Top 10 Things to Do in Austin
- Completed in 1888, the pink granite Texas State Capitol stands 302 feet high and is 14 feet higher than our nation's capitol. Guided tours are offered weekdays, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 12-3:30 p.m. Free admission.
- Relive the pages of Texas history at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Interactive exhibits, artifacts, an IMAX Theatre and the multi-sensory Texas Spirit Theatre bring the myth, legend and fact of Texas all together under one roof. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 12-6 p.m.
- The University of Texas is home to the Blanton Museum of Art, recognized for its European paintings and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art. Open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1-5 p.m.
Bat-watching on the Congress Avenue Bridge
- Enjoy the spectacle of the Congress Avenue bats, the largest urban bat colony in North America, as 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats depart nightly at sunset, April through October, from beneath the bridge.
- See the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where planting areas, wildflower meadows, exhibits and observation tower pay homage to Lady Bird’s devotion to native landscaping and preservation. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5:30 p.m.
- Visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum to see copious volumes of presidential papers, a scale replica of the Oval Office during his presidency, and a First Lady's Gallery devoted to the work of Lady Bird Johnson. Open daily, except Christmas, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission and parking.
- Swim in the constant 68-degree waters of Barton Springs Pool, an artesian spring-fed swimming hole in Zilker Park. Open daily 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed Thursdays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Nominal admission charge.
- Take in all the sights on The University of Texas campus, one of the largest public universities in the nation. Tours are available of the UT Tower by reservation only on Saturdays and Sundays, 2-6 p.m.
- The heart of Austin is found along the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, a 10.1-mile path bordering the lake on its flow through downtown.
- Head to South Congress Avenue to discover eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, unique accommodations and popular music venues. On the first Thursday of each month, merchants keep their doors open until 10 p.m., playing host to an array of events and activities.