clock menu more-arrow no yes
A photo of a small waterfall on a stack of rock ledges, surrounded by trees, plants, and moss.
Zilker Botanical Gardens
Shutterstock

Austin’s best places to cry in public, mapped

Need a minute?

View as Map
Zilker Botanical Gardens
| Shutterstock

Austin is generally a pretty cheerful place, with plenty of sunshine, friendly people, and fun—so much fun, in fact, that (anecdote alert) actress Drew Barrymore, who hung out and filmed here in the 1990 and 2000s, once said the people are so fun that “if you’re having a bad time, they don’t want to know about it.”

That might not be an exact quote. Nevertheless, the Eeyores among us will recognize the sentiment. Even if you are usually as impossibly perky as Barrymore, or just kind of even-keeled, sometimes you have to let all the tears come, and fall where they may. And that can mean feeling your feels in public. Whether you’re on the verge of a stray tear or a full-on bawl, don’t worry. There are plenty of places in the city let it all out. Here are 10 just to get you started.

And if you don’t see your favorite crying spot on the list, dry your eyes and let it be known in the comments below.

Points are ordered north to south.

Read More

1. Your car

Copy Link
MoPac Expy
Austin, TX

MoPac is the particular location of this map point, but the frustration and isolation of a commute on any of Austin’s highways and major thoroughfares are enough to start the waterworks. On the plus side, no one can hear you scream.

2. UT shooting memorial and turtle pond

Copy Link
UT Turtle Pond
Austin, TX 78705

It would not be unexpected for someone to get teary when visiting the memorial to the victims of the 1966 UT Tower shooting—in fact, if you’re on campus often, it’s probably a cathartic antidote to the looming presence of the tower in your daily life. Most of the students around are probably doing their own emotional thing or looking at their phones and won’t notice you. Plus, you can walk a few steps to the turtle pond when you’re winding down and let their life-affirming reptilian antics balance you out.

3. LBJ Presidential Library lawn

Copy Link
2313 Red River St
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 721-0200
Visit Website

The lawn in front of the the LBJ library is massive, sweeping, and usually empty—all factors conducive to meditation or rumination. Not to worry—the slopping of the also-gigantic bowl fountain will drown out any wailing.

4. Oakwood Cemetery

Copy Link
1601 Navasota St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 978-2320
Visit Website

No one will wonder why someone’s crying in a cemetery—and this one is sprawling and tree-covered, so it’s easy to be on your own and semihidden, even if a few other people are there. It’s also full of beautiful old headstones and monuments and the burial site of many historic Texans as well as that of people buried in unmarked graves, as it was the only cemetery in the central city where nonwhite, non-Christian people could be buried in the past. If you’re not already there emotionally, that should give you plenty to cry about.

5. Texas Capitol

Copy Link
1100 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-4630
Visit Website

Whether you’re witnessing the shenanigans within or venting horrified frustration and protest alongside your fellow humans outside, crying is never out of place at Texas’s statehouse.

6. BookPeople

Copy Link
603 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-5050
Visit Website

You have a lot of options here in Austin’s big indie bookstore. One is to wander through the floors, browsing until you spot something appropriate to your pent-up feelings—some poetry, a tragedy, a self-help workbook—whatever feels right. Find a tucked-away couch, chair, or even a space on the floor between stacks, and weep away. When someone is crying while holding a book, people just think they’ve read something especially profound. Option two: Go to a reading by someone whose writing guarantees some waterworks, for whatever reason, or to one by some celebrity/literary crush you’ve had since childhood. Ask them to sign your book. Tell them how much they mean to you. You’ll cry out of overwhelming love and embarrassment in equal measure—it’s almost guaranteed.

7. Zilker Botanical Garden

Copy Link
2220 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 477-8672
Visit Website

Austin’s magical gardens have many places to experience and express those weepy feelings, starting with the pet memorial right up front. Venturing further into the park, you’ll find your choice of backdrop—Koi pond or rose garden? Stone bench or soft grass?—with which to frame your sorrows. Also, it’s a popular place for proposals, so those might just be tears of joy.

8. The bench in front of Lamberts

Copy Link
401 W 2nd St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 494-1500
Visit Website

True nostalgics can get misty over the destruction of Liberty Lunch, the beloved and utterly unique music club that once sat next door to the historic building—which also functioned as part of the bar and occasional club entrance, as well as having a raucous history prior to that—now occupied by Lamberts steakhouse. You can also gaze at the Toy Joy a little further down and have a lot of mixed feelings about its happy survival and the move from its original location to a nowhere-near-as-cool downtown retail strip. Bonus: Go inside and shop around. It’s still too packed with kooky stuff for anyone to notice even not-so-gentle weeping, plus there might be a kid or two crying inside, so it’s totally normal.

9. Fine movie houses everywhere

Copy Link
1120 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 861-7040
Visit Website

Don’t want to be truly alone? Head to any of Austin’s many fine movie theaters—preferably one with your choice of comfort food or snacks available. In addition to many weepers that are sure to be screening, you might be able to catch a show by the movie-skewering comedy group Master Pancake, which will literally—no, literally—make you laugh till you cry.

10. Festival Beach

Copy Link
Nash Hernandez Senior Rd
Austin, TX 78702

Festival Beach on Lady Bird Lake can get crowded during events and on holiday weekends, but even so, it’s pretty roomy, and the people there are usually caught up in activities or their own ruminations. The deep tree canopy at the tranquil end of the lake makes it perfect for a long, contemplative cry, preferably as the sun sets.

1. Your car

MoPac Expy, Austin, TX

MoPac is the particular location of this map point, but the frustration and isolation of a commute on any of Austin’s highways and major thoroughfares are enough to start the waterworks. On the plus side, no one can hear you scream.

MoPac Expy
Austin, TX

2. UT shooting memorial and turtle pond

UT Turtle Pond, Austin, TX 78705

It would not be unexpected for someone to get teary when visiting the memorial to the victims of the 1966 UT Tower shooting—in fact, if you’re on campus often, it’s probably a cathartic antidote to the looming presence of the tower in your daily life. Most of the students around are probably doing their own emotional thing or looking at their phones and won’t notice you. Plus, you can walk a few steps to the turtle pond when you’re winding down and let their life-affirming reptilian antics balance you out.

UT Turtle Pond
Austin, TX 78705

3. LBJ Presidential Library lawn

2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78712

The lawn in front of the the LBJ library is massive, sweeping, and usually empty—all factors conducive to meditation or rumination. Not to worry—the slopping of the also-gigantic bowl fountain will drown out any wailing.

2313 Red River St
Austin, TX 78712

4. Oakwood Cemetery

1601 Navasota St, Austin, TX 78702

No one will wonder why someone’s crying in a cemetery—and this one is sprawling and tree-covered, so it’s easy to be on your own and semihidden, even if a few other people are there. It’s also full of beautiful old headstones and monuments and the burial site of many historic Texans as well as that of people buried in unmarked graves, as it was the only cemetery in the central city where nonwhite, non-Christian people could be buried in the past. If you’re not already there emotionally, that should give you plenty to cry about.

1601 Navasota St
Austin, TX 78702

5. Texas Capitol

1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Whether you’re witnessing the shenanigans within or venting horrified frustration and protest alongside your fellow humans outside, crying is never out of place at Texas’s statehouse.

1100 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

6. BookPeople

603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

You have a lot of options here in Austin’s big indie bookstore. One is to wander through the floors, browsing until you spot something appropriate to your pent-up feelings—some poetry, a tragedy, a self-help workbook—whatever feels right. Find a tucked-away couch, chair, or even a space on the floor between stacks, and weep away. When someone is crying while holding a book, people just think they’ve read something especially profound. Option two: Go to a reading by someone whose writing guarantees some waterworks, for whatever reason, or to one by some celebrity/literary crush you’ve had since childhood. Ask them to sign your book. Tell them how much they mean to you. You’ll cry out of overwhelming love and embarrassment in equal measure—it’s almost guaranteed.

603 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

7. Zilker Botanical Garden

2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746

Austin’s magical gardens have many places to experience and express those weepy feelings, starting with the pet memorial right up front. Venturing further into the park, you’ll find your choice of backdrop—Koi pond or rose garden? Stone bench or soft grass?—with which to frame your sorrows. Also, it’s a popular place for proposals, so those might just be tears of joy.

2220 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78746

8. The bench in front of Lamberts

401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

True nostalgics can get misty over the destruction of Liberty Lunch, the beloved and utterly unique music club that once sat next door to the historic building—which also functioned as part of the bar and occasional club entrance, as well as having a raucous history prior to that—now occupied by Lamberts steakhouse. You can also gaze at the Toy Joy a little further down and have a lot of mixed feelings about its happy survival and the move from its original location to a nowhere-near-as-cool downtown retail strip. Bonus: Go inside and shop around. It’s still too packed with kooky stuff for anyone to notice even not-so-gentle weeping, plus there might be a kid or two crying inside, so it’s totally normal.

401 W 2nd St
Austin, TX 78701

9. Fine movie houses everywhere

1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Don’t want to be truly alone? Head to any of Austin’s many fine movie theaters—preferably one with your choice of comfort food or snacks available. In addition to many weepers that are sure to be screening, you might be able to catch a show by the movie-skewering comedy group Master Pancake, which will literally—no, literally—make you laugh till you cry.

1120 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

10. Festival Beach

Nash Hernandez Senior Rd, Austin, TX 78702

Festival Beach on Lady Bird Lake can get crowded during events and on holiday weekends, but even so, it’s pretty roomy, and the people there are usually caught up in activities or their own ruminations. The deep tree canopy at the tranquil end of the lake makes it perfect for a long, contemplative cry, preferably as the sun sets.

Nash Hernandez Senior Rd
Austin, TX 78702