Visiting Austin’s top attractions is a great way for new arrivals to get acquainted with their new home. With great weather and an abundance of green space, newcomers that like being outdoors will love the bike trail at Lady Bug Lake or taking a dip at Barton Springs Pool. Austin is not short on history and culture either, residents can get their fill at one of the city's museums or galleries.
Attractions in Austin
Dating back to 1888 and based in the heart of Austin, the State Capitol is Texas’s legislative centre. The pink granite landmark actually stands taller than the US Capitol in Washington, DC. The building itself is extremely impressive, and it's a great place to learn a little more about Texan history. Visitors can opt to take a scheduled free tour of the Capitol or use the self-guided tour pamphlet.
Visitors will need to take a short drive out of the city, but the views from Mount Bonnell are certainly worth the effort. The historic Covert Park is home to the 775-foot mountain alongside the beautiful Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River. It's a great place for a family adventure or a pleasant scenic walk.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
Just across the river from downtown Austin, visitors will find the famous Zilker Metropolitan Park, which houses some of the city’s most popular attractions – from swimming spots and athletic fields to art museums. Digging for fossils at the Austin Nature and Science Center’s Dino Pit always goes down as a treat to the kids. To do Zilker Metropolitan Park justice, it needs to be visited on more than one occasion.
Blanton Museum of Art
Located on the University of Texas’s Austin campus, the Blanton Museum of Art is a popular attraction for art enthusiasts. It contains over 18,000 pieces of art – including works of the Renaissance and Baroque eras to an impressive collection of modern Latin American work. The museum is unique, eclectic and very well curated.
Lady Bird Lake
One of the most well-loved outdoor spaces in Austin, Lady Bird Lake is hugely popular with runners, walkers and cyclists. The 10-mile Ann and Roy Butler Trail encompasses this picturesque lake. The tranquil trail is a great place to escape from the fast pace of city life. It’s a lovely spot for a family picnic, overlooking some stunning views of downtown Austin. Visitors are also welcome to bring their dogs.
Barton Springs Pool
Nestled in the grounds of Zllker Park, Barton Springs Pool is a favourite spot among locals. Native American legend has it that these springs once had spiritual healing powers. One thing’s for sure, Barton Springs is the perfect place to cool off during those hot summer Austin days. In addition to the bathhouses, visitors can also enjoy an exhibition about the history and biology of Barton Springs.
LBJ Presidential Library
Visiting a presidential library may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this one is pretty special. Dedicated to Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th president of the USA, LBJ Presidential Library houses an array of artefacts. From presidential papers to photos from the civil rights era. The museum is well curated and gives visitors great insight into the life and career of President Johnson. It's a must for any literary fans or history buffs.
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Any new resident looking to get insight into the history of the Lone Star State should pay the Bullock Texas State History Museum a visit. It houses a range of quirky artefacts, including Edgar Mitchell’s spacesuit that was used in the Apollo 14 mission to the moon. The museum also features the largest IMAX screen in Texas and a 4D theatre which presents a range of special documentaries and short films.
►For a list of the best annual events in the city read our What's On in Austin page
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