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March 14, 2024

A Weekend Travel Guide to Austin, Texas

Dance to your own tune in the live music capital of the world.

By Elite Traveler

Texas’s state capital, Austin, has something for everyone: eclectic live music focusing on country, blues and rock; lots of parks and lakes; a vibrant nightlife; excellent shopping; and delicious food, as this travel guide shows.

To begin your ultimate Austin music tour, head to Austin City Limits for a behind-the-scenes look at the Moody Theater. Austin Detours offers a fun tour led by an Austin musician who will take you off the beaten path to discover hidden gem music venues.

Animal lovers should explore the Austin Zoo. Situated southwest of the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve, it houses more than 300 animals and 100 different species. See lions and tigers, black bears (that have been rescued and rehabilitated), monkeys, reptiles and exotic birds — and there are peacocks roaming the grounds. Be sure to get a picture with a Texas Longhorn.

[See also: A Luxury Guide to a Long Weekend in San Antonio]

Congress Avenue Bridge
Congress Avenue Bridge / ©Shutterstock

When the sun sets, head to Congress Avenue Bridge to see around 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats soar through the sky from beneath the bridge.

History buffs will find tons to see in Austin: Explore the Texas Capitol Complex at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center to learn about the state’s history with a guided tour.

The University of Texas at Austin also has an impressive collection of museums including the Harry Ransom Center. Enjoy the great outdoors at Lady Bird Lake — do the 10-mile hike-and-bike trail; canoe, kayak or paddleboard through the calm water; or enjoy a beer and some lunch on a river cruise.

Texas Capitol Complex
Texas Capitol Complex / ©Shutterstock

Where to sleep

On the corner of Brazos and 6th streets in central Austin, you’ll find The Driskill Hotel. Filled with character and historic charm, it’s the perfect base for sightseeing in Austin. Prosperous cattle baron Jesse Driskill built the hotel in 1886; the hotel maintains many original fittings and interesting memorabilia. The Driskill Grill is famed for its Texas cuisine — order the local Wagyu beef. There are 189 guest rooms to choose from, each with its own individual character, but we love the two-bedroom Cattle Baron Suite best.

604 Brazos Street Austin, TX 78701, +1 512 439 1234, driskillhotel.com

Where to eat

The Carillon draws visitors and many return diners — a testament to its delicious American fare with a Texas twist. Order the Kurobuta Farms pork belly with pear miso and crispy kimchi Brussels sprouts; the Texas grass-fed lamb shank with local radish, nasturtium and corn nuts; and the brown sugar butternut squash with Mexican vanilla ice cream and candied pepitas. For a special evening, book the private dining room.

1900 University Avenue Austin, TX 78705 +1 512 404 3655 thecarillonrestaurant.com

Where to fly

Million Air Austin responded to the demand for top-quality corporate aircraft hangars in Austin, Texas with a limited offering of subleases. The FBO offers hangars dedicated to short-term leasing, overnight parking and maintenance facilities. Managed by Million Air and conveniently located at Austin Bergstrom International Airport 16 minutes from downtown, Million Air Austin is Austin’s premiere hangar facility. Your jet awaits, yet you’re in no hurry to leave. That’s what Million Air Austin strives to offer — a facility so comfortable that it’s your home away from home. With reserved parking, an on-site fuel farm and impeccable service minutes from Austin, there’s no better way to fly.

Million Air Austin (AUS); 4801 Emma Browning Avenue Austin, TX 78719; sales.aus@millionair.com, +1 737 208 1400, millionair.com

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