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Trip List by wanderlustr

Austin for Outsiders

20 Jun 2006  Austinite for a year
4.0 of 5 stars based on 4 votes

Here are some places to show your friends the real Austin. Lots of Austin originals and beautiful outdoorsy spots.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Austin, Lago Vista, Driftwood, Dripping Springs, New Braunfels
  • Category: Perfect week or more
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Honeymooners, Singles, Large groups, Budget travellers , Active/adventure
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Barton Springs
    Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas

    Known as "The Soul of Austin," Barton Springs pool stays a chilly 68 degrees year-round and is located within Austin's largest recreational space, Zilker Park. The Barton Creek Greenbelt entrance is right by the pool, so you can enjoy a hike before or after swimming. Although there is an entrance fee for Barton Springs, there are several swimming holes on the Greenbelt that you can access for free.

  • 2. Sixth Street
    6th Street, Austin, Texas

    Enjoy the youthful revelry of Austin's party street. It's packed with bars and closed off on weekend nights to prevent drunken-pedestrian versus automobile accidents.

  • 3. Congress Avenue Bridge
    Congress Avenue Bridge / Austin Bats, Austin, Texas

    The Congress Avenue Bridge over Town Lake is home to a million-plus strong colony of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats that emerge at sunset to feast on insects. The best time to view the bats is during the summer months.

  • 4. Lake Travis
    Lago Vista, Texas

    There are several places to experience the beauty of Lake Travis. Windy Point is a great place to grill out or bring a family. Tom Hughes Park is a beautiful spot with opportunities for seclusion due to its rough, rocky descent to the shore. The more liberated can check out Hippie Hollow, the only (legally) clothing-optional beach in Texas.

  • 5. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown
    Alamo Drafthouse at The Ritz, Austin, Texas

    The Alamo Drafthouse is a movie theater that serves beer and food. There are several locations within Austin, but the downtown location shows the most interesting, if quirky, films.

  • 6. Mount Bonnell
    Mount Bonnell, Austin, Texas

    The closest thing the Austin area has to a real mountain, Mount Bonnell rises over 700 feet above sea level and provides sweeping views of downtown, Lake Austin and the Pennybacker Bridge.

  • 7. Spider House
    Spider House Cafe and Ballroom, Austin, Texas

    One of the few remaining vestiges of Austin's "Slacker Culture, " the Spider House is a place to while away hours eating vegetarian food or sipping on coffee or local beer. The best time to experience the Spider House is after dark, when the expansive patio is illuminated by Christmas lights.

  • 8. Magnolia Cafe
    Magnolia Cafe, Austin, Texas

    When in Austin, make it a point to visit iconic Magnolia Cafe. A player in the contentious "Magnolia Cafe vs. Kerbey Lane" debate, Magnolia provides a better experience and value, in my opinion.

  • 9. Trudy's Texas Star Restaurant & Bar
    Trudy's Texas Star Restaurant & Bar, Austin, Texas

    This North Campus neighborhood eatery attracts an eclectic clientele due to it's Tex-Mex cuisine and potent Mexican Martinis. Although visitors are limited to two Mexican Martinis, there are three Trudy's locations in town that you can do the rounds at afterwards.

  • 10. Whole Foods Market
    Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas

    Although it's part of a chain, Austin's Whole Foods market is worthy of a visit due to the fact that its flagship store is here, and that this is where Whole Foods started. This market has groceries from around the world and extensive hot and cold food bars. Live music can also often be heard here.

  • 11. Salt Lick BBQ
    Salt Lick BBQ, Driftwood, Texas

    Even though it's not for the Central Texan purist, the Salt Lick provides delicious food and a wonderful opportunity for outsiders and newcomers to experience the atmosphere of a great Texas pit BBQ. The rustic surroundings and long, scenic drive through the Hill Country can't be missed.

  • 12. Hamilton Pool Preserve
    Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs, Texas

    Hamilton Pool is an old-fashioned Hill Country swimming hole that was formed when a grotto collapsed into an underground river. Its cool, shady swimming area and beautiful scenery draw a huge number of people, so the parking lot may close on busy days. The trail that runs from the pool to the Pedernales River can be taken by those who would like a quieter place to swim.

  • 13. Comal River
    Comal River, New Braunfels, Texas

    The Comal River in New Braunfels is a good place to go for a short day trip while in Austin. People come from miles around to tube down the river with a cooler full of Texan beer in tow. Stop by Lockhart, Texas, the self-proclaimed "BBQ Capital of Texas" on the way home for some good eats.