Here’s your ultimate guide to the top sights, activities, entertainment, and food to check out while you’re in town for the annual F1 US Grand Prix at the Circuit of Americas.

Each October, the full-throttle spirit of European racing whips and weaves its way into Austin as part of the Formula 1 US Grand Prix. Texas is no stranger to big sporting events, and this one is no different; hundreds of thousands of racing fans from around the world turn this weekend competition, held October 21 to 23 at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas F1 course southeast of downtown, into a full-blown spectacle.

Even though watching F1 drivers navigate looping and swooping turns holds plenty of excitement, we know there’s more room in your tank. And you’re in luck – Austin is filled with things to do for Grand Prix fans and gearheads, including hotels like Lone Star Court, which puts a quirky, boutique spin on the classic motor lodges of the 1950s. Here are 10 ideas for how to get the most out of a Grand Prix trip, as well as how to enjoy Austin’s race-friendly culture any other time of the year.

1.) Live Music

The Circuit of the Americas is giving the Grand Prix a hefty dose of the Grammys this year thanks to performances by acclaimed artists Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. Swift headlines the Super Stage after the October 22 qualifying session, while The Weeknd will cap the weekend with a performance after the race finale on October 23.

Racing games, exhibits, and kids’ activities are among the other festivities at Circuit of the Americas throughout race weekend. Performances by regional artists and special activities will also be happening throughout downtown at the Live Music Capital of the World’s plentiful concert venues and bars.

2.) Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum

Cool cars are the reason you’re coming to Austin’s Grand Prix in the first place, so you’d be remiss if you didn’t check out the extensive collection of early-twentieth-century automobiles at this legendary San Marcos institution, located off Interstate 35 a half-hour southwest of Circuit of Americas. Boasting more than 80 vehicles from 1900 to 1959, the only thing in Austin that will do a better job getting your motor running is the F1 race itself.

3.) Singletrack Mountain Biking

If the Grand Prix doesn’t give you enough hairpin turns and thrills, then the Walnut Creek Trails are an absolute must. This intermediate series of trails features more than 12 miles of natural singletrack and smooth, paved trails three miles due east of The Domain and Lone Star Court.

Local biking clubs rank it as the top public trails in Austin, and its Log Loop section is the standout star; this rooty, rocky path has a number of switchbacks that will keep you on the edge of your seat on a descent, much like the Formula 1 cars at the Circuit of the Americas. Lone Star Court has full-suspension mountain bikes that guests can rent to enjoy Walnut Creek and other nearby trails.

4.) Austin Speed Shop

This fully operational hot rod and custom car shop on Chapman Lane opens its doors to any visitors looking to watch and learn about the building process, which is rare in the automobile world. Other than walking the pit or sitting near it during the Grand Prix, this is the closest you’ll get to master technicians in action in Austin.

5.) Boating on Lady Bird Lake

Trade pedals for paddles on Lady Bird Lake, a picturesque recreation hub named in honor of Austin resident and First Lady Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson. Ten miles of hiking and running trails surround the lake, but the real treat is renting a boat or paddleboard for a tranquil view of Austin’s skyline. Rentals and lessons are available at Rowing Dock and Texas Rowing Center.

6.) Drive-In Movie Theater

Located right under the East 51st water tower, the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In is a trendy twist on nostalgia. Austin’s only drive-in is a pop-up that accepts only 50 cars a showing (it’s best to purchase tickets online ahead of time), but the atmosphere it provides for classic films and art house favorites is unlike anything you’ll find in any other major city.

7.) World-Class Barbecue

While you’re in Austin for the Grand Prix, the city will be gearing up for the annual TMBBQ Fest on October 30, but you don’t have to wait until then to explore one (or six) of the city’s famed barbecue joints. Franklin Barbecue and its James Beard Award-winning brisket is the top dog, and there are many other eateries and food trucks serving up top-notch ’cue.

8.) Shooting Ranges

Looking to get another use out of your ear protection? Austin boasts a number of shooting ranges. For the best local sportsman flavor and service without leaving the city limits, check out the lanes at Red’s Indoor Range.

9.) 6th Street

Austin’s popular nightlife district always has something going on, and it’s your best bet for finding an outrageous F1 after-party – and one you can actually get into without royal bloodlines or super-secret invitations. And it’s not all raging parties; Key Bar’s outdoor fire pits create a relaxing atmosphere, while it’s hard not to get lost in the tin ceiling and extensive craft cocktail menu at Midnight Cowboy.

10.) The Domain

It’s not uncommon to bump into F1 drivers, their teams, and die-hard fans as they take advantage of US designer pricing at this trendy district’s stores, like Tiffany & Co. and Polo Ralph Lauren. You’ll also find unique galleries, restaurants, boutique hotels, and entertainment-packed bars in The Domain, making the trip to northwest Austin a worthwhile adventure.

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