Top Attractions in Austin Texas

Top Attractions in Austin Texas
Austin, Texas' official slogan is the "Live Music Capital of the World." According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Austin has "...more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation." The city also has miles of hiking and biking trails, including greenbelts that provide habitats for endangered plant and animal species, wind past waterfalls and offer wilderness adventures in the heart of the city. With at least 300 days of sunshine each year, Austin is truly a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

You can ride a mountain bike on this popular trail and still feel secluded from the hustle and bustle of the city. The greenbelt is on 809 acres of land that includes so many trees you'll think you're in a forest. Take your kids on a train ride or watch them play in the playground. If you enjoy climbing, try the sheer rock walls in the Gus Fruth area. The trails in the greenbelt have a curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Your dog has to be on a leash. The park does not allow smoking or drinking alcohol.

Lake Austin

Lake Austin is part of the Highland Lakes. The clear water is perfect for swimming, water skiing and boating. You can camp in Emma Long Metropolitan Park, fish for bass off the banks or go rafting. Stay at the Lake Austin Spa Resort if you want luxurious accommodations. Numerous magazines gave this resort awards. Concessionaires rent boats, water skis and fishing equipment. Eat at the Hula Hut restaurant, which has bamboo walls, tiki torches and serves tropical dishes such as coconut fried shrimp, Hawaiian fajitas and Pu Pu platters.

Lake Austin Spa Resort
1705 S. Quinlan Park Road
Austin, TX 78732
(512) 372-7300; (800) 847-5637
http://www.lakeaustin.com

Hula Hut Restaurant
3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 476-4852
http://www.hulahut.com

McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls State Park has screened shelters with bunk beds (but no mattresses) and 84 campsites with electricity and water. You can camp in a walk-in site, but you'll have to bring your own water. You can mountain bike or hike on paved and unpaved trails. The park has interpretive tours, family workshops and other events. Fishing in the creek is free. The park provides fishing tackle free if you bring your own bait, and you don't need a fishing license. Swimming in the upper and lower McKinney Falls areas is a popular activity. The visitor center has a museum and slide show. You can watch birds or rock climb. If you just want to go for the day, take a picnic lunch to enjoy on one of the 120 picnic sites that have grills.

McKinney Falls State Park
5808 McKinney Falls Parkway
Austin, TX 78744
(512) 243-1643
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/mckinney_falls/

Article Written By Ellen Kendall

Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.

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