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Top things to do in Austin, Texas

There are many things to do in Austin, Texas in this post we are going to go over things to do, places to see, and restaurant recommendations.

Things to do

Visit the Texas State Capitol. This historic building is one of the most iconic landmarks in Austin and is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Austin. This historic building, completed in 1888, is home to the offices of the Texas Legislature and the Governor of Texas. Visitors can take free guided tours of the Capitol, which include a visit to the rotunda, the House and Senate chambers, and other areas of the building. You can also explore the grounds of the Capitol, which feature statues, monuments, and a beautiful view of downtown Austin.

Zilker Park is one of the largest and most popular parks in Austin, spanning over 350 acres. The park features hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, volleyball and soccer fields, a botanical garden, and a natural spring-fed pool called Barton Springs Pool. Zilker Park also hosts several events throughout the year, including the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Zilker Kite Festival, and the Trail of Lights during the winter holiday season.

Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring-fed pool, that is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike. Barton Springs Pool is located in Zilker Park. The pool is three acres in size and maintains a temperature of around 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making it a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The pool is open from early morning until late at night, and there is an admission fee to enter

Another recommendation is to explore the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike TrailT. his scenic trail runs for 10 miles along the shores of Lady Bird Lake and is a popular spot for walking, running, biking, and even stand-up paddleboarding. Along the trail, you can see views of the city skyline, several parks, and the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America.

Catch some live music on Sixth Stree which is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,”. Austin is home to many music venues, with Sixth Street being the most famous for its live music scene. There are several bars and music venues along Sixth Street that feature a variety of genres, from blues and rock to country and jazz. The street is closed to traffic on weekend nights, making it a pedestrian-only zone.

Tour the Blanton Museum of Art which features a collection of over 17,000 works of art, that ranges from contemporary to ancient. The Blanton Museum of Art is located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The collection includes pieces from a wide range of time periods and cultures, including ancient Greek and Roman art, Renaissance paintings, and contemporary works. The museum also features temporary exhibitions throughout the year, as well as educational programs and events. Admission to the museum is free on Thursday.

The South Congress District is a vibrant neighborhood located just south of downtown Austin. The area is known for its unique shops, restaurants, and street art. Some popular spots to visit include the Continental Club (a historic live music venue), the South Congress Cafe (a brunch spot with a famous carrot cake), and the iconic “I love you so much” mural (a popular spot for Instagram photos).

Where to eat?

Franklin Barbecue is a famous barbecue restaurant owned by Aaron Franklin, who has won multiple James Beard Awards for his pitmaster skills. The restaurant serves classic Texas-style barbecue, with meats like brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. The meat is slow-smoked for hours over oak wood, giving it a smoky and flavorful taste. Some popular dishes at Franklin Barbecue include the brisket (which is so popular that it often sells out early in the day), the pork ribs, and the smoked turkey breast. There was a long line to wait to get into Franklin Barbecue plus they serve until they run out of food so we decided to go to Terry Black’s Barbecue.

Terry Black’s Barbecue was recommended by several people when we ask for another really good place to eat barbeque and they were not wrong. Terry’s Black’s Barbecue has been in business since 2014. By far one of the best barbecues, I have had in a long time. The way you order is by telling them how many pounds you want and they cut it in front of you. We order beef ribs, brisket, sausage, potato salad, and macaroni. The brisket was really juicy and the meat in the beef ribs was so tender that fell off the bone. The tables have 3 bottles of different barbecue sauces that they make in-house. I really recommend Terry Blacks’ Barbecue.

Olamaie is a Southern-inspired restaurant owned by chef Michael Fojtasek. The restaurant features dishes that are inspired by Southern cooking traditions, with a focus on fresh and local ingredients. Some popular dishes at Olamaie include the “biscuits and honey butter” (a classic Southern dish with homemade biscuits and honey butter) which was very flakey and delicious. Other dishes are the “heirloom tomatoes and crab” (a dish with heirloom tomatoes, crab, and benne seed brittle), and the “fried chicken and pickles” (a dish with buttermilk-brined chicken and pickles). We had the beef tartare which to me was more like a carpaccio which was very good. We also had the golf crudo. For the entree, we order the blackened day boat fish which is a local fish a little similar to Mahi in my opinion that comes with a delicious blue crab sauce that the waiter pours on top of the fish. For drinks, Olamaie features a cocktail menu with drinks like the “Southside” (made with gin, lime, and mint) and the “Peach Mule” (made with peach-infused vodka, ginger beer, and lime).

Aba is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant by chef CJ Jacobson. The restaurant menu is influenced by  Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece cuisine. The atmosphere is very pleasant and it’s decorated with many plants that make you feel like you are in a garden. The food is vibrant and flavorful. We went during lunch and we had the red beet hummus with crab, yellow tail, and black garlic shrimp scampi. Everything was really good and light perfect for lunch.

Hestia, I can’t figure out what type of cuisine it is but they are known for cooking their dishes over a wood fire. The only thing I can say is that the food is well-presented, Instagram-ready, and super delicious. For starters, we had the smoked crab tart and the wagyu beef tartare one of the best tartare I have had. For the main dish, we had halibut which comes with smoked brown butter with trout roe that was poured on top by the waiter. The fish was cooked perfectly and was very flavorful.

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