It’s no secret that summers in Texas get hot. While most of the year remains comfortable, from June to September, you can expect temperatures in the 90s and above along with some serious humidity to boot. It’s the type of heat that takes some getting used to. Luckily, since this climate has been the way of the world since Texas was its own country, Austinites have learned how to deal with the heat—beyond simply staying indoors. Here’s your guide on how to beat the summer heat in Austin. 

How to Prepare for Summer in Austin

Now more than ever, choosing to move to Austin is one of the best decisions you can make for your career, personal growth, and overall enjoyment. But, believe us when we say, the heat is no joke, especially for our friends coming from the north. We like to tell people to spend as much time in the many bodies of water as you can, stay in the shade, and get used to being a little sweaty all the time. 

During the summer months when you feel tempted to crank your A/C all the way up, know that electric companies often ask Austin residents to not set your thermostats below 78 degrees in order to conserve energy. However, they also provide several tips for staying cool, saving on utility bills, and conserving energy and water. Energy companies recommend using fans throughout your space, closing the curtains and shades to avoid incoming sunlight, avoiding using your oven when possible, and unplugging your appliances when you’re not using them. 

While out and about doing all of the fun activities Austin has to offer, wear loose fitting clothing. Pull out those sundresses, shorts, and tank tops, and you’ll fit right in. We also recommend picking up a hat (or two) at one of the many local shops. Always carry around a water bottle and invest in a portable handheld fan (pro-tip: grab one that sprays water!). 

What to Do During an Austin Summer

How to Beat the Heat Outdoors

Like we said, the number one best way to beat the Texas heat in the summer is by getting in the water! Not only will you stay cool, but it’s also a great way to get active and meet people because everyone’s doing it. But, if you want alternatives to spending a day on the water, you’ll still find plenty of options. Here are some of our favorite ways to spend a sunny day in Austin, both in and out of the water:

  • Rent a paddleboard from EpicSUP, Austin Rowing Club, or any of the other rental places along the river, and head to the sandbar on Lady Bird Lake. You can’t miss it, there will be hundreds of other people out there on any given day, so get social!
  • Get a group of friends together and rent a boat out on Lake Travis. Some highly rated companies include Keep Austin Wet, ATX Party Boats, and Lone Star Party Boats. What’s great about this activity is that many of the rentals come with a driver who can take you out to the perfect spot no matter what type of vibe you’re looking for.  
  • Head to Barton Springs Municipal Pool at Zilker Park for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. Water from the nearby natural springs fills this nearly 3-acre-sized pool, so you’ll have plenty of space even on the busiest of days. 
  • Get a crew together and go to TopGolf for an afternoon of practicing your golf swing at this high-tech driving range. Plus, it’s shaded and dog friendly. 
  • Get to know your city better through its public art. Use our tour guide to visit Austin’s best street art.

What to Bring for Outdoor Adventures:

You can’t expect to beat the heat by the grace of God, so pack the essentials when you head outdoors. Get a waterproof pack and fill it with water (and extra water), a seriously strong sunscreen, a hat, a beach towel, and sunglasses. 

How to Beat the Heat Indoors

When the heat becomes too much and your sunburn needs some time to heal, check out one of Austin’s many indoor activity options. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Blanton Museum of Art: As one of the largest university museums in the country, Blanton’s diverse exhibits will please everyone. From contemporary to Victorian, and everything in between, this air conditioned destination will easily take up a toasty afternoon. 
  • Deep Eddy Vodka Tasting Room: Texans love anything local, and Austinites especially love their local vodkas, like Tito’s and Deep Eddy. Head out to Dripping Springs for an afternoon to see where Deep Eddy is produced, try a sample (or two), and leave with plenty of merch. Dripping Springs has some other great distilleries as well, so find a DD and spend the afternoon sampling away. 
  • Wonderspaces Austin: A unique experience you won’t want to miss, this art exhibit will surely be one of the coolest ones you’ll ever come across. 
  • Museum of Ice Cream: A place to get endless ice cream samples and the perfect Insta pic? Sign us up! 
  • Wanderlust Wine Co.: The largest wine on tap winery around. 

What to Eat

If there’s one thing Austin deserves to be known for (aside from its weirdness), it’s the insane amount of delicious food options. And, just because it’s hot out, doesn’t mean your options are going to be limited. Head to one of these spots even when it feels too hot to function:

  • June’s: This chic, new American restaurant is the perfect place for a hot day because of their misted patio and menu full of refreshing options.
  • Loro: We can’t think of a better way to beat the heat than with a frozen cocktail, and Loro serves some of the best. They pair perfectly with their Asian smokehouse fare. 
  • The Well: If you want it all, and you want it to remain health conscious, head to The Well in Downtown Austin. Their smoothies, salads, and lighter options are just what you need when the temps increase. 

Summertime Nightlife

There’s nothing quite like a summer night in Austin. Once the sun goes down and it cools down, everyone heads out to get social. Check out these fun nightlife spots:

  • Bufford’s: This bar on West 6th includes both indoor and outdoor spaces and several full-service bars.
  • P6: Summer in Austin is the perfect time to head to a rooftop bar like P6, where you’ll encounter amazing views, seasonal cocktails, and delicious small plates to share. 
  • Unbarlievable: For a unique night, head to Unbarlievable, either on 6th or Rainey Street. It’s impossible to not have fun at this circus themed bar. 

For some additional nightlife options, enjoy the city’s hottest dive bars and try some ice cold margaritas.

How to Beat the Summer Heat in Your New Air Conditioned Apartment

Once you know how to beat the summer heat, even in Austin, we know you won’t want to spend another summer anywhere else. That’s where AptAmigo comes in! We can help you find the perfect air conditioned apartment in Austin so that you never miss out on the festivities. 

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About the Author
Brett Hayden

Brett Hayden is a native Wisconsinite turned Texan who loves exploring Austin and beyond. She has a passion for writing and traveling, which she showcases on her blog, “by, Brett Nicole.”