Austin Sights

The logical place to begin an exploration of the city is downtown, where the pink-granite Texas State Capitol, built in 1888, is the most visible manmade attraction. The Colorado River, which slices through Austin, was once an unpredictable waterway but has since been tamed into a series of lakes, including two within the city limits. Twenty-two-mile-long Lake Austin, in the western part of the

city, flows into Lady Bird Lake, a narrow stretch of water that meanders for 5 miles through the center of downtown. There are also 10 miles of riverside hiking and biking trails.

The sprawling University of Texas, one of the largest universities in the United States, flanks the capitol's north end. Among other things, it is home to several world class museums. Just to the northwest of the university is a fun and funky student-centered commercial street called Guadalupe ("The Drag").

Almost every street in downtown, from Cesar Chavez to 15th, is hopping with bars, music venues, and restaurants. The best shopping is either in the Second Street District or on South Congress Ave.

From March to October, check out the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, under which the world’s largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats hangs out (literally). The bats make their exodus a half an hour after sunset to feed on insects.

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Central Austin, Downtown, and Capitol Area 14

West Austin and Zilker Park 9

University of Texas 7

Greater Austin 5

Outside the City 2

South Congress District 2

East Austin 2

South Austin 2

Sixth Street District 1

North Austin 1

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Arts/ Performance Venue 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Cemetery 1

Educational Institution 3

Garden/ Arboretum 3

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 1

Hotel–Sight 1

Library/ Archive 3

Mountain–Sight 1

Museum/ Gallery 17

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 3

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 1

Park/ Playground 3

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 2

Restaurant–Sight 1

Sports Venue 1

Sports–Sight 4

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Austin Sights

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"I Love You So Much" Mural

  • Public Art (Mural/Sculpture/Statue)

The story goes that Austin musician Amy Cook took a can of red spray paint to write her then-partner, Liz Lambert, a love letter on the...

Auditorium Shores

  • Park/Playground

Depending on when you visit this lush green park, you’ll have a totally different experience. If you manage to make it here for a concert,...

Austin City Hall

  • Government Building

The home of municipal government since November 2004 and the anchor of the Second Street District, City Hall is a striking modern showcase...

Austin Nature and Science Center

  • Educational Institution

Adjacent to the Zilker Botanical Gardens, this complex has an 80-acre preserve trail, interactive exhibits in the Discovery Lab that...

Barton Creek Greenbelt

  • Park/Playground

This park follows the contour of Barton Creek and the canyon it created west along a 8 mile-long area from Zilker Park to west of Loop...

Blanton Museum of Art

  • Museum/Gallery

Formerly the Huntington Art Gallery, this is among the largest university art museums in the United States. Although it's home to a teaching...

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

The 38th Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Bob Bullock—a potent political force in his day—lobbied hard to establish a museum of state...

Circuit of the Americas

  • Sports–Sight

Most of Austin moves at a relaxed pace, but here, just a few miles outside the city limits, things speed up considerably. The Circuit...

Darrell K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium

  • Sports–Sight

Longhorns bleed burnt orange and nowhere is that more evident than at a game at Darrell K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium. The stadium...

Dell Diamond

  • Sports Venue

Though most people think Austin’s sports teams only wear burnt orange, a little ways north, the colors are all red, white, and blue.

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