Written by AnythngArt on 26 Feb, 2010
Outstanding Neighborhoods for Austin NightlifeTwo neighborhoods stand out for anyone without a planned nighttime activity in Austin. Just strolling around, dining at, or taking in the sights in these two areas is sure to provide a great evening’s worth of entertainment.East Sixth Street (Old Pecan…Read More
Outstanding Neighborhoods for Austin NightlifeTwo neighborhoods stand out for anyone without a planned nighttime activity in Austin. Just strolling around, dining at, or taking in the sights in these two areas is sure to provide a great evening’s worth of entertainment.East Sixth Street (Old Pecan Street) - Occupying the Victorian storefronts in this lively section of Austin are myriad restaurants, nightspots, and stores. Perhaps the most famous district in Austin, East Sixth Street is known not only for its entertainment but as an area in which building after building appears on the National Register of Historic Places. Evenings find this area filled with revelers out for some fun in Austin.South Congress (SoCo) - For Austin hipsters, there’s no better place to spend an evening than SoCo. This colorful area is famous for its music venues, quirky stores, art galleries, and dining options. A lively area any day of the week, SoCo draws an even bigger crowd on "First Thursdays" (the first Thursday of each month) when area merchants keep their doors open late, and host an array of special events, often with music.Moonlight TowersAustin’s antique street lights are a unique feature to the city and its nightlife. They are so much a part of the city today that they have even been celebrated in film ("Dazed and Confused"), where Austin writer and director Richard Linklater enshrined them with the famous line "Party at the moontower." The towers date from 1895 when many cities across the country used this municipal carbon arc lighting system. Today the 17 remaining 165-feet towers provide a memorable vision that can only be experienced in Austin, Texas.Sunset CruisingCapital Cruises of Austin offer sunset bat-watching cruises. Austin’s Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is congregating territory for more than 1.5 million Mexican bats, and watching them take off just before sunset has become a popular tourist (and local) activity during summer months. For those not interested in bat life, there are also other options, including dinner cruises on Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin.TheaterThe city of Austin offers theater goers a wide range of nightlife choices. With a strong creative community, the theater world has something lively on offer most nights of the week. Options include the newly restored Paramount Theater on Congress, which showcases stage plays, musicals, and classic movies. Other well known theaters include Live Oak Theatre, One World Theater, and the State Theater. More theater performances can be found at local universities’ performing arts centers, from St. Edward University’s Mary Moody Northern Theatre to the University of Texas’s Harry Ransom Performing Arts Center.Evenings at the MuseumsA number of Austin’s museums offer special evening events and extended hours each Thursday. Among those offering fun, educational nighttime events are the Austin Museum of Art - Downtown, the George Washington Carver Museum, and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas. Most offer special programs and events and allow those working (or otherwise preoccupied during normal daytime museum hours) to enjoy some nightlife at the museum. Close
Written by Nilo0901 on 22 Dec, 2009
One thing you need to know about Austin eating - everything is bigger than anywhere else. In Texas, size matters... at least when it comes to food and Austin is no different. Austin offers a great diversity of food from Japanese through to your finest…Read More
One thing you need to know about Austin eating - everything is bigger than anywhere else. In Texas, size matters... at least when it comes to food and Austin is no different. Austin offers a great diversity of food from Japanese through to your finest wheat germ. As you can imagine, there is plenty of Tex-Mex and Mexican food. So, some of Austin's best: Guero's. This is the only place in Austin for Mexican food and fish tacos. It's on South Congress, which in my opinion is the most fun street in Austin. Stay at either the Austin Motel or San Jose and this will be your local. For once, portions are a reasonable size and the quality is excellent. It's a pretty informal place and heaves in the evenings so be advised to arrive early. Stubb's (Red River). This is Austin's most famous barbeque (or BBQ) joint. It's big and quite a tourist attraction but the food is good. Resist the pulled pork at your peril. They also host great live music many evenings and mostly artists of international acclaim. Grab a cookbook when you leave - you'll never use it but it will gather dust well. Threadgills (W Riverside Dr). It is not as good as it's apparent glory days but grab a slice of Austin heritage here. Janis Joplin played there before she hit mega-stardom. Music nowadays unless a known act can be hit and miss. Give the chicken fried steak a go - it's not the best in Austin but quite fun. And no, it's not 2 meats as I thought - it's steak battered like fried chicken... much to my disappointment. Speaking of Chicken Fried Steak - pretty good effort was in the Austin Land and Cattle Co. (N Lamar & West 12th). They do a decent steak there too. Magnolia Cafe (S Congress). If you want to eat any hour of the day go to Magnolia as they are open 24/7. Food is simple and fresh and of excellent quality. You can get a good pork chop there. Breakfast is great too - if they have blueberry pancakes, order them. If you're like me and are a weedy Brit, go for 2 rather than 3 regardless of what they tell you because they're huge. You'll be told 'you're in Texas now honey'. Ignore them - you'll be sick (I nearly was). So... go eat and holler y'all till the locals get rowdy. Close
Written by zabelle on 14 Mar, 2007
When we found out that Ima Hogg was buried in Austin we made it one of our priorities to visit her grave. On Friday we headed to the Texas State Cemetery which was beautiful and had a great map to help us find all the…Read More
When we found out that Ima Hogg was buried in Austin we made it one of our priorities to visit her grave. On Friday we headed to the Texas State Cemetery which was beautiful and had a great map to help us find all the important grave. After our visit we headed up Navasota Street in search of Oakwood Cemetery. Oakwood is Austin’s oldest cemetery, provisions for it’s created were made in 1839 when the city was founded ad the annexe was opened in 1917. This cemetery is maintained by the city of Austin and I have to tell you there is no comparison to the state cemetery or even to privately owned Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, this cemetery has a neglected look, everything is overgrown and in a bad state of repair. The office was closed, there was no map available and so we did the impossible, we set put to find the grave on our own.Using logic, we tried to find a large monument since the Hogg family was well to do. We drove up and down and around looking at all the large monuments, no dice. We saw some maintenance men and decided why not ask them if they knew where it was. Oh yeah, that was a good idea, I don’t think they even spoke English let alone knew who Ima Hogg was, they just gave us a funny look which we took to mean no, they didn’t know where it was. We headed for the annexe and went slowly up and down and around every road. No Ima. Okay head to the right and start going down any row that is wide enough for a car. Finally we started to feel discouraged and I just picked a row and said go down that one. Guess what, it was a really good guess. There it was, the Hogg family obelisk, nothing too pretentious. And in front of the larger monument was a very small little stone that said Ima Hogg. A lot of work to find but Joe was very happy so it was worth it. Now here are the directions if you ever want to find this grave. Enter the cemetery and go past the office, take the fourth street on the left, there is a Norton family monument on the corner. Three quarters of the way down on the right hand side is the Hogg family plot. Close
This is a fabulous Library that is amazingly hard to find. There is a sign that tells you which exit to get off the freeway and then nothing. We drove by it the first time. I am so glad we found it because it ended…Read More
This is a fabulous Library that is amazingly hard to find. There is a sign that tells you which exit to get off the freeway and then nothing. We drove by it the first time. I am so glad we found it because it ended up being one of our very favorite stops in Texas. You begin your visit by watching an orientation film. Given the weather we watched with only one other couple. Entrance to the museum is free, LBJ wanted everyone to have access to the Library. For someone who lived through the Johnson presidency I found that I was woefully ignorant about the man. What I came away from here with was a very strong admiration. Also a great deal of sadness that the war that he inherited so overshadowed all the really wonderful things that he accomplished. Lyndon Baines Johnson is a true son of Texas, his grandfather came to Texas in the 1850s and built a log cabin in what is now Johnson City. His son Sam married Rebekah Baines and they had five children. Lyndon was the eldest and very close to his mother. She was well educated and more ambitious than her husband and I think she passed this on to her son. His father and his grandfather were both members of the legislature so politics came naturally to himLyndon went to teachers college and became a teacher to poor Hispanic students in Cotulla. This lasted only one year but made a lasting impression. He went on to become the secretary to Congressman Richard Kleberg. He used those four years in Washington to make valuable contacts. It was during this time that he met and married Claudia "Lady Bird" Taylor. In 1937 he was elected to the House and spent eleven years there. Lady Bird was the perfect political wife, she also had a great deal of business acumen and it was through her efforts that their financial stability was guaranteed. In 1948 he won the democratic nomination for the senate and then the race. By 1953 he had been nominated as the minority leader of the senate the youngest man to ever receive that honor. He was a tireless worker and in 1955 when the democrats regained control of the house he became the Majority leader. He worked so hard is health suffered and he had a major heart attack that same year. He was the ultimate politician. He knew how Washington worked and he surprised a lot of people by accepting the VP position in 1960. He was thrust into the Presidency in 1963 but was reelected on his own right in 64. The Vietnam War got a lot of press, so much so that I had no idea how much had been accomplished during his presidency to help the underprivileged. He can be credited with the Head-Start program, Medicare, student loans, Upward Bound and Medicaid. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the real highlights of his term.We all loved this Library. There are loads of pictures and personal items. There is a wonderful picture of the family today with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Come here with an open mind and at least two or three hours to spend.Some of the things we loved:The automatron Lyndon standing behind a fence telling jokes.The cases of presidential gifts. It is amazing what they receive from foreign dignitaries.The portraits of all the presidents and first ladies.The copy of the Oval Office and Lady Birds Office.The Presidential Limousine.The desk where the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. Close
After our wonderful dinner at the South Congress Café we headed back toward the Austin Motel on Congress. We came upon Uncommon Goods 1512 South Congress St which is open daily until 7pm but on Thursday they stay open until 9pm. We can never resist…Read More
After our wonderful dinner at the South Congress Café we headed back toward the Austin Motel on Congress. We came upon Uncommon Goods 1512 South Congress St which is open daily until 7pm but on Thursday they stay open until 9pm. We can never resist an antique/unusual item store. This shop has 30 dealers who offer an eclectic variety of object d’art, second hand cowboy boots, loads of stained glass windows, baskets, books, pottery, and a whole lot more. It can be a little crowded in some of the booths so be careful as you look at items. In some ways it was very flee market in the way objects are displayed. Be prepared to dig and look under tables and in cupboards. We were looking for a painting of bluebonnets and we did find a couple that were of interest. We didn’t buy but we did enjoy. There is a lot to look at allow yourself at least an hour. Rues Antiques: 1500 South Congress. This is an interesting shop they have loads of really unique things but as to antiques, I am not quite sure how they get away with calling this an antique store. What I saw were a lot of reproductions that we not marked as reproduction. They had a very extensive collection of reproduction metal signs, quite a few Coca-Cola and others that were automobiles. The furniture seem to be authentic for the most part but don’t expect to find anything with any real age here. In the window they had a large display of stained glass but it was new glass not old an all the funky cats in the other window I just didn’t get, they obviously were new and sort of artsy crafty. Having said all that I bought a large out door thermometer here with a bass on it for our cottage. Al is a bass fisherman and we have his stuffed large mouth bass on the wall of our back porch ( it beats having it in our parlor at home) so I figured this would be a nice addition to that lake cottage feel. Joe found a couple of old art postcards so it was not a waste of time by any means.Allens Boots 1522 South Congress, if you have always wanted to own a pair of real western boots, this is the place to stop. These beauties don’t come cheap but it’s all part of the Texas experience, this is the real thing. It doesn’t stop at just the boots either, you can get all your western wear here. Close
This is a unique cemetery. When State Senator Edward Burleson died in December of 1851,Andrew Jackson Hamilton donated the 21 acres that comprise the cemetery to the state of Texas so that Burleson could be buried here. It became the Texas State Cemetery in 1854.…Read More
This is a unique cemetery. When State Senator Edward Burleson died in December of 1851,Andrew Jackson Hamilton donated the 21 acres that comprise the cemetery to the state of Texas so that Burleson could be buried here. It became the Texas State Cemetery in 1854. After the Civil War the State took over the home for Confederate veterans and they buried the veterans along with their generals in the cemetery. In 1910 Stephen Austin was moved to the Texas State Cemetery. In the 1920s Louis Kemp spearheaded a drive to have as many prominent former Texans reinterred in the cemetery. Starting in 1929 with the former governors James Pickney Henderson and Peter Hansborough Bell over 70 men and woman were moved into the cemetery. In appreciation for his efforts the cemetery road was declared a highway and named Lou Kemp Rd and it is Texas Highway 165, the shortest highway in Texas. We began at the visitor center which was built in 1997 to resemble the long barracks at the Alamo. We picked up maps and then headed over to the museum. What is particularly interesting about this cemetery is that all the monuments aren’t grave stones some of them are cenotaphs (memorial markers), so not everyone whose stone you see is actually buried here, case in point Former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry. The is a very well organized cemetery and though not beautiful in the same sense as Glenwood cemetery, it makes up for that by its vast historical significance.We headed down highway 165 to the only allowed parking area which is on top of the hill. Just our luck it was bitter cold with a biting wind when we were there but we still managed to enjoy poking around and trying to identify as many of the graves as possible.One that is hard to miss is the Elizabeth Ney sculpture of Albert Sidney Johnston. He was a general for three countries, The Republic of Texas, The United States and the Confederacy. He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. His monument is amazing. The Stephen Austin Monument and the Joanna Troutman Monument were both done by Pompeo Coppini. Joanna Troutman was known as the Betsy Ross of Texas She created a flag that was carried to Goliad by Colonel Fannin and raised as the National Flag when the Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed. Reading the gravestones is like a who’s who of Texas History. We found Governor John Connally of JFK assassination fame. We found Barbara Jordan the first African American Woman elected to the Texas Senate. Some we didn’t know like Susanna Dickenson Hannig one of the woman who survived the Alamo and as her stone says “Carried the news to General Houston at Gonzales”. She has a new stone in the shape of the state of Texas.Entrance is free. Allow as much time as your interest dictates. We spent at least an hour. Close
Written by Linda Kaye on 05 Aug, 2001
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (512) 936-8746 is located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue on the north side of the Capitol Building. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This brand…Read More
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (512) 936-8746 is located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue on the north side of the Capitol Building. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This brand new museum occupies 41,000 square feet and has interactive exhibits, a special effects Texas Spirit Theater and Austin’s only IMAX Theatre.
The unbelievable multimedia technology creates an astonishing adventure in the feature presentation, "The Star of Destiny." You can feel the terror of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane as wind blows through your hair, lightning flashes and thunder rumbles through the theatre and hold tight as a gusher explodes from an East Texas oil derrick.
The current IMAX production is "Extreme" featuring world-champion athletes as they challenge the most intimidating forces of nature. Beginning September 15th, IMAX will be showing "Gold Fever" the search for precious metals.
There are more than 700 Texas artifacts housed here, including Stephen F. Austin’s diary and Neil Armstrong’s space suit.
You can purchase tickets for the exhibit areas only for $5.00, the IMAX for $6.50 and the Texas Spirit Theater for $5.00, but the best value is the Combination Ticket for all exhibits and both theaters for $12.50 adults, $10.00 seniors, and $6.00 18 and under. For a complete listing or admission prices, go can go online at www.TheStoryofTexas.com
Visit the University of Texas Tower. The Tower stands 307 feet tall and was completed in 1939. It has served as the University’s most distinguishing landmark. The Observation Deck was reopened in September 1999, after being closed for over 25 years. It offers a spectacular view of the University of Texas Campus and the Austin area in all directions. Tours are available by reservations only through the Texas Union Information Center. You can call toll free 877-475-6633 for information.
Austin Zoo (512) 288-1490 or (800) 291-1490. A great hill country zoo perfect for family, corporate or convention functions, offering pony rides, train rides, zoo facility and picnic facilities. The Zoo can cater your special events.
Governor’s Mansion of Texas (512) 463-5516 is located at 1000 Colorado Street. Since 1856, every Texas governor has called this gracious antebellum dwelling home. Free tour Monday thru Thursday 10 a.m. to 11:40 every 20 minutes. Reservations are required.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (512) 916-5136 is at 2313 Red River, one block west of IH 35 on the University of Texas Campus. Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.
Old Bakery and Emporium (512) 477-5961 located at 1006 Congress Avenue. This building has been beautifully restored to its original Victorian appearance in 1876 when it housed the popular bakery of Charles Lundberg. Stop for lunch or home baked goods and coffee. Open Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. in December only. Free Admission.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (512) 292-4100. The Center is located at 4801 LaCrosse Avenue and is the only institution in the nation dedicated exclusively to conserving and promoting the use of native plants in North America. Grounds are open Tuesday thru Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the Visitors Gallery hours are Tuesday thru Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for Adults, $3.50 for children and seniors.
Written by notso62 on 10 Dec, 2008
In 2004 I had made up my mind about Texas. Being chastised for being a "skinny brunette vegetarian" during a trip by my hosts in Amarillo had convinced me that this was not a state suited for my tastes. However, my trip to Austin in…Read More
In 2004 I had made up my mind about Texas. Being chastised for being a "skinny brunette vegetarian" during a trip by my hosts in Amarillo had convinced me that this was not a state suited for my tastes. However, my trip to Austin in 2007 proved me wrong on multiple counts. My Texas verdict was thus overturned.Over the years I had travelled to Dallas, El Paso, Amarillo, Lubbock and Houston on various trips. Austin was unlike any other Texan city I had ever been to, but was fast my favorite. Creative and diverse types of people are welcomed to Austin with open arms. You can find cowboys and blond bombshells here as in the other Texan cities, but they are not the only types of people that stand out. Artists, college students, musicians, and typical business people can be found almost anywhere you look. It was refreshing to see such a diverse crowd in Texas.Upon my first dining experience at an Austin restaurant, I was surprised to see a vegetarian section of the menu. When I commented to my dining companion that I was surprised to see such a thing in Texas, he responded that almost every restaurant in Austin catered to the large population of vegetarians living in the city. What a difference from my other Texan dining experiences where I was laughed at for requesting meatless food.The live music and artistic scenes that have flourished in Austin are factors that have led the city’s progressive mindset. Almost any type of music one can imagine can be heard in a number of venues on Sixth Street every night of the week. The huge SXSW musical festival occurs every year here in March and the diversity of that festival is reflected in the diversity of the typical nightly music selection and crowds.Austin has many quirks that allow it to keep to its mantra; "Keep Austin Weird". Among these quirks are the bats that live under the Town Lake Bridge that swarm every Spring evening in a feeding frenzy, UT Austin’s strange owl-building in the middle of town, and the strange-looking eco-friendly residences that are abundant on the outskirts. Capitol buildings and rock-and-roll historic landmarks both exist peacefully within the city limits thanks to proper city planning and open-mindedness of the population.2007’s trip to Austin might have been my first, but it hopefully won’t be my last. This is one Texas town that might call itself "weird", but allowed me to feel ironically "normal" during my stay. Progressive thinking and fun made Austin home-away-from-home for this girl from Boston. Close
Written by MoDean on 09 Nov, 2006
Ever seen an episode of A&E’s Rollergirls? The (now off-air) reality series spotlighted the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls roller derby-league in Austin, following the players through a whole season. The few episodes I saw were riveting, so when my friend mentioned that the Texas Rollergirls (another…Read More
Ever seen an episode of A&E’s Rollergirls? The (now off-air) reality series spotlighted the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls roller derby-league in Austin, following the players through a whole season. The few episodes I saw were riveting, so when my friend mentioned that the Texas Rollergirls (another Austin league) were playing, I jumped at the chance to go.
The Rock-n-Rollerderby (a two-match, four-team event) was held at Playland Skate Center, a giant barn that houses a skating rink, an antiques market, and who knows what else at various points during the week. We arrived to find a surprising number of cars jamming the streets and surrounding lots, but luckily, there was ample parking to be had.
The adventure started in the ticket line—a long line, but the people-watching was superb. We saw the emcee, bedecked in Colonel Sanders’ hand-me-downs, emerge from the most beat-up, dented pickup I’ve ever seen. We saw rollergirls from other teams, scantily clad and showing off legs mottled with bruises. The line itself was a hodgepodge of young and old, punks and Texas rednecks (simmer down—I’m from Texas). The wait went by in no time.
After paying our $15 entrance fee and venturing into the concession area for $3 Lone Stars (Shiner Bock was $4), we squeezed our way into the crowd surrounding the rink. The games began with a spirited welcome from the announcers, who gleefully chastised anyone who spilled a beer throughout the rest of the evening—a roller derby tradition. At first, it was difficult to get into the raucous spirit of the arena. I finally found a program, however, and skimmed through the basics of the game:Each play is referred to as a "jam." As both teams skate around the rink, each team’s "jammer" tries to skate through the pack while a "pivot" and blockers from each team try to block the other jammer and facilitate their jammer’s passage. The first jammer to break through the pack is dubbed the "lead jammer" and earns the right to "call the jam" at any point. The jammers then skate all the way back around and through the pack again, earning a point for each member of the opposing team that they pass. Of course, this all happens with tons of pushing, shoving, hard falls (sometimes into the surrounding crowd) and, occasionally, fights. These girls could hold their own with the ice hockey crowd.Once I got the hang of it, it was a blast to watch—loud, aggressive, and really exciting. The players’ roller-derby names only added to the entertainment value of the announcers’ play-by-play: my favorites were Lucille Brawl and Tinkerhell of the Hotrod Honeys and Misty Meaner and Bunny Rabid of the Hell Marys. Between halves, there was live music from the totally weird, cool, up-and-coming Ghostland Observatory. In all, it was the most memorable night of my trip. Turns out you can’t judge a book—or a barn—by its cover.
Written by Bridgett Ellis on 26 Sep, 2003
This concert is so much fun. It is a 3-day concert (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), perfect for a weekend getaway, but unfortunately it only happens once a year. There are two main stages that have the bigger-name bands playing, with smaller stages set…Read More
This concert is so much fun. It is a 3-day concert (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), perfect for a weekend getaway, but unfortunately it only happens once a year. There are two main stages that have the bigger-name bands playing, with smaller stages set up for the smaller bands to play on. The entire Zilker park is blocked off for the shows. The shows are over around 10 to 10:30pm every night, which is perfect for those who want to venture down to 6th Street for some more fun. This is one of the only concerts I have been to where they allow you to bring in a camera, no sneaking it in. I have tons of pictures of my favorite artists.
Austin is such a laid-back town, everyone at the concert was happy and friendly. What a great place to visit. I will go back again next year for sure. It is a great way to see bands you have never heard of; they even have a CD store where you can sign up for a voucher to have your favorite artist sign your CD!!! They have tons of port-a-potties. The beer is $4.00 a pop, so if you have a flask, sneak in your own alcohol, because they don't really look for it. :-)
Food is anywhere from $4 to $8, but not your typical nasty fried foods...there are local food establishments set up in one area, which makes it easy to find what you want and not have to walk all over to get food. There were limited ATM machines, so bring plenty of cash, because the line for an ATM was about a 30-minute wait, which is not good because you want to be able to see as many bands on as many stages as possible!!!
http://www.aclfestival.com Check it out!!