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Exploring Austin - Fun activities at the United States Grand Prix

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Discover insider information on the best things to do and see in Austin while at COTA

The United States Grand Prix is one of the most fun and lively races on the Formula 1 calendar. The atmosphere is unmatched and when the sessions are over, Austin is an incredible city to explore and take full advantage of.

Exploring Austin

Austin is a vibrant city with an incredible and unique culture and entertainment. Known as the "Live music capital of the world", Austin has everything from rich history, incredible food and live music at every corner. There are many things to do and see if you are visiting Austin for the Grand Prix. If you are attending the race and have factored in some time to explore the city, this comprehensive guide delves into the must see attractions that Austin has to offer.

Texas Capitol

The Texas Capitol

The Texas Capitol is a must see if you are visiting Austin for the first time. They offer a free thirty minute tour which teaches you about the history of the building and all the culturally significant events that take place there. You are allowed to take pictures and walk down the historic halls which completely immerses you in the tour. The tours run Monday to Friday from 9:30am - 3:30 pm and they depart every 30-45 minutes.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

The Bullock Texas State Museum has many artifacts, innovations and exhibitions for visitors to learn about the culture and history of Texas. Not only are there over 700 artifacts to view, but the museum is also home to the largest IMAX screen in the state. Here they play educational films varying from Secrets of the Sea to Flight of the Butterflies. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 10:00am - 5:00pm. The museum admission costs $13 (USD) for adults but if you plan on viewing a feature film, the cost may be $6-$15 (USD) more depending on the ticket chosen.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Austin - Zilker Metropolitan Park

The Zilker Metropolitan park is a very popular spot for tourists and even locals. Located in South Austin, the park serves as a hotspot for people to come and relax, play some sports on the fields or even enjoy a picnic lunch at the tables provided. Not only does the park offer a disc golf course, volleyball courts and playgrounds for children, but it also has a gorgeous botanical garden. There is no admission fee to enter the park or the garden.

Food & Drink Tour

Another great way to see the city and everything it has to offer is to go on a food and drink tour. Austin is known for its incredible BBQ as well as tacos! The best way to explore Austin’s popular sites is to do it with snacks along the way! You’ll learn about the authentic dishes served up in Austin and get to see much of the city. There are many different tours offered and prices range from $70- $150 (USD). The prices are dependent on the amount of stops included in the tours and the duration of the tour as well.

Live Music Venues

Dubbed the "Live music capital of the world" - there are numerous live music bars in Austin. It is a highlight for any tourist who is visiting the city - and one of Daniel Ricciardo’s favorite things about Austin! It is easy to look up the different bars that are having live music events as they are easily advertised online. Some of the popular ones are:

Elephant Room

The Continental Club

Antone’s Nightclub

The Hole in the Wall

The White Horse

Most bars don’t require an entrance fee, but depending on the performer or event, an extra charge may be implemented.

Rainey and Sixth Street

6th street austin

Sixth street is as close as you can get to being ‘distinctly’ Austin. The nightlife is lively and there are countless entertainment options to browse - whether it is live music or a comedy show, there is always something happening on Sixth Street. Rainey Street is another area that has a plethora of bars and activities to partake in. The live music scene is extraordinary with different venues hosting lots of local artists every night of the week. There are a number of restaurants serving typical Texan cuisine but there is also a variety of different cuisines to choose ranging from Dim Sum to Italian. Rainey Street and Sixth Street are definitely must see areas of Austin if you are visiting during the race weekend.

Looking for more on the United States Grand Prix?

If you're attending the United States GP now or in the future, we highly recommend starting with our "Know Before You Go" discussion for all the insider tips and tricks you need to maximize your experience, along with our other guides:

When you're finished, join the lively Grand Prix Travel community on FanAmp and Reddit to interact with fellow motorsports enthusiasts, ask questions, and gather valuable insights. There are even meetups at races around the world so you can spend time with new and old friends over food and drink.‍

And be sure to visit our trusted partner, F1 Destinations, for help with tickets and all things travel. They write excellent, in-depth guides on all aspects of each race.

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