Austin, Texas is the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World.” Home to the annual Austin City Limits and SXSW, also called South by Southwest, music festivals, Austin is one of the top destinations for the live music scene. Austin also boasts the University of Texas at Austin, home to the Texas Longhorns. The university holds national championships in NCAA football and baseball.
Texas Hill Country landscape creates the ideal environment for an active outdoor culture in Austin. Bike, hike and run paths line the boarders of the three man-made lakes throughout the city. The Austin Marathon is held annually throughout the challenging terrain.
Budget Travel magazine ranked Austin as one of the Top 10 Budget Travel Destinations in 2009. The city offers a variety of hotels in the popular downtown area. Travelers can choose a new, trendy hotel such as the W Hotel Austin, which opened in December 2010, or the historic AAA Four Diamond Driskill Hotel. Visitors will find the best rates during dates when popular music festivals are not taking place. March, April and October are typically busy music event months.
Golf Magazine named Austin the number one destination on its “Top 10 Best Golf Cities in America” in 2010. Featuring Tom Fazio-designed courses and crisp weather about nine months out of the year, Austin is a great city for relaxation and golf. Even though it is the capital of the largest state in the U.S., Austin is often recognized as one of the most stress-free cities.
When to Go
Austin weather is fairly mild year-round. Summer months tend to reach up to 90 degrees with some humidity, but fall and spring stays cool and mild. Winter months drop to around 45 degrees.
Things to Do
Listen to live music every chance possible in this charming city. Sixth Street is the hottest area in the city as it features some of the best restaurants and bars in Austin.
Rock climb on many of the limestone rock formations that are scattered throughout the city. Or bike, hike, run or swim through the various parks near the centrally-located Lady Bird Lake.
Austin offers many unique experiences that “Keep Austin Weird,” just as the locals prefer. For example, each March, the world’s largest Mexican Free-tailed bat population migrates to downtown Austin underneath the landmark Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. Locals and tourists gather in the evening to watch the bats fly through the night air. The bats eventually relocate to Mexico each winter.
Ballet Austin is the fourth largest company in the U.S. Visitors can also admire classic films at the Paramount Theater.
How to Get There
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is five miles southeast of the city. Once in town, public transportation is available via city bus or the Capital MetroRail, a 32-mile commuter rail system.