Austin, the capital of Texas, has long been a great place to visit. Home to the University of Texas, the city boasts an impressive selection of museums and art galleries. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, its miles of trails, lakes, and springs offers a wide variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Austin, TX also boasts an impressive food scene, with dozens of restaurants and food trucks offering up Tex-Mex, BBQ and other local cuisines. Late-night fans will enjoy the nightlife options Austin’s many clubs and bars provide.
With all of these things, Austin should certainly be on your list of places to visit. However, what sets Austin apart from so many other places are a number of unique events the city offers throughout the year. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, the city is home to some of today’s best-known festivals and celebrations, including SXSW, Austin City Limits and the Trail of Lights.
Austin City Limits is a huge music festival spanning two weekends in October. This live music event draws tens of thousands of visitors to the city every year.
Every March, Austin transforms into a destination for music, film and interactive media professionals and fans from all over the world. They come to enjoy the South by Southwest conference and festival, known simply as SXSW. An annual event since 1987, this festival/conference has grown exponentially. The ten-day event now includes a five-day conference for interactive media enthusiasts, six days of incredible music from a wide variety of bands, and a film festival that spans the duration. The film conference is comprised of panels, sessions and screenings for filmmakers of all levels. On the music side, more than 2,000 musical acts are showcased at a variety of venues across the city.
Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival
The crowning musical event of the fall, the Austin City Limits festival (ACL), offers two weekends of nonstop music in beautiful Zilker Park, right on the edge of Lady Bird Lake. Big name acts as well as up and coming bands fill the lineup. This year, the festival will offer eight stages, and 140 acts. The festival also hosts an art market, where local artisans showcase goods and a food court, featuring a variety of local eats.
Holiday festivities kick off every December with the grand opening of the Trail of Lights, a decades old Austin tradition featuring over a mile of lights and displays.
Trail of Lights
Austin knows how to ring in the holiday season right. November and December are bright with excitement as Austin hosts the Trail of Lights community celebration. This two-week event, which originated 50 years ago, features a wide variety of holiday-themed activities for all to enjoy. Stunning displays of lights cover a mile-long trail through Zilker Park while Austin-area musical acts entertain. Those strolling through the dazzling light show may stop for a number of sumptuous food offerings, the opportunity to visit Santa’s workshop, a spin beneath a huge Christmas tree and the huge bonfire that signals the end of the display. For those wanting to stay in shape during the holiday season, all the festivities are kicked off with the annual Trail of Lights fun run, a short 2.1-mile loop that weaves through the park.
These are just some of the many events that are uniquely Austin. Any time of year, you can find a reason to visit – come join the fun!
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