Words and Photos by Kristen Olson
Austin has a way of putting a spin on anything it does. This city doesn’t do anything halfway—why watch a movie in a plain movie theater when you can watch in an outdoor courtyard? Why not float a river before a music festival? Why go to dinner at a single food truck when you can picnic at a food truck party? If you’re feeling the summer blues this July, chase them away by filling up your calendar with all of Austin’s must attend events of the month.
JAWS on the Water
Volente Beach Water Park, Leander
Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights in July
Petrified of sharks? Maybe sit this one out. But if you’ve always dreamed of floating in an inner tube under the stars, beer in hand, with Steven Spielberg’s classic summer horror playing on a big screen, then you’ll love JAWS on the Water. Don’t worry, there are no great whites known to be swimming around Lake Travis…but we bet you’ll be convinced otherwise before the end credits start to roll out. Bonus—you get to keep your inner tube!
Wes Anderson Summer
Weather Up, 1808 E Cesar Chavez St
Grab some complimentary popcorn, choose your favorite classy cocktail, order some $1 oysters, and settle in for a whimsical trip into Wes Anderson’s imagination. Weather Up is hosting a Wes Anderson Summer, projecting a different film from the UT-alum director on the first Monday of every summer month. The beautiful courtyard of this bar makes for the perfect summer backdrop, and happy hour pricing lasts all night. Cheers to that!
4th of July Boat Cruise
Capital Cruises, 208 Barton Springs Road
For the best view of the fireworks show over Lady Bird Lake, rent a boat! Enjoy the sunset behind Austin’s downtown buildings and look for bats underneath Congress Bridge. Then, prepare for a star-spangled spectacle of fireworks while toasting to America’s Independence Day. Reserve your boat as early as possible, since it’s a popular day to be out on the water.
Music Under the Star
Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave
July 7, 14 & 21
Come to the Bullock Museum’s Lone Star Plaza for their annual concert series, Music Under the Star. This year, the three headliners performing are an Americana star with an album produced by John Mellencamp, a symphonic rock band that performs with up to 20 people, and a sweet, soulful singer who has performed at Austin City Limits and the Austin Music Awards. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to get comfortable underneath that 35-foot bronze star statue, and tote along some non-perishable food items to donate to the Central Texas Food Bank while you’re there.
Cool River Ranch, San Marcos
Pack a summertime’s worth of fun into just one weekend with Float Fest, the music festival that takes you floating up the river before the festival starts. You can also camp overnight on the grounds. Critics have praised this year’s musical lineup, saying it rivals what ACL has been offering in recent years. On Saturday, see Zedd, Passion Pit, Neon Indian, Mac Miller, and more; Sunday will host acts like Weezer, Cage the Elephant, and MGMT. In the words of Modest Mouse, float on!
Trailer Food Tuesdays
Long Center, 701 W Riverside Drive
Over 15 Austin food trucks congregate at the Long Center three times every summer for the season’s greatest gathering: Trailer Food Tuesdays. Take your pick from lobster rolls, grilled cheese, pulled pork cheeseburgers, tacos, and so much more. Pack a picnic blanket to sprawl out and dog-watch on the lawn, all while chowing down with one of the best views of the city skyline. There’s no better place to be on a July Tuesday night in Austin, Texas.