Austin is the state capital of Texas and the Travis County seat. It’s also the fourth largest city in Texas and located in a unique geographic area where the plains meet the rolling hills of central Texas. Known as a cultural hub, Austin offers a variety of things for visitors to see and do:
Located within the city’s urban core, Austin’s 6th Street is the heart of the nightlife and entertainment district. Visitors will find old historical buildings converted into art galleries, cafes, bars and concert venues. Nine blocks of 6th Street are recognized as an historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic places. On Friday and Saturday nights, the police block off vehicle traffic allowing pedestrians to congregate in the middle of the street to experience live concerts offered throughout the year.
The Austin City Limits music performance television series has been the centerpiece of the city’s music scene for over 40 years. As America’s longest running music series, ACL TV is still broadcast on the local PBS station, KLRU, and is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark and previous recipient of the Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence. Inspired by the successful music series, the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival was first held in 2002 in Zilker Park. Today, it is one of the largest music festivals in the U.S., featuring eight stages where musical groups from genres including rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and hip hop perform for audiences of nearly 75,000 each year.
Skydiving enthusiasts can experience the thrill of a freefall without actually jumping out of a plane – or braving the weather. Located at 13265 North Highway 183, iFLY Austin uses wind in a 14-foot, climate-controlled tunnel to propel visitors through the air, just as if they were skydiving. Instructors teach novices the proper techniques for jumping out of an airplane using wind from a 1,600 horsepower fan. iFly is available to the general public, but also serves as a training facility for skydivers from all over Texas.
Barton Springs Pool is located within Zilker Park at 2201 Barton Spring Road. It’s a man-made swimming pool that is fed by the fourth largest natural artesian spring in Texas known as Barton Spring. The spring maintains a comfortable year-round temperature that allows for swimming during any season. The pool, which is just over three acres in size, draws nearly 800,000 visitors each year.
The official name of this recreational area is Lady Bird Lake, but locals refer to it as Town Lake. Lady Bird Lake offers fishing, boating, hiking and biking opportunities. A 1.1-mile boardwalk completes a 10-mile loop around the lake. Visitors can also explore the lake by sail boating, paddle boating and paddle surfing.