Austin Information

Austin is the "Live Music Capital of the World". It's a cosmopolitan, yet unpretentious city, with both a cultural scene and vibrant nightlife. Far from being ordinary, it's the kind of place where you check your worries at the city limits sign, trade in suits for something a bit more casual and prepare for experiences you'll find only here.

In Austin, music is synonymous with the city, as is great barbeque, a decidedly liberal culture, and the likelihood that the tattooed hipster standing next to you in line at a local music venue is a tech millionaire.

As a matter of fact, Austin is a city of contradictions, full of attractions of all kinds. The State Capitol building is one of them; it's been named one of the Top 10 Texas Attractions for non-Texans and Texans alike. Music, of course, is everywhere, and is another top attraction. South by Southwest, one of the nation's largest music industry conferences, draws millions to the city for two weeks each March, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival rocks the city for a weekend each September.

Austin is also well known for food. The Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, held each April, is the nation's second largest such event, and showcases food and wine with a Texas flair. Barbeque is big here -- it is Texas, after all - but so are vegan and vegetarian food, as well as a number of Mobil Travel Guide-rated Four-Star restaurants and noted chefs.

Some of the city's other attractions include:

Zilker Metropolitan Park
2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78746
Zilker Metropolitan Park is one of the city's most popular hangouts for visitors and locals alike with its volleyball and soccer fields, huge trees, a great playground, and a mini-train for kids big and small that lets visitors tour the 351-acre park in comfort.

State Capitol
Congress Ave., Between 11th & 14th Streets, Austin, TX 78701
The State Capitol is a National Historic Landmark, the largest state capitol in the United States. It is an interesting pieces of Texas history, and a must see in Austin.

The Town Lake Trail, the dammed portion of the Colorado River that runs through the middle of downtown Austin, is popular and easily accessed from all downtown hotels. The trail is one reason the city's been named one of the "Top 25 Running Cities" by Runner's World magazine. This 10-mile path is the perfect way to experience Austin's natural beauty.

Old Bakery & Emporium
1006 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
512 477 5961
The Bakery was built in 1876, complete with an old-fashioned oven and wooden baker's spade. It is a great place to shop for gifts. All the crafts are made by Austin's Senior citizens and they also volunteer their time, to keep the place going. The Bakery is a must stop while in Austin.

The Austin Nature and Science Center
301 Nature Center Drive, Austin, TX 78746
512 327 8181
The Austin Nature and Science Center is a "living nature museum" in Zilker Park that opened in 1960. There's the "Eco-Detective Trail," wildlife exhibits and the incredibly cool Dino Pit exhibit, and an outdoor, hands-on exhibit with six different areas for discovery and exploration. It is kid friendly and it's about learning and having fun at the same time.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
2313 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78705
512 721 0200
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is another place to visit. This famous museum explores the life and service of the former president through exhibits and memorabilia. The exhibits include information on America's culture during the president's life, gifts received during his presidency, an in-depth look at Lady Bird Johnson. Admission is free of charge, restrooms and a gift shop are available.

A variety of other museums is available in town, including: Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin Children's Museum, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Elisabeth Ney Museum, George Washington Carver Museum and O. Henry Home & Museum.