A Local’s Guide to Austin, Texas – How to Spend Your Free Time During the ADSO Annual Meeting

Originally created for the 2018 ADSO Summit in Austin. Updated in March 2022 for the 2022 ADSO Summit in Austin, TX. 

Austin is proudly known for many things: self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World,” #1 Place to Live in the US, home of world-class BBQ, and host of SXSW and ACL Music Festival.  Whatever your interests may be, Austin has it!  Here is a list of some favorite attractions, activities, tours, night life, live music, shopping, festivals, dining options, golf, spectator sports, and websites for use during your stay.

Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail – downtown walking/jogging/biking along the lake
Zilker Park – great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors near downtown
Lake Austin – rent kayaks/canoes and explore downtown from the water
Congress Ave Bridge / Mexican Free Tailed Bats – gather at dusk to see the bats leave the bridge or at sunrise to see their return
Circuit of the Americas – home of North America’s only F1 race
Lake Travis/The Oasis – located on the west side of Austin – views, boat rentals, restaurants and shopping

6th Street/Warehouse District – nightlife/bars/restaurants
Rainey Street – nightlife/bars/restaurants
SoCo District – nightlife/bars/restaurants/shopping

Live Music:
Broken Spoke Saloon – old school honky-tonk with live music
Stubb’s – outdoor concert venue hosting a wide range of acts
ACL Live – live music venue/stage for PBS show Austin City Limits
Antone’s – home of blues
Continental Club – live music venue hosting a wide range of performers
Many other live music locations throughout downtown. Have fun exploring!

Spectator sports:
Round Rock Express – Triple A team for the Texas Rangers – home games during ADSO
University of Texas Sports – baseball, softball, tennis and football spring games all taking place during ADSO

The City of Austin operates six public golf courses and one short-practice course which are centrally located and minutes from downtown Austin. Call 512-974-9350 or visit GolfATX to book a tee time.

Uchi/Uchiko – contemporary Japanese dining, winner of Top Chef, James Beard Award
Franklin’s BBQ – legendary BBQ – plan to arrive very early, wait in line, and hope they don’t run out!
La Barbecue – delicious BBQ
Swift’s Attic – inventive small plates, craft beers and cocktails
Bob’s Steak and Chophouse – Texas born local steakhouse
Truluck’s – Seafood, Steak and Crabhouse (a Group Dentistry Now favorite!)
Geraldine’s – great atmosphere and food in the Van Zant Hotel
Red Ash Italia – Wood Fired Italian. Close to the JW Marriott.

South Congress Avenue – eclectic mix of shops
The Domain – outdoor, upscale shopping with restaurants/bars/entertainment
Whole Foods Headquarters/Store – flagship store with craft beer tasting, cooking classes
Yeti Flagship Store (and Bar) – retail store with bar to enjoy your favorite beverages

Arts/History/Local Attractions:
Austin City Limits – famed stage for the PBS show located in the W Hotel
Blanton Art Museum – on UT Campus, one of the largest university art museums in the US
Bullock Texas History Museum – exhibits covering the rich history of Texas
Texas State Cemetery – final resting place for many notable and legendary Texans
LBJ Presidential Library – History of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency
Texas State Capitol – offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature
University of Texas – Austin – main campus of the famed university

Great informational sites:

Thank you for visiting and helping us “Keep Austin Weird.”

Written by Jon Fidler, President & CEO of Fidler and Associates. Email: jfidler@fidlerandassociates.com, phone: 512-550-8604
Jon is a full-time resident and business owner in Austin, Texas and proud member of the ADSO. His company, Fidler and Associates, is an executive search firm that focuses solely within the dental industry. They proudly partner with dental organizations in their searches, ranging from mid-level managers to C-level executives.  (Jon is not associated with nor paid by any of the organizations mentioned on the above list.)

Stay tuned because Group Dentistry Now will feature an article next week
recapping the 2018 ADSO meeting!  Don’t miss out, subscribe today!

Featured image photos compliments of: Austin Food MagazineAustinTexas.org, Old Settlers Music Fest