Are you planning to take your family on a vacation? Are you searching for a place where you can dine, wine, and unwind without any care in the world?
Then the city of Austin in Texas is the place to be.
If you are one of those people who think Austin is all about barbecues, then we cannot blame you. The city does boast some of the best barbecues in the world. But there are a whole lot more things to do in Austin than feasting on charbroiled meats.
Over 27 million domestic visitors troop to Austin every year. They go there not only for the good food. So what other things does Austin have in store for you?
Continue reading below and discover some of the sights, sounds, and gastronomical treats you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city.
What You Shouldn’t Miss
Austin is the fourth most populous city in Texas. Add to that the millions of visitors, Austin must have a lot to offer. Let’s take a look at these attractions and activities you should experience while in the city.
Start the Day With a Taco
One of the best ways to kick off your day in Austin is to enjoy a hearty breakfast. And one of the best food choices to go for their tacos. You will find several taco places in the city.
These tacos come in different varieties. Some come with the traditional hard shells. Others feature soft ones.
As for the fillings, you can choose from a wide range of meats, veggies, and even fruits. The best thing about tacos in Austin is you can enjoy a good one without having to burn your budget.
Trip to the Library
After filling your tummy, head on to the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Library. The LBJ Presidential Library is home to one of the most fascinating exhibits in the United States. Three floors house the exhibits depicting the events during the life of President Johnson.
Some of the exhibits are interactive. There is one that features old telephones. These telephones feature the voice of LBJ whenever you lift the mouthpiece.
The State Capitol
A trip to Austin is incomplete without visiting this National Historical Landmark. The Texas State Capitol is a massive red granite building that features an impressive-looking dome.
You can check out the dome by going four flights up a marble floor. The Capitol also houses 17 monuments that you can marvel upon. And if you need refreshments, there is a cafeteria within the complex, waiting for you.
The State Museum
If you wish to know the “Story of Texas,” the Bullock Texas State History Museum is the place to visit. It features three floors of interactive exhibits. Each of these floors features a particular theme.
The first floor focuses on the “land” of Texas. Meanwhile, the second floor zooms in on the “identity” of the state. Lastly, the third floor is all about the “opportunity” Texas offers.
Another interesting highlight of the museum is the La Belle ship of 1680, which you can see upon entering the building.
If you love the wonders of nature, you can go bat-watching at the Congress Bridge. This is arguably Austin’s most popular tourist attraction.
Here, you can marvel at the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats swooping to and fro across the sky. These bats fly nightly from beneath the bridge. But there’s a caveat: you can only enjoy this wonder from spring until fall.
Shop at Whole Foods
This is the “mother ship” of all Whole Foods, being the brand’s original store. The store is so big that its salad bar seems endless.
It also houses several restaurants. You can also go up the rooftop and relax on its patio seating. If you come on weekends, you can enjoy some live music playing.
Additionally, there is a walk-in beer fridge where you can grab a bottle after a long and tiring day.
Try the Best Brunches
Austin is a city that loves brunches. Hence, there are numerous places where you can enjoy a good old French toast and some egg Benedicts. If you want something that is Cajun-tasting, The Cavalier is your best bet.
If you want something more Mexican with lots of local ingredients, Suerte is where you should dine. If you want a tiki-forward menu with a tropical vibe, you will love the Last Straw.
BBQ’s a Must
A must-do list in Austin is incomplete without the barbecue. It is a way of life in Austin, and if there are BBQ spots that you should never miss out during your trip.
If you want some of the best-tasting briskets and beef ribs, Franklin Barbecue will never let you down. But be ready to brave the long lines while waiting for a seat.
If you want Tex Mex, then Valentina’s is your best option. Try ordering some pulled pork that they stuff inside taco shells.
Enjoy Some Live Music
One of the best things to do in Austin is to enjoy music. There’s no better way to enjoy music than hearing it live. Head down to Sixth Street where you will find several bars playing live music.
Check out Stubb’s right along downtown. It features an outdoor setup where some of the big names in music perform.
Relax in the Barton Springs Pool
If you’re going to Austin in summer, make sure to visit Barton Springs for some relaxation. It is a large man-made pool where natural cold-water spring flows.
If you don’t feel like swimming, you lie down and relax on its manicured lawns. You can find the Barton Springs within the 358-acre Zilker Park.
Unwind at the Alamo Drafthouse