The 8 Best Places to Visit in Austin, TX

If You’re Traveling to or Moving to Austin, Consider Yourself Lucky.

This Texas City has become quite popular, and for good reason—it has a lot to offer! In January 2014, Forbes named Austin the fastest-growing city in the country for the second year in a row. As Texas’ state capital, Austin boasts some great historical attractions. While the city offers fantastic parks and outdoor recreation, foodies and music fans will also be very happy here with the culture and cuisine. Plus, there are plenty of arts, music, and cultural events. Austin is a large city yet it somehow retains its small-town feel, offering the best of both worlds.

Head over to the Texas State Capitol to learn more about Texas history and the legislature. This is the oldest state office structure in the country, opening in 1888. The architecture of the building itself is beautiful; it’s made of pink granite and is actually 14 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. A great deal of the building including the large rotunda, the Hall of Representatives, and the governor’s receiving room still look the same as they did when the building opened. The capitol building is open and free to visitors. Free tours are also available daily.

Formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed, Hamilton Pool is a beautiful natural grotto carved out of limestone. It is now a natural swimming pool surrounded by a 50-foot ring of waterfalls. Hamilton Pool offers best of both worlds with a small beach you can hang out on, and the pool to swim in!
Admission costs $15 per vehicle and on hot summer days, the park is usually full by 10am, so try to arrive early. You may want to call before you go there because the reserve often closes due to high bacteria levels, which can often occur after a rainstorm.

Austin is home to millions of Mexican free-tailed bats. In fact, it is the largest urban bat community in North America. The bats are in town from spring to early fall, and every evening they emerge from their hideout underneath the Congress Bridge to scavenge for dinner. And these critters have big appetites—they eat 10,000 to 20,000 pounds (yes, pounds) of insects per night! To see the bats, you can stand on the bridge, rent a private boat, take a bat-watching tour on a cruise or sit on the hills around the bridge and take in the scene.

Experience the artsy side of Austin at the Baylor Street Art Wall. The site started out as the beginnings of a condo project, but later on failed to become complete. Now the foundation has become a studio of sorts for local graffiti artists. It is constantly changing, so it may be worth a second visit if you have already been there. You can also get a great view of the city from the top of the wall.

Lady Bird Lake is a great place to appreciate the natural beauty and essence of Austin. There are trails to go hiking, biking and running around the river. The reservoir is fit for everyone from adults to children and even pets! Visitors can also enjoy water sports and go kayaking, paddle boarding or canoeing in the lake or Colorado River. If you stay until the evening, you can enjoy fireworks over the lake or from a small boat!

Zilker Park is a 358-acre park is located in the heart of Austin. It is dog friendly and hosts events such as South By Southwest and the Austin City Limits, two celebrated music festivals, as well as the Zilker Kite Festival and more. Visitors can also go jogging, hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding here.

Located at Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a great place to cool off when the Austin temperatures heat up. Stretching across three acres, this spring-fed natural pool is a good option for families as there is something for everyone to do! Be warned though, the water is a chilly 68 degrees! Still not sold on Barton Springs Pool? Robert Redford learned to swim here when he was five years old!

Just across the bridge from downtown is this part of South Congress. Here you will find dozens of restaurants, clubs, boutiques, vintage shops and artisan booths. There are also a lot of food trailers—a very popular concept in Austin. Craving barbecue? Sushi? What about pizza or Tex-Mex? You can find trailers serving up all of these foods and more. Do some shopping during the day and stay for dinner, then catch a live show or hit one of the clubs.

You can turn your time in Austin into an unforgettable adventure. Shop our selection of upscale corporate rentals in Austin, TX and spend a few months getting to know this world-class city. It has something for everyone.

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