The Texas state capital, named for Texas’ founding father, Stephen F. Austin, has become one of the country’s most popular tourist sites. Austin not only has the history that one would expect from state capital, but it also has a music and food scene that reflects the city’s attitude and collegiate atmosphere.
Travelers will take on numerous characters as they explore all of Austin’s attractions. During the day, you’ll be exploring the city’s various urban parks and protected areas. Take a break from the sun by swimming in natural ponds before drying off and visiting one of the many museums and galleries.
1:Texas State Capitol
The Texas State Capitol and its adjacent grounds are a strong presence in the streets of downtown Austin. The Governor’s office, as well as the state legislative chambers, are housed in this edifice.
The eye-catching capitol is a National Historic Landmark, despite the fact that it is still the focus of state politics. With its ornate dome and tower, it stands over 300 feet tall, making it one of the country’s highest state capitols. The Texas State Capitol is now taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Also, read Best Things to Do in El Paso.
2: Congress Avenue Bridge
Austin is known for its live music and restaurants, but did you know it is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony? Every night, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight beneath the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.
The bridge connects downtown Austin to South River City and the beautiful SoCo District by crossing the Colorado River. During the day, it’s a great stroll with lovely river and city views. However, there may be no finer site to observe the sunset come nightfall.
3: Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail
Lady Bird Lake is a portion of the Colorado River, which may mislead first-time visitors to Austin. The lake and waterfront area are the crown jewels of Austin’s urban green spaces, with plenty of options for water sports, hiking, and biking.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is a feature of Lady Bird Lake for those who want to stay on land. The easy trail runs along the lake’s edge for ten kilometers. A boardwalk segment of the path makes up 10% of the track, providing visitors with spectacular views of downtown. It’s a terrific way to get around Austin, with stops at parks, bridges, and Barton Springs.
4: LBJ Presidential Library
At our next stop, the frenetic story of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency is on full display. The LBJ Presidential Library, which initially opened in 1971, is a comprehensive collection of his political career. The library was refurbished in 2013, giving visitors their best experience yet. Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas, about an hour outside of Austin. Also, read Most Beautiful Small Cities in Texas.
5: Bullock Texas State History Museum
Austin is more than simply late-night music. It’s also the finest spot to learn about Texas’ history because it’s the state capitol. You can do just that at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, where you may go back in time to the beginning.
Through a variety of hands-on exhibitions and multimedia presentations, go through the history of the Lone Star State. The Story Of Texas, which focuses on defining events, is a highlight. You may learn about Tejano culture, the Alamo, and the state’s oil economy while exploring the hull of La Belle, a 17th-century shipwreck.
6: SoCo District
The majority of Austin’s eccentric personality may be found south of downtown, across the bat-infested Congress Bridge. SoCo, named after South Congress Avenue, is a neighborhood that celebrates the city’s quirkiness through shopping, food, and music.
The district has established itself as a popular hangout spot in Austin, alongside Sixth Street and downtown. During the day, stroll down South Congress to discover a plethora of local boutiques, thrift stores, art galleries, and soaring murals. At night, food trucks come out to play, serving you delectable affordable foods. While the sounds of live music reverberate across the town.
7: Mount Bonnell
Put on your climbing boots and head to the top of Mount Bonnell for the greatest views in town. Austin’s many urban parks provide excellent hiking opportunities, but none compare to Bonnell, which peaks at 775 feet. It’s the highest point in the city of Austin.
Hikers, however, must first ascend more than 100 stars. Despite this stumbling block, the climb is gradual and not unduly difficult. The hike is particularly popular towards sunset, when you can enjoy golden hour views of the city skyline and the Colorado River. You should come very early to avoid the throng and get a comparative perspective.
8: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, located 15 minutes southwest of Austin, opened to much fanfare in 1982. The park was founded by Lady Bird Johnson and Helen Hayes to display a diverse range of natural wildflowers, and it today boasts 970 different species.
Visiting the center is both enjoyable and instructive, as you will learn about the various habitats required to support many flowers. The center is home to 20 different habitats that can be explored via a four-mile trail system. Each day at 10 a.m., join a free guided tour or explore on your own.
9: McKinney Falls State Park
Austin is surrounded by magnificent countryside and has a number of excellent local parks. McKinney Falls State Park, which features a beautiful cascade, is a perfect example of this.
A vast natural environment, just ten miles southeast of Austin, feels worlds apart from the city. Onion Creek runs through the state park, cascading over small limestone cliffs and through the verdant woodland. Both the lower and upper falls provide respite from the Texas heat.
10: Blanton Museum of Art
A world-class art museum is located on the University of Texas campus. Nearly 20,000 works of art from Europe, the United States, and Latin America are housed at the Blanton Museum of Art.
The works of art date back centuries, to the height of the Roman Empire. Visitors will be able to see a variety of antique Roman pottery as well as captivating Renaissance items. After that, take a look at the outstanding collection of contemporary Native American art and one of the most beautiful collections of Latin American art in the country.
The Blanton Museum of Art’s external grounds features a design by Ellsworth Kelly named Austin, which is possibly the museum’s showpiece.