The Austin MetroRail is more than just a commuter rail between the suburbs and downtown Austin. Riding the MetroRail can also be a fun outing for the whole family or a great way to explore Austin’s nightlife and amazing restaurants, without having to drive. Now that we are headed into fall, it’s the perfect time to ride the Austin MetroRail downtown and explore.
The Lakeline MetroRail station is located on Lakeline Boulevard east of 183 at Staked Plains Loop and Lyndhurst Street. During the week, the parking lot can get pretty full, so keep that in mind before you plan a trip. With some advanced planning, you can also park at ACC’s Cedar Park campus on Cypress Creek Road and take a MetroBus to the Lakeline Station. See the MetroRail route here.
Most Austin MetroRail stations are served by bus routes that can take you to your final destination, so you can ride the train and then seamlessly catch a quick bus ride to major employers, shopping and education destinations. Would you like to go shopping and dining at the Domain? Get off at the Kramer Station, and bus Route 466 will take you to The Domain.
MetroRail trains run late on Friday and Saturday nights too. Enjoy Rainey Street nightlife or fine dining at Fogo de Chao, MAX’s Wine Dive or Vince Young Steakhouse, walking distance from the Downtown station. Or catch some live music on East 6th and visit a food truck, walking distance from the Plaza Saltillo station. On Saturdays, trains begin service at 4 p.m. The last train leaves Downtown Station at 12:30 Friday and midnight Saturday. Unfortunately there is no service on Sunday. Hopefully that will change one day!
Make an entire day of visiting downtown Austin on a weekday by riding the MetroRail downtown in the morning and then rent a scooter or just go out on foot to explore the city all day. This would be a fun outing for your adventurous out of town guests. Or it could be a new and exciting way to see Austin from a different perspective. Downtown is fairly compact for a big city. On a day of nice weather, you can cover a lot of ground. Stay until the evening hours to watch the bats fly from under the South Congress bridge!
For kids, riding the MetroRail from Lakeline Station to downtown would be an exciting adventure. You can easily get to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail from the Downtown station by walking to the end of Trinity Street where the trail begins. A few good spots to eat nearby are Gus’ Fried Chicken and Le’ Cafe’ Crepe. There’s also a PF Chang’s near the station. Or just pack a lunch and take a roundtrip ride to Austin and back. The kids would have a blast! Walk down to Congress Avenue on the trail, then walk straight up Congress to the Capitol where you can take a tour. Of course, it is downtown and a metropolitan city, so be aware of your surroundings.
If you are feeling outdoorsy, you can also rent paddle boards, kayaks and canoes at the Austin Rowing Club, just a short walk from the Convention Center Station. They also offer guided paddle tours. There is a small cafe onsite, but there are plenty of places to eat nearby too.
Austin’s newest attracting is the Austin FC Q2 Stadium near the Domain. If you are planning to attend a game, consider taking the metro rail to the Kramer Station instead of trying to find limited parking nearby. Check out the CapMetro special service to Q2 page for more details.
The Crestview Station area at Airport Blvd and N Lamar Blvd has been improving in the last years with new restaurants and shopping walking distance to the station. Right at the station is a great neighborhood pub, BlackStar Co-Op with local draft beer and delicious pub fare. Read more about this unique member owned brewery and restaurant on their website. You will definitely want to check them out! Just across the road is Kura Revolving Sushi Bar. Not only is riding the train an adventure, but having sushi at a revolving sushi bar will have you grinning. Also in the same plaza are Snow Ball Rice Ball, 85c Bakery and Cafe and Sazan Raman.
Get out and explore all that Austin has to offer, just a short ride away on the MetroRail. Check Schedule Here.
If you are thinking of relocating to the Austin Metro area, take a look at Cedar Park and Leander! With the Austin MetroRail and MetroBus services, it’s an easy commute to downtown or other major work hubs.
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