There’s always a reason to dart quickly off the plane or stay a little longer when you fly into Austin Airport.

Even if you’re in Austin for business, you better remember to pack some comfortable play clothes because you won’t want to miss out on the loads of fun near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, ABIA. With attractions like McKinney Falls State Park, Cathedral of Junk, and Live Oak Brewing Company, there are always many opportunities to stretch those plane legs. Here are some must-see attractions near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, where you can relax and get acquainted with the city, or take one last look at Austin just before flying home.

The Austin Visitor Center

There’s no better way to explore an unfamiliar city than seeking guidance from the locals. So, right after landing, you should stop by The Austin Visitor Center to obtain a bit more information about the best attractions near the airport. The friendly staff loves to talk about the city’s rich history, amazing restaurants, eccentric culture, exciting outdoor adventures, special events, and much more.

In addition to providing visitors with impressive knowledge about Austin, the center offers a list of daily tours, free maps and brochures, complimentary WiFi, a convenient smartphone recharge station, and super clean bathrooms.

McKinney Falls State Park

Sometimes you just want to enjoy the great outdoors before or after a flight. Doesn’t this sound about right?

Situated just minutes from the airport, McKinney Falls State Park is home to the most beautiful scenery imaginable, from limestone rocks to small waterfalls.

The park is high on many bucket lists, with tourists drawn to a popular activity: fishing. Since a license is not needed to fish on the Ocean Creek shoreline, you can just rent a fishing rod, and get ready to reel in common catches like catfish, sunfish, or largemouth bass.

McKinney Falls State Park is also perfect for swimming, watching wildlife, mountain biking or hiking the set trails, where tourists might be able to spot many different types of oak and cedar trees and native plants.

For your convenience, there are also dining halls, screened shelters, eighty campsites, and group shelters available.

Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory

Located only 2 miles from the airport in South East Austin, Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory is an absolute must-see for bird lovers as the site contains over 350 bird species. The site is made up of woods, lagoons, and fields, which are all within close proximity to the Colorado River.

Featuring phenomenal educational/volunteer events, bird walks, and bird counts, the Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory welcomes tourists daily from dawn to dusk.

Cathedral Of Junk

About six miles from the airport, tucked away in a quiet suburban neighborhood, is the Cathedral Of Junk, which is a unique, outdoor structure that is comprised of just about every type of found item that you can imagine: guitars, surfing boards, antique typewriters, tires, televisions, sunglasses…The list is truly endless.

The expression “looks may be deceiving” rings about true when referring to this interesting place because many people who visit say that it’s more than just a piled haven of junk. There is actually a spiritual component to the cathedral, partly due to the glistening sunlight and encouraging messages displayed here and there.

If you’re here in comfortable weather, you can enjoy a tasty picnic in the private backyard upon arrival or right before heading out. Just remember to take your trash with you when you leave. After all, this “pile of junk” deserves much respect due to its many years of existence.

The cathedral is available to visitors by appointment only, and Vince who is the owner and creator will happily show people around. There’s even free parking, but you must park on the street.

The suggested donation is only $10 per group.

Boardwalk At Lady Bird Lake

The popular, pedestrian-friendly Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake, also known as Town Lake to locals,  is the place to be if you’re into hiking, walking, cycling, or running while enjoying the amazing views of the city’s skyline across the lake. Keep your phone handy because you’ll want to snap some Instagram-worthy photos at this attraction. Are you getting excited yet?

The boardwalk is less than five miles from the airport and offers visitors the perfect opportunity to get some exercise, watch wildlife, or just relax on the benches. Open every day from 5 am to midnight, the Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake is always a great place to stroll, cycle, or run around.

I Love You Mural At Jo’s Coffee

The world-famous I Love You So Much Mural is one of the city’s giant expressions of creativity and only six miles from ABIA. Created by local musician Amy Cook, the sentiment quickly went viral shortly after creation.

Whether you are just landing or about to take off, you won’t want to leave Austin without seeing this popular mural, which is essentially a five-letter expression written in red spray paint on the outside wall of Jo’s Coffee.

After waiting for a chance to smile and snap a picture next to this viral artwork, why not walk up to the counter Jo’s Coffee for some breakfast tacos and their famous Iced Turbo? Although the food is truly tasty, you may have more fun people watching as the crowd that lingers outside the coffee shop is a spectacle in and of itself.

Live Oak Brewing Company

Those who are flying into Austin thirsty should definitely make a pit stop at Live Oak Brewing Company before going anywhere else. With an extensive collection of delicious lagers and ales including Big Bark Amber Lager, Grodziskie, Pilz, and Berliner Weisse, you’ll be among the many passionate beer drinkers who have experienced the best drinks in town. Make sure that you contact us today to experience the easiest drinking in Austin.