Residents of Austin Texas know there is much more to their famous city than tourists ordinarily see.  This state capitol has unique small town feel.  Generations of Austinites have lived and played in the same neighborhoods and parks attended the same places of worships and ate at many of the same restaurants. broken spoke

The Broken Spoke

The Broken Spoke is a local legend.  Billed as the last of the Texas Dance Halls and as a true Honky Tonk the Spoke was founded in 1964 by James White.  Through the years the Broken Spoke has seen performances by such greats as Ernest Tubbs Willie Nelson Roy Acuff Bob Wills and many more.  Today the Spoke still serves great Texas food and great country music.

Zilker Park Barton Springs Pool and Mount Bonnell

Zilker Park has been known to generations of Austinites as a place for family fun.  Families picnicked swam and played here for almost hundred years before the area was officially a park.  Spread over more than 300 wooded acres Zilker is home to the famous Barton Springs Pool the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum and the Zilker Botanical Gardens.   It boasts a playground a miniature train to ride and a variety of sports fields including a disc golf course.

Barton Springs Pool offers a unique opportunity to swim in natural pool.  Fed by underground aquifers the pool’s unchlorinated water stays a fairly constant 68° F year around.

Mount Bonnell is another site loved by generations of Austin residents.  Situated on the highest peak currently within Austin city limits  the observation platform at the top of Bonnell offers a great view of much of Austin.

Hamilton Pool in the Balcones Canyonland Preserve is formed where the water from Hamilton Creek flows over a limestone cliff into a canyon creating fifty foot waterfall and a beautiful natural swimming pool.  The area is home to several species of birds including the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and was designated a nature preserve in 1990 by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court.

Esther’s Follies Book People Amy’s Ice Creams and more

For political satire as well as magic music and just plain goofy fun Austinites head to Esther’s Follies.

To purchase a good read or just browse the shelves Austinites head to Book People.  Founded in 1970 Book People is Austin’s leading local bookseller.  It features a café and hosts numerous book signings throughout the year.  Book People is located at the corner of Lamar and 6th Street.

Austinites in the know head to Mighty Fine when they want classic burgers and shakes served up with Texas hospitality.   Imagine hand dipped shakes and burgers made from all natural fresh chuck which is ground on site.  That’s the Mighty Fine experience.  The first Mighty Fine opened in 2007 and now has locations in Round Rock Sunset Valley and Cedar Park in addition to the Arborpark Austin location.

When they are in the mood for ice cream Austinites head to Amy’s Ice Creams.  Amy’s was established in 1984 and has now expanded to Houston and San Antonio.  Amy’s serves three hundred different flavors of ice cream on a rotating basis and is proud to be the home of Mexican Vanilla Cream; you can also enjoy a variety of frozen yogurts and frozen non-dairy ices at Amy’s.

When Austinites think healthy organic foods they think of Whole Foods Market.  Now an international chain the first Whole Foods Market was begun in Austin in 1980 and has since grown rapidly.  The first store opened with a staff of only 19 people.   Today the flagship store in Austin on Lamar Boulevard is one of the largest at 80000 square feet.  It offers cooking classes catering and lunch delivery by bicycle to folks in downtown Austin.  The Lamar Whole Foods Market also features special events such as Sunset Supper Cinema.

Sunset Supper Cinema features a delicious meal and a classic movie shown on the store’s rooftop patio.  Alamo Drafthouse Cinema provides the movie projector and the store’s restaurant provides the meal.

Shopping at South Congress

Austinites head to SoCo when they are in the mood for retro clothing and unique junque.  The South Congress Avenue area is home to an eclectic variety of one of the kind shops.

The Drag across from the University of Texas is another unique Austin shopping spot.  It features several bookstores and is a hangout for UT students.  The Domain is a modern luxury shopping center with many upscale shops.

Austin Texas is a treasure trove of interesting things to do. Whether you are a resident or a visitor you are sure to find fun in the Texas Capitol.

Here’s another look from another insider:  CLICK HERE