Located in the South of the United States of America – Texas is the second-largest state within the USA, and its capital is Austin. With the wider metropolitan area included Austin has almost 2 300 000 people. Texas became independent from Mexico in 1836 and Austin serves as the state’s capital since 1839.
The city was named after Stephen F. Austin also known as the father of Texas, it is located in the interior of the state, almost in the center. The city quickly developed thanks to many rivers, lakes, and canals in the area used for transporting goods. Today Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and a lot of tech corporations have their offices here such as eBay, Cisco, Apple, IBM, Amazon, Dell, etc.
The cultural life of the city is very diverse. Culture lovers will find lots of museums, cultural centers, exhibition centers, some of the most famous being the George Washington Museum, O. Henry Museum, Susanna Dickinson Museum, all celebrating the historical heritage of Texas. The city is also known as the live music capital due to many musical and cultural events as well as festivals that are organized each year. South by Southwest (SXSW) Is one the most famous. Check our list of some of the most famous attractions of the city.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
One of the most popular parks in Austin, with lots of hiking and biking trails, as well as a mini-train – also known as Zilker Zephyr miniature train, children playgrounds, and a natural swimming pool – Barton Springs. Within the park is also located the botanical garden, Austin Nature and Science Center, Umlauf Sculpture Center, and Zilker Hillside Theater. Zilker Park is one of the center places for outdoor life in Austin with lots of festivals, events, and music concerts organized throughout the year. Music lovers will especially enjoy the Austin Limits music festival, Blues on the Green, Trail of Lights, and kite lovers must not miss the Zilker Kite Festival. Zilker park is also a very popular chillout place for the LGBT community in Austin.
Barton Springs Municipal Pool
Also known as the crown jewel of Austin this is a natural spring with water at constant 20 Celsius, it offers the perfect refreshment during hot summer days. The pool was built around the spring and it’s massive, with plenty of shade and lawn for stretching the deckchairs. It is located within the Zilker park, but can get very crowded, especially during summer (on the weekends), and there is an entrance fee ranging from 2 to 6 dollars. The pool is also suitable for kids with shallow parts at one end, and there are many floaters available, but pay attention to prohibited items such as coolers, ice chests, thermal bags, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
This massive three-story granite building is even taller than the one in DC, the Capitol building in Austin is actually the tallest capitol building in the US. It is of course the seat of the American government in Texas and the state governor. There are free tours available that last half an hour or you can grab a pamphlet and tour the building on your own. Austin Capitol was built in the late 19th century and it is beautifully decorated. The building is made of local Texan granite. Beautiful ornaments are carved up inside like giant brass door hinges and ornamented handrails. Outside the building, a beautiful park is decorated with many statues of historic personas testifying to the history of the state.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar
An American cinema chain, that became famous for serving dinner and drinks during the plays. They have around 39 theaters across the US, with 20 of them in Texas. Although one might that there is lots of noise while people are eating, using their cutlery, etc. they actually have a very strict policy of behavior. There are specific regulations for children, talking or texting during the movie. During the month of September every year Alamo South Lamar hosts “Fantastic Feasts”, a film festival that lasts for a week.
Allegedly one of the best places to have an original Texan barbeque, and judging by the line formed in front of it, its reputation is well earned. The fact that preorders can be made up to 6 weeks in advance also speaks for itself. Brisket, ribs, and pulled pork are the kings of the menu, in accordance with traditional Texas cuisine. Franklin Barbecue has been featured by Anthony Bourdain, New York Times, and Bon Appetit magazine all naming it the best barbecue in America.
Lady Bird Lake
At a first glance, one might wonder why it’s called a lake, as it resembles a river more than a lake. Lady Bird Lake was artificially created when the dam was constructed on the portion of the river that flows through downtown Austin. Today it is one of the favorite recreational areas of the city, where one can enjoy paddle boarding, river cruise, canoeing, etc. The area is also crisscrossed with lots of hiking and biking trails, so you’ll see lots of joggers around, and big lawns around just call for some yoga in nature. Don’t miss the boardwalk that offers an amazing view of the lake and skyscrapers in its background.