Austin- a tourist destination for all age groups today, was earlier talked about only when it came to music. But with the discovery of such beautiful outdoor spaces, world-class museums, extravagant shopping avenues and art exhibits, this place has emerged on every traveler’s bucket list.
Be it swimming in one of its natural spring pools or biking in Zilker Park, from bat-watching in the evening to club-hopping on 6th Avenue, Austin offers you countless activities to make your vacation a thorough experience.
Make a mandatory visit to the State Capitol
The legislative spire of Austin stands in the heart of it. Those seeking an insight to Texas history and legislature always pay this historic site a visit. You can take up a self guided tour of the building and the grounds or can even tag along with a free guided tour that lasts for about 30 minutes.
Explore the ever-ending Zilker Park
This gigantic park flaunts Austin’s reputation as one of the best places to live. It is home to some great tourist attractions such as swimming pools, art exhibits, etc. And if you are up for some family fun, then there is plenty of space to stroll or enjoy a picnic with your kids.
There’s 6th Street for absolute Music Buffs
It’s impossible to visit Austin and not know about the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ in advance. This area is bustling with a lot of activities beside live music action. There are shops, restaurants and bars. And whether you are a rowdy club fan or prefer low-key bars, this place offers something for all tastes. Make sure you plan your visit over the weekend, so you can carouse in the middle of the road with no vehicle to disturb you.
Take a dip at the Barton Spring Pools
Zilker Park hosts this ‘Soul of Austin’ where you’d find tourists and residents in abundance. In earlier times, this popular locale formed out of underground springs was said to possess spiritual healing powers. In the sweltering summers, the temperature here is such a respite!
Visit the Blanton Museum of Art
All the art enthusiasts must be aware of this largest university art museum in the country, Blanton Museum of Art. This building is replete with over 17,000 artifacts that belong to ancient legends and contempo Latin-American artists.
Go for a rib-tickling laugh at Esther’s Follies
There is much more to 6th street beyond live music and booty shaking. Esther’s Follies, a perfect entertainment dose that pulls tourists and locals alike showcases everything from jaw-slacking magic tricks to amazing improve shows. Prefer to buy tickets in advance due to limited seating and extensive demand.
Check out the unique Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum
Visiting a presidential library may sound lame to some, but this one’s different! Dedicated to the 36th president of the States, this Museum exhibits all the possible mediums to story-tell his personal and political life, from holiday cards to photographs, to an LBJ Robot.
Bullock Texas State History Museum is not to be missed either
This one houses some really interesting artifacts such as the original Goddess of Liberty statue and Astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s space suit that he wore on Apollo 14 mission to the moon. Then there’s a gigantic IMAX screen (the biggest in Texas State) along with a 4D Texas Spirit theater, a small café and an outdoor patio.
Gawk at millions of bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge
Home to the largest urban bat territory in Northern America, Congress Avenue Bridge resides more than 1.5 billion bats! Hit the city in summers and you can see for yourself this eerie natural wonder, when all these bats come out at dusk in search for prey.
Indulge in nature at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Named after President Lyndon Johnson’s Wife, this center is a perfect spot for nature lovers. The place is known to revolutionize gardening in Texas and motivates many botanists.
Explore the unconventional Mexic-Arte Museum
If you fancy Latin and Mexican culture, then this museum would intrigue you. Besides housing some permanent exhibits that include photos of Mexican Revolution, you can also check out theatrical and musical performances that occur year round.
Check out the Baylor Street Art Wall
Capturing the essence of Austin in an offbeat way, Baylor Street has become more of a canvas for the local graffiti artists. The views keep changing over and over, with the top of it offering a great view of the entire city.
Try a Beer at the Hill Country Libations Tour
Hill Country rests to the West of Austin and showcases some really gorgeous landscapes along with a bunch of world-famous breweries and distilleries. Buy a ticket from one of the tour companies downtown that take you through your favorite places in this vicinity. The ticket includes a number of complimentary free tastings!
Get puzzled at The Escape Game Austin
Austin is known for its puzzle games but The Escape Game outruns them all in popularity. Try ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Prison Break’ here, they are an absolute joyride!
Take a ride with the Haunted Limo Tours
Rent a classic Cadillac that is now a spooky Limo and tour through Austin’s most haunted locations such as Littlefield House, Clay Pit, Tavern and many more. This tour offers little walking and a lot of fun (along with some goosebumps!). These night-time tours are a 2.5-3 hour drive and can take 4-7 persons in one car.
Explore the Hiking Trails of Austin
Welcome to the gateway of the Hill Country, replete with gorgeous trails, water bodies and lush green belts that offer plenteous for outdoor adventures. Westcave Preserve for instance offers a beautiful ecosystem for natural science programs designed for children and adults alike.
Plan a picnic near the Hamilton Pool Preserve
This is practically a natural wonder- a swimming hole in a natural limestone grotto and a 50 foot waterfall! Avoid going round the monsoons, as the swimming area is closed due to excessive bacteria.
Go sporty at the Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
Zipline adventures above Lake Travis are absolutely thrilling. The views are incredible atop your 60 kmph flight!
Try some Trailer Food
Austin takes ‘trailer eatery’ to the next level. You can get anything served out of the trailer here, from sushi to cupcakes. Some popular joints are East Side Kings, Veracruz All Natural and La Barbeque.
Cheer on one of the Texas Sports
The city’s obsession with Football will get you too! Buy yourself a ticket or at least find a place to tailgate.
Tour the local breweries of Austin
Austin is rising as the microbrewery honcho of Texas. And in the quest to outrun their counterparts and prove the authenticity of their priced potions, most breweries offer tours to the public.
Float in the San Marcos River
Friday through Sunday, all summer long, San Marcos offers you a great floating experience, just half an hour away from Austin.
Some of Austin’s Best Restaurants are not to be missed!
http://www.perlasaustin.com/ http://www.eastsidepies.com/ http://www.elizabethstreetcafe.com/ http://quiaustin.com/ are some of the best food joints in Austin, catering to every taste and pocket. If you visit around the Austin Restaurant Week, dine in the finest restros across the city with immensely low priced menus.
Plan your journey during one of the Austin Festivals and Special Events
Keep Austin Weird 5K, Austin Marathon, Austin Fine Arts Festival, Trail of Lights, Austin Film Festival and many many more such events await you in the city of celebrations.
Try Two-stepping at the Broken Spoke
Near to downtown Austin is this authentic, slightly dusty dancehall where your odds of meeting Dale Watson are fairly high.
Try these street food places if you are a Tacoholic
There’s Torchy Tacos, Taco Mex and Papalote among the top tacos servers. Choose your pick from good to classy but make sure to try the informal Austin delicacy.
Watch the Fireworks over Lake Austin from a small boat
Beyond romantic, it’s downright emotional. Don’t miss taking your love to see the fireworks. You’ll feel like one of those movie couples kissing under the stars!
Go hipster gazing at the Spiderhouse
For those who are too cool for downtown live music action and love smoking like hell, head on to the Spiderhouse. That cutie in glasses awaits you with a rugged Keruoc novel in her hand.
Try an eccentric vegetarian dish at the Veggie Heaven
For hardcore vegetarians, the chef provides a ravishing Protein2000, a bestseller offering fried vegetable protein covered in delicious brown rice.
Catch your favorite movie, but with style, at Alamo Drafthouse
Told to be the best movie theater in the world, the Alamo serves food and beer during the movie. The new releases are declared with wonderful revivals and quote-alongs of classics.
Unravel the eerie Longhorn Caverns
These thousand year old caverns created by water on limestone bedrock are sure to take to another planet; ideal for a day trip.
With so much to explore and experience, plan a long Austin vacation! You are sure to still run out of time!