Trip Tips
Travel Host
Spa Etiquette
Carnival Cruise
1,000 Places
Deep South
Travel Show
Chris Harrison
Travel Expert
New Orleans
The Art of Gallivanting

5 Things to Do in Austin, Texas, USA

From its funky live music to large urban bat colonies, Austin is affectionately known for being quirky and a bit weird.

From the high-energy South by Southwest Conference and Festivals the world's largest urban bat colony, there are plenty of ways to find out what's keeping Austin weird.

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

1. Texas State Capitol

The Capitol Complex in the heart of downtown Austin serves employees on state business as well as visitors observing the legislative process, strolling the grounds, or learning about Texas history. The past and present culture of the Lone Star State is also presented through a variety of ever-changing artifacts, special-effects films, and rotating exhibits at the nearby Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Live Music

Live Music

2. Live Music

The seven blocks of historic Sixth Street between Congress and IH-35 are the heart of Austin's live entertainment scene which unabashedly hosts a variety of restaurants, art galleries, tattoo parlors, eclectic shops, and music venues along with the iconic Driskill Hotel. A host of music genres from jazz and blues to country, hip-hop, rock, and more can be heard at this socially-popular locale (especially during the annual South by Southwest Conferences and Festival) as well as at Austin City Limits Live, a state-of-the-art music venue and the premier destination in Austin for live performances.

Bat Colonies

Bat Colonies

3. Bat Colonies

The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge spans the picturesque Lady Bird Lake and is home to the world's largest urban bat colony. According to Bat Conservation International, between 750,000 and 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats reside beneath the road deck in the structure's concrete gaps from March to October during which time tourists flock to Austin annually to see the bats emerge each evening at dusk, flying eastward to feed themselves.



4. BBQ and Tex-Mex

Barbecue is very serious business in Austin, and it's not uncommon for people to wait hours in line to get a plate of the best smoked meats in town at places like Franklin's, la Barbecue, Rudy's, and more. Tex-Mex is a local favorite as well with places like Habanero, Tamale House, and Torchy's Tacos topping the list along with The OASIS. Located on a cliff 450-feet above Lake Travis, this largest outdoor restaurant in Texas has earned a reputation as the Sunset Capital of Texas.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis

5. Swimming Holes

There's no better way to beat the heat during a Texas summer than by diving into a local swimming hole, and some of the local favorite cool-spots include the nearby but somewhat secluded McKinney Falls, clothing-optional Hippie Hollow, and historic Deep Eddy (the oldest pool in Texas). The crown jewel however is Barton Springs in Zilker Park, a spring-fed outdoor pool that maintains a comfortable year-round average temperature of 68-70 degrees.

For additional information about Austin, visit:

Visit Austin

A Perfect Day in Austin, Texas Austin is the ideal place to enjoy a long weekend. But don't expect to just kick back and relax. There's way too much to see and do. A Perfect Day in Austin, Texas
Tour of the Deep South

Tour of the Deep South


Take a charming journey through the Deep South region of the United States with a special focus on a few of the important women who helped shape it.
Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown


Samantha speaks about her life and adventures, the world's perception of Americans, and showing Anthony Bourdain how to smile.
Gaylord Texan Resort

Gaylord Texan Resort


Welcoming visitors with rustic elegance, the Gaylord Texan sits on 4.5 acres of botanical gardens and waterways underneath a climate-controlled glass atrium.