Top 5 Things to Do in Austin, Texas

The Austin Zoo

Although most people claim that Austin itself is a zoo, we do have a legitimate place to go visit animals.

The Austin Zoo assists animals in need. They rescue, rehabilitate and educate people on the wonderful animals that we share the planet with.

The southwest edge of of Austin off of Highway 290 West and Circle Drive once was a goat ranch. This shows how weird our city is as all the cattle ranchers hated goats. There are about 100 species at the zoo today and about 350 animals.

How to Find the Austin Zoo

A markerAustin Zoo, Texas -
Austin Zoo, 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, TX 78736, USA
[get directions]

Texas Swimming Holes

Barton Creek pool is known far and wide for its crisp and refreshing spring fed water. The Native Americans of the area enjoyed the natural swimming hole here.

But there are some other wet areas in and around Austin that are almost as famous:

  • Hamilton Pool
  • McKinney Falls
  • Krause Springs
  • Deep Eddy Pool
  • Lake Travis
  • Hippie Hollow
  • Blue Hole in Georgetown
  • Inks Lake and Campgrounds

Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, Texas

Deep Eddy Pool
Deep Eddy Pool | Source

Circuit of the Americas

New to the Austin area is the Circuit of the Americas race track featuring Formula One cars from all over the world.

COTA features world class motor sports and entertainment venues.The track is located on 1,500 acres of prime real estate not too far from downtown Austin.

Casual visitors can take a tour, either by shuttle or by walking. The tours cover the amazing Tower, Track, Grandstand, Garages, Grand Plaza, and Austin 360 Amphitheater.

To get there, take Highway 183 South to Burleson Rd.(Left). Burleson Road becomes Elroy Road at the entrance to COTA.


There are three amazing museums located in Austin, all within driving distance of each other.

  1. The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum with changing exhibits and an IMAX theater.
  2. President Lyndon B. Johnson's Memorial Museum
  3. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin

There are more museums, but for a day outing, these three can probably be visited all in one day. It's not too difficult to find parking either. Especially during the summer when school is out.

The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum

The giant lone star at the Bob Bullock Museum
The giant lone star at the Bob Bullock Museum | Source

A Hill Country Resort

Wondering what to do for Valentine's Day? Here is a wonderful day trip for Valentine's Day. The Canyon of the Eagles Valentines day Sweetheart Special!

Spending a night in the Texas Hill Country is pure heaven. Get out of town, watch the Eagles that come here during the winter and stay for Valentines Day. Take a stroll at night and look at the millions of stars that just can't be seen in the light pollution of the city. The Canyon of the Eagles Resort takes care of everything for you.

Chocolate covered strawberries await you in your room when you check in for the Valentines Day Sweetheart Package available from February 10th through February 15th. The package also includes:

  • A double queen guest room with a down comforter and pillows, bath amenities, an exterior guest porch with rocking chairs and a coffeemaker
  • Chocolate covered strawberries in your room
  • A Glass of Champagne to toast in front of the Fireplace at the Eagles Nest Lounge
  • Valentine's day dinner for two
  • Resort amenities such as WIFI, star gazing at Eagle Eye Observatory, a romantic movie “under the stars” (weather permitting), hiking, bird watching for wintering Bald Eagles, and daily nature-based programs

The Canyon of the Eagles Resort is located on Lake Buchanan, one of the Highland Lakes that flow towards Austin, Texas. The nearest town is Burnet, TX. The resort is about a 1.5 hour drive from North West Austin. (See Map).

The resort is located in 940 acres of prime nature preserve managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority, which controls Lake Buchanan and the lower section of the Colorado River. That is the Texas Colorado River, not to be confused with the Colorado Colorado River.

Guided tours and educational programs are available to guests of the lodge. The 16 building resort is designed to blend in with the natural wooded surroundings. There are adventures to be had on Lake Buchanan as well as quality hiking trails through the nature preserve.

Getting away from the stress and strain of daily life includes sitting in the rocking chairs on the porch. Relaxation is a must.

All this for one low package price! Even your dog gets to spend the night for free!

Canyon of the Eagles Resort

A markerBurnet Tx -
Burnet, TX 78611, USA
[get directions]

16942 Rural Route 2341, just North and West of Burnet, Texas toward Lake Buchanan.

Bats and Caves

The Austin area and the Texas Hill Country are riddled with caves and millions of Mexican Free-Tailed bats! Both the caves and the bats have become one of our favorite tourist attractions.

There are public caves, such as the Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown. This cave was discovered while they were building Interstate 35 which runs right through downtown Austin. As far as caving goes, this a a nice friendly family cave, with a popular gift shop.

Another little known cave in the area is Longhorn Caverns near Burnett, Texas. It's a fantastic cave and one of the best caves in the state. The Army Core of Engineers helped to excavate and clear this cave and the surrounding area. It's definitely worth a trip.

The famous bats of Austin can be seen nightly from various locations around town. The most popular place to watch the nightly bat show is from the banks of the Texas Colorado river or from the Congress Avenue Bridge.

Austin Congress Avenue Bridge

Bat viewing from the Congress Avenue Bridge
Bat viewing from the Congress Avenue Bridge | Source

Austin Restaurants

Austin is known for its food. And sometimes the food is a little weird. Our slogan is to "Keep Austin Weird", so we do things a little differently here.

Just listing my favorite restaurants would take a whole hub, so I'm just going to do the 'must eat' foods available here.

  1. The County Line on F.M. 2222 - This restaurant is the top of the line for service and food.
  2. Franklin's BBQ - Voted best in the U.S.A.
  3. Black's BBQ in Lockhart, Texas - If you can't make it to Franklins, or if they run out (a frequent occurrence)
  4. The Texas Chili Parlor - You will have to hunt for this place. It's hard to find, but this is where they have the real deal. Hint: It's at 1409 Lavaca St.
  5. Chuy's Tex-Mex - The kind of Mexican food for Austinites.

© 2012 Austinstar

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Comments - What would be the perfect romantic getaway? 14 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Sweet! I didn't get this comment in my email. Weird how HP does that. I do check my account comment section every day now because of it.

You would not believe how much like spring time it is right now. This weather is wild!

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Debbie called me on her lunch break today - she is counting down - 15 days until we leave!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wow Lela...this sounds great! I like the idea that dogs are also welcomed. BTW...happy anniversary on Valentine's Day. We have a couple of friends that also tied the knot on that day. The ahi tuna would have my vote on that menu. Thanks! Will keep this place in mind for the future. Up and useful votes.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

I do love the chocolate covered strawberries :-)

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Did you mention the chocolate covered strawberries?

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

It is good inspiration. I was hoping to get to make this trip this year, but we still haven't decided yet. It's our anniversary and I like to do a day trip.

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

I would love to go to Texas and to this place! Romance, stars, great menu and Eagles! Sounds fantastic! Although I can not go there now it is interesting to read about it and get some inspiration!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Hi Nell, have you met Merlin or Diogenes here on HubPages? They live in the UK and both are writers. I'm sure there are plenty of gents to help you out. You have such a lovely face and attitude towards life.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, what a great idea! I would love to go there and watch the Eagles, I don't care if I went on my own! lol! thats the trouble in England, too much light polution and not many places to go too, I am lucky to live near Kites, which are similar to Eagles, but this trip sounds lovely, now I am off to find a man to come with me! haha!

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

@RHW - Although I plan a romantic little trip for Bob and I every V-Day (our anniversary), I'm really looking forward to spending a night at the Driskill!!!

@drbj - I used to go around to places and use the excuse that I was planning a wedding and I needed some samples for comparison - food, cake, whatever. It works for a little while :-)

@ Mr. Anton - I could use a few more visitors! But I guess Eagle watching just isn't the public attraction that it used to be.

@Eiddwen - thanks for stopping by! Always nice to see you.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub and thanks for sharing.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

That p;ace looks like an ideal holiday destination.

I hope your great hub brings it loads of visitors.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Even without all those Texas attractions and the thousands of stars visible in the sky, that menu alone would get me there, Lela. You should get comped for two for this great hub. Just tell them I said so!

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh Austin - the trip sounds so perfect! I can't plan it this year as I already have tickets to fly to Texas on 2/17!

I think I will get some chocolate covered strawberries for my love though!

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    Austinstar profile image

    Austinstar1,076 Followers
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    Lela earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX. She has been writing for the online world for years.

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