Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine per year, Austin, Texas, has become a popular vacation destination for people looking for something truly interesting to do on their next trip.
And this unique Texas city isn’t looking to let anyone down; there’s a reason, after all, its unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird.” The city is teeming with “weird” delights, with plenty to pique anyone’s interests – and curiosity.
Consider these seven reasons why Austin, Texas, remains a popular vacation destination.
With Austin’s rise to vacation-spot stardom comes the opening of a collection of boutique hotels. Sure, you can stay at the Holiday Inn if that’s more your speed, but luxury hotels in Austin can become your second home when you visit Texas’ capitol city.
And why not stay here? Not only do you benefit from finely-appointed rooms with furnishings you won’t see anywhere else, but you’ll also get the convenience of having everything you need, all under one roof: spa services, an exclusive fitness center, entertainment, craft cocktails, haute cuisine, and elevated guest service.
Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has earned its nickname time and time again. Music fans flock to Austin to hear the hottest acts in places like The Continental Club on South Congress Avenue, a mainstay since 1955. It may be small, but its reputation precedes it.
Stubb’s BBQ in the Red River District holds 1,800 concertgoers in an outdoor amphitheater – so you can enjoy your music with a hearty side of brisket.
And take in a bit of Austin history at Antone’s on 5th Street, the “World-Famous Home of the Blues,” and Texas base for the likes of B.B. King and Muddy Waters. The venue still hosts famous blues musicians in its 450-person capacity room.
Clubs and Other Nightlife
Those looking for an evening of indulgence will find it on Dirty Sixth, a section of Sixth Street between Congress and I-35 lined with bars and clubs. If you want a wild party, there’s one to be had in this happening area of Austin that’s popular with college students and visitors alike. If dancing and cocktails are less interesting, you’ll find a few excellent comedy clubs along Dirty Sixth, too.
The Texas Capitol
Experience Lone Star State history when you visit the Capitol, built in 1885 in an Italian Renaissance Revival style. The building is surrounded by a 22-acre park, chock full of monuments. Take the free 30-minute guided tour to learn more about the state legislature. Located at 1100 Congress Avenue, a Capitol visit won’t take you too far out of the activity zone in Austin.
Fans of the great outdoors will find plenty to do in and around Austin, including visiting Zilker Park, a 351-acre recreational area with picnic sites, playgrounds, botanical gardens, nature center, and the famous Barton Springs Pool. Formed by natural springs across three acres, the water stays at a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
Stop by Lady Bird Lake where the Colorado River widens downtown and paddle around in a boat shaped like a giant swan. Or hike Mount Bonnell, just northwest of downtown, to the highest point in the city, where you’ll get a great view of Lake Austin and the Colorado River.
With the onslaught of visitors to Austin, the city and its residents have responded by providing a bevy of fine dining options, including ethnic cuisine, award-winning gourmet meals, and more. Spring for cheap Spanish eats in the Holly neighborhood, or venture to downtown Austin to find an array of fine dining options, including from James Beard Award-winning chefs.
Although they certainly aren’t what’s drawing visitors to Austin, they’re definitely one way they’re keeping Austin weird! I’m talking about the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge – the largest urban bat colony in the world.
Visitors and Austin city natives alike visit the bridge at dusk to see them fly and feed, either from atop the bridge, or along nearby riverbanks. It’s a dramatic sight – and one you won’t forget!
The Best Time of Year to Visit Austin
Like most southern cities, Austin gets hot in the summer. And unless you like to sweat, your best bet for your trip is from September through November – autumn in Austin.