Austin, Round Rock, and all of Central Texas has many attractions and alot of fun things to see and do. See the list below for descriptions on a wide array of places to visit and experience during your visit to the Central Texas area. Please give us a call for more information on any place you in which you would like to know more. We are pretty proud of our treasures here in Texas and love to share with anyone who has an interest in our wonderful part of the world.
Round Rock Area
Dell Computer Corporation - One Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas 78664 - Corporate headquarters for worldwide operations of Dell Computer Corporation. Started in Austin in 1984 as PC's Limited by Michael Dell, the company has grown into one of the largest publicly-traded companies in the world and a leader in the personal computer and computer services industry. The company employs almost 90,000 people worldwide, with over 14,000 local employees.
Dell Diamond 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, Texas 78664. Home of the Triple AAA Pacific Coast League Minor League, Round Rock Express baseball team. Enjoy Americas favorite national pasttime in an affordable, exciting, fun, family-friendly atmosphere in a modern, top-of-the-line stadium located in Eastern Round Rock.
Historic Chisolm Trail and Round Rock - In 1851 a small community was formed on the banks of Brushy Creek, near a large round rock located in the middle of the creek. This round rock marked a convenient low-water crossing for wagons, horses and cattle. The first postmaster called the community Brushy Creek, but in 1854 the small settlement was renamed Round Rock in honor of this now famous rock. The "round rock" is located near Chisholm Trail Street in the middle of Brushy Creek. After the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm began to move cattle from South Texas through Round Rock, on the way to Abilene, Kansas. The route he established, which crossed Brushy Creek at the round rock became known as the Chisholm Trail. Most of the old buildings, including the old Saint Charles Hotel are still there today. This historic area is now called "Old Town.
Main Street Downtown, Round Rock, Texas 78664 Old, historic buildings once serving as shops and saloons in this early-Texas railroad community where notorious outlaw Sam Bass and Deputy A.W. Grimes were both mortally wounded during a shootout that is re-enacted each year as part of the Frontier Days Celebration in July, have been preserved and remodeled and now house fine dining restaurants, art galleries, offices, etc.
Old Settlers Park 2800 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, Texas 78664 Huge 570 acre sportsplex complete with 3 miles of walking-jogging trails, 20 baseball fields, 5 softball fields, 12 tennis courts, 7 soccer fields, 2 volleyball courts, professionally designed disc-golf course, 7 playgrounds, picnic areas with BBQ grills, aquatic center, and a lake with paddleboat rentals and designated fishing areas. This safe, family-friendly park further enhances Round Rocks reputation as the Sports Capital of the World.
Premium Outlet Mall 4401 N. IH-35, Round Rock, Texas 78664 - Find impressive savings at this new, modern, 125-store mall including outlets such as Adidas, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coach, Converse, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Theory, Tommy Hilfiger and more.
La Frontera Village Shopping Center 115 Sundance Pkwy., Round Rock, Texas 78681 - Nothing else in central Texas comes close to the shopping experience La Frontera Village offers. More than 50 top stores and restaurants, all conveniently located to your home or office at La Frontera. Offering everything from best-selling books to chic fashion, La Frontera is a shopping mecca.
Lake Pflugerille Park 18216 Weiss Ln., Pflugerville, Texas 78660 - Lake Pflugerville isa 180 acre reservoir built to provide the citizens of Pflugerville with drinking water, and has become the city's most popular family playground. Located at the intersection of Weiss Lane and Pflugerville Parkway, the lake is open for fishing, swimming, jogging, canoes, kayaks and wind surfing.Lake Pflugerville Park includes a 3 mile walking/jogging trail, playground, boat launch, pavilion and beach area. Come out and enjoy the outdoors in our backyard! (No power boats or bottles, please.)
Bohls House 901 Old Austin-Hutto Rd., Pflugerville, Texas 78660 - Family homeofearly area pioneersin the farming community of Pflugerville. Decendant Otto Walter Bohls, Sr. (1898-1973)promoted soil conservation practices on the family farm and in the area, serving as chair of the Travis County Agricultural Adjustment Administration for 13 years. Contour farming, planting cover crops, building stock tanks, rotating crops and planting new seed varieties reduced wind and water erosion and kept the soil intact during periods of drought. The Bohls family deeded the property to the city of Pflugerville in 1993 to promote and interpret the city's heritage and culture.
Heritage Park 901 Old Austin-Hutto Rd., Pflugerville, Texas 78660 - Heritage Park is a community park located on 17 acres next to the Bohls House on Old Austin-Hutto Rd. This park is large enough to offer many amenities for the entire family, including a public swimming pool, basketball court, benches, bocce court, pavilion, picnic tables, volleyball, water spray park, .25 mile loop trail, orchard, the Heritage House Museum, bathhouse, and concessions.
Pflugerville Pfarmers Market 901 Old Austin-Hutto Rd., Pflugerville, Texas 78660 - Located in the Green Red Barn in Heritage Park, the market runs from May 3 - Oct. 18. The mission of the Pflugerville Pfarmer's Market is to bring fresh, locally grown and prepared foods to the Pflugerville community.Vendors sell locally grown produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash, okra, garlic, melons, peaches and grapes, artisan baked goods,honey, flowers,eggs, free-range meats, jarred salsas, pickles and jams,fruits and plants.
Austins Park N Pizza 16231 N. IH-35, Pflugerville, Texas 78660 - Huge indoor and outdoor family fun center serving great pizza, along with fun activities such as Go-Kart Racing, Rock Climbing Wall, Lasertag, Paintball Range, Miniature Golf, Video Arcades, Bumper Boats, Spinning Tea Cup Rides, Batting Cages and more.
Tinseltown Theatre 15436 FM 1825, Pflugerville, Texas 78660 20 theaters featuring bargain matinees and within walking distance to area restaurants and new hotels in Pflugerville, Wells Branch area.
Inner Space Caverns 4200 S. IH-35, Georgetown, Texas 78628 - Hidden for 10,000 years, this fascinating underground discovery in 1963 is one of the best preserved caves in Texas and one of the few places where remains of prehistoric animals were unearthed. Explore this limestone cavern and discover beautiful examples of natures perfect artwork such as The Flowing Stone of Time, the mysterious Lake of the Moon and the intricate Soda Straw Balcony. Among the amazing variety of formations found within the cavern you will see beautiful helictites, ancient flowstones, and giant columns. Our tour guides will take you back in time so you can experience the fascinating story of the caves history and discovery.
Historic District & Town Square 113 E. 8th St. / Downtown, Georgetown, Texas 78628 - The current courthouse, constructed in 1911, has had a tumultuous past, surviving three major renovations and many modifications including the demolition of its key architectural features in 1966. With the assistance of the Texas Historical Commission and the dedication of preservation-minded county citizens and officials, the fifth courthouse of Williamson County has been returned to its original 1911 splendor, once again becoming a focal point of the county. The architecture of the downtown square buildings surrounding the old courthouse have been restored to its period beauty. As you walk aroundthe town square, you can view the beautiful gingerbread features that takes us back to yesteryear.
San Gabriel Park 445 E. Morrow St., Georgetown, Texas 78628 - Meandering right through the very heart of Georgetown is the San Gabriel River. What better place to find one of the most beautiful parks in the State of Texas. San Gabriel Park is graced with Pecan trees and 200 year-old oak trees that offer the shade of their branches to family picnics, games of touch football or Frisbee, concerts, festivals, canoeing, swimming and fishing. For those with a little more energetic spirit, theres a new wooded 1-mile hike and bike trail that wanders along the North Fork of the San Gabriel River from San Gabriel Park to the new Rivery Park west of I-35. Or take the popular 3-mile hike and bike trail following the South Fork of the San Gabriel from San Gabriel Park to Blue Hole.
Blue Hole - Located about seven blocks north of downtown, this swimming hole takes up a large area in the bend of the South San Gabriel River.The swimming hole is right above the bridge with a gorgeous spot of water that was once crystal clear. It was once a popular gathering place for young people to swim and jump off high cliffs into the deep water.
Lake Georgetown 500 Overlook Dr., Georgetown, Texas 78633 Various, well-maintained parks around the lake offer enjoyable recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, camping, swimming and picnicking within 4 miles of downtown Georgetown.
Sun City Texas - Located within 5 miles west of downtown Georgetown, this vibrant retirement community offers tours of beautiful, well-designed, energy-efficient model homes for those age 55 and over, and lots of quality golf with three highly rated, 18-hole courses.
6th Street Entertainment District - Downtown Austin Texas' best known street, the seven block's of Sixth Street (also known as Pecan Street) between Congress Ave. and IH-35 certainly comprise the heart of Austin's entertainment center. Resembling Bourbon Street in New Orleans, this older section of Sixth Street offers rows of shot bars, piano bars, biker bars, pubs, dance clubs, tattoo parlors, art galleries, and restaurants on both sides of the street in downtown Austin. Great live music of every type from well-known performers and up and coming bands alike, along with a very lively atmosphere make visiting downtown Austin a unique experience and keep . Popular events like the Austin Mardi Gras celebration, SXSW (South By Southwest Music Festival), ROT Rally (The Republic of Texas Bikers Rally), the Old Pecan Street Festival and Sixth's Street infamous Halloween celebration all make for great times with great people. The West section of Sixth Street between Congress Ave. and Mopac Blvd. (Loop 1) also offers a fun atmosphere to party and enjoy Austins nightlife. With a wide range of newer, hip, chic restaurants, and more upscale clubs with rooftop decks and outdoor seating, West Sixth Street provides for a little more relaxed, yet still lively nightclub atmosphere.
Esthers Follies on 6th Street - 525 E. 6th St., Austin, Texas 78701 Esther's Follies began as a by-product of a pool parlor, called Esther's Pool, on East Sixth Street April Fool's Day, 1977. Conceived as a combination topical vaudeville/satirical musical comedy revue, Esther's Follies has grown to become the state's premier comedy complex, garnering national praise and a loyal following. For more than a quarter-century, the folks at Esthers Pool have kept Austin rolling with laughter. Part magic show, part vaudeville review, part satire tour-de-force, Esthers Follies takes no prisoners, offering biting, hilarious satire on all the newsmakers and events fit to parody. Want some smart, irreverent, slightly raunchy humor? Esther's Follies is your place. It's a variety show, musical comedy revue and magic show all in one. The stage's huge windows look out over Sixth Street, so passersby unwittingly become part of the show. Go Thursday through Saturday, or book the theatre for a private party.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown Ritz - 320 E. 6th St., Austin, Texas 78701 Although there are numerous locations now, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is an innovative Austin original and still Austins only independently owned and operated movie theater, offering a unique setting for dinner and a movie all in one. Located on Sixth Street in the newly remodeled former Ritz Theater, The Alamo Drafthouse Downtown offers two theaters seating 75, and 175 and is a hip combination of restaurant, bar, movie theatre, and events venue. Movies include first-runs, as well as classics, and the dinner is chef-prepared and the drinks are reasonably priced. Also check out the Rolling Roadshow (giant inflatable screen that goes on the road throughout the U.S. and other countries for showing movies in the locations where they were filmed). It is a pretty cool concept and has created quite a huge following.
Warehouse District - Downtown area bordered by Cesar Chavez St. to the South, Fifth Street to the North, Congress Ave. to the East and Rio Grande St. to the West. A bit trendier and certainly more pricey, it caters to a slightly older crowd than the other downtown entertainment areas. True to its name, the formerly old, abandoned warehouses throughout this downtown section of Austin have been renovated into concert halls, high-end retail stores, art galleries, salons, trendy steakhouses, seafood eateries, and other chic restaurants and bars such as Qua (a dance club with a live shark tank under the see-through dance floor) and Cedar Street Bar (with outdoor patios and courtyards for live music, dancing and dining). Great fun and food of every type is easy to find in the Warehouse District.
Austin Music Hall - 208 Nueces St., Austin, Texas 78701 - Located on the West edge of the downtown Warehouse District, the Austin Music Hall is one of Austins premier concert and special event facilities. The buildings art-deco interior creates a first class atmosphere for over 3000 people.
Paramount Theater - 713 Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701 - From silent films in 1915 to some of the best arts and entertainment offerings today, the Paramount Theater is a Congress Ave. jewel. Austin's best live performances, movies and even movie premieres are offered in a wonderful, majestically remodeled theatre of yesteryear.
Stubbs Restaurant & Waller Creek Ampitheatre - 801 Red River St., Austin, Texas 78701 Stubbs Bar-B-Que restaurant was founded in Lubbock, Texas in 1968 by C.B. Stubblefield. In the 1970s, Stubbs Restaurant became the heart of an explosive music scene and was ground zero for musicians like Joe Ely and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Other musicians who would play for their supper in those days included Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Robert Cray, George Thorogood, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Linda Ronstadt, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The Lubbock location closed years ago, but the legend continues in Austin with great Texas Bar-B-Que, ice cold beer, and an indoor and outdoor concert venue featuring some of the most popular bands in music today. The adjoining Waller Creek Ampitheatre provides for a fun and unique outdoor concert experience.
Zilker Park - 2100 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, Texas 78746 - Zilker Metropolitan Park is considered "Austin's most loved park." This 351 acre park is home to a variety of recreation opportunities and special events for the individual or the whole family. Site of many concerts, including the Rolling Stones in 2006, and the annual Austin City Limits Festival, as well as the annual Christmas Trail of Lights, Zilker park is an important part of the whole Austin experience.
Zilker Botanical Gardens - 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, Texas 78746 - This garden located just West of Zilker Park is a unique collaboration between The City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department (PARD) and the Austin Area Garden Council (AAGC). The 30-acre garden is free and open to the public most days year-round and is enjoyed by over 400,000 visitors each year, including thousands of school children from Austin and the surrounding communities. Theme gardens such as rose, herb and Japanese garden are interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds. The Hartman Prehistoric Garden recreates local dinosaur habitat.
Barton Springs Pool - 2201 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, Texas 78746 - Within Zilker Park's 358 acres, lies one of the crown jewels of Austin. Three acres in size, Barton Springs Pool is fed from under ground springs and is on average 68 degrees year round. Over the years, Barton Springs Pool has drawn people from all walks of life, from legislators who have concocted state laws there to free-spirited topless sunbathers who turned heads in the seventies. Even Robert Redford learned to swim at the pool when he was five years old while visiting his mother's relative in Austin. Today, Barton Springs still attracts a diverse crowd of people and the cold, clear waters are a wonderful way to beat the Texas heat in summertime.
Deep Eddy Pool - 401 Deep Eddy Ave., Austin, Texas 78703 - Deep Eddy is the oldest swimming pool in Texas and has a bath house built during the Depression-era, by the Works Progress Administration. The pool began as a swimming hole in the Colorado River, became a resort in the 1920s, and is today a popular swimming pool operated by the City of Austin.
Elizabet Ney Museum - 304 E. 44th St., Austin, Texas 78745, 512.458.2255 - Elisabet Ney (1833 - 1907) was a noted nineteenth-century portrait sculptor.In 1892, celebrated European sculptress, Elisabet Ney, built a small neoclassical studio in the remote natural setting of Hyde Park, Austin, Texas. In this studio, Ney sculpted the great men of frontier Texas, among them, life-sized figures of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston that stand today in the national and state capitols. Ney also assembled in this studio her earlier sculptures of European notables, among them, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, King George V of Hanover, Otto von Bismarck, Giuseppi Garibaldi, Justus von Liebig, Arthur Schopenhauer and Jacob Grimm, all cherished portraits Ney rendered from life as a as a young artist. By the turn of the century, Elisabet Ney's Hyde Park studio had become a gathering place for influential Texans drawn to the colorful character of "Miss Ney" and to the stimulating discussions of politics and ideas that took place there. Inspired by Ney's "revolutionary" idea that art and beauty have been and can be powerful forces in the shaping of a nation as well as in individuals, these early Texans went on to found the University of Texas Art Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Texas Fine Arts Association and museums and art schools throughout the state. Following Elisabet Ney's death in 1907, her friends preserved the studio and its contents as the Elisabet Ney Museum, dedicated to honoring the memory of Elisabet Ney and to fulfilling her humanitarian ideas and visions for the people of Texas.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, Texas 78739, 512.292.4100 - The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Austin is more than just a botanical garden of native plants, it is an expression of Lady Birds love of the land and its natural beauty. Stroll among the display gardens where hummingbirds and butterflies abound. See the rainwater harvesting system, meditate on the beauty of a Hill Country stream, visit Wild Ideas: The Store, and dine at the Wildflower Caf. Hours for the Wildflower Center are Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. From March 22 to April 26, the Center is open daily. Admission is $5.00 - $7.00 for adults and $4.00 - $5.50 for seniors and students. Children 4 and younger, and members, are free.Prices vary according to season. Dont forget your walking shoes so you can take a short hike on one of four trails, and be sure to bring your camera to photograph the award-winning architecture and beautiful blooming displays. Weekend activities include workshops and lectures on everything from gardening with natural plants to nature photography. Festivals are the weekend fare for spring and fall, and even into winter. The Fall Festival in October is followed by December pre-holiday events. And in spring we celebrate Wildflower Days from March through May.
McKinney Falls State Park - 5800 McKinney Falls Pkwy., Austin, Texas 78744, 512.243.1643 - McKinney Falls State Park in south Austin, is a 744.4-acre park acquired in 1970 from private donation and opened to the public in 1976. The headquarters of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are near this location. Few locals realize it is only a short drive of 13 miles from the capitol building, making it one of Austin's best kept secrets.Wildlife to be observed and photographed includes white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, and numerous birds. The park is named for Thomas F. McKinney, who came to Texas in the early 1820s as one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists. Park facilities include screened shelters with bunk beds (no mattresses); campsites with water; campsites with water and electricity; walk-in water sites (200 yards in with a picnic table, a fire ring, a grill, and water in area); picnic sites; an interpretive hiking trail, approximately 3/4 mile long; 3.5 miles of paved trails; 4 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking; an interpretive center with an exhibit room and audiovisual room; a sponsored youth group area; and a group camp which includes the screened shelters located next to the dining hall; the dining hall (capacity 80) may be rented separately for day use. There is also an amphitheater that seats 50 people.
Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve - 805 N. Capital Of Texas Hwy., Austin, Texas 78746 - Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve was founded in 1974 to protect 227 acres of Texas Hill Country. Come and enjoy over 3 miles of hiking trails through woodland, grassland, and streamside habitats. Wild Basin also hosts a variety of family events, concerts, adult workshops, children's and school programs. Wild Basin's nature education programs are funded by special events, memberships, corporate donations and grants. Trails are open sunrise to sunset every day. Trail maps are available at the Environmental Education Center or at kiosks at either trailhead. Please stay on the trail, and leave pets, bicycles, and picnics at home.
Austin Segway Tours - 49 East Avenue, Austin, Texas, 512.699.6051 - Discover the hidden treasures of downtown Austin with our Green Technology! A Segway Tour is an exciting and unique approach to viewing historical landmarks, local businesses, and captivating attractions. Capture a lifetime memory with an Austin City Segway tour. The team prides itself in providing exceptional experiences of this remarkable city! Informative guides will lead you on an intriguing journey full of facts and entertainment through downtown Austin to the Texas State Capital.
Lone Star Riverboat Cruises - Located on Lady Bird Lake (formally Town Lake) in downtown Austin, Texas. Lone Star Riverboat Cruises & Austin are two shining stars of Texas! Join us aboard one of our all environmentally-friendly vessels. Experience the exhilaration of the outdoors, the abundant waterfowl, our ever changing city skyline and the natural beauty that is Austin. We offer public narrated sightseeing cruises or witness the spectacular emergence of the world famous Mexican free tail bats on our sunset/bat watching cruises! Come see the sights and learn about Austin. Or jazz up your next occasion and have a private party aboard the Lone Star Riverboat, the largest all electric powered paddle wheeler in the nation.
Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake - 2100 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, Texas 78746 Zilker Park Boat Rentals was established in 1969, shortly after Howard Barnett drove across the Lamar Street bridge and noticed the beauty and serenity of Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake). Hewanted to share that beauty with the town he loved,so he openeda canoe rental business on the banks of the creek, just downstream from Barton Springs. He and his wife, Dorothy,and their four-year-old daughter rented out theirnine canoes on weekends while Howard worked for the Texas Park and Wildlife Department. Together they built the business to the environmentally friendly and family oriented establishment that it is today. With over100 canoes and kayaks and reasonable prices, Zilker Park Boat Rentals is the perfect place to bring friends and family to enjoy a relaxing outing on the water. Rates $10.00/ Hour or $40.00 All Day.Cash only.No credit cards and no personal checks.
Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail - Downtown along Lady Bird Lake (long known as the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail), it is the most used trail in Austin. It can be seen full of Austinites exercising each day after work hours and before sunset. So if you're looking for a place of quiet and solitude, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a pleasant, mostly flat, walk, jog, or bike ride with several excellent views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake, then the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail may fit the bill for you.
The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge - (formerly known simply as the Congress Avenue Bridge) crosses over Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas. The bridge was known as the Congress Avenue Bridge from the construction of the first span across the Colorado River at that location in the late 19th century until November 16, 2006, when the Austin City Council renamed the current bridge in honor of the late Ann W. Richards, the 45th Governor of Texas. The bridge is a concrete arch bridge, with three southbound and three northbound vehicle lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. The bridge is currently home to the world's largest urban Mexican Free-Tailed Bat colony and hosts large crowds of Austinites gathered for bat watching at sunset throughout the Spring and Summer months.
Long Center for the Performing Arts - 701 W. Riverside Dr., Austin, Texas 78704 - Formerly the Lester E. Palmer (Municipal) Auditorium, built in 1959 on the shores of Town Lake, was recently renovated into a multi-venue community performing arts center. The Long Center for the Performing Arts provides a state-of-the-art venue for a broad array of regional performing arts groups, Texas musicians, and a permanent home to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin.
Zachary Scott Theatre - 1510 Toomey Rd., Austin, Texas 78704 Founded in 1932, and named after an Austin born actor, ZACH is a non-profit, regional theatre that has grown popular with Austinites for performances of local plays, and musicals. It is one of Austin's most vibrant and innovative arts organizations and Central Texas' oldest professional theatre.
The Broken Spoke - 3201 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78704 - Texas' most definitive legendary dance hall built in 1964. It has a musical history that dates back to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. If you're ever in Austin, stop by for an ice-cold Lone Star longneck and some traditional country music by some "real" country musicians.The Spoke has some of Austin's very best local talent such as Alvin Crow, Asleep at the Wheel, Gary P. Nunn, Sam and Son, better known as The Geezinslaw Brothers, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Derailers, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Chris Wall, and Dale Watson just to name a few. Some of the old time country music legends that have played The Spoke include Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Hank Thompson, Tex Ritter, Ray Price, Kitty Wells, Grandpa Jones, Willie Nelson and George Strait. While most of these stars are no longer around, Willie still stops in for chicken fried steak. You might just see him there.
Texas State Capitol - 1100 Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701 (512) 463-0130 - Take a tour of the Texas state capitol building located at the North end of Congress Ave. in downtown Austin. Everything is bigger in Texas and the capitol is an impressive building by any measure. When it was completed in 1888, it was claimed to be the seventh largest building in the world. Some 1,000 men (mostly convicts) worked every day for four years at the height of the project. The product of their labor took 4,000 railroad cars of native pink granite, 11,000 railroad cars of limestone and other materials and has 360,000 square feet of floor space (more than any other state capitol building) covering 2 1/4 acres of land. The building has 392 rooms, 18 vaults, 924 windows, 404 doors. At 308 feet tall, it is fourteen feet taller than the nations capitol. It cost $3,744, 600 to build and was funded funded through an article in the state constitution, adopted February 15, 1876, which authorized the sale of public lands for the purpose. In one of the largest barter transactions in recorded history, the builders of the capitol were paid with over three-million acres of public land in the Texas panhandle. This tract later became the largest cattle ranch in the world, the XIT Ranch, covering ten counties (The XIT brand stands for 10 in Texas). The building has been renovated many times, with central air conditioning installed in 1955 and the most recent refurbishments completed in 1997. Tours are available seven days a week, except on holidays, and are fun, free, and very interesting.
Texas Governors Mansion - (Currently Under Restoration) 1010 Colorado St., Austin, Texas 78701 (512) 463-5516 - The Texas Governor's Mansion is a grand, historic home for the Governor of Texas in downtown Austin located across the street from the capitol grounds. It was built in 1854, designed by prominent architect Abner Cook in Greek Revival style, and has been the home of every Texas governor since 1856. The mansion is the oldest continuously inhabited house in Texas and fourth oldest governor's mansion in the United States that has been continuously occupied by a chief executive. The mansion was the first-designated Texas historic landmark, in 1962. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and further was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1974. On June 8, 2008, while midway through a major renovation, the mansion was heavily damaged by a four-alarm fire believed to be arson. It is currently undergoing restoration and not open to the public.
Bob Bullock Museum & IMAX Theatre -1800 N. Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701 (512) 936-4936 - A dynamic educational institution that engages visitors in the exciting Story of Texas through a variety of programs and exhibit experiences in Austin. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum features Austin's only IMAX Theatre. This 400-seat, state-of-the-art theatre uses innovative IMAX technology to create the ultimate film experience featuring films made in Texas. Open seven days a week, except on holidays.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum -2313 Red River St., Austin, Texas 78705 (512) 721-0200 - The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of eleven presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library, located adjacent to the University of Texas campus houses forty five million pages of historical documents which include the papers from the entire public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and also from those of close associates. These papers and the vast administrative files from the presidency are used primarily by scholars. The museum provides year-round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits. Special activities and exhibits are sponsored privately by the Friends of the LBJ Library and its parent organization, the LBJ Foundation. The library is open Monday Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm for self-guided tours. Call for information on group tours.
University of Texas at Austin -1912 Speedway St., Austin, Texas 78705 (512) 471-4441 - Located near downtown Austin, the University of Texas is home of the Texas Longhorns and with an enrollment of approximately 50,000 students, it is one of the largest universities in the United States. Founded in 1883, the original campus covered 40 acres of land area, but encompasses a much larger area today. There is alot to see and do on the UT campus, and various tours are offered, including a tour around the observation deck of the landmark UT tower. Explore UT, is an annual event for the people of Texas to discover the treasures throughout the campus, and through tours, lectures, performances, demonstrations and hands-on activities, explorers of all ages are invited to make themselves at home, discover something new and have a lot of fun.
Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center - 21st St. & Guadalupe St. on the UT Campus, Austin, Texas 78705 (512) 471-8944 - The central mission of the Ransom Center is to advance the study of the arts and humanities. To this end, theHRC acquires original cultural material for the purposes of scholarship, education, and delight. It preserves and makes accessible these creations of our cultural heritage through the highest standards of cataloging, conservation, and collection management. It supports research through public services, symposia, publications, and fellowships. It provides education and enrichment for scholars, students, and the public at large through exhibitions, public performances, and lectures. Major acquisitions include substantial holdings in British theater (playwrights Tom Stoppard, John Osborne, David Hare, and Arnold Wesker, among others), as well as the archives of Norman Mailer, Robert De Niro, and photojournalist David Douglas Duncan, and the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate papers. Over 100 literary archives have been added during Staley's tenure, including those of Russell Banks, Jorge Luis Borges, Anthony Burgess, Don DeLillo, John Fowles, Adrienne Kennedy, Doris Lessing, Penelope Lively, David Mamet, Peter Matthiessen, Terrence McNally, James Salter, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Leon Uris.
The Drag -Section of Guadalupe St. from M.L.K. Blvd. to 24th St. Known as The Drag to Austin locals and UT students, this busy street bordering the West Mall of the UT campus offers a lot for visitors to experience, including retail stores, movie theatres, bookstores, coffeehouses, sidewalk food vendors, bars and restaurants with live music, an outdoor artisan market, and lots of peoplewatching.
The UT Performing Arts Center -2350 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin, Texas 78705 Since opening our doors to Austin and Central Texas in 1981, The University of Texas at Austin Performing Arts Center has evolved into one of the leading university arts presenters in the country. Comprised of six state-of-the-art theatres, the Performing Arts Center presents, produces and commissions stellar global culture experiences otherwise unavailable locally to the Central Texas community. And driven by a commitment to educate, enlighten and entertain, has helped established the University of Texas and Austin as a venue for international culture and performing arts. Operating under the auspices of the University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts, the Performing Arts Center promotes an artistic fusion and diversity in which pop legends, chamber orchestras, alternative rock bands and world music superstars share the season. From Broadway to Alvin Ailey, Philip Glass to Sonny Rollins, Circus Oz to Bill Cosby, the Performing Arts Center brings the world to Austin with a kaleidoscope of world-class artists in all genres. And in keeping with our mission to educate as well as entertain, we are constantly developing diverse and innovative programs reflecting the traditional and evolving cultures of the world.
Bass Concert Hall - 2350 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin, Texas 78705 - Completed in 1981, this flagship theatre of Texas Performing Arts is the largest in Austin, with seating for approximately 3,000. The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Concert Hall boasts a vast stage, an orchestra pit capable of holding 100 musicians, dressing rooms to accommodate more than 100 performers, computerized lighting, advanced sound and rigging systems, and a mammoth backstage area complete with workshops for carpentry, costumes, painting, metalwork and props. Ranking among the finest performance spaces in the country both in size and accoutrements, it is no wonder that Bass Concert Hall attracts the worlds greatest performers and full-scale productions. In May 2007, Bass Concert Hall began a $14.7 million dollar renovation and facelift. These upgrades and changes have reinvented this Austin treasure as a world-class venue, able to host the most demanding touring productions while offering visitors first-class accommodations. The 27-year-old venue is getting a new look inside and out. Renovations to the 3,000-seat theatre include compliance with all current fire and safety codes; state-of-the-art acoustics; a magnificent glass-front faade and larger, light-filled lobby; an expanded five-story lobby and atrium, increased restroom capacity; more bars and concession areas; new flooring, sidewalls and dcor; and a sixth-floor outside deck with impressive views overlooking the UT campus.
The Frank Erwin Jr. Special Events Center -1701 Red River St., Austin, Texas 78701 - 512-471-7744 Built in 1977, The Frank Erwin Center is considered the premiere venue in Austin for public and private events with seating for over 16,000 people. The center, known to locals as the Superdrum with its unique round design, is home to the Univ. of Texas mens and womens basketball teams, but has also hosted such memorable and diverse events ranging from sell-out concerts to pro wrestling to area high school grauations.
Mount Bonnell Park - 3800 Mt. Bonnell Rd., Austin, Texas 787512.974.6700 Sightseeing in Austin is not complete without a visit to Mount Bonell. Offering a panoramic view of beautiful Lake Austin and the downtown skyline from a height of 785 feet, Mount Bonell can be accessed from the road by climbing a set of man made rock stairs. The park area at the top with built in tables is great for picnics and the scenery is well worth the climb.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park - 1706 City Park Rd., Austin, Texas 78730, 512.346.1831 Set within an oak and juniper forest along the peaceful shoreline of Lake Austin, Emma Long Park, also known as City Park, is one of the largest public parks in Austin. Ammenities and activities offered include camping, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, 151 picnic tables, 68 barbeque pits, 4 volleyball courts, and a basketball court.
Pennybacker Bridge - The Pennybacker Bridge in Austin, Texasspans Lake Austin toconnect north and southLoop 360, also known as the "Capital of Texas Highway." The road is widely considered one of the most scenic urban drives in central Texas, in large part due to this arched, weathered steel bridge and the rolling hills that flank the road. The bridge is named for Percy Pennybacker, who designed bridges for the Texas Highway Department and was a pioneer in the technology of welded structures. The bridge is constructed such that no part of the structure touches the water 100 feet below. The bridge is 1,150 feet long with a 600 foot central arched span. This design keeps Lake Austin free from support columns because the recreational lake is popular with boaters and waterskiers. The untied arch suspension span is suspended by 72steel cables. At the time of its construction, it was only the second bridge of its design in the world.
Barton Creek Spa & Resort - 8212 Barton Club Dr., Austin, Texas 78735, 512-329-4000 Escape to this luxurious resort for the ultimate relaxing getaway. Nestled within 4,000 acres of rolling hills and breathtaking views in the Texas Hill Country just minutes from downtown Austin, this resort offers a wealth of activities for the whole family. Fine dining with four exceptional restaurants, a four diamond luxury hotel with over 300 geust rooms furnished in elegant Texas style, and four championship golf courses are just a few of the ammenities offered along with a full-service fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, a miniature golf course, fully-supervised childrens programs, one of Austins most luxurious spas, and award-winning conference and meeting facilities that can accommodate groups of all sizes.
Lake Austin Spa Resort - 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd., Austin, Texas 78732, 512.372.7300 Located on beautiful Lake Austin in the Texas Hill Country, Lake Austin Spa Resort was named the #1 destination spa in North America by the readers of Cond Nast Traveler in 2008 as well as being named one of the top ten spas in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. The 2009 Zagat Survey recognized the resort as the #1 destination spa in the United States and publications such as Allure, InStyle, Departures, Health, Luxury SpaFinder, Spa Magazine and American Airlines' Celebrated Living magazines have recognized the resort as one of the best in the country and in the world. Whether you're looking for pure relaxation, an escape from the stresses of daily life, beginning a wellness plan, or simply to enjoy special time with friends or family, Lake Austin Spa Resort provides an all-encompassing destination spa experience to serve your needs, because here, your time is your own and you are encouraged to do as much or as little as you wish.
Volente Beach Waterpark - 16107 FM 2769, Leander, Texas 78641, 512.258.5109 Located on the scenic shores of Lake Travis, Volente Beach has become a popular family destination spot to cool off and get away from the Texas summer heat. Offering a series of pools, water slides, and kid-sized water features, along with a sandy beach area, Volente Beach is a great place to spend the day while enjoying one of Austins best family activities. Live music is also part of the fun for adults at the adjoining Blu Parrot where local bands play and cold beverages flow. And dont forget to take in a beautiful sunset after a long day while the restaurant serves up a wide variety of appetizers and entrees including shrimp diablo and delicious steaks. Always a crowd pleaser.
Hula Hut - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin, Texas 78703, 512.476.4852 Located near Tom Miller Dam on the shores of Lake Austin, the Hula Hut is a popular hot spot for happy hour, or the place to pull the boat into the dock for dinner and drinks after an afternoon of waterskiing and wakeboarding. Beautiful setting, outdoor bars with good frozen margaritas, and lively atmosphere make this place a local favorite to hang out and have fun.
The Oasis On Lake Travis - 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, Texas 78732, 512.266.2442 The legendary "Sunset Capital of Texas". Located 450 feet above Lake Travis, The Oasis offers breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country and spectacular sunsets! Enjoy the scenery from one of the 40 plus outdoor decks, or inside from one of the enchanting dining rooms. The Oasis is consistently named one of the "Top 10 Austin Area Attractions" by the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau and by Texas Guides' - Austin and Hill Country Guide. At Starlight live music venue, you will find the perfect place to end a perfect day or evening. Enjoy the gorgeous view as you dine from the buffet or from a limited menu. Dance under the stars to Austin's finest bands with choices ranging from show bands to salsa and blues, all performing on our big double-tiered stage.
The Iguana Grill On Lake Travis - 2900 Ranch Road 620, Austin, Texas 78734, 512.266.8439 Another popular spot for breathtaking views of Lake Travis. Lake-mex cuisine, full bar and live music all overlooking Lake Travis. The view is a must see for your out-of-town guests and the laid-back atmosphere is perfect for your entire family.
Carlos N Charlies - 5973 Hiline Dr., Austin, Texas 78734, 512.266.1683 The first Carlos N Charlies operating in the United States and located on scenic Lake Travis, this restaurant and bar with lots of docking for boaters has become the party spot on the lake. Known for live music, high profile concerts, bikini contests and other popular events, it is a local hot spot in summertime and draws large crowds of hip, young people looking for good food and fun.
Other Central Texas Area Favorites
The San Antonio Riverwalk- The San Antonio River Walk is a public park in the heart of downtown San Antonio, It is open 365 days a year, and is lined with restaurants, hotels, attractions, boat tours, and a happening nightlife. Great for all ages and all types of people.
Enchanted Rock - Located approximately 15miles north of Fredericksburg, Texas and 15miles south of Llano, Texas. It has become a very popular destination for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the great outdoors of the Texas Hill Country. Archaeological evidence indicates human visitation at the rock going back at least 11,000 years. Folklore of local Native American tribes ascribes magical and spiritual powers to the rock (hence the name 'Enchanted Rock'). It was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1970. The rock was in private hands until 1978, when it was purchased by the Nature Conservancy at the behest of Lady Bird Johnson, who wanted to save the area from development. The State of Texas acquired it in 1979 and opened it as a state park in 1984 after adding facilities. That same year it was also added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is currently one of the most popular destinations for hiking and camping in central Texas. Climbing footpaths to the top of the dome is a popular activity. Technical rock climbing is very popular there as well.
Gruene Hall - Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest dance hall in Texas and is located in historic downtown Gruene, Texas (pronounced Green). It is the birth place of many legendary musical careers in Texas including George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hal Ketchum, and Robert Earl Keen. It is a lively place to dance the Texas two-step, listen to some good country music and enjoy a cold Lone Star longneck beer. Dont forget to try the Gristmill restaurant next door for a great burger or a chicken-fried steak, and the general store across the street for dessert. The old soda fountain still serves of dips of real Blue Bell ice cream.
Guadalupe River - Well-known for the best place to relax while floating the cool waters in Summertime in Central Texas. Inner tubes can be rented for cheap along with a bus ride to various start points along the river. Float with friends and enjoy the sun until you reach the low water crossing located below the bluffs of downtown Gruene, TX.
Comal River Tube Chute - Located in Landa Park in New Braunfels, Texas approx. 70 miles south of Austin, this is the quintessential place to experience a rush while cooling off in the searing heat of a hot Texas summer. Built many years ago, this man-made concrete walled chute is greased for smoothly navigating an inner tube through the rapid, churning cold waters on this section of the Comal River. Admission is $5.00, but it is free to drop-in or you can rent a tube for $7.00 to enjoy a cheap day of cool fun in the Texas sun.
Hamilton Pool Reserve - Hamilton Pool Preserve is a historic swimming hole located 3/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Pedernales River. Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone outcroppings to create a 50 foot waterfall as it plunges into the head of a steep box canyon. The waterfall never completely dries up, but in dry times it does slow to a trickle. However, the pool's water level stays pretty constant, even during periods of drought. The preserve is home to the Golden-Cheeked Warbler, and a great variety of other birds. The diverse vegetation of Hamilton Pool ranges from semi-arid species in the uplands to riparian species in the canyon. The uplands of the preserve are a juniper and oak savannah with a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. Several rare plant species including canyon mock-orange, red bay (western-most colony of this eastern species), and chatter box orchid are known to occur in the canyon areas along Hamilton Creek.
Inks Lake State Park - Inks Lake State Park is 1201 acres of recreational facilities adjacent to Inks Lake on the Colorado River in Burnet County. Inks Lake is located in the Highland Lakes chain (7 lakes) surrounded by granite hills. Visitors enjoy camping, backpacking, and hiking. Since Inks is a constant level lake, droughts do not affect water-related activities such as lake swimming (unsupervised beach), boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing. Tours and guided activities include nature walks, geology hikes, fish seining, lakeshore ecology, Junior Ranger programs, and the Devil's Waterhole Canoe Tour.
LBJ Ranch- Located just outside Johnson City, Texas and approx. 50 miles southwest of Austin, this is the former home of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 38th President of the United States and the only native Texas President. Laid out over 719 acres, the ranch opened to the public in 1970, and has since been remodeled and now includes new areas of the family home never seen until just recently. The ranch includes a replica of the White House Oval Office, and a newly added exhibit is one of the actual planes the President flew on while in office.
Longhorn Caverns - Longhorn Cavern State Park features Longhorn Cavern, a Texas Hill Country wonder created over thousands of years by the dissolving and cutting action of water on the limestone bedrock of the area. Fossil remains show that many Ice Age animals once occupied the cave. The earliest records indicate that the Comanche Indians were the first to use the cavern. They came in about 400 years or so before anyone else did. In more recent history, the cavern was used as a Confederate stronghold where gunpowder was manufactured in secret during the Civil War. The cavern is also rumored to have been the hideout of Sam Bass, a legendary Texas outlaw. Longhorn Cavern is one of the few river-formed caverns in Texas. Visitors can take daily tours, or participate in one of their many special tours like: wild cave tour, photography tour, geology tour, or the paranomaral tour.
Luckenbach - These days Luckenbach Texas is, to paraphrase John Steinbeck, a state of mind A Texas state of mind, where you can kick back, relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday lifelike a step back in time. This tiny hill country hamlet where Everybodys Somebody was established as a Trading Post in 1849 making it one of the oldest settlements in Gillespie County. One of the first settlers in the area was Jacob Luckenbach (1817-1911). Luckenbach is known to have come to Texas as early as the mid-1830s and was among the Texans, including many Texas-Germans, who helped to win Texas independence from Mexico.
Schlitterbahn - Bring the family and see why Schlitterbahn Waterpark has been voted the best waterpark anywhere! The family-owned, family-friendly park offers FREE parking, FREE tubes, FREE lifejackets, and allows you to bring your own picnic. Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels has over 3 miles of tubing adventures, 7 childrens water playgrounds,17 water slides, the worlds first surfing machine, and 3 uphill water coasters spread over 65 acres of fun!
Perdernales Falls - A clear, spring-fed river flowing down gently sloping limestone creates the lovely "falls." While the first three miles, including the falls, are closed to swimming, wading and tubing, other areas of this beautiful river are open to water play.. Although the Pedernales River is the focal point of the park, there are other areas of interest to hikers, nature lovers, and the general visitor. Well-marked trails pass through hills dotted with oak and juniper woodlands and provide access to more-heavily-wooded areas of pecan, elm, sycamore, walnut, and hackberry in the major drainages. Ash, buttonbush, and cypress grow on the terrace adjacent to the river. Fish commonly caught in the Pedernales River include catfish (predominantly), bass, perch, and carp. Over 150 species of birds have been seen in the park, and about one-third of these are permanent residents. Birds seen throughout the year include ravens, vultures, herons, quail, doves, owls, roadrunners, wild turkeys as well as the endemic rufous-crowned sparrow and western scrub jay. The endangered golden-cheeked warbler nests in the park, arriving in mid-March. Birdwatchers can seclude themselves in a covered viewing and photography blind with feeders and a drip bath. Pedernales Falls is the park's main attraction and may be viewed from a scenic overlook at the north end of the park. In this area, the elevation of the river drops about 50 feet over a distance of 3000 feet, and the cascading falls are formed by the flow of water over the tilted, stair-step effect of layered limestone. These river limestones belong to the 300-million-year-old Marble Falls formation.
Natural Bridge Caverns Natural Bridge Caverns is so much more than one of the most treasured natural attractions Texas has to offer. This beautiful and historical cavern system offers an experience that is high energy, educational, fun and family oriented. Whether you are a first timer, an avid caver or someone in between, Natural Bridge Caverns awaits with a once in a lifetime experience you'll never forget. Pan for precious stones, take the ultimate leap of faith from the Watchtower, go caving on one of our adventure tours or simply experience nature on the original Discovery Tour. Natural Bridge Caverns is located between New Braunfels and San Antonio.
Fiesta Texas- Fiesta Texas is a Six Flag theme park located in San Antonio. Come with friends or bring the whole family. They have rides for the family and the thrill seekers along with a giant water park. You'll also find a wide variety of top-shelf entertainment, shopping, events, and a wide variety of food.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch - Have you ever dreamed of going on an African Safari? Well Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch between New Braunfels and San Antonio is your dream come true only Texas Style. From the comfort of your own vehicle view, feed, and photograph species from all over the world roaming freely in the picturesque Texas Hill Country.