Cathedral of Junk – Quirky Outdoor Art Gallery

Looking for something completely different? Then head to the Cathedral of Junk in south Austin. This quirky outdoor art installation is the creation of Vince Hannemann, who has been adding to it for over 30 years. What started as a small collection of oddities in Hannemann’s yard has grown into a sprawling structure filled with everything from bicycle wheels to baby dolls to typewriters suspended from the “rafters.” It’s Austin weirdness at its finest. While it may not be an actual cathedral, the Cathedral of Junk has become a beloved local landmark. Hannemann gives guided tours daily, during which he shares the stories behind some of his favorite pieces. Prepare to be captivated by his passion. Visiting the Cathedral of Junk is completely free, though donations are appreciated. It’s located at 4422 Lareina Dr. in south Austin. Public transportation options are limited, so your best bet is grabbing an Uber, Lyft, or taxi to explore this funky work of art. An Austin party bus rental would be the perfect way to transport your group there in comfort and style.

Elisabet Ney Museum – Historic Studio & Gallery

For art lovers, a visit to the Elisabet Ney Museum is a must. This historic house museum is the former studio of 19th-century European sculptor Elisabet Ney. It contains her personal collection of sculptures, including busts of famous figures like Ludwig van Beethoven and King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The 1892 limestone Victorian house is an impressive building in its own right. You can see Ney’s busts, portrait medallions, and other works throughout the restored house. The centerpiece is her marble studio, where unfinished works still sit just as she left them upon her death in 1907. Through its architecture, decor, and grounds, the Elisabet Ney Museum provides a window into late 19th-century life. Guided tours give additional insight into Ney’s remarkable legacy as a trailblazing female artist. The Elisabet Ney Museum is located at 304 E. 44th St. in the Hyde Park neighborhood of central Austin. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Hamilton Pool Preserve – Natural Swimming Hole

On hot summer days, there’s no place in Austin cooler than Hamilton Pool Preserve. This natural wonder features a gorgeous grotto-style swimming hole complete with a 50-foot waterfall cascading into the turquoise waters below. Located about 30 minutes west of downtown Austin, Hamilton Pool was formed thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to erosion. Today, it’s part of a 232-acre nature preserve maintained by Travis County. Since Hamilton Pool is located along a creek, the water level rises dramatically after heavy rains. That means the preserve often closes temporarily following major storms. Be sure to check the website before your visit to ensure it’s open. When open, Hamilton Pool offers an oasis amid the Texas heat. Visitors can swim, wade through the creek, have a picnic, or simply appreciate the scenic views from the shoreline. Note that the parking lot has limited capacity, so arrive early – especially on summer weekends. Leashed pets are allowed in most areas of the preserve. To find this hidden swimming gem, plug the address 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd. into your preferred maps app. An Austin party bus makes it easy to travel to Hamilton Pool with a group.

Hope Outdoor Gallery – Quirky Graffiti Park

In 2013, a run-down apartment complex off Baylor Street was transformed into a colorful outdoor art space known as Hope Outdoor Gallery. Today, it’s home to the largest legal graffiti park in Texas. More than 100 street artists have contributed their talents over the years, covering the walls in vibrant murals. Some are abstract designs while others feature familiar pop culture icons. New pieces are constantly added, so it’s always evolving. Visitors are encouraged to unleash their inner artist and add some temporary graffiti using spray paint cans that are available on site. Just be sure to choose a fresh space instead of painting over existing artwork. It’s a fun way to get hands-on with the local street art scene. Admission to Hope Outdoor Gallery is free, making it a popular hangout for artists, tourists, and families alike. It’s located on the side of the building at 11th and Baylor Streets. As parking is limited, public transportation is recommended. A charter bus rental is the perfect hassle-free transportation option for groups.

Esther’s Follies – Long-Running Comedy & Magic Show

When it comes to entertainment, you can’t get more authentically Austin than Esther’s Follies. This vaudeville-style theater show has been making audiences laugh and delighting them with magic tricks for over 30 years. Esther’s Follies performers blend comedy sketches, musical numbers, and illusions into a fast-paced revue that satirizes current events, politics, and pop culture. Their hilarious takes on Texas politicians are especially popular with locals. With a new show produced every year, Esther’s Follies manages to stay fresh and relevant. It’s an Austin institution that first-timers won’t want to miss. The intimate theater setting makes you feel like part of the family. You’ll find Esther’s Follies in downtown Austin at 525 E. 6th Street. Matinee and kid’s discounts are available. For groups, consider an Austin charter bus rental to handle transportation hassle-free.

Bats Under Congress Bridge – Largest Urban Bat Colony

Each evening from March to November, more than 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin. This is the largest urban bat colony in North America! Locals and tourists gather on the bridge and along the shores of Lady Bird Lake to witness this amazing nightly phenomenon. The best viewing spots are near the Austin American-Statesman building and at the Austin Nature & Science Center dock. Arrive before sunset to watch the bats begin swirling out from under the bridge in black clouds as they head out to dine on insects. Their departure takes about an hour. Bring bug spray and a blanket or lawn chairs for seating. A fun outing for all ages! Congress Bridge is located on Congress Avenue over Lady Bird Lake just south of downtown. Public metered parking is available nearby, though spots fill up fast. For hassle-free group transportation, book an Austin party bus to catch the bat emergence.

McKinney Falls State Park – Scenic Hiking & Swimming

Just 12 miles from downtown Austin lies a scenic state park oasis known as McKinney Falls. It’s one of Austin’s best-kept secrets for outdoor recreation. McKinney Falls offers over 10 miles of hiking trails that wind through fields of wildflowers and along scenic Onion Creek. Cool off with a dip in the natural swimming hole beneath the two waterfalls that give the park its name. Have a picnic under the forest canopy or camp overnight in one of the park’s 97 campsites (reserve in advance). Wildlife you may spot includes gray foxes, armadillos, squirrels, and various bird species. Pack your swimsuit, hiking shoes, and sun protection and head out to McKinney Falls State Park for an easy nature escape from the city. You’ll find the park at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway off Highway 71 about 12 miles south of downtown Austin. Book an Austin party bus for convenient transportation for groups.

Plan Your Trip With Austin Party Bus Company

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Take your Austin adventure to the next level and unlock some of the city’s best-kept secrets. Our team handles the transportation details so you can simply sit back and soak up all the awesome. Call us today at 512-375-4204 to start planning an unforgettable trip to Austin’s most amazing hidden gems!