The self proclaimed Live Music Capital of World, Austin is known for its festivals, growing food scene, and unique attitude. While visiting you will come across impressive art galleries and some of the best BBQ in the country. Austin is unlike any other Texas city. Here you will find the top 10 things to do while visiting this “weird” city.
1. Zilker Park
Just south of downtown Zilker Park is the 351-acre park home to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. While visiting the park you can visit museums, swimming pools, lakes, and see stunning artwork. In the summer months you can attend free blues concerts. The park is open from 5am to 10pm giving you plenty of time to explore.
2. Texas State Capitol
Opened in 1888 this massive capitol building stands 15 feet higher than its counterpart in Washington DC. Inside the building you will be overwhelmed by the detailed ceilings and statues. Guests of the capitol are welcome to explore independently or can take a fee tour.
3. Austin Bats
Many people do not know that Austin is home to the largest bat community in North America. Austin has a population of 1.3 million people and over 1.5 million bats who have made Congress Avenue Bridge there home. There are a variety of bat viewing tours available at sunset.
4. Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library and Museum
This presidential library is dedicated to the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. The library underwent a renovation in 2012 and now houses artifacts, presidential papers, and photographs from the civil rights era. The museum is open everyday from 9am to 5pm and admission is $10 for adults.
Flickr: Michael Cole
5. Barton Springs Pool
Located inside Zilker Park, Barton Springs 3-acre pool formed from underground springs. The pool maintains a temperature between 68 and 70 degrees, which makes it the perfect place to cool off from the Texas sun. The spring is open daily from 5am to 10pm from May to September and is free for visitors who get there before 8am.
6. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Wildflower Center was founded by Mrs. Johnson to educate Texans on gardening methods in 1995. The center houses more than 900 species of Texas plants for observation on a 42-acre site. The best time to visit is in the spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom. The center is open from 9am to 5pm daily for an entrance fee of $10.
Flickr: Ethan Lundgaard
7. Blanton Museum of Art
Positioned on the University of Texas Campus, the museum’s 189,340 square feet are dedicated to a variety of impressive pieces of art. The museum has a permanent collection of 18,000 pieces from Europe, the United States, and Latin America. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5pm for $9.
8. Ester Follies
This 35 year old establishment is famous for its comedic shows where the cast preforms improv shows, juggling, dancing, and magic tricks. There are shows every Thursday and 8pm and every Friday and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm collectively. You can find tickets online or buy at the door for $30.
Flickr: Van Sutherland
9. Bullock Texas State History Museum
Located a few blocks north of the Texas State Capitol the Bullock Museums mission is to tell “the Story of Texas”. The museum opened in 2001 and has three floors of interactive exhibits. The museum rotates exhibits and visitors will most likely not see the same thing twice. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm for $11.
10. The Driskill
This landmark was built in 1886 and is the oldest operating hotel in Texas. This Texan monument is one of the most recognized building in Austin. Built by Jesse Driskill who wanted to build, “the finest hotel south of St. Louis”. If you can book a room at the Driskill it is worth the price tag!