Alamo Drafthouse CinemasAlamo Village – 2700 W Anderson Lane Alamo Lake Creek – 13729 Research Blvd Alamo South Lamar – 1120 S. Lamar Ritz Downtown – 320 E. 6th Alamo Slaughter – 5701 W. Slaughter Lane 512-476-1320 www.drafthouse.com
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas are a movie buff’s dream come true. Constantly changing movies and themes sliding easily from one eclectic genre to another the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas succeeds where other independent movie houses failed. Films include independent releases Anime the latest from Hong Kong spaghetti western nights midnight movies and of course the ever-popular Mr. Sinus Theatre – an experience unto itself. There’s even UT football on the big screen. Ever true to their motto: Dinner – Drinks – Movies – Events the Alamo Drafthouse is a popular Austin entertainment destination.
AntiquingSouth Congress From the Congress Avenue Bridge south to Post Road
Looking for the perfect afternoon of shopping for antiques as you stroll along the avenue? Look no further than South Congress with its variety of antique and what-not shops and little eateries nestled in between.
Aquarena Center921 Aquarena Springs Drive San Marcos 512-245-7570 www.aquarena.txstate.edu
Aquarena Center provides people of all ages with the ability to recognize Spring Lake as an unique freshwater ecosystem through interpretative interactive experiences that engages the audience in an exploration of interconnections between all living things and water.
Austin City Limits (ACL) Music FestivalZilker Park 2100 Barton Springs Road 512-505-4483 www.aclfestival.com
This annual three-day Autumn musical event brings home the city’s nickname as the Live Music Capital of the World by presenting a vast array of artists from the local to international stages. In all ACL Festival hosts more than 130 acts playing rock indie country folk electronic and more on Zilker Park’s eight stages with over 70000 fans attend the festival each day. Its carnival-like atmosphere which is reminiscent of Woodstock also provides patrons with food and art most of which is from local vendors.
Austin Duck Adventures1605 W. 5th Street 512-4-SPLASH www.austinducks.com
Make a splash and enjoy the best touring on both land and lake! Austin Duck Adventures offers the best of both land and water worlds as you tour downtown on wheels and see the State Capitol the Governor’s Mansion the Bob Bullock State History Museum Congress Avenue and 6th Street before taking to the lake in a revamped amphibious vehicle – a British Alvis Stewart.
Austin Overtures Inc.512-659-9478 www.austinovertures.com
Tour Austin in 90 minutes! Owners Dow and Mary Davidson want you to know and love Austin as much as they do. Drive around the Capital City in their big fuchsia pink van and see more than 30 Austin historical and cultural points of interest on the 30-mile tour route. Dow’s interest in all things historical keep the tour lively and interesting and he narrates the tour with son Graham all to the music of local band The Fence Cutters. Purchase tickets for this eclectic and entertaining tour at the Austin Convention Center and Visitors Bureau in downtown Austin. GPS technology will be added which will track the Austin tour and allow the taped tour narration to perfectly sync with the van’s actual location.
Austin Steam Train AssociationCorner of Hwy. 183 and FM 1431 Business office- 610 Brazos St. Ste. 210 512-477-8468 www.austinsteamtrain.org
All aboooooard! Step into another era as you leisurely travel aboard the Hill Country Flyer one of several steam powered excursion trains operated by the Austin Steam Train Association. The central Texas steam train travels deep into the Hill Country and returns to Cedar Park while another shorter route offers a two hour excursion to Liberty Hill and back.
Austin’s Park16231 North IH-35 512-670-9600 www.austinspark.com
Open year-round Austin’s Park is reminiscent of “Paradise Island” from the Disney classic movie “Pinocchio” – except you don’t have to worry about sprouting donkey ears halfway through your fun. Over 22 fun-filled acres just off the Grand Parkway exit on I-35 Austin’s Park features family fun and oriented activities such as miniature golf go-carts bumper cars laser-tag batting cages and even a rock climbing wall. A game pavilion and an arcade help to maintain the non-stop action and an imaginative and interactive kiddy ride and play area offers something for the younger set while older siblings scamper off.
Austin Zoo10807 Rawhide Trail 512-288-1490 www.austinzoo.org
Take a walk on the wild side. A visit to the Austin Zoo offers an up close look at animals from around the world in a safe family-friendly environment. Bonus: there’s a shady picnic area complete with grills-perfect for parties and get-togethers.
Cap City Comedy Club8120 Research Blvd 512-467-2333 www.capcitycomedy.com
Blessed with some of the best local and national comic talents to hit the stage Cap City Comedy Club has been keeping their audiences laughing in Austin for more than 15 years. Under new management Mish Mash Inc. the club presents and promotes newer talents from the Austin Texas area while assembling a strong line-up of Austin favorites. The club also hosts headlining appearances by touring national comic talents such as Paul F. Tompkins of HBO’s Mr. Show and Rick Overton. Shows are every night at 8 p.m. with additional shows Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Non-smoking shows are at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Hyatt Regency Boat Dock208 Barton Springs Road 512-480-9264 www.capitalcruises.com
Capital Cruises offers a variety of options for those who would like to cruise around Town Lake. Public and private dinner cruises sightseeing cruises and bat watching excursions are among the services offered in addition to canoe kayak and electric paddle-boats. The owners of Capital Cruises also pride themselves on their all-electric boat fleet to minimize impact on the environment on Town Lake.
Capitol Visitors Center112 E. 11th Street SE corner of the Capitol Grounds 512-305-8400 www.texascapitolvisitorscenter.com
Get a historical perspective and learn all about the State Capitol its grounds and the General Land Office when you visit the Capitol Visitors Center. Open seven days a week (but closed on holidays) the CVC features a theatre a Texas Department of Transportation information kiosk and a gift shop. Park in the nearby State Visitor Parking garage off 12th and 13th Streets on San Jacinto.
Congress Avenue Bats
Congress Avenue Bridge512-478-0098 Mid-March through Mid-October
Bat’s Entertainment! The summer home of the 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats that migrate here every year the Congress Avenue Bridge over Town Lake also is a great place to witness the dramatic night flight that occurs every evening.
East Sixth StreetIntersection of East Sixth Street and Congress to I-35 ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/sixthmap.htm
This is truly a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde experience. By day this section of Sixth Street is bustling with the office workers going about their normal routine and tourists attracted by the many landmarks and historical buildings in the area. By night the area is transformed becoming a glittering strip of bars and live music clubs.
First ThursdaySouth Congress Avenue
What started as a neighborhood block party shared among a few local businesses has grown to epic proportions. The First Thursday of each month merchants and restaurants all along South Congress Avenue in the enchanting SoCo District throw open their doors until 10 p.m. playing host to an array of events and activities.
A short daytrip away this quaint German colony town seems almost like a fairy tale. Antique shops abound as do the historic buildings boutiques and German restaurants. Take the time to check out the cute peach and fruit stands vineyards and orchards that dot Hwy 290.
Hamilton PoolHamilton Pool Road FM 3238 off Hwy. 71 512-264-2740 Open 9a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thousands of years in the making this uniquely beautiful grotto and its swimming hole have access limited to the 100 cars that fit in its parking lot. Swimmers should call ahead to check availability.
Inner Space CavernI-35 Exit 259 Georgetown 512-931-CAVE www.innerspace.com
Beauty is more than surface deep and nowhere could that be truer than Georgetown’s Inner Space Cavern. This living cavern is estimated to be over 100 million years old and continues to grow and develop.
Just For FunEmerald Point Marina 5973 Hiline Rd. 512-266-9710 www.jff.net
Since 1987 Austinites have logged more than one-half million boating hours on Central Texas lakes thanks to Just For Fun the watercraft rental company. Fun in the sun and enjoying the lake lifestyle may be yours for a few hours or a getaway weekend on one of the rental boats offered by Just For Fun. From late model Waverunners ski boats pontoon boats and even party barges for up to 70 people Just For Fun has been helping to keep things cool in the summertime. Just For Fun also specializes in weekend houseboat rentals from their original location at Emerald Point Marina and features the largest selection of luxury houseboats on Lake Travis. Most Just For Fun houseboats come equipped with waterslides hot tubs and queen sized beds. Another Just For Fun location is set to open in the near future at the Lake Travis Marina.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center4801 LaCrosse Ave. 512-232-0100 www.wildflower.org
A veritable garden of delights this native plant botanical garden features beautiful terraces arbors courtyards and meadows. Enjoy the observation tower visitor’s gallery café gift store and nature trails.
Lady Bird Lakewww.texasoutside.com/townlake
Town Lake offers Austinites a number of ways to get out and enjoy Mother Nature right in the heart of downtown-by canoeing kayaking the waterway or biking running or walking around the path.
Mt. Bonnell3800 Mt. Bonnell Road 512-974-6700
To visit Mt. Bonnell is to indulge in a time-honored tradition. Climb the 99 steps to one of the highest vantage points in Austin and enjoy the beautiful sunset overlooking one of the most beautiful vistas in the city.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd. San Antonio 830-438-7400 www.nbwildliferanchtx.com
Ever long to visit exciting exotic wild places but lack the money and time to do so? Now there’s a way to scratch that itch for adventure – take a photo safari at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. You’ll get a taste of the African Savannah jungles of Madagascar the outback of Australia the North American Plains the Rocky Mountains and other wild habitats around the world. Visitors can also see over 500 animals from six of the seven continents and photograph to their hearts content as they drive through this beautiful rolling Hill Country ranch.
Rodeo Austin Star of Texas9100 Decker Lake Road 512-919-3005 www.rodeoaustin.com
The Capital Area’s temple for all things cowboy Rodeo Austin Star of Texas is THE venue for the Texas tradition of making one’s live with dirt on one’s hands and sweat on one’s brow. Much more than a venue for great concerts fairs rodeos and livestock shows the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization contributes over $1.6 million annually to the youth of Texas.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort305 W. Austin Street New Braunfels 830-625-2351 www.schlitterbahn.com Open late April – late September
Unlike any other area waterpark Schlitterbahn means cool relief from the hot Texas summer heat for thousands of Texas families. Jump into the refreshing waters of the Comal River and find out what all the fuss is about. With high tech rides slides pools inner tube floats and kiddie parks it is no wonder that Schlitterbahn is consistently voted one of top waterparks in the world and it is located right in Austin’s backyard.
Shore Club Volente Beach Waterpark16107 FM 2769 Volente 512-258-5110 www.shoreclubtx.com
Shore Club Volente Beach is located on the shores of Lake Travis. With 12 great water attractions a sandy beach for volleyball covered picnic areas several dining options and a swim-up Tiki bar the Shore Club Volente Beach Waterpark is a great getaway for children and adults alike. Boat and wave runner rentals are also available and now guests can even stay at the waterpark! Waterfront lakehouses provide a great escape from the hot Central Texas summer. Visit their website for schedule and hours.
Texas Governor’s Mansion1010 Colorado 512-463-5516 www.txfgm.org
Home to Texas governors since 1856 the ante-bellum Mansion underwent a major restoration from 1979-1982 turning it into a museum of authentic period furniture and a modern home for the governor of Texas. Call first to check for tour times.
Treaty OakTreaty Oak Park on Baylor Street between 5th and 6th Streets
The Treaty Oak southern live oak is the last surviving member of the Council Oaks a grove of 14 trees that served as a sacred meeting place for Comanche and Tonkawa Tribes. Forestry experts estimate the Treaty Oak to be about 500 years old and at one time the tree’s branches had a spread of 127 feet. According to legend the oak stood as a witness to a treaty between Indians and the Anglo settlers.
Violet Crown Cinema434 W 2nd Street 512-495-9600 www.violetcrowncinema.com
For only the second time in its history Austin’s vibrant downtown district has welcomed an amazing new movie theater. Opened in April of 2011 the locally owned Violet Crown Cinema is an art house theater that brings to downtown Austin the best and most creatively relevant of the world’s movies.
This venue also offers the added rare advantage of providing its patrons with a bar and a café featuring great drinks and a number of excellent appetizers and snacks that go well beyond the usual popcorn-and-soda movie theater fare. This includes a great selection of beer wine and cocktails along with gourmet pizza spring rolls and hot snack platters to name just some of the delicacies offered.
As icing on the cake Violet Crown Cinema also offers parking validation with the purchase of a movie ticket affectively giving movie buffs a total of fours hours of free parking in the AMLI Building’s attached garage. Also free valet parking is available to patrons near the Cinema’s Malaga entrance. Patrons must bring their parking tickets to the box office for validation.
Zilker Botanical Gardens2220 Barton Springs Road 512-477-8672 open 7a.m. to 6 p.m. www.zilkergarden.org
Twenty-two acres forty garden clubs and a lot of green thumbs went into making this a paradise. The acreage now includes an Oriental garden a butterfly garden cactus garden and the Mabel Davis Rose Garden among others.