Austin – The city that never sleeps! An Austin vacation is bursting with entertainment, restaurants and attractions. Austin is the Texas State capitol and enjoys sunshine year-round. In the past decade the capital of Texas has grown steadily, attracting everyone from young professionals to artists and students. Despite the growth, Austin has managed to maintain its mellow, small-town appeal. The first residents were nomadic tribes that included Tonkawas, Comanches and Lipan Apaches. In the 1830s Spanish explorers set a village there known as Waterloo. And in 1839, Waterloo was chosen to be the capital of the new Republic of Texas.
The State Capitol, the largest in the United States, and the Governor’s Mansion, which is open for tours, will appeal to those interested in the political side of Austin. History buffs can head to the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. LBJ was one of the city’s most famous residents. The Lyndon Johnson library is the most visited presidential library in the nation that has a replica of the oval office and limousine. In 1982, his wife “Lady Bird” created a Wildflower Center dedicated to preserving the native plants of North America. You can also visit the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and the Harry Ransom Center during your Austin vacation. The Harry Ransom Center is home to the world’s first photograph, original costumes from “Gone with the Wind” and a rare Guttenberg Bible. And the Driskill Hotel is a historic hotel that offers antique style rooms and delicious food. It has been around since the late 1880’s. Other Tourist attractions in Austin include ghosts towns and the Dinosaur Park.
As the Live Music Capital of the World Austin echos a vibrant music and arts community and a wealth of entertainment and related attractions including the sound of country, rock’n’roll, blues,jazz and Latin for a wonderful Austin vacation. Music lovers would enjoy an Austin Vacation. South by Southwest, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, is held in Austin each spring and welcomes musicians from around the globe. It is home to many Grammy Award winning musicians such as Willie Nelson. Any Austin Texas travel needs to go to Sixth Street. It has over 80 restaurants and bars. This music Mecca is also a good place for movies. It is certainly the top movie location in Texas it has been the set for movies like “The Rookie,” “Second Hand Lions” and “Miss Congeniality.” Even if you are not a music lover there are plenty of museums to see, places to eat and shopping to do.
Besides music and movies, there are plenty of tourist attractions in Austin. An Austin vacation offers recreational activities from golf to walking trails in beautiful parks. An Austin Texas vacation has to include at least one of 220 parks around town. Relax and take in the city by going to Zilker Park, Lake Travis, Lake Austin or Town Lake. These exhilarating parks include scuba diving, sailing and canoeing. For those traveling with children, must-see destinations are the Austin Children’s Museum, the Austin Zoo and Zilker Metropolitan Park, a multi-purpose recreational area that also features the Austin Nature and Science Center, the Zilker Botanical Gardens. The tourist attractions in Austin are countless.
There is everything from family fun vacations to all night spring break vacation spots. If you think Texas is all ranchland and cowboys, then you will be very surprised. Take an Austin vacation anytime and stay as long as you want. A Texas Vacation has something for everyone to enjoy. You can water-ski, scuba dive or just float down a lazy river. You can find festivals and fairs happening nearly year-round.
Austin Family Fun Vacation
You’ll find profiles of some of the state’s major attractions, activities, festivals, museums, and special events. Included is contact information to help you plan your trip as well as photos of each destination. Some of the best family vacation ideas and information is available in Austin.
At sunset the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that live under Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge take flight over Town Lake. It looks amazing, like pepper being flung into the sky. The bats migrate to Mexico in November, but until then you can get a good view by heading to the east side of the bridge.
Some think it’s best to stand or even lie down on the riverbank and look up as the sky darkens with the largest urban bat colony in North America. Others like to stand on the bridge for the panoramic view. Many tourists take to the water on Town Lake and reserve a place on a bat-viewing boat tour to watch the event, hopping aboard Capital Cruises’ bat-watching boat (512-480-9264; www.capitalcruises.com). which can take as long as 45 minutes.
Bat Watching at the Congress Avenue Bridge Information
Address: Congress Ave. Bridge
100 Congress Ave
Hours of Operation: June to September evenings
Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool is one of Austin’s famous landmarks and easily the most popular swimming hole in the city.
Spring fed and over 900 feet long, the pool was formed when Barton Creek was dammed up, so it has a natural rock and gravel bottom. There are varying depths, diving boards, and stairs and ladders for entry. The water temperature averages 68 degrees F’ throughout the year, so enter the pool gingerly. As you swim across, feel how some spots are colder than others. A more refreshing swim is hard to find.
Out of the water, there’s plenty of room for children to roam. After a refreshing dip, sunbathers and picnickers stretch out on the long, grassy hill. Lifeguards keep watch during the summer, and a playground and concession stand are outside the fence.
Fees ($3.00 per adult, $2.00 per junior 12-17, $1.00 children under 12 and seniors over 62)
A $3 parking fee in Zilker Park also applies on weekends, holidays, and special events.
Pool doors open early at 5 a.m. The pool is closed Thursdays 9am – 7pm for maintenance and cleaning.
Phone (512) 476-9044
2101 Barton Springs Road Austin, TX 78746