It may seem from my first post that all there is to do in Austin is eat, drink and listen to live music. Those are certainly big components of the culture and draw of Austin. For a city in Texas, Austin is also surprisingly green, unlike the flat brownness for which the state is known. Here’s a peek at how we spent some time outdoors in Austin.
The same window from which we saw an incredible lightening storm (of which I was too enamored to take pictures) gave us a glimpse at a beautiful sunrise on the Sunday of our stay. Of course I couldn’t pass up posting one more food pic, this time from a great little spot called The Magnolia Cafe on South Congress that had art work of famous people, including the late, great Prince, my favorite artist of all time (RIP).
We decided to work off breakfast with a walk through Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin’s most prized green space. Our Uber driver left us in a bit of an odd area of the park, so we decided to walk to the Botanical Gardens. Other things to do in Zilker, besides the obvious walking, hiking, playing sports, having a picnic or letting your kids or pets run around, include riding the Zilker Zephyr miniature train, visiting the Austin Nature and Science Center, taking in the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum or paddling a canoe on Town Lake.
The Botanical Gardens are worth the visit. It’s a pleasant walk through the Taniguchi Oriental Garden, with lily pads, underneath which spotted orange, white and black fish swim, bridges and sculptures. There’s a nice waterfall on the walk to the Hartman Prehistoric Garden and the butterfly trail and garden houses chairs shaped like wings.
After Finn’s nap, we met up with friends of friends at the Mad Tiger Festival, a music event for kids. The couple had an adorable 13-month-old daughter and Finn had fun exploring, watching the performers and continually running up to pet a dog that was camped out near the bar.
If live music and nature aren’t your things, you can find a lot of street art to keep your eyes busy as you stroll Austin. Below is a sampling of what we saw.
There’s history in Austin as well, such as the O. Henry Museum which houses archives related to author William Sidney Porter, known as O. Henry after being sent to prison. He is known for his short stories such as “Gifts of the Magi” and “The Ransom of Red Chief.”
Rampant during Austin’s SXSW were pedicabs. I’d never experienced one before, so we decided to splurge for a short ride to South Congress. It’s a pretty neat, somewhat exhilarating way to get around.