Austin, on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, is not only the state capital, but lays claim to being the "live music capital of the world." When it comes to entertainment, it's all about individual personality and preferences. Thankfully, Austin is not only made up of a diverse population, but also diverse attractions and places to visit.
Shopaholics too will be pleased with what they find in the Austin shopping scene. The usual range of chain department stores and retailers are in evidence of course, but the city has notable independents as well, such as Book People and Waterloo Records. West Sixth Street is lined with all manner of antique dealers, art galleries and quirky gift shops. Or, for a more contemporary Austin shopping experience, do check out the burgeoning SoCo (South of Congress) area, where you'll find hip boutiques and fashionable cafes. For the jewelry addict, there are plenty of jewelry stores in Austin selling diamond wedding rings, engagement rings, and other jewelry.
One of the best Austin attractions is actually the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is popular not for its architecture or aesthetics, but for the bats that roost underneath. Otherwise, the eclectic range of sights and activities in Austin has enough variety to appeal to just about every traveler. Outdoor pursuits, from swimming to hiking to team sports, are easily accessed at the city's several public parks, such as Zilker or Town Lake, or at nearby state parks like McKinney Falls. Art aficionados will want to visit one of the city's half-dozen art museums; families can find the fun at Volente Beach Waterpark, the Austin Zoo, the Nature and Science Center and the Children's Museum.
Over the last few years, Austin has transformed from cooking up great Tex-Mex to being a major player in the international culinary scene. Though big names on their culinary circuit have opened chain restaurants, they still maintain Austin’s unique flavor. The Treehouse Italian Grill is one of the most famous Italian restaurants in the city, known for its Chicken Parmesan and Poached Salmon Filet in Caper and Dil Sauce. For a hearty barbecue, Ruby’s is the place to be at. Along with their hearty, meaty meals, they have plenty of sides like Mac n Cheese, Potato Salad, Collards, BBQ Beans etc.
On any given night, you can catch anything from blues to indie to country to post punk to jazz; virtually every Austin bar hosts live music at least occasionally. You can stroll down Sixth Street and just pick something that sounds interesting, but some of the best Austin venues are Antone's, Broken Spoke, Cactus Cafe, Stubb's, and the Continental Club. If dancing is more your thing, this city won't disappoint; big-city style Austin dance clubs are well established and packed on the weekends. There are hundreds of bars located just downtown, so there is something for everyone.
With so much to see and do in the city, Austin really is the place to be at for an action packed time with loads of memories.