Best Time to Visit Austin

Explore Austin, TX at its best! Find the ideal season for historic sights & vibrant live music scenes. Your guide to weather, events & avoiding the crowds.

Tobi Miles
July 16, 2024
Explore Austin, TX at its best! Find the ideal season for historic sights & vibrant live music scenes. Your guide to weather, events & avoiding the crowds.

Austin, the capital city of the state of Texas, known for its beautiful bluebird skies and eclectic live music culture, is regarded as the world's live music capital. For this, Austin experiences a great influx of visitors all year. What time of the year is best to visit Austin?

The best time to visit Austin is during spring, between March and May. Spring is a wonderful time for sightseeing, camping, and other outdoor activities. The temperature is perfect (with a monthly average of 69.3℉), and a great time for festivals. This period is ideal for concert goers as Austin usually buzzes with musical activities during spring.

Playing host to over 30 million visitors and fun-seekers yearly, Austin is quite popular for being a crowd pleaser as there is something for everybody in Austin.

With almost 300 musical events happening each year, it is permissible to call Austin the "City of Celebrations." Thinking of visiting Austin soon, this guide will help you with all that needs to be known while making your visitation plans.

When is The Worst Time to Visit Austin?

The worst time to visit Austin is in summer. Other cities in the United States experience a lot of buzz in activities during summer. Austin, however, is different. It can get scorching hot in summer, particularly from June through August.

August is the hottest time of the year, and temperatures on average are usually around 90°F and, in some extreme conditions, can get higher than 100°F. Austinites do not seem to be phased by this, but it can get harsh for visitors who are not used to hot weather.

What is the Cheapest Time to Visit Austin?

The cost of visiting Austin varies by season; however, the cheapest time to visit is July and August. Hotel and food prices are significantly lower during this period due to a low influx of customers.

August is usually peak summer, and the weather might be too hot. However, you wouldn't be spending as much as you would have spent at other times of the year.

Also, if you do not like crowded gatherings, this would be a plus —as visitors usually shy away from Austin during this period. If you are hell-bent on visiting Austin, you can take advantage of this time of the year to fulfil your wishes.

Related Read: 28 Romantic Getaways in Austin

Best Weather and Popular Activities in Austin: Monthly Breakdown

Austin is an all-around destination. There is always a perfect reason to visit the beautiful city at different times and seasons of the year. We've curated details on each month of the year and activities you might likely want to sign up for when visiting.

January: Ice Skating

January is the right time to head out to Austin with family and friends for the best Ice Skating experience.

This time of the month is as cold as it can get in Austin; still, the average temperature is 64.4°F. Snow or freezing temperatures are generally rare in Texas as a whole. Sunshine is abundant compared to other regions.

This weather provides the perfect conditions for going out and engaging in ice skating as a sporting activity or a form of recreation.  Imagine spending hours at the skating rinks, having fun on the ice, and then stepping outside to find the sun still up there; it feels very good.

Skating rinks in Austin provide equipment and tutors for visitors who are still learning and those trying ice skating for the first time.

There are lots of locations to catch some ice skating fun in Austin. You can check out these:

  • Chaparral Ice Center (Northcross Austin)
  • Whole Foods Market Rooftop Rink (Lamar, Austin)

February: Experience The Austin Marathon

One activity to look out for in February of every year is the famous Austin Marathon, also called The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. By this time, winter is already waning out, and more people are stepping outside.

The weather in February, however, can be tricky, sometimes it's warm days with a lot of sunshine, and sometimes you get cool days with some rain. Visitors coming into town should bring a wide range of clothes that can cater to warm, cold or rainy weather as the weather is unpredictable.

Do not forget to come with your sunglasses and sunscreen. The Austin Marathon is one you wouldn't want to miss, either as a spectator or competitor.

The Austin Marathon is an unforgettable experience for visitors as it allows them to explore all the innermost places they might not have ordinarily thought of visiting. Some of the locations the Austin Marathon will run through:

  1. 2nd Street and Congress Avenue (start point)
  2. Downtown
  3. Colorado River
  4. SoCo
  5. Hyde Park
  6. East Austin
  7. University of Texas Austin campus
  8. 9th and Congress Avenue (Endpoint)

Other events that take place in Austin in February include:

  • Texas Union Film Festival (TUFF)
  • No Idea Festival

March: South by Southwest (SXSW)

The main highlight of March is the South by Southwest (SXSW). This festival showcases exceptional performances in music and comedy, tech exhibitions and networking opportunities, film screenings, and professional development.

There is a considerable rise in temperature in March, with the average high getting to 71.6°F and an average low of 51.8°F. With the temperature rise, there is increased traffic outside as people finally look to connect again over food, games, and music.

The SXSW festival lasts for ten days, and it is a chance to catch up on many recent trends in pop culture with showcases, interviews, and live performances. More than 2,000 bands from all over the world perform at SXSW on about 100 stages in Central Austin.

As an intending visitor to Austin, we advise that you book flight tickets and accommodation as far back as possible to get them at good prices. Many people will be coming into town, and service providers will likely hike their prices to make the most of the situation.

Asides from SXSW, some other key events that will take place during this period are:

  • ABC Kite Fest
  • Rodeo Austin
  • Zilker Kite Festival
  • Austin Urban Music Festival

Related Read: 40 BEST Things to Do in Waco, TX

April: The Bluebonnet Festival

April offers one of the best weather for outdoor fun lovers. With an average high of 80.6°F and a low of 59°F, visitors would want to take advantage of this favorable weather to attend The Bluebonnet Festival.

This festival attracts over 30,000 fun seekers annually, and with each year comes new activities added to the festival. This is done to spice things up for Bluebonnet Festival frequents and make it even more surprising for first-timers.

This Bluebonnet Festival, which takes place on the second weekend of each February, is perfect for visiting families. There are activities especially for kids, activities for adults, and even some available for everybody. This festival community also permits coming with pets.

The month of April in Texas is also a good time for camping, the heat isn't harsh, and it doesn't rain much. Another event that takes place in April is:

  • Old Settler's Music Festival

May: Bullock Texas State History Museum

May is a perfect time to visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the official history museum of the state of Texas. Visitors to Austin never miss a chance to delve into the heart of beautiful Texas.

This museum was opened in 2001 to allow visitors and residents alike to understand what it took for Texas to become the great state it is today. Visitors to the museum are treated to a rich exhibition of over 700 artifacts that make up Texan culture.

A visit to the Bullock Texas State History Museum will help people understand its amazing diversity and beautiful landscape.

The month of May in Austin experiences the most rain, with a mix of warmth and sunshine. Temperature levels get as high as 86°F in the afternoon, so pack a lot of light clothing, an umbrella, and sunglasses.

Some other events and activities that could interest you in May are:

  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Pecan Street Festival
  • Renegade Craft Fair
  • Lone Star Jam
  • Deutschen Pfest

June: Go Hiking on Fantastic Trails

One of the major reasons why countryside explorers have found Austin a choice destination is because of its abundance of fantastic hiking trails.

Austin boasts a large network of hiking trails stretching east to west and from north to south.  Fortunately, the heat doesn't start kicking in until July, so June is the best month for hiking in Austin.

For starters who cannot hike a long distance, Mount Bonnell is the best hiking trail as it only covers 0.5 miles. This hiking trail is located in Northwestern Austin, on elevated land where hikers can get a breath-taking view of the Colorado River.

Another must-try hiking trail in Austin is St. Edwards Park. Also located in Northwestern Austin, St. Edwards Park stretches across a 3-mile area covered with Cacti. Creek and Hill trails are St. Edwards Park's most popular, offering different amusing experiences.

The Barton Creek Greenbelt hiking trails are the most popular in Austin. This trail is so perfect it provides hikers with a shade that makes one feel like it is the countryside. It is a favorite among Austinians, and all the courses in Barton Creek Greenbelt lead to naturally beautiful parts of Austin.

Other hiking trails to explore in Austin includes:

  • Violet Crown Trail
  • McKinney Falls State Park
  • Lady Bird Lake
  • Hamilton Pool Preserve Trail
  • Mayfield Nature Preserve

July: Visit Breweries and Distilleries

Austin is home to many breweries and distilleries. It offers an endless experience of enjoying unique products from Texas's best breweries and distilleries. July is a good time to get around town and taste the country's best beers and spirit drinks.

Breweries and distilleries in Austin are very receptive. They offer visiting customers a taste of some of their limited drinks accompanied by food and live music.

You might want to check out some of these:

  • Garrison Brothers Distillery
  • Deep Eddy
  • Leanderthal Distilling
  • Central District Brewing
  • Hi Sign Brewing

August: Sightseeing at The Texas Capitol

The pink dome of The Texas Capitol is one of Austin's major Landmarks. If you visit Austin in August, you're just in time to behold The  Capitol in its full glory, and sightseeing is free.

The weather is very clear in August; there won't be any rain or thunderstorms so you will get a good viewing experience at The Capitol; however, keep some sunscreen and sunglasses in hand because it can get really hot.

Other events taking place in August include:

  • Austin Hot Sauce Festival
  • Capital City Black Film Festival
  • Austin Ice Cream Festival
  • Bat Fest

Related Read: 15 Best Texas Waterfalls

September: Nightlife at The Continental Club

In a city regarded as the world's live music capital, who wouldn't want to party in a nightclub referred to as the "granddaddy of them all," the granddaddy of Austin music venues?

Not The Cobras, Double Trouble, Wanda Jackson, or Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. All these big industry names had all partied all performed at the Continental Club in their prime.

Visiting Austin in September when the heat has reduced, and Autumn is slowly creeping in, there is no better time to want to turn up at The Continental Club than this. The city of Austin recognizes The Continental Club as a historic landmark in the region. The Continental Club offers one of the best nightlife in the country; only Vegas' nightlife could come close.

Some of the events to look out for in September when visiting are:

  • Texas Craft Brewers Festival
  • Austin Music Video Festival

October: Austin City Limits Music Festival

Autumn is officially ushered in with one of Austin City's most iconic festivals, The Austin City Limits Music Festival.

If you want to give yourself a treat to the best autumn break that can be gotten in America at this time of the year, then Austin is where it's at. The Austin City Limits Music Festival is held in early October for two weekends, drawing thousands worldwide.

This festival in Zilker park features live music from over 130 bands of various genres, family-friendly activities, and exquisite local eats.

Other events that would come up in October are:

  • MondoCon
  • Austin Days of the Dead
  • Austin Film Festival

November: Austin Food and Wine Festival

Held annually at Auditorium shores, Austin, the Austin Food and Wine Festival (usually written as AF+W) is one of the biggest food festivals in America.

If you plan on visiting Austin in November this year, make sure you do not miss this celebration of wine, spirits, cuisine, and music. The festival's next edition will take place on November 5, 2022, its 10th anniversary, and it's expected to be the biggest edition ever held.

Admission into the festival grounds is by tickets. One ticket bought for the festivals will admit you for three days it will be held.

Some events that will take place in November are:

  • Austin Celtic Festival
  • East Austin Studio Tour

December: Best Time to Enjoy The Holidays

The Christmas spirit in Austin is usually very high hence why December is the best time to enjoy the holidays.

Winter in Austin is not the same as in colder cities in America. The temperature is typically around 60.8°F and 66.2°F, and it rarely gets cold —this makes it possible for residents to go about with their year-round festive spirit.

The energy around the city in December is always buzzing and can be overwhelming to a stranger, albeit very interesting. The spirit of companionship and comradeship usually reignited in the city at this time.

You might want to follow up with some of these events when visiting in December:

  • Austin Trail of Lights
  • Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Best Time for Visiting Austin to Avoid Crowds

The best time to visit Austin to avoid crowds is in summer (anytime between July and August).

At this time of the year, the temperature in Austin has risen; tourists and party revelers tend to avoid this period due to the heat. So if you're looking for a time to drop by in town, especially for sightseeing when there are no crowds, this is the best time.

Is December a Good Time to Visit Austin?

Yes, absolutely. December is a good time to visit Austin, especially if you have friends or family in the city.

The city is usually buzzing and in high spirits because of the Christmas break and festivities that come with it. However, the downside to visiting in December is that travel fares might skyrocket, but it is the same everywhere in December.

When is The Best Time to Visit Austin With Family?

The best time to visit Austin with Family is in April. The weather in Austin during this time is very friendly, the temperature is mild, not harsh heat or cold, and it rains a little.

The Bluebonnet Festival is another factor that makes April a perfect time to visit Austin with family. The festival is packed with activities that appeal to every age. It is the ideal family-themed festival.

Related Read: 25 BEST Things To Do In San Antonio, TX With Kids

How Many Days Should You Spend in Austin?

To fully enjoy the goodies Austin offers, visitors need about three days. It can be more, but it shouldn't be less.

Three days in Austin is enough to sample a bit of all the city offers. In these three days, you can go shopping, attend musical events, visit The Capitol, Museum and even go wine tasting.

However, if you visit Austin to attend a festival that requires more than days, you might want to stay longer.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
July 16, 2024 11:05 AM

Tobi Miles is a University of Florida graduate turned globe-trotting culinary explorer and digital nomad expert. As the founder of "Bytes & Bites," he combines his passion for international cuisine with practical advice on remote work, inspiring others to experience the world through food and cultural immersion. With 32 countries under his belt and a knack for uncovering hidden culinary gems, Tobi is redefining the intersection of work, travel, and gastronomy for a new generation of adventurers.

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