Austin Tourist Attractions
Austin, capital of Texas, situated 81 mi. north-east of San Antonio at the point where the Colorado River leaves the Edwards Plateau, was founded in 1839 and named after Stephen F. Austin (1793-1836), the "father of Texas". It is an educational centre, with the University of Texas, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum and the Texas Memorial Museum.
Other features of interest include the red granite State Capitol (1882-88), modelled on the Capitol in Washington, DC, which is the second largest Capitol in the United States; the restored Old Pecan Street (Sixth St.), the town's old main street and still a popular place in the evenings; the museum in the house of the sculptor Elisabeth Ney (1830-1907); and the Governor's Mansion (1010 Colorado St.), a classic Southern mansion dating from 1856.Anyone wanting exercise in the form of a walk or sport should head for Zilker Park, the adjacent botanical garden or the gardens of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. A rather more unusual pleasure Austin has to offer is the spectacle every evening of a large flock of bats leaving the Congress Avenue Bridge on their nightly flight.
Austin Nature and Science Center
The Austin Nature and Science Center functions as a living museum with interpretive exhibits, programs, collections, and trails. It is designed to inspire and appreciation of nature for all ages. Some of the highlights of the center are the wildlife exhibits with a variety of animals, the Dino Pit with its recreated dig site and fossils, and the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center (Splash). Also of interest are a number of educational programs, many of which are oriented towards children.
Zilker Park is a favorite outdoor area for many locals. Within the park are the Zilker Hillside Theater which hosts many events including Shakespeare in the Park, the Zilker Botanical Gardens, the Austin Nature and Science Center, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. Canoeing on Town Lake or taking a ride on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train are some popular past times within the park. There is also lots of open space, sand volleyball courts, and Barton Springs Poll for those looking to take a dip.
Zilker Botanical Gardens
Zilker Botanical Gardens covers 30 acres and includes lovely areas with a variety of plants and a number of theme gardens. The Japanese Garden is one of the highlights with streams, waterfalls, and ponds. There is also a rose garden, herb garden, and the Hartman Prehistoric Garden.In the spring the garden hosts an annual festival with entertainment, the Flower Show, lectures, and activities for children. Spring is also a great time to visit the gardens with an ever changing variety of blooming flowers.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
The airport began operations in 1999 at the former Bergstrom Air Force Base. It is located in southeast Austin, approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city center. The airport is serviced by numerous airlines and offers non-stop flights to a variety of destinations across the USA.There is a Family Viewing Area that allows visitors to watch planes land and take off on the airport's 9,000 foot east runway.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum tells the "Story of Texas" through a variety of interesting exhibits, along with with films and an IMAX Theatre. This is really a good opportunity to learn about the entire history of the state, from the natural landscape, to the Native Americans, explorers, the "Lone Star" identity, ranching, and much more. After visiting the exhibits, see it all come to life by taking in one of the special effects shows.
Address: 1800 North Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Opening hours: 9am-6pm; Sun: 12pm-6pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Easter - Christian
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $14.00, Senior over 65 $11.00, Military discount $11.00, Child 17 & under $9.00, Child 3 & under FREE
Useful tips: Includes IMAX film.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Hill Country Flyer
The Hill Country Flyer is a steam powered excursion train. On weekends visitors can take a scenic trip on this historic train through the surrounding hill country. A shorter option is a ride on the Bertram Flyer which takes visitors to the Bertram station for a quick tour, and then returns. The trains do not run year round so be sure to check the schedule for departure times and operating schedules.
Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms explores the history of Texas through themed historical recreations of 1800s places. The five areas include a 1841 Tonkawa Encampment, a 1868 German Immigrant Farm, a Commercial Cotton Farm from 1887, an 1873 Texian Farm, and Sprinkle Corner rural village from 1899. The complex is set on 90 acres and surrounded by woodlands.
Address: 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin, TX 78754, United States
Opening hours: Jan 2 to Dec 23: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Child $6.00, Child 2 & under FREE
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, originally the National Wildflower Center, was created to educate people about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants. The center is lovely any time of year, with interesting architectural elements and a wetland pond. There is also a calendar which lets visitor's know what is in bloom on any given week.
Address: 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, TX 78739-1702, United States
Opening hours: 9am-5:30pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Senior over 65 $7.00, Students $7.00, Child 12 & under $3.00, Child 4 & under FREE
Texas Memorial Museum of Science and History
The Texas Memorial Museum of Science and History features a huge collection of items representing the natural and cultural history of Texas. Areas covered include paleontology, geology, biology, herpetology, ichthyology and entomology. Some of the highlights for visitors include dinosaurs and other fossils, as well as gems and minerals.
Address: 2400 Trinity Street, Austin, TX 78705-5786, United States
Opening hours: 9am-5pm; Sun: 1pm-4:45pm; Fri: 9am-4:45pm; Sat: 10am-4:45pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Easter - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Austin Museum of Art (Arthouse at the Jones Center)
The Austin Museum of Art, which merged with the Arthouse at the Jones Center in November of 2011, focuses on modern and contemporary art. It features exhibits from around the world with emphasis on art from the United States. The small permanent collection is primarily centered on American modern and contemporary art.
East Sixth Street (Old Pecan Street)
Elisabet Ney Museum
The museum displays works of the nineteenth century portrait sculptor Elizabeth Ney, along with personal items and other memorabilia. It is located in her original studio which was preserved following her death in 1907. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
French Legation Museum
The site was originally built in 1841 for the chargé d'affaires who represented the government of France in the Republic of Texas. In 1848, it became the home of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Robertson.The site has been restored and is furnished in period.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum has 40 million pages of historical documents which include papers from LBJ's entire career. The museum also features changing exhibits on American history.This is one of the top attractions in Austin and enjoyable even for those who are not overly familiar with President Johnson.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
The museum is dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of American sculpture. It features the work of sculptor Charles Umlauf. Many of the sculptures are located in the tranquil surroundings and natural environment of the garden. Inside the museum is a permanent collection as well as changing exhibits.
The Austin Zoo features a range of native and exotic animals. The aim of the zoo is to provide a sanctuary for animals, with 90 percent of the animal residents made up of rescues or owner released pets.
Address: 10807 Rawhide Trail, Box 91808, Austin, TX 78736-2716, United States
Opening hours: Feb 1 to Oct 31: 10am-6pm
Nov 1 to Jan 31: 10am-5:30pm
Nov 1 to Jan 31: 10am-5:30pm
Always closed on: Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Military discount $6.00, Students $6.00, Senior $6.00, Child 12 & under $5.00
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail
The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail runs from Brownsville to Orange along the entire length of the coast. It is actually a compilation of 43 loop trails which can be accessed by car. The area features more than 600 species of birds.
O. Henry Museum
O. Henry Museum is a tribute to William Sidney Porter - who wrote under the name O. Henry. The cottage has been restored and contains artifacts and memorabilia from Porter's life.
This live oak is believed to be more than 500 years old, and its branches span over 128 feet. It is said that the first settlement between the Indians and the settlers was signed under this tree.
Austin Children's Museum
The Austin Children's Museum offers a place for children to learn, play and experiment. Educational programs are available for parents, teachers and children.
Address: 201 Colorado Street, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Sun: 12pm-5pm; Mon: 9am-12pm; Wed: 10am-8pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Memorial Day - USA (last Monday, May), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Labor Day - USA (1st Monday, Sep), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Easter - Christian
Entrance fee in USD: $6.50, Child 3 & under $4.50, Child 1 & under FREE
Useful tips: Only children under 3 permitted on Mondays. Free admission on Sunday from 4pm to 5pm.
Daughters of the Republic of Texas Museum
The Daughters of the Republic Museum offers hands on exhibits related to the history of Texas as well as historical artifacts.
Frank Erwin Center
Sightseeing boats offer a variety of tours on Town Lake and Lake Austin. Sunset cruises and bat-watching trips are just a couple of the possible excursions.
Mexic-Arte Museum promotes traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture. Exhibits include photography, painting and sculptures.
The Neill-Cochran House was built in 1853 and is Greek Revival in style. It currently houses a collection of furniture and documents dating from 1770 to 1900.
Built from 1885-1888, this building has stood the test of time. Tours are offered every 15 minutes from the south foyer.
Address: 1100 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78701-1935, United States
Opening hours: 7am-10pm; Sun: 9am-8pm; Sat: 9am-8pm
Governor's Mansion of Texas (closed)
ATTRACTION IS CLOSED.A fire on June 8, 2008 damaged the entire building, which will require structural restoration on a schedule that has not been determined yet.This home has served as the residence for Texas governors and their families since 1856.
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a national research center with one of the largest public endowments of any public university.
Address: 1 University Station, Austin, TX 78712, United States
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art
This fine arts museum is part of the University of Texas. It offers changing exhibits as well as a 17,000 piece permanent collection of European, American, and Latin American art. The museum is also used as a teaching and research institution.
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Sun: 1pm-5pm; Sat: 11am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $9.00, Senior over 65 $7.00, Students $5.00, Youth 21 & under $5.00, Child 12 & under FREE
Useful tips: Free admission every Thursday. Open until 9pm the 3rd Thursday of every month.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Map of Austin Attractions