Visit these south Austin hotspots and truly embrace the full Austin experience
If you’re into shopping, sunshine, live music, or nature you must visit these 5 iconic south Austin hotspots. They’re located along Miles 1-6 of the Austin Marathon course so they’re within walking distance of downtown Austin. Take in the Austin experience in one day or spread it out throughout Austin Marathon weekend. The choice is yours! If you find yourself hungry or in need of a cup of coffee, stop by our favorite south Austin coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner spots.
Congress Avenue Bridge (start)
This is one of Austin’s most iconic places to take photos for many reasons. Panoramic views of downtown, unobstructed view of the Texas State Capitol, Town Lake sunrises and sunsets, the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, and the beginning of the Austin Marathon! Whether you watch 17,500 runners cross the bridge or 1.5 million bats fly out from underneath in their bat cyclones, make sure your camera is charged and you have a great vantage point! Pro tip: take Bat Watching 101.
The Continental Club (Mile 1)
This live music venue is the self-proclaimed granddaddy of live music venues. The Continental Club (1315 S. Congress Ave.) has had a coast-to-coast and worldwide reputation as the premiere club for live music in Austin since 1955. Artists have included Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Social Distortion, TD Bell and the Blues Specialists, Robert Plant, Blues Traveler, Dale Watson & his Lone Stars, Wanda Jackson, and more. Pro tip: Peterson Brothers Band, the 2018 Austin Marathon finish line festival headliner, play every Monday for free!
South Congress Shopping (Mile 1-2)
Preview Miles 1-2 of the Austin Marathon course when you shop SoCo! You’ll find something you need and everything you don’t. Visit some of our favorites like the Kendra Scott Flagship, STAG Provisions for Men, Allens Boots, Monkey See Monkey DO, and Triple Z Threads. Stop by Big Top to satisfy your sweet tooth! Pro tip: follow us on Instagram and see what murals you can find along the way.
Greetings from Austin Mural (Mile 5)
Known around the world, the Greetings from Austin Mural (1720 S. 1st St.) is one of the most visited murals in Austin. The mural was painted in 1998 by Todd Sanders and Rory Skagen and restored in 2013. Pro tip: get there early for the shot you want. You’ll avoid the crowds and there will be less traffic.
Auditorium Shores (Mile 6)
You know this an Austin blog when Stevie Ray Vaughan is mentioned twice. One of the main Auditorium Shores (800 W. Riverside Dr.) highlights is his statue along the trail overlooking Town Lake. Mile Marker 0 is a popular gathering spot for runners because of water fountains, plenty of space to stretch, and a workout station. On a rest day? Take your pup to the off-leash Auditorium Shores Dog Park. Bringing the kids? Take them to the Splash Pad. Pro tip: the lefthand turn runners take during the Austin Marathon is a popular cheering location for loved ones and spectators.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the Austin experience. You have to start somewhere, right? This is one of Austin’s most vibrant and diverse areas, making it the perfect place to explore. Do you have a place in south Austin that you love that did not make the list? Let us know what it is on Facebook or Twitter.