The capital of live music and the state of Texas has more than legendary music venues and live entertainment to offer. It also holds some of the greatest museums in the country and important historical sites in the country --not to mention the delicious barbecue and Latin-inspired cuisine, which will have you loosening your belt. Here are five things to see and do in Austin, Tex., the city that calls itself the live music capital of the world.
5…Music While you Travel
Listen to music as you wait for your flight at Austin’s Bergstrom International Airport. The unique airport holds concerts from local musicians at several venues Monday through Friday for ticketed passengers. Enjoy music at Earl Campbell’s Sports Bar from 3:300 to 5:30 p.m., at Waterloo Records/Austin City Limits from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. For a full list of schedule visit the austintexas.gov. A variety of artwork is also on display.
4…Filled With History 1839
Founded in 1839, Austin has a rich history and many historical sites to visit. Visit the French Legation Museum to see the city’s oldest extant frame structure. Originally built as a private home for the representative of the French government, Alphonse Dubois, the house is now a museum. Forty-minute tours run throughout the afternoon and visitors are welcome Tuesday through Sunday.
The Texas Governor’s mansion is another historical site worth visiting. First built in the 1850’s, the original building was lost in a fire in 1881 and was rebuilt in 1888. It has housed every governor of Texas since June of 1856 and is located at the corner of Eleventh and Colorado Streets. Free, guided tours are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tours must be reserved in advance.
Also be sure to stop by the historic Driskill Hotel on Sixth Street in the heart of downtown Austin. Conveniently located near the Texas State Capitol, convention center, opera, symphony, fine dining and shopping, the hotel is a symbol of luxurious and elegant Austin.
3…Abundance of Museums
Austin has no shortage of museums to visit. The Blanton Museum of Art, located at the University of Texas at Austin’s research center was built in 1963 and hosts the most comprehensive collection of art in Central Texas. With more than 17,000 works of art, it is known for its European paintings and encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings.
For a more family-friendly experience, visit the Austin Children’s Museum. With creative and innovate exhibits, this museum is catered towards educational exhibits for children. There is over 12,500 square feet of gallery space to play in and explore.
2…Finger Lickin’ Good
You cannot visit Austin without stopping by The Salt Lick barbecue restaurant. Known for it’s brisket, sausage, and pork chops, this joint will have you coming back for more before the end of you stay in Austin. Buy their official cookbook to make your favorite dish at home for friends and family.
Another Austin favorite is La Condesa, a Mexican restaurant in the 2nd Street District. Nominated for a James Beard Award for 'Best New Restaurant', the eatery has the largest selection of tequila in the city and is known for their signature margaritas and watermelon-elderflower martini.
For a place to stay, the Hilton is the largest hotel in the area. Equipped with numerous bars, restaurants, lounges conference rooms, the Hilton is a great place to stay for business of pleasure.
Self-dubbed “The Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has more than 200 venues where visitors can catch a concert at almost any time. The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual three-day music festal featuring internal and local acts across a variety of genres. Approximately 225,000 fans attend the weekend-long festival. Previous performers include the Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow and Coldplay.
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.