Museum/Art Lovers: There are many museums in town, but one of the most beautiful spots to visit is the Laguna Gloria. If you’re staying downtown, check out the Austin Museum of Art for more modern pieces. On the UT campus, the Harry Ransom Center is the best choice for art and the Texas Memorial Museum is best for history/science buffs. The Bob Bullock Museum is entertaining in a theme-park sort of way (“It Ain’t Braggin’ If It’s True” is their favorite tagline) and worth a visit.
Things to do if you love the OUTDOORS: Rent a canoe and go for a paddle down Town Lake, visit the Austin Botanical Gardens and the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens (very near each other in the Barton Springs Road area), go for a swim in Barton Springs Pool (icy cold, though...be forewarned), take a hike on the Hike and Bike Trail that stretches across town, go to Congress Avenue bridge at dusk and watch the millions of bats take off for their evening hunt, stroll up to the top of Mount Bonnell to see the Austin skyline, or take a Duck Adventure Tour -- it drives you right into the middle of Lake Austin.
If you like to EAT: Some of our favorite local restaurants include: Guero’s, South Congress Cafe, and El Sol y La Luna (all located on South Congress...a very trendy area with cool vintage/antique shops); Eastside Cafe and Hoovers (both found off Manor Road on the east side of town -- Eastside is a classy little joint that grows fresh veggies in the back and is a little pricy -- Hoover’s is very affordable and is Southern home cooking); Barton Springs Road is “restaurant row” and features Shady Grove, Romeo’s (Italian), Baby Acapulco (Mexican) and Green Mesquite (barbeque); if you’re looking for something quick and cheap, you can’t beat the Taco Shack (several locations around Austin) or Thundercloud Subs. If you’re here to celebrate something fancy, our favorite FANCY restaurants are both Italian: Vespaio (South Congress) and Siena (on Loop 360). If you’re not from Texas, be sure to sample some BBQ. One of the most famous spots is the Salt Lick -- about 30 minutes south of Austin in Driftwood.