Like an oasis spring in the desert, Austin rises out of the sand and overflows with culture, charm, and personality. It has a reputation for being a weird city, but that should encourage you to pay a visit rather than deter you.  A lot of Austin's charm is predictable things like a thriving nightlife or a rich international food scene, but if you ask an Austinite about unique local things to do in Austin, the answers are sure to surprise you.

01Go kayaking off Congress Avenue

Dozens of Austin kayakers RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

Congress Avenue Kayaks provides rentals of kayaks and paddleboards for either half hours or half days. You might want to go for a shorter rental if you haven’t hit the gym recently, but it’s a highlight of any visit to Austin either way. You and your companions can easily go exploring the riverside or even take the short trip over to the Congress Avenue Bridge and go bat-spotting. That’s right, bat-spotting.