Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to our veterans and active military members; we are grateful for your service.
After searching high and low, we have found some amazing ways to celebrate Memorial Day weekend in downtown Austin. Whether you want to squeeze in lots of quality time with the family or spend a night out on the town with friends, we have you covered. Get ready for some fun exploring our great city!
Take a Tour on Lady Bird Lake
Get active and learn something new by taking a standup paddleboard tour with Austin Rowing Club. Tour focus on the landmarks and marvels of downtown Austin visible from the water or on the bats that live under the Congress Avenue bridge. Learn more and book your tour!
If water isn’t your thing, you can use your land legs to hop on a bike and explore downtown art and green spaces with our free Art & Parks tour for a few hours of fun.
Catch Some Live Music
Spend your Memorial Day enjoying one of the best parts of Austin, the live music! Daydream Twins are performing at Mohawk on Monday night, Michael Mordecai’s Monday Night Jazz Jam is taking over the Elephant Room, Antone’s is having Blue Monday with Soul Man Sam, Lindsay Beaver and Brad Stivers and Gunhild Carling will be at Parker Jazz Club to round out your Memorial Day options.
Take Eater Austin’s Hollywood Food Tour
Eater Austin published a list of restaurants in Austin that have been featured on movies and shows. The list contains multiple downtown restaurants that you can visit and where you can grab a bite. Our favorite downtown spots include:
- Austin Chili Parlor on Lavaca Street made it into Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 film Death Proof. You can sit at the same bar where Tarantino himself served drinks, and Kurt Russell picked up his victims. However, we recommend calling a rideshare instead hitching a ride home with any suspicious characters.
- The Austin Club on 9th Street was the backdrop for a shootout in the 2010 True Grit remake by the Coen brothers. The setting was perfect since the establishment is Austin’s oldest private dining club.
- The Driskill on Brazos Street was not only in Sandra Bullock’s popular 2000 film, Miss Congeniality but also in the Western series, The Son. The hotel lobby and artwork is uniquely Austin; you can also dine at the bar and cafe.
- Roppolo’s Pizzeria on 6th Street was in a scene from Drew Berrymore’s film, Whip It. This local business is a favorite for late-night downtown visitors craving their huge slices.
Catch a Favorite Flick
Violet Crown Cinemas in the 2nd Street District features independent films, documentaries, international films and studio films. Enjoy snacks or a pizza with your popcorn, and don’t forget you get four hours of free parking validation with your ticket purchase.
The Paramount is kicking off its Summer Classic Film Series just in time for the holiday weekend! Featured films this weekend include Casablanca, Heat, The Neverending Story, Jaws and Cinema Paradiso. Catch the schedule here.
Take in Some Culture
The Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus just opened their new grounds this month. Check out the stunning new interactive grounds and visit Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin building with its luminous-colored glass windows while you are there.
The Mexic-Arte Museum has an incredible rotation of exhibits going and admission and tours are free on Sundays!
Tour the State Capitol and learn more about Texas, its history and the building’s art and architecture. On a nice day, the grounds make the perfect spot for a picnic. The Capitol is open on Monday and has materials available for self-guided tours. The Capitol Visitors Center has a replica made of LEGO bricks of the 1888 Statehouse.
The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center currently features exhibits Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing With Lightning / Rivalizando Con El Relámpago and Host: Celeste. You can end your visit on their beautiful rooftop to soak in the sunshine and beautiful views. Reservations are required.
Shop Local in the 2ND Street District
Whether you’re looking for a local toy store, somewhere to find a great gift for yourself or anyone else, new shoes or even some cool furniture, you can find something great on 2nd Street and support a local business! If you get hungry or thirsty on your stroll down 2nd Street, there is a myriad of restaurants and watering holes to choose from. Check out the district’s business directory to learn more about all the great options.
Whether you want to settle into a comfy chair at a theater or float on top of Lady Bird Lake, there is always something fun to do downtown! If you need a way to get here, check out our transportation guide, Getting Around. We hope you have a safe, fun Memorial Day and enjoy your long weekend.