Austin, the capital of the state of Texas, is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Home to one of the best Country, Rock and Blues music scene, Austin is quite popular among music fans. Austin also guarantees plentiful outdoor activities as it is filled with lakes, parks and hills. Even after enjoying its good food, world renowned music and refreshing outdoors if you still crave something extraordinary Austin also has a Formula One racetrack which hosts the American Grand Prix. With all of its charms Austin proves to be a must see for anyone visiting Texas.
10) Texas State Capitol
Ranked as one of America’s favorite architectural monuments the Texas State Capitol is a building worth praising. The Capitol was constructed using Renaissance Revival style which made it a timeless classic. With 400 rooms and over 900 windows this building is a lone star that shines its light on Austin. Visitors visiting the Capitol are sure to be impressed by the stately grounds that surround and exemplify the buildings beauty. An added bonus is the affordable yet tasty cafeteria in the basement that is always present to satisfy your craving for food.
9) Bullock Texas State History Museum
The key to truly enjoying a visit to a city is to become familiar with its culture and its history.
To understand Austin look no further than “ Bullock Texas State History Museum ”. The museum does its mission statement justice which states “ To tell the story of Texas ”. Having three floors filled with artifacts and interactive experiences the museum caters to all audiences. The museum also boasts an IMAX theater with a total of 400 seats and both 2D as well as 3D film capabilities. You will be going in the museum an average person and after presentations like the “ Star of Destiny ” you will walk out a Texan, sort of.
8) Lady Bird Lake
Named after the former first lady of the USA, Lady Bird Johnson, the Lady Bird Lake divides Austin equally. Interestingly the lake is not a natural lake but a man made reservoir developed as a cooling system for the city power plant. Motorboats are not allowed on the lake giving it a nice laid back feel. A range of activities can be performed including cycling on the lake shore, jogging and fishing. Water sports are also a fun way to pass time. After being exhausted by all the fun you just had, just simply relaxing on the beautiful lakeside gardens will get you up to speed in no time.
7) Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is located in the heart of Downtown Austin. Displaying the sculptures of Charles Umlauf this small garden also functions as a museum paying tribute to the artist. The highlights of garden are the sculptures that are scattered in different places along the park. The Kiss, a masterpiece of Umlauf is the heart of this outdoor museum. Visitors and common everyday people come here everyday to get distracted from there busy lives. Wedding ceremonies, musical gatherings and parties are also a common occurrence. If you are feeling like pondering over your life there is no better place in Austin.
6) Austin Zoo
What started out as a Goat Ranch is now a non-profit animal sanctuary where more than 300 animals are currently looked after. These animals span over a 100 species including wild cats, bears, lions , tigers and many others. Austin Zoo is a nice little place to hang out for a while. Kids , especially, will love the atmosphere of the zoo. It is also a surprisingly great venue for a photoshoot. The animals in this zoo are sure to make your day a bit more happy and is also the place that will let you feel close to the animals you adore so much.
5) 360 Overlook at the Pennybacker Bridge
More Austin than Austin itself is the Pennybacker Bridge which connects the North and South sides of Austin. This iconic bridge is close to the heart of Austinites which come every weekend with their picnic baskets and cameras to take in the scenic views from the 360 degree outlook. This 360 degree outlook is just north of the bridge. A relatively easy hike along the side of the road leads people to the top. Seeing the sun set from this point is an experience worth remembering. After the sun sets the lake lights up in starlight and downtown can be seen glowing in the distance, A sight that you will remember for the rest of your life.
4) Blanton Museum of Art
Blanton Museum of Art is the art museum of University of Texas at Austin. It is among the largest art museums at universities in America. Featuring a collection of 18,000 permanent works as well as numerous temporary paintings this art gallery showcases the works of prominent European and Non- European artists. The gallery holds exhibitions for European, Latin American, Modern and Contemporary arts by notable artists. Aside from paintings, there are also Greek and Roman era Vases dating from as far back as 6 century BCE. And to top it all of there is also a collection of sketches and drawings. In short there is something for everyone.
3) Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell a.k.a Covert Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Austin. The top of this mountain is the highest point overlooking Austin. Spectacular views, refreshing breezes and an awe inspiring setting are some of things making Mount Bonnell a must see. Visitors can see beautiful views of Lake Austin, Austin City and the surrounding counties of Texas. With some of the best views of the city, the mountain gets crowded with visitors as well as common people eating food out of their picnic baskets. So if you feel like taking a nap or taking in nature at its finest head over to this mountain.
2) Barton Springs Pool
Considered sacred by the Tonkawa Native American tribe, Barton Springs are a naturally formed body of water that has been filling the pool for centuries. The pool was built for general public in early 1900‘s. Barton Springs Pool is a recreational spot where the people of Austin come for swimming quite often. For tourists there is no better way to mingle with the locals than taking a soak together. The pool is opened year round from early morning till late in the night. Quite interestingly this pool is also the natural habitat of “ Barton Springs salamander ”, an endangered species. Go, take a dip and leave all your worries behind!
1) Congress Avenue Bridge
Situated in downtown Austin, the Congress Avenue Bridge passes above Lady Bird Lake and straight into the heart of the city. What’s so special about this lake? The Worlds largest Urban Bat population that lives underneath the bridge in summer and fly out every night. Scores of spectators gather on the bridge to witness the exodus of nearly 1.5 million bats flying out in search of food. When this black cloud of bats rises up from beneath the bridge we are reminded of the wonders of nature that continue to baffle us even in this modern age.