Best Things To Do While In Austin, TX

When you visit Austin, Texas in the USA, there are many things to do. For instance, you can participate in activities like site seeing as well as enjoying a variety of dishes or drinks in various restaurants. This guide gives you information about the top ten must-see places in Austin. The following places are some of the most popular centers of attraction in this general area.

Barton Springs

Barton Springs Pool is in Zilker Park, and it is favorite destination among the residents and visitors alike.  Native Americans and other professional travel writers believe that the pool possesses some spiritual healing powers. Some people even refer to the pool as the soul of Austin.

The pool feeds from underground springs, and it measures about three acres. It maintains a temperature between 68 and 70 degrees. The temperature is perfect for the high summer temperatures often experienced in Texas.

There is also an exhibit center adjacent to the pool where the visitors can learn about the history of the place.  Barton Springs Pool opens from 5 a.m. to 10 pm daily except on Thursdays. It closes between 7 am and 9 pm for cleaning and maintenance.

Visitors can do things like swimming, photography as well as sunbathing on the lush grass around the pool. The admission costs to the pool vary depending on factors like age as well as residency. However, those who get to the pool before 8 am get free admission between March an October.

Certain things like smoking, food, glass alcohol, football as well as ice and thermal bags are not allowed in this resort area. You can take drinks inside, but you must make sure that they are in a plastic container with a lid.

Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library And Museum

Visiting a library can be a boring idea to some people, but Lyndon B. Johnson Library is an exception. It is a dedication to Lyndon Johnson, the USA’s 36th president. The library houses a variety of artifacts that include presidential papers as well as other interesting details.

You can also get things like LBJ robot, photographs about the Civil Rights era in the museum. It also chronicles the president’s political career and life. The library and museum also provide fascinating American history during the tenure of President Johnson. The place is also beautifully designed and attractive to many visitors.

credit: US National Archives

The LBJ library is near the University of Texas, and it opens every day except holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. It opens from 9 am to 5 pm, and the admission is $10 for adults. College students, as well as children between 13 and 17 years, pay $3 while kids below 12 years get free access.

Visitors can also enjoy free parking from parking lot 38. The visitors can also use public transport to get to the library. For more information, you can visit the library’s website.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Zilker Metropolitan Park is one of the best places to live in Austin. The 351-acre park is in downtown Austin, and it is home to some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. These attractions include art museums, athletic fields, swimming pools and plenty of space for strolling.

There are plenty of things that you can do that also include canoeing digging for fossils at Austin Nature and the Science Center’s Dino Pit. In a day or two, you can get the opportunity to explore all the things that Zilker Metropolitan Park offers. The Sculpture Garden and Museum offer art aficionados that you can peruse through.

If you are a nature enthusiast, you can also get the opportunity to stroll in Zilker Botanical Garden. In this place, you can enjoy seeing a variety of brightly colored flowers which are also suitable for photography. You can round up the day by cooling yourself in the Barton Springs Pool in the park.

The park opens daily from 5 am to 10 pm, and it offers free admission. If you visit during the week, you can enjoy free parking, and there are also fewer crowds. If you want to get more information about Zilker Metropolitan Park, you can visit its website.

State Capitol

State Capitol is another place that you must visit, and it is in the heart of Austin’s legislative center. The pink granite structure was opened in 1888, and it is 14 feet taller than Washington DC’s US capitol. It houses the governor’s receiving room and Hall of representatives who look the same as they were when the Capitol opened.

The structure was however restored in the 1980s, and the changes include the replacement of the statue of Goddess of Liberty. The figure was previously made of zinc, and it now consists of aluminum. Many visitors testify that the State Capitol is an impressive legislative building.

State Capital building of Austin TX

The visitors can also learn a lot of things about the history of Texas from the Capitol. Various exhibits are in the Capitol Visitor’s Center.

All the people who visit the State Capitol can explore the grounds and the building using self-guide pamphlets. The visitors can get these pamphlets from the Capitol Visitors Center, or they can visit the website for more information. They can also get a free guided tour for 30 minutes.

If you want to visit the State Capitol, you can enjoy privileges like free parking for the first two hours.  You can also use public transport to the Capitol which is even convenient. The buses drop the visitors near the Capitol.

Austin Bats

The visitors to Austin can also enjoy activities like seeing nature’s rare species like bats. Austin accommodates the largest colony of the urban bat in North America according to experts. Congress Avenue Bridge is home to approximately 1.5 million bats. Following the renovation of the bridge in 1980, the bats moved in since it presented a perfect refuge against predators.

The Congress Avenue Bridge is between the Lady Bird Lake and Colorado River in the southwest part of Austin’s downtown. The Mexican free-tailed bats migrate to the bridge in the north every spring to give birth as well as raise the offspring. Every summer, the bats come out at night to eat the pesky insects. They head back to central Mexico when fall season arrives.

Credit: Dateline NBC

The nightly mass exodus of the bats is so impressive, and visitors can take a glimpse of how these unique creatures survive. The visitors can also view the home to the bats by taking sunset cruises to the bridge. If you have spare time, watching the bats is an exciting activity.

Lady Johnson Wildflower Center

The center derives its name from its creator Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson “Lady Bird” who was President Lyndon Johnson’s wife. If you are a nature lover, then a stroll in this particular center can give you a refreshing experience.

Apart from enjoying the site of a variety of plant species, you can also learn important things like the benefits of planting specific plants. Lady Johnson Wildflower Center is the US’s biggest research library for different studies of native plants. Visitors can enjoy seeing more than 650 species of the Texan flora. These include evening primrose and bluebonnets which spread to over than 12 acres.

The center is located about ten miles to the southwest of the city, and it opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The admission is $10 for adults while students pay $8, children between five and 17 years as well as senior citizens pay $4. The children younger than four years enjoy free admission.

Visitors should know that there are no options for public transport to the Center. The other thing is that the Center features things like a gift shop, café, and an observation deck. Visiting the Center can be all year round, but summer and spring provide the best opportunities when flowers are blooming.

Bullock Texas State Museum

Bullock, Texas History Museum, features a variety of artifacts that range from the Goddess of Liberty. It also features galleries that consist of more than 500 objects and other unique artifacts about the history of Texas State.  The museum houses the most massive IMAX screen in Texas, and it also features 4-D Texas Spirit Theatre.

In the theatre, visitors can access documentary short films, an outdoor patio, a café, and a large store. More than 7 million people visited the museum since its opening in 2001. Many visitors have an interest in learning about the history of the state and other new things about it.

The museum opens from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday, and it opens from noon to 5 pm on Sundays. Adults pay $13 for admission while senior citizens and students pay $11 and children between the ages of $ and 17 pay $9. On the first Sunday of each month, the museum offers free admission.

IMAX movies and Texas Spirit Theater attract additional charges and parking also costs $8. Bust routes end within two blocks from this museum. Visitors interested in more information can visit the museum’s website.

Esther’s Follies

Esther’s Follies offers live music shows that can keep you on your feet in the Isles. You can enjoy a variety of magic tricks, and the live shows are a must-see for the visitors and locals alike. These shows can never disappoint so you can experience fantastic entertainment from visiting the place.

You can enjoy the shows every Thursday from 8 pm on Friday and Saturday from 8 pm and 10 pm. The general admission is between $25 and $30 while $35 is for reserved seats. Students and seniors get some discounts, and the other thing is that seating is limited.

You can buy tickets in advance to reserve your seat and avoid last minute rush. You can also visit Esther’s Follies website for more information about the live musical shows.

Blanton Museum Of Art

The Blanton Museum is on the campus of the University of Texas, and it is a must-see for different visitors. It is one of the most prominent university art museums in the whole country, and it boasts of about 17,000 works of art. Some of the artifacts include baroque and Renaissance, pieces by Poussin and Rubens.

The museum also features the most prominent private collection including masterworks in the US. Blanton Museum opens on Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 5 pm. It opens till 9 pm every third Thursday, and on Saturday it begins from11 am to 5 pm while on Sunday afternoons it opens from 1 to 5 pm.

The museum of art closes on Mondays as well as during the university holidays. Before visiting, you should check the school calendar. The museum charges an admission fee of $9 for adults, and it is free for children below 12 years. On Thursdays, the museum is closed, and you should also know that you can get paid parking on the Brazos Garage.

The Blanton MOA is accessible via public transportation through the regular bus routes numbers 1,5 and 7. You can also get to the place via Metro Rapid 801 way. If you want more information about the museum, you can visit the museum’s website.

Sixth Street

Sixth Street offers live music, and you can also discover some of Austin’s upcoming talent from this place. Sixth Street became Austin’s hub of the music scene in the 1970s, and it continues to attract a lot of talent as well as visitors.

During the current period, Sixth Street is a hive of activity from bars, shops, restaurants as well as live music joints. Some of the joints include Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar, Esther’s Follies and Drafthouse Cinema. The place is favorite among revelers from different areas.  This would be a fun place to celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22 and try different tequilas.

The activities on Sixth Street appeal to all tastes, and there is a lot of action on Friday and Saturday. During these days, police restrict vehicular traffic to allow people to roam the street freely. For more information about lodging options, bars, and restaurants on Sixth Street, you can visit the district’s website.