the handful of vintage stores around Guadalupe Street near the UT campus.
Why not do an outfit challenge for a set budget – guaranteed to provide a laugh?
If you find any romantic things to do in Austin above attractive, let us know in the comments.
We will now discuss evening date ideas, some of which can also occur during the day.
Austin Date Night Ideas
Watch as the day slips into the night with the dusk sky exploding over the city at one of its sunset spots.
Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is one of the most popular sunset locations as it is the highest point within Austin City Limits at 775 ft above sea level.
From mid-spring, you can watch the unique bat flight from Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset, too.
If you appreciate these budget date ideas, here’s our Austin for free article.
Dine at Romantic Restaurants
For cozy, low-lit dining options, consider Justine’s, Jeffery’s, Lenoir, Siena Restaurant, or Lutie’s Garden Restaurant.
Or if you prefer airy terrace and patio dining, look at Nido, Upstairs at Caroline, and Arlo Grey by Kristen Kish.
Play With Your Food
Feel like you’ve already covered all of the more traditional romantic restaurants?
Food experiences make for a great date night in Austin, too.
Catch up over cheese fondue at The Melting Pot, watch your food being flipped at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, or get your hands dirty at Let’s Eat Austin.
Sweets For Your Sweet
If you don’t quite want the date to end just yet, tag on late-night dessert!
The Baked Bear lets you build your ice cream sandwiches, and Voodoo Doughnut is open until 3am on the weekends.
Search For The Speakeasy
Some of the best date spots in Austin are a secret!
Step back in time and sip cocktails as if it is the prohibition era at one of the city’s many speakeasies.
Take advantage of the sexy ambiance and intimate seating at these clandestine bars if you can find it!
Keep your eyes peeled for Midnight Cowboys, The Cloak Room, and In Plain Sight.
See a Drag Show
Austin’s oldest LGBTQ+ bar, Oilcan Harry’s, hosts nightly events and drag performances featuring some of the city’s most talented queens.
Take ’em Line Dancing
Take your boot-scooting baby for a spin at the Broken Spoke’s line-dancing nights.
This institution has been serving fried chicken and tunes since 1964, and there is even a small museum documenting its history.
Play games with each other physically, not mentally, at a video games bar or arcade.
Popular locations that have classic and new games include The Original Pinballz Arcade, Recess Arcade Bar, or Cidercade Austin.
The latter also does pizza and drinks.
Fore before you score at Punch Bowl Social!
Book a lane and drink beers or cocktails to improve your aim and chat.
Dare You To Darts
Who would have thought that darts would have a resurgence for couples’ date nights?
Clicks on Oltorf is a pool hall with darts boards or The Cavalier on Weberville is more a bar vibe.
Watch a Movie
Paramount Theatre has been entertaining couples on date night for over a century!
Today, visitors can purchase tickets for classic films, international documentaries, comedy shows, and theater.
Austin Film Society is the city’s only nonprofit theater that showcases community work.
Alternatively, various Alamo Drafthouses are showing the latest releases all over Austin.
Movie fans might want to visit during South by Southwest festival for its film schedule.
What about a live show?
You can book tickets for every genre, including drama, comedy, tragedy, and musical.
Check out what’s on at the Austin Playhouse, ZACH Theatre, and Hyde Park Theatre.
Fun dates in Austin should involve a laugh, which can be found at a comedy club.
See some stand-up at Capitol City Comedy Club or Comedy Mothership, which is owned by Joe Rogan.
If you prefer to be on stage, you can belt your lungs out at several karaoke lounges; what about a cute duo?
The Common Interest is an upbeat sing-along bar with food, Ego’s is a dive bar with nightly karaoke, and private rooms can be booked at Austin Karaoke.
If you are really trying to win over your longer-term date, consider booking a room or suite in one of the city’s most romantic hotels.
Day Trip Date Ideas
Go Chasing Waterfalls
Escape the city for the popular watering hole created by thousands of years of water erosion, Hamilton Pool Preserve.
Day passes to swim in the water by the 50-foot waterfall can be purchased online.
There are also several hiking trails around the 232-acre park.
Not quite a day trip, as you’ll need to stay overnight for dark skies, but stargazing is one of the more underrated date suggestions!
The following locations are known for their clear night sky opportunities: Enchanted Rock State Park (99 miles) and South Llano River State Park (146 miles).
Reimers Observation at Reimers Ranch Park, Dripping Spring, is another option for enthusiasts.
We stayed in a campervan at Big Bend National Park; the stars were like a magical blanket.
The Oasis at Lake Travis
One of the best date restaurants near Austin has a sunset viewing platform over Lake Travis.
The Oasis offers tiered decks and serves a menu including nachos and margaritas!
BBQ and Wine
What could be better than overindulging in tasty BBQ food?
Visiting vineyards to wash it all down with wine!
This half-day tour stops at the famous Salt Lick BBQ and two award-winning Texas wineries!
Which of the romantic dates in Austin will you go on? Let us know in the comments.