Austin Area Attractions
Discover all that the Austin Area Offers
There’s always so much to do, discover and see in Austin, Texas. Besides being the seat of Texas government and home to The University of Texas, Austin is home to a world-renowned music scene and is an arts and cultural center. This graceful river city is also the gateway to more than 32,000-square-miles of Texas Hill Country and is full of recreational opportunities – all only minutes from our Austin area hotel. Plus Austin is also one of the fastest growing technological cities, creating a regular modern metropolis with a rhythm and atmosphere all its own.
The Concierge at Barton Creek Resort & Spa is pleased to assist resort guests with directions to all the things to do in the Austin area. And with advance reservations, can even make transportation arrangements as needed.
Attractions: (Rates, hours and days of operation subject to change)
Austin Children's Museum: The Austin Children's Museum offers hands-on exhibits and programs geared toward youngsters and their families. Admission is free for everyone! The museum is located in downtown Austin. Hours of Operation are Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Wednesday, 5pm - 8pm; Sunday, 12pm - 5pm.
Barton Springs/Zilker Park: Swim in Barton Springs' 68-degree spring-fed pool. Or if that's too cool, try canoeing, hiking or biking. Pack a picnic and let the kids play on the playground or ride the miniature train in Austin's largest and most popular park. Barton Springs opens early at 5am during the summer and there is a nominal fee for adults. Plenty of parking is available.
Bats of Congress Avenue: Home to over 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats, Austin's Congress Avenue Bridge provides one of the most spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities in America. Typically emerging just before dusk, the bats reside here from mid-March to late October. The Congress Avenue Bridge is located downtown.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum: The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum captures the history and tradition of the Lone Star State like never before, incorporating state-of-the-art interactive experiences and media presentations with original artifacts and exhibits. This interactive museum is a high-tech wave of the future. The museum displays the finest artifacts from around the state, accompanied by exceptional multi-media special effects. The Bob Bullock Museum is located in downtown Austin. The hours of operation are Monday - Saturday, 9am - 6pm and Sunday, Noon - 6pm.
Capitol Complex Visitors Center: Get your first introduction to the historic Texas Capitol here. Located in the newly restored 1857 General Land Office Building, this museum/information center features special exhibits, the “Lone Star Legacy” video, a gift shop, visitors desk and guided tours. Open Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday-Monday and most major holidays. The Capitol Center is located in downtown Austin.
Circuit of the Americas Racetrack: For the second year in a row Austin will host tens of thousands of people from all over the world at the Circuit of The Americas track. Upcoming Race Information
Festivals: Throughout the year, Austin is host to many festivals catering to the arts, music, and film scene. Arts festivals regularly showcase local and regional talent. Each year in March, the now world-famous SXSW event brings in music and film personalities and hopefuls from all over the globe! And, of course, as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, it's no wonder that you can even find a particular festival for your favorite flavor of music!
Governor's Mansion: Walk the home and grounds of more than 30 Texas governors. This gracious 1856 antebellum home underwent a massive restoration from 1979-1982. And now it functions as both a museum of authentic period furniture and a comfortable home for a modern governor. The Governor's Mansion is located in downtown Austin. The hours of operation are Monday - Thursday, 10am - Noon.
Hill Country Helicopter Tours: We're excited to announce a partnership with McRae Aviation Services by offering a wide variety of Hill Country Helicopter Tours. Depart Barton Creek Resort & Spa and enjoy an aerial tour of Lake Travis, surrounding wineries, the beautiful Texas Hill Country and more. Transportation to Circuit of the Americas Racetrack events is also available. Tour Information
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center: Numerous courtyards, arbors, meadows and terraces make up this nationally-recognized botanical garden. Highlights include a visitors' gallery, observation tower, nature trail, cafe and gift store. Bask in nature's splendor as well as the garden's award-winning architecture. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Visitors' Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tours by appointment. The Wildflower Center is located in South Austin.
Lake Travis: Lake Travis features a meandering 65 miles of river that rolls through cliffs of limestone and granite. The 270 miles of shoreline are serviced by a number of marinas and water-related businesses. Fun activities include skiing, swimming, boating, and fishing. Lake Travis is northwest of Barton Creek. Watercraft rentals are available and arrangements may be made by our Concierge.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum: The most visited library, the LBJ Library and Museum provides year-round public viewing of historical exhibits from the Johnson administration and access to 45 million historical documents. The LBJ Library is located near the University of Texas Campus. The hours of operation are 9am - 5pm, daily.
Mt. Bonnell: Climb the 99 steps to the most scenic and highest point in the city (785 feet above sea level) and watch the sunset over Lake Austin and Westlake Hills. Open daily, dawn until dusk. Mt. Bonnell is located in West Austin.
Sixth Street: Plan an entire day at this National Register District. In the afternoon, visit "Old Pecan Street's" many landmarks, restaurants and shops. At night, experience its bustling street life and festive atmosphere with live music and shows. Sixth Street Entertainment District is downtown.
Swimming Holes: Another great way to kill the heat of the summer would be to take a dip in one of the many natural pools and waterways that Austin has to offer. Hamilton Pool is a spring-fed swimming hole surrounded by a stunning grotto. Nearby McKinney Falls State Park not only lures outdoors enthusiasts to its miles of trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas, but also to its two spectacular, swimmer-friendly waterfalls. Only minutes from downtown you'll find Barton Springs and Twin Falls--just a few of the other crystal clear creeks winding through the Austin hillsides beckoning a hearty hike or a refreshing splash.
Texas State Capitol: No trip to Austin would be complete without a visit to the Texas Capitol, the nation's largest state capitol. A guided tour takes you through this more than 100-year-old granite building. View the grand rotunda, the House and Senate chambers and galleries, life-size statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, and numerous historical paintings. Tours every 15 minutes: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed major holidays. The Texas State Capitol is downtown.
Texas State Cemetery: The Lone Star State's version of Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of Texas' most notable sons and daughters: Stephen F. Austin, J. Frank Dobie, John Connally and Barbara Jordan. The cemetery is open to the public and provides tours upon reservation and special programs for school groups. The Guided tours are available by calling 512-463-0605 or our Concierge will be happy to make the arrangements. The Gallery and Visitors Center is open 8am - 5pm, Monday - Friday. The Cemetery grounds are open 8am - 5pm, daily.
Tours: Tours of the city of Austin, the scenic Hill Country, Factory Outlet shopping, Austin shopping, LBJ Ranch, historic Fredericksburg, the National Wildflower Research Center, Austin Ghost tours and other points of interest may be arranged through the Concierge.
University of Texas Tower: The observation deck of the University of Texas Tower offers a spectacular view of the UT Campus and the Austin area in all directions. Thanks to the cooperative effort of students, staff, and the University administration, the observation deck has recently been remodeled and reopened to the public for the first time in nearly three decades. As a part of the renovation process, persons with disabilities now also have access to this monumental view. The UT Tower is open daily, 1pm - 7pm during the summer months. When school is in session, the Tower is open to the public daily from 11am - 5pm.
Visit Austin, Texas: A great resource of things to do and activities within the Austin area.
Water Recreation: Sail or water ski on scenic Lake Travis, just 20 minutes from the resort. The Concierge will gladly arrange boat rentals, fishing trips, jet skis, etc.
Zilker Botanical Gardens: A montage of flowers, shrubs, trees and ponds, these gardens provide an environment of inspiration, tranquility and beauty. Zilker Garden is open daily, 7am - dark. The Gift Shop is open Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm, Saturday,10am - 5pm, and Sunday, 1pm to 5pm.
- Travel & Leisure, “America’s 25 Favorite Cities”
- USA Today, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport lands on the “ 10 great places to hang out during a layover”
- America's 5 Best Mountain Biking Towns
- Corporate & Incentive Travel, “Sixth Most Popular Destination for Corporate Meetings”
- USA Today, “Ten Great Places to Find Splendor in the Grass ”
- USA Today, “Ten Great Places to Run Away from Home”
- Cities to Go, “Best City in U.S. and Canada to Pretend You're 20 Again”