Austin is known for being the quirky, creative city in the heart of Texas. But along with its global reputation comes the crowds, which can sometimes get in the way of stumbling upon a unique itinerary of your own. If you want to skip the tour bus and find your own hidden gems in Austin, we’ve put together this list of great venues and photo spots that are just out of the way enough to feel like a new discovery. Whether you’re looking for an underground music venue, a photo studio, or a swimming hole, check out our list of Austin’s hidden gems and start exploring!
No trip to Texas is complete without visiting a local swimming hole. While Hamilton Pool can get crowded in the summer months and you’ll need a reservation to enter, it’s still worth a visit in the off-season when the water is too cold for swimming but no reservations are required. You’ll find hiking trails, picnic areas, a waterfall, and a beautiful limestone grotto overhanging the pool.
2. A mid-century-inspired home in South Austin
If you’re looking for a picture-perfect indoor/outdoor space to host a birthday party, shower, or photoshoot, this modern home and backyard may be just the spot. The rental includes a fenced-in yard that’s kid and dog-friendly, with several seating areas, a hammock, and a firepit. There are also plenty of trees to keep you shaded during the summer months. Inside the house, you’ll find a full kitchen and additional seating areas with impeccably-decorated furnishings. Work with the Peerspace Concierge to arrange for a catered dinner or professional bar staff for up to 35 guests.
3. A rural farmhouse in Del Valle
Just a few miles from the Austin airport is this refurbished farmhouse in Texas Hill Country. It’s the perfect combination of old-school Texas charm and modern amenities. The lower level has hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a built-in bar, while the upstairs can be used as a VIP area. Outside is a basketball net and kids’ play area, and there are even several friendly goats and donkeys! Choose this venue for a wedding, family reunion, or company picnic for up to 175 guests. Outside food and drink are allowed, or you can book an inclusive bar package.
4. Austin at the Blanton Museum of Art
This hidden gem in Austin is free to enter every Thursday, and is included with admission to the Blanton Museum of Art on other days of the week. Designed by artist Ellsworth Kelly, the Austin exhibit features multi-color stained glass windows, white and black marble, and other visual and architectural elements to create an immersive, mediative experience. Stay for a while to watch the colors change throughout the day as the sun illuminates the 2,715-sq.ft. space.
5. An urban farm in East Austin
This beautiful farm is one of the most memorable outdoor venues in Austin. Whether you want to host a sit-down dinner, a company BBQ, or even a musical performance, you’ll have space for up to 175 guests at this 36,000-sq.ft. property. It has a covered dance floor, a greenhouse, and an organic garden, lending it a vibrant, outdoorsy vibe perfect for a summer evening!
6. A gorgeous downtown rooftop in Austin
What makes this rooftop one of our top hidden gems is that it isn’t surrounded by other buildings, so you’ll get a clear view of the Austin skyline all to yourself. Set atop a four-story boutique hotel, it has tables and couches, a sound system, four bathrooms, a bar with A/C, and more. You’ll have room for up to 180 guests, with additional spaces available to rent inside the hotel if required.
Casa Neverlandia is one of the most unique hidden gems in Austin, with artist James Talbot still living in — and offering tours of — his eclectic home. The house includes a remarkable variety of influences, from Spanish artists like Dali and Gaudi to pop culture references like Peter Pan and Indiana Jones. The backyard has a treehouse with a plank bridge and a fireman’s pole. Private tours cost $15 per person and can be arranged through the attraction’s Facebook page.
8. A Victorian house in East Austin
This hidden gem in Austin is marketed as an “event activation” space for SXSW, so if you’re in search of a blank slate for a video production, photoshoot, or corporate event, this may be the spot. Built in 1900 but newly renovated, this Victorian mansion has two stories with hardwood floors throughout. The backyard driveway has parking for up to 10 cars, and the entire space can fit up to 200 people, depending on furnishings and seating arrangements. Ask your local host directly to find out if this could be the right space for your event.
9. A beautiful estate in Leander, TX
Relax in the pool overlooking Lake Travis at this hidden gem on one of the state’s most popular bodies of water. The infinity pool offers beautiful views of the sunset, while the rest of the 2-acre property features a 5-car garage and stylishly-decorated mansion. Perfect for a photoshoot or music video production, you can have up to 60 guests on-site for a day or evening rental.
10. The Rambling Rose Ranch in Austin
Another beautiful rural property just outside of the city, this ranch can accommodate 150 people for a private event or wedding ceremony. With a 5600-sq.ft. arena and a 500-sq.ft. patio, you and your guests can enjoy the outdoors in a comfortable, modern setting. The flagstone patio makes a beautiful photo op, while the covered bar and firepit provide a more rustic vibe. There are also several decorated indoor spaces that can be used as a dressing room or photo studio. One of them features a checkerboard floor, while the other has exposed brick and stylish furniture.
Whether you’re based in Austin year-round, or just visiting from out of town for one of the city’s many festivals, you’ll find dozens of hidden gems in Austin to keep you inspired. We think this list is a great place to start your search for an unconventional outing or venue. For even more ideas, search on Peerspace by date, location, size, and more to find the perfect space. Then, call up the Concierge service to book a caterer and other professional event staff!