The Complete Austin Guide for Couples: Where to Stay & Things to Do

Here's why couples keep returning to this hip Texas city. Trust.
The Best Places for Romantic Dates in Austin
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james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
Travel Writer & Expert
  • James Wong is a freelance travel writer and expert.
  • He's reported for publications including VOGUE, GQ, Time Out and Thrillist.
  • James has lived in London, Tokyo and New York; and has traveled to almost every corner of the world.
Updated Jun 19, 2023
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Whether you're a new couple or a longstanding pair, Austin is a prime place for couples activities and date ideas. The city's vast outdoor space and year-round sunshine makes it easy to enjoy luxurious spa days by the lake and mini golf rounds in the park; on human days, air-conditioned ease is served with champagne, caviar, and candlelight. (No wonder so many couples are planning a trip to Austin!) There are also romantic getaways in Texas a bit further into Hill Country for the ultimate romantic weekend staycation or trip away. Here's our guide to doing dating and romance like an Austinite.

Fun and Romantic Things to Do in Austin for Couples

Downtown Austin's colorful storefronts
Photo: Arpad Benedek / Getty Images

From a romantic boat cruise and a couple's massage by Lake Austin to a speakeasy champagne lounge, these activities are perfect for an ATX date.

Cruise the Lakes

Austin's lively lake scene sets it apart from other Texas locales, and the best way to explore it is by boat. BYOB to the Tex Mex haven Tacodeli, and enjoy the warm sunset views on Lake Travis, Lake Austin, or Ladybird Lake. Viator offers private cruises complete with a captain, but there are plenty of group trips to help you make a splash, too.

Get Playful at Peter Pan Mini Golf

Peter Pan Mini Golf has been a downtown institution since 1948. With colorful animal sculptures, including its iconic T-Rex, this urban playland features two 18-hole courses and funky putting greens. The holes are simple enough for kids to play through, though the later hours are more popular for adults-only players. (The BYOB in-coolers policy might have something to do with it.)

1207 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704

Check in to Room 725 for Champagne and Caviar

For couples who live in downtown Austin, y'all can still check into a fancy hotel…as long as you're cool with it also being a speakeasy lounge. Located within the trendy Fairmont Austin, this bar is famed for exclusively serving bubbles, caviar, and cigars. Live music serenades in a golden enclave… at least during its limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Make a reservation to ensure you're on the list.

101 Red River St., Austin, TX 78704

Book a Couples Spa Package Out in Nature

There's nothing more zen than escaping the city and being pampered in a natural oasis. The award-winning Lake Austin Spa Resort has just the package: a Lakehouse Bamboo Splendor experience for two. You'll both soak in a waterfall hot tub before your selected treatment, and finish with a spread of fresh fruit, gourmet bites, green juice, and champagne, all within a private outdoor bamboo suite.

1705 S. Quinlan Park Road, Austin, TX 78704

Date Night Restaurants in Austin

Tandoori Chicken, Sichuan-style noodles, Gobi Manchurian and rice.
Photo: Chanda Hopkins / Getty Images

Scope out the most romantic restaurants in Austin to wine and dine your love. (Editor's note: As the writer is a former Austin resident, these picks may soon be on your list of go-to date night spots.)

Pasta | Bar, East Austin

Helmed by Michelin-starred chefs, Pasta | Bar is one of Austin's top date night eats. Guests are treated to a welcome cocktail at The Jazz Box before going behind the curtain (literally) to a dreamy 11-course tasting menu focused on pasta, and fusing the traditional flavors of Texas (think: chilis, smokehouse meat, and fried avocado) with the culinary techniques of Italy. Say yes to wine pairings. Tickets for the 10 prized seats are released at the start of each month, so set an alarm on your phone to book promptly!

1017 E. Sixth St., Austin, TX 78704

Aviary Wine & Kitchen, South Lamar

A cozy South Lamar restaurant and wine bar, Aviary was once a boutique decor shop and has never lost its charm. One for wine enthusiasts, you'll sample pours from an extensive wine list matched to your palate (and dinner order) by knowledgeable sommeliers. Highlights from their menu include stuffed cabbage, beef short rib, and pork jowl rillette.

2110 South Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704

Geraldine's, Downtown

Couples seeking Bat City views and live music with dinner should look no further than Geraldine's. Hotel Van Zandt's storied, stunning eatery is a plate-sharing dream, with items like smoked carrots, half-roasted chicken, and buttermilk biscuits sure to leave a lasting impression. Take your drinks out by the rooftop pool to enjoy some alone time in the warm Texas breeze.

605 Davis St., Austin, TX 78704

The Best Hotels in Austin for Couples

A dramatic sunset against the view of W Austin, Texas
Photo: Syl G Soto / Getty Images

You didn't think you'd leave after one day, did you? The best hotels in Austin for couples to hide away, from sexy downtown suites to intimate boutique hotels.

W Austin, Downtown

If you love being where all the action is (or pretending you're in a rock band) then the W Austin is the place to be. Not only are the property's own restaurant and bars downtown hotspots, but it's literally attached to the legendary music venue ACL (Austin City Limits) Live. The space is LGBTQ+ friendly, and their ground floor restaurant TRACE hosts a monthly Drag brunch all year round.

200 Lavaca St., Austin, TX 78704

Colton House Hotel, South Congress

This suite-only boutique hotel can be found on the quiet side of South Congress, so you'll get a quality night's sleep even though you're close to the main drag of bars, restaurants, and shops. Each suite has a home-away-from-home feel, thanks to residential comforts like a kitchen, complete with a dining table. The ground-floor coffee and cocktail bar, Simona's, is a must for a cuddle and catch-up after a long day of exploring.

2510 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704

The Loren at Lady Bird Lake, South Lamar

Austin's newest hotel boasts some of the best views of downtown due to its across-the-river location. Come and marvel at them from the rooftop hangout, Nido, or check into one of 108 chic guest rooms and suites that come with floor-to-ceiling windows and interiors by Canadian creative firm Fleur-de-Lis.

1211 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704

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