In 1839 five mounted scouts ranged over a broad area of wilderness seeking
a site for a new capital city for the Republic of Texas. A location on
the north bank of the Colorado River was chosen, where rich blacklands
meet scenic hills. The site occupied at the time by a four family settlement
called Waterloo. The name honors Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas."
About the first of September 1839, archives and furniture of Texas government
were transported from Houston to Austin by 50 ox-drawn wagons.
Institutions of higher learning include Austin Community College, Austin
Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Concordia Lutheran College, Episcopal
Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Houston-Tillotson College, St. Edward's
University, and The University of Texas at Austin.
Major annual event is the Aqua Festival held in the late summer.
Widely known for its diverse music community and live music scene, Austin
has it all--blues, country/Western, reggae, jazz, swing, and rock. Performed
in various clubs around the city and at night spots along South Street.
The city is home to the nation's largest urban bat colony found under
the Congress Avenue bridge during the summer. A kiosk on north shore of
Town Lake's hike and bike trail near Four Seasons Hotel and one on the
south shore inform visitors when and where to watch for the nocturnal mammals.
AUSTIN CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
AUSTIN NATURE CENTER
AUSTIN VISITOR CENTER
CONGRESS AVENUE WALKING TOUR
DAUGHTERS OF THE REPUBLIC MUSEUM
ELISABET NEY MUSEUM
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MUSEUM
GOOD DAY RANCH
HAMILTON POOL PRESERVE
HARRY RANSOM CENTER
HILL COUNTRY FLYER
JOURDAN-BACHMAN PIONEER FARM
LAGUNA GLORIA ART MUSEUM
LYNDON B. JOHNSON LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
MCKINNEY FALLS STATE PARK
NATIONAL WILDFLOWER RESEARCH CENTER
O. HENRY HOME
OLD BAKERY AND EMPORIUM
SIXTH STREET (OLD PECAN STREET)
SLAUGHTER LEFTWICH WINERY
STATE CAPITOL COMPLEX
TEXAS MEMORIAL MUSEUM
TEXAS STATE LIBRARY
TOWN LAKE RIVERBOAT TOUR
UMLAUF SCULPTURE GARDEN
UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM
WILD BASIN PRESERVE
AUSTIN CHILDREN'S MUSEUM - Children of all
ages can touch, play, and climb to their heart's content. The museum activities
relate to three themes: how different people live, the human body, and
everyday science and technology. Open Tues - Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
; Sunday form noon to 5 p.m. 1501 West Fifth Street. Admission is charged.
AUSTIN NATURE CENTER - Exhibits of science,
natural history and botany. Open Tues. - Sat. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday
from 1 to 5 p.m. 301 Nature Center Drive.
AUSTIN VISITOR CENTER - For detail about events
and the city attractions stop by the visitor center operated by the Austin
Convention and Visitors Bureau at 201 E. 2nd Street. Open Mon. - Fri. from
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. St. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. or at information
booth in Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. 512-478-0098.
CAPITAL CRUISES - Boat excursions on Town
Lake and Lake Austin take two to eight people on family outings, sunset
cruises, bat watching excursions, or private getaways for an hour or longer.
Catering is available. Also, electric pontoon, and paddle boats, canoes
& kayaks rental. Open Mar. - Oct. Mon. - Fri. 3 p.m. to dusk; Sat.
- sun. from 9 a.m. to dusk. (Nov. - Feb. as weather permits by reservation).
Reservations recommended. Departs from the Hyatt Regency dock on Town Lake.
208 Barton Springs Road. Cruise/Rental fees. Call 512-480-9264.
CELEBRATION STATION - Youngsters love
the entertaining games and amusements that include go kart tracks, batting
cages with fast and slow pitching, bumper boats, and lots more. Challenging
miniature golf course. Food court. Open 10 a.m. daily. Memorial day - Labor
Day; winter hours Sun. - Thurs. 11 a.m. 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat 10 a.m. midnight.
All games priced individually. 4525 South I-35 (south of Ben White Blvd.)
For information, 512-448-3533.
CELIS BREWERY - What was once a dream for
Belgian brewmaster Pierre Celis to open a brewery in America is a reality.
Brewery produces three brews. Celis White, Celis Pale Bock, and Celis Golden.
Tours normally on Tues. - Sat. 2 & 4 p.m. Tours limited; reservations
recommended; call 512-835-0884 for confirmation 2431 Forbes Drive.
CONGRESS AVENUE WALKING TOUR - Stroll
down the avenue with informed guides and hear interesting trails of what
went on behind the limestone and brick facades. The 1 1/hour tour also
includes Sixth Street, the popular entertainment district. Tours available
March 1 thru November 30th; leave from south steps of the State Capital
promptly at 9 a.m. Thurs. Sat; Sun. 2 p.m. Comfortable walking shoes recommended.
A step-by-step booklet is available from the Austin Convention & Visitors
Bureau for self-guided tour. Tour is free.
DAUGHTERS OF THE REPUBLIC MUSEUM - Exhibits
of Texas memorabilia, 510 East Anderson Lane. Call 512-339-1997.
ELISABET NEY MUSEUM - National Historic Site
and studio of famed German sculptress who immigrated to Texas in the 1870s.
Her works stand in European palaces, the Texas and National Capitols, and
the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art. Largest collection at
her studio here; open Wed. Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun from noon to 5 p.m.
304 East 44th Street.
FRENCH LEGATION - Built 1840 by Comte Alphonse
de Saligny, French charge d'affaires to the Republic of Texas; a gem of
Creole architecture with a superb collection of period furnishings. Open
Tues. Sun 1 to 5 p.m. 802 East Angelina Street by Carver Library.
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MUSEUM - Changing
exhibits of black history and culture of Austin and Travis County; photos,
artifacts, folk craft and art. Open Tues. Thurs. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday - Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. 1165 East Angelina Street.
GOOD DAY RANCH - Delightful children's zoo
in southwest Travis County offers children of all ages hands-on encounter
with many different animals. Pony rides, picnic area, and party barn. Open
daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Christmas. Take US 290 west to Circle
Drive; right on Circle Drive to Rawhide Trail; right at ranch entrance.
10807 Rawhide Trail. 512-288--1490. Admission.
GOVERNOR'S MANSION - Dignified white-columned
mansion built in 1856. The Governor occupies a private second floor apartment.
Other elegant rooms and antique furnishings may be seen on public tours
Mon. - Fri. every 20 minutes, 10 to 11:40 a.m. Groups and official functions
control schedule 1010 Colorado Street.
HAMILTON POOL PRESERVE - Long a treasured
swimming hold for Austinites and University of Texas students this grotto-like
pool is one of Texas' most beautiful. 60 foot waterfall spills into a deep,
jade-green pool. (Note: water quality is carefully monitored and swimming
is not allowed when the bacteria is too high. Call ahead.) Other activities
include picnicking and nature study. Guided nature tour by reservation.
No drinking water available; no pets, glass containers, fires or cooking
allowed. Take Texas 71 west approximately 16 miles to F.M. 3238, south
13 miles. For additional information call 512-264-2740.
HARRY RANSOM CENTER - Contains more than
300 paintings of the Michener Collection, a Gutenbrg Bible printed in 1455,
exhibits of photography, theater arts, American artists and collections.
Open Mon. - sat from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. On the University
of Texas Campus. 21st and Guadalupe.
HILL COUNTRY FLYER - Steam excursion train runs
through the Hill Country from Cedar Park City Hall near U.S. 183 and R.M.
1431 to Burnet. The train is pulled by Engine No. 786, a 756 year old steam
locomotive once displayed in downtown Austin. Ride is two hours through
scenic countryside. Following short layover in Burnet. It's two hours back.
Departures are Sat. and Sun. at 10 a.m. For information call 512-477-8468.
JOURDAN-BACHMAN PIONEER FARM - Outdoor museum
recalls story of rural life in central Texas. help pick cotton and see
it spun into yarn, or gather around the fire and sing old time song favorites
played on a pump organ. Costumed interpreters share the past as they do
the work of early Texans. Open Sun. from 1 to 5 p.m. year round. Sept.
May Mon. Wed. 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; June - August; Monday to Thursday from
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 11418 Sprinkle Cut-off Road From I-35 take Exit 243
east to Dessau Road; turn left 1/2 mile on Sprinkle Cut off and right to
farm. 512-837-1215. Admission.
LAGUNA GLORIA ART MUSEUM - Home of Texas Fine
Arts Association in Italiante villa on the shore of Lake Austin at site
first chosen by Stephen F. Austin for his home. Changing exhibitions of
20th Century American art. classes, films, and lectures. Open Tues. - Sat.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Thurs. 9 p.m.)
Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. 3809 West 35th. Admission.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON LIBRARY AND MUSEUM -
Archives/museum relating to LBJ and office of presidency to general colorful
highlights of political campaigns. Exhibits include gifts from foreign
heads of state, a moon-rock, replica of the Oval Office and changing exhibits.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 2313 Red River Street.
MCKINNEY FALLS STATE PARK - At confluence
of Onion and Williamson Creeks with quiet pools, occasional rapids and
waterfalls. Excellent visitor center, hiking and interpretive trails, campsites,
playground, ruins of homestead of Thomas F. McKinney, one of Stephen F.
Austin's original 300 colonists. Situated about 13 miles southeast of downtown.
From U.S. 183 south, take scenic loop rd west to park entrance. Admission.
MANOR DOWNS - Quarter horse pari-mutuel
racing is held during spring and fall just minutes from Austin. Take U.S
290 east to Manor and Manor Downs Road. for racing information call 512-272-5581.
MOUNT BONNELL - At the western edge of
the city overlooking Lake Austin; dramatic view of city and Hill Country.
Mount Bonnell Road reached via West 35th and Old Bull Creek Road.
NATIONAL WILDFLOWER RESEARCH CENTER - Founded
by Lady Bird Johnson in 1982, the Center strives to stimulate research
and education about preservation, propagation and use of wildflowers throughout
the nation. some 19 species of native grasses and more than 75 species
of wildflowers provide color throughout the year; especially colorful during
the spring. Visitors receive information on plants native to their region
or home state. Open Mon. - Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. extended weekend
hours during spring. At 2600 F.M. 973. 512-929-3600.
NEILL-COCHRAN HOUSE - Domicile of the National
Society of Colonial Dames of America in Texas. Greek Revival architecture
circa 1853. Antique furnishing and historic documents. Open Wed. - Sun.
2 to 5 p.m. Closed holidays and Aug. 2310 San Gabriel Street. Admission.
O. HENRY HOME - Residence of William Sydney
Porter, eminent short story writer who signed his works "O.Henry" Porter
lived in Austin from 1885 to 18905. His desk, writing materials and other
furnishings of the period are on view. Open Wed. - Sun. noon - 5 p.m. 409
East 5th Street.
OLD BAKERY AND EMPORIUM - Built as a bakery
by Swedish immigrant Charles Lundberg in 12876, now craft shop selling
handicrafts and baked goods by senior citizens. Open Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. Summer and Dec., Sat. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 1006 Congress.
PARKS - Eight major park areas of more than
5.600 acres, including four municipal golf courses, 42 playgrounds, 21
swimming pools, 39 tennis court areas, four community recreation centers
and 71 athletic fields.
Walter E. Long Lake and Metropolitan Park includes all lands around 1,300
acre lake; fishing, sailing. About 5 miles east of downtown, Blue Bluff
Road off Webberville Road. Admission.
Fiesta Gardens on Town Lake; displays of exotic flora and lagoon.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park - beside Lake Austin about 17 miles northwest
via R.M. 2222 . Swimming, fishing and camping; Admission.
Zilker Park in southwest Austin includes popular Barton Springs swimming
pool (open late Mar. - Oct. 31, fee). Zilker Hillside Theater and Austin
Area Garden Center., Free Zilker Hillside Theater presents shows under
the stars, early June - Aug. Austin Area Garden Center is a free, beautiful
showcase of flowers, shrubs and trees; also a pioneer log cabin furnished
in the frontier style. Tours of dinosaur tracks found at Zilker Botanical
Gardens offered every Sat. may - Thanksgiving weekend. Hours may - June
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; otherwise 9 to 11 a.m. For information, 512-477-8672.
Two other popular facilities of Austin parks are hike and bike trails
in scenic areas along 'Shoal Creek and Blunn Creek.
SIXTH STREET (OLD PECAN STREET) - Before the
Capitol was built and shifted the center of commerce to Congress Avenue,
Old Pecan Street was Austin's main street. Neglected for years, it's been
reborn with restaurants, clubs, shops and art galleries occupying the Victorian
and native tone-buildings. Carnival atmosphere especially apparent on weekends.
Registered Historic District. Seven blocks between I-35 and Congress Avenue.
SLAUGHTER LEFTWICH WINERY - Native stone
facility, built in tradition of early Texas architecture, transforms grapes
grown at vineyard near Lubbock into award-winning wines. Tours of winery
Thurs. - Sun from 1 to 5 p.m. (Sept. - Jun. on weekends only 1 to 5 p.m.).
Wine tasting room open daily from 1 to 5 p.m. Has a panoramic view of lake
Travis and the Hill Country. From Austin, R.M. 2222 west to R.M. 620, south
past Mansfield Dam 1 mile to Eck Lane.
STATE CAPITOL COMPLEX - 46 acres of immaculate,
landscaped grounds, stately shade trees and flowering gardens. The Capitol
itself, a massive, classic statehouse of famous Texas pink granite, dominates
the park-like area. Although the Capitol itself is closed to the public
for renovation during 1994, the new underground Capitol extension is open
for tours. Striking state office buildings surround the Capital.
Information about points of interest in the Capitol, city, and entire state
is available daily (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,
and New Year's) at the Travel Information Center operated by Texas Department
of Transportation in the John H. Reagan Building just north of the Capitol
at 15th and Congress Streets. Midtown.
STATE CEMETERY - The "Arlington of Texas"
where monuments mark resting places of nearly 2,000 patriots, statesmen,
and heroes of Texas, including tombs of Stephen F. Austin and General Albert
Sidney Johnston. East 7th and Comal Streets.
TEXAS MEMORIAL MUSEUM - Historical archaeological
and geological exhibits and dioramas, including famed Paluxy dinosaur tracks.
Open Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m; Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun. 1 to 5 p.m.
closed major holidays. 2400 Trinity Street.
TEXAS STATE LIBRARY - Documents and books
dealing with all phases of Texas history. Open Mon. - Sat. from 8 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Closed holidays. Just east of the State Capitol.
THEATRE - Austin's blessed with stage productions
year round at local playhouses. The restored Paramount Theatre on Congress
Avenue features stage productions, musicals, and classic films throughout
the year. Other stages include Zachary Scott Theatre, Live Oak Theatre,
St. Edwards University's Mary Moody Northern Theatre, University of Texas
Performing Arts Center, Capitol City Playhouse, and Hyde Park Theater.
Be sure to check out "Esther's Follies" a musical comedy revue on Sixth
Street. For information contact the Austin Visitor Center or check with
TOWN LAKE RIVERBOAT TOUR - Sightseeing
excursions on paddle wheeler Lone Star from Mar. - Nov. (charter cruises
year round). Departs from dock between Hyatt Regency Hotel and South First
Street Bridge on Town Lake. 1.5 our cruise under city bridges past mouth
of Barton Creek and Zilker Park, "wilderness "scenery of limestone cliffs,
huge bald cypress and native pecan trees, waterfowl and great blue herons.
Tour fee. Call 512-327-1388 for schedule.
UMLAUF SCULPTURE GARDEN - One of the world's
few exhibits devoted to a single sculptor; museum displays some 150 examples
of works by Charles Umlauf, nationally acclaimed sculptor. Indoor exhibits
in modern museum; other scattered along walks throughout tree-shaded garden.
Open Thurs. to Sun from to 4:30 p.m. 605 Robert E. Lee Road (near Zilker
UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM - A teach gallery
with exhibits changed monthly. Open Mon. - Sat. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Thurs.
9 p.m.); Sun. 1 to 5 p.m. 23rd and San Jacinto Streets.
WESTCAVE PRESERVE - 30 Acre natural area
home to many rare and endangered plants; also sanctuary for golden cheeked
warbler and other birds. Two ecosystems upper half grassland savannah with
wild flower meadows and strands of ashe juniper and live oak; lower half
created millions of years ago by collapse of roof of an immense limestone
cave now flourishing as a natural terrarium canopied by giant cypress trees.
Weather permitting, tours are Sat & Sun. 10 a.m. to noon 2 & 4
p.m. Tours limited to first 30 visitors, no reservations. About 45 minutes
west of Austin. Take Texas 71 one mile past Bee Cave, left on F.M. 3238
17 miles. First gate on right after crossing Pedernales River. 210-825-3442.
WILD BASIN PRESERVE - Scenic hill country
wilderness west of city. The 220 acre preserve is home to two endangered
bird species; golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo. Four miles
of hiking trails and a special trail for the mobility impaired. Open daily
sunrise to sunset. On Loop 360, 1.25 miles north of Bee Cave Road (R.M.
2244) For special guided tours, call 512-476-4113.
Wildflower Inn, Austin
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