If you plan to visit Austin, TX, there are several must-see attractions around the city that you will definitely want to visit. Spending time at these attractions will help you gain a better understanding of all the wonderful things this city has to offer. Here are a few of the top sights to see in Austin.
1. LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River Street (on the campus of the University of Texas) Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm Website
Established in honor of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who hails from a small town in the Texas Hill Country, this landmark contains documents and other relics of historical significance. Exhibits detail the president’s time in office and the legacy he left behind for America. The library also features a civil rights exhibit and social justice gallery.
2. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 N. Congress Avenue (next to the University of Texas) Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm, and Sunday, 12pm – 5pm Website This popular museum contains exhibits that tell the story of Texas’s history and culture. You can view old documents, medals and other important relics inside the artifact gallery. The museum also features a detailed timeline of Texas from past to present.
3. Mount Bonnell
3800 Mount Bonnell Drive
Overlooking Lake Austin, this natural landmark is the perfect place to visit if you want to enjoy some outdoor fun while in Austin. After climbing 102 steps to the top of the hill, you can get the best panoramic view of the city, which includes downtown and the rolling hills of Westlake. Engraved rocks and markers at the top of the mountain tell the stories of some of the earliest pioneers who arrived in the area. Do the climb a few times to get in a good workout.
The 102 steps to the top of Mount Bonnell are worth the climb. Visitors are rewarded breathtaking, panoramic views, like this one, of the city below.
4. Mayfield Park
3505 W. 35th Street (toward the Colorado River near the Colorado Foothills) Hours: Monday – Friday, 5am – 10pm Website
This lovely city park features a charming cottage and a series of trails winding through a wooded area near Lake Austin. Originally built as a weekend retreat in the early 1900s by one of Austin’s prominent families, the land and house have been preserved as a retreat for Austin residents and visitors looking for an in-city urban escape. A popular spot for photographers, this park has peacocks that roam the grounds, which come as an exotic surprise to many visitors.
5. HOPE Outdoor Gallery
1101 Baylor Street (at 11th Street West in the downtown region) Website
Slabs of concrete featuring unique works of street art make this attraction a feast for the eyes. Murals with paint and graffiti have been created by local artists who wanted to add some additional color to the city. The exhibit was established to help create more jobs for local artists and help children learn more about art.
6. Texas Governor’s Mansion
1010 Colorado Street (across 11th Street W. from the Texas State Capitol Building) Hours: Free 20-minute guided tours can be taken Wednesday – Friday, 2pm – 4pm. Tours are also available on select Saturdays. Reservations must be made in advance. Website
Built in 1856, this historic mansion has served as the home for Texas governors since that time. The antique furniture, artworks and décor pieces found inside the home will make you feel as though you have traveled back to another time. When you’ve completed your tour of the governor’s palatial digs, you can walk across the street to see the impressive capitol building.
Texans claim that the capitol building in Austin is even bigger than the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.
7. Texas Capitol Visitors Center
112 East 11th Street (cross street is San Jacinto Boulevard) Hours: Free tours are offered Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Saturday, 9:30am – 3:30pm, and Sunday, 12:00pm – 3:30pm. Website
In Texas, where everything is bigger, locals claim that their Capitol Building is even bigger than the U.S. Capitol Building. Start your tour at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, where you can jump onto one of the free tours that are offered 7 days a week. If the legislature is in session, you may want to allow for extra time to sit in the gallery and watch Texas lawmakers in action.
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