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Austin Tours, Vacations & Travel Packages

  • Recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished state capitols, the Texas State House opened in 1888
  • Austin is the gateway to the Texas Hill Country
  • Austin was recently voted the No. 1 place to live in America for the third year in a row

They do things just a little differently in Austin, and the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. The capital of Texas is like no other city in the state and has fast risen to become America’s ‘it’ city for creative types, tech start-ups, young families, and others in search of mild winters in a lively cultural hub. Giving Nashville a run for its money, Austin’s live music scene has over 250 venues with something for all tastes from country to hip-hop to electro-synth. Independent film is alive and well, embodied at South by Southwest, one of America’s most important film festivals.

Yet even with its commitment to ‘keeping it weird,’ Austin is still a Texan city, with a big, welcoming heart and some of the best barbecue or Tex Mex you’ll eat anywhere. If you’re craving a taste of the Lone Star State with room for people from all walks of life, you’ll quickly see what all the excitement’s about.

A good place to start exploring is the Bullock Texas State History Museum for your Austin and Texas History 101. Just across the street, the Blanton Museum of Art invites you into its eye-popping collection, one of the best in the state. Don’t miss the LBJ Presidential Library while you’re in the area. It contains artifacts from Johnson’s presidency, including some quirky finds that seem to be right at home in Austin. Continue your art journey at the Contemporary, the Austin Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, or the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, whose regularly rotating temporary exhibits have showcased work by James Surls, Luis Jimenez, and former Umlauf muse and student, Farrah Fawcett.

Along the Colorado River (the Texas one, not the Grand Canyon one), next to the Umlauf, sprawls Austin’s favourite green space, Zilker Park. Take in a great riverside view of downtown, swim in natural springs, hike, bike, hire a boat, or catch a public music performance. If you’d prefer a more elevated view, enjoy the hike up Mount Bonnell at Covert Park. Another great escape close to the city is McKinney Falls State Park, while the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center invites you to get close to nature in a more curated setting.

If a little retail therapy is more your style, browse the weird, Bohemian, and wonderful along South Congress Avenue, Austin’s favourite alternative shopping street. Be sure to head to the Congress Avenue Bridge for sunset for one of Austin’s favourite nightly rituals, as thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats swarm in formation, clearing the air of mosquitos and other harmful pests.

Austin is better known for its music than perhaps anything else. Sixth Street is the centre of the city’s musical universe, which makes it one of the most important streets for live music in the United States. Whether you have tickets in hand or duck in on a whim, you’re sure to find some of the city’s top talents thrilling fans or winning over new ones.

Finally, for motorsport fans, the only F1 circuit in the United States, the Circuit of the Americas, is also found in Austin, just when you thought the Texan capital couldn’t get more eclectic.

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Austin, United States

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