Ten things to do in Austin while you’re in town for Comms Week

BBQ festivals, haunted tours, craft breweries, art installations, and more: Here’s what you should do to make your business trip into a vacation expedition.

Austin, Texas

We can’t wait to welcome to Austin, the vibrant host city of the Future of Communications Conference! Make the most of your November visit by immersing yourself in Austin’s rich culture, savoring its culinary delights (hello, BBQ and bourbon), and experiencing its weird, arty side. Here are ten must-do activities to enhance your conference trip.

Texas Monthly BBQ Fest (Nov. 4-5)

Prepare your taste buds for a mouthwatering adventure at the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest, taking place in downtown Lockhart, just an hour from Austin. There, you’ll have the opportunity to attend live cooking demonstrations with seasoned pitmasters who have perfected their craft over generations.

Natural beauty

Calling all nature enthusiasts: Austin’s stunning natural spots are the perfect backdrop for your time at the Future of Communications Conference. Just a few steps from our host hotel is the Congress Avenue Bridge, where over a million bats take flight at dusk. Nearby, you’ll find Zilker Park, an ideal location for a morning stroll with breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake. A bit further afield outside the city is Hamilton Pool Preserve, a lush oasis boasting a stunning natural pool surrounded by lush greenery. And don’t miss out on the local favorite, Barton Springs Pool, where you can take a refreshing dip in the underground spring-fed waters that provide opportunities for year-round swimming.

Tour by kayak and bike

Take advantage of Austin’s beautiful November weather by exploring the outdoors by bike or kayak. Cruise through bike-friendly paths like the scenic Barton Creek Greenbelt, unearthing hidden gems and awe-inspiring nature. Then, embark on a water escapade by renting a kayak or paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake, giving you views of the city skyline from a fresh perspective.

Craft brews and distilleries

No trip to Austin is complete without a quick tour of a craft brewery or distillery. Tasting rooms near to the Future of Communications hotel include Standard Proof Whiskey, featuring rye and flavored whiskeys made in Nashville, Tenn. and the Stay Put Brewery, a dog-friendly brewpub featuring German-inspired drafts. Bonus: If you have an extra day, take a scenic drive to the Texas Hill Country and tour some of the region’s excellent wineries.

The Austin Film Festival (Oct. 26-Nov. 2)

Lights, camera, action! Book your trip a few days early and catch the final days of the Austin Film Festival to get a sneak peek of the most anticipated films of the year. This eight-day event, which transforms Austin into a haven for filmmakers and cinephiles alike, is known for its Q&As with top-tier directors and screenwriters.

Discover Texas history

Step into the past and immerse yourself in Austin’s rich history and the stories of Texas by exploring its historical sites. Start with a tour of the State Capitol building for its architectural significance,then explore the interactive exhibits and displays at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Austin is also home to the LBJ Presidential Library on campus at the University of Texas, where you can learn about the life and legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Austin Studio Tour (Nov. 4-5; Nov. 11-12; Nov. 18-19)

Taking place over three consecutive weekends, the Austin Studio Tour offers a rare opportunity to step into the inner sanctuaries of Austin-based artists. Immerse yourself in the creative workspaces of the local artists who transform the city into an interactive canvas.

South Congress Shopping

Step into Austin’s vintage paradise on South Congress (SoCo) Avenue. You’ll discover a collection of quirky boutiques, like Feathers Boutique and Triple Z ThreadZ, and vintage treasures sure to make your thrifting experience a nostalgic journey through time. Bonus: This is a vibrant and eclectic thoroughfare known for its delicious food trucks and lively music scene.

University of Texas Football (Nov 4.)

Immerse yourself in the time-honored football legacy of the University of Texas Longhorns as they take the field on November 4th, battling against Kansas State. Attending a Longhorns football game has a rich history with decades of history, tradition, and passionate fandom. You’ll be greeted with a sea of burnt orange regalia and time-honored rituals of school pride, such as the memorable chant and hand gesture of “Hook ’em Horns.”

Spooky Austin

Get ready for a bone-chilling adventure in Austin with spooky things to do that will send shivers down your spine! Embark on a chilling ghost tour through the haunted streets and learn about the legend of the “Woman in White,” a ghostly apparition said to roam the Driskill Hotel. If your arrival time is in October, you’ll have a chance to experience the Halloween event “Boo at the Zoo,” where the Austin Zoo transforms into a hauntingly fun nocturnal adventure. Explore the zoo in the dark (and in costume), complete with train rides, musical entertainment, and unlimited haunted house visits.


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