Austinites like to brag about all our city has to offer, but when was the last time you went to hear a new band or toured the Capitol? Here’s ten things to try (or retry) in our terrific city:
Hike Mount Bonnell
Climb the natural limestone steps 780 feet above sea level to watch the sunrise or sunset over Austin.
Take in some culture
The Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Symphony Orchestra or Ballet Austin are all venues for a memorable night out. Ballet Austin’s “Nutcracker” is a worthy family holiday tradition to start this year.
Austin does not lack in barbecue joints, from Iron Works BBQ on Red River to the more upscale County Line Barbecue on Bee Caves Road. For the quintessential rustic barbecue experience, nothing beats the Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood. Stubb’s Bar-B-Q on Red River has great barbecue and live music.
Listen to live music
Austin is called the Live Music Capital for good reason. If barbecue is plentiful, live music is overflowing in Austin. Venues like the Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Saxon Pub or Antone’s all offer that only-in-Austin experience. Also try the free Friday concert series at noon on the steps of City Hall.
Walk along Town Lake
This iconic section of the Colorado River that runs through the center of Austin is officially called Lady Bird Lake, but everyone still calls it Town Lake. The system of trails and parks that run along the shores of Town Lake are great for running, biking and strolling. In the summer and fall, the bat scene under the Congress Avenue Bridge is a unique Austin experience best seen up close from the Town Lake trails.
Stroll the 2nd Street District
The variety of shops and restaurants have transformed this section of downtown, including a wide esplanade along Lady Bird Lake.
Tour the Capitol
There are free tours offered daily and the grounds are a great place to walk around and see the many statues and fountains. Take a short walk over to eat at Scholz Garten where local politicians have hashed out their differences for generations over a pint of beer and a plate of bratwurst.
Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Discover the names of all the flowers that transform the Austin landscape every spring.
Swim Barton Springs
Pack a picnic and cool off in the refreshing 68 degree water of the Barton Springs pool.
Stroll Congress Avenue
Another part of Austin that has transformed over the last few years is the area of South Congress Avenue. Try First Thursday on South Congress, a monthly event where local merchants keep the doors open until 10 p.m.
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