The 8 Most Romantic Things to Do in Austin

Austin may be well known as a destination where you will probably focus on stuffing copious amounts of barbecued meats in your mouth, but believe it or not, the capital of Texas offers plenty for romantics to enjoy, too.  From upscale movie theaters to paddle boats shaped like giant swans, here are the most romantic things to do in Austin.

  • 01 of 08
    ••• Paul Bardagjy/The Paramount Theatre

    The historic Paramount Theater is one of the few places in Austin where people feel obligated to dress well. The gloriously ornate decor just seems to demand it. The theater hosts everything from ballet to stand-up comedy. Whatever the event, it’s an ideal site for a special date. Opt for a balcony seat to make the night extra special. 

  • 02 of 08
    Mount Bonnell Park & View
    ••• metschan/Getty Images

    One of the highest points in Austin, Mount Bonnell offers a stunning view of the entire city. Although you may not be entirely alone, the viewing area is big enough for the two of you to find a cozy little space for two. If you're not a great picnic maker, the Central Market on North Lamar offers picnic baskets to go. Plus, it's a great place to pick up a bottle of wine. 

  • 03 of 08
    Swan boats on Lady Bird Lake, Austin skyline
    ••• Paul Thompson/Getty Images

    Capital Cruises rents swan-shaped pedal boats at Lady Bird Lake by the hour. What could say “I love you” better than agreeing to be seen inside a massive waterfowl? But seriously, laughter can be one of the most potent aphrodisiacs.

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    ••• Hobie Caldwell/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Mayfield Park in northwest Austin is home to a whole flock of peacocks strutting their stuff year-round. Stroll through the lush grounds or enjoy a picnic amid all this courtship activity, and something’s bound to happen.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Go for a Swim and a Beer at Deep Eddy

    ••• Deep Eddy Cabaret

    Go for a relaxing swim at the historic, spring-fed Deep Eddy Pool, and then take a brief walk up the hill to Deep Eddy Cabaret. The tiny bar has one of the best jukeboxes in town and the friendliest regulars. All those good vibes just might be contagious. 

  • 06 of 08
    ••• Violet Crown Cinema

    The Violet Crown Cinema approaches movie going as a special event. The floors aren’t sticky, the seats are comfortable, and it’s never crowded. The theater features thought-provoking independent films that invite conversation and coffee afterward.

  • 07 of 08
    ••• Driskill Hotel

    The glamorous old hotel oozes romance, from its marble staircases to its crystal chandeliers. It’s also home to an upscale restaurant and one of the best bars in Austin. At the second-floor bar, you can cozy up on one of the leather love seats and listen to the piano player. Or if you want to jump in on the fun, you can sit at one of the seats around the piano and participate in a sing-along. Other downtown fun spots are a short walk away on 6th Street. 

  • 08 of 08

    Formerly known as Green Pastures, Mattie’s is the new restaurant in the beautifully preserved house that was once home to author John Henry Faulk. Peacocks roam the grounds amid ancient oak trees. The menu is a mix of comfort food (Mattie’s fried chicken) and fancier fare such as the Akaushi ribeye. Start the night off with a potent cocktail like a Summer Old Fashioned with rye whiskey and citrus oils. For dessert, don’t miss the cinnamon and sugar donut with blueberries and cream on top.