None of my exes live in Texas . . .
September 17, 2007 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Traveling to Texas - What are not-to-be-missed things to do in and around Austin?

I haven’t been to Texas in 33 years. I’ll be traveling to a conference that's about an hour northwest of Austin, and will have some extra time on my hands for at least a few hours a day. I’ll have walking shoes and a car, and may rent a bike. Anything spectacular I shouldn’t miss in and around Austin? I'm partial to great hikes, quirky cultural sites and amazing museums, hole in the wall eateries, fabulous bookstores, cool crafts, funky neighborhoods, and city parks. Tell me where to go!
posted by pammo to Travel & Transportation around Texas (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: An hour NW of Austin will put you in the Hill Country, where you can't open your eyes without seeing some of the best scenery in the state. The rest of your question pretty much describes Austin. If you only have a few hours at a time, start in the area between UT and the Capitol and you will be fine.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 9:01 AM on September 17, 2007

tsk, tsk, tsk you didn't search before you asked did you?

try this from 2 weeks ago...

(not trying to be too much of an ass, I'll probably end up doing this sometime...)
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:05 AM on September 17, 2007
posted by caddis at 9:09 AM on September 17, 2007

Dunno when you're going, but I think you should go see Asylum Street Spankers in their home town:

Oct 20 2007 1:00P
Tour de Fat - Festival Beach Austin, Texas
Nov 3 2007 9:00P
Ruta Maya Austin, Texas
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:11 AM on September 17, 2007

That is fantastic, jeffamaphone! I have a work trip to Austin on November 3rd!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:39 AM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: amazing museums
Blanton Museum
LBJ Library
Harry Ransom Center

fabulous bookstores

city parks
Town Lake and Zilker
posted by mattbucher at 9:54 AM on September 17, 2007

I was just in austin a couple weeks ago, fun city.

We made a detour to "The Broken Spoke", which is a pretty neat little honky-tonk with an amazing performers list.

We also ate at a steakhouse downtown---O'Reilley's...or O'...something's. It was very good, but very expensive. I suppose I could look at my CC receipts if you cared about the name.

We spent some time at Coyote Ugly too, which while NOT being my kind of place, I had an awesome conversation with one of the bouncers for like 2 hours, lol. Amazing what fun things two EMT's can talk about when a drunk chick falls off a bar and perforates her uterus...or something.

And, lastly...I was very sad I didn't get to witness the bat bridge, but it's somethign I wish very much that I had had the chance to do.
posted by TomMelee at 10:09 AM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: Definitely don't miss the bats flying out from under the bridge at dusk. I don't know if it's a seasonal thing but it's a really impressive site.
posted by 6550 at 11:16 AM on September 17, 2007

TomMelee's probably talking about Sullivan's.
posted by mckenney at 11:44 AM on September 17, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all. (I thought I'd searched fairly thoroughly, but still felt it was worth asking specifically about the Hill Country as well as Austin.)

I will definitely check out the bat bridge, parks and the Blanton Museum.

Any ideas for Hill Country excursions welcome as well.
posted by pammo at 1:14 PM on September 17, 2007

Best answer: If you are in the Hill Country, I'd recommend the Fredericksburg Brewing Company, Cooper's BBQ in Llano, the Real Ale Brewery in Blanco (and avoid any Hill Country vineyards!).
posted by mattbucher at 1:29 PM on September 17, 2007

50 things to do in or around Austin
posted by caddis at 1:33 PM on September 17, 2007

No mention of going for a dip at Barton Springs? Man. That's the absolute best.

Rent a kayak and do the lake. Great views and fun times.

The Elephant room has great Jazz, every night.

BBQ at the Salt Lick.

Killer Margaritas at Baby A's.
posted by Cycloptichorn at 2:46 PM on September 17, 2007

Paddle on Town Lake, mountain bike in any number of city parks, watch the bats, eat good BBQ.
posted by anthill at 3:59 PM on September 17, 2007

Yea! That's it! Sullivans. /drool.

We were totally there in sandals and shorts and t-shirts, and they seated us much to our surprize. Our waitress was sweet and hot as hell...and the little crumb scraper badassness was pretty cool. We got a kick out of the dedicated "water refill" boys too.
posted by TomMelee at 7:31 PM on September 17, 2007

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