Cathedral of Junk

In Austin’s quirky spirit, we start our hidden gems tour at the Cathedral of Junk. This wacky, whimsical landmark is exactly what it sounds like: a mountainous, walk-through sculpture created entirely from, well, junk. Bowling balls, bicycles, wooden furniture, and even the kitchen sink have been brilliantly repurposed into an elaborately designed “cathedral.” The recent addition of colorful stained glass windows ups the wonder factor. Created over decades by eccentric Austin artist Vince Hannemann, the Cathedral stands as a lighthearted monument to the city’s funky soul and appreciation of folk art. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind roadside attraction that both delights and awes visitors. Just remember, no climbing or removing pieces from this carefully composed junk pile!

Address: 4422 Lareina Dr, Austin, TX 78745

Phone: (512) 299-7413

The Broken Spoke

When you need an authentic slice of Texas two-steppin’ culture, mosey on over to the legendary Broken Spoke for some boot-scootin’ boogie. This iconic honky-tonk has been hosting live country music and dancers for over 50 years. Inside, you’ll find a genuine pic experience with wood-beam ceilings, Christmas lights galore, and a massive dance floor occupied by all ages. Watch professional dancers swing their partners with mesmerizing flare while you nod along to tunes plucked on real guitars and fiddles. Then show off your own moves as the night stretches on. Whether a Texas two-step novice or seasoned cowpoke, the Broken Spoke staff and regulars will treat you like family while doling out dance floor advice and ice-cold longnecks.

Address: 3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: (512) 442-6189

El Arroyo

For some of the most brilliantly punny sign work this side of the Mississippi, look no further than the marquees outside El Arroyo. What started as a humble tex-mex restaurant has evolved into an Austin icon for its hilarious, frequently updated marquee punchlines that draw daily gapers and social media rubberneckers. Pop in anytime to “accidentally” miss the stale refried beans and chalky chips for a glimpse at El Arroyo’s latest sign masterpiece. You’ll likely find a chuckle-worthy play on words about avocado prices, millennial trends, current events or musicians coming through town. Just prepare yourself for some delightfully corny grub after reading: “If you were a transformer you’d be Optimus Fine” or “Going to Barton Creek? Don’t forget a trunkin suit!”

Address: 1624 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703

Phone: (512) 474-1222

Graffiti Park at Castle Hill

Hidden in plain sight near downtown lies one of the city’s most vibrant and constantly-evolving art installations: Graffiti Park at Castle Hill. This abandoned AppleInc construction site turned “legal” graffiti canvass attracts local creatives, street artists and Instagrammers daily to experience new splashes of color and artistic expression. Spend hours hunting for clever Banksy-esque illustrations, colorful whimsical characters, and powerful socio-political statements sprayed across the skeletal foundations and concrete surfaces. But leave your own mark at your own risk – this is still graffiti and therefore illegal if you’re caught vandalizing the park. But don’t let that stop you from snapping incredible, envy-inducing selfies here.

Address: 1103 Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703

Museum of the Weird

For an exploratory experience unlike any other, get weird at Austin’s aptly named Museum of the Weird. This freakishly fascinating collection houses all sorts of peculiar artifacts and exhibits that’ll mess with your mind. From shrunken heads and jackalopes to the van that carried the haunted corpse from the movie Jeepers Creepers, the museum’s curiosities defy logic and rational explanation. Take a tour through the eerie corridors to discover more inexplicable anomalies including ritualistic cult masks, deadly weapons, and a Fiji mermaid supposedly pulled from the Pacific. Just don’t chicken out after meeting the resident Ecuadorian Shrunken Head Warrior Princess – she’s essentially the First Lady of this creepy manor. For those who aren’t easily spooked, the Museum of the Weird is a guaranteed gore-and-terror-filled adrenaline rush!

Address: 412 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-5493

HOPE Outdoor Gallery

In the heart of Austin’s trendy South Congress district lies a vibrant outdoor gallery promoting the city’s renowned artistic spirit. HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Outdoor Gallery offers a shining canvas to Austin’s community of muralists bringing stunning colors, skills, and often timely socio-political messages to life through their remarkable displays. Walk the grounds casually and snap a selfie with iconic angel wings painted by street-art legends like You.It.Me or Peelher. Then stare upward to absorb the larger-than-life, breathtakingly photorealistic portraits of Bribron’s world-renowned aerosol talent. From multi-story tall letters demanding change to symbolic desert scenes of life and death, the curated artwork at HOPE Outdoor Gallery invites introspective thought and appreciation of Austin’s thriving creative culture.

Address: 1011 W Milton St, Austin, TX 78704

Phone: (512) 384-8193

Mayfield Park

Trade the bustling city landscape for 21 peaceful acres of natural tranquility at Mayfield Park just west of downtown. This historic garden estate invites locals and visitors to reconnect with nature through gardens, winding trails, and colorful peacocks strutting the grounds. After strolling amid the wildflowers, immaculately trimmed hedges and surrounding ponds, tour the interior of the Spanish Revival-style Mayfield cottage and trellis-lined gardens. Let the serene vibes envelop you in this shaded urban oasis. Keep an eye out for the roaming peacocks, those brilliant colors and shimmering tail plumage capture the magical essence of Mayfield. You might even catch the males proudly fanning their feathers during mating season.

Address: 3905 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703

Phone: (512) 974-6700

The Driskill Bar

For a ritzy and refined escape into Austin’s cosmopolitan side, treat your crew to cocktails at The Driskill Hotel bar. This opulent and dimly lit lounge drips with as much history as it does high society ambiance. Sink into plush leather chairs surrounding the ornate marble bar while sipping one of the acclaimed bar’s artisan craft cocktails. The upscale yet cozy space makes an elegant setting for business meetings, special occasions, or just an evening of savoring finely crafted libations. Soak in the rich, turn-of-the-century decor and hospitality as you tap into a bygone Austin era.

Address: 604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 439-1234

Plan Your Trip With Party Buses Austin

From thrift store treasures and underground art to historic buildings and natural escapes, Austin has no shortage of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. But exploring all these eclectic locations on your own can be a headache with parking, crowded streets, and mapping out routes. That’s why Party Buses Austin offers private charter bus rentals to discover Austin’s lesser-known jewels seamlessly with your friends, family, or coworkers. With a personal bus for your group, you can create an expertly curated experience hitting all of Austin’s quirky cultural hotspots and off-the-beaten-path wonders. We’ll handle all the driving and transportation logistics so your only focus is connecting with Austin’s authentic soul. Choose from a variety of bus sizes and amenities that’ll keep your group road trip rolling comfortably. Reclining seats, HD televisions, premium sound systems, WiFi, and coolers for beverages and snacks combine for a luxurious party bus experience as we cruise from gem to gem. So what are you waiting for, y’all?! Call Party Buses Austin at 512-375-4204 to book your customized Austin Hidden Gems tour today!