Austin City Limits
Set in Zilker Park in the middle of September, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day music and art festival that has become one of the United States premier rock festivals. Approximately 130 bands on eight stages attract crowds of around 65,000 fans to listen to music including rock, country, folk, indie, Americana, hip-hop, reggae and bluegrass.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
For some of the best activities in Austin, visit the Zilker Metropolitan Park. One of the most popular parks in Austin, this 351-acre recreation area features a swimming pool, train rides, a playground and plenty of jogging and biking trails. Also located here is Zilker Botanical Gardens and the Austin Nature and Science Center.
Barton Springs Swimming Pool at Zilker Park
Absolutely the heart and soul of Austin, Barton Springs is the largest natural urban swimming pool in the United States with a surface area of three acres and a constant water temperature of 68 degrees.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
This Greenbelt is a very popular area which is 7.9 miles long and 809 acres less than 5 minutes from downtown Austin. With sheer cliff walls, lush vegetation, and popular swimming areas, the Barton Creek greenbelt is truly a treasure for any nature lover.
Bats of the Congress Avenue Bridge
One of the best Austin attractions around, the nightly emergence of the Bats of the Congress Avenue Bridge is a wonder to behold. Watching more than 1.5 million free-tail bats take flight for their evening insect hunts has proven to be one of the best activities in Austin. Each night, these sophisticated creatures eat between 10,000 and 20,000 insects.
Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum
For history buffs and those with a curious streak, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum is one of the best Austin tourist attractions. This ten-story structure is a vault of memorabilia from this popular former president’s life, displaying papers, gifts of state, tributes to Mrs. Johnson’s philanthropic works and pieces from LBJ’s childhood.
Texas State Capitol
Completed in 1888, this imposing, red-granite structure was built in the Renaissance Revival style and is one of the best Austin attractions. This is the largest state capitol in the nation, visible throughout the entire city. The visual prominence of this top attraction in Austin is even protected by law.
Town Lake Metropolitan Park
Another great activity in Austin, Town Lake Metropolitan Park owes much of its current beauty to the efforts of Lady Bird Johnson. A runner’s paradise, this Austin park is almost always full of joggers, hikers and cyclists. Concerts are regularly held on the shores of Town Lake, and there is also a wonderful swimming pool on the property.
Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve
Formed when a cave over an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago to create a 45 foot waterfall and water filled grotto, Hamilton Pool is approximately 30 miles southwest of Austin and a great swimming spot for those hot Texas summers.
Located about 30 minutes from downtown Austin, Hippie Hollow is the only clothing optional public park in Texas. Hippie Hollow’s tradition as a nude swimming hole began in the early 1960s.
Located approximately twenty miles from Austin, Lake Travis is sixty-five miles long with 270 miles of shoreline and has seventeen public parks and numerous private facilities. Great area for swimming, scuba diving, and boating.
Located approximately 2 miles from downtown Austin, Lake Austin is a hot spot for swimming and boating. This lake is a damn of the Colorado River which holds an average water temperature of 64 degrees.
Volente Beach Waterpark
Volente Beach Waterpark is located on Lake Travis and features a sandy beach on the lake, pool, water slides, kiddie pool with pirate ship, volley ball court and play ground. Volente Beach also has a marina with boat rentals.
Mt. Bonnell Park
Opened in the 1850s, this is the oldest tourist attraction and one of the most romantic spots in Austin. It’s said that if a couple climbs the 100 stairs to the top of Mount Bonnell once, they fall in love; twice, they’ll become engaged; and after three times, it’s inevitable they’ll get married.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, and actress Helen Hayes founded an organization in 1982 to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. First as the National Wildflower Research Center and later as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, this special place exists to introduce people to the beauty and diversity of wildflowers and other native plants.
Mandola Estate Winery
Founded in 2005 by Houston wine connoisseurs Drs. Stan and Lisa Duchman and inspired by their travels to Europe, the Mandola Estate Winery in Driftwood (about 20 miles southwest of Austin) recreates a small corner of Italy, where native Italian grape varieties — Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Moscato, and Sangiovese — flourish together with the great grapes of France and California.