ARTS AND CULTURE
- Local and touring theater and dance companies
- World-renowned Austin Ballet and Austin Symphony
- More than 35 art galleries and museums
- 1,200 musical acts annually
- 120 live music venues
- South by Southwest annual music, film and interactive festival
LIVE MUSIC IN AUSTIN
Austin City Limits Music Festival each fall and the international South by Southwest (SXSW) music and multimedia festival each spring.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of ten presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses forty million pages of historical documents which include the papers from the entire public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and also from those of close associates. These papers and the vast administrative files from the presidency are used primarily by scholars. The museum provides year-round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits. Special activities and exhibits are sponsored privately by the Friends of the LBJ Library and its parent organization, the LBJ Foundation.
Since 1981, the University of Texas at Austin Performing Arts Center has played host to the greatest performing artists in theater, music and dance to the thrill and delight of millions in Central Texas. We've brought out the welcome mat to artists from every corner of the globe - cultural ambassadors who have shared their gifts of song and dance with the people of Austin and surrounding communities.
The Austin Symphony was founded in 1911 and is Austin's oldest performing arts group. The Symphony offers outstanding classical music through a series of eight concert pairs running monthly September through April in Bass Concert Hall and the festive Holiday and Promenade Pops Concerts at Palmer Auditorium. Austin's historic Symphony Square at 11th and Red River is home to the Symphony's offices as well as the popular restaurant Cafe Serranos and the Women's Symphony League office.
Austin's newest museum features three floors of dynamic exhibits of the history of the Lone Star State. The museum's Texas Spirit Theater brings the story of Texas to life through incredible special effects. The museum is also home to Austin's only IMAX Theatre, which is also open in the evening.
THE AUSTIN OUTDOORS
- 174 parks
- 30 miles of urban hike-and-bike trails along scenic Town Lake and Barton Springs
- 9 wilderness areas
- 26 golf courses
- 156 public tennis courts
- #3 Best City for Mountain Bikers, MountainBike.com (2002)
- 150-mile long chain of lakes
- 11,800 acres of greenbelt for recreation
- 300 annual days of sunshine
- Mild winter climate and year-round outdoor recreation
- North America's largest urban bat population—1.5 million bats
Lake Travis is a sixty-five-mile-long artificial lake on the Colorado River in southern Burnet and western Travis counties. Lake Travis abounds with water recreation and naturally attracts water sport enthusiasts. From multi class sailboat and windsurfing regattas to competition ski boat, cruisers, cigarettes and mansion-like houseboats, Lake Travis maintains the marina facilities, public parks, boat ramp access.
Town is an artificial lake on the Colorado River on the edge of downtown Austin. Along Town Lake, people flock to the hike-and bike trails to walk, jog, bicycle, or otherwise enjoy the beauty of the Colorado River. This Beautiful gravel pathway circles the lake and is very popular for off-road bicycling, outdoor running, and strolling through Austin by foot.
Austin's largest and most popular park offers swimming in Barton Springs, a 68-degree spring-fed pool, hike & bike trails, playground, picnic facilities, canoe rentals and a miniature train which runs seasonally. Open 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. everyday.
The various gardens are a montage in which flowers, shrubs, trees and ponds are integrated into a design that provides an environment of inspiration, beauty and tranquility. Hours: Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-sunset.
A native plant botanical garden with numerous courtyards, terraces, arbors and meadows. Highlights include a Visitors Gallery, observation tower, cafe, gift store and nature trail. Award-winning architecture. Hours: Tues-Sun, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Visitors Gallery; Tues-Sat, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Tours by appointment.
Climb the 99 steps and savor a violet-tinged sunset over Lake Austin and Westlake Hills from the most scenic and one of the highest points in the city limits (785 feet above sea level). Open daily, dawn until dusk.
Austin's Congress Avenue Bridge is the summer home to over 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats. Their nightly exodus is among the most spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities in America. Bats are in residence from mid- March to late October and typically emerge just before dusk.
Photos courtesy the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau