The Stevie Ray
Vaughan Memorial Statue
Auditorium Shores along Town Lake is just one testament to the
influence of live music in Austin. Photo
Credit: Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau
Capital Metro buses have routes all over the city. The
weekend "Tour the Town" route costs only $1 and visits the
popular sights around downtown. The 'Dillos (trolleys) are
always free and are a good way to get around downtown. You'll
also see many people on bicycles, which can be
rented at several area bike shops. A car is essential if
you’re going outside of the downtown area.
When to Go
Austin enjoys mild temperatures much of the year, with average
highs of 95 degrees in summer, 52 degrees in winter, and
delightful fall and spring temperatures. The city is blessed
with an average 300 days of sunshine per year. Wildflowers color
the landscape in the spring, and the high season for viewing
Mexican free-tailed bats is in August. Summertime also brings
music, art and film festivals; swimming in spring-fed pools;
5K runs; and the
Republic of Texas Biker Rally. Advance reservations are
essential for college graduation and football weekends, as well
as during special festivals.
Sights & Activities
Austin is a haven for music and culture lovers, outdoor
enthusiasts and food aficionados. With its mild weather,
beautiful landscape, friendly citizens, and plentiful
activities, about 7 million visitors per year come to enjoy the
history and culture of Texas' capital city. Although many
aspects of Austin break from Texas stereotypes, that
ever-present Texas pride is plentiful.
In the heart of
Zilker Park features a botanical garden, a miniature train,
10 miles of hike and bike trains, the spring-fed Barton Springs
Pool and canoeing and kayaking on the lake.
Annual events include the Kite Festival and the Austin
City Limits Music Festival.
The 750,000 to 1.5 million
Mexican free-tailed bats that live under the Congress Avenue
bridge make up the largest urban bat colony in North America.
Each evening, they fly out in black clouds to keep the city
nearly mosquito-free. The
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to
native plants. Its 280 acres displays gardens, traveling
exhibits, nature trails, and the children's Little House. The
center is also a popular wedding venue. Austin is the top location for
moviemaking in Texas. Recent
films include The Alamo, Hope Floats and
Arboretum area in North Austin contains stores such
as Saks and Pottery Barn. For more eclectic goods, visit the
SoCo on S. Congress and SoLa on S. Lamar. Davenport Village
near Westlake contains upscale clothing, jewelry and home
furnishing stores and great restaurants. Excellent Tex-Mex
restaurants include Guerro's and Curra's. Don't miss
for sipping a cold drink while watching a spectacular sunset
over the Hill Country. The famous
Salt Lick barbecue restaurant has expanded and includes the
original in Driftwood, along with a second on Loop 360 at
Davenport Village. Most restaurants have outdoor dining,
allowing you to make the most of the gorgeous Texas nights.
Austin Museum of Art showcases an array of 20th-century and
contemporary art. The
Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, the nation’s
most-visited presidential library, houses fascinating exhibits
from LBJ’s tenure as President. The
Harry Ransom Center houses the world’s first photograph,
original costumes from Gone
With the Wind and a rare Gutenberg Bible. The
Blanton Museum of Art specializes in 20th-century American
and Latin American art and the Suida-Manning Collection of
Renaissance and Baroque art. The
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum tells the “Story of
Texas” with three floors of interactive exhibits and Austin's
only IMAX Theatre. The
French Legation Museum, the oldest extant frame structure in
Austin, is reminiscent of the days when Texas was a republic.
More Austin info...
B&Bs and Inns
Star of Texas, Austin, Texas
Many wonderful B&B are located close to downtown and the three
major universities (University of Texas, Concordia University,
and St. Edward's University), and west of town near Lake Travis.
For a complete list of Austin-area B&Bs,
click here. Below are a few we visited:
1110 Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast enjoys a central
location in a quiet residential garden setting. This B&B
occupies two adjacent homes and offers immaculate, uncluttered,
private, and well-equipped guest rooms and common areas.
Innkeeper Tressie Damron goes out of her way to offer guests a
first-rate Austin experience.
Located in historic Hyde Park,
Adams House is a cozy yellow Colonial Revival home, just a
block from several terrific neighborhood restaurants on Duval
Street, in a neighborhood that’s great for exploring. Also in
Hyde Park is
Woodburn House, a longtime favorite, now under new
ownership. Inviting wraparound porches, well-equipped guest
rooms, and a comfortable, friendly atmosphere make this B&B a
good choice whether you’re in Austin for business or pleasure.
The closest accommodations to the University of Texas, the
Austin Folk House combines historic charm with modern
amenities, an eclectic art collection, killer breakfasts and
afternoon cookies, and a wonderful sense of humor about it all.
Twenty minutes from downtown Austin is the
Bear Creek Retreat, a Victorian-style home surrounded by
acres of ponds and pasture.
In a handsome neighborhood of restored Victorian homes is
Brava House, with handsomely decorated private suites and an
inviting backyard deck. Downtown Austin is nearby, as is one of
our favorite Austin restaurants, Z’Tejas.
Although close to UT and the capitol,
Carrington's Bluff enjoys a peaceful country setting on
tree-covered bluff. Innkeeper Phoebe Williams creates a
“home-away-from-home” atmosphere, complete with home-baked
cookies and Bluebell ice cream.
heart of the UT campus is the
Star of Texas Inn, an 1897 Victorian mansion encircled by
inviting verandas, perfect for rocking, reading, and watching
the world amble by. Great buffet breakfasts, too.
Artists and pet lovers will enjoy the casual garden atmosphere
Strickland Arms, a century-old limestone home in the
Patterson Heights area of north Austin.
Inn above Onion Creek, Kyle,
Inn above Onion Creek combines old-style ranch-house charm
with modern comforts no cowpoke ever knew. Laze by the pool,
enjoy dinners prepared by the CIA-trained chef, rock on the
porches, and retreat to plush and private guest rooms.
Blair House is elegant yet homey, with sophisticated décor,
a wonderful art gallery, and guest rooms in the main house and
cottages. Stroll the scenic grounds, treat yourself to the
Saturday night dinner, and sign up for their acclaimed cooking
Lodge at Creekside has an idyllic country setting but is
just a few blocks from the shops and restaurants of Wimberley.
Seven private cottages, each different in style and décor,
combine comfort and whimsy. Cypress Creek borders the property
and is perfect for a relaxing soak or canoe ride.
More Wimberley B&Bs…
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on an inn's listing, click it to book your room directly from