DISTRICT IN REVIEW: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
As the fall school semester begins, visitors, families and future Longhorns will be coming to Austin to explore all there is to offer. A staple of Austin city life since 1883, The University of Texas campus is located just north of the heart of the city and is home to a diverse and fluid population of more than 50,000 students. During late summer, visitors get to experience the unique and expansive campus in a slightly quieter state – before classes begin. This is the perfect time to explore the Forty Acres and surrounding areas without as much of the pedestrian traffic that occurs the rest of the year.
Here are some of the must-see places for University of Texas visitors:
Take a Tour
- Campus Tours: For a realistic glimpse of student life, campus tours are a great way to see the best of the Forty Acres. Guests should stop by the UT Visitor Center (in Walter Webb Hall) for information on tours or maps and materials for self-guided tours around campus. If you choose the self-guided route, make sure to stop by the tower in the middle of campus and then check out the surrounding artwork and statues on the South Mall.
- Blanton Museum of Art: The University at Austin is home to several world-class museums that display diversity through art, history, science and culture. To see the best of local and international art, stop by the Blanton and take a tour, or walk through at your own pace. The upcoming exhibition, In the Company of Cats and Dogs, will be on display through September and the museum will be holding weekly events and tours for the public.
- LBJ Presidential Library: For the history buffs in the family, stop by the Lyndon B. Johnson Library on the Eastern edge of campus and explore LBJ's presidency and lifespan. Exhibits are informative and family friendly. Be sure to stop by on August 27 and celebrate LBJ's birthday with free admission and cake!
- Dirty Martin's Place: A trip to Austin isn't complete without exploring the renowned food scene, and student-favorite Dirty's Martin's is sure to be a family hit. Fresh ingredients including legendary burgers, handmade fries and onion rings make this place a required stop, and its proximity to campus and "the Drag" (Guadalupe near campus) make it an easy stop for visitors. Be sure to try a Kum-Bak Burger paired with a local beer for an iconic Austin experience.
- Torchy's Tacos: Torchy's began its ascent to fame as a little food trailer that served up phenomenal food. If you've been to Austin, you'll know that we appreciate a good taco (especially the breakfast kind) so it was only a matter of time until they opened up a brick and mortar location. The UT location is a short walk north of campus; you'll know it by the sign, which proudly proclaims "DAMN GOOD." Try a Migas to see what they're all about and pair it with a more unique flavor like the Brushfire.
- Hole in the Wall: For live music, great local drinks and true Austin culture, head to Hole in the Wall, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. This bar has live music almost every night of the week and serves up plenty of drink specials to enhance the experience.
- Kerbey Lane: When it gets late and you've got a case of the munchies, make the trip to Kerbey Lane on Guadalupe. This 24-hour diner serves up breakfast all day (and night) and you can't go wrong with their famous Buttermilk Pancakes or Kerbey Queso. Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options abound in this city and Kerbey's menu is full of tasty alternatives.
*Local tip: Be on the lookout for Pumpkin Pancakes as fall arrives.
Get Your Gear
- Tyler's: For the best souvenir tee shirts, stop by Tyler's on the Drag. This store sells surfer-themed clothes and accessories with a focus on Austin culture and art. Be sure to pick up a Keep Austin Weird shirt in your favorite color combo – the choices are as unique as the city!
- Malvern Books: Located just north of campus, this independent bookstore specializes in literature and poetry from independent publishers. Explore the shop on your own or attend an event – poetry readings, open mic nights and author events are a great way to get a feel for the independent writing community in Austin.
- University Co-op: The Co-op is a one-stop-shop for all of your burnt orange needs. Visitors can find everything from clothes to dishware to pet accessories and more in this three-story store. It is located right across the street from campus, so be sure to check it out after a campus tour or before a football game.
For more information about UT lingo and hotspots, check out our blog.
Contributed by Christine Felton.