Our family will soon be leaving for the beautiful and eclectic city of Austin, Texas for my son’s wedding. After reading about the city I am thoroughly intrigued and excited to be visiting the Texas state capital.
Austin, located in central Texas, became the capital of Texas in 1839, replacing Houston, and has grown to be the 11th most populous city in the United States, the 4th most populous in Texas and the 2nd largest state capital after Phoenix.
It has emerged as a center for technology and business, known as “Silicon Hills”, with a number of fortune 500 companies headquartered there including well known names such as Apple, eBay, Google, 3M and Whole Foods. It is also an established live music venue and is often referred to as The “Live Music Capital of the World”.
One more slogan they have adopted and live by is “Keep Austin Weird” as they espouse their independence of living a liberal lifestyle with emphasis on supporting small, unique local businesses over large corporations. Go Austin!
Since we will be busy with the wedding most of the time we are visiting, and only have about a day and a half to see the sites, here are a few that I don’t want to miss.
Monday will be the perfect day for visiting Barton Springs Pool located within the 358-acre Zilker park. This natural limestone pool encompasses 3 entire acres and is fed by underground springs which hold the water’s temperature at a steady, but chilly, 68 degrees. A well-known fact is that Robert Redford learned to swim at this pool when he was 5 years old.
Within this same park is a beautiful hike and bike trail as well the Statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the famous blues guitarist, who grew up in Austin proper. Everyone says we must stop by and see this statue with the amazing likeness to this special musician and we also be rewarded with a fantastic view of the Austin skyline.
Lady Bird Lake, a reservoir on the Colorado River, flows through the heart of Austin and offers canoe, kayak and rowboat rentals to see the city from a different perspective. After a morning at Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake, which runs adjacent to the park, will make for a convenient stop.
A little later in the evening, around 9PM, we will be watching the bats fly out from under Congress Avenue Bridge. This bridge is home to the world’s largest bat colony comprised of Mexican free-tailed bats. There are approximately 750,000 to 1.5 million bats living there and every night they emerge and fly across Lady Bird Lake.
Lastly, we don’t want to miss the nightlife and live music that Austin is known for so we will head to 6th Street for the action. My niece will be guiding us to the best spots as she is currently attending University of Texas Austin for her phD.
I’ll report back during our visit and hopefully get some great photos to share with everyone.