With so many spots to visit and so little time, Austin can sometimes feel like an overwhelming city.
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That said, we are about halfway through the summer now, and that's not me trying to be a downer, it's me simply trying to remind you that now is the time to do all the things you promised yourself you would do at the beginning of the season.
So take that long romantic walk, take that drive out in nature, and visit that museum that you've been meaning to see. While you're at it, don't forget to check out these "secret" places in Austin that are sure to put a smile on her face.
1. Take her on a swan pedal boat tour
Where: Capital Cruises // 208 Barton Springs Road
I've always said that there is something inexplicably romantic about water. That's why any date involving being on the water or by the water is bound to be super romantic. Take her on a pedal boat for the most quintessentially cute date she will remember and appreciate for a long time.
2. Visit a beautiful garden full of majestic peacocks
Where: Mayfield Park
This historic gardens and cottage in west Austin is not only a nature preserve where you can go to spot peacocks but also there's a bluff overlooking Lake Austin. So you can sit and enjoy the beautiful view.
3. Take her on a date to an old-school arcade
Where: Pinballz Austin
For the perfect no-fail fun date option, take your GF to an arcade. This one is especially great because it's got that old school vibe that will make the whole date even more nostalgic and cute.
4. Grab a drink at a modern speak-easy style bar
Where: Midnight Cowboy
Sometimes you got to hunt a little bit for the spots in a city that fly under the radar. Check out this speak-easy style bar if you want to take her out for a special evening of drinks and music.
5. Challenge each other to a classic game of mini golf
Where: Peter Pan Mini Golf
Nothing like a little healthy competition to drive romance and attraction. Dates that involve actually doing something are actually the best though. SO much pressure is taken off. So why not bring her to Peter Pan Mini Golf for a round or two.
6. Visit a unique "urban winery" for a wine tasting
Where: Infinite Monkey Theorem
This winery is unlike any other. It regularly hosts social gatherings and food truck events. This can be a great spot to bring someone who loves to eat good food and drink good wine.
7. Escape to nature and visit Barton Creek Greenbelt
Where: 3755 S Capital of Texas HYW
The Barton Creek Greenbelt consists of three areas, the Lower Greenbelt, the Upper Greenbelt and the Barton Creek Wilderness Park and is best known for its large limestone cliffs, dense foliage, and shallow bodies of water that are perfect for taking a dip in the summer.
8. Watch the sunset at The Oasis Restaurant
Where: 6550 Comanche Trail
There is something so inherently romantic and special about watching the sunset with your main squeeze. Take your girlfriend to The Oasis, it's a spot known for its large patio perfect for watching the sunset.
9. Sip on a bloody mary at the Shady Grove patio
Where: 1624 Barton Springs Rd,
This little gem is the perfect spot for a long Saturday afternoon of hanging out, drinking, and eating. Bring your girlfriend when you're looking for something laid-back to do on the weekend.
10. Walk around the quirky boutiques in South Congress
Where: South Congress Avenue
The neighborhood of South Congress in Austin attracts lots of foot traffic because it's known for its hip boutiques, live show venues, and vibrant restaurants. It's the perfect spot to laze away a Saturday afternoon just walking around and enjoying the sights and people.
11. Go dog watching at Red Bud Isle Park
Where: 3401 Redbud Trail
If you're a special lady is a lover of dogs, then she will love a dog-watching date. What's even better is this dog park is beautifully located on a lake. Watch the dogs splash around and swim. Never a dull moment.
12. Visit and take amazing photos at the HOPE outdoor gallery
Where: 1101 Baylor St
This unique outdoor community park is known for its colorful and bold murals. If your girl loves to take pictures, this is the spot to bring her, these murals make for an awesome photo backdrop.
13. Dip your toes in the peaceful West Bouldin Creek
Where:1200 S 6th St
If your lady is the outdoors type who would rather take a walk in nature on the weekend rather than stay in the city, then this is the place for her. This popular trail is only one mile long and is the perfect length hike for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
14. Share a Riverdale-style milkshake at Nau's Enfield Drug
Where: 1115 W Lynn St
This old-timey drug store looks like it came straight out of a time machine. The nostalgic vibes are perfect and super Instagram worthy. This spot serves classic diner-style food like burgers and shakes, so take your girlfriend on a throw-back date she will never forget.
15. Swim in the emerald waters of the Hamilton Pool Preserve
Where: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd
Although this spot is not technically located in Austin, it's only a 1-hour drive away and totally worth it when you see the bright emerald green water. It's a perfect spot to take your girlfriend when the city is too hot and you're in need of the healing power of nature.
16. Visit The Falkenstein Castle
Where: 7400 Park Rd 4 S, Burnet
This castle literally looks like it came out of a fairy tale, no wonder it's home to countless weddings all summer long. Both the inside and outside are open to visits from the public.
17. Grab a drink at classic dive bar Dirty Bills
Where: 511 Rio Grande St
This bar is the definition of a hidden gem, if dive bars are your thing. Dirty Bills is a cozy and dimly lit bar, mostly playing rock tunes and boats a seriously unpretentious vibe and laid-back vibe.
18. Take a tour of Casa Neverlandia
Where: 305 W Milton St
Casa Neverlandia is one of these places that would definitely make it onto a "Weirdest Homes in America" show. The funny part is someone actually lives in this massive three-story wonderland. But he has graciously opened his unique house to the public for tours.
19. Visit the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum
Where: 605 Azie Morton Rd
This outdoor sculpture garden is located in the Zilker neighborhood of Austin and the garden is conveniently located next to Austin's Zilker Park. This is a quirky and fun spot to bring your girlfriend to hang out and visit during a weekend afternoon.
20. Go for a dip at the Hippie Hallow Park
Where: 7000 Comanche Trail
Warning: this park is NSFW. Meaning that this spot is known as the "nudist beach" of Austin. If you're looking to do something a little different with your free-spirited girl, why not go for a dip at Hippie Hallow Park.
21. Channel your inner kid by visiting Toy Joy
Where: 403 W 2nd St
Toy Joy is a massive toy store filled with all kinds of fun toys, gadgets, and candies to sample and play with. Bring your girlfriend around and buy her a cute stuffed animal. I promise, she will love it.
22. Pretend it's Christmas all year round at Lala's Bar
Where: 2207 Justin Ln
Every city has a Christmas-themed bar where it's perpetually Christmas all-year-round. If you're looking for a unique place to grab a drink, this just might be the place to ho, ho, ho.
23. Enjoy some greenery and spot animals at Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
Where: 24814 Hamilton Pool Rd
This animal conservatory is a great place to bring a date who loves animals. It's kind of like going to the zoo, but better! There are different areas of the park that opens to tours every day, check out their website for more info on admission prices and tour times.
24. Grab an NYC style slice at Little Deli & Pizzeria
Where: 7101 Woodrow Ave
Nothing like grabbing a casual slice to end a date, or to kick one off. This little hidden gem has rave reviews and serves-up one of the best NYC-style slices around.
25. Visit Emma Long Metropolitan Park for a summer dip
Where: 1600 City Park Rd
This lovely municipal park is located in the north of Austin on the banks of Lake Austin. It's a great spot for a cute and outdoorsy-style summer date with your special girl.
26. Visit Volente Beach waterpark for very special movie viewing
Where: 16107 FM 2769, Leander
If you want to be outside but the thought of lazing around a beach or park bores you to death, why not hit up Volente Beach only 30-minutes outside Austin for a totally unique movie viewing experience!
27. Take her on a hike at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
Where: 805 N Capital of Texas Hwy
This is another great spot to go if you and your girl love nature and being outdoors. This area has a lot of great shorter and easy hikes to go on with amazing views at the top.
28. Book a special night in one of the most romantic hotels in the city
Where: Hotel Ella
This cozy boutique hotel is located in a historic mansion in Austin. So if you're looking to take your girlfriend someone really special, a night in this hotel will definitely be a memorable one.
29. Take her to a drive-in movie for a special night
Where: Blue Starlite Austin
Hang out and cuddle in the back of your car while watching a movie. You can bring your own snacks and popcorn. Doesn't get much better than that!
30. Watch the sunset from the Ladybird Lake Boardwalk
Where: Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake has an incredible walking trail and elevated boardwalk you can walk along and enjoy the view of the lake, city, and sunset all summer long. Take your girlfriend on that long romantic walk you've been meaning to go on all summer.