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Sightseeing in Austin, Texas
Austin is a great town, to live in and to visit. I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could! In 1975, my husband and I moved to this Texas Capital City and settled in. Austin has grown tremendously over the years (don't get me started on all of the changes I have seen) and is full of fun things to do!
If you like to shop, Austin has several large malls. Barton Creek Mall is the largest enclosed mall. There are numerous open malls, recently built, that you may find appealing. The Domain is one of the outdoor shopping areas that has gained in popularity over the last few years. There you will find many restaurants and shops to wile away the hours. Most of the malls have movie theaters as well.
Outlet malls are located both North and South of town. With their vast selection of stores, you are sure to satisfy those shopping urges.
The lakes of Austin are a major draw for the area. Lake Travis, the largest, entertains many boaters with its open areas and miles of coastline. The Oasis sits perched on a hill overlooking the dam and the largest area of water. Sunsets are celebrated well on the many decks overlooking Lake Travis year round. Recently rebuilt due to a fire, this restaurant is famous for it's view of the lake.
Lake Austin is located just below Lake Travis on the chain of Highland Lakes. It is narrow and runs for several miles. You can visit City Park for a camping trip or a picnic. The homes along this lake are especially beautiful. Stop at one of the many restaurants along the water for a special meal. Hula Hut is especially popular. They have recently expanded their seating capacity.
Tour the State Capital, walk the LBJ Library or see the Bob Bullock Museum to refresh your Texas History knowledge. Take a walk or ride a bike along Lady Bird Lake, watch the bats fly at sunset, or try a paddle boat on the lake. Zilker Park has paths to walk and a playground for the kids. Take the train ride around the park for added fun. Bring a picnic and watch the ducks or swim in Barton Creek where the water is always cold.
Sixth Street is lively at night. Hear some live music or dine out with friends. Most of the bars and restaurants are open well into the night.
Austin is full of large hills and beautiful scenery. Drive 620 South to Highway 71 for a spectacular panorama of Lake Travis and the hills. Drive Loop 360 for a gorgeous view of downtown and the hill country. Don't forget to enjoy the views and curvy roads on 2222 in either direction. You will love the area like we do.
From Austin, take a day trip to any one of several interesting spots. Salado sits between Austin and Waco on IH35. This little town has so many novelty shops that you can barely visit them all in one day without running from door to door. There are several fun restaurants to visit and many Bed and Breakfasts in the area.
Just North of Austin, Georgetown is centered around a town square. The Courthouse is located in the middle of several unique shops. The Monument is a Cafe located just North of the square. Eating here is an experience you won't want to miss. Not an ordinary cafe, this restaurant has atmosphere AND good food. Modeled from a car dealership to replicate their previous location, it is fun for the whole family.
And To The East
Brenham is about ninety miles east of Austin on Highway 290. It is an appealing small town located in among a number of dairy farms. Known for its Bue Bell ice cream, this town has a many small shops that are fun to browse.
College Station, home of the Texas Aggies, is South and East of the Capital City. Nestled next to Bryan, College Station is definitely a college town with its restaurants and college book stores. The drive from Austin to College Station is especially pretty and the roads are excellent.
Bastrop is located Southeast of Austin. With its tall pines, the Bastrop State Park is beautiful and unique to the area. Their campgrounds are well kept and there are lots of trails to walk. Downtown Bastrop has several novelty shops to browse.
South of Austin
Traveling South on IH35, you will find several fun places to stop. San Marcos hosts the large College Campus of Southwest Texas. With its quaint charm, San Marcos has shops to tour and beautiful countryside to explore. Visit Aquarena Springs to ride the glass bottom boat and see the beautiful springs.
New Braunfels sits between San Marcos and San Antonio. Its water park, Schlitterbaun, draws large crowds during the warm months of the year. Slide down the assortment of water slides, swim in the gigantic pool, or float lazily on the river to cool off from the summer heat. There is a separate park with a water chute to try. Tour the shops after your water fun. If you plan to stay in the area, make your reservations early. Eat BBQ at a local establishment or German food at Krause's when you get hungry!
Gruene is located just North of New Braunfels. Nestled next to the Guadalupe River, it is a must to see. The shops are fun and the Grist Mill is a great place to eat. You can dance at the Dance Hall to a live band in the evenings. Buy an ice cream in the heat of the day or float on the Guadalupe River. Tubes and rafts and canoes are available for rent as are the rides up river to launch. Camping along the river is an option if you are prepared. Float with family or friends and enjoy a few hours of leisure on the river in the cold water. The water flows from the bottom of Canyon Lake, so it is icy cold.
Southwest, West and Northwest of Austin
Fredricksburg is just two hours from the big city of Austin. On the way to Fredricksburg, visit Johnson City and take the tour of the LBJ ranch. A nice -sized quaint German village in the heart of the Hill Country, Fredricksburg is unique and quite a tourist draw. It is lined with shops and restaurants. Bed and Breakfasts are popular in this town. There are houses for lease by the day or by the week just blocks from downtown. Visit the peach orchards with their gift shops, the butterfly shop or the beautiful flower farm. There are numerous museums of interest: The Admiral Nimitz Museum, The National Museum of the Pacific War, Pioneer Museum, and A World of Miniatures. Don't forget to climb Enchanted Rock, it's huge. Best of all, eat lots of peach ice cream and peach cobbler!
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Come See Austin
Do I visit these places? I have been to each several times over the years. I recommend them all. Each town I have mentioned is well known and popular with tourists. Come join our summer fun!