Zilker Park, Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

Spanning 351 acres in the heart of Austin is Zilker Park. It’s also the city’s oldest park, according to the city’s website. It was named after Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated pieces of land to the city on multiple occasions beginning in 1917.

You can also hop on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, named after a former mayor and his wife. The trail is 10 miles long.

Barton Creek Greenbelt, Sculpture Falls

Austin has several greenbelts for hiking, but the most famous is the Barton Creek Greenbelt. It’s an ideal spot for swimming as well.

You can start at the trailhead off MoPac — this will give you access to both Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls — or from the trailhead off Camp Craft Road.

Mount Bonnell

If you’re looking for an incredible view over Lake Austin, check out Mount Bonnell, located in the western part of the city.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, there are steps leading to the summit, which sits at about 775 feet above sea level. The park on top of Mount Bonnell is called Covert Park and is just over five acres.

Barton Springs Pool

No matter what time of the year it is, you can count on a swim at Barton Springs Pool, located within Zilker Park in downtown Austin. According to the city of Austin, the pool is about three acres in size and is fed from underground springs, so the average water temperature stays at about 68 to 70 degrees year-round.

Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge was built in 1910 and rehabilitated in 1980, according to Guide to Austin Architecture. It spans 910 feet, overlooks Lady Bird Lake and has a series of concrete arches.

The bridge is also home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, according to the guide, which is made up of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats.

Pennybacker Bridge

One of the most scenic drives in Austin is on the Pennybacker Bridge on Loop 360. Here, you can catch a view of Lake Austin on the steel arched bridge, which spans the width of Lake Austin at 1,150 feet, according to Austin Tenant Advisors.

While it’s also known as the 360 Bridge, it was named after Percy Pennybacker, Jr., who designed bridges for Texas highways in the early 1900s, Austin Tenant Advisors said. The bridge was finished in 1982.

You can either drive across the bridge to enjoy the view or go to the overlook point, which is off Loop 360 near Courtyard Drive.

The Oasis on Lake Travis

If you’re willing to venture 30 minutes outside the city, you can soak in a breathtaking view of Lake Travis.

The Oasis on Lake Travis was founded by Beau Theriot and is known for its traditions at sunset, including the Sunset Bell, as well as its Lover’s Locks balcony. The Oasis also offers Tex-Mex cuisine.

If you’re not in the mood for food, you can also enjoy the view of Lake Travis from Oasis Texas Brewing Company.

Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

Take in the sunset on the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk. The 7,250 feet boardwalk was completed in June 2014, according to the city of Austin. It features more than 300 piers, 13,000 LED lights and seven viewing areas.

It also contains a public art installation called “Belting It Out” by artist Ken Little — where 36 cast bronze, western-style belts are built into the railings on both sides of the boardwalk. Each belt is embossed with song lyrics from singers and songwriters native to Texas, the city said.

The boardwalk is open from 5 a.m. to midnight daily. 

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

If you’re in Austin during the spring, you know how important wildflowers are to Texas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was founded by Lady Bird Johnson and Helen Hayes in 1982, according to its website, and works to “inspire the conservation of native plants.”

Not only is the center focused on wildflowers and native plants, it also has an arboretum that shows off more than 50 species of oaks found in the state. The landscapes are able to support a wide variety of birds, mammals and insects, the center said, and there’s different plants to view during every season.


Paramount Theatre

This theatre has existed for more than a century in downtown Austin. According to the theatre’s website, it was established in 1915 and has seen many films and iconic performers including Miles Davis and Harry Houdini. Its opening night was October 11, 1915.

Paramount Theatre gears up for 31 holiday shows — and yes, there will be snow 

For the 2021 holiday season, the theatre is planning more than two dozen holiday shows including classic holiday films and live performances.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

This museum opened in 2001 as the “official history museum of the State of Texas.” It’s named after former Texas Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who helped establish it. Unfortunately, he died before the museum was completed, according to the museum’s website.

The museum has three floors of gallery space and two theaters. Documentaries are often shown in the IMAX theater as well as feature films.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Texas State Capitol

In addition to being the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is at the center of Texas politics as the capital of the state. The building that stands was dedicated in May 1888, but the original capitol building started out as a log cabin with two large rooms and additional, smaller meeting rooms, according to the State Preservation Board’s website.

You can see the capitol building either through a guided tour or by taking yourself.

Alamo Drafthouse

Going to the movies is a classic family activity, and now, you can support a cinema chain that was homegrown right here in Austin while doing it.

Alamo Drafthouse has been around since 1997 and takes pride in giving movie-goers an all encompassing cinema experience — complete with good food and drinks. The first theater was established on Colorado Street, but the chain has grown to have dozens of locations not just in Austin but throughout the U.S.

While showing fresh movie releases, Alamo Drafthouse also pays tribute to classic films with special showings.

LBJ Presidential Library

Located on 30 acres on the University of Texas at Austin campus, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum was dedicated in May 1971. The library aims to make records from the 36th president’s administration available to the public. LBJ was a native Texan.

According to the its website, the library is home to “45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photos, and 5,000 hours of recordings from President Johnson’s political career, including about 643 hours of his recorded telephone conversations.”

Waterloo Records

You can’t visit the “Live Music Capital of the World” without taking a step inside a record store that’s been around since the 1980s. Waterloo Records opened its doors in April 1982 and puts an emphasis on customer service, according to its website.

The record store says, “instead of catering to the music consumer, Waterloo catered to the music lover, if only because we were music lovers too.”

Driskill Hotel

This historic hotel opened in the heart of downtown in 1886. It was envisioned by cattle businessman Jesse Driskill, who was originally born in Tennessee but migrated to Austin in 1869, according to the hotel’s website.

The hotel has been the site of several inaugural balls for Texas governors, and it’s hard to believe it was set to be torn down in 1969 before it was declared a national historic landmark. The hotel has passed through many owners’ hands since it was built.

The hotel is home to a bar as well as 1886 Café & Bakery, which serves up traditional Texas comfort foods.


Source: KXAN

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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