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Being Touristy at Home in Austin
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Guest Blogger
Thursday, Jul. 20, 2017

There are many benefits to "stay-cations" and if you live in Austin there is always something to do!  Whether you're an Austin native or you just moved here, definitely take advantage of the fun tourist attractions in our great city!  I have compiled a list of my nine favorite tourist attractions I have visited since moving to Austin 3 years go!

HOPE Outdoor Gallery​Located at 11th & Baylor Street in downtown Austin, this abandoned construction project turned outdoor gallery launched in 2011 and is an ever-changing gallery as graffiti is constantly being added.  It’s the perfect representation of what keeps Austin “weird” and is definitely worth a visit!


Lady Bird LakeLady Bird Lake, formerly known as Town Lake, is a major recreational area for the City of Austin!  The river’s calm water makes it perfect for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or rowing.  The 10 mile hike-and-bike trail that surrounds the river offers a complete circuit for running, walking or biking. It hosts gorgeous views of downtown Austin, Zilker Park, and nearby business attractions.


Barton Springs PoolThis 1,000 foot long recreational outdoor swimming pool is a natural limestone pool that is fed by several underground springs, making the pools’ waters always fresh and cool (its temperatures typically stay around 68 degrees!)  It is located on the grounds of Zilker Park and is a popular venue for year-round swimming.  In the summer there is a minimal entry fee of $3 and is open every day except Thursday.  Barton Springs is a must-do in this hot Texas heat!


_Texas State Capitol & Visitors Center_This free Visitor Center is a great stop to help get you oriented with Austin’s history, culture, and politics.  It is a great first stop to watch informational films about the State, take a free tour, as well as gain knowledge about what to visit within the Capitol itself.   It is open from 9 to 5 Monday – Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday.


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Bats Under Congress Avenue BridgeThis certainly has to be one of the most unique and fascinating tourist attractions Austin has to offer.  You can find North America’s largest urban bat colony, with up to 1.5 million bats, spiraling from under the Congress Avenue Bridge into the nights sky!  There are many ways to watch; you can gather on top of the bridge, camp under the bridge near the Austin American-Statesman, or many companies offer ways to watch it from the water such as Capital Cruises.  The bats come out shortly after sunset so plan your evening around the time of the sun setting!​


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Touristy Pictures​Who doesn't’t love a good photo op? Austin has lots of local street art and murals scattered all over the city!  There are some that are more well-known than others, such as the “I love you so much” mural on South Congress, “Greetings from Austin” mural used on many national commercials located on South 1st, or the “Hi How Are You?” mural located near UT Campus.  This is part of what makes Austin so great and provides photo opportunities for visitors and locals alike.  


South Congress AvenueSouth Congress has turned into quite the tourist attraction due to its eclectic small retailers, local restaurants, food trucks, as well as music and art venues.  Some it’s most notable stops are Home Slice Pizza, South Congress Hotel, Guero’s, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Allen Boots.  South Congress always has live performers on the side walk along with local art and fun crafts to buy!  What makes it so unique is it sits on a small hill where you can see the Capitol from its streets.  This is one of my favorite places to go to in Austin as it exudes the unique vibe Austin has to offer!


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Photo courtesy of 360 Bridge Overlook This bridge is one of Austin’s iconic hikes and photo op’s!  The hike is very quick and once you get to the top there isn’t much else left to do except to grab a picture, so be sure to bring your phone or camera!   To get to the overlook, head south on 360 Loop /Capital of Texas Highway from 2222.  After passing a neighborhood, West Courtyard Drive, and just before the bridge and light you will see parking on the side of the road alongside a cliff to your right.  The trail entrance will be located in the center of the lot!


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Bob Bullock Texas State History MuseumThis museum is all about Texas and its expansive history!  It is a great place learn more about Texas history, whether you are a native or not, as well as many unique facts you might have otherwise not known about.  The exhibits are fun and easy to understand for both adults and children!  The museum is filled with artifacts, photos, videos, and installations that bring Texas history to life. 


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Austin is an amazing city with so many places to explore and discover!  Whether your Camden apartment is located in North or South Austin, you are never too far!  If you are looking for the best places to grab a bite to eat after your adventure in Austin, check out this blog on where to find the best queso and margaritas in Austin!

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