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How to Spend $1,000 on a Vacation in Austin

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Planning to visit Austin for your next vacation and having difficulty deciding on what to do with your $1000 budget? We've got you covered.

The vibrant city of Austin is totally worth a visit for everything that it has to offer. Be it relaxation, fun, adventure, Austin has it all. You will get plenty of activities to do during your stay and to spend the perfect vacation you have been eagerly waiting to spend alone or with your loved ones. 'The Live Music Capital of the World' and its vibe will keep you occupied with all the music and Austin food specialties.

This article will not only guide you through the must-see attractions and must-do activities, but also will help you get value for money for what you spend. So, here's a list of 9 activities to do with a budget of $1000 and to make the most of your time in Austin.

Take a Segway Tour to Capitol of Texas (From $70)

Segways Provide Easy Transportation for Tourists Visiting Texas State Capitol

What better way to explore some of Austin's spectacular landmarks than a Segway tour? This is an excellent, one-of-a-kind sightseeing option to discover some of the highlights in the city, including the Texas State Capitol. You will tour with a small group (up to a maximum of 10 people) and will get a professional to guide you along the way. The whole tour will take approximately two hours.

Capitol building, aerial skyline, sunset, Austin, TX, Texas State Capital

The tour will commence at the Texas State Capitol, where you will get to explore the building for 15 minutes. Make sure you appreciate the finer details of the building. Also make the most of your time at 6th Street, the bustling entertainment venue with lots of bars and restaurants to get a feel of the vibe of the 'Live Music Capital of the World' and at the Moody Theater, a world-class music venue, home to 'Austin City Limits'.

Stevie Ray Vaughn Memorial Statue along the river in Down Town Austin, Texas, USA

The tour will also make stops at the statues of the famous Austin's music legends; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson for you to snap some selfies. You get to visit the Austin Central Library, which is a public library located in downtown Austin and enjoy views of the Lady bird Lake from the building. The tour is not over yet. You will visit Congress Avenue to get magnificent views of the sunset and the Auditorium Shores, where you will end your Segway tour. At the Auditorium Shores, relax and watch the amazing skyscrapers and the majestic skyline.


Go on the Lady Bird Lake Bike Tour in Austin (From $60)

Austin Texas skyline. The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake

You shouldn't miss Lady Bird Lake while in Austin. Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir, which flows through downtown Austin and it is a beautiful lake. Best way to enjoy lake views is to take a bike tour around the lake. The tour will take approximately 2 hours and you get to ride along the 'Anne and Roy Butler Bike and Hike Trail' or the 'Lady Bird Lake Trail', however you may call it. As you ride, you will be able to view the various skyscrapers of Austin and more importantly you can enjoy a traffic free ride while soaking in the magnificent views of Lady Bird Lake.

Zilker Park and Town Lake Aerial Drone view above Austin Texas Skyline Landscape

This tour is not just a bike tour. It will take you to Zilker Metropolitan Park, where you get to spend approximately 20 minutes. Zilker Metropolitan Park is a 350 acre recreational park home to many attractions including Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Botanical Gardens with themed gardens. It is the perfect place for you to relax a little bit and to enjoy a little bit of fresh air. Spend some time exploring the surroundings of Zilker Metropolitan Park, which hosts the 'Austin City Limits Music Festival' to get a feel of what the 'Live Music Capital of the World' is really like.

Looking across the Barton Springs Swimming Hole Turquoise Blue clear Spring water natural summer escape

The best part of the bike tour is the visit to the Barton Springs Pool, where you could take a quick dip in the natural springs to cool off. The clear water will tempt you to take a dip in. This tour will end at the Congress Avenue Bridge, where you could watch about 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take off to the night sky to feed themselves.

Take a Skyline Kayak Tour (From $70)

Boating on Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin

If you are willing to get into the water and get a little wet, this guided tour is designed especially for you. This is an exciting and adventurous tour whether you are a first-timer or an expert in kayaking. You will thoroughly enjoy this tour of the magnificent Lady Bird Lake and learn a little bit of history and a lot about the architectural facts of Austin's skyscrapers. Make sure to get a glimpse of Austin Public Library, a number of hotels, and Austin City hall while you kayak on Lady Bird Lake.

Austin, Texas skyline, Lady Bird Lake and Congress Avenue Bridge

You don't have to worry too much about safety as you will be given lessons and you will be informed of safety instructions. However, remember to wear appropriately, ideally swimwear or anything suitable for kayaking. More importantly, you just make sure to enjoy every bit of this tour.

Take the Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour (From $70)

Waiting for the Bats, Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin, Texas

This kayak tour is just for those who do not want to get cramped up on the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bat show. After a two hour kayak tour witnessing the various buildings, their architectural value and the majestic skyline, you will be heading towards the Congress Avenue Bridge to witness the grand show of bats.

Austin bats flying from Congress Av. Bridge in 3 columns

You will get the best view of millions of bats flying away to the sky, unlike on the Congress Avenue Bridge and the good thing is that you don't have to fight for a good spot. From the kayak you will be able to clearly see the bats take off, rather than from the Congress Avenue Bridge. It is quite a dramatic scene to watch these bats from the water and approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take off to the night sky.

Aerial View of Downtown Austin Skyline with the Congress Avenue Bridge

Apart from the bat watching, you will also be able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the buildings with the night lights across the lake and the reflection of the buildings which are lit on the water as if they are merging.

Go on the Barton Creek Mountain Biking Tour (From $140)

Austin Greenbelt Overlook with Dry Summer Barton Creek

Are you the adventurous type? Then the Barton Creek Mountain Biking Tour is for you. This is a 4-hour tour packed with adventurous activities including cycling and swimming. You will absolutely love riding along the Barton Creek Greenbelt with beautiful surroundings and mesmerizing views. You will be provided with the necessary equipment including bikes and helmets and you will be guided by a professional.

Barton Creek leading into Downtown Austin Texas

You could also take a dip in the creek along the way to refresh yourself and escape from the hot sun. Keep in mind to take water and snacks in case you need any and to wear appropriate shoes and attire.

Take part in Downtown Austin Scavenger Hunt Adventure (From $20.52)

Colorful Shops and Restaurants in Downtown Austin Texas USA

If you are visiting Austin with some friends or with your loved ones this is a fun thing to do. Usually, you don't get to take part in these types of fun activities when you are on vacation, but when in Austin it is possible! The Austin Scavenger Hunt Adventure will take you on an unforgettable adventure for sure.

Downtown Austin at Night on Sixth Ave

You will get to take part in a 3-hour adventure exploring and discovering Austin's well-known and little-known history and sites and solving clues and challenges altogether. You are required to solve these clues using a smartphone and you can go on this Scavenger Hunt Adventure in groups of 2-5 participants. This is also an excellent way to learn a bit about Austin and its history. While you are on the hunt for clues, you can enjoy authentic Austin cuisine and play according to your own pace. If you are traveling with kids, do not miss this activity as they will thoroughly enjoy every bit of the adventure.

Take the Austin Murder Walk (From $45)

The Driskill Hotel, at the corner of 6th St and Brazos St, is a historic landmark hotel in Austin, Texas

For those of you who love to dig into facts and theories of murders and crime scenes, this is something you should book. Where else would you get to go on a walking tour to solve the unsolved mysteries of the past? You will learn about the serial killers of America, especially about the first serial killer known as the 'Midnight Assassin'. You will be guided on a walking tour to Driskill Hotel where the guide will explain facts about the 'Servant Girl Annihilator'. Then you will visit 6th Street, where you get to view old photographs of how the street was during the times the murders took place. The tour also features a visit to the Speakeasy Tavern and here you get to go deep into facts relating to the suspect of the 'Servant Girl's Murder'. You will enjoy this tour as your curiosity increases as you move along with the tour.

Take the Austin Food Tour(From $85)

Texas Style Barbecue Pit

Your vacation is incomplete without a food tour and you will undoubtedly regret not tasting Austin's authentic food while on vacation. Austin has a lot to offer in terms of food and drinks and what fun about enjoying live music without food and drinks? So, if you are a foodie lover, you should definitely take this tour and you will be treated a little extra with live music.

This is a 3-hour tour to get a taste of Austin food specialties. You will be taken on a full tour, where you will visit local establishments for tastings and beverages. Here you will get the local favorites like BBQ brisket to banana-leafed-wrapped tamales.

Get a Private Party Boat Rental (From $575)

Sunset Cruise Partyboat on Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

This 2-hour private party boat ride will leave you with a luxurious experience. This is an ideal way to spend your time with your family and friends and to have some fun and relaxation.

It's actually a private party in a paddleboat on the water of Lady Bird Lake while exploring the city of Austin. There are a few options depending on your preferences and party size. The paddle pub accommodates 16 passengers in total and has 12 peddling stations together with a large backbench. A party atmosphere is created in the boat with sounds and lighting. You can bring your own snacks and drinks and enjoy them while partying. You will enjoy the ride and this will give you a different kind of an experience from other activities. This is the best way to end your vacation after exploring the best of Austin.

In Conclusion

Austin Texas skyscrapers skyline aerial at sunset from helicopter

The city of Austin has a lot to offer to everyone. But we know for sure that it is extremely difficult to pick and choose the best activities out of many in line with your budgets. The whole purpose of this article was to give you insights as to how careful spending can be done and to get value for money. The highlights include the Segway Tour of the Texas State Capitol and visits to many more significant landmarks, Lady Bird Lake Bike Tour to treat yourself to mesmerizing views and surroundings, Kayaking Tour to enjoy Austin's majestic skyline views, Barton Creek Mountain Biking Tour for some adventure, Austin Murder Walk Tour to dig into old murder scenes, Austin Food Tour to enjoy authentic Austin food and drinks and the Private Party Boat Tour to get a luxurious experience.

You will get maximum value for money for the $1000 you spend on these activities without a doubt. If you found this article to be interesting please don't hesitate to share it with your friends. If you'd like to read more about things to do in Austin we have another article on the "10 Best Things to Do in Austin." There is of course some overlap, but if you're looking to make up your mind, that article may serve you well. Enjoy your trip!

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