Zip Line Around Lake Travis
Leander, TexasJust because summer is over, doesnt mean you cant hit the lakeafterall, you do live in a place where its still 90 degrees in October. Head to Lake Travis Zipline Adventures to relive the adrenaline rush you last felt during your family trip to Costa Rica in middle school. Cross canyons and glide over Lake Travis via five of the longest and fastest zip lines in the state. Also included in the day is a nature hike through the Texas Hill Country with a professional tour guide, as well as all-day access to a lakefront property where you can relax on hammocks between flights.
Museum Of Fine Arts Houston
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The Museum of Fine Arts Houston was created in 1900, with expansions and renovations constantly improving it and propelling it forward into the modern area.
It is home to three buildings, a sculpture garden, and a movie theater.
The three buildings are the Caroline Wiess Law Building, Audrey Jones Beck Building, and the latest Nancy and Rich Kinder Building.
Within the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, youll find art of all kinds from many different time periods, including photos, drawings, sculptures, paintings, and cultural pieces of Chinese, African-American, and Native American origin.
A range of 64,000 different works of art from six different continents and numerous styles add incredible variety to the experience.
Youll see mixed media, Italian Renaissance works, mobiles, and French impressionist art.
Some great numbers include Nympheas by Monet and Bacchanale by Picasso.
Outside, the Sculpture Garden is home to some incredible works by the renowned Aniah Kapoor, including the first Bean prototype and the Cloud Column.
Throughout the year, rotating exhibits add some spice to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, so be sure to check them out if youre looking for where to visit in Texas!
Address: 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005, United States
A Visitor’s Guide To Exploring Downtown Austin Tx
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Austin, the state capital of Texas, is one of the fastest-growing cities in North America. A lot comes together in downtown Austin for a memorable visit. The sunset-red granite Texas Capitol is the centerpiece of downtown and the surrounding city. Several tourist attractions and entertainment venues stem from its manicured grounds. Lined with iconic theaters and local restaurants, Congress Avenue leads right to the tree-lined promenade of the Texas Capitol.
Alongside the capital of the state, Austin is also the Live Music Capital of the World. This designation comes from the hundreds of music venues across Austin, as well as signature events like Austin City Limits and ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The designation also resonates from the unique culture in the streets of downtown a culture that strives to Keep Austin Weird.
Lady Bird Lake, on the Colorado River, serves as the southern border of downtown. Surrounded by the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on both sides, this massive reservoir offers a natural outlet from the city. Congress Avenue Bridge, spanning Lady Bird Lake, is home to millions of Mexican free-tailed bats. These nocturnal mammals put on quite the show as they exit the bridge every evening during the warmer months of the year.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
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Day Trip To Texas Hill Country
West of the city, the sprawling Texas Hill Country sits atop the Edwards Plateau and invites day trips from Austin.
This beautiful area has a strong German heritage, as can be seen at prominent places to visit like New Braunfels. Other fun cities to visit in Texas Hill Country include Fredericksburg and Wimberley. With many charming places to stay, these destinations are also some of Austin’s best weekend trips.
Outdoor activities are abundant in Texas Hill Country. Popular recreation destinations include Hamilton Pool, Enchanted Rock, and Pedernales Falls.
Thanks to a unique limestone bedrock, Texas Hill Country is also home to all the best caverns in Texas. Subterranean spaces open to the public here include Inner Space Cavern and Cave Without a Name.
/ Write A Wish On Before I Die Wall
This wall is two minutes away from South Congress and its main attractions, yet so few people know about it. Even on a weekend when crowds are flooding the area, and the line at Hopdoddy goes out the door and around the corner, youll only find one or two people writing their sacred wishes on this wall.
Chalk is stored in a box near the wall, so you dont have to worry about bringing your own.
206 E. Elizabeth St.
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Ann And Roy Butler Hike And Bike Trail
The Longhorn Dam, built in 1960, trapped the easternmost reservoir on the Colorado River at Lady Bird Lake, named for First Lady of the United States, Lady Bird Johnson.
This sweeping body of water was intended as a cooling pond for the Holy Street Power Plant, which eventually closed in 2007. Its absurd to think that in the 1970s Lady Bird Lake, then poorly maintained and full of trash, was considered an eyesore.
Now its one of Austins many assets, and is ringed by a 10-mile, multiuse trail that runs through waterside greenery and is fringed by major attractions, public art, shops, park facilities, boat launches and water fountains . A 1.3-mile gap in the loop on the south shore was closed in 2014 with the completion of the magnificent Boardwalk, illuminated by 13,000 LEDs.
Did we mention that the fourth largest spring in Texas rises in Zilker Park? The Main Barton Spring is the only water source for a municipal open-air pool, three acres in size.
The spring was considered sacred by the Tonkawa Native American tribe, and was discovered by the Spanish in the 17th century who placed missions on its banks.
As it appears today, Barton Springs Pool dates from the 1920s when the City dammed the springs and built the wide sidewalks by the water.
You can swim here any time of year, apart from after flash floods, and the temperature of the naturally warm water varies between 20 °C and 23 °C.
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6. Go on a food crawl. My book Austin Food Crawls walks you through a full day of eating in Austins hottest neighborhoods. Are you planning to spend the day with someone from out-of-town? Pick a neighborhood, and explore it from morning-to-night with the best eats and drinks! Order here.
7. Visit a brewery. There are so many great ones in Austin, and theyre doing a fantastic job and social distancing, contactless payment, and keeping everyone safe! Heres a list of the 22 craft breweries in Austin.
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Best Things To Do In Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin may have been founded on a six-hundred-acre plot and have consisted of no more than fourteen blocks, but two hundred years on things have certainly changed. Downtown Austin, flanked by a broad stretch of the Colorado River, now incorporates eight districts and covers an area much larger than the original town plan.
While Downtown may be the central business district of the Texan city of Austin, it doesnt lack in diversion. In fact, there are far more exciting and fun things to do there than could ever be fitted into a single list of the fifteen best things to do in Downtown Austin.
Downtown Austin has one of the best nightlife scenes in the whole of Texas, a thriving food scene, excellent cultural activities and some great nautical ones too. Plan on staying a month, because its impossible to fit in all the good stuff in a week.
Lets explore the best things to do in Austin:
Guss World Famous Fried Chicken
Guss World Famous Fried Chicken, Austin TX
Its tough to live up to a name like world famous, but Guss World Famous Fried Chicken rises to the challenge.
Originally based in Memphis, Tennessee, its expanded to several other southern states, and its converted thousands to its menu.
Whats so special about Guss?
For starters, its a southern buffet through and through.
Whether youre craving coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad or fried okra, you can find some finger-licking goodness on the menu.
Its also completely devoted to fried chicken.
It doesnt serve any other kind of meat, and it refuses to bow to customers who want things baked or steamed.
At Guss World Famous Fried Chicken, you go greasy or you go home. Thats the Texas way.
If you want to experience it while youre in Austin, look for a red rooster on the outside of a brown brick building.
Address: 117 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701, United States
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Hit Up An Outdoor Market
Various locationsIf you want to build on your usual Sunday Fundaywithout sacrificing any of the opportunities for a pint or two before the Monday scaries hitgrab your crew and head to one of the amazing outdoor weekend markets in Austin. Looking for killer vintage or one-of-a-kind artisanal products? Follow Austin Flea for updates on their roving band of vendors. WoC-centered Frida Friday ATX is another local sensationnot only does it always feature vendors with amazing wares, but its mission to amplify BIPOC, WoC, and community creatives is just as inspiring as the artwork it hawks. Finally, for those who want to fit in some adulting, stop by the Texas Farmers Market at Mueller every Sunday for fresh groceries and wholesome times.
Watch The Congress Bridge Bats
Most people may not think bats and big cities go togetherunless you live here. In the warmer months, bat watching is actually one of the most fun activities in Austin.
The Congress Avenue Bridge is home to a massive colony of Mexican Free-Tailed Batsthe largest urban bat colony in North America. Not only do they help with the fierce Texas mosquitoes, but they put on a nightly show.
From spring through early fall, the bats start their flight around sunset and continue flying for as long as 2-3 hours. At the height of the season, there may be as many as 1.5 million bats taking to the air above Lady Bird Lake.
Arrive at least an hour before dusk in order to find parking and get your spot. The Statesman Bat Observation Center adjacent to the bridge is a great place to go, but there are other vantage points along the Butler Hike & Bike Trail and on the bridge itself, though it can get quite crowded.
Weve watched from the bridge in the past but most recently took to the water to watch the bats from a boat, which puts a fun, more relaxing spin on the evening because you get dinner and drinks, too.
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Rainey Street Historic District
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The Rainey Street Historic District is one of the most unique places to go in Austin.
Formerly a residential neighborhood of old bungalows and southern-style ranch houses, its been converted into a hip, trendy community with bars, bistros, pubs, cafes, restaurants and even a speakeasy or two.
Lights are strung between houses and porches that have been transformed into outdoor dining spaces.
Live music spills out of the buildings.
In true Texas style, youre never far from a cold beer, especially at night when the sun sets and the cowboy boots get propped up on tables.
The Rainey Street Historic District is located in downtown Austin, so if youll be touring the hot spots of the city, consider a detour into one of the coolest little neighborhoods in Texas.
You wont regret it!
Address: Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Smell The Flowers At Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
COVID-19 update: currently open for reservations only
Lady Bird Johnsons Wildflower Center is the home to sustainable, native plant gardens and education, conservation, research and consulting programs. The Wildflower Center is always blooming with plants that are in season.
4801 La Crosse Ave, wildflower.org
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San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is one of the most interesting places to visit in Texas, especially if youre interested in Spanish colonial history or the uptick of Catholicism in the Southwest.
It is here where Mission San Juan, Mission San José, Mission Espada, and Mission Concepción are located all of the most historic missions in San Antonio.
In the 18th century, Franciscan friars decided to establish all these missions along the San Antonio River, about three miles apart along the way.
All of them are some of the most beautiful places in Texas, with unique features like Mission San Juans Romanesque features and the gorgeous frescos that remain untouched at Mission Concepción.
Given how many missions there are in this state, its natural that the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a convenient way to see as many of these early 1700s structures as possible.
They are free to visit and provide some serenity in the hubbub of the city.
Address: 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214, United States
Catch A Movie At The Alamo Drafthouse
The Alamo Drafthouse is an Austin institution. They have multiple locations, where you can watch a movie, drink beer, and order food. Besides showing mainstream movies, they also screen quirky movies and weird previews, host the local Rocky Horror event, and play many classic and cult films throughout the month. This place is more than just a theater, its a place for those who love and appreciate film.
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Work Up A Sweat At The Greenbelt
Barton Creek Greenbelt, Bull Creek GreenbeltTime to bust out those hiking boots. With 12 miles of gorgeous manicured trails, rustic creek beds, and rushing waterfalls, the Greenbelt is a must-visit for every outdoorsy Austinite. Round up your buddies, pack some snacks, and leash up the pups for what promises to be an unbeatable weekend adventure. And while you cant go wrong with any of the Greenbelts access points, the Spyglass Trailhead is tough to beatnot to mention the fact that its proximity to a nearby Tacodeli easily facilitates a pre- or post-workout migas stop.
The Sixth Floor Museum
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The Sixth Floor Museum is a sobering location that sits, as its name suggests, on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, which is now the Dallas County Administration Building.
It is from this location on the sixth floor that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three gunshots on the 22nd of November, 1963 in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The Sixth Floor Museum is an honorary museum that chronicles the life, times, and death of President JFK, framing it within the cultural context of 1960s America.
Youll see accounts of his presidential campaign and term, artifacts, footage, photographs, and more.
Detailed records of the assassination and tales of the presidents legacy are also highlighted.
Above the Sixth Floor Museum, the seventh floor of the red brick building is home to a space for programs and exhibits related to the museum.
Aside from that, you can also check out the onsite bookstore, gift shop, and cafe.
The total collection of the Sixth Floor Museum totals 45,000 items.
For anyone, whether youre a history buff or just a curious tourist, it is a must-do as it provides information about an event that changed the course of the nations history forever.
Its certainly in the top 5 of any trip to this state.
Address: 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202, United States
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Actually Fun Things To Do In Austin During Quarantine
This list is in full support of social distancing, mask-wearing, and staying in if youre not feeling well. As long as youve checked all three of those things, here are some fun things to do in Austin during quarantine! Please be extra careful to stay in if youre not feeling well, wear a mask when youre around the humans, and keep a 6-foot distance from other people. Just a gentle reminder. If youre like me and eating is one of your favorite activities, Ive found that outdoor patios are a safe way to enjoy Austin restaurants. There are a ton of local craft breweries that are doing social distancing the right way.
The Austin Nature Scene
Generally speaking, Austin is one of the best cities in Texas where you can explore the outdoors. Even within the city itself, there is so much nature. Local favorites include Lady Bird Park, Lake Travis, and Barton Springs. Youll find epic views at the 360 Bridge Overlook and Mount Bonnell.
But the biggest draw to Austin for me is the gorgeous Texas Hill Country. It covers a big part of Texas which means that youll have to do quite a bit of driving if you want to see it all, but there are plenty of highlights right around Austin. Some of my favorite spots include Krause Springs, Hamilton Pool, and the Hill Country Olive Oil Company. If you feel like venturing further or doing a mini trip from Austin, Fredricksburg and Wimberley are my favorite towns.
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Fun Things To Do In Houston
For animal lovers, Houston is the place to be! The Houston Zoo is one of the top-ranked in the country and for good reason. Its home to over 900 unique species of animals. Spend a day here to get up close and personal with everything from serene sloths to exotic okapi.
The Houston Aquarium gives you another chance for a wildlife encounter in the city. Check out the soothing tanks full of ocean life as you browse the awesome exhibits. You can even touch and feed the resident stingrays at the aquariums Stingray Reef.
If you want an epic view around Houston, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will make you feel like youre in another country! Reservations are required to visit at the time of writing, but hopefully, itll be fully open again soon.