If you ever visit Austin, Texas make sure and give me a shout and I’ll take you around town for some Texas BBQ and beer! Austin has so much to do and with summer just around the corner I thought I would write up some of my favorite places to visit in Austin.
- Texas State Capitol
The Texas Capitol is located at 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701 and is one of the most iconic place to visit in Austin. Along with its rich history there are tons of things to learn about the Capitol and when legislation is in session you can see our Texas Government at work. A few myths and legends listed on Capitols website include:
The Texas Capitol is taller than the United States Capitol
The Texas Capitol does stand 14.64 feet taller the nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C. The U.S. Capitol measures 288 feet from the east front ground level to the top of the State of Freedom while the Texas Capitol stands 302.64 feet from the south front ground level to the tip of the star of the Goddess of Liberty.
There is Confederate gold buried under the oldest tree on the Capitol Grounds
No historical documentation exists that substantiates this often-told legend. In addition, the Capitol Grounds Restoration graded, excavated and restored the acreage around the Capitol during the 1990s. No gold or other treasure turned up during this extensive work.
There are secret tunnels leaving the Capitol
A myth states that there are secret tunnels for people and horses that extend from the Capitol all the way to Lady Bird Lake. Although tunnels did exist, they were not secret or meant for escape but rather installed for utilities. The Capitol originally included a small sewer tunnel that was designed to drain to the river. However, it was later altered to drain into an existing sewer line. The plans for the building also describe a 5-foot high by 3-foot wide tunnel connecting the Capitol to the powerhouse to the northeast of the building. This tunnel was filled with steam and electrical lines, much like the modern tunnels that still serve the Capitol today.
- South Congress
South Congress is not only an iconic street in Austin, the street and area are a Texas Landmark. Driving or walking down South Congress Street you will always have a great view of the Texas Capitol and our Austin skyline. Along with tons of places to shop, there are restaurants to get some amazing food Austin has to offer, my favorite is Home Slice, and you can always find some live music. Do512, a local area website, has created a list of where to shop, eat, and catch some live music which can be found here. Don’t be shy to talk to the locals and people walking around, we are Texas Friendly!
Along with Austin being the live music capital of the world there are tons of areas to hike, walk, run, and just enjoy the beauty of nature. There are multiple greenbelts in Austin and the most beloved by all Austinites is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which most locals refer to as “The Greenbelt” but there are many others around town. The Austinot created “The Complete Guide to Austin Greenbelt Access and Trails” which has directions and access points for all the greenbelts around town. If you know someone who is an avid rock climber, cyclist, runner, hiker, or just an outdoor lover be sure and visit one of Austins greenbelts. Our favorite arear is the Brushy Creek area in Cedar Park, Texas, which is located 20 minutes from Austin, just a short drive north. We like this area a bit better because it is less congested as compared to the other area located closer to the cities center. Be sure and check out Austinparks.org for more information about Austins local parks and greenbelts.
- Graffiti Park
A once abandon housing development on Baylor street where 11th intersects, has now transformed into a permanent outdoor gallery showcasing graffiti art which is constantly changing and is worth a visit. Locals refer to the area as Graffiti Park but its name is the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, HOPE stands for Helping Other People Everywhere, a movement that started in 2006 to help bring awareness to Darfur.
Not everyone can just pick up a spray can and start tagging the wall, there is a request you have to put in and it has to be approved before creating their own artwork at Graffiti Park. Technically it IS trespassing and vandalism is you do not get approval but there is no one actively monitoring the area. One of my favorite graffiti artist that paints awesome murals is Daddy Otis, check him out on Instagram @daddyotis! If you can’t make it to graffiti park you can follow him and see some awesome pictures of the park and his artwork.
- Live Music Venues
I mean Austin IS the live music capitol of the world and at just about every corner you can find some sort of live music going on. And not to mention there is music for all tastes and all ages. With more than 250 live music venues in the Austin area, a visit to Austin isn’t complete without a little live music. Almost every night of the week you can find a live show, everything from rock to blues, country to hip-hop, Austin’s iconic live music scene is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. AustinTexas.org has complied a list of live music venues that is searchable and you can narrow it down to find exactly what you like, http://www.austintexas.org/visit/music-scene/venue-guide/.
My 6 year old now has been to more live music shows than I have and he absolutely loves it. In the picture above he is standing right up front at the Rock + Read Fest, a book and music fest that was held in March during South By South West! We are looking forward to this years ACL and can’t wait to see how they change up the ACL Kiddie Limits area. If you want some tips about surviving ACL with kids check out my post about Traveling To and Surviving ACL with Kids.
Have you traveled to Austin? What was the best part of the city you experienced?