Where to stay
Music, Film and Television
Barton Springs- Three acres in size, the pool is fed from underground springs and water temperatures remain a constant, cool 68 degrees year-round. 2101 Barton Springs Road (located in Zilker Park) Austin, TX 78704
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum- From rare artifacts to interactive displays, the Bob Bullock Museum creatively tells the story of Texas. 1800 N. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
Texas State Capitol- With more than one million visitors per year, the Texas State Capitol ranks as one of Austin's most popular attractions. Completed in 1886, the Texas State Capitol is the largest in square footage of all state capitols and surpasses the national Capitol in height by 14 feet. 1100 Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701
Warehouse and Sixth Street Entertainment Districts- Four blocks of Fourth and Fifth Streets comprise the Warehouse District. The buildings have been renovated from warehouses to trendy, distinctive hot spots. Austin's Sixth Street is widely known for its unique blend of dance clubs, live music venues, restaurants and bars.
Congress Avenue Bats- Only in Austin will you find millions of bats and thousands of humans all hanging out under the same bridge every night. Austin boasts the largest urban colony of Mexican free-tail bats in North America with a population of 1.5 million. The sunset exodus of the bats creates a nightly spectacle from March through October with onlookers watching as the nocturnal creatures emerge from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. First Street & Congress Avenue; Bat Conservation International
Highland Lakes- Austin stands as the gateway to seven Highland Lakes that stairstep 100 miles through the Central Texas Hill Country. Area lakes offer a variety of aquatic adventures, from sailing on Lake Travis to water-skiing on Lake Austin and canoeing along Lady Bird Lake.
Hike & Bike Trail- Ten miles of trails border Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin and serve as a social hub for runners, walkers and cyclists.
SoCo- One of the hippest Austin hangouts is SoCo, a colorful stretch of Congress Avenue lined with funky shops, trendy dining spots, unique accommodations, art galleries and music venues. On the first Thursday of each month, merchants keep their doors open until 10 p.m., playing host to an array of events and activities.
South of the Congress Avenue Bridge; http://www.firstthursday.info/
Harry Ransom Center- Home to the Gutenberg Bible and the world's first photograph, the HRC also archives thirty million literary manuscripts, one million rare books, five million photographs and more than 100,000 works of art.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library- The life and legacy of LBJ are on exhibit at the nation's most visited presidential library. University of Texas, 2313 Red River Street
Q: Where is the Austin Visitor Center located? When is it open?
A: The Austin Visitor Center is located at 209 E. Sixth Street.
Hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed on Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving and Easter.
To learn more about Austin's warm welcome and the Visitor Center, click here.
Q: What's the weather like?
A: Austin's weather is generally temperate, with an average temperature of 68.5°. Our winters are mild, spring and fall are glorious, and the summertime is sunny and bright.
IH 35 South
IH 35 North
IH 10 West to TX 71 WEST
US 290 West
Q: Where can I hear live music?
A: This is The Live Music Capital of the World®, after all. With nearly 200 live music venues, the sound of Austin is all over town. However, the largest concentration of live music can be found downtown in the high-energy bars along our famous Sixth Street, the rockin' live music venues on Red River and the eclectic scene down in the Warehouse District.
Just a mile or two from downtown, you'll find the South Congress Avenue (SoCo) area, centered on the beloved Continental Club at 1315 S. Congress Ave. Off South Lamar in SoLa, there's the renowned honky tonk called The Broken Spoke at 3201 South Lamar.But that doesn't even scratch the surface - when you add in all the coffee shops, restaurants, neighborhood hangouts and more, there can be hundreds of opportunities to hear live Austin music on any given night.
To learn more about Austin's live music, click here.
Q: How do I see a taping of Austin City Limits?
A: Austin City Limits tapes 25 shows each year; dates are decided according to musicians' availability. 2011 kicks off the show's first season taping at the new ACL Live at Moody Theatre venue at 2nd and Lavaca Streets.
Tickets to tapings are free. However, they are distributed by lottery via the Austin City Limits blog. To see if a taping is taking place during your visit and to enter to win tickets, visit the blog. If there is a taping taking place that you'd like to attend, simply submit your name according to the instructions in the blog post, and you will be contacted if your name was drawn in the lottery.
Keep in mind that Austin City Limits tapings are very popular, and in high demand since the new studio has been constructed. Winning a ticket via the lottery does not guarantee admission. You should plan to arrive 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to the taping, and wait in line for general admission as seats are limited (we know, it's a bummer. But that's how the locals do it, too! Also, it's worth it). Call the Austin City Limits hotline at 512-475-9077 for more details.
Q: Why is Austin called the Live Music Capital of the World®?
A: With nearly 200 venues, the city has more live music entertainment per capita than any other U.S. city. In addition, Austin is home to such organizations as the Sims Foundation, which provides mental health services to working musicians, and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, which is dedicated to covering medical bills for area artists. Austin City Council meetings feature live music every Thursday, and the City also presents a "Live from the Plaza" concert series, broadcast live from the City Hall plaza. In short, it's a combination of an incredible pool of local talent, strong backing by elected officials and dedicated service from industry professionals including producers, venue owners and nonprofit leaders.
Q: I have heard of SXSW; does Austin have other big music festivals?
A: For 10 days each March, the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference and Festivals brings people from all over the world to Austin. But that's certainly not all.
Held each fall, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is a three-day outdoor music extravaganza and features 120 bands on 8 stages. Austin also hosts the annual Urban Music Fest (April), Pachanga Music Festival (May), Fun Fun Fun Fest (November) and more.
Q: Why is Austin referred to as the "Third Coast"?
A: There are a lot of reasons Austin has become a film and TV production mecca: For five years running, Austin has bested all other Texas cities in feature film production budgets. Numerous independent and blockbuster movies have been made here, and the annual Austin Film Festival is one of the top film festivals in the country.
But don't take our word for it. MovieMaker magazine ranks Austin as one of the top cities to live, work and make movies in.