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10 Top Rated Things to Do in Austin, Texas

Texas State Capitol
Photograph by LoneStarMike, via Wikimedia Commons

Texas State Capitol

#1 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building located in downtown Austin. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, the capitol is 302.64 feet tall. It is the sixth tallest capitol of United States and the oldest state office building in Texas. Texas State Capitol is also taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The capitol has main entrance facing onto the Congress Avenue Historic District. The interior of the capitol has an open rotunda beneath the central dome. The three-story Italian Renaissance Revival style Texas State Capitol is free for visitors. Guided tours of the Capitol are available 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guided tours starts every 30 to 45 minutes and last for 30 minutes. Visitors can also take self guided tours Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Capitol ground has many statues and monuments including Heroes of the Alamo Monument, Volunteer Firemen Monument, Confederate Soldiers Monument and Terry's Texas Rangers Monument, and these flank the tree-lined Great Walk.

Hours & Admission

McKinney Falls State Park
Photograph by Larry D. Moore, via Wikimedia Commons

McKinney Falls State Park

#2 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

McKinney Falls State Park located at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek is the prime attraction of Austin area. The state park is located just 13 miles from downtown Austin. It features Onion Creek flowing over limestone ledges and form beautiful falls. McKinney Falls State Park includes camp sites, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The state park offers 9 miles of hiking trails has two swimming halls where you can swim: Lower McKinney Falls and Upper McKinney Falls. The park is home to historical Smith Rock Shelter used by Native Americans for hundred of years. Recreation activities at the park include hiking, mountain biking, swimming, birding and watching wildlife.

THINGS TO DO


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Zilker Metropolitan Park
Photograph by Mwyzykowski0821, via Wikimedia Commons

Zilker Metropolitan Park

#3 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Zilker Metropolitan Park is the most popular metropolitan park of Austin. The 351-acre park is known for variety of recreation opportunities, facilities, and events throughout year. The park features many top attractions including Barton Spring Pool, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Austin Nature and Science Center, and Zilker Hillside Theatre. Zilker Metropolitan Park is known for hosting events such as Zilker Park Kite Festival on first Sunday in March each year, Zilker Summer Musical, Blues on the Green, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Zilker Holiday Tree, and Trail of Lights. Park amenities include picnic tables, golf course, play area, volleyball courts, and a shelter.


Barton Springs Pool
Photograph by Wordandgesture, via Wikimedia Commons

Barton Springs Pool

#4 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Barton Springs Pool is a popular recreational outdoor swimming pool located in Zilker Park. The 3-acres pool is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees throughout year. It is popular for year-round swimming in local and visitors. The pool remains closed Mondays and Thursdays. It is open to the public from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm. No entry pass needed daily from 5 AM - 8 AM and 9 PM - 10 PM. Depths of the pool range up to 18' with lifeguards present after 8 AM. Daily entry fee ranges from $2 to $5 and vary by age group. There is discount price for resident while non-resident pay little more.

Hours & Admission

Mount Bonnell
Photograph by Leaflet, via Wikimedia Commons

Mount Bonnell

#5 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Mount Bonnell is the popular tourist destination known for scenic views of city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. Located in Covert Park, Mount Bonnell is the highest point in Austin at 775 feet. Free parking is available on the hillside. Visitors can climb 102-step staircase to reach the top of Mount Bonnell. If you prefer not to climb steps, you can reach the peak via a gravel trail. There are multiple viewpoints at top with a pavilion and picnic tables.

Hours & Admission

Zilker Botanical Garden
Photograph by LoneStarMike, via Wikimedia Commons

Zilker Botanical Garden

#6 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Zilker Botanical Garden located within Zilker Metropolitan Park features several independently maintained gardens. The 28-acres botanical garden is the prime attraction of downtown Austin. The garden is open to the public year-round. It includes many theme gardens such as Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Riparian Streambed, Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and Mabel Davis Rose Garden. The Woodland Faerie Trail of the garden features over 40 beautiful homes to see.

Hours & Admission

Bullock Texas State History Museum
Photograph by WhisperToMe, via Wikimedia Commons

Bullock Texas State History Museum

#7 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

The Bullock Texas State History Museum named after the 38th Lieutenant Governor of Texas Bob Bullock is the history museum of the State of Texas. Opened in 2001, the museum features display of Texas artifacts spanning 4,000 years of history. The history museum also hosts seasonal family activities and Texas focus films.

Hours & Admission

Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum
Photograph by Jay Godwin, via Wikimedia Commons

Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum

#8 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Located on The University of Texas at Austin campus, LBJ Presidential Library is the library and museum of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. It is one of 14 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library offer visitors opportunity to experience the life and times of Lyndon B. Johnson and the era of his administration. The museum collection includes over 650,000 photos, 55,000 artifacts, and 5,000 hours of recording. Enjoy Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers special exhibition features life and legacy of Lady Bird Johnson. The museum has replica of the Oval Office. The store offers selection of books, DVDs, and custom designed souvenirs.

Hours & Admission

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
Photograph by Larry D. Moore, via Wikimedia Commons

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

#9 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum (UMLAUF) exhibits the artistic work of American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other visual and performing artists. The museum collection consists of over 2000 drawings and 273 sculptures by Charles Umlauf, 59 of which are located in the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden. Located next to Zilker Park, the garden exhibits includes 58 sculptures created over 5 decades from 1939 to 1985. Gallery of the museum exhibits work of contemporary artists from around the world.

Hours & Admission

Lady Bird Lake
Photograph by LoneStarMike, via Wikimedia Commons

Lady Bird Lake

#10 in Best Top 10 Places to Visit in Austin

Lady Bird Lake is a popular reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin. The 416 acres reservoir is the main attraction of city. Named in honor of former First Lady of the United States Lady Bird Johnson, the lake offers many recreation opportunities. Swimming in Lady Bird Lake is illegal. However, the lake offers water recreation such as fishing and coneing. The 10.1 miles Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is popular for walking and running. The banks of Lady Bird Lake are home to many events and festival year-round including Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin Reggae Festival and Spamarama. Auditorium Shores on the south bank and Fiesta Gardens on the north bank host many open-air concerts.


Austin Parks

  1. Zilker Metropolitan Park
  2. Mount Bonnell