DOWNTOWN AUSTIN TOURIST SPOTS
There is a reason Austin is considered the Live Music Capital of World and the downtown Austin music scene is it. Well, that and Austin City Limits (ACL) and South by Southwest (SXSW) and a few dozen other music events.
The Performing Arts Center at the
University of Texas
Check out the schedule of upcoming events at the Performing Arts Center website.
The Paramount Theatre
and State Theatre Company
The Paramount Theatre is a live venue/movie theater located in downtown Austin, TX. The classical revival style structure was built in 1915 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 23, 1976.
Texas State Capitol
Walk through the Texas state capitol and learn about the colorful history of the Lone Star State.
AUSTIN TOURS WORTH TAKING
Walking Tours of Texas
The owner, Jim, offers both morning walks and evening ghost tour walks around Austin that are very informative and fun!
AO offers a variety of Austin tours and the Texas Hill Country excursions.
Boat tours of Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in Austin, lunch and dinner cruises, boat rentals, bat excursions, group outings, special events and entertainment.
Austin Duck Adventures
Austin Duck vehicles offer one of the most unique Austin city tours that go from land to water.
Austin Ghost Tours
Take part in spooky walking tours in downtown Austin on Friday and Saturday nights.
Austin Kayak Tours by Live Love
At Live Love Paddle, they specialize in guided kayak tours to see the Austin Congress Avenue Bridge Bats. They also offer kayaking trips down local rivers, 2-day overnight/camping river trips, corporate team building activities, kayak rentals and canoe rentals on Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas.
This true, old-fashioned, paddle-wheeler on Lady Bird Lake is sure to charm you with nostalgia and Austin's gorgeous city skyline. Experience the exhilaration of the Texas outdoors, abundant waterfowl and beauty that is Austin.
Double Decker Austin Hop On -
Hop Off Tours
Enjoy Austin’s only hop on hop off guided sightseeing and historical tours. You’ll learn all about Austin and it’s rich history while enjoying an awesome view of the city from atop of a double decker bus. By hopping off of the bus you can self-explore the downtown districts.
Free Tours of
the Texas Capitol
Take a self-guided tour of the State Capitol building in Austin. It’s a replica of the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C., but it’s a few inches taller. Everything’s bigger in Texas!
Sunshine Machine Boat
Sunshine Machine runs a charter boat service on Lake Austin near City Park that takes up to 30 passengers on scenic cruises on a beautiful part of the lake. The Sunshine Machine multi-level party boat is great for office parties, entertaining out-of-town guests, birthdays, team building and other special occasions.
Tours of the Tower at the
University of Texas
Take one of the most popular Austin city tours on the UT campus. The 307-foot tall UT Austin Tower offers a spectacular view of the UT Campus and the Austin area in all directions. It’s also a famous landmark in Austin.
Rock-About Climbing Adventures
These guys are one of the only local rock climbing guide services in the area.
Austin Steam Train Association
Home of the Hill Country Flyer, the Austin Steam Train offers you a year-round choice of excursions. The trains are operated by the dedicated staff and volunteer crews of the Austin Steam Train Association, a community-based non-profit organization.
BIG EVENTS IN AUSTIN
For over 33 years, Austin City Limits has presented live music to audiences across the world. The award-winning series spotlights artists of every musical genre from rhythm and blues to rock, jazz and alternative music.
Circuit of The Americas
COTA plays host to the Formula One United States Grand Prix, the only F1 race in the USA, as well as many other races. The venue also houses the Austin360 Amphitheater.
WINNER of POLLSTAR'S 2013 Best New Major Concert Venue in the World! The venue has held such acts as Journey, the Zac Brown Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and KISS.
South by Southwest
Make your reservations early for this popular festival.
TOP SHOPPING DESTINATIONS IN AUSTIN, TX
Bass Pro Shops - Round Rock
The 120,000-square foot Round Rock Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is located at the northeast corner of the IH-35 and University Drive south of Westinghouse. It’s just north of the Round Rock Outlet Mall. While you'll find a huge selection of outdoor gear and apparel, Bass Pro Shops offers so much more. It’s part museum, art gallery, antique store, aquarium, education, conservation and entertainment center.
Cabela's - Buda, Texas
This busy retail store is located just off I-35 between Austin and San Antonio. In addition to offering quality outdoor merchandise, the 185,000 sq. ft. showroom is an educational and entertainment attraction that features a décor of museum-quality animal displays, huge aquariums and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats.
HISTORIC TOURIST SITES IN AUSTIN
LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library is one of the top tourist sites in Austin. It holds more than 45 million pages of manuscripts, an extensive audiovisual collection and oral history interviews with than 1,000 individuals. The library is located at 2313 Red River Street in Austin.
Return to a time gone by when Texas was just being settled. At Pioneer Farms visitors can take classes in harvesting, quilting, blacksmithing, woodworking, fiber arts, cooking, rope making and much more. Hay rides, trailblazer campouts and events for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts to earn merit badges.
NATURAL TOURIST SITES IN AUSTIN
Stay in a lake rental cabin or a lake house on one of these lakes to enjoy boating, swimming, waterskiing, jet skiing, fishing and more. The three most popular lakes in the Austin area are:
Lady Bird Lake (Formerly Town Lake) - Use the hike and bike trails along the lake and the park.
Inner Space Cavern
This is one of the coolest Austin tourist spots – literally! Just 24 miles north of Austin lies a natural cavern formed millions of years ago. Stop by to explore the caves and chill out underground on guided tours.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Wildflower Center's Native Plant Information Network allows you to search for native plant info by plant traits or names, browse through their collection of 17,000 native plant images and pose your plant question to their resident horticulturist. The center is located at 4801 La Crosse Avenue in Austin.
Have a picnic with great views of Lake Austin from this 785 foot limestone hill at 3800 Mount Bonnell Road.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
Visit Africa – in the picturesque Texas Hill Country. Home to over 50 species of animals from all over the world, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch allows you to explore the wilds of many continents a little closer to home. Take a safari drive thru the park Texas style.
View more than 10,000 different formations in underground chambers. It’s Texas' largest natural attraction and a U.S. Natural Landmark. Take an adventure tour or use a mining sluice while you’re there.
Parks and Recreation
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department oversees more than 16,682 acres of land containing 206 parks, 12 preserves (sanctuaries for native plants, native animals and unique natural features) and 26 greenbelts (parkland on creeks and canyons). Parks are open for public use each day from 5am-10pm unless otherwise posted.
The Bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge
Check out a natural phenomenon as 1.5 million bats fly out from under Congress Bridge and soar in the sky every night from March to October.
Rent your kayaks and paddle boats from the Rowing Dock on Lady Bird Lake.
St. Edward’s University Wild Basin Creative Research Center
This is a 227-acre sanctuary for birds, animals and native plants. The center features three miles of hiking trails through woodland, grassland and streamside habitats. Wild Basin also hosts a variety of family events, concerts, adult workshops, children's workshops and school programs.
Travis County Parks
The parks of Travis County are great for softball and soccer, family picnics, hiking, nature study or just leaning back to view a spectacular Hill Country sunset.
Zilker Botanical Garden
Zilker Botanical Garden is 31 acres of themed gardens with a butterfly trail and prehistoric villages.
Zilker Park Boat Rentals
Get canoe and kayak rentals on Lady Bird Lake in Austin at Zilker Park.
KID-FRIENDLY AUSTIN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Enjoy laser tag, bowling alley, wall climbing, billiards, giant arcade, a restaurant and more in over 75,000 sq ft.
Austin's Park n Pizza
Mini golf, bumper boats, go-karts, rock climbing, kiddie play area, laser tag, batting cages, game pavilion and more can be found at Austin's Park n Pizza. It's 22 acres of outdoor fun and more than 50,000 square feet of indoor fun.
Chaparral Ice Centers
Ice skating, hockey program, skating classes, figure skating, summer camps and more are happening at the rink.
Austin Zoo is a rescue zoo and provides sanctuary to displaced animals from a variety of unfortunate and often neglectful situations.
Dell Diamond-Round Rock
Just Northeast of Austin is the home to the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The Dell Diamond is easily the finest minor league stadium in the USA, bar none.
The Dinosaur Park
An educational and fun place for everyone to learn about the majestic animals that ruled our earth for over 150 million years.
Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory
Hornsby Bend is open to visitors seven days a week from dawn to dark. Free monthly birding field trips take place on the third Saturday of each month.
The H-E-B Center at Cedar Park (formerly Cedar Park Center)
The Cedar Park Center is not only a popular venue for concerts, but the home to not one, but TWO minor league teams: the Texas Stars, the primary affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and the Austin Spurs, the NBA Development League affiliate for the San Antonio Spurs.
Everyone in the family seems to love this popular water park resort located in New Braunfels, Texas.
Slot Car Races
People of all ages can enjoy slot car racing. You can even get your own race track for a day of driving fun.
Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark
Cool off with water rides and sunbathing on the beach at Lake Travis.
Wonder World is Texas' most visited cave. The location also has a petting zoo, train ride and anti-gravity house.
Hill Country Science Mill - Johnson City
The Hill Country Science Mill is a family destination offering a fun, interactive learning environment for all ages. Through cutting-edge technology-based exhibits, games, and programs, the Science Mill expands students' understanding and appreciation of science in their everyday lives.
Bear Creek Stables
Horseback riding lessons, hay rides, guided rides, parties, horse camp, BBQs and more can be found at Bear Creek Stables.
Museum of the Weird
This unique venue is located in the back of Lucky Lizard Curios and Gifts on 6th Street in downtown Austin.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
This is considered a premiere Texas museum, partly because it also has an IMAX Theatre.
Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton's permanent collection is composed of over 17,000 works of art from Europe, the United States and Latin America. The museum also features a dynamic changing exhibition that allows visitors to experience a broad range of artistic expression and history.
One of Austin's finest art galleries.
The Contemporary Austin
The Contemporary Austin Museum was created when the Austin Museum of Art and Arthouse at the Jones Center merged into a single museum on November 1, 2011.
Texas Memorial Museum
The Texas Memorial Museum was Austin's first science museum.
ADULT FUN IN AUSTIN
Esther's Follies follows the funny in Washington, Austin, and on the internet - with sketches, musical numbers, and magical illusions.
Texas Roller Derby
Get rowdy at the Austin roller derby. We’re home to the first of the banked track leagues in the nation..
=A must-see tourist attraction
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