Austin Travel Guide

  • Austin
    by jenmartin12
  • Texas State Capitol Building
    Texas State Capitol Building
    by bpwarne
  • Austin
    by butterfly_girl

Austin Highlights

  • Pro
    ATXtraveler profile photo

    ATXtraveler says…

     Live Music, the Bats, Willie, Texas weather, Hill Country 

  • Con
    ATXtraveler profile photo

    ATXtraveler says…

     No major change in seasons 

  • In a nutshell
    lisa_lise profile photo

    lisa_lise says…

     Great city for young professional singles and college kids 

Austin Things to Do

  • Capitol

    Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 for its "significant contribution to American history," the Texas Capitol is an impressive example of late 19th century public architecture. The largest in gross square footage of all state capitols, it is second in total size only to the National Capitol in Washington, D.C. Like several other state...

    more
  • Zilker Park

    ACL ROCKS! If you can make it to Austin for either ACL (Sept.) or SXSW (March), you'll have a wonderful oppurtunity to see some great up and coming bands. This year I got to see Modest Mouse, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Ryan Adams, Sheryl Crow, Howie Day, The Pixies, G. Love and Special Sauce, Endochine, Cake, and the list goes on and on. There...

    more
  • Mount Bonnell

    Yes a mountain in Texas. This place is beautiful. My husband and I are sure to make this a stop every year. We always go to Whole Foods, get some food from their deli, and head to Mt Bonnell for a picnic. There is a look out area, after you climb the never ending stairs, that is perfect to eat and relax at. There are always people there. Oh, and...

    more

Austin Hotels

See all 200 Hotels in Austin

Austin Restaurants

See all 317 Restaurants in Austin
  • Hula Hut

    You can hear murmuring sounds from the street. Gets crowded by 6pm and expect a long line of people waiting to be seated at the door by 7pm. I had Shrimp Quesadillas and this mind blowing dessert. Great hang out place. Loved the food. Service was satisfactory even with a large crowd. Updated: 4th visit on July 2008 Was there at about 9pm on a...

    more
  • Oasis

    Definitely come here for the view, but not for the food. This restaurant is huge, 3+ levels on a mountain side overlooking Lake Travis. Because this place is so big, there's hardly ever a wait for a table. It's great to sit outside with a margarita and enjoy the view. My fish tacos weren't bad and the guacamole was pretty good. Steak and Chicken...

    more
  • Chuy's

    After nearly a year of living in Austin, I finally went to Chuy's, which is a wildly popular restaurant (at least the Barton Springs location is wildly popular; I'm not sure about the other locations). It wasn't my first attempt to eat at this particular Chuy's. The first time I tried to go to Chuy's, it was a Saturday night and there was an hour...

    more

Austin Nightlife

See all 126 Nightlife in Austin
  • 6th Street

    Cheer's Shot Bar is right in the middle of 6th St. It has great bartenders, waitresses, and crowd. There is a bar and tables when you first walk in but if you keep walking there is a two story courtyard (and two more bars). When we went they had live music on the second floor. There was a waitress walking around with shots and we mostly took them...

    more
  • 4th Street

    This is one of my bestfriends and my favorite spot to go one the weekends. The crowds are a bit older and it's not so crowded. It's a great place to end the night. And if you're lucky you can sit in one of the huge swinging balls. I'd order a dirty martini.. they make em right. No tennis shoes

    more
  • Broken Spoke

    When we visited Texas we wanted to find a place that really felt like "TEXAS" and we found it when we walked through the doors to the Broken Spoke. This place is an authentic honky-tonk! We ate dinner and then went into the dancehall. We loved the fact that they had tables in the dancehall that we could sit ringside to the dancefloor which was jam...

    more

Austin Transportation

  • Downtown Austin Traffic

    Austin traffic is the WORST! And I've lived my whole life in Dallas and Houston which has horrible traffic. Austin's worst traffic is on I-35 and 183. I-35 is the worst where 290 meets it and near downtown. Plan to be in slow traffic at ANY TIME...ANY DAY!So if you're staying downtown, going to see the bats on Congress Ave, or going to 6th street...

    more
  • AVOID I-35 IN AUSTIN!

    THERE IS A NIFTY NEW TOLL ROAD that can make your north-south trip in Austin much safer and less stressful. Also its not too expensive. Its called 130. It runs north-south, just a couple of miles east of I-35. You can get on up in Georgetown or Round Rock too. For us, it made a great way to get from Georgetown to the Austin Bergstrom Airport and...

    more
  • Borrow a relatives's car

    Borrow your niece & nephew's spare car for a few days, head south to San Antonio. If you are really lucky, they'll have one like this! I had a hard time handing the keys back over to them . I think I could be quite happy just living in their garage and looking after it for them....

    more

Austin Shopping

See all 38 Shopping in Austin
  • Bags

    Did you know that Austin has banned plastic bags? Not the good ones but the really thin ones you get in supermarkets. What a great idea! Wish someone had told me though to bring my reusable bags to Austin with me for the shopping.

    more
  • Unique gifts people will love

    Primadora is right next door to Magnolia Cafe South, one of Austin's most popular restaurants and one our family always visits when we are in town. It's really popular and there is always a wait,but we don't care because we are always looking to see what's new at Primadora. What Primadora has going for it besides its convenient location on So....

    more
  • Cool Stuff from Around the World

    This a cool, eclectic store in downtown Austin that has products from around the world. They specialize in Folk art, jewelry, textiles, clothing and lots of interesting trinkets, such as Buddha and Hindu items. This is a great place to come and wander around. Good place to get items from Mexico, Nepal and South America.This store is also a special...

    more

Austin Local Customs

  • Spamarama... yes it is dedicated to SPAM

    There is no better explanation of what Spamarama is rather than the originators own words:It was the early spring of 1976. Dick Terry and I were fraternizing one afternoon and Dick was bellyaching about how chili cook-offs had become so common-place." I mean, anybody can cook chili." Dick observed, "All you need is some kinda meat, some water,...

    more
  • Everyone Welcomed

    Austin is probably the most eclectic and accepting city in Texas. Yes, I've heard all about what people think of us Texans: from racist to hick, from bigger to hotter, the list goes on. However, it doesn't matter when in Austin. It really is neat and I love that everyone can be themselves without being seen in a negative light. If you look like a...

    more
  • Pronunciation

    I've been here 12 years now and I still can't figure out why the locals insist on pronouncing just about every street and town WRONG??!!!Examples: Guadalupe St = Gwad-uh-loop, Manchaca = Man-chak, Manor = May-ner...It goes on and on, I wish somebody would tell me how this got started, really, I'm curious.

    more

Austin Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware! Move to Austin / Lose all sense...

    As a friend of mine aptly put it before leaving Austin in disgust, "Austin is a great retirement community for young people."This picture, for example, shows a 23 year old man after living in Austin for only six months.Seriously, if you adore playing playing hacky-sack, smoking bowls of Herb, and talking endlessly about how unique your dog is, you...

    more
  • TRAGEDY STRIKES TEXAS AGAIN

    In February of 2010 a man intentionally flew a small airplane into this building, killing a man inside and doing tremendous destruction to the building itself.

    more
  • Texas Tragedy

    This headline from the Austin paper is a rminder that tragedies can strike in any state, including Texas.

    more

Austin Tourist Traps

  • Mount Bonnell - so not worth it

    Aside from the view (which wasn't even what you'd call spectacular) there's nothing to recommend about this so-called tourist attraction. The path to the top is not lighted up, the top isn't even lit well and the area stinks! In its favor there's no entrance fee and there's ample parking. Be sure though to bring a bottle of water and prepare your...

    more
  • 6th street is GREAT

    Just wanted to be more specific on 6th street to counteract what the other people have said....There is east and west 6th street. The east side is a little more...trashy--where you will find the younger crowd...the west side is nicer and you will find older people--who havent just turned 21 years old. 6th street is NOT overrated and is NOT a waste...

    more
  • The Oasis - Austin Texas

    Somone will try to drag you here to watch the Sunset. http://www.oasis-austin.com/Overpriced drinks, bad food, and long drive. Enjoy the sunset. Go to Mt Bonnell instead. Then have a beer at dry creek saloon.

    more

Austin What to Pack

  • Hot and dry

    Even in the "winter months" Austin is typically drier or hotter than other parts of the USA. It is very typical to see people in shorts in October, some of November and Feburary. Bring lots of water Hiking and camping are popular in the area. There is even hiking inside the city limits.

    more
  • The Unpredictable Texas Weather

    Weather is most of Texas is volatile and unpredictable. The temperature in the winter can go from 80 one day to 40 the next. It's important to pack warm things if traveling between about October and March, regardless of what the forecast says.Also it should be noted that, despite what movies lead you to believe, Texas is not all desert and Austin...

    more
  • it's HOT. 100+!

    you may not need that many bags... you'll want to wear as little clothing as possible. shorts, sleeveless shirts, sandals... and keep a large water bottle on you at all times. if you forget it, you'll regret it. you may want to take along hand sanitizer if you're riding the bus. definitely bring your camera. how else are you going to prove to...

    more

Austin Off The Beaten Path

  • Lakes & Water

    Just about 10 miles south of Austin you'll find the beautiful crystal clear river in San Marcos "Rio Vista Falls" Because it is spring fed it has a constant year round water temperature of about 76 degrees. Recently redeveloped by a kayaker enthusiast. There are now three falls and a nice grassy area for sunbathing. You can also rent tubes for a...

    more
  • Weird Austin

    In Austin across from the UT campus, there is a road named Guadalupe, also known as 'the drag.' On the side of the Baja Fresh building, there is a frog which could be dismissed as graffitti but actually has a story behind it. An Austin musician named Daniel Johnston drew it on the side of the building. According to a Baja press release, "This art...

    more
  • Parks & Hiking

    Located 32 miles west of Austin in the Blanco country, this is a perfect park to go hiking through its 20miles of trails. Take the US290 west and then North on FM3232. Entrance is about 5$ a day. More details and a map are available from their website.

    more

Austin Sports & Outdoors

  • Arena Football in Austin!

    The Arena Football League has arrived in Austin, and we are ready! This is the first season for us to have a football team, and we are enjoying it!Tickets start at 8 dollars a game, and that makes for some inexpensive family fun! Just a smile!

    more
  • Biking through Wildflowers

    Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a fun place to visit. I first learned of this in 1000 Places to See Before You Die USA Edition. It was an interesting place. I think most come for the photo ops in the spring. Thinking back, I'm not real sure what the point is. Well, ok, the point is to get an education on wildflowers and enjoy them. The year...

    more
  • Town Lake Attractions

    Town Lake is the lake that runs through downtown Austin. I saw so much being done when I walked over to see the bats flying out from under Congress Ave Bridge. There were canoers, kayakers, bikers, walkers, joggers, etc. What a healthy city! I did not do any of the above activities but would love to upon returning.It's a beautiful way to watch the...

    more

Austin Favorites

See all 59 Favorites in Austin
  • Capitol

    Like all Southern States, Texas is justly proud of the men from the Lone Star State who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending their homeland against the invading Federal armies during the War for Southern Independence. The inscription on the Confederate Monument in front of the State Capitol reads: . . . . . DIED FOR STATES RIGHTS GUARANTEED...

    more
  • Music

    He is considered as the best world guitar player. In France, at the same date, the world best guitar player was Sacha Distel. He contributed to make Austin the World capital of the livemusic. He died young in an aircrash. We bought some records of his music because he is not known in France. His statue is in the South Side of Town Lake, adjacent to...

    more
  • Bats Colony

    The bats.....i almost forgot about the bats!!! the Congress street bridge is so cool... at sunset, the bats come out... so put on your best goth outfit & hang out by the bridge man....I personally like mixing bubbles with bats, but you have to acquire a taste for that!!!!

    more

Top 5 Cycling Cities: Austin

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Austin is famous for its music scene and breakfast tacos, though not so well-known for its bike scene. Since one of cycling's greatest celebrities, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, calls Austin home, it's understandable that more people are exploring the area by bike. One scenic route to try includes the paths along Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, after which sightseers can ride up to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. For a little more of the flavor that makes Austin famous, start your ride in the SoCo (South of Congress) neighborhood, biking up Congress Avenue and over the Congress Street Bridge (with its bats), towards 6th Street, where many of the country's most legendary music venues line the avenue.

Instant Answers: Austin

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

86 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Austin
LBJ Presidential Library
Things to Do
Barton Springs
Things to Do
Congress Bridge
Things to Do
6th Street
Things to Do
University of Texas
Things to Do
Hamilton Pool
Things to Do
Salt Lick
Restaurants
Nature
Off The Beaten Path
Mount Bonnell
Off The Beaten Path
Antone's
Nightlife
Magnolia Cafe
Restaurants
Driving Around
Off The Beaten Path
Stubb
Restaurants
County Line
Restaurants
Continental
Nightlife
Threadgill's
Restaurants
Kerbey Lane
Restaurants
BYOB and Hookah
Restaurants
LBJ Library and Museum
Things to Do
Tijuana Northeast
Restaurants
My Favorite Sandwich
Restaurants
Amazing sushi in Central Texas
Restaurants
Austin City Limits Live Tour
Things to Do
Authentic Honky-Tonk
Nightlife
Hear live music !
Nightlife
Great cajun food.
Restaurants
my favorite restaurant in Austin
Restaurants
Laid back SOCO fun
Restaurants
A Taste of Euro-Texas
Restaurants
Hot Wings and Big TVs
Restaurants
BBQ as warm and hot steel
Restaurants
When it's 2 AM and you're starving, go here!
Restaurants
Pok-E-Jo's? Is this a child's game?
Restaurants
Breakfast here is a must!
Restaurants
Vegetarians Rejoice....
Restaurants
Ya Gotta Try the Jalapeno Margarita
Restaurants
Huts Burgers and more
Restaurants
Texas Historical Commission - Weigl Iron Works
Off The Beaten Path
Zilfer Botanical Garden
Off The Beaten Path
Another example of keeping Austin weird
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Austin

View all Austin hotels