Whether you’re on your way to Austin for a festival, to explore the growing startup company scene, or simply to enjoy wandering around the city, the City of the Violet Crown has something for you. With an impressive lineup of live music venues, beautiful weather, and delicious breakfast tacos as far as the eye can see, it’s hard not to love this Texas city.
To get a sense of Austin’s history, start your visit at the Texas State Capitol Building. This architecturally significant government building is the largest capitol building in the United States and offers free guided tours. Next, take a stroll over to another sizeable destination: the Blanton Museum of Art. Located on campus at the University of Texas at Austin, this museum is one of the largest university art museums in the country. The Blanton houses both temporary exhibition spaces and a permanent collection, in addition to classrooms, a print study room, and a café.
Cool off with a dip in the Barton Springs Pool, an outdoor swimming pool fed by natural springs that stays a comfortable 70 degrees all year round. The natural limestone pool may be three acres in area, but still has diving boards and lifeguards like any public pool. The Barton Springs Pool is located in Zilker Park, a grassy outdoor park and kid-friendly destination right in the middle of downtown Austin. Before leaving the area, be sure to check out the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum as well. Continue exploring Austin’s natural wonders at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a conservation founded in 1982 dedicated to native North American plants, or hike up Mount Bonell for great city views.
If you’re visiting Austin between May and October, one must see is the Congress Bridge bat colony. Every evening at dusk, around 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight from their daytime perch under the Congress Avenue Bridge, producing a spectacle that’s unlike any other. The urban bat colony’s flight typically lasts around 15 minutes, and is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.